Role reversal top

There was a bit of a role reversal Tuesday night at the Fredonia Board of Education’s reorganizational meeting.

Michael Bobseine took on the role as the board’s new president for the 2013-2014 school year after Rosie Joy decided to step down from the position after serving for one year. Bobseine ran uncontested for the seat and was voted in unanimously.

The vice president’s seat was much more contentious after Tom Hawk decided to step down from his position after serving for one year, as well. Both Joy and board member Karen Mosier ran for the seat and after a split vote of 4-3, Joy took Hawk’s place.

Bobseine said he looks forward to working closely with School Superintendent Paul DiFonzo in the coming year.

“We’ve had really great leadership on the school board for the past few years,” Bobseine said. “I had discussed (becoming president) with a number of other board members and so I think, after six years as a school board member, it would be all right for me to at least try my hand at it. (DiFonzo) is really well-innovative and assertive, relative to education in our district, as well as successful, in terms of rolling out programs and dealing with the difficult budget situations that we’ve had. Our district does have many issues that it’s confronting that call into question where we go in the future and … I’m real interested in where our district might go in the future.”

Joy cited family matters and time commitment as reasons for stepping down from the role of board president.

“It was a great experience and everyone should have the chance to serve on the board in that capacity,” she said. “I think (Bobseine) will do an excellent job.”

Hawk also cited family and scheduling conflicts as influencing factors in stepping down from the role of vice president.

“I look forward to, if the opportunity comes again, for doing something in that line,” he said.

The board also appointed Mosier, Edith Byrne and Roberta Coniglio to the 2013-2014 policy committee. Coniglio replaced Bobseine on the committee since Bobseine took on the role of president. Mosier was also voted in as the newest member of the three-person audit committee.

Bobseine also temporarily took on the role of Erie II BOCES liaison for the board after Byrne expressed concern with the position.

“It’s archaic and outdated,” she said. “The offices are too far away for any board member to drive. It should be the other way around; they should have a liaison sent to us.”

Bobseine said he will work with BOCES to see if an agreement between the two entities can be reached. DiFonzo said he would look into the matter, as well.

After the selection of the officers, Brian Trott of Clark Patterson Lee, Design Professionals, updated the board on the proposal for the $100,000 capital outlay project that was approved during the last budget vote.

“We are currently in the process of submitting paperwork for the project,” he said. “The work that we’ve detailed with the district is repairing some white brick in the courtyard that’s deteriorating, … repairing isolated areas of damage in parking lots, … a domestic water line that’s galvanized that continues to corrode and close in and we need to get that replaced with some copper … and a couple small plumbing items.”

Trott also said the project should be substantially completed by June of next year.

The next regular board meeting is Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. in the high school library. The annual board retreat will be held July 30 at 6 p.m., also in the library. An audit committee meeting is scheduled for July 25 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 600 of the high school.

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