Wednesday May 1, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union rescinded a policy that created an "executive committee" after determining a better solution to past quorum issues.

Eleven members of the now-12-member board voted on motions made during last Wednesday’s meeting, following a waiver from the State Board of Education that allowed the supervisory union board to shrink.

Since its re-organizational meeting in March, the SVSU’s full Board of Directors has had 12 seats, down from the previous 18. The structure allows for two representatives from each member district, as well as one "alternate" from each district to attend meetings in the place of an absent designated member.

The executive committee structure was agreed to in February 2011 with the intention of efficiency and decreasing the number of full SVSU board meetings. In 2012, without the authority to approve contracts or policy, the committee was deemed redundant after the full board was forced to rehash the same discussions before taking action.

Under state law, supervisory unions include three representatives from every member district, although waivers may be granted in the public interest for efficiency and effectiveness as long as the change does not affect the proportion of representation.

The state board approved the SVSU waiver in February after the supervisory union requested the change last October.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Superintendent Catherine McClure recommended the policy be rescinded because of the waiver from the state, which she said was seen as a more effective way of solving earlier issues with quorums, or a lack of a majority of the board in attendance.

The executive committee had been set up to meet six months out of the year, beginning July 2011. The committee had been responsible for approval of consent agenda items and reviewing budget status and treasurer’s reports, but it was never tasked with the final approval of policy, job descriptions, or budgeting.

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