Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Many Issues with BOE Contract Renewals

Below is a letter to the Editor from Boardmember Linda Syznkowicz, if you wish to send a letter to the editor please email it to middletowninsider@gmail.com:
As a Member of the Middletown BOE, it is my sworn duty to be responsible for the financial well-being of Middletown Public Schools. In the past 2 weeks (June 9 and 23rd) at the meetings there were several important votes.

Linda Szynkowicz, (R)
 Board of Education Member

The first one was concerning the contract with Sodexco, which I and the two other Republicans voted against for two obvious reasons: Costing taxpayers over $225K per year (I’ve been saying that for over a year and it was confirmed by an outside auditor and the City of Middletown Finance department) and hostile work environment for Local 466 Union Members. This did not matter to the 4 Democrats, it passed 4-3 with Chairman Gene Nocera casting the tie vote as Chair.
We then had to vote on the management of Sodexco at the June 23rd meeting. In a nut shell, the time frame of the removal of the present Facilities manager that is directly related to the hostile work environment was what I had issue with. It was a given by the board members (Whew) that the person had to be removed. I did not believe that keeping the person around until the start of school in the Fall was advisable. I thought that the removal needed to be done by July 15th, the latest. The extension was given and passed 4-1 with my dissenting vote based on the time frame and NOT the removal of the present Facilities Director; it needed to be done.
Lastly, was the vote to renew the Superintendent’s 3 year contract for another year, without the contract in the Board packet. I had issue with the automatic extension of a three year contract as what is ALWAYS done. Before the executive session was called, I wanted to know if under Robert’s rules whether this discussion of the Superintendent’s Review and then contract discussion was indeed an Executive Session matter. Chairman Gene Nocera determined that it was entirely up to the Superintendent to decide. The Superintendent, Dr. Charles, choose Executive Session for discussion, so the details cannot be made public.
End result, I abstained from the vote on the Superintendent’s Review. (I was so frustrated by the time we went back into public session at 11:15pm or so.) I then voted “NO” to the automatic contract renewal to 2018. The vote was 4-1 with my dissenting vote.
Just thought I would keep the public informed.
Sincerely, Linda Szynkowicz, (R) Board of Education Member

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