EAST LIVERPOOL - A contract with a Dublin consulting firm to conduct a performance audit of the city school district was approved by the board of education Monday night, with one member opposed.
Member Richard Wolf voted against retaining K-12 Business Consulting Inc., saying there is ample opportunity and expertise in the district to do the work in-house.
According to the contract, the firm will be paid an estimated $6,500 to review nearly all operations of the district, including facility usage, procurement practices, employee benefits, food service, transportation, utilities and fiscal management to determine where money might be saved.
Wolf said when he first became a board member in 1972, the district had 5,600 students, four elementary buildings, junior high and high school buildings and the treasurer's office employed two people.
Today, with half the number of students and fewer buildings, he pointed out, the treasurer has a secretary and three clerks, saying he would not vote for what he called a duplication of efforts.
Board President Janice Martin also questioned whether some such
information wasn't already available from an earlier study, but Puster said that was done about five years ago and "a lot has changed."
Puster also said this company can conduct the study in a "more dispassionate way" than perhaps those working for the district, saying, "If they find one thing we don't find on our own, it pays for the cost."
Another contract up for consideration Monday night got Wolf's support but not that of Martin and board member Scott Dieringer.
A contract with Karpinski Engineering of Cleveland to review the condition of boilers at Westgate and provide a written report was approved 3-2, with the cost not to exceed $1,750.
The administration had been directed at the last meeting to look into prices for an engineer after recent debate over whether the boilers should be repaired or replaced.
Dieringer questioned why the engineer was necessary, saying, "So, we're spending $1,750 to tell us it needs fixed," saying the extent of the repairs still won't be known until someone "gets inside" the boiler unit.
Superintendent James Herring agreed, saying, "They aren't taking it apart, just giving us their professional opinion."
Asked by Dieringer if such an opinion wasn't already given by district maintenance employees, Herring said, "I'd say yes."
In other matters, the board approved several personnel matters, some of which were opposed by Wolf, apparently due to his opposition to hiring employees from outside the district for such substitute positions.
Approved unanimously were the resignations for retirement of first grade teacher Susan Reese, with 31 years of service and teacher's aide Roxanne Parsons, with 41 years of service. Both resignations will be effective May 31.