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Linglestown Gazette: LIVE BLOGGING: CD School Boad meeting

Monday, July 09, 2012

LIVE BLOGGING: CD School Boad meeting

Actions taken by the school board tonight ...

Dr. Carol Johnson
* The board unanimously approved a revised policy that outlines digital information that needs to be retained by the district. This step was taken in part to save a few thousand dollars in technology costs.

* MAJOR STAFFING VOTE #1 -- An employment agreement with Dr. Carol Johnson to serve as the district's superintendent from July 12, 2012 through July 12, 2016 was unanimously approved. No details were given about salary and benefits.

According to The Patriot-News on Tuesday, Johnson will be paid $168,000 per year.

* A labor contract with AFSCME labor union was unanimously approved. No details were given about the agreement.

* MAJOR STAFFING VOTE #2 -- The board unanimously approved an employment agreement with Director of Business Affairs Karen McConnell that changes her title to Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administrative Operations. Her contract will run from July 12, 2012 through July 12, 2017. No details were given about salary and benefits during the meeting, but The Patriot-News on Tuesday reported that her salary is still under discussion.

This staffing change was described as a change in the way the district's administration is organized, according to board president Ford Thompson. It is similar to the setup used by other large school districts in Pennsylvania, he said.

* Personnel report approved 8-0 that included hiring of an assistant principal for CD East High School. CLICK HERE to view the report.

* Tax appeal settlement for JC Properties was approved 8-0. No details were given about the agreement.

* Board member Janis Macut will replace Thompson as the district's representative with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit.

* Thompson noted that the tenure of Dr. Luis Gonzalez as the district's superintendent will end this Friday. He wished him well in his future endeavors. By the way, Gonzalez is a resident of Linglestown.

* Board member Brian Faleshock noted that the budget for Dauphin County Technical School is looking good for the upcoming year.

Next board meeting will be held August 6.


* WHTM abc27 had a camera crew at the meeting and The Patriot-News probably had someone there too. They interviewed Thompson after the meeting and probably asked him about the compensation packages approved for Johnson and McConnell. (Just a guess on my part.)

On this point, I believe the board should err on the side of openness and share public information – like salaries of top administrators – with the public prior to voting. It's public information and forcing citizens who attend meetings to rely on the media to get key facts and figures defeats the purpose of attending meetings.

* I spoke during the public-comment period to update the board on the CD Roundtable held last month and tomorrow night's community chat.

Also, I passed along an idea submitted to the Gazette by Rich Krampe who suggested that arrangements be made to televise the board meetings over public access stations provided by the Comcast and Verizon cable systems.

There's probably expenses tied to using the cable channels, so I offered an alternative approach -- stream the meetings over the Internet and have students produce the broadcast. And, I suggested that students could help operate a website that focuses on pressing issues facing the district.

No board members commented on my suggestions.



At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bill! This is a great service you're providing to the community.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger  said...

You're welcome.

I'm hoping to get help from other residents to cover all school board meetings.

Please consider coming out to the community chat at St. Thomas Roasters on Tuesday, 7/10/12 at 7 pm to get motivated to get involved in your community.

At 5:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for forwarding my broadcast suggestion, Bill. I'm not familiar with the local agreements with Verizon and Comcast, but there are
Public Access Channels across the country broadcasting school board meetings. We're not talking rocket science here. These channels are part of the franchise agreement, and are greatly underutilized (and there's no political incentive to increase their use). CDHS, as you probably know, has a video production class that produces a school newscast (among other services).
- Thanks again. Rich Krampe


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