Police sought for board meeting

AUSTINTOWN – In a situation the superintendent calls “a first,” a school board member has asked for a police presence at today’s Board of Education meeting.

“This is the first time in the history of Austintown schools, from what I’ve been told,” Superintendent Vince Colaluca said of the request.

The special work session will include an executive session to discuss employment of personnel, according to a school release, and no action will be taken.

Harold Porter, who requested someone from the police be at the meeting, said in an email that his concerns revolve around the hiring of a new head principal for Austintown Fitch High School.

Among his concerns are that five of the 10 members of a selection committee are residents of Boardman. He also said of the two remaining candidates, one is from the Mayfield Heights School District. He feared it might stir concerns.

Dave Schneremberger, board vice president, said in a call late Wednesday night that police will not be present for the meeting. He said there are times police are present for open meetings, but this is an executive session.

“We really don’t want to set a precedent by having police at a workshop,” Schneremberger said. “It is always our desire to keep things calm and remain productive.”

Schneremberger said no threats have been made regarding the meeting.

“We’ve consulted other board members and the superintendent about it,” Schneremberger said. “We’ve also talked to Mr. Porter about his concerns.”

The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the district’s central office, 700 S. Raccoon Road.