Trustees Elect President and VP
Newly elected board members David Badanes and Jim Maloney were sworn in at Monday's annual reorganization meeting, along with Stephen Waldenburg.
Trustees unanimously re-elected Waldenburg to continue serving as Board president. Trustee Joe Sabia had nominated Trustee Thompson for the position but she declined.
However, Thompson accepted when Trustee Tammie Topel nominated her for Vice President. Trustee Julia Binger nominated Andrew Rapiejcko, who was subsequently defeated by a vote of 5-4 in favor of Thompson.
Shortening Board Meetings
In an attempt to shorten the sometimes notoriously long Board meetings, Badanes suggested adding more meetings to the district calendar, which is being printed in mid July. Given the tight printing deadline, the Board agreed to meet in August and discuss additional dates, which then will be disseminated to the public through other means.
Possible Budget and Finance Committee
In response to a suggestion by the UTNEN's Nina Dorata regarding the need for a Budget and Finance Committee, Thompson said she had reached out to a number of districts, including Elwood, and found that all three had such committees in place. Sabia said he too was aware of Elwood's committee and had heard that it was very helpful.
Waldenburg suggested that the topic of adding a new Budget and Finance Committee be discussed at the next policy meeting on August 20 to see if there are any conflicts. "We have to be a little cautious that we don't run afoul of existing policies," he explained.
Rapiecko also noted that since the topic wasn't on the evening's agenda, he wasn't prepared and would like to do some research as well. Badanes noted that he had actually brought up the issue in an email to Waldenburg and district clerk Beth Nystrom before the meeting and asked that it be added to the agenda. Waldenburg said he had replied that the subject had to do with the district's overall policies.
Former Board Member and current UTNEN member Denise Summers-Mum noted that the idea of having a budget and finance committee has been talked about for the last 12 years and said it would be an "act of transparency" to have such a committee.
The Board decided to discuss the issue at the next policy meeting on Aug. 20 at 9 AM in the William Brosnan building.
Administrative Increases Questioned
Members of the public as well as some trustees had questions about the increases in salary for administrators which range from $140,000 to $173,000. The list of salaries in question are on page 13 of the attached pdf.
Topel and Sabia asked about the increases, which Assistant Superintendent of Business Kathleen Molander said amounted to approximately three percent.
Summers Mum said that she thought administrators shouldn't receive more than teachers, who received step increases without annual increases. Superintendent Marylou McDermott pointed out that administrators fall under Board policy, which dictates that they follow the Nassau Salary Schedule.
The Board approved the salary increases by a vote of 6-3. Topel, Sabia, and Thompson cast the opposing votes.