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N-W board changes meeting schedule

by jmaloni
Thu, Sep 9th 2010 03:45 pm
by Susan Mikula Campbell

The Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education now will hold one public meeting a month instead of two.

The board voted 4-2 at its meeting last week to limit its meetings to the first Wednesday of the month and only hold a second meeting on the third Wednesday of the month if the workload makes it necessary.

Board member Michele Hoerner proposed the change, saying that the board and the public would be notified at least 72 hours in advance if a second meeting is scheduled.

"With technology nowadays, we're more in touch with what's going on," the 12-year board veteran said, pointing out that board members have plenty of time to review agendas and information on board matters sent via computers.

She added that the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District has already voted to go to one meeting a month.

Few people except for staff members and the press attend the meetings, which are normally done within about an hour. Staff members already have put in a long day before the meetings, Hoerner said.

In addition, she noted, one of the board's biggest responsibilities is reviewing and approving new hires. That has dropped considerably due to the hiring freeze in the district.

"If we find our meetings are going too long, we can always go back to two meetings," she said.

Board members Lori Pittman and Michael Brock voted against the change.

Brock said he thinks a month between meetings might be too much if there is an issue that needs to be discussed.

Pittman pointed out that when they ran for their seats on the board, members knew that two meetings a month would be required.

"It's a big responsibility," she said of being a board member. "I think we need more contact with each other as a board."

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