Thursday, January 26, 2012

P-G: Mt. Lebanon commission names liaison

To maintain a direct line of communication between governing bodies, Mt. Lebanon municipal leaders have appointed one of their own as school board liaison and will soon name two representatives to follow.

New Commissioner Kristen Linfante will serve as the liaison to the school district and will be responsible for staying informed on its actions, including attending meetings whenever possible.

"I personally think it's something that should have happened a long, long time ago," she said.

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9 Comments:

Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

The PG incorrectly reported that Kristen Linfante was appointed as liaison. As of yet, nobody has been appointed as school board liaison.
Elaine Gillen

January 30, 2012 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commissioner Linfante was appointed to be the liason at our last meeting. The position that remains unfilled is the representative(s) to the joint meeting with the School District.

Dave Brumfield

January 31, 2012 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify as there has been confusion elsewhere. Because the liason position does not have any authority to act on behalf of or bind the commission it is not an appointment and therefore does not require an actual recorded vote. As is also the case with our liason positions to our other Boards and Authorities we are essentially assigning responsibilities on a volunteer basis. Just as we often taken informal votes or "polls" to authorize Commissioners or staff to look into various items. There will most likely be a more formal process for the joint meetings with the school board.

Dave Brumfield

February 01, 2012 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, thanks for the clarification about the liason position. I think, however, that considering her partisan political activity on behalf of current school board members, any of the other commissioners might approach this position with a more open mind and be more likely to represent the entire community, not just those whom she activly endorsed and campaigned for in the last election.
Joe Wertheim

February 01, 2012 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,

Municipal Boards, with the exception of the Library Board & Authorities which are administrative, are advisory in nature and purpose, have no authority to act on behalf of or bind the Commission, members are appointed by the Commission in an official action, always by Commission motion, seconding and majority vote and the members are also volunteers....what is the substantitive difference ?

Maybe this is another item to be included in the Home Rule Charter Review, which will undoubtedly necessitate consideration of Admin Code amendments as well.

Bill Lewis

February 01, 2012 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe and Bill for the thoughtful questions. First Joe, I think people on both sides of the school issue believe that all 5 commissioners have a "bias" one way or the other. Kristen volunteered immediately when I first mentioned this possibility. She felt that her additional knowledge of the workings of the school board would allow her to serve better as liaison then most. This is not a watchdog role as that is well beyond our scope. We are merely trying to be better informed to both be better warned of potential problems and more aware of opportunities. Because of that if I have to err on the side of having a "friend" of the school board, or an "enemy" I will go with a "friend".
Bill, as to your point I would say that there are two primary differences between the selection of the board liaisons and the appointment of board members. First, the formal appointment to a board is supposed to be an honor that deserves the additional formality. Second, the board members have more limitations on them then the liaisons or serve with them. Whether it is residency, term limits or financial disclosure requirements we need to have a clear public record of who those members are so that such requirements can be officially tracked. As neither the Charter or the Code require Commission Liaisons at all we do not have those concerns.
As always thank you for your interest and involvment.
Dave Brumfield

February 02, 2012 8:53 AM  
Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

Of course she volunteered immediately. I would rather have a foe, and I don't mean Fraternal Order of Eagles. But why is this even necessary? Any commissioner can go to a school board meeting, just as any school board director can go to a commission meeting. And as residents, you should attend.
If you can't attend, Joe Polk, Tom Moertel, and I work real hard to keep the community informed. Read a blog.
Elaine

February 02, 2012 11:02 AM  
Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

And if you can't read a blog, download a meeting podcast onto your phone. David Huston and I record all meetings for just this purpose.
Elaine

February 02, 2012 11:50 AM  
Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

Dave, I listened to the podcast and Kelly Fraasch also volunteered. What is going on? What is the real reason for a liaison?
Elaine Gillen

February 03, 2012 12:08 PM  

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