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Oswego School Board Members Head To Conference

OSWEGO, NY – School board member Fran Hoefer will be attending the New York State Schools Boards Association Conference in NYC Oct. 15-18

Now, it looks like he will have company.

Fran Hoefer
Fran Hoefer

Shortly before 11 p.m., as the board of education was wrapping up the public portion of its last meeting, board member Sean Madden questioned why he wasn’t asked to attend the conference.

Board President Sam Tripp noted that Madden had attended the previous two conferences, including one in San Diego. He also cited financial concerns.

“If we have to transfer money into the conference account from somewhere else, it puts us dead in the water,” Tripp said.

Board member Dave White pointed out that board had earlier appointed a non-OCTA (OCTA is the union that represents teachers) candidate as boys hockey coach over an OCTA candidate that had experience and was recommended by the district’s athletic director.

“We know we’re going to have to pay more for,” White said alluding to the possible grievance from the union. “If people want to go, let them. If I wanted to go, why should I be denied the right to go?”

“It comes back to being part of a team,” board member John Dunsmoor said. “(Sean) went twice last year, never asked the rest of the board if they ever considered going to a conference. I think that we need to look out for the team. If there’s only so much money in there then the opportunity should be there for other people.”

“I have no quarrel if everybody wanted to go,” White said.

“Then put more money in it,” Dunsmoor responded. “Put more money in the budget next year.”

“Why can’t we do it now?” White asked.

“It’s too late,” Dunsmoor said.

“It’s not too late,” White replied. “At the last meeting we wanted to give back $3 million, and tonight we can’t give $300? I don’t get it.”

“You don’t run a business like that,” Dunsmoor said.

Sean Madden
Sean Madden

“Is Sean going to a conference going to benefit the children in any way?” Tripp interjected. “Is that going to do any good?”

“Is Franny going to the conference going to benefit children in any way?” White asked.

When Tripp pointed out that Madden hasn’t turned in a report, which was requested by the board, about either of his trips, White challenged, “Let’s have a contest, see who comes back with a better report.”

There is $1,700 in the travel account, according to Bill Foley, district clerk.

If there is a need for more, he asked if he had board permission to come back with a budget transfer request at the next meeting.

At budget time they cut funding for conferences, including their own, the board president reminded the board.

“And now you’re talking about transferring funds. You’re being a hypocrite,” he said. “You cut the line and now you want to ad more! I’m not for it.”

Voting in favor were Tom DeCastro, Madden, Jim Tschudy and White.

Voting no were Dunsmoor, Hoefer and Tripp.

The district clerk is currently organizing Madden’s expenses.

For Hoefer, the conference registration is $425 (It will be that price for Madden also), $795 for three nights hotel and $204 for round trip flight.

Both are entitled to approximately $248 total per diem for food and expenses for the transportation to and from the airport will also be covered.

1 Comment

  1. Does Sean Madden know how to defend himself? Evidently not, he needs his protector Dave on that board to do it for him. Sean has gone multiple times to this exact conference and only does so because he likes to travel. That is the issue here and it is clear that Madden, White, DeCastro and Tschudy only have an interest in helping a friend have a fun trip on the taxpayer dime. Sean’s trips in the past have offered no benefit to the district, its taxpayers, or its students. By sending Fran, it gives the opportunity for someone with a better work ethic to go who will take it more seriously. I disagree with the concept of board conferences in the first place, and feel that nobody should go. But if they are going to send someone, Fran Hoefer will clearly offer the biggest benefit to the school district. It was only budgeted for one person to go, and Mr. Tripp chose Mr. Hoefer in good faith. If Mr. White or one of his lackies would like to go, it should be on their own dime.

    Elections are in seven months. Tschudy and Madden must be removed.

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