Youngstown school board rejects funding members' trip to Calif.

By Denise Dick


If three city school board members want to attend a National School Boards Association conference this weekend in San Diego, they’ll have to pay for it themselves.

The school board on Tuesday rejected, by a 3-3 vote, spending about $4,113 for President Richard Atkinson and members Marcia Haire-Ellis and Brenda Kimble to attend the annual conference, which runs Saturday through Monday.

Atkinson, Haire-Ellis and Kimble voted in favor of the resolution with members Andrea Mahone, Rachel Hanni and Michael Murphy opposed. Without a majority vote, the resolution failed.

Lock P. Beachum Sr. didn’t attend Tuesday’s school board meeting. He’s in San Diego for the conference, but his attendance didn’t involve the expenditure of district funds.

Last month, the school board passed a resolution to spend about $12,000 for Beachum, Atkinson, Haire-Ellis, Kimble and Murphy to go to the conference.

Neither Mahone nor Hanni had planned to attend. Atkinson and Haire-Ellis planned to pay their own airfare.

But the district’s fiscal monitor, appointed by the Youngstown Schools Academic Distress Commission, rejected the earlier resolution.

Last December, the academic commission took over budget authority because of a projected district deficit. The commission, through the fiscal monitor, must approve all expenditures exceeding $5,000 and all contracts.

Tuesday’s resolution didn’t meet the $5,000 threshold. The three members planned to pay their own respective airfares and some other costs with Haire-Ellis and Kimble planning to share a room.

In other business, the board appointed James A. Reinhard, who has been the commission-appointed fiscal monitor since last December, as part-time treasurer.

Reinhard, who is the retired treasurer of Canton City Schools, will earn $60 per hour, not to exceed $70,000 annually.

His contract runs Monday through July 31, 2014.

The district has been without a permanent treasurer since May 2012.

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