• Sullivan BOCES Regular Board Meeting June 16, 2020


    Linda Berkowicz, Board President opened the meeting at 6:08 PM.

    Linda: I need a motion for our committee to go into Executive Session.  Thank you Susan, and a second thank you Cathy.

    At this time all non-Executive Committee Members were placed in the virtual meeting waiting room.

    Executive Session concluded at 6:39 pm.

    All meeting participates, other than the Board President Linda Berkowicz, were placed on mute at this time, and were asked to raise their hand when making a motion, voting or in order to ask a question.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: At this time I would like to reconvene the Board meeting by calling the meeting back into session. The next item on the agenda is the Pledge, but we will not be doing that this evening. The first item on the agenda is the Consent Agenda items, these are action items. I will need a motion. Thank you Susan and thank you Cathy. Any comments or questions? No one, then we will need to vote. All in favor. The motion passes 6 yes’s to 0 No’s.  Jean, are you getting this?

    Mrs. Hewlett: Yes. I’ve got it.  

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you. The next item on the agenda is Financial Matters. This includes 6.01 Claims Audit Report which is informational. Are there any questions or concerns on the Claims Audit Report for this month? No?

    Mrs. Horton: No, it was clean.

    Mr. Berkowicz: Good! Thank you, we will move on then. The Treasurers Report 6.02 is next, this is an Action item. I will need a motion. Carol Bliefernich, thank you and a second, thank you Annie. Do we have any questions regarding the Treasurer’s report? Any comments? No? Okay, let’s take a vote then. All in favor, please raise your hand. Thank you. The motion passes 6 yes, to 0 No. Thank you.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Next we have 7.01 which is Personnel Matters. I am unable to open these items at this time, they are PDF, so I may need some assistance. This is an action item. May I have a motion? Sue Horton, thank you and a second? Thank you Carol. Do we have any questions or concerns regarding the personnel matters or the addendum as presented? Then I would like to ask for a vote. Thank you. The motion to approve the personnel items as presented has passed 6 yes to 0 no. the next item 7.02 is the Approval of Tenure for Kristen Halpin. Is this the only tenure appointment we have at this time?

    Mrs. DeFrank: Yes it is. The others were presented last month.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you. I’d like to have a motion on the tenure appointment please. Cathy, thank you and Carol thank you for the second. May we have a vote? Thank you. The vote is unanimous to approve Ms. Halpin’s Tenure. Since Ms. Halpin is unable to join us at this time, I would like the meeting minutes to reflect the board’s acknowledgement and congratulations to Ms. Halpin on her tenure appointment and extended career with Sullivan BOCES. Please be sure to pass on that the board looks forward to working with her in the years to come. I wish we were able to congratulate her in person. Up next we have the action and discussion items. The first item up is 8.01 Authorization to Expend the Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve, Action/Discussion. I’d like a motion on this item please. Carol Park, thank you and a second, thank you Sue. Susan, can you please explain this action for us?

    Mrs. Schmidt: Yes. As you know, BOCES uses various types of reserves to stabilize the BOCES budget. We use the Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve or EBALR, to cover the costs of employees who are being paid out accrued sick or vacation time that they have earned over the course of their employment. If you recall, we increased the amount that we contribute to this and serval other reserves like it, just last month. In this particular case we are asking the Board for approval to withdraw funds totaling sixty four thousand, two hundred seventeen dollars and seventy seven cents ($64,217.77) to pay eleven (11) employees for sick and or vacation time based on contractual obligations. Four (4) of the eleven (11) individuals have already either retired or resigned from BOCES, and the remaining seven (7) will be leaving by the end of the year.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Carol, you have a question?

    Mrs. Bliefernich: Yes, Susan, can you please explain what you mean by “end of the year”, when is that?

    Mrs. Schmidt: Sure, that would be the end of the 2019-2020 school year, which closes on June 30th.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you Carol, good question. Thank you Susan. Any other questions on this topic? Okay, let’s take a vote then. Thank you. This motion passes 6 yes to 0 no. Alright, the next item up is 8.02 Approval of the SS Waverly Lease Amendment. I need a motion on this item, Annie, thank you, and I need a second. Ladies, a second? Carol Bliefernich, thank you. Susan, can you please explain this item?

    Mrs. Schmidt: Yes, this amendment to the lease has to do with an error that was found in the square footage calculation for the two (2) store fronts located at the Liberty Mall offices. The two (2) front spaces are where ISS and HR are now located, and they were listed in the original lease as having four hundred (400) less square feet then they actually are. This lease amendment corrects the error. The rent for these two spaces will also be adjusted and paid once the lease adjustment is also approved by NYSED.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: So, have we been paying the appropriate amount to the landlord? And if not, is this causing any issues with the landlord?

    Mrs. Schmidt: The difference in rent will be paid, once the lease approval processes are complete. In the meantime BOCES is paying the monthly lease payment in the original lease agreement. We will pay the difference retroactively to the landlord once NYSED approves everything. The landlord has been very understanding regarding the need for us to take these steps in order to get the adjustment approved. 

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you for your explanation on this item Susan. Does anyone have any additional questions on this topic? Let’s vote, okay so the motion passes with 6 yes with 0 no. Thank you. The next item up is 8.03 Approval of CSArch Contract for Building Condition Survey, Annual Visual Inspection and E Wing Roof Repairs. May I have a motion? Carol Bliefernich, thank you and Cathy Russo thank you. Do we have any questions on this item?

    Mrs. Bliefernich: Susan, can you please explain? I am a bit confused, is it two separate contracts on this or just one?

    Mrs. Schmidt: It’s two. One of them is for the balance of the E wing roof replacement project. You may remember that a portion of the E wing was damaged over a year ago. The emergency repairs that were completed at that time only allowed us to replace the damaged portion of the roof. This contract is to replace the remaining portion of the roof which is currently not in good condition. This contract is the last step to getting this project started, the SEQRA resolution and the budget for this project were approved back at the March 2020 board meeting. With the closure due to Covid-19, the work on this project had been held up, but we are now trying to get this project back on track. We hope to submit the contract to NYSED very soon, because as we understand it, the wait time for project approvals is currently only 2-4 weeks, which is good news for us. The second contract is for capital project planning services which includes the required annual visual inspection. The state changed the process for 5-year Building Condition Surveys and created a rotating schedule that we at BOCES were not part of on the first round. So when we don’t have a formal five year inspection, the visual inspection is done in its place.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thanks Susan. Are there any additional questions or concerns on these two contracts up for approval? Let’s vote. The motion passes 6 to 0. Thank you. Our next item is 8.04 Approval Inter-municipal Agreement (IMA) for Workers Compensation Benefits. I believe this is something we do every year. May I have a motion? Cathy Russo and Susan. Okay. Does anyone have any questions on this agreement? We will go ahead and vote then. We have 6 yes’s, so the motion passes 6 to zero. The next item on the list is 8.05 the SCCC Lease Approval. I will need a motion on this item. Carol Park, thank you. I need a second on this, thank you Cathy. Do we have any questions on this one? Let take a vote then. This motion passes unanimously with 6 yes’s. We are moving on to item number 8.06 Approval for Rollover or Accumulated Vacation and Personal Time for Non-Represented Employees. Susan can you please give us some information on this item?

    Mrs. Schmidt: Absolutely. Due to the Covid-19 closure, we are asking the Board to extend the period of time that non-represented employees have to use their vacation and person time, given the circumstances of the last few months employees have not been able to take extended time off. We have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the union members on this matter, and we want to be able to extend this same benefit to the employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. This will allow staff to utilize the vacation time through June 2021 without losing it due to limits in the various agreements.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Excellent. Thank you. Does anyone have any questions? Let’s take a vote. 6 yeses, the motion passes 6 to 0. The next item we have is 8.07 Approval of the 2020-2021 Salaries for Management/Confidential & Mid-Level Managers. This items was discussed in Executive session. I will need a motion. Carol Bliefernich and Cathy Russo, thank you. Any concerns, questions or comments? Let’s go ahead and vote. Thank you. The motion passes 6 to 0. Next is 8.08 Approval of Senior Management Terms and Conditions 2020-2021; Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Ins. Programs, Exec. Director of Finance and Operations and Director of HR. May I have a motion. Carol and Annie, thank you. Questions? We will move on to the vote. Please raise your hand if you approve. Annie, you don’t approve?

    Mrs. Coleman: Oh no, no I approve. Sorry about that.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Okay, thank you then it is unanimous. The motion passes with a vote of 6 yes to 0 no. Thank you.

    Mrs. Schmidt: Hold on a moment, I think a title is missing I believe there should be 5 titles on this item. Yes, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support Services is missing. It should read, 8.08 Approval of Senior Management Terms and Conditions 2020-2021; Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Ins. Programs, Exec. Director of Finance and Operations, Director of HR and Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support Services. Maria’s title was left off.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Oh thank you Susan, good catch. We would not want to forget Maria. Can we go ahead and vote on this item as 8.08 Approval of Senior Management Terms and Conditions 2020-2021; Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Ins. Programs, Exec. Director of Finance and Operations, Director of HR and Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support Services. Then just update the minutes to reflect the update? Yes, okay good. Let’s vote, unanimous. Thank you. Thank you Susan.

    Mrs. Schmidt: I got your back Maria. 

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you Susan. Jean be sure to make this change in the agenda and on the minutes. The next item on the agenda is 8.09 Board Meeting Schedule 2020-2021. You have all received this to review. Has everyone had an opportunity to look it over? I have reviewed it and Jean has reviewed it making sure that it does not conflict with any holidays. Did any see any conflicts? Let’s have a motion and a vote then. Cathy Russo makes the motion, Susan is the second. All in favor. Thank you. The motion on the meeting calendar passes 6 to 0.

    At this point the meeting was interrupted with verbal obscenities by one of the meeting attendees. Multiple comments were made, and it was noted that the meeting had been hacked. The disruptor was removed from the meeting by Mrs. Schmidt.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Okay, let’s move on.

    Dr. Dufour: Linda, I would like to interject at this point. I would like to introduce a walk in item that was discussed in Sr. Management, but first I would like to introduce Mr. Anthony Sinacore. Do you prefer Tony? Tony Sinacore, our newest Board member from the Liberty Central School District. Tony is replacing Anne Colman on July 1st. This will be Anne’s last meeting with us. Anne, thank you for all of your service with us. You will be missed. We wish you all the best.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Tony, is that you in the purple room? I love it. Well, welcome. We look forward to working with you. I’ll have you know, three of the walls in my bedroom are the same color purple!

    Mrs. Horton: TMI, Linda. (Laughter)

    Dr. Dufour: I would like to introduce a walk in items that would be item 8.10.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: I believe you mean nine.

    Dr. Dufour: No. It would be 8.10 on the Action Discussion items.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: On my agenda it says it would be nine.

    Dr. Dufour: That was the original agenda. An updated agenda was sent out after that one.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: Oh my apologies.

    Dr. Dufour: Nothing to apologize for. We have had some changes along the way. This item would be for the Authorization of five (5) additional Paid Time Off Days, PTO days to the following employees, these are their employee ID numbers: #02021, #00667, #01187, #00691, #02117, #01723 for use in the 2020-2021 school year. The PTO days must be used by June 30, 2021 and will have no cash value. I have the typed resolution, and I will email it out to everyone.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you Bob. This is the item we discussed in Executive Session. I will need a motion to add this item to the agenda. Thank you Carol Bliefernich, and a second, Cathy. Thank you. All in favor of approving this item. Okay, thank you. The motion passes 6 to 0. The next item on the agenda is the Board Member Comments, but before we get to that I would like to Thank Anne for all of her time and service given to the BOCES Board of Education and to the children of Sullivan County. We appreciate the unique perspective you have brought to us, and you will be missed. I apologize that we could not all be together at this time with everything that going on. We would have given you a cake.

    Everyone applauded Mrs. Colman saying their thank you’s simultaneously.

    Mrs. Colman: There would have been cake? (Laughter) Thank you. It has been an honor.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Tony, welcome. Thank you for coming tonight, we look forward to inducting you at our next meeting.

    Dr. Dufour: A word about our next meeting, Jean and I have been researching it and it seems that the allowance of Zoom meetings will be coming to an end on July 6th and that is prior to our next meeting. That is if thing stay as they currently are, but as you all know, things have been changing every day. Should things change we will let you know but as it stands right now we will need to have an in person meeting on July 14th. We will keep an eye on the regulations.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: I would be fine with an in person meeting at this point. As long as we are socially distanced.

    Dr. Dufour: We could have the meeting here at the mall with everyone spread apart, or at RPEC if you wish for more room.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: I’d like it to be at the new building. Can we do that?

    Dr. Dufour: No. (Laughter)

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Don’t listen to him. We will have it at the Liberty Mall.

    Mrs. Bliefernich: I don’t listen to Bob. (Laughter)

    Dr. Dufour: No one does. (Laughter)

    Mrs. Berkowicz: I would like to take a moment to thank Jen, Maria, Susan, Natasha and Keith for joining us tonight, for your hard work and dedication, and for all that you do for us and this organization. You are truly appreciated. Any additional comments?

    Mrs. Bliefernich: Linda, can you call me after and let me know the items I missed in executive session?

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Absolutely. Yes Cathy.

    Mrs. Russo: I would like to thank Jean for all her help, especially as a new board member. And her being new herself I know it’s been difficult.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: Thank you. Anyone else? Well, then I think it’s that time. Mrs. Russo if you would do the honors.

    Mrs. Russo: Absolutely, I would like to make a motion to adjourn the meeting.

    Mrs. Parks: I second the motion.

    Mrs. Berkowicz: All in favor? We are adjourned. Thank you, everyone and good night!

    The meeting ended at 7:04 pm.