Criticizes Region 12 Board of Ed's process
To the Editor:
Has the integrity of the process which the Region 12 Board of Education employs been compromised?
The following are my opinions and thoughts.
On May 20, during a regular Board of Education meeting, the board considered agenda item No. 6, which deals with the funding of a study about real estate values.
The $17,000 study is to evaluate the impact of the loss of a primary school in Region 12.
This would be an impossible task, as there are no towns in the state without elementary schools. Many similar studies have been done elsewhere in the country.
As an overview, the subject of this study had not been presented to the board, to my knowledge, before a company was selected. Was Mr. Cava authorized by the board to solicit proposals, and when did this authorization take place?
According to the tapes of the meeting, when the item came up for discussion, Mr. Cava proceeded to explain to the board that a proposal was at hand from a company in Fairfield called Kerin & Fazio. Board members did not have a copy of this proposal.
In addition, no members of this company were present to answer questions about the scope or their capabilities. Several board members suggested they wanted to read the proposal and meet with the firm prior to spending $17,000 of taxpayer money.
Here is the policy as it pertains to hiring vendors from the Regional School District 12 policy manual, 3323.1 Bids and Request for Proposal (RFP) Requirements:
"The solicitation of three or more proposals is required for the purchase of all non-instructional materials, equipment or supplies when the anticipated expenditure is in excess of $6,000 but less than $25,000. Proposals should be solicited from prospective contractors/vendors. Contractual services, where appropriate, shall be covered by this policy."
During the one-hour discussion, Mr. Cava revealed he had a business relationship with this company. Proper protocol states he should have recused himself from this entire discussion, not voted and physically removed himself from the assembly to the audience.
During this time, he interjected his comments approximately six times. When the vote on the subject was taken, Mr. Cava did not vote, and it was a 5-5 tie.
According to Robert's Rules of Order, this means the motion failed to pass.
Mr. Cava requested a revote because he had not voted and he claimed he did not understand the motion. Mr. Hirschfield immediately called for a revote.
According to Robert's Rules, chairmen should not make a motion but request one from the assembly. Once properly moved, the assembly must vote unanimously to have a revote.
Instead, based on Mr. Hirschfield's call, a revote was taken, but Mr. Cava voted to spend the money. I find these events questionable and disturbing.