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Former General Brown board member scolds the current board

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DEXTER — A former General Brown Central School District Board of Education member scolded current board members during their monthly meeting Monday for what he calls fiscal irresponsibility and a lack of leadership.

Jeffrey J. Timerman, who served on the board for several years until his term expired June 30, said as many districts head toward insolvency, they need to watch every penny they spend. That is something he said current board members are not doing to the best of their ability.

“Bottom line — you’ve got to quit spending money you don’t have,” he told the board.

He said a Freedom of Information Law request to the district resulted in his obtaining a copy of October’s legal bill, which was $10,665.91.

“In October’s legal bill, the first item was research the legal eligibility of representation for a former board member,” Mr. Timerman told a Times reporter after the meeting. “Why are the taxpayers paying for that? The former board member should pay for that themselves.”

While he said he recognized there will be normal legal bills, such as for capital projects and some routine issues, others are “self-inflicted.”

“Get your priorities straight, and stop wasting money,” he said during the meeting.

Later on in the meeting, board member John Hardy said “Mr. Timerman probably won’t like this, but I’d like legal opinion on data collection (and board members).”

District Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. said information Mr. Hardy was referring to was released based on opinion from legal counsel already.

Mr. Hardy said his concern was over releasing personal information, but Mr. Vigliotti said once you’re an elected official, information is considered public.

That specific issue was then dropped.

Mr. Timerman said when he was on the board throughout the 2011-12 school year, he “tried to make some sense to them” and gave fellow members what he claimed was the best fiscal direction.

“When I decided not to run the next year, I thought they heard me,” he said. “(Yet) here I am. I think the board members need to be more accountable.”

He also chastised the board during his five-minute public comment period — the maximum time allowed per person — on the lack of establishing board goals, nearly six months since the new year began July 1.

As per board policy, which Mr. Timerman helped develop during his tenure, district complaints should first be addressed at a building level, then to the superintendent before a complaint is issued — in writing — to the board. If people wish to speak during public comment they must submit a request at least two days in advance. Those were steps Mr. Timerman had to follow before he was able to say his piece.

He then submitted a list of six questions to the board, as per Board of Education policy. He said he is looking forward to the board’s response within a couple of weeks.

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