MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA 70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, October 23, 2008

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, October 23, 2008, at 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, LA.    Mr. James Cline, President, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.    

 

Board members present were Messrs. Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James M. Cline, Kevin Hotard, Thomas A. Nelson, Joseph Major Thibaut, Jr., and Mrs. Debbie Collins.

 

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Mr. Frank R. Aguillard led the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

 

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The invocation was offered by Rev. Larry Bossier of Bethel Baptist Church in Morganza, Louisiana.

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                                                      Consent Agenda

 

The following items are considered to be routine and will be enacted with one motion.  There will be no separate discussion of items unless a member of the School Board so requests, in which event the item will be  removed from the consent agenda and considered as an item on the regular  agenda for a separate vote preceding the last item on the regular agenda.  Mr. Cline read the consent agenda items. 

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following consent agenda items: approval of the minutes from the regular meeting of Thursday, September 25, 2008; approval of the minutes of the Executive Committee from Thursday, October 16, 2008; and revision of policies (Files: BC; BCBD; BCBI; GBD; GBRA; GBRIB;IHAD; JB; JBCC; JBD; JBE; JCD; JDE;JG; KN with the adoption of a new policy KB;) to comply with legislative action taken during the 2008 Louisiana Legislative Session.

 

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Personnel Actions.  Ms. Cindy O'Meara, Personnel Director, presented personnel actions that had been prepared by her department.

 

On a motion by Mr. Kevin Hotard seconded by Mr. Major Thibaut, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following item:

 

A.         Extended Sick Leave

 

Elouise Cline, paraprofessional, Rougon Elementary School, effective 10.06.08-01.05.09;

 

Dawn Cobb, certificated teacher, Rosenwald Elementary School, effective 10.07.08-10.11.08;

 

Kemi Dixon, paraprofessional, Rosenwald Elementary School, effective 09.17.08-11.14.08;

 

Carl Heckert, certified teacher, Rougon Elementary School, effective 11.03.08-04.06.09

 

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Committee Report.  Mr. Chad Aguillard, Chairperson of the Consent Committee, reported  that the Committee had met on two occasions to discuss the terms and conditions of Superintendent Rawls'three-year contract that had been approved at the August 27, 2008  regular meeting of the School Board.  He mentioned that the Committee proposed that Superintendent Rawls'annual salary continue to be $114,000.00 per year, as it has been for the last four years, but recommends an additional $400.00 per month for a car allowance, as well as changes regarding premiums for health insurance. The Committee also discussed eight performance objectives that they felt needed to be added to Superintendent Rawls'contract. It was noted that in spite of the amendments to the contract, the overall financial cost to the system will be less since Dr. Rawls' will be enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) for twenty-six of his thirty-six month contract; the School Board does not contribute to the employer portion of retirement benefits during the time an employee is enrolled in DROP.  Mr. Chad Aguillard presented the information to the Board and stated that it was the Committee's recommendation to offer Superintendent Rawls' an annual salary of $114,000; a $400.00 per month car allowance, as well as provisions relative to health insurance.

 

Board member Debbie Collins interjected and requested that the Board consider suspending the agenda item regarding Dr. Rawls' proposed contract.  Ms. Collins was reminded that an item regarding the terms and conditions of Superintendent Rawls' contract appears later on the agenda and she will be able to make a motion at that particular time.

 

Mr. Major Thibaut made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to approve the oral report presented by Mr. Chad Aguillard, Chairperson of the Consent Committee. 

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Discussion/action Regarding Monthly Financial Information. Joshua Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, provided copies of the following monthly financial information: the reconciled bank statement from Guaranty Bank (09/01/08 thru 09/30/08), the general fund cash account (10/13/08), the outstanding check report (10/13/08), accounting Statement of Revenue and Expenditures (Ending 09/30/08), and Sales & Use Tax Collection Information (September 2008).  Mr. Langlois stated that the first payroll of the new school year is done in September; there is a possibility that a revision will need to be considered at a subsequent meeting.  A short discussion followed. Board Member Major Thibaut questioned if any insurance company claim checks had been received. Mr. Langlois explained that a $100,000.00 advance was received; however, Mr. Donald Cazayoux, Sr. is waiting for a report from the structural engineer.  It was mentioned that our attorney may need to be involved with regard to insurance claim reimbursements.  Mr. Langlois was questioned if he had received any funds relative to the Audubon Bridge Construction project.  He stated that no substantial amount of money had been received; however, he will try to obtain actuaries regarding monies received for the bridge project and will provide it to the Board members for their review.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard to approve the monthly financial information that was presented and prepared by Mr. Joshua Langlois.

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Adoption of a Resolution Regarding a Revenue Anticipation Loan.  After a brief discussion, Superintendent Rawls requested to defer this agenda item until a subsequent meeting.

 

Mr. Nelson made the motion to defer the adoption of a resolution regarding a revenue anticipation loan per Superintendent Rawls' request.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Major Thibaut.  Unanimously carried.

 

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Ratification of Terms/Conditions of Superintendent Rawls' Three-Year Contract.  Board member Chad Aguillard, Chairperson of the Consent Committee, made a motion to adopt the terms/conditions regarding Superintendent Rawls'three-year contract as recommended by the consensus of the Consent Committee.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson.

 

Mrs. Debbie Collins expressed her displeasure regarding the School Board's unawareness of the amount of items that had been recently ordered for purchase by the school system.  Mrs. Collins offered a substitute motion to defer the ratification of terms/conditions regarding Superintendent Rawls three-year contract until further information is obtained.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.  A roll call vote resulted in the following:

 

YEAS:               Debbie Collins and Kevin Hotard

 

NAYS:               Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline,  Thomas Nelson, and Major Thibaut

 

The substitute motion offered by Mrs. Collins  to defer the ratification of terms/conditions of Superintendent Rawls' three-year contract, seconded by Mr. Hotard, failed by a 2-6 vote of the Board.

 

The original motion offered by Mr. Chad Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to adopt the terms/conditions regarding Superintendent Rawls' three-year employment contract as recommended by the consensus of the Consent Committee, was voted upon.  The vote resulted in the following:

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Debbie Collins, Kevin Hotard, Thomas Nelson, and Major Thibaut

 

NAYS:              None

 

The original motion to approve the ratification of the terms/conditions of Superintendent Rawl's employment contract carried by a vote of 8-0.

 

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Discussion/Action Regarding the Establishment of a PCPSB Building Committee.  At the Executive Committee meeting, Mr. Brandon Bergeron, Finance Committee Chairperson, stated that due to the fact that he, and other School Board members, had just been made aware of the recent substantial maintenance project expenditures, it is his request to establish a PCPSB Building Committee. Mr. Bergeron stated that he is of the opinion that the Committee should be a separate Committee from the Finance Committee.  This Committee will be charged with overseeing repair and maintenance projects for the school system in an endeavor to keep the Board better informed of all major projects.

 

Mr. Nelson mentioned that he agrees with Mr. Bergeron and other Board members who had expressed their concerns, as he is also of the opinion that the Board should be made aware of substantial expenditures, regardless of an emergency situation. He further stated that if an emergency meeting has to be called, then call one, as he does not wish to go through what he and other Board members had to endure a few years ago with regard to the implementation of a financial exigency plan. It was the consensus of the Board members that Superintendent Rawls provide them with better communication, as they would like to be informed whenever expenses of this, or any magnitude are being spent. 

 

President Cline appointed Mr. Brandon Bergeron as Chairperson, as well as Debbie Collins and Major Thibaut to serve on the Building Committee that will be responsible for overseeing repairs and maintenance projects for the school system.

 

Mrs. Joanna Wurtelle requested an opportunity to speak.  She was recognized by President Cline, approached the podium and questioned if the Board would also consider allowing community members to serve on the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board's Building Committee.  Mr. Cline stated that this will be discussed at the November Executive Committee meeting.

 

Mrs. Andre Greenleaf also requested an opportunity to address the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Mrs. Greenleaf alluded to bid law requirements and cautioned the Board if they are considering ratifying the expenditures that transpired in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.  Superintendent Rawls announced that Bp America presented him with a generous check to assist with school system expenses in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. Mr. Cline suggested that the Board consider sending a Resolution to Bp in appreciation for their donation to the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

Dr. Rawls reported that whenever he first came to the parish, one of his goals was to have all of the public schools in Pointe Coupee Parish SAC's Accredited.   He stated that it has taken approximately three years, but he anticipates that all public schools in Pointe Coupee will receive their SAC'S Accreditation this year.  He announced that his next goal will be to attain system accreditation.

 

Dr. Rawls mentioned that schools will be closed on election day (Tuesday, November 4, 2008).  However, it is not a holiday for twelve-month employees, as they opted to come to work on election day rather than report back to work one day early from the Christmas/New Year's holiday season.  Therefore, the Central Office will be open.

 

Superintendent Rawls and Mr. Cline met with Mr. Freddy Smith, CPA and partner with the auditing firm of Postlewaithe and Netterville.  Dr. Rawls stated that he is happy to report that the Board should expect to receive an unqualified audit regarding the 2007-2008 fiscal year.  This is the third year that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has received this type of audit; note that unqualified in auditing terms is good news!

 

Superintendent Rawls mentioned that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board submitted an application to be considered as the Grantee of the Head Start Program in Pointe Coupee Parish.  Mrs. Karen Holmes-Shaw, along with Dr. Rawls and other system directors/supervisors, will attend a pre-work session tomorrow (Friday, October 24, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.) to prepare for the federal government representatives that are scheduled to meet on Monday, November 10, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.

 

Mr. James Clines provided an article to all Board members to review regarding the consideration of paperless School Board meetings.  Mr. Nelson stated that the school system may need to look into this for more than one reason. It was mentioned that perhaps an intergovernmental agreement among local agencies could possibly be arranged in an effort to defray costs as well as protect the parish's valuable records.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson is a Board of Director of the Louisiana School Boards' Association (LSBA).  He reminded his fellow School Board members of Act 380.  In the past, School Board members were required to have six hours of training per term; however, recent legislation requires that beginning January 1, 2009, School Board members must obtain four clock hours of training in each calendar year during their term in office.  He announced that the LSBA will be sponsoring a seminar in Baton Rouge on November 12, 2008, of which has been approved to count toward the mandatory requirements of Act 380; information will be sent to each Board member.

 

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Expression of Sympathy.  On motion by the entire Board and seconded by the entire Board, an expression of sympathy was offered to the family of:

 

Mrs. Ruth Major, mother of Cynthia M. O'Meara, Personnel Director of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the meeting adjourned at 7:06 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

                                                                                                            

James M. Cline, President

                                                                         

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Secretary-Treasurer