School board members want off committee

Two CBT reps feel they need to be acting as 'agents'

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— The Steamboat Springs School Board met Thursday night for more than four-and-a-half hours, with most discussion being held in executive sessions.

The scheduled meeting at 6:30 p.m. was set aside for executive session to discuss a student matter. When the executive session ended at about 7:45 p.m., it took the board only 45 minutes to discuss the most prominent issue of the CBT's work.

The CBT, or the collaborative bargaining team, works on a process that answers questions about employee salary and benefit negotiations. The review committee consists of school district staff, a school board member and the school district superintendent.

Tom Sharp, director of the school board, said most of the discussion was based on the fact that he and Dan Birch, president of the school board, no longer wish to sit on the CBT as representatives of the board.

"We should be acting as agents of principals, not as principals themselves," Sharp said.

In essence, he said they wanted to speak for themselves, not for the entire school board.

They served on the CBT from November 1999 through December 2000, and they did not take a motion to be reappointed. When Sharp and Birch didn't attend a CBT meeting in January 2001, the CBT wondered what the hidden message might be.

"We were viewed as the board of education. When our side of the table has five members and only two are there, it becomes very difficult to have meaningful negotiations," Sharp said.

Because Paul Fisher, vice president of the school board, also is a school board representative to the CBT review subcommittee, both Sharp and Birch addressed him. Fisher will then go back to the CBT and report on what the board discussed.

Sharp also said that part of the discussion Thursday night was to let the CBT know that the process was taking too much time for everyone involved.

"I think it can be improved. (The process) needs to consume less time. It takes a tremendous amount of time" in and out of the classroom and the office, Birch said.

The executive session that lasted more than two hours at the end of the school board meeting was to discuss the multiyear pay plan. No decisions can be made in executive session.

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