01/04/07 TPS Board Meeting

Meeting and minutes will be posted soon.

Barnet is president, Steel is Vice President
There was talk of unity but no unity was displayed.
Board raised the board allocation for development to 28k, instead of 15k. Apparently they are almost out of their 15k. One board member has 7k in travel already.

Citizens Report (while ToledoTalk is fixed)

The meeting started out with the appointment of an interim treasurer while Dan Romano is formalized.

Larry Sykes was missing at the beginning of the meeting. He came in about 6 minutes late with his left arm in the sling. (My note: I asked Claudia Cooper if she had anything to do with that, she said no).

Fisher congratulated Griscom on his work as treasurer. The also thanked the public, the staff, and Foley. She said the president must serve the immediate need of working to bring the board together. She suggested a 5-point plan of bringing the board together. 1. Facilitator meeting by Feb 1. Pledge that everyone will work together, professionally, hold an innovations and tech meeting to discuss new ways to talk, attend a Libbey sporting event together, attend the opening of Robinson Middle School together, and finally have a 90 minute Q&A with the community.

Darlene asked Deborah if she had anything to add. She said she had her own pledge. Darlene looking a bit surprised said that well maybe they could work together and put together a single pledge.

Darlene then called for nominations of President. Robert Torres nominated Deborah Barnett. Torres said that the board needs to demonstrate cooperation and support a leadership team of diverse views. The vote was 5 to 0 in support of Deborah. Deborah Barnett was administered the oath of office.

Barnett started out in a strong tone saying that the board members need to work together and provide role models for the children. She stressed creating cooperation and collaboration. The first initiative that she had was working on the leadership development. She said her first role to start the healing was having board members sign a pledge of working together. Sykes said that he could not make one of the days on there but he would sign it. (My note: The board members seemed surprised by the pledge. I believe all of them signed it) Apparently there was a meeting with a consultant she is working with and was in the pledge. Larry Sykes asked if the consultant has talked to everyone. I believe Deborah said no (check the audio) not yet. The agreed to finalize the date soon.

Next was the election of Vice President. Deborah called for nominations. Darlene Fisher made a motion to nominate Robert Torres. Larry Sykes said something about nominating Steve Steel. There was some debate on the nominations and what order to go in. (My note: Maybe some of the board service funds can be spent on a Robert’s rules of order training). Torres said he signed the pledge and said out of respect and unity he would be gladly willing to serve. Larry Sykes (My note seemed angry) said the new board leadership must be responsible, must be available, must communicate which has not been done and he said he has know Steel to be able to do this. Deborah Barnett called for a vote. Steel, Sykes, and Barnett voted against Robert as VP and Darlene and Robert voted yes. Next was the vote of Steel. There was discussion. Steel said he also signed the pledge and said he would work to the best of his ability. Darlene Fisher said we should discuss your conflict of Interest. Larry Sykes says we are not here to discuss this we are here to elect vice president. Sykes said unless you have proof you should not bring this up. I believe Larry also said something about representing her group’s views. Steel said as a professional, he would serve the district in the best interests. Steel said he is not the only one on the board with conflict of interests. He said 4 members have abstained at one time or another for interest issues (Darlene is the one who has not had a conflict so far). Torres and Fisher voted no, Steel, Sykes and Barnett voted yes.

Next Deborah Barnett presented her committees. She initially said that she had recommendations, but then switched and said these are the appointments.

Barnett said she campaigned on the task of we don’t do enough to tell TPSs story. She wanted to create a PR committee to talk about how to sell the district. Fisher asked if it was permanent. Steel said the policy committee was reversed. Darlene said she wanted to remain on her committees she was on last year. Deborah said that as president this was her recommendation. She said that she wanted to extend an invitation to her fellow board members. Larry Sykes said he would like to join the PR committee (My note: Oh boy that PR committee is in trouble). Fisher then asked about the recruitment and retention committee, she wondered if it was being done away with especially since it was so effective last year. Deborah said changing the committees were good for the district. Darlene then asked about the committees again. Deborah said it was like we did last year. Fisher said in the spirit of cooperation she would like to swap her curriculum committee assignment with Robert Torres’s budget committee. She said with the changes it would be good to have solid leadership on that committee. The request was denied by Deborah Barnett. After Steven Steel asked, Deborah read the list of organization assignments. The committees came to a vote; it was 4 to 1, Fisher casting the lone dissenting vote. Steel said this was the way it was done last year, there was not discussion. Fisher said this is not correct (My note: If you look at the previous board minutes Darlene did ask what committees they wanted to be on and they delayed the vote until the retreat so everything was right).

Next was treasurer report:

Advance of taxes from county – voted up 5-0
Performance Bonds – Voted up 5-0
Next was the increase of service fund expenditures. The service fund is the fund the board uses for travel expenses to conferences. The business manager said that the law allows for up to $2 a student and up to 60k in funds. Current allocation is 15k. Sykes asked for a recommendation. Romano (district business manager said he would recommend 29k). Romano said that you don’t need to use the money if you don’t want to. Torres suggested that they get reports on expenses. He said there is a disproportionate use of funds. He would like to prevent this from occurring. Torres thought that it would be good to have each member have an allocation. Fisher said there needs to be a board policy on how to get reimbursed. She wanted a cap per member. Fisher said that they want to increase the fun while they are cutting from the classroom and questioned the use.

Professional development is expected Steel said. He said it is an opportunity to go outside and see how they are viewed. He brought back suggestions before. He said there is no expectation of using the funds. Fisher said her mind was on the taxpayer. Sykes said it is not good to not train someone and keep them. Teachers are required to train, why not board members. Sykes said the district is a billion dollar operation. Sykes also said that Darlene should spend her time learning about the levy as she does learning about expenditures.
Barnet said she learned a lot about education. She said it is set up to have reports and will allow them to monitor it. It was voted up 4-1 Fisher casting the dissenting vote.

Barnett asked for comments. Fisher said that they should use the taxpayers money wisely. Steel reminded Fisher she signed a pledge to not question decisions made (My note: I also believe the pledge said that Sykes should not make the personal attacks he did on Darlene above, selected enforcement is not unity).

Torres said that the money is there and they don't need to utilize it.

TAAP extended congratulations to Darlene and looked forward to working with Foley, Steel and Barnett in the upcoming year.

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