Letter to the editor

Groveport Madison legal fee amounts disputed

Over the past several months the Groveport Madison Board of Education has struggled with issues involving our transportation services. Clearly the board feels there are problems with our service provider.

These can be fully explored through our letter outlining what we are advised represent multiple breaches of  our contract in a letter to Petermann Transportation.

Several board members, including myself, have come under attack as a result of our convictions in this matter. This  comes with the job as a public official.
However, there is no excuse for the  misrepresentation of the facts by our board president, Dr. Naomi Sealey, in her statement at the Nov. 17 board meeting. I greatly respect and appreciate her convictions and her right to disagree. However, using false numbers to the public after specifically being advised not to by our legal team is not acceptable.

According to documentation provided by Tony Swartz, our treasurer, for the period of May through July, which should cover most, if not all, of Bricker and Eckler’s billing for transportation; they charged us $5916.25. Fusco, Mackey, Mathews, and Gill has charged us around $3,000. In my estimation we have received much more valuable service from the latter for our $3,000 that for the former for our roughly $6,000. The $32,479 quoted by Dr. Sealey was for all services from Bricker and Eckler during that period of time including union negotiations, emergency levy renewal support, roofing specifications, a construction bidding seminar and other personnel issues.
In total we have spent about $9,000 to date on legal transportation issues according to the invoices provided, and agreed to provide a $10,000 retainer for our legal team to file for a declaratory judgment with the courts. It was unwarranted and inaccurate for Dr. Sealey to state we had spent $32,000 on transportation issues, and would stand to spend $100,000. That has never been discussed and there appears to be no reasonable basis for these numbers.

John Kershner
Groveport Madison School Board


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