School Board Meeting Minutes January 23, 2012

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Cranberry Isles School Board
Minutes of 23 January 2012
(postponed from 12 January due to weather)

I. Meeting was called to order by chairperson Barbara Meyers at the Superintendent’s Office, MDIHS, at 3:05 P.M.
Present: School Board members Barbara Meyers, Kate Chaplin and Ted Spurling, Jr.; Principal Carol MacRae; Superintendent Rob Liebow; Selectman Phil Whitney; Contractor Ben Fulves. Present at the Islesford School via PolyCom: Teachers Donna Isaacs and Lindsay Eysnogle; Assistant to the Selectmen Jim Fortune; Katelyn Damon, Melissa Amuso. Present at Great Cranberry Library via Skype: Kelley Sanborn.
II. Voucher: None. Had been mailed to Barbara.
III. Approval of Minutes of 21 December 2011: Motion to approve by Kate Chaplin, with amendment: in V. A. 5. d. change the phrase “some for Islesford” to “same for Islesford”. Second by Barbara Meyers, as amended; Vote: Yes, unanimously.
IV. Update on Maintenance Projects (Ben Fulves discussion):
A. Wiring: Ben said that a significant amount has been done at Longfellow School by Reggie Sanborn (Whitney’s Electric).
B. Ben said that Jesse Jameson may not make deadline, but should not miss it by much.
C. Ben would like to put more things out to bid and not rely on local contractors. This could mean more transportation costs.
D. Ben said that three architects have responded so far, and two of them seem interested in bidding.
E. Ben expects to be at Town Meeting on March 10, 2012.
F. In a discussion of budget for maintenance, Rob Liebow suggested the working figure of $100,000 ($30,000 plus the $70,000 voted at Town Meeting last year for siding) plus $28,000 = $128,000 minus whatever has been spent so far, plus $100,000 encumbered.
G. Ben recommended spending $205,065 through June 2013, with a total estimate of $341,386.
H. Rob said that he envisions a timeline based on safety needs, etc. The amount not as relevant as the order and the need. He suggested the possibility of borrowing to complete the project. Ben suggested a line of credit with a bank. Rob said that borrowing at a low interest rate and spreading it over ten years might free the School Board from the difficulty of working with only $100,000 at a time.
I. Ben said that a disadvantage to the current approach is not having a master plan. With the proper funding, could develop a master plan. The design process could consider all components of the project. For example, the floor structure at Longfellow School could be an issue. The “road map” we now have is for picking out individual projects, not a master plan that could look at each building as a whole.
J. Nancy Thurlow (Financial Officer) entered the room with information that we have $117,844 available.
Rob sad that it might be better to bring this before the Town Meeting.
L. Phil Whitney said that it must be written up as a warrant article. Phil said that we should go into Town Meeting looking like we have a plan, that if we keep going at it piecemeal there could be a backlash.
M. Ben said that the theme to keep in mind is that everything on his estimate is a safety project. A master plan goes back and looks at usage of buildings, a different process.
N. Kate questioned whether we’re prepared for that process because of uncertain future of Longfellow School, etc.
O. Jim Fortune said that the warrant is set to be signed this coming Saturday (January 28).
P. Barbara said that this [master plan process] would not be ready for this year. She asked if we should go ahead with the $100,000 for this year. Kate said yes, for this year, but going for a larger project with enough funding would be better.
V. Discussion/Approval:
A. Fiscal Year 2013 Budget
1. Kate said that after-school care budget is up (hiring of supervisor).
2. Rob noted a drop of $13.48 per $1000 in tax bill.
3. Phil said that the overall Town budget is expected to be lower too, and so this could be a good time to explore funding for large maintenance projects.
4. Barbara: Should we ask for more, in that case?
5. Rob and Kate: No, not at this time. Perhaps at a special town meeting.
6. Phil said that we can not raise additional funds at a special town meeting.
7. Kate said that we can borrow at a special town meeting, which would work for our purposes.
8. Barbara moved to approve a budget of $521,093. Second by Kate. Vote: Yes, unanimously.
9. Rob said to expect an article from Nancy Thurlow, addressed to Jim Fortune, about Special Education.
B. Possible Name Change for Islesford School:
1. Rob said that we have been approached by a citizen to change the name of the Islesford School to the Ashley Bryan School. The Town Attorney said that the School Board could do this. Rob suggested that the community decide.
2. Kate agreed that the community should be heard on this, but does not have a strong opinion either way.
3. Barbara said that we need to decide today whether to put this on the Warrant.
4. Ted said that he can’t think of a better person to name the school after, but has no strong feeling—and Ashley himself might object. He also said that he prefers not burdening Town Meeting with this.
5. Donna Isaacs said that this change would be to acknowledge that the school serves two communities, and that it would be appropriate to have both schools named for authors. She said that Ashley has dedicated himself to education. Also, when students are away, they are often known as the “Islesford” students even though they may come from Great Cranberry. This could give a sense of balance.
6. Kate suggested that we get a feeling among the community, a barometer, without going to Town Meeting with it.
7. Donna suggested calling a meeting while Ashley is in Africa.
8. Kate said that there are logistical problems with having a meeting on each island.
9. Barbara suggested a secret community survey, and vote at Town Meeting.
10. Ted said that he prefers Kate’s idea to get community input, and then have the School Board decide based on that. Would rather not put it to Town Meeting.
11. Kate said that a petition would at least give people a voice.
12. Donna suggested putting up petitions while Ashley is away in Africa. He will be leaving on Wednesday the 25th.
13. Ted addressed an earlier comment about Great Cranberry students being referred to as “Islesford” students—that the possibility of re-opening the Longfellow School would make that moot. Donna said that this would still honor Ashley, and would put both schools on the parity of being named after authors from Maine.
14. Barbara: put petitions at Post Offices on each island.
15. Ted said that he will email his daughters, who are recent graduates of the Islesford School, for their opinions. He suggested getting children involved too, if this won’t be voted upon.
16. Donna suggested putting the question on FaceBook.
17. Kate said that a FaceBook initiative should come from the School Board.
18. Katelyn Damon said that FaceBook has an option to create a poll.
19. Barbara said that she would write a petition and email them for approval.
C. Emergency Management Plan:
1. Carol said that this has been reviewed by Richard Howland (Islesford Fire Chief) and by Katelyn Damon (Cranberry Isles Emergency Preparedness Agent). Carol requested that the School Board approve it.
2. Motion by Kate to approve the Emergency Management Plan as written. Second by Barbara. Vote: Yes, unanimously.
D. Teacher Leave of Absence: Carol said that Donna Isaacs has requested time off without pay (amounting to three days) to travel to Africa with family, pending hiring a substitute. Kate moved to approve the leave of absence. Ted seconded. Vote: Yes, unanimously.
E. General Maintenance: Carol said that Iann Krasnow has resigned as caretaker. She has interviewed others for the position and is uncertain whether the position is as employee or as contractor. She has emailed the School Board with two options (employee or one-year contract).
1. Kate had a few questions: She said that her husband Courtney Chaplin has applied for the position, and asked if he could be hired as contractor with Kate on the Board. She said she did not believe he could be an employee under these circumstances.
2. Carol said that the Town Attorney said that in either case the spouse of a Board member could not be in an on-call, ongoing relationship. A short-term relationship, such as architectural services, would not be the case.
3. Kate said that she will abstain from discussion no matter what.
4. Ted said that he doesn’t want Kate to resign, as she did a few years ago for a similar matter, and also doesn’t want Courtney to be deprived of the opportunity.
5. Carol asked if independent contractors file Schedule C. They must already be established as independent contractors and must have liability insurance. Employees are covered by the Town.
6. Ted said that either way it could be a problem for spouses. He asked if the applicants have applied as employees or as contractors. Carol said that this is not clear, but all have said that they have insurance.
7. Barbara: Should we go with contractors on a one-year basis?
8. Carol said that the applicants will submit proposals based on the guidelines and will submit pay-scale proposals.
F. Barbara suggested the possibility of getting a PolyCom (or other telecommunication such as Tandberg) on Great Cranberry Island. She realized that this can’t be decided today. Barbara asked if REAP funds could be used.
1. Lindsay Eysnogle said that the cost could be $30,000. Barbara said that Norm Hill (technician for MDI School System) said that other systems are available, for more like $7000.
2. Lindsay said that other grants might be available. She also said that she would prefer the Tandberg system.
VI. Other Business: None at this time.
VII. Future Agenda Items: To be determined.
VIII. Adjournment: 4:45 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Theodore L. Spurling, Jr.

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