The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 15, 2014

Director, public want better agendas

GROVE CITY — A Grove City school director wants to discuss how board members and the public can be better informed about agenda items before meetings – which was a theme at Monday’s voting meeting.

Faye Bailey wanted the board to discuss its committee of the whole format at April’s workshop meeting held the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

“I’ve been struggling with this for a while,” she said, adding that the board doesn’t see the agenda until Friday afternoon when people are generally working.

In the past, district officials have said it’s not always easy to deliver an early agenda due to last-minute requests that are added.  

However, “When we get it, I don’t understand it. You get one word,” Bailey said, referring to minimal descriptions of some agenda items.

“It’s something the board said it would like more detail on, and that request is not being followed,” she said.

The public is also unable to give informed input due to some bare descriptions on the agenda, which resident Carolyn Oppenheimer addressed.

At last week’s committee of the whole meeting, Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf addressed the issue, saying it was “premature” for the public to get new business the board hasn’t seen or discussed itself.

Oppenheimer said that was the board’s authority to decide. She thought directors could receive information by mail the Wednesday prior to a meeting; the public, online by Friday “to provide transparency to citizens,” she said.

At meetings, the public “can’t say anything on our topics because they don’t know,” Bailey said. “And if I don’t know what (the agenda) means, they obviously aren’t going to know what it means.”

Traditionally, board meetings allow public comments without board members giving input or asking questions from the public.

Last year, meetings had allowed more dialogue. Mextorf and board President Sue Herman still address some questions from the public; however, dialogue was mostly curtailed to return to the traditional format. There had been instances when individuals were hoarding time with combative dialogue.

“Sometimes the community has stuff we need to know,” Bailey believed. “Often pressure is put on us to not ask questions from the public ... and there’s a lot of questions I have.”

Adding more information to the agenda for the public to give more informed input could be a “simple” solution, she said.

“I think some things available to the board aren’t always necessarily something we’d want to give (to the public) but we need to decide as a board what we want because it’s our decision.”

The matter will be on April’s workshop agenda, where resident Esther Falcetta also made a request for the board to discuss forming a Citizens Advisory Committee to research and increase board/community engagement.

She quoted “a recent research project” of more than 400 public schools and 26 intermediate units: The majority published their policies online, while the remaining amount published some of them, she said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo