Thursday, November 15, 2007

BOE: "No Action Taken"

“This is a Rubik’s Cube!”

That was the comment of one of about 25 people who showed up for Thursday’s special Board of Education meeting, which convened and adjourned within a few minutes with no action taken.

The 8 p.m. public session was supposed to include goal-setting by the board and discussion and possible action on personnel, contract and legal matters.

The school board received resignations of its top three administrators last week, according to press reports. They are Interim Schools Superintendent Peter E. Carter, Interim School Business Administrator/Board Secretary Michael Donow and Interim Assistant School Superintendent and Plainfield High School Principal Walter Rusak, allegedly over compensation issues. The meeting notice suggested that there might be an outcome this week.

But on Thursday, board members emerged from a 6:30 p.m. closed session in the Plainfield High School conference room at about 8 p.m. and directed the public upstairs to the high school library. After the board led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, Board President Patricia Barksdale announced no action would be taken. In effect, the meeting was over.

Board members Lisa Logan Leach and Wilma Campbell attempted to allow the public to speak, which is not normally allowed at a special meeting. But a majority of the board voted it down.

“There will be no action whatsoever,” Barksdale repeated as the board began to move into closed session. But board members then disagreed about where to hold the executive session, saying some of the proposed meeting rooms were too hot.

Meanwhile, resident Dottie Gutenkauf attempted to organize a citizens’ meeting in lieu of the board meeting.

Barksdale stayed on to assure the attendees no disrespect was intended, but that the board had to follow certain procedures required by law to conduct the public and private portions of the meeting.

Whatever decisions come out of the closed sessions may become public at the Nov. 20 business meeting, Barksdale said. That meeting is 7 p.m. in the Plainfield High School Library, 950 Park Ave.

None of the administrators attended Thursday’s meeting.

--Bernice Paglia


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