Board goes with original fund recommendation

EAST LIVERPOOL — The city school board opted to uphold a recommendation made at its last meeting by the treasurer, voting 4-1 in favor of setting the amount in its board service fund at $2 per student.

The board had tabled the recommendation at its last meeting after member Richard Wolf argued that the law states the fund must be set at $2 per student or $20,000, whichever is greater and asked that the law director be asked for a legal opinion, a request he had made in past years.

At those times, the law director sided with the treasurer, saying it was legal to establish the fund at $2 per student.

Wolf was charged at the last meeting with seeking a new legal opinion, but Monday night said he had not gone to see Law Director Charles Payne “because he issued the same ruling last year and the year before.”

He said, “The law is simple,” insisting, “The caveat is ‘whichever is greater,’ so we have an obligation to set it at $20,000.”

Despite Wolf’s assertions, board member Matt Handley moved to vote on the original recommendation, which passed with Wolf casting the one vote in opposition, commenting, “I don’t know what you people don’t understand.”

Treasurer Kathy Jo Laughlin said using the $2 per student formula creates a fund totaling about $4,500. The fund is used for various board expenses, such as conferences.

In personnel matters, Handley was the only opposing vote for the appointment of a new assistant to the special education director.

The board voted 4-1 to appoint Diana Ash to replace Jackie Hyde in that post at an annual salary of $25,279.25 for a 12-month position, effective Feb. 2. As part of the motion, it was agreed to compensate Ash for training, retroactive for days served since Jan. 11 at the rate of $97.23 per day.

After the meeting, Handley was asked if he wanted to explain his negative vote and declined.

Other appointments approved unanimously included:

— The resignation for retirement purposes of Sandy Adamson at LaCroft Elementary. She has been with the district since 1990.

— Cindy Wolfe, two hour cafeteria aide, a lateral move to LaCroft Elementary.

— Sharon Hall, from substitute to full time bus driver at $14.65 per hour.

— Kathy Jo Laughlin as varsity softball coach at $2,947.53.

— Brian Kopras, volunteer assistant track coach

— Substitute custodians Karen Kelly and Austin Lowe and substitute cafeteria worker Amanda Estell.

Among treasurer recommendations approved without comment by the board included the purchase of 70 home and 70 away football uniforms from BSN for $12,880, which included a discount of $16,800. The boosters will pay half the cost within the next year.

Also approved was a recommendation by Laughlin for elevator service contracts with OTIS Elevator Company from Jan. 1 to June 6 for $6,847.57.

During board table comments, Wolf congratulated freshman wrestler Howard Williams for capturing the 106-pound championship title at the recent OVACs, with Handley also congratulating wrestling coach Scott Heimstra and his staff for their representation of the district at the tournaments, noting that the last person to win that same championship happened to be his stepbrother, Mark Emmerling, in 1986.