Warren School Board Debates Vetting Professionals' Contracts

Board member Don Huber says the board needs to approve individual contracts.

A resolution approved at Monday night's meeting sparked a lengthy discussion on possible changes to board procedures.

The resolution approved a list of outside professionals for the 2012-2013 school year, but board member Don Huber said he wasn't comfortable giving a green light for unlimited payments to approved professionals without the board exercising further oversight. 

"What we're saying is anyone on this list, any time we need their services, the administration will be able to do so without coming back to the board," Huber said. He added that while he doesn't doubt the professionals are qualified, he feels not voting on a further resolutions setting contract limits would be "really relinquishing the authority of the board."

"I think this is a very slippery slope," he said. "(Having a resolution setting contract terms and limits) is something I kind of think should happen with all the people on this list. We have to be responsible to at least know what's going on and approve it if it's the right thing to do."

Superintendent Tami Crader said that while the board can often vote on such resolutions, in some situations—especially concerning special education students—the need for confidentiality can make it difficult.

"For one thing, we need to be efficient and timely, but there are privacy issues here," she said.

The board's Finance Committee will pick up the discussion to determine if the board should institute a new policy for handling the professionals' contracts.

In the meantime, Huber voted to approve the list with the understanding resolutions will be brought to the board for review as needed.


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