Committee changes approved for Perrysburg school board

PERRYSBURG — The school board has organized for 2023, changing two committees to a higher level of privacy.

The meeting began with the board choosing the president and vice president, re-electing Eric Benington as president and Ray Pohlman as vice president, on unanimous votes of approval.

The board had been advised by the Ohio School Boards Association to look at the number of board committees. Benington said the OSBA pointed out that Perrysburg had more committees than most other districts.

“We had been talking, throughout 2022, about which committees made sense, to be what are called board of education-level committees, versus what are called superintendent-level committees,” Benington said.

He described the difference between the two categories.

“Generally, board of education-level meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act. Superintendent-level meetings you don’t have to follow notice requirements, you just have flexibility in how you can manage those meetings. We looked at them and based it off the subject matter that’s discussed,” Benington said. “We do value transparency, so we want to make sure that the ones that do generate a lot of public comment, that do set the direction of the district, are still board of education-level committees.”

His examples were the pupil services and personnel committees, which he said can discuss sensitive, or personal issues. He added that they are committees that have had “zero public participation.”

Benington also said that the OSBA had recommended moving them to the superintendent-level category.

There are four committees that are BOE-level, including teaching and learning, communications, finance and operations. Superintendent-level committees include: development, the committee to support diversity, equity and inclusion, personnel and pupil services.

No changes were made to the board members sitting on the committees. Sue Larimer will continue as the OSBA representative, with Kelly Ewbank as the alternate.

The board annual retreat will be Feb. 4. The agenda has not yet been set, but Benington said that some of the most important topics, which have been under discussion over the last year, include the future of facilities, levy work, including the timing, understanding the levy options and needs are.

Board of governance education sessions, for the board members, are also conducted by an OSBA representative. The Saturday meeting is open to the public and typically is a full day in length.

The board also adopted meeting dates, for the board meetings, board working group meetings and committees.

The board also approved the tax budget, which will be filed with the county auditor by Jan. 15.

The board also approved the regular 15 standing authorizations. Superintendent Tom Hosler pointed out that these are the approvals that allow daily business activity to continue, without having to get advance approval from the board. His example was the employment of temporary personnel. The list also included authorizations for the treasurer to perform the various financial activities that are part of the job description.