Parent and taxpayer response

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Special Public Meeting of The Englewood Board of Education

Thursday, May 20, 2011:  Special Public Meeting of The Englewood Board of Education
  • call to order
  • Open Public Meeting Statement
  • Roll Call, all present
  • Pledge
  • Privilege of the floor given first (this had been suggested by one of the parents) 

Mr. Popkin spoke on the fact that a 48 hour notice must be posted prior to Board of Education Meetings.  It seems that he had noticed the event was published in various ways that he thought were intentionally misleading the public. He said it was listed as a closed session on the website. Mr. Popkin regularly alludes to the fact that the Board is inconsistent in  notices to the public. He pointed out that there was nothing (no business) really listed on the  Agenda. No New business or Old Business was listed specifically.  He questioned the sincerity of the posted notice and suggested that it was done in order to confuse the public. He accused them of being unfriendly to the public.

Mr. Garrison, the board president stated "that there were issues that came up that must be taken action on in private session. There were situations that they must take legal action…contract, personnel, legal student matter." The word Emergency….was not used but seemed strongly implied.

The Public was dismissed and basically sent to wait in the hallway while they met in private session. It was actually good to network among the public waiting for the resolutions. This is when I noticed that there were quite a few people in attendance for a board meeting that was supposed to be a special/or Emergency Meeting posted at the last minute. After nearly an hour it was obvious that the meeting would take a long time. People left. I went home and got my car. People had come back when I returned. People left until only Mr. Popkin and I remained. We waited them out.

Mr. Popkin timed them to the second. 3 hours 7 minutes, I stopped counting after that. There were two resolutions. They voted with mostly no's on the first one with a couple of yes's. It was difficult to be interested when there was no specific information. Both resolutions were read to us before we were given hand written copies of the resolutions.  The board attorney was asked to explain what the second resolution was specifically. He explained that they had basically agreed to acquire (I assume acquire means hire) a mediator to help settle a dispute between 2 parties disagreeing over problems in construction of Grieco Elementary. The hand written resolution reads 
      "The Board hereby approves the contract with Benchmark Resolution Services, LLC to provide mediation services in the matter captioned Englewood BOE vs. Dobco, Inc..."  The 2 parties are the Board of Education and Dobco, Inc.
It was a very weird Board of Education Meeting. The buildings are fine.

"How are the children?"