The Tonawanda City School Board this week laid out its plan to recruit a new superintendent during its regular meeting Tuesday night at Mullen Elementary School.
Officials are hoping to quickly find a candidate to succeed current Superintendent Whitney Vantine, who is retiring from the district Oct. 17.
The board hired Erie 1 BOCES Superintendent Donald Ogilvie as a consultant for the search for a maximum fee of $7,000. Officials are hoping to recruit a search advisory committee comprised of district workers and community members. The board wants to hire a new superintendent in the range of a $140,000 to $160,000 annual salary.
Board President Jackie Smilinich said the advisory committee would number 25 to 30 people, including those from the district's parent-teacher organization, senior groups and the local Chamber of Commerce.
"This board believes in true shared-decision making," Smilinich said of the process.
The next step is to recruit the committee members. Board members will spend the next week developing a list of recommended names to submit to Smilinich.
The community is also invited to nominate people to individual board members over the next week. The group will be finalized at the Sept. 25 board meeting.
In other news, the School Board discussed a perceived lack of communication between themselves and the district union that represents maintenance workers.
The union sent board members a letter expressing a desire to talk to them. Smilinich initially requested a motion to allow board Vice President Demelt Shaw permission to speak to union representatives privately, but several other members rebuffed the request and called for the entire board to be present during the discussion, which would take place under executive session for negotiation purposes.
Traditional district policy suggests the unions communicate to the board through the district superintendent, but Vantine said they wanted a direct meeting with the board. Nobody publicly commented on what the union's exact issue with the board is.
"Their problem is not with the superintendent; it's with the board," Vantine said.
"The point is, we don't know what is going on," Smilinich said.