Fall Mountain Regional School Board Meeting Minutes – 6/28/21

Vice Chairperson Sarah Vogel opened the meeting at 6:07. Present: Craig Vickers, Joe Levesque, Shelly Andrus, Rebecca Sethi, Mary Henry

Guests: Jamie Teague, Billy Stahl, Jeremy Wood, Bill Rescsanski

Approval of Minutes-(Levesque/Vickers) to approve meeting minutes from 6.14.2021.

Joe Levesque notes a change in the discussion of Right to Freedom from Discrimination Act from “option” to opinion.

Roll Call Vote- Mary Henry abstains, Vickers, Levesque, Andrus, Sethi approve

Reports of Administrators

     Superintendent Report

        End of year celebrations went well. Shares names of various award recipients. Special award to all school nurses

Business Update

Lori met with Jim to get up to speed on immediate needs. Feels able to handle things well. Currently at a Superintendents conference.

Board Business

Discussion about the summer schedule for workshops and book reads. Email availability to Misty. Goal is to have most people, most of the time. July 1 session is cancelled.

Action Agenda

  1. Motion (Vickes/Levesque) To accept the resignation of Michael Herrington.

Discussion- Michael is thanked for his years of service.

Unanimous approval of motion.

Sarah distributes a proposal for the process to replace the At Large Board vacancy as well as relevant district policies.

“Replacement of Vacant School Board Position

The position that is open is an At Large Position. Therefore, it is proposed that a notice be sent out to all of the towns of the district asking for letters of interest from people who would be interested in filling the position. The letters should come to the Superintendent and/or the Board Chair.

Letters of interest will be accepted for 3 weeks, at which time the School Board will meet to review the interested people. The Board will vote on who will fill the position based on a majority vote as per Policy BBE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER – UNEXPIRED TERM FULFILLMENT.

This position will be filled until the next Annual Meeting as per RSA 197:26.  At that time the position will be voted on for the remainder of the term (2 years).”

Motion(Henry/Sethi) to accept the proposed process.

Discussion:

Craig asks if the timeline lines up with an existing meeting- yes. Sethi states a preference to replace with someone from Charlestown but understands that is inappropriate in a motion and can be reflected in members voting when the time comes. It is clarified that there is precedence for having appointed members from different towns and that at-large seats have not always been balanced. Further, it is inappropriate to limit the at-large seats to any single town.

Shelly states that she believes the Board needs to be mindful of the recent withdrawal process. Craig endorses the discussion but believes it would be better to have these conversations when we have applicants for the seat.

Public comments

  • Will previous candidates be contacted?
  • Alejandra, Walpole, via Zoom- Encourages the Board to be sensitive to the residency issue.
  • Jamie Shand, Charlestown, via Zoom- Thanks Michael for his work on behalf of the district and Charlestown.  Reviews the handling of Charlestown resident Scott Bushway’s Board resignation and his personal impressions when a previous Board member from Walpole was present during the acceptance of that resignation. Concerned that once again, that Board member is present and has expressed an interest in the seat in writing when no one else in the communities knew which Board member had resigned. Requests that the process be extended from two to three weeks to give adequate time for word to get out and candidates to express interest. Jamie also shares that during the withdrawal committee meetings, he was never able to get meeting minutes that reflected conversations about Board representation from each town.

Becky Sethi states that she had the notification of the resignation posted on the Walpolean.

Reporter, via Zoom, asks for clarification on who has resigned and who is currently Board chair.

Sarah states she is vice chair and that the next agenda item is discussion of the chair position.

Mary suggests that no one make statements about what town they are supporting candidates from. As Board members we are all representing the district, not individual towns.

Board discusses the merits of two weeks vs three weeks. Motion is amended to three weeks.

Notifications to the public will go through Selectboards and online postings.

Motion passes.

  1. Discussion of SB Policy for Election of School Board Chairperson

Sarah Vogel distributes Fall Mountain’s policy- the seat gets filled at our discretion. NHSBA policy recommendation is that the Vice Chair becomes Chair.

Mary suggests that the Board wait until a new member is appointed so that we don’t have a 3/3 split vote.

Motion(Henry/Sethi) to allow Sarah Vogel to continue as Acting Chair, provided no contracts are signed with the Superintendent, until a new member is appointed.

Craig notes that it is very challenging for a new member to vote on a Board chair.

Motion passes unanimously.

Motion(Sethi/Vickers) to move into non public at 7:05. Passed unanimously.

91-A:3, II(c): Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of this board, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to include any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant.

91-A:3,II (l): Consideration of legal advice provided by legal counsel, either in writing or orally, to one or more members of the public body, even where legal counsel is not present.

Board returned from non public at 7:43.

Motion: (Anders/Levesque) to adjourn at 7:44. Unanimous pass.

Submitted by Rebecca Sethi,Board Secretary

Approved 7.19.21

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