Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting August 24th, 2015

The video starts before the board meeting actually began. You will see a summons server serving four of the school board members with legal documents pertaining to a amended lawsuit against board member Marti Sageman. The amended suit now includes these four board members and also there is another lawsuit seeking to have the courts invalidate the resolution that was passed on July 20th by these four board members.

On the meeting agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 4:59
- Agenda Adjustments begins at 7:43
- Priority School Quarterly Report begins at 9:30
- High School Update By Mr. McCarthy begins at 18:15
- Searching For New Legal Counsel Discussion begins at 26:26
- Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP) Update and Approval begins at 34:43
- Personnel Report begins at 44:46
- Superintendent Search Discussion/Appointment begins at 47:34
- Board's Responses To Public Comments and Questions Discussion begins at 50:18
- Board And Superintendent Comments begin at 1:02:00

Four board members, Jay Bruns, Larry Long, Robert Lange, and Dempsey Allen were all served with legal papers pertaining to lawsuits filed by Attorney Philip Ellison.  One of the suits is against the school board for violating the Open Meeting Act by going into the closed session at the July 20th school board meeting and also to have the resolution that they voted to approve at that meeting declared invalid by the court.  Mr. Ellison has some very detailed grounds for the claim laid out in the suit.
The four board members that voted to approve the resolution have also been added to the original lawsuit against board member Marti Sageman for misappropriation of public funds, based on their vote for the resolution.  You can view the details of both of these lawsuits and the resolution passed here on my blog.  Mlive also has posted a article today about the four members being added to the lawsuit - http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/08/more_bridgeport_school_board_m.html#incart_river

There was a Priority School Quarterly Report presented by Mrs. Duran.  It sounds like they have put a lot of work into this plan for the future and it sounds like some very positive and good changes are being put into place.  I wish them luck and applaud all their hard work and dedication.

Mr. McCarthy had a update of some of the new things that will be coming for the upcoming school year.  One of the exciting things they have is the Project Lead The Way engineering program.  MLive did a article on this earlier this year, you can view it here - http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/05/bridgeport_students_preparing.html  
They will be offering things like a Computer Science class that will feature Coding, a Chinese language class, new textbooks, one hour lunch program.  They will be looking into adding the Air Force Jr. ROTC program.  I see many positive changes coming from the administration and staff of the Bridgeport Schools!

They had a discussion about looking for a new legal counsel firm to use.  They agreed they will no longer be using the firm of Masud Law Group.  They do also have another firm Clark & Hill they will continue to use and will be looking into local firms for future use.

Melissa Cabine gave a update on the current Deficit Elimination Plan and they voted to approve it.  Positive outlook for the future of Bridgeport Schools in the plan.
They voted on some new hires during the Personnel Report.

At the August 10th board meeting Board Vice President Pat Nelson presented a motion to table any decision on which firm to use for the Superintendent Search until the September meeting. 

They also discussed the board's policy for responding to comments and questions from the public.  I can't say that they actually ended up with a consensus for handling this issue in the future.  In my opinion, comments and questions directed at specifically the school board should be answered by the school board, if it is a issue involving the schools and students, that should probably best be answered by the Superintendent. 

The board and superintendent comments are also worth listening to from this school board meeting.  The next school board meeting will be held on September 14th.


  1. They can't even make a decision on how to answer the public's questions!
    Larry Long thinks answering our questions is an obligation

  2. Answering the public's questions should be a obligation for every elected public official! You would think that this should be a easy subject to make a decision on. The board sets the policies, they can make it however they want. In my opinion, a common sense approach would be that if a question is directed at the school board, that they answer it if they are able to at that time. If not, then just let the speaker know that they will look into it and get back to them as soon as they have the answer. They could answer it right after the speaker addresses them or at the end of the meeting. If the question is something that would require an answer from the school administration or staff, then let the speaker know that they will pass it along to the appropriate person and have them get back to them. I think Superintendent Carol Selby would be happy to answer any questions that she could right there at the board meeting, and if she couldn't I believe she would work to find the answer and get back to them at a later date.