With a winter snow storm raging outside of North Clay Middle School, things warmed up inside the building as board members Steven Grigsby, Jim Guy, Dottie King, Terry Barr, Len Fischer, Ted Jackson, Joe Thomas and Superintendent William Schad attended Thursday evening's Clay Community School Board meeting.
During the Patron's Comments portion of the meeting, Clay Community Schools Classroom Teacher Association President Russ True took issue with recent board comments regarding the responsibility of who did what to benefit the corporation, beginning with the $23 million buyout.
"If you want to make it clear that it wasn't this present school board that created the debt, that's fine," True told the board and the audience of school teachers, administrators, bus drivers and a handful of spectators that braved the weather to be there. But I want to make clear that this present teacher's association is responsible for getting you out from underneath of it. This present school board may not be responsible for the accumulation of that debt, but the present teacher's association is responsible for the release from that debt. And I agree that the public should understand that point of responsibility."
When the applause from the crowd died down, the next speaker, President of the School Bus Driver's Association Jack Schau-wecker, was quick and to the point.
"I don't have a long speech tonight. All I wanted to do, was on behalf of our associates, we wanted to thank the board for taking the time to look over our proposal before casting your vote tonight," he said. "We're grateful for the opportunity to stand before you and present our proposal. That's it and thank you."
Board member Dottie King told the audience that tough times exist, and making tough decisions impacting friends and neighbors jobs make the job of being a school board member even tougher, but it should all come down to one thing.
"We all care about the students of this community," King said.
If someone tried to create a formula for failure, board member Terry Barr said, they couldn't have done a better job than the issues that have come before the school board have done to the budget in the last few years.
"We've got a big problem," she said about the budget, then urged people to use the vast amount of information available to check the facts that are being used by both sides. "It's all public information. If you're told something by anyone, I urge you to check it out for yourself."