Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting August 10th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Superintendent Search Firm Presentations
A. Metro Bureau begins at 0:55
B. Michigan Association of School Board (MASB) begins at 28:22
C. Carl Hartman begins at 1:14:00
- Citizen Participation begins at 1:24:40
- Agenda Adjustments begins at 1:32:39
- Payment Of The Bills and Minutes begins at 1:33:45
- Personnel Report begins at 1:37:06
(There is a break in the video at about 1:42:48 because I had to change batteries)
- Further Discussion On Superintendent Search Firms begins at 1:53:01
- Board Member Comments begin at 1:54:05

First up on the agenda was a presentation by three different search firms that are vying for the contract to do the Superintendent search.  I thought the presentations by Metro Bureau and the MASB were both very good presentations.  I was a little more sold by the Metro Bureau, several others I have spoken to were sold on the MASB.  I think they both are a good choice. Board President Jay Bruns was hoping to make a decision that evening on which firm they would choose.  Later in the meeting Vice President Pat Nelson made a motion to table it until September to give all the board members time to review the choices thoroughly.  I was glad to see that done.  I can agree with getting a head start on this process, but since Interim Superintendent Carol Selby has a one year contract, I am not sure what is the big hurry to do it now.  I hope when they do start the search they will look at any internal applicants that may be qualified and interested in the position.  Attracting a good applicant to this district will be hard with all the problems they have had, with the DEP and the Priority School Status.  Someone that is already in the district and knows the problems and the strengths of the district might have a good chance of success.

There were three speakers during the Citizen Participation segment.   First up was John Rhines.  I wish more residents put in the time and energy that he puts in to working for the benefit of this school district and community.  He did call out Jay Bruns for the statements Mr. Bruns made at the July 20th meeting that he felt questioned his integrity.  Mr. Rhines showed a large folder full of the documents that he has to back up all the statements he has made while speaking at the podium.  Looked like a folder full of "The Truth" to me.
Next was Donna Moore representing the Bridgeport Spaulding Athletics Association.  They will not be able to open the concession stands during sporting events at the schools because they do not have enough volunteers.  They need board members for the association and volunteers to help man the events.  I am sad to think that there are not members of this community and parents that will step in to help out.  You can view their Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-Spaulding-Athletics-Association/860244367343664
Last up was Amanda Adams.  She is a Bridgeport resident and school alumni.  She talked about and asked for the board to give some clarification on the subject of the separation agreement with Jennifer McDonald and whether the board members knew or didn't know about it all.  I think there are many Bridgeport residents that are wondering about and would like to know the truth about this.  They didn't know, they did know...  They were "generally aware" of it... Yeah, Whatever.......

During the Personnel Report segment there were some new hires approved.  There was a long debate about one new hire that was not approved.  Complicated issue with valid points on all sides of the debate.  It sounds like this is a needed position and I hope they can work something out.

During the Board Member comment period there were some great comments made by Mrs. Tedi Morris and Mr. Dempsey Allen.  Their comments were an example of why I think so highly of both of them.  I was surprised by Mr. Long's reaction to Mr. Allen's comments.  I didn't have the impression that Mr. Allen was talking about the vote that night for the new hire that was not approved, so I don't understand why Mr. Long reacted the way he did?

The next board meeting will be held August 24th.

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