By Denise Dick
Votes of the city school board will be recommendations to the chief executive officer, who will make the decisions.
Krish Mohip’s first regular board meeting Tuesday was one of rare and relative calm.
Brenda Kimble, school board president, explained the new procedure:
“From now on, when the board is voting, it will be a recommendation.”
Mohip will make all final decisions, she said.
Mohip said he wants to work collaboratively with the school board and listen to members’ views.
“They’re the voice for the district,” he said. “I would never want to silence a question.”
The CEO asked, however, the board to hold off on committee meetings until after a retreat expected next month. No date has been set.
At the June 28 school board meeting, a day before Mohip came on the job, the board approved a resolution to conduct a two-day retreat with Mohip at The Embassy Suites in Beachwood, Ohio. Estimated cost in the resolution for hotel, mileage, food and consultants is $15,000.
Mohip expects the cost to be about $5,000.
“My preference is to do it here” rather than in Beachwood, he said.
The district needs to be cognizant of taxpayer dollars, the CEO said.
At that retreat, Mohip has plans for board training on Robert’s Rules of Order, board policies and procedures, meeting decorum and the state’s Open Meetings Act, also called the Sunshine Law.
Late last week, board member Dario Hunter pointed out via email that public notice of board committee meetings must precede those meetings. That hasn’t been done.
About two years ago, the board changed its committee structure from committees of three members to committees of one board member and members of the administration.
None of the board members objected to suspending committee meetings until after the retreat.
In other business, Kimble proposed a motion to reduce from 10 minutes to 3 minutes the amount of time each board member may discuss an issue.
Jackie Adair questioned the reasons.
“Lots of business needs to be covered and aired” for the public, she said.
Kimble said the board previously voted to limit to two hours the board meetings, and the 10-minute limit, with seven board members, would make it difficult to stick to that two-hour limit. Board members get their agendas the week before the meetings, allowing them ample time to get any questions answered, she said.
Hunter said a vote to reduce the time limit requires a two-thirds rather than a simple majority.
With that requirement, the motion failed.
Kimble and board members Michael Murphy, Ronald Shadd and Jerome Williams were in favor, with Adair, Hunter and Corrine Sanderson opposed.
Sanderson made a motion to discontinue the lawsuit the board brought last year against the state. The suit, filed in Columbus, sought to have the Youngstown Plan, also called House Bill 70, declared unconstitutional. The law called for appointment of a schools CEO.
Her motion, though, wasn’t considered because, to include it, the meeting agenda would have to be amended. It also followed an executive session, and Kimble had announced before the private discussion that the board wouldn’t take action when the panel returned to the open session.
Sanderson said she will get her resolution on the agenda for the July 26 meeting.