Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting May 20th, 2015

It was a short but very important meeting tonight.  On the agenda:
- State Aid Note begins at 0:42 in the video
- Citizen Participation begins at 2:48
- Lawyer Ann VanderLaan presentation concerning the status of Superintendent Thomas Hill begins at 5:32
- Board Member and Superintendent Comments begin at 8:23

Board members Martha Sageman and Robert Lange were absent from tonight's meeting.
So it is now official that Thomas Hill is no longer the Superintendent of the Bridgeport Schools.  I don't know what the "settlement agreement and release of claims" involves, hopefully it does not involve a large amount of money.  Looking forward to the school system being able to finally move on concerning this matter and make plans for the future.
Andre Jackson addressed a serious matter during the citizen participation segment of the meeting.  The boys track coach, Bill Walters, was fired on Monday.  There has been no official reason stated publicly for the termination and now the rumors are running rampant throughout Bridgeport concerning Mr. Walters.  I don't know if the school system can publicly address this issue.  If they can, they need to and soon.
Andre Jackson also made a good point about the difference in how the firing of Coach Anwar Jackson was handled compared to the firing of Mr. Walters.  One of the great things about our country is that you are supposedly "Innocent Until Proven Guilty".  In the case of Coach Jackson, it appears that he was "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" with no chance given to prove himself innocent, and all based on the "accusations" from one man, Fred Townsend.  I don't know how or if any investigation was handled by the Bridgeport Schools concerning Coach Jackson.  Anyone that you talk to concerning Coach Jackson will tell you that he is a great guy and that Bridgeport should never have let him go.
Now as far as Mr. Walters, the only thing I have heard are a lot of rumors, and they are growing by the hour.  Andre Jackson says that the school was notified of the issue concerning Mr. Walters last week but that he was allowed to continue coaching up through the weekend.  I won't repeat the rumors here that I have heard and I don't know that any of them are true.  He is "Innocent Until Proven Guilty", but, considering the severity of the accusations and rumors, I would think that it would have been better to immediately remove him until a full investigation was completed.  In this case it sounds like I am judging him as guilty, but when the rumors involve possibly inappropriate conduct towards minors, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Special Meeting To Be Held

This is a special meeting that will be held at the Bridgeport High School on Wednesday May 20th, 2015.  Like all school board meetings it will be open to the public.
Anyone that would like to be added to a email list to be notified about special meetings and committee meetings to be held by the school board can contact the school.  Contact ROBIN JOHNSON ( and request to be added to the email list.

Here is the list of the scheduled school board meetings -


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bridgeport Township DDA Board Meeting May 13th, 2015

On today's agenda:
Under New Business -
- Bavarian Comfort Care begins at 1:50
- Saginaw Future begins at 3:11
- Bridge Repairs begins at 9:23
- Speedway Gas Station begins at 12:01
- Knights Inn - Tax Tribunal begins at 13:23
Under Old Business -
- Bridgeport Cass River Trail Head Update begins at 15:42
- Beautification Committee Report begins at 16:30
- Great Lakes Discovery Center begins at 25:55
- Billboard begins at 27:57
- Canoe Launch begins at 30:07
DDA Coordinator's Report begins at 31:45

Bridgeport School Board Meeting May 11th, 2015

On the agenda:
- ISD 2015-2016 Budget Presentation/Approval begins at 0:44 in the video
- Citizen Participation begins at 20:46
- Committee Reports begins at 31:33
- Check Register, Minutes and Personnel Report begins at 35:49
- DEP/Financial Update begins at 37:02
- 2014-15 Budget Amendment begins at 40:42
- Chartwells Food Service Contract Renewal begins at 41:30
- Best Practices Incentive Resolution begins at 55:35
- 2015-2016 Business Office Working Agreements Approval begins at 57:57
- ISD Board Election Resolution begins at 1:03:03
- at 1:06:28 the board goes into a closed session
- Board Member and Superintendent Comments begins at 1:09:04

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bridgeport Township Board Meeting May 6th, 2015

On tonight's agenda:
Public Comment begins at 4:00 in the video
New Business - 
- Proclamation for Walter LaShore begins at 13:05
- Citizen recognition for Fort Road house fire begins at 17:06
- Appoint Treasurer begins at 22:43
- Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority Resolutions R15-5 - IDEP, R15-6 - Standard & Guidelines, R15-7 - Public Education Plans and also Police Department Policies - language access service for deaf & blind subjects, language access services for limited English begin at 28:37
- Recognition for crossing guards Chris Heilig & Tom Mills begins at 36:52
- Bridgeport Charter Township Master Plan begins at 38:20
- Cemetery Ordinance revision begins at 39:22
- Sidewalk bids begins at 40:28
- Sidewalk Ordinance begins at 42:16
Board Member Comments begin at 44:35

Last nights meeting was different than any of the meetings I have been to here in Bridgeport.  It was sad and joyful, the kind of night that helps you keep perspective on the things that are really important in life.
I had wanted to write something about Walter LaShore but I really did not know him well.  About the only thing that I can say about him was how he would joke and laugh at the meetings and it seemed to be infectious to everyone else there.  The meeting started with a proclamation from the township for Mr. LaShore.  The board members and others spoke of him throughout the meeting and I think their words and emotions told you all you ever needed to know about the gentleman and told you how much he will be missed. Rest In Peace Mr. LaShore!
Three residents, Bonnie Pegley, Joseph Horonzy and Phillip Inman were recognized for their actions in saving a elderly resident, Mrs. Mason, from her burning home on March 14th. These three people and their actions, are the kind of things that help to restore your faith in mankind.  Congratulations on your well deserved recognition and Thank You!
Two other residents were also recognized for their actions.  Chris Heilig and Tom Mills are crossing guards for the schools on Williamson Rd. and were given certificates honoring all the hours, actually years, that they have dedicated to ensuring the safety of the children. Again, Congratulations on your well deserved recognition and Thank You!
Jim Secord was sworn in as the new Township Treasurer. Congratulations Jim!  I believe that he will  perform a outstanding job.
Cheryl Hadsall and Michael Hanley from the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners both spoke during the public comment period.  Rose Licht and others talked about all the exciting upcoming events in Bridgeport through the Parks & Recreation Dept and Bridge Fest.

Bridgeport School Board Meeting April 27th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 1:18 in the video
- Committee Reports begins at 11:44
- Vice President Appointment begins at 17:08
- Acting Superintendent Contract Discussion/Approval begins at 18:23
- Board and Superintendent Comments begin at 20:00

Sorry I am almost two weeks late in sharing this video here but sometimes life gets hectic.   I always post the videos of the meetings first on YouTube, usually hours after the meetings, and then when I have time I share them here on the blog. 
The meeting started with the board going into a closed session and after they returned the citizen participation segment began.  Students Mark Mohn-Young and Jason Pogue spoke on behalf of a teacher at Bridgeport High School who will not be having her contract renewed.  I believe her name is Ms. Roeske but it is hard to hear with the poor audio in this meeting.  Last year there was a school board meeting where students got up and spoke on behalf of a teacher that was going to be let go and the board or administration changed their decision and kept the teacher on.  I remember reading about that incident and it was what got me interested in attending the board meetings.  I believe this is the same teacher that was also discussed in the personnel meeting on April 17th.  I wondered after that meeting why the teacher was kept on despite having poor evaluations and if Ms. Roeske is the same teacher then I understand why.  I have no idea what criteria is used in evaluations of the instructors but I do have to wonder how she could go from 10 years of good evaluations at another school and then receive poor evaluations at Bridgeport.  It seems like there is more to this story but I don't know what it is.
Ms. Manning, a employee of the school district also spoke.  She had issues with her employment and it sounds like her contract will not be renewed.  I have no understanding of her issues so I can't comment on that, but I hope that she has a better avenue to bring those issues to the school board and administration than during the brief 3 minute period allotted during the meetings.
I would like to congratulate Mr. Nelson on his appointment as the new Vice President of the school board.  I think very highly of Mr. Nelson and think he is a good choice for the position.
I was glad to see that Mrs. Selby's stipend contract was approved by the board members.
Mr. Bruns is the new President of the school board and I liked everything that I heard from him in the board member comments period.  I do have just one observation/suggestion and it involves that 3 minute rule.  Mr. Bruns seems to listen to and be concerned about the issues that are brought by the public to the school board.  That is great, and that is what the public, staff, students need to know is that the board is listening; but when you shut the speakers down at the 3 minute mark it appears that you are not willing to listen.  I can understand if you get 20 speakers come and raise a ruckus that boards may feel it is necessary to enforce the time limit to keep some peace and order and move the meeting along for the benefit of everyone that is attending and would also like to speak.  When you only have a few speakers and the issues that they are bringing before you are serious, would it really hurt to allow them a few extra minutes?  It would go a long way to help build that relationship of cooperation and trust back up that seems to have been lacking for sometime between the Bridgeport community and the school board.
The next school board meeting will be held on May 11th at the Bridgeport High School.