Next month, the Weyauwega-Fremont School Board will hear a request to modify District Administrator F. James Harlan’s contract.
That request comes from Harlan’s attorney Rebecca Kent, of McCarty Law in Appleton, and is scheduled to be heard during a closed session on Monday, Sept. 27.
Kent was present during Monday’s board meeting. The item was on the agenda under new business.
Before discussion began on the matter, the district’s legal counsel, Greg Gill Sr., said, “I would refrain from anything other than a vote” that would allow for a consideration and discussion of the modification with Kent in closed session.
“If you want to see the proposal, you have to do it in closed session,” he said.
Board President Neal Loehrke then made a motion to not go into a closed session to hear the proposal. He and board members Dan Kohl and Jim Stuebs voted for the motion.
Board members Tony Beyer, Chuck Burgess, Sandy Smith and Randy Yorkson voted against the motion to not go into closed session.
After Loehrke’s motion failed, Burgess then made a motion that the board go into a closed session to hear the proposal from Harlan’s attorney.
“We shouldn’t even be considering it,” Kohl said, with Loehrke saying, “I’m not in favor of listening to it.”
Gill said, “I have not seen the modifications but learned there were modifications coming from Dr. Harlan and his lawyer.”
Yorkson said that if there are proposed modifications, he is willing to look at it.
Smith said there would not be a vote on anything without it being made public first.
Before the board’s March 22 meeting, Loehrke filed for a court order restraining the board and Harlan from discussing a retirement agreement in closed session.
“Why can’t it be public now?” Kohl asked of the latest proposal for a modification of Harlan’s contract.
There was confusion during Monday night’s meeting as to whether the vote on the motion meant the matter would be discussed during that night’s scheduled closed session.
“I don’t believe the posting of the closed session even allows us to hear it,” Loehrke said, while holding the posting for Monday night’s closed session.
Gill said the motion before the board was to go into a closed session to look at the proposal. He agreed that a subsequent posting should be made for such a closed session.
The vote on that motion was approved 4-3, with Beyer, Burgess, Smith and Yorkson voting yes, and Kohl, Loehrke and Stuebs voting no.