SAU chairman, Peter Bealo, most graciously emailed me just now to inform me that there had been a non-public discussion on extending the superintendent’s contract back on May 20, 2015. He enclosed the non-public minutes from that meeting for me. Here is what they say in relevant part:
Motion: Mr. Collins motioned to extend Dr. Metzler’s employment contract to 2020. Mr. Sapia seconded the motion. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Collins exited the meeting at 7:40 p.m.
Motion to table: Mr. Sapia motioned to table the motion on the floor at this time. Mrs. Barr seconded the motion. With no further discussion the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 8-0-0.
Some things to note about this:
- I was absent from this meeting on May 20, 2015 as I was out of the country.
- These non-public minutes were NOT posted to the SAU website or included in the posted material on the SAU’s private “Agenda packet” pages prior to the meeting. The first opportunity I or anyone had to read these minutes was at the SAU meeting last night and since I did not arrive early I did not see these minutes, nor did I realize they were even in our packet until Mr. Bealo drew them to my attention this morning.
- This means there was no way the public or I could have known about the discussion on May 20,2015. Certainly no board members would voluntarily alert me to this development.
Now let’s leave aside the fact that the non-public minutes were absent from the preparatory meeting materials or that they were not publicly posted as draft minutes should be though aren’t by practice at Timberlane. Let’s leave all that aside. Was the board justified in making such a major decision without any public notification either via agenda or minutes of their intentions?
Of course not. Was it illegal for them to do so? No, not illegal, just highly objectionable and underhanded in my opinion.
Here are the none public minutes in full: SAU nonpublic minutes May 20, 2015
And as for the extensive discussion in non-public, that was not illegal either just again, highly objectionable. Just because the law permits certain things to be discussed in secret does not mean that everything of that nature should always and necessarily be discussed secretly. And it certainly should not have been discussed without advance warning to the public and other board members that the superintendent’s contract was being considered for extension prematurely.