October 22, 2014

Elyria
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Vote angers Wellington school chief

WELLINGTON — Superintendent Victor Cardenzana said Monday he is angry about a no-confidence vote approved Sunday by more than 100 teachers and nonteaching staff.

Cardenzana

And don’t get him started about allegations that he misappropriated funds from a permanent improvement levy. That’s slanderous, he said.

He pointed out that the expenditures from the 3.94-mill permanent improvement levy, which began raising about $665,000 in annual revenue in 2006, are approved by the school board not by him.

About $886,000 was spent in 2006 to for repairs to the roof and bricks at Wellington High School and for the roof at Westwood Elementary, he said. This year, about $230,000 was spent for textbooks, $120,000 for two new buses and other money was used for educational materials, such as computers.

Making their presence felt 

What: Parents and students concerned about a possible teachers’ strike will picket Wellington Town Hall.
When: 2:30 p.m. today.
Where: 115 Willard Memorial Square, just south of state Routes 18 and 58. 

The last available audit of finances for the Wellington Schools is for fiscal year 2004, which ended June 30, 2004, said Emily Frazee, spokeswoman for Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor.

Frazee said the 2005 audit is being withheld at the request of Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will in connection with the investigation of former teacher Patrick Knoble, who was accused of theft in office and menacing. The 2006 audit is 30 to 40 percent complete, Frazee said.

Linda Repko, co-president of the teacher’s union, said the unions are not saying that money was stolen but that it should have been spent for other things.

“We have teachers in the high school that don’t have enough desks for their students,” Repko said. “They have folding chairs and card tables.”

The no-confidence vote was designed to show the school board and community that they don’t stand behind Cardenzana anymore, she said.

“His contract is up at the end of the year, and we’re hoping they don’t renew him,” she said.

The 12-point resolution declaring no confidence in Cardenzana was approved Sunday night by 68 of 89 members of the Wellington Education Association and 40 of the 59 members of the Wellington support staff who attended the meeting.

The no-confidence vote comes at a time when negotiations have broken down in contract talks and unions representing teachers and staff have granted their negotiating teams the power to issue a 10-day strike notice.

No new negotiations are set, but a federal mediator is assisting in the negotiations.

Contact Cindy Leise at 653-6250 or cleise@chroniclet.com.