AP NEWS

Leetonia board eyes communication needs

July 29, 2016 GMT

LEETONIA- The Leetonia school board Thursday night discussed the proposed purchase of a communication system, particularly an external one for the transportation department.

Schools Superintendent Rob Mehno introduced the issue to the board at the request of the building and grounds committee, which has been investigating renovations to the communication system for over a year. He said the committee has come to a stalemate due to the high cost of the project and is seeking input from the school board before making a recommendation.

Mehno said right now the committee is looking at a communication system for the transportation department that would enable radio communication between buses at a cost of $27,000. He noted that the committee is focusing on the communication system because of the safety aspect. The committee determined the cost of other aspects of the project- a new public address system and improved exterior lighting- would push the total cost to approximately $250,000.

Mehno said the committee has also discussed a dual communication system with the Leetonia Police Department.

Board members balked at the cost, but admitted the transportation department is in dire need of better communication. Currently, drivers must pull over and use their cell phones to communicate.

“It’s not an easy fix, it’s going to be a huge cost,” said board President Michael Rulli.

In other business, the board approved the treasurer to enforce purchasing procedures when a district employee does not file the proper paperwork for a purchase. Employees will receive a written warning for the first offense and be required to pay for the item for a second offense.

Treasurer Jennifer Coldsnow said there has been a significant problem with employees not adhering to the current purchasing procedure, which does not provide a way to enforce it.

Board member Larry Duko said the enforcement should not include a written warning because it allows for purposeful violations. He ultimately voted against the approval.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a $1,700 increase in salary for the 2016-2017 school year to maintenance supervisor Russ Miller to bring him in line with IRS standards for supervisors and avoid overtime issues.

The board also accepted the retirement of custodian Terrance May Sr., with the district over 20 years, effective Sept. 30; and sixth-grade teacher Marcia Bable, with the district approximately 30 years, effective June 1. Bable’s position will not be filled due to student enrollment.

The board also accepted the resignations of Michael Mancuso as varsity assistant girls basketball coach, Lori Marston as p.m. front door attendant and Shannon Morrow as cafeteria employee; and hired Gail Zoppelt at a Title aide and Brandon Frenger, Chelsie Sauerwein and Catherine McCoy as Title tutors.

Additionally the board approved the following coaches for the 2016-2017 season: Melissa Brock,junior high football cheerleading; William Knight, varsity boys track; Joseph Bruderly, varsity girls track, Michael Mancuso, junior high girls basketball; Sarah Dolan, junior high volleyball; Daniel Ferry, junior high boys basketball; Leanna Yeager, junior varsity girls basketball; Andrew Morrow, junior high football; and Anthony Danko, assistant varsity football. Board member Richard Hendricks voted against the Danko hire.

Also, the board accepted a $1,000 anonymous donation for the John Hall Family Scholarship.

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