Tonawanda News

The City

September 14, 2012

District to create reconfiguration body

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

“We are doing this because we believe in true shared decision making,” Smilinich said.

The board will also hold a community forum on the search at the end of September. 

At the end of the meeting, board business became heated when board member Sharon Stuart brought up a letter from the district’s Civil Service Employees Independent Union that takes issue with a lack of communication and respect from the board. 

“For reasons unknown to the board members, the lines of communication, i.e., the life blood of any positive relationship have been shut down,” the letter states. 

Smilinich made a motion to have the vice presidents of both organizations meet to resolve the issue, but the majority of board members though it should be a discussion in an executive session with the entire board. 

“You say you want to work as a team, but ever since the beginning, that hasn’t been happening,” board member Lynn Casal said to Smilinich. “Some people are doing what they want to do and are circumventing the rest of us, but I am not going to sit here and silently let it happen.”

Vantine said the union hasn’t notified him of any communication problem with the board, but agreed that the meeting should include the entire body.

Smilinch agreed and said she will schedule the meeting with the union. 

“We just need to know what the problems are,” board member Diane Misner said.

Business and Finance Director Steve Perry also gave a brief presentation on transportation and busing, asking the board to consider busing middle school and high school students together.

Vantine asked for hard numbers at the next meeting on how much the combination would save in route time and money, but board members and community attendees raised some concerns.

“We should consider all of that, but also that these are 10-year-olds and 17-year-olds together,” board member Jennifer Mysliwy said.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.

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