Board of Education

Board of Education
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
Phone 301.334.8931
Fax 301.334.7621

Minutes February 25, 2008

MINUTES

 

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Oakland, Maryland 21550

 

Monday, February 25, 2008

___________

 

Part I - Call to Order

Mr. James M. Raley, President, called the special meeting of the Board of Education to order at 5:43 p.m.  Also in attendance were Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Vice President; Mr. Thomas Carr, Dr. Donald Forrester and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.  Student Member of the Board, Brison Harvey, was also present.

            Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration, and Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction, along with many administrative staff, were also present to provide information in their specific areas, as needed.  Ms. Ann Ellis, GCEA President, and Mr. Steve Benson, UNISERV Director, were also in the audience. 

Part II – Acceptance of Agenda

            Mr. Raley announced that the special meeting is being held to respond to the FY2009 Superintendent’s Proposed Operating Budget which was presented on February 11, 2008.  Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold and a second by Mr. Carr, the board unanimously approved the agenda as presented.   

Part III –Proposed FY2009 Operating Budget

             Mr. Raley explained that the Superintendent’s budget does not belong to the Board of Education until the Board takes action; therefore, board members may choose to amend, table, or take action.  He added that, after reviewing communications between the County Administrator and Superintendent, it was apparent the superintendent’s budget was not going to meet with the approval of the Commissioners.  Mr. Raley referred to a memo to the board from Dr. Teets and Mr. Fink showing a summary of reductions to the budget after the Superintendent’s presentation and a list of potential budget reductions compiled by Mr. Raley.  Dr. Teets explained that all county agencies were asked to create a budget as close to the previous year as possible.  He added that the superintendent’s budget request would have been less than FY 2008 except for  the fact that increases are necessary to fulfill contract obligations and employee health care plans.

            Following lengthy discussion and a page by page review of the budget, board members reduced budget requests by an additional $322,306 in operational costs while making no change to the capital improvement request of $4,192,071.  It was noted that additional changes could occur as retirements are factored in. 

            During the discussion period, Mr. Raley recognized Mr. Benson who spoke on behalf of the employee groups.  Mr. Benson discussed contractual obligations which were done in good faith, that Garrett County offers one of the best educational systems in the state and surrounding counties, and the importance of retaining quality staff in the face of an impending teacher shortage. 

            Mr. Harvey left the meeting at 8:00 p.m.

            Following discussion on the Food and Nutrition Department budget, Dr. Teets recommended a fifteen cents increase for paid lunches to support the program.  Upon a motion by Mr. Durst  and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board voted 3-1 in favor of the increase, with Mrs. Sebold voting in the negative.  Mr. Raley added that he would also have voted nay. 

            Mr. Raley summarized by stating that, since there was no motion at the beginning of the meeting to accept the superintendent’s original budget or to table action, board members have reviewed all pages and made amendments which decreased operating costs.  He then called  for a motion.  Mr. Carr made a motion, with a second from Mr. Durst,  to submit the original FY2009 budget, leaving the parameters of where to make cuts in the hands of the Commission.    After additional discussion, Mr. Raley called for a vote.  The motion was defeated, 1-3, with Mr. Carr voting for the motion. 

            Mrs. Sebold moved, with a second from Dr. Forrester, to adopt the FY2009 Operating Budget with the reductions included.  Mr. Raley explained the new budget includes both board and superintendent reductions in program areas.  During discussion, Mr. Durst asked that the motion be amended to include salary increases for non-represented employees at the same level as represented employees (6%).  Mrs. Sebold amended her motion to adopt the new budget with a reduction of $302,281 and the inclusion of salary increases for the non-represented employees.  Dr. Forrester seconded the amended motion, and the motion carried unanimously. 

            In closing, Mr. Raley stated the budget review and adoption was a valuable learning experience, reflects fair labor practices, and is indicative of the board’s responsibility to students and parents to provide a quality educational experience.  Dr. Teets thanked the board for their recommendations and assistance.

                        Part IV - Adjournment

There being no further business, the special meeting was adjourned at 10:08 p.m.

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   March 11, 2008