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BOE Discusses Nurses’ Contract And Nonlapsing Account, Hears From Doubters

The Board of Education discussed an upcoming contract negotiation with district nurses and its proposed non-lapsing fund account during its meeting on Tuesday, May 6.

The school board also heard from a number of people during the meetings public participation segment, all regarding the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Board Chair Debbie Leidlein informed her board negotiations for the nurses’ contract with the district are soon to be underway.

Ms Leidlein said the union representatives for the nurses’ will contact the school board’s attorney, Floyd Dugas, when ready to begin negotiations. BOE member Michelle Ku and Ms Leidlein are set to represent the school board during the negotiations, and Ms Leidlein said she will update the school board with news about the negotiations once they begin.

After BOE Secretary Kathy Hamilton asked if the school board could meet to discuss what its goals are for the negotiations before they begin, Ms Leidlein said, that would be appropriate.

The Board of Education voted to pass changes to a concept for a nonlapsing fund account, as presented by the Board of Finance, back to the finance board for review during its meeting on April 8.

The two changes suggested the fund, instead of having a maximum of $400,000, would not exceed 1 percent of the previous year’s budget, and the money would be moved to the fund after the fiscal year is complete.

Ms Hamilton said she attended the last Board of Finance meeting, when she said the BOE’s proposed changes for the non-lapsing account were discussed.

“They seemed to agree with them, but they still have to vote on the issue,” Ms Hamilton said. “So they are going to put it all together in one document and discuss it at their next meeting, which is May 12.”

Public Participation

At the start of the meeting, during public participation, a number of people spoke sharing questions, concerns, and theories regarding the Sandy Hook School shootings.

Wolfgang Halbig of Sorrento, Fla., was the first to speak Tuesday night. Mr Halbig said he is a national school safety consultant. Two days after 12/14, Mr Halbig said, he contacted the school board offering help. He also said the board later did not respond to his Freedom of Information requests.

Before the meeting began, Mr Halbig was outside Newtown Municipal Center with other people who traveled to Newtown this week to attend the May 6 BOE meeting. During public participation, some of those people expressed concerns regarding gun control measures following 12/14, others said they had questions they want answers to, and one left her card for the board after explaining her personal connection and work regarding mental health.

“Ladies and gentleman we are here tonight, not to disrupt the meeting. We want answers. We want truth,” Mr Halbig said.

One speaker requested proof of children and people being killed on 12/14, another complained about civil liberties and Second Amendment rights being effected, and another said he has been investigating inconsistencies about the events of 12/14 using YouTube.

Newtown resident Jim Fitzpatrick was the final person to speak during public participation, saying he cherishes the right of free speech, “but there are times when it galls me to have to sit and listen to … the circus come to town.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said he is offended by “the collection of conspiracy theories,” adding, “Newtown has conducted itself wonderfully.”

In total, ten people spoke during public participation. As is the school board’s practice, BOE members did not respond during the public participation portion of the evening, and speakers were held to a limit of three minutes.  

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