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The school board and supervisors last month created the committee to address potential issues.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Amid continuing efforts to improve budget negotiations between the Franklin County School Board and the board of supervisors, the school board will put its energy into the joint subcommittee created last month.
The board squashed, at least temporarily, the idea of bringing in a facilitator to improve communications between the two groups during its regular meeting Monday evening.
During a joint meeting last month, the two boards agreed to appoint two members each to a budget committee that will meet consistently to address potential issues before they boil over in the spring negotiations. School board member Bill Brush, of the Gills Creek District, said during the meeting that the committee will meet Thursday.
He pointed to the September meeting at which both boards met and discussed how to improve the process, a conversation he called civil.
“I think this perception we have that we can’t communicate with board members — it’s just a perception,” Brush said. “And in this case, perception is not reality.”
The joint committee includes Brush, along with school board member G.B. Washburn and Supervisors Bob Camicia and Cline Brubaker.
While board member Julie Nix expressed an interest in the facilitator because of continued communication concerns, she ultimately agreed that the committee should have a chance to operate before further measures are taken.
During the meeting, the board also approved the hiring of an energy manager from local firm Hoffman Building Technologies. Jon Crutchfield, the school system’s director of facilities and transportation, recommended the course of action with the goal of saving $300,000 per year in energy reductions.
The firm’s contract will cost the schools $230,000 per year, which includes several equipment upgrades.
Crutchfield explained to the board that the firm will likely attempt to curb excess energy use through behavioral factors and by pointing out inefficiencies in the school buildings.
Board member Crystal Naff sparked a discussion of the schools’ dress code. Armed with a letter from a parent who pulled his daughter from the high school, she asked the board and Superintendent Mark Church to consider ways to boost enforcement.
Several student representatives at the meeting said they noticed dress code violations and felt that teachers were sometimes reluctant to enforce the rules. Church said he would arrange to meet with students and faculty to chart a course of action.
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