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Resident charges Streetsboro School Board with failure to have public meetings while trying to keep

hearing set for July 30 on sunshine law case against panel

by Mike Lesko | reporter Published: July 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Streetsboro -- Jeff Allen, a candidate for Streetsboro City Council, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order July 11 against the Streetsboro Board of Education to try to prevent a vote approving a resolution on a bond issue for new school facilities.

The temporary restraining order follows Allen's June 5 filing of a preliminary injunction against the Streetsboro Board of Education, charging the Board violated the Ohio Sunshine Law by voting May 9 to submit the school district's facilities master plan to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission "without public discussion" of the plan.

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for July 30 at 9 a.m. in the Portage County Common Pleas court room of Judge Laurie Pittman, according to court records

"We are very, very happy with the court's decision," Allen said July 12. "Instead of granting the temporary restraining order at this time, [the court has] chosen to expedite the hearing on our original complaint for an injunction. We believe the record is clear, and the evidence is ample to substantiate our claim."

School Board members Denise Baba, Andrew Lesak, Kevin Grimm and John Kelly, and former School Board member Cynthia Pennock-Hanish, who are all listed as defendants, did not return calls for comment by press time.

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Allen said the School Board should have conducted public discussions of different options for improving the district's facilities.

"At no time were there public meetings or citizens commissions to get public input or side-by-side cost analysis of these different plans [to upgrade the school facilities]," Allen said. "The School Board chose the master plan, and that's it, period. There has been no public comment. We want and need new facilities, but we need them in a manner that the bond issue can pass and future levies can pass."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

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