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Anne Congdon files writ challenging action to remove her from Colonial Beach school board

APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF PROHIBITION

WHEREAS, I, Bronwyn “Anne” Congdon the applicant for this position am:
a resident of the Town of Colonial Beach and
an elected official of the Colonial Beach School Board
duly elected in May of 2008

WHEREAS on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 during the Executive Session portion of the regular meeting of the Colonial Beach School Board, Mr. Tim Trivett, the Chair of the aforementioned School Board, initiated an action designed to remove me from the Board and create a vacancy and began a campaign seeking candidates to fill the position. 

WHEREAS the School Board has set September 30, 2009 as its date for interviewing those candidates and possibly selecting one to fill the alleged vacancy.

WHEREAS the Colonial Beach School Board as a body lacks the authority to remove me from my seat.  

PRAYER FOR THE WRIT
THEREFORE I humbly request this honorable court to make an order, a copy of which shall be served on the defendant, suspending the aforementioned proceedings of the Colonial Beach School Board until the final decision of this cause and allowing me to resume my rightful place as an elected member of the Colonial Beach School Board.


EXPEDITED HEARING
I pray that the Court hears this petition as soon as possible in accordance with the Code of Virginia 2.2-3713-3(c).
I do solemnly swear that the facts contained within this document are true.
__________________________            _____________________________
Bronwyn “Anne” Congdon                    Witness

DATE:  September 18, 2009    


Filed by Anne Congdon

 Congdon will be in circuit court in Montross on Thursday at 11 a.m.


 Click Here to read Anne Congdon's letter to the Editor regarding the school board's action.

 

Congdon departs early from School Board Meeting; Board vacates her seat

At the September 9th Regular School Board Meeting in Colonial Beach, Anne Congdon made and unexplained early departure during the Board’s closed session.
After the remaining members Tim Trivett, Mike Looney and newly sworn in Wayne Kennedy returned, the Board announced that Anne Congdon’s position as School Board Member was vacant, effective immediately and voted accordingly.

Read more: Congdon departs early from School Board Meeting; Board vacates her seat

Colonial Beach School Board spends $25,000 on leave pay

On Thursday July 2, when most people where starting their Fourth of July weekend, School Board members Anne Congdon, Mike Looney, Patrice Lyburn and Chairman Tim Trivett were in what was described as a very long meeting, the majority of which was held as executive session.
  Announcements from the five-hour long meeting included more than $25,000 spent on sick, annual and personal leave pay for two former members of the school system. Kathy Greenlaw, formerly the title I reading specialist at the Elementary School, retired with $2,670 sick leave, and Barbara Worrell, former School Board finance director was granted $24,224.96 in sick, annual and personal leave.
  In the absence of a superintendent, Janet Brown, part-time interim finance director, was given authority to act as superintendent until one is found.
  By resolution, Janet Brown has also been given authority to sign checks in the absence of a school board member, and Kathleen Beane will be assistant financial director.

Read more: Colonial Beach School Board spends $25,000 on leave pay

Congdon’s report mirrors citizen’s concerns

At Colonial Beach School Board's most recent meeting, resident Margaret Antosz addressed the board with concerns that it has accomplished little in the last year other than for members to bicker amongst themselves.
Her original desire to address only certain members was quickly squelched by Chairman Timothy Trivett who said she would have to address the board as a whole. Antosz wished to address Chairman Trivett, Mike Looney and Ann Congdon who campaigned in May of 2008 as a group known as TLC.
Antosz complained of broken campaign promises, lack of accomplishments and an inability of the members to get along.

Read more: Congdon’s report mirrors citizen’s concerns

Pre-K program slated for Board approval tonight.

At the June 3rd work session,  School Board members looked over the Colonial Beach public schools Comprehensive Plan for Coordinated Services, presented by teacher Audrey Berryman.
One new program that is being introduced and aggressively pursued is the pre-K program for students who will be 4 years old by September 30th.  Berryman told the Board last week that teachers, parents, and students are elated with the prospect.
This program differs from the current Head Start Program (which allows 3 year olds) in its criteria for selection and age group. The Pre-K program under Title I will focus on students with specific needs relating to adjusting to a school environment and various social interaction skills, as well as academic criteria.

Read more: Pre-K program slated for Board approval tonight.

CB School Board spends $50,000 during short session

   At last week's Colonial Beach School Board meeting Councilman Steve Kennedy cautioned the School Board that the town needs to tighten its belts. Kennedy said “We need to save money, not thousands but we need to look at every nickel and dime.”
   This advice was the result of a meeting attended by Vice Mayor Trish King and   Councilman Kennedy in Richmond last week. The two attended the VML legislative day and listened to Governor Kaine talk about this year’s budget. Kennedy said, “It does not sound good! I don’t think I need to tell you guys the forecast on that. With our budget time almost upon us we’ve got some serious talks to come between us and I hope we are all prepared to do that.”
   Despite Councilman Kennedy’s warnings, on top of their regular School Board bills, the Board approved $50,000 in spending this month.
Although the 50 grand sounds unreasonable for one month, it wasnecessary money. Ten thousand is the result of an oversight to audit the High School's activities account for the school year 06-07 and another 10 thousand for last year (07-08) which will be performed on schedule.
   Luttrell reported to the Board last week, “Each year it is required by law that the High School activities account be audited.” Luttrell said that this account has not been audited for the last two years. The Miller/Foley group, which is currently performing audits for the town of Colonial Beach, quoted a price of $20,000 dollars to complete both years’ audits of the High School activities account. When asked if there was money to pay for these audits, Director of Finance, Barbara Worrell replied, “We have to, yes.”
   The other 30 thousand will go towards three broken heat pumps. As reported last week the High School is approaching the 20 year anniversary of graduating students and many of the heat pumps in use are original equipment. In recent months the school has experienced on average, one heat pump breaking a month.
   During the work session the Board discussed soliciting bids on replacing heat pumps in groups of 2, 4, 8, and so on as well as possible financing that contractors would offer.
At Last week's regular meeting Mr. Luttrell reported that the bids where not back yet but that there were three units broken. Luttrell suggested replacing those three immediately while waiting for bids to come in.
   Barbara Worrell was consulted on the cost of replacing the units. She stated that it has run around 10 thousand for one unit each year but said that this figure included a crane fee. Replacing three units at one time would save considerable money for the crane and she estimated less than 30 thousand as a total. Worrell reported that the money was available in construction funds to cover this expense.
   After much discussion the Board moved to replace only the three broken units not to exceed $30,000 using the vendor who has provided the School service in the past. The Board decided to contract for only the three units so they could continue to negotiate for a lower price on the rest of the units needing replacement.

Linda Farneth


 

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