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200-plus expected at JE school board meeting

Mary Jo Wick's committee of community members has narrowed its focus to 10 questions to present to the school board at its 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 6 at the Jordan-Elbridge High School auditorium.

"We'll go in Wednesday night full bore," Wick said. She expects the crowd to be even larger than the 200-strong that packed the Elbridge fire hall following the unexplained suspension of Principle David Zehner.

"We as a community need to begin healing," she said. "We can't start healing and move forward until we get some answers from them and they make some good decisions."

Recent court rulings have exposed and criticized the JE Board of Education's tendency to make decisions behind closed doors:

-- Judge Donald Greenwood ruled the appointment of Sue Gorton void last Friday, citing the district's violation of the Open Meetings Law. Gorton was announced as interim superintendent, effective Nov. 1 with Marilyn Dominick's retirement, in a letter posted to the district's website this summer. Zehner said he only took the Board of Education and Gorton to court after having multiple requests for a public appointment ignored.

-- One week prior to the Zehner ruling, Greenwood ruled in favor of another suspended administrator at JE, Bill Hamilton, and ordered the district to pay his legal fees for the trial. Hamilton's suit questioned the district's refusal to let him view Marilyn Dominick's severance agreement. Greenwood criticized the district for allowing Dominick to deny a request for papers about herself. Dominick told the Observer keeping the agreement under wraps was a mutual decision between her and the school board.

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