City Councilman and incumbent seek openings on Marco Charter school board

Vice Chairman Frank Recker, Jim Reinders among first to announce interest in running for election

Article Highlights

  • Additional candidates sought
  • Councilman Frank Recker wants to add transparency, parent voice to charter school board
  • Incumbent President Jim Reinders says he has more to give, will go for re-election
Let the elections begin. File photo. Marco Island Charter Middle School Principal George Abounader, Accountant Maria Hayden and Charter School board members Cathy Cleary, Treasurer Jim Young, Secretary Jennifer Tenney, President Jim Reinders, Elizabeth Summers, Vice President Tarik Ayasun and William Morris meet to wrap up the 2008-2009 school year.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Let the elections begin. File photo. Marco Island Charter Middle School Principal George Abounader, Accountant Maria Hayden and Charter School board members Cathy Cleary, Treasurer Jim Young, Secretary Jennifer Tenney, President Jim Reinders, Elizabeth Summers, Vice President Tarik Ayasun and William Morris meet to wrap up the 2008-2009 school year.

Councilman Frank Recker and son Mac.

Submitted

Councilman Frank Recker and son Mac.

— Marco Island City Council Vice Chairman Frank Recker was among the first to express an interest in one of three open seats on the Marco Island Charter Middle School board this election. Incumbent Jim Reinders announced he also plans to run again.

“I am willing to serve because quite a few parents have asked that I do so. I have no children in the school and no other affiliation with the school,” Recker said.

Reinders, the current president, who has served on the board about eight years and been involved since the school’s inception, said he still has more to give.

“I believe our school has made tremendous progress and is very successful. At the same time, for various reasons, I think the next several years will prove to be among the most challenging and I would like to continue to be of service in the hope that my background and experience (six years on the board and two as president) and close working relationships with our principal (George Abounader) and staff will contribute to our continuing improvement.”

Prospective candidates for the Marco Island Charter Middle School board may pick up an application at the school beginning Oct. 24.

Recker applied online to be a volunteer on the school board earlier in October and expressed an interest in completing the process to be put on the ballot.

Abounader said the school board will meet Oct. 22 to approve the election process and then more specifics will be forthcoming.

The term for each position is three years. Two of the seats are open to candidates who are not parents of students at the school and one position is open to a parent.

“I understand that parents as board members on the board are being reduced in number and therefore their input minimized. I believe their perspective and support is not only necessary, but invaluable,” Recker said.

The three members with expired terms are: Reinders, who was initially elected as a parent candidate when his child attended MICMS; Vice President Tarik Ayasun, not a parent of a student at the school; Joe Hausauer, also a non-parent who was appointed by the board when a vacancy occurred between elections.

Ayasun said he had “no comment at this time.”

Attempts to contact Hausauer were not successful.

Abounader said finances will likely be the primary topic for the board to address in 2010.

He would like to plan and conduct an endowment campaign whereby a substantial amount of money could be placed in an interest-bearing fund and the interest earned each year would assist the finances of the school.

Abounader added that the endowment would relieve some of the pressure from the school’s annual fundraising efforts.

“Because our board members have a fiduciary responsibility for the financial viability of the school, I think a candidate who can assist us in that effort would be an asset to the board,” he said.

Potential candidates are fingerprinted, must pass a background check and submit an application to run for office.

Ballots will be mailed to parents of the students around Nov. 20 and they will have until Dec. 8 to cast their vote.

Recker said he would like to see increased transparency and accountability at the school and among the board.

“To gain more financial support and confidence from the public, I believe the board needs to be more open about their process, procedures and underlying decision making rationale,” he said.

For additional information on the election process, visit the school, call 377-3200 or attend the school board meeting in the meeting room near the school gymnasium, 1401 Trinidad Ave., at 6 p.m., Oct. 22. Some information is also available on the school’s Web site, micms.org.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 4

OldMarcoMan writes:

Can you be on the School Board and City Council at the same time?

mhs513 writes:

I don't know if a councilperson can be on the board at the same time, but definitely should NOT be on the board at the same time.

happyonmarco writes:

I agree mhs513.....our council should concentrate on council....

livingonmarco writes:

currently joe hausauer is on the school board but also serves on the YMCA board. this is a major conflict!!! YMCA and school too close for comfort
hope school board gets some new blood

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