The approved a few nominal agenda items after weighing a new state-mandated concussion policy and the budget for the June 25 voting session.
The first reading of a new concussion policy for student athletes brought concerns of liability after several board members lamented on the recent news of NFL players suing after near-decades of late filings against the National Football League.
Additionally, board members were concerned that parents weren’t explicitly included in the “debriefing” components of the concussion policy. Board members Will Merrell and Sandra Gregg both raised concern over lack of such language.
The $52.2 million budget proposed by the school board calls for a 1.64 mill increase. For a homeowner who currently pays about $2,000 in taxes, the increase would mean an additional tax of $34 next year.
In explaining the current budget proposal, Business Manager Dan Solomon noted that the district would lose one maintenance person, seven athletics coaches, bus drivers’ hours and bus runs reduced to be more efficient.
Board member David Hvizdos motioned for and had a unanimous vote for the creation of a director of transportation position. A second motion and unanimous vote had Joyce Dhalstrom moved from assistant supervisor of buildings, grounds and transportation to serve in that role. Solomon clarified that her salary would remain the same.
Representatives from PNC Bank presented various options for debt restructuring, one of which will be included for the final budget proposal and vote on June 25. Budgets and the aforementioned concussion policy are due in place June 30.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, two men voiced their concerns over the expected millage increase. Both Ron Books and Carl Carenzo asked the board to seek other options.
Superintendent Nina Zetty responded by saying: “You can go online to see the budget we’ve proposed. We are listening to your suggestions and how it affects students and the bottom line. We’re borrowing text books from another school for a course, for example, so we are turning over every stone on ways to save money."
In other business, board Vice President Lori Cuervo raised concern with an anonymous “Celebration Donation” to the high school counselors on the general agenda, which is reportedly for recognition of their achievements.
“We have policy as far as I’m aware, that says we can’t give direct donations or a nominal payment, like a bonus, for them to use. However … this needs re-worded to go the counselors’ department and not directly to them. I also want to stipulate that it should be written to be used for equipment or software or the like.”
After editing the bulleted item to read with such a stipulation, the board voted unanimously to allow the $500 donation to the department.
In his last meeting as an administrator, Solomon was presented with a plaque honoring his work at the school district for nearly two decades.
The goal-setting meeting that was to be held Monday night by the board was postponed.