By Denise Dick
Based on the fiscal year, city school board members met fewer times in 2014 than in the previous four years, according to a comparison prepared by Treasurer James Reinhard at the board’s request.
The fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30, Reinhard’s comparison is based on total compensation divided by 125, the amount paid each board member, per meeting. Based on that, the board met 36 times in FY 2014 compared with 41 times in FY 2013, 54 times in FY 2012, 48 times in 2011 and 41 times in FY 2010.
“You had a lot of board meetings last year, and you’ve always had a lot of board meetings,” Reinhard said at Tuesday’s regular school board meeting.
Jacqueline Adair asked Reinhard to prepare the comparison after a Vindicator article and editorial compared the number of city school board meetings and the amount expended for those meetings in the calendar year so far with other districts.
At the time of the article and editorial, the city school board had met more than the boards in Boardman, Lorain, Warren and Akron. Boardman and Warren also limit the number of meetings for which members are paid.
“We never meet just to meet,” said Richard Atkinson, school board president.
Michael Murphy, board member, said the board likely met more often in 2010, 2011 and 2012 because that’s when members were selecting a superintendent and then a treasurer.
Atkinson said the board meets when members believe it’s necessary to meet.
“We’re doing important things that are necessary,” he said. “That what you elected us to do.”
This week, four meetings are scheduled.
The board met in special session Monday to work on Superintendent Connie Hathorn’s performance evaluation and another meeting is set today to continue that work. Tuesday was the regular meeting and a special meeting, in executive session, is set for Thursday, to discuss personnel and legal issues.