Hiring of D16 board member raises concerns | PostIndependent.com

Hiring of D16 board member raises concerns

Amanda Holt Miller
Western Garfield County Staff

PARACHUTE ” Some community members are concerned that a Garfield County School District No. 16 board member has been hired to work for the district against district policy.

The board president and superintendent maintain that the situation is legitimate and has been cleared by the district’s attorney and the Colorado Association of School Boards.

Jody Williams, who is a District 16 board of education member, took a position as the kitchen manager at Grand Valley High School in August.

Gary Munyer, one of nine candidates running for three school board positions, said once he learned that Williams works at the high school, he researched the legality of the issue.

While he discovered that there is no law against a board member working for the school district, Munyer did find a district policy that seems to prohibit it.

The “school board member conflict of interest” policy states: “…The board shall not hire any of its members as an employee of the district nor shall the board approve any compensation for a member for services rendered to the district except for services rendered to the board as provided by law…”

“To me, the policy is clear, but how they got around it is not so clear,” Munyer said. ” I’m going to ask some questions at the board meeting and I’m going to be very specific.”

Steve McKee, District 16 superintendent, said he knew Williams was interested in the position at the high school in September 2004 and began investigating her eligibility at that time. He consulted with CASB and the district’s lawyer Pat Mooney.

Mooney confirmed in a letter to McKee that districts are legally allowed to employ board members.

McKee said the second half of the board policy, which states, “… except for services rendered to the board as provided by law…” permits the district to employ Williams as the high school kitchen manager because it is permitted by law.

“These things get all screwed up, you know,” Klinzman said. “There are always all of these small-town rumors and I think these things should be brought up and discussed in public. I’ll be there (at the board meeting) to ask some questions.”

Contact Amanda Holt Miller at 625-3245 ext. 103


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