Saturday, December 15, 2007

Personnel Decisions Still Unsolved

The agenda for the Dec. 18 school board meeting was available at the Plainfield Public Library today (Dec. 15, 2007) but it did not contain resolutions on the big personnel questions that parents, staff, taxpayers, the press and others want answered.

The meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Cook School, 739 Leland Ave. It is unclear right this minute whether I will be covering it as Pressgrrrl or Bloglady (leaning toward the latter).

The big questions may only be answered through walk-on resolutions that have become an increasing trend at school board meetings. That means to find out what happened, you have to attend the school board meeting or read the blog the next day, or read the daily a couple of days later.

The board in its wisdom, or lack thereof, apparently wrested an early resignation for Interim Superintendent Peter E. Carter in a vote taken at the end of the Dec. 11 work & study session. (Another question: Can the board take votes at agenda sessions?)

Carter will be leaving Dec. 21, 10 days earlier than his announced departure date. The board also agreed to name Human Resources Director Garnell Bailey as interim superintendent, effective Dec. 21.

While wishing Bailey well, Carter declared himself “speechless” at the board’s decision in an e-mail response to Plaintalker last week.

The resignations of Carter’s post-6/11 team-mates Michael Donow, the interim business administrator/board secretary, and Interim Assistant Superintendent Walter Rusak (also the interim Plainfield High School principal) have not yet been accepted. On Dec. 11, former 13-year former BA/BS Gary Ottmann was in attendance, raising hopes that he might return to the district. But no action was taken then and there is no resolution on the Dec. 18 agenda to hire anyone for the post.

There may be no need to replace Rusak as assistant superintendent, a title that is on the books at the state Department of Education but has not been used in Plainfield for many years. However, there is a need for an interim high school principal. A search last fall fell through and a new search is expected in the spring.

Due to the retirement of the city’s chief financial officer Peter Sepelya, who was also the board’s treasurer, someone must be found to fill that role as well.

So let us perhaps see on Tuesday how all these roles will be filled.

--Bernice Paglia


Post a Comment

<< Home