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School board continues closed door session

A last minute Wednesday night special meeting of the Central Kitsap School Board to address budget issues previously discussed in public, ended with out an outcome.

The meeting’s full agenda called for a "Recess into Executive Session Pursuant to RCW 42.30.110 to Discuss with District Legal Counsel Pending Litigation and Potential Litigation; and Review Complaints Against One or More Public Employees, and to Review their Performance. Return to Special Session. The Board May Take Action Following the Executive Session Concerning the Complaint Against District Employees(s)."

Scheduled the day before the meeting, the special session was posted to the district’s website within a 24 hour time frame school officials said was allowed by law.

Board member Christy Cathcart was absent from the proceedings and the board agreed early on that the absence would shutter the possibility of action or explanation after the special session. Cathcart said she was unable to attend the session due to a prior personal engagement, but added she and board member Mark Gaines would be updated on the proceedings in a meeting with Lynch and an attorney on July 2.

Cathcart said the board did not need to withhold taking action in her absence because enough members were present to make a quorum.

It was Cathcart who posed a question about Superintendent Greg Lynch's handling of information on grant money during the June 20 board meeting that originally led to a closed door session.

“Because the entire board is not here, I don’t feel it would be appropriate to make any comments or take any action after the meeting,” Board President Chris Stokke said.

Stokke made a motion to modify the June 27 special meeting agenda to return to special session and adjourn afterwards which went unopposed by members present at the meeting.

The board and District Superintendent Greg Lynch recessed into special session after the motion, and Stokke returned at just after 10:00 p.m. to extend the closed session for another 15 minutes and at 10:20 the board returned and adjourned.

After the meeting, board members and Lynch declined to comment on any facet of the meeting or how the results might affect the 2012-2013 budget preparations.

Patti Roessner, a parent with children in the district, said recent events surrounding the school board and superintendent Lynch brought her to the special meeting to see if it might shed light on issues within the district.

“I wanted to see what was going on,” she said, “I didn’t expect to learn much from it, but I thought we might at least learn what the topic of discussion was."

Recent events of concern for district parents include two members of the school board, including Cathcart, making allegations of miscommunication involving finance against Lynch and a June 7 vote of "no confidence" in Lynch by the Central Kitsap Education Association.

Roessner said she was not surprised at the outcome of the meeting but was disappointed to not be able to learn more about finacial matters affecting her children’s education.

“It wasn’t unexpected,” she said. “But I was hoping to learn more about what is going on with the district.”

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