Mt. View directors question bills for new systems

By Tom Fontana

Mt. View School District directors questioned costs of two recent upgrades at the board meeting on Monday evening, Oct. 28.

The list of bills submitted to the board for included a $781.50 charge for travel expenses of training personal for the new website installed by Sapphire. Also on the list was a charge of $3,090.96 for ‘software licensing.’

District business manager Joseph Patchkoski explained that the travel expenses for Sapphire trainers included fuel costs and highway tolls.
“I thought the training was part of the total price of the system,” director Thomas Stoddard commented. “Was this a special request for training by us, or was it all part of the contract package?”

Patchkoski pointed out that there was no hourly charge for the training as part of the contract, just for the travel costs of the trainers.

“Well, I don’t think we should be nickel-and-dimed for their travel expenses,” Stoddard stated.

Stoddard also questioned the bill for ‘software licensing.’

“I thought we were getting a new website without any cost,” he said.
Patchkoski explained that the new Sapphire website uses the same software, but there is still an annual fee for renewing the license to use the service.

Stoddard suggested, and the board agreed, that the two bills in question be held back from payment until Patchkoski could obtain a more detailed explanation of each.

Following an executive session, the board voted to pay the bills.

The board formally welcomed Christine A. Kelly, recently hired as elementary school principal. Kelly’s first day on the job was approved as Wednesday, Oct. 23. The board also thanked curriculum director Karen Voigt for assuming some elementary principal duties during the search to fill the position.

Life Skills teacher Sheri Ransom was given approval to take students on trips in November to the Lenoxville Senior Center, Greater Carbondale YMCA, and the Montrose Interfaith Mission as part of the Community Based Learning Experience program at the high school.

Approval was also granted for the following supplemental positions: William Hagenbuch, as 6th grade trip advisor to Washington, D.C.; Alisha Marmo, FBLA advisor; and Jason Henke, junior high basketball coach.

Director Christine Plonski-Sezer offered a short memorial tribute to Hendrick Marr, a music teacher for many years in the district. Marr also served as organist and music minister at the First Congregational Church in Harford. Plonski-Sezer suggested that the district find some way to permanently honor Marr for his work at the school.