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BOE sees changes with new members

7/3/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The Hays USD 489 Board of Education reorganized Monday night under the leadership of Greg Schwartz, president, and Darren Schumacher, vice president.

Three new members, Josh Waddell, Danielle Robben and Lance Bickle also took their seats on the board.

Much of the meeting was behind closed doors. Three executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel -- lasting one hour, 45 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively -- were called with the board, Superintendent Will Roth and board attorney Bill Jeter present.

Schwartz declined to comment Tuesday on the executive sessions.

All building administrators -- except Hays High School Principal Marty Straub -- and school district directors including Jessica Calhoun, recently named nutrition services director, Elizabeth Jaeger, assistant to the superintendent, and Melea Kraemer attended.

Some principals and directors frequently attend board meetings and others occasionally attend. It's unusual for all of them to be in attendance.

In reviewing administrators' and directors' contracts, Schwartz found discrepancies in some, and a discussion of the contracts was on the agenda.

Schwartz said he asked the building administrators and directors to come in case the board had questions.

It was "not to take any action on any one of them."

Before a motion to go into executive session for the third time, Schwartz moved that the board "release all directors and administrators to go home."

However, most stayed.

Following the last executive session, the board voted to table discussion on contracts, a policy on pre-screening potential bidders and the board attorney.

Schwartz said the contracts will be discussed at the July 8 work session.

The board's meeting frequency is changing to four times a month -- two meetings and two work sessions.

Central office administrators recommended meeting twice a month, usually on the first and third Mondays, with work sessions and special meetings as needed.

Roth said that schedule works for board clerk Cheryl Shubert and treasurer Renae Booth.

"The third Monday is really critical for them as far as getting bills approved and getting them paid in a timely fashion without incurring late fees," Roth said.

A motion by Marty Patterson to accept the twice-monthly meeting proposal failed for lack of a second.

"With three new board members who haven't served on the board yet, I'd like to see at least one more meeting for at least the first couple of months," board member James Leiker said.

In 2012-13, the board had one meeting and one work session per month, except for August. Leiker and Patterson voted with former board members Richard Kraemer, Alan Moore and Sharon Befort for the schedule, while Schwartz and Schumacher voted against, citing a need to meet more often.

On Monday night, the board voted 6-1, with Patterson dissenting, to meet four times a month, usually on the first four Mondays alternating meetings and work sessions. There will be an exception this month with a work session July 8, a meeting July 15 and a work session July 31 to discuss the budget.

September also will be an exception because of the Labor Day holiday.

The board will discuss the schedule again at the Sept. 23 meeting.