By Megan Kelley
The final board meeting of 2018 was full of closing chapters and hopeful new beginnings.
Superintendent Marion Ginopolis spoke of the new legislation for district grading that had passed in both the house and the senate earlier in the week.
“It’s a disappointment and I’m very disheartened by our own legislators,” Ginopolis said before thanking representative John Reilly for voting against the bill.
“That particular bill is extremely troubling because of the way it’s crafted. Just so you understand, it is going to be comparing one school district to another school district based on demographics, so it is going to be a ranking system. So for instance, just as an example, a district like Pontiac would maybe compare to a district like Detroit, so Pontiac may get an ‘A’ or a ‘B-plus.’ Whereas we in Lake Orion would be compared to another district, they call it ‘similar class,’ we could get a ‘C’,” Ginopolis explained. “So it was not thought out. And that was the issue that educators were saying, ‘We need to be able to provide you with input and talk to you about what the ramifications are. Be that as it may, it is on the way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.”
Ginopolis announced that board Vice-President Birgit McQuiston wished to seek a nomination to run for the MASB Board of Directors.
McQuiston ran last year and lost to incumbent Don Hubler. This year, however, there is an opening and she wishes to try again.
Trustee Nate Butki almost immediately moved to nominate McQuiston and there was no disagreement amongst the fellow board members. McQuiston received her board’s nomination unanimously.
Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance John Fitzgerald updated the board on the bid awarded to Be Energy Solutions for LED lighting throughout the district.
Though there were two bids, Be Energy’s cost was significantly lower than the other bid placed.
“They are a local company and when interviewed and specifically asked that, their point was that they really want this job, they’re local and it would be a flagship project for them,” said Fitzgerald.
McQuiston pointed out that Be Energy’s entire bid — $1,284,280 total — was lower than just the labor cost of the competing bid. Great Lakes Power and Lighting’s total bid came in at $2,419,000.
Ginopolis and board President Scott Taylor called Trustee Bill Holt to the podium to thank him for his six years of service on the board.
“Sometimes it is hard to play the other side but you play that card well,” said Taylor in his closing comments.
Also in the meeting:
• The district announced that they have been working with a company to extend their alumni database.
• GMB Architects + Engineering gave their bond sequence presentation, which gave a timeline to all of the bond work. The nine-year bond plan is set to begin with series one in early 2019 and end series three in 2028.