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School Board Seeking Legislation to Deny Ex-Officio Access

November 13th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

It appears as though the Allegany County Board of Education is not yet ready to concede that a county commissioner, in the capacity of an ex-officio board member, can participate in executive, or closed sessions of the board. The issue became a point of controversy earlier this year when the commissioners complained that ex-officio member Mike McKay, and then Bill Valentine were not being allowed to sit in on the school board’s closed session. Those sessions can cover such topics as litigation, student appeals contract negotiations and personnel.  In July the commissioners received a  letter from Assistant Attorney General Dan Friedman, the counsel to the General Assembly, saying that the opinion is that a commissioner serving as an ex officio member of the Allegany County Board of Education has the right to attend executive sessions of the board.  Last night, School Board President Ed Root revisited the issue by proposing the board seek legislation on a state level which would deny the ex-officio member access to closed sessions. Root says that there are too many subjects that represent clear conflicts of interest- and that he isn’t comfortable with a commissioner attending those sessions…


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