Fairfield school board considers forming finance, facilities committees
Published 12:00 am, Friday, December 15, 2017
FAIRFIELD — In place of the Ad-Hoc Operational Effectiveness Committee disbanded in November after a short existence, two members of the Board of Education are working to potentially form a new committee, or two, to better address issues relating to finance and facilities.
Jennifer Leeper and Nick Aysseh volunteered to research and potentially create a framework for the formation of a new committee, or committees, after some school board members expressed concern at the Nov. 28 meeting that the town-wide ad hoc committee — which was to address staffing, financing, utilization and program services at all Board of Education facilities — had been disbanded without anything to replace it.
“This is not just because the ad hoc committee disbanded,” said Aysseh, following the Tuesday meeting of the Board of Education. “Now with the state of the economy, the state budget, we think it’s important to have a standing committee to give information to the board.”
Aysseh and Leeper said they have been conducting research, speaking with past school board members, particularly those on previous Board of Education committees that dealt with finance and facilities, as well as reviewing past committee meetings and minutes. Aysseh added that whatever committees are formed would likely work closely with the central office.
The Ad-Hoc Operational Effectiveness Committee, formed in September, was to include representatives from the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Representative Town Meeting, faculty, students and town residents. The broad focus of the group was a concern for some members of the Board of Education.
One member, Frank Sahagian, a social studies teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School, told the board that it was unclear to him whether he was expected to represent just himself or the entire teacher’s union — a role that made him uncomfortable.
The committee was “doomed to fail and be ineffective,” he said at the Nov. 28 meeting.
Aysseh and Leeper said they hope to have a new committee formed by February, though Aysseh stressed that that deadline was tentative.
“The point is not just to address one issue, but to look for long-term solutions,” Leeper said.