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Monday, January 24, 2011

West Bend School District Reviews Complaint & Ethics Policies

West Bend School District Policy Committee met at 5 p.m. today to discuss Complaint and Ethics policies.  

Committee consisted of Dave Weigand, Randy Marquardt, Joe Carlson, Jeff Nennig (and there were a few others present from the Finance dept. - didn't know everyone).

First policy discussed was Policy 872 "Complaints Concerning District Officials and School
Personnel (revised)

Dave Weigand made the point that the School Board has a code of self governance.  

Jeff Nennig explained the policy as one that directs incoming complaints to the School Board president.  From there it is forwarded to the District's legal counsel.

Weigand stated that the District's legal counsel does not represent the board member OR the citizens, and that we leave a lot to the discretion of the District's legal counsel, that there is a lot of latitude for the legal counsel in making recommendations to the board regarding what constitutes an ethics complaint.  Also stated that the legal counsel must be someone who is above standard quality and someone that we trust to be accurate.

Randy Marquardt noted there was nothing in the policy that he felt took away any power from the School Board.

Joe Carlson felt that complaints should also include remedies from the complainant and asked to have that step included in the policy.  We should be "looking for some way to keep it (the complaint) from being fired off to Mary (Hubacher)..."

It seemed that all agreed the policy should be rewritten to include the above and brought back for review.


Next was review of Policy 165 ETHICS (revised).

Dave Weigand said, "I think a lot of the items on here (the policy) wouldn't fall under the auspices of ethics."  "It's more like a job description."  and "This policy is not meant to be used to be thrown back in someone's face."

Joe Carlson noted it was more of a "code of conduct."

Weigand stated that he was not sure "if that's really ethical.  We already do that (policy) because that's the protocol."  Weigand also pointed out "This policy should not be construed to inhibit a board member from freedom of speech."  Weigand suggested an "umbrella" over the policy that stated the intentions of the policy itself.

When Randy Marquardt questioned Jeff Nennig as to other area school district policies, Nennig offered to get samples for review.

All committee members agreed to review the Complaint and Ethics policies at the next committee meeting.

Carlson suggested making the Ethics policy two-fold; one part could reflect board ethics that includes the state statutes, the other part could reflect the school board code of conduct, which would reflect the expectations of the District.


Third policy, Fiscal Management,  Policy 620 Purchasing Guides (revised)

Policy states that we purchase from the "most qualified supplier."  All agreed this needs to be defined.  

Bob Buchholz, Administrator of Finance, stated there could be a number of items that could be used to determine qualification, i.e., past provider experience, service, are they local.....

Marquardt did not want to be locked in to the lowest bid as the only deciding factor, and wanted to see some leeway...

Nennig said there is a district policy on vendor preference and that a local vendor would be a preferred choice.

Discussion went around the room concerning prequalification.  Marquardt suggested that prequalification take place for bids of certain dollar amounts, preferably larger bids.

Policy will be rewritten to reflect changes and brought back for review at the next committee meeting.

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