J-E school board rejects community's petition

The Jordan-Elbridge School Board last night formally rejected a petition, signed by more than 280 residents, asking the board to schedule a special meeting for a vote on four propositions - a vote of "no confidence, a vote to prevent the current board from appointing the new superintendent, and two votes to retract the board's decision to appeal two recent court decisions.

Jordan Mayor Dick Platten spoke at the meeting, before the vote, as a resident of the J-E community. "Not for anybody else, I can't do that," Platten said.

Platten was one of the residents who helped file the petition. He questioned why the board's resolutions to reject the proposals had not been on the agenda earlier that afternoon, and why they described the petition's propositions as "impermissible" under state education law.

"I find it hard to believe that they couldn't have a poll to get a handle on what the community thinks when they are elected to represents the citizens of the school district," Platten said after the meeting, adding that the propositions were all non-binding.

Board President Mary Alley said the board had received the information from the district's lawyer Frank Miller just prior to the meeting, so the resolutions were added to a revised agenda provided that night.

Platten said the idea for the petition came to him after meeting with Interim Superintendent Larry Zacher.

"He said, when I met with him, I think it's only the 40 or 50 people coming to the meetings who are upset," Platten said. "So I said, 'let's find out,' but I guess they didn't want to find out."

Platten taught math in the Jordan-Elbridge School District for 35 years before retiring in 1999.

"I guess you could say I made somewhat of a commitment," he said. And I enjoyed every day of it. I hope my kids had as much fun as I did."

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