Stephanie Tomei spoke on behalf of the PTA Council at Tuesday's board meeting. She made public that a "Statement of Concern" was submitted to the Board on June 12th. The Statement was signed by all members of the PTA Council. Tomei said the board did not reply to the letter.
Tomei stressed that the Statement of Concern was not intended to criticize the board.
"It is in no way meant to be an attack; it is simply a call for action and clearer communication," said Tomei, in an email to Talk of the Sound. "As the Statement clearly expresses, we seek to support our Board of Education".
The statement follows:
New Rochelle PTA Council - STATEMENT OF CONCERN - June 12, 2014
The PTA Council of New Rochelle requests that the Board of Education respond to our concerns about the Board’s recent business conduct.
We addressed the Board of Education verbally at meetings on April 29 and May 6, and the Board had internal discussion on those occasions as well, but to date, the Board has not taken any noticeable action to address the issues at hand.
We feel that it is within your power to resolve the recent issues which have brought into question the integrity of our Board of Education and its ability to work as a collective.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we propose that the following occur:
1. A third-party examination of Mr. Lacher's insurance arrears and Mr. Hastie's sharing of confidential board communications (written, verbal, digital) to evaluate the legality of these actions, and the findings to be made public. Appropriate consequences should follow as needed. The perception of impropriety is very damaging to our Board and our community.
2. Creation and implementation of procedures and/or policies to establish solid ground rules regarding insurance payments and information sharing. July 2014 should serve as the deadline for implementation. This implementation should have evaluative measures in place, to ensure that the new policies are accurate, complete, and effective.
3. Clarification of the rules that the New Rochelle Board of Education uses for business conduct: (Public Meetings Law, NY State School Boards Meeting Law, Roberts Rules of Order, other). One method to achieve this goal would be a public
presentation of what these rules entail. The rules should be made available online for public access so that they can be used for all appropriate forums going forward.
The goal of PTA Council is to facilitate communication and collaboration. We want to wholeheartedly support our Board of Education without hesitation; we want to support a functioning and functional Board.
We implore our elected officials to engage in civil discourse, to act thoughtfully, and to be respectful of one another at all times.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these concerns as well as your suggestions on initial action.
The PTA Council Executive Board
[Letter signed by all of the members of the PTA Council]