Belleville School Board Reviews Finances, Recognizes Students, and Discusses Future Projects

The Belleville School Board recently met to discuss topics including the district’s financial health, recognition of student achievements, upcoming projects, and concerns raised by the community. Among the most significant aspects of the meeting were the board’s vote on various items, reports on the district’s financial status, the recognition of students and departing members, and discussions about future projects and community concerns.

The meeting began with Business Administrator/Board Secretary Matthew J. Paladino’s report on the district’s financial health. He disclosed that the State monitor had reviewed the agenda and supported the recommendations related to personnel, purchasing, and finance, ensuring sufficient funds to cover the district through June 30, 2024. This financial report was an aspect of the meeting as it highlighted the district’s financial security and plans for the future.

In terms of student recognition, the board celebrated the success of the Holiday Market, FBLA’s participation in regionals, and the National Honor Society’s fundraising efforts. It also acknowledged the student government organization’s charitable initiatives. Notably, several student athletes and teams were commended for winning SEC division championships and earning academic honors.

The meeting included Superintendent Richard D. Tomko, who discussed upcoming projects and events. These included the Middle School parking garage and campus project, Project Casa, and the reorganization meeting scheduled for January 2nd. Tomko also emphasized the importance of student re-registration for the next school year.

The board also acknowledged the service of departing members Frank Velez and Erica Joo by presenting them with plaques. The departing trustees reflected on their terms, with Velez highlighting accomplishments such as the expansion of advanced placement courses and improved facilities, and Joo discussing her efforts to improve the district’s infrastructure and ensure resources for students.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the community to voice their concerns. Michael Sheldon raised concerns about a settlement agreement, emphasizing the public’s right to access such documents. Dr. Liz Massia inquired about the safety scaffold for the temporary walkway at the middle school, while Ruben Rodriguez questioned the handling of OPRA requests, bullying cases, and significant bills. The board addressed these concerns, providing explanations and discussions.

Notably, there was a discussion about the impact of recent storms on the school properties, with expressed concern about water damage and flooding. The board also discussed the design and bidding process for the parking garage project and mentioned two grants the district is receiving: one for families receiving SNAP benefits and the other for edible gardens at each school.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Richard D. Tomko
School Board Officials:
Matthew J. Paladino (Business Administrator/Board Secretary), Luis Muniz, Gabrielle V. Bennett-Meany, Nicole Daddis, Michael Derro, Erika Jacho, Frank Velez, Tracy Williams

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