November 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
54°F

Medina Schools treasurer short list down to one

The Medina Board of Education could name a new treasurer Monday. Board members plan to present a draft contract to the public at a special meeting tonight.

Board President Tom Cahalan said the board wants to give the public time to review the document tonight and over the weekend to ask any questions ahead of Monday’s meeting.

“We want to make copies of them and have it available,” Cahalan said, “so everybody knows what’s going on.”

The board has narrowed the field of candidates from 15 to one. But Cahalan said members are not ready to announce the name until revisions are made to the contract and the final draft is presented to the candidate.

The draft likely will be voted on Monday night during a regular meeting before the board announces the new treasurer.

Calahan said the proposed contract is being made available well before the vote to ensure transparency and to reassure the public following last year’s uproar over former Superintendent Randy Stepp’s contract.

Stepp’s spending and contract perks came under scrutiny after teachers and community members raised questions about his five-year contract approved during a work session in January 2013 without publicity.

Of the five board members who approved the contract in 2013, one retired, three have resigned and a fifth member choose not to seek re-election in November.

In November, shortly after the school district passed a five-year, 5.9-mill levy, members of the school board had planned to approve a new contract for former Treasurer Jim Hudson, but refused to provide copies to the public ahead of the vote. After public outcry, the board postponed its vote, and later that month Hudson turned in his resignation, announcing he would take a job in Avon.

Cahalan, who was appointed to the board in March 2013, said he wants to handle contracts differently going forward.

“This is done in the name of transparency and it gives the community and board members a few days to look it over,” Cahalan said. “It’s different from the way we handled it a year ago.”

Today, the board will meet in executive session to discuss the contract. Cahalan said members loosely will base the contract on previous treasurer contracts, but want to carefully comb through it and make sure all the language is clear and there are no hidden perks.

“We haven’t had the chance as a board to talk about the actual contract,” Cahalan said. “We’re going to go through and we may scratch some things out.”

After Thursday’s executive session, the board will release a draft contract without a name for the public to see.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.