Trumbull's Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday evening, called at the behest of member Loretta Chory to reconsider a motion she had made at the June 22 meeting that was not acted upon.
At the first meeting, board member Tom Kelly made a motion encompassing four line items that sought approval to request a supplemental appropriation of $477,056 from the Board of Finance to restore freshman sports, sophomore football and girls' club ice hockey; rehire three teachers at ; rehire two elementary school secretaries and rehire one custodian.
Chory then followed up with a motion to divide the question, an allowable act under Robert's Rules of Order. No second was offered and the chairman did not follow up, so her motion was not voted on and the board approved Kelly's motion 5-2.
Robert's Rules of Order state, "as a general rule, with the exceptions given below, every motion should be seconded."
Chairman Ted Lovely opened Monday's special meeting by acknowledging that Chory's motion went unseconded.
To revisit Chory's motion Monday, member Lisa Labella moved to rescind Kelly's motion. After a delay, Kelly offered a second when no other member spoke up to move for a re-vote.
Only the five yes voters on the first meeting's motion were eligible to vote to rescind. They voted 3-2 in favor.
Kelly then remade his motion, and Labella seconded it - with no other member speaking up.
Chory opened the discussion on the motion, saying "the $95,000 cost of freshman football was not in the budget."
Labella responded that "sports are not funded by [grade] level ... [while] pay-to-participate funds for all sports are shown as a single line item."
Supt. Ralph Iassogna said, "THS Director of Athletics Mike Herbst was asked to reduce the high school's athletic budget by $113,000," the cost of the sports targeted for elimination.
He did, Labella added, and "the amount was deducted from the Transportation account because there are no line items for freshman sports."
Member Mike Ward, who was silent during the discussion, said, "Can we vote on this motion?" The supplemental appropriation was motion was then adopted, 6–1.
Ward then noted that "if we don't get the appropriation, we're back where we started."
Iassogna replied that if the approval is for a lesser amount "we will have to set priorities." Kelly added that his motion was "based on parent feedback, that if we do have to prioritize, teaching positions take precedence over freshman sports."
He added that the Board of Finance will consider the request at its July 14 meeting. The Town Council will take it up on Aug. 1, or, the first selectman told Iassogna, at an earlier special meeting in order to facilitate planning for the upcoming school year.