Archive for Thursday, October 10, 2002

Conflict in meetings stirs debate

October 10, 2002

At their meeting next Monday, Tonganoxie school board members will consider a request from the city to switch the board's regular meeting date.

City officials wrote a letter to Superinten-dent Richard Erickson asking if school board members would consider moving the school board meetings from the second Monday of each month. The city council meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, and city officials say they believe it creates a conflict for city residents who want to attend both meetings.

Erickson said he's not certain whether the school board would be amenable to a switch, particularly to a different day.

"I think a lot depends on what our activity schedule is like," Erickson said.

Most evenings particularly Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights are taken up by school activities. And on Wednesday night, many church groups meet.

"If something can be worked out so we don't conflict, that would be great, too," the superintendent said. "I'm open to taking a look at that situation. I'm open to discussing it with the board of education."

But Erickson said he doubted the board would act quickly to change the meeting day, saying he expected members would want to study any ramifications.

"Probably the best option to think about would be a Monday night, maybe moving it to a third Monday night," he said. "But I don't know all of the issues without talking it over with the central office."

Mayor John Franiuk said he hopes the school board will consider the matter and make a change. The council is bound by ordinance to meet on the second and fourth Mondays. City council meetings could not be changed without a change in the ordinance, he said.

"I would like to have them meet on a different night," he said. "I would like to attend, and I would like to see what's going on at my school district. And I think there are times that they would like to be at our meetings, as well."

He said that perhaps if council members could attend school board meetings, the council could offer some moral support on issues such as school funding, as well as other education-related issues.

"I think there are a lot of things we can team up on and hit legislators with a one-two punch," Franiuk said.

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