PLEASANTVILLE - The Pleasantville school board will appeal to the state Department of Education for guidance on recent decisions made by its state monitor Constance Bauer.
At a meeting that barely had a quorum, the board voted 3-2 Tuesday night to ask for guidance on the monitor’s rights regarding hiring and firing and choosing a superintendent.
Board members James Barclay, Ethel Seymore and Carla Thomas voted yes to sending the letter and Lawrence “Tony” Davenport and Sharnell Morgan voted against. The remaining four board members were absent and Bauer also did not attend the meeting.
Last month Bauer overturned board efforts to fire five employees, saying there was not enough documentation to justify not renewing them. She also said she did not approve of the board’s choice of Clarence Alston as its new superintendent. Alston’s status is currently part of a legal action.
The board has a long history of disagreements with state monitors, and in May board vice president Elyse Sanchez, who chaired the superintendent search committee wrote a letter to Glenn Forney, the DOE’s director of state monitors, to complain about Bauer.
In other action the board tabled a resolution to make Donna Farrington transportation coordinator at a salary of $65,000. Former transportation coordinator Marionette Todd would become assistant transportation coordinator at her current salary of $93,276.
The board had attempted to fire Todd, but Bauer reinstated her saying there was not enough information in her file to justify non-renewal. However she did acknowledge district concerns about transportation operations, and said she would re-instate Todd at her current salary, but not leave her in the coordinator’s position.
During the public portion of the meeting former board member Jerome Page questioned why Todd, as assistant would be paid more than the coordinator, and interim superintendent Garnell Bailey said the item was being pulled from the agenda.
After a closed session, the board also approved a revised list of staff transfers, including some principal and assistant principal positions.