Rome school board OKs $15,500 to send five to SoCal conference
At its regular meeting, held Thursday, March 10, the Rome Board of Education approved without dissent the expenditure of $16,000 to send Superintendent Peter C. Blake and four board members to conferences, including one in Southern California.
During the miscellaneous business portion of the meeting’s agenda, the board considered two resolutions reflecting a total expenditure of a maximum of $16,000.
The first resolution approved sending Blake to a national conference of his peers from districts around the country, sponsored by the National Center for Education Research and Technology, in San Antonio, Texas from March 23-26 at a cost to the district not to exceed $500.
The resolution that followed sought board approval to send Blake and four of its members to the annual National School Boards Association Conference, to be held this year from April 2-4 in San Diego, California, at an expense not to exceed $15,500.
Both resolutions were passed by unanimous votes.
During public comments at the meeting, community member Dennis Perfetti took issue with the long weekend to Southern California and its expense.
“I see a list of people we’re going to send to California. Apparently, we have a lot of cash,” said Perfetti. “If there is an extra seat, I’d like to go!”
Perfetti said that of the four members slated to attend the event, considered valuable training and networking around best board practices, include two new members in their first term on the board, Anna Megerell and Elena Cardwell-Reddick.
It also includes two members, Lisa Herbowy and Tanya Davis, whose terms expire on June 30, with no announcements being made by either with regard to whether or not they intend to run to win their seats for another term.
Perfetti took specific issue with the district devoted taxpayer dollars to send Davis to a SoCal conference while an investigation into her alleged violation of district codes of conduct is still in progress.
“Is the investigation complete yet,” Perfetti directly queried board President John Nash, who said it had not.
“Then she should not go,” Perfetti responded. “If it is proven, she’s going to be taken off the board and we’re wasting money. And what I keep hearing from you guys is that we don’t have money to waste?”
Perfetti went on to give the example of his work in the car business. “Why would I train someone that I was about to fire,” posed Perfetti? “That doesn’t make any sense.”
In other miscellaneous business, the board nominated and unanimously approved Suzanne Carvelli to remain in her seat as a member of the board of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and unanimously approved a one-year term to the Board of Registration of the City School District of Rome for each of Martha Schaller and Kathy Jo Britton and approved alternates Carol Van Court and Kim
Seifert, should either or both of Schaller or Britton be unable to serve as intended.
As part of the larger resolution comprising miscellaneous business action item 4, the board also confirmed May 17 for the budget and board elections with polls to be open to eligible Rome voters from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
They also approved the date of May 5 for a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year and May 2 and May 3 as official registration days for voters who intend to cast ballots on May 17.
For more information on the upcoming district voter registration, the budget hearing and budget and board elections, visit the district website at www.romecsd.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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