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GIRARD SCHOOLS Group will discuss board's ouster



Published: Tue, July 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A removal petition requires signatures from 15 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

GIRARD -- The leaders of Girard Concerned Citizens have called a meeting for 7 tonight in Liberty Park Pavilion to discuss the possible removal of the school board.

Kathy Ross, president of the parent group, said removal is an option the group is considering because of the way the board has handled health issues at Girard Intermediate School.

Richard Ragozine, board president, declined to discuss the removal effort. Other board members could not be reached immediately.

Norma Williams, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, said the group has made inquiries about the removal procedure, including the number of signatures required on a petition.

How it's done: Williams said removal is handled similarly to a civil lawsuit in common pleas court, as opposed to a recall question on a ballot.

The petition must contain signatures of 15 percent of the 3,703 voters who cast ballots during the last election in which the governor was elected. That would be 555 in this case.

The petitions are then referred to common pleas court, where a judge can remove board members if charges such as dereliction of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance are proved, Williams explained.

Ross said she thinks the school board has not cooperated with parents in solving the health issues at the intermediate school.

Shut down: The new building was closed in May because pupils, teachers and staff were getting sick. The administration has begun work to get rid of fungi in the carpeting and in the heating and cooling ventilation system.

The district may have to conduct classes at Tod Woods School, the former intermediate school, when school opens Aug. 27.

"I'm disappointed with the lack of communications that has caused most of these problems," Ross said.

She pointed out that the district even wanted the group to pay $50 for results of environmental tests done at the intermediate school. Ross said she eventually paid 25 cents per page for part of the report.

The group also is supporting Robert Foley, the intermediate school principal who has been transferred to junior high principal.

The group said Foley was moved because he was the first administrator to alert parents and the press of the health concerns.

Ross said the board has not permitted her or group members to question it about Foley's transfer.

yovich@vindy.com




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