EVSC board member calls for more transparency

Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 10:47 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation Board of Trustees member Ann Ennis is calling for executive sessions to stay within its agenda items.

Ennis posed the question of transparency during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.

The district 2-elect said she is troubled by a “desire for secrecy” during executive sessions, which are not open to the public.

Ennis claims EVSC’s Superintendent Dr. David Smith has brought up budgetary matters not on the session’s agenda, adding there is no reason the budget discussions can’t happen in front of the public.

Superintendent Dr. Smith and his legal council responded to Ennis’ comments. He said they are not in the wrong for discussing wages before starting negotiations.

“I thought I explained that that’s part of negotiations," Smith said. “You kind of have to know how much money you’re dealing with before you negotiate. I think everybody gets that.”

Ennis mentioned the Indiana School Board Association has told her three times it is inappropriate the way the corporation is conducting its sessions.

Here is the full interview we had with Ennis:

In other matters discussed Tuesday, the board heard public comments from Contract Bus Drivers Association’s Brian Schmitt. The drivers are continuing to ask the corporation to renew its contract that expired in late May. The contracted drivers make up about a fifth of the driving workforce. EVSC has not yet put forth an official offer, but Dr. Smith said after Tuesday’s meeting that negotiations will begin.

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