TCS board considers new policy

Published 10:35 pm Monday, March 17, 2014

A new policy to address the public forum portion of board meetings is being considered by the Troy City Schools Board of Education.

Board members received the draft of the new policy outlining the guidelines for delegations during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday.

“This policy is prompted by board members, who asked after a recent meeting, for a written policy regarding our delegations process,” Superintendent Lee Hicks said after the meeting. “The policy was drafted by school board attorneys and the board members have 30 days to review it before voting on it.”

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The policy would require anyone who wishes to appear before the board to address an item no scheduled on the agenda to discuss the issue with the superintendent and register their desire to be heard under the delegations at least three business days prior to the meeting.

“The three-day requirement is new,” Hicks said.

Anyone wishing to appear and present new items of business to the board also would meet with the superintendent or a central office representative. The policy says “notice of problems, issues, suggestions of other matters of concern to the delegation shall be presented in writing to the superintendent at least five working days prior to the scheduled board meeting.”

The policy also says a delegation shall be restricted to a single spokesperson; remarks must be limited to topics outlined in written requests to appear; anyone seeking questions answered must submit the questions in writing prior to the meeting; anyone addressing the board may not discuss individual board members or employees by name while addressing the board; and a two-limit time limit may be imposed at the discretion of the board.

The current practice allows for a five-minute time limit.

Board members likely will vote on the policy at their April 28 meeting.

The board heard from one delegation representative on Monday. Robert Lewis presented a letter requesting the board return copies of its board policy manuals to the school offices, central office public access area and school libraries, as required in its own policy.

Lewis said the manuals had been removed from all public access areas except the public library “under the pretext that they were being ‘reviewed by the attorneys.’”

Later in the meeting, Hicks thanked Lewis for “bringing that to our attention. It’s about a 30-second fix, and we can take care of that.”

In other business on Monday, the board approved bids for telecommunications services.

Wayne Hubbard, technology coordinator, explained that the services are divided into a Priority 1 and Priority 2 funding tier by Erate, the federal program which provides an 80 percent funding match for telecommunications. All Priority 1 services will be funded, and those include basic telephone service, awarded to Troy Cable; long distance telephone service, awarded to Troy Cable; and school website hosting, to SchoolInSights.

The board awarded bids for several Priority 2 projects, with the caveat that the contract is only valid if the district receives the federal funding which is not guaranteed. Those include additional network cabling for future needs, awarded to Harris Security of Ozark; video surveillance equipment upgrades and updates, awarded to Harris Security; distance learning equipment upgrades and installation, awarded to Information Transport Solutions; wired and wireless network equipment and upgrades and installation, awarded to Information Transport Solutions; and upgrades of PBX hardware and software for all schools, to KOR Systems Inc. for $54,623.01. Hubbard did not provide totals on all bids.