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Medina: Group to meet on controversial school board actions

1:34 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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MEDINA -- The parents/residents' group Medina City Schools Outrage has set a meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday at Williams on the Lake on Lafayette Road to "plan a course of action for the coming weeks, establish priorities..." and voice their concerns over recent moves by the Medina City Schools board.

Related: Medina parents want superintendent's, board's resignation

The issues include Superintendent Randy Stepp's controversial contract approved in early March; the board's recent placing Stepp on paid administrative leave; and the board's hiring of a Public relations firm for "crisis management."

Medina City Schools Outrage Facebook page

Related: Medina: Residents protest before school board meeting

On Tuesday, the board approved the $20,370 contract with Hennes Paynter Communications, which specializes in crisis management.

The board had hired the firm on March 6, right after details of Stepp's contract became public, and Hennes Paynter provided two weeks of input.

On April 8, the board placed Stepp on paid leave after it was announced April 5 that state Auditor David Yost would be investigating a fund used to pay Stepp more than $265,000 for college education expenses.

Related: Medina school superintendent placed on leave

The Medina school board asked for the review after questions arose about the fund. The coverage of education expenses was part of Stepp's contract but the community has questioned some other payments, including travel expenses.

When asked Tuesday why the board hired Hennes Paynter, President Karla Robinson said the firm was hired "in response to the overwhelming number of calls, emails and media questions that we had regarding the superintendent's contract."

The board said the district did not have the staff to handle the public outcry.


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