Sunday, August 17, 2008

Commentary on Ottmann, 1200 Myrtle

A small legal notice Saturday heralds the possibility that Business Administrator Gary Ottmann’s contract may be up for renewal. The matter is to be discussed at the Sept.16 Board of Education business meeting.

Ottmann served 13 years in Plainfield before moving on to the Wayne school district, but was hired back in December 2007.

Ottmann knows the district intimately and may be considered one of its backbones as the district seeks to advance its goals.

His $155,000 contract at the time of his re-hiring was set to expire June 30, 2009, but any extension might be welcome as the district continues to try to meet state standards. New Schools Superintendent Steve Gallon III has a four-year contract and just unveiled a three-year strategic plan for district improvement.

Of all the players in the district’s game to win new status, Ottmann must be considered among the most valuable.

Meanwhile, parents, residents and reporters must deal with the fact that all future school board meetings will take place at 1200 Myrtle Avenue, the former Jefferson School site where all administrative offices have been consolidated. Work and study sessions had formerly been held in the Plainfield High School conference room and business meeting locations varied from the high school library to various schools around the district.

A Google satellite view of the old Jefferson School shows little off-street parking, in comparison to Washington Community School or the high school. It might be more convenient for the administration to have school board meetings take place there, but it may be less so for parents and residents who want to attend. Personally, I will have to go by taxi, so I won’t take up a parking space. Meanwhile, I am still hoping somebody will take up reporting on the school board so I can drop back to focusing on City Hall.

Good luck to groups seeking parental involvement when attendance at all board sessions will be limited by parking opportunities at 1200 Myrtle Avenue.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the Planning Board require more parking when the use was changed ???

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked at the area. Parking should not be a problem. If it does become a problem that would be a great problem to have because that would mean that community participation at BOE meetings would have risen. Dr. Gallon should be commended for bringing something positive to the west end of Plainfield. We sure need it.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that's a good point, the one from commentator #2. It'll be amazing if there is shortage of parking since hardly anyone ever goes to BOE meetings unless is hiring season.

As for the west end phrase, anything that is good for one or the other side of Plainfield is good for all of Plainfield. Isn't it time we look at Plainfield as a whole picture rather than a fractional one?

Just my thoughts. No offense intended here.

As for getting there Bernice, don't worry, you'll always have a ride with me, even if I don't feel like going inside the meeting!


11:48 AM  

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