What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Frenchman BOE seeks counsel on litigation

The most recent meeting of the Frenchman School District opened with a closed-door, executive session. The local school board in Fleming met on Tuesday, Jan. 17. That meeting opened with a closed-door meeting to discuss a pending litigation matter recently filled in Logan County District Court.

The meeting opened at 6:06 p.m. when board members voted to convene in executive session to conference with the Board’s attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice on a pending litigation matter, specifically Roane v. Frenchman School District RE-3, Logan County District Court Case No. 22CV30066. That meeting lasted until 6:49 p.m. when the Board returned to regular open meeting with no action taken.

Upon further follow up, Superintendent Steve McCracken said that a complaint has been filed against the District alleging that the District violated the open meetings law in regards to an executive session the Board had when they received legal advice regarding a personnel matter.

Upon further inspection of school board minutes, this newspaper determined the last executive session held by the Board in Fleming came in June when the Board entered into a closed-door meeting for the purposes of discussing a personnel matter regarding classified employees.

At 7 p.m., the school board began the regular January meeting including correspondence from staff members and administration. In his report to the Board, McCracken gave board members information regarding a water leak in the elementary wing of the building. He said the insurance company has been notified and repairs will start soon.

During Christmas break, a water line in the first grade room on the north end of the building froze. That leak occurred in the first grade room causing water damage to that room along with offices and restrooms in the District office.

“We are working with our liability insurance company to get the repairs competed and items that were damaged replaced,” McCracken said. “A portion of the sheet rock will be replaced and we will continue to monitor for mold.”

A heater in the wrestling room was also replaced recently, McCracken told board members. That work also occurred over Christmas break. Bayley Mechanical completed that work and board members approved the invoice later during action items.

“The upstairs heater in the wrestling room completely quit working and was beyond repair, so we had to replace it,” McCracken said. “The Fleming School maintenance department had a busy Christmas break.”

While approving the consent agenda, the Board ratified the decision to cancel school Dec. 13-16 due to an area winter storm. Board members also approved Sara Martinez as a substitute teacher and accepted a resignation from Cathy Castillo. Castillo served as a special education paraprofessional.

In the first item of business under action items, the Board of Education voted to amend the 2022-23 budget. According to McCracken, those revisions include adding specific enrollment numbers as well as updating revenues and expenses.

The Board also approved invoices from Lock and Sons to install valves and gauges in the geothermal ground loop and to install two new water heaters. McCracken said one of the School’s hot water heaters rusted out and was leaking over Christmas break. “We replaced both at this time and also re-plumbed some of our system while we were doing the replacement,” he added.


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