BOE member questions library choice

The school board Thursday night tabled the appointment of a Leetonia library board member to discuss in more detail the appointment process.

The board agenda called for the re-appointment of Will Lutz to another seven-year term on the library board, but school board President Kurt Jennings asked the issue to be tabled in order to determine how the library board members are selected. The school board acts as fiscal agent for the library and must approve appointments to the library board.

“Since the school has jurisdiction over the (library) board, we shouldn’t just be rubber stamping (appointments),” he said.

Schools Superintendent Rob Mehno noted that per legal counsel, there is no formal procedure for selecting library board members and the school board only has the option of approving or disapproving the appointments presented by the library director.

Jennings emphasized that the tabling of the issue is not a reflection on Lutz, but an attempt to ensure the positions on the library board are being offered to all taxpayers if needed.

In other business the board approved Emily Schneider, Derek Bell and Mitchell Baker as winter sports workers for the 2013-2014 season; Amy Gibson as a volunteer for the remainder of the school year; and Wallace Myers Jr. as a volunteer wrestling coach for the remainder of the school year. The board also granted supplemental contracts to Bob Wiery, softball, and Ron Voitus, seventh-grade track; and accepted the resignation of William Altenhof for the assistant weightroom position.

The board also accepted donations of $100 for the Girls Basketball Supplemental Fund from the Washingtonville VFW and a total of $1,700 for the baseball/softball scoreboard project from the Washingtonville VFW, Rulli Bros., Louis and Diane Raneri and Butech Bliss.

Also at the meeting 1983 alumnus Shawn Smith expressed displeasure with the state of the athletic department, noting that the sports programs were performing at a high level and school spirit was strong when he was in school. After spending time out of state, he said he returned to a poor program that he feels is being ruined by politics.

He implored the board to seek a change, stating that until the athletic department changes, the school will no longer be Leetonia High School. He also criticized the availability of some board members.

Jennings responded that the board continues to discuss issues within the athletic department and that the board is open to discussion with residents. He invited Smith to future discussions of his concerns.

Additionally Mehno reported that the library and school administrations are developing a draft of a long-term use of facilities policy for the soccer field at the library.

Jennings said he wants to make sure the use of library facilities remains in line with what was promised to voters when they approved the library bond issue, noting that the plans released to the public prior to being passed included a LASA soccer field.

The board also recognized outgoing board members Tom Eastek, on the board for four years, and John Rydarowicz, on the board for eight years after serving as a teacher and administrator at the school for over 30 years.

The board appointed Jennings as president pro-tempore for the reorganizational, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan.9 in Room 20.