July 30, 2014

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Two new Clearview board members appointed after resignations

SHEFFIELD — Two new Clearview school board members are expected to be appointed Thursday.

The resignations of Connie Finney and Brenda Newman were accepted at a board meeting Tuesday, President Eddie Corcino said.

Corcino said by phone after the meeting that several candidates were interviewed.

He said the meeting was held at 7 a.m. to accommodate his work schedule. An 8 a.m. special meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

The resignations were triggered by former board member Judy Maldonado being allowed to present her son with a diploma on stage during graduation ceremonies earlier this month. Finney said June 10 that then-board member David Underwood had the same request rejected in 2010. She felt allowing Maldonado — now an Educational Service Center of Lorain County board member — to participate was favoritism.

Finney, whose term would’ve expired at the end of the year, said Corcino had written an email proposing a lottery in which Maldonado and nine other parents or guardians would be selected to award diplomas to graduates on stage. Corcino wrote that it would “mask Judy’s request.” In a subsequent email, he wrote that the lottery was a “dumb idea,” so Finney said she was flabbergasted by the Maldonado presentation.

Finney said the move was part of untrustworthy behavior by Corcino, and board members Richard Marcucci and Melissa Newsome. Finney, who joined the board in 2008, said Tuesday she won’t run again, but urged voters to do their homework about candidates.

“Find out who they’re related to,” she said. “Find out what their ties are politically.”

Newman — a board member from 2004-05 before being defeated and retaking office in 2008 — didn’t return a call Tuesday. Newman, whose term would’ve expired at the end of 2015, said June 10 that besides the presentation, she was concerned about potential violations of Ohio Sunshine Laws by board members.

Newman said she was also concerned about school board finances and a $350,000 loan extension. The extension was approved Tuesday.

Treasurer Sean Nuccio said the loan, taken out last year, could’ve been paid off this year but it will be extended until next June to bolster the district’s approximately $394,000 surplus. Nuccio said he didn’t want to deplete the surplus if an unanticipated spending was needed.

The extension will cost Clearview about $1,500 more than paying the loan off this year. The approximately 1,800-student district projects about $3.67 million in annual open-enrollment revenue through 2017, according to its five-year financial forecast.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.