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TENSION MOUNTS BETWEEN BOARD, SUPERINTENDENT

A critical lack of communication between the Tonawanda City School Board and the district's superintendent became a major point of contention at Tuesday's board meeting, delaying one important vote for at least a week.

At least half the board members said Tuesday they were dismayed to learn that interim Assistant Superintendent Kenneth J. Dyl was leaving the district -- dismayed largely because they first learned of it when they opened The Buffalo News on Monday.

Dyl, retired superintendent of Cleveland Hill, has accepted a job with the Akron Central School District, filling in as superintendent on a per-diem basis.

Although his letter of resignation was dated on Monday, copies were not included in the board packets provided to board members, according to board member William W. Watson.

Superintendent Diana D. Greene came under fire for failing to communicate a key piece of information to board members -- a criticism that has become commonplace during her tenure with the district.

"The situation could arise where someone reading The Buffalo News would say to me, Dr. Dyl's leaving your district," Watson said, "and I would say, no he's not."

Greene defended her actions.

"I had no way of knowing it would be in the newspaper," she said.

Greene said she has contacted a consultant to help locate a replacement for Dyl on an interim basis. The board will discuss the hiring process for a permanent replacement at its Oct. 7 meeting. Board members expressed their thanks to Dyl for a job well done and their regret that he has left the district.

Dyl's departure wasn't the only issue where lack of communication came into play. Despite the obvious displeasure of the superintendent, the board unanimously decided to table voting on a performance contract with Siemans Building Technologies.

None of the board members had been given a copy of the contract before they were asked to approve it. Greene urged the board to approve the contract, though, because part of the agreement with Siemans was ensuring by early December that the district's systems were all Y2K compliant.

But all six board members at the meeting opted to wait until the Oct. 7 meeting to vote on the contract, until they all receive copies of key portions of the contract.

"I'm not comfortable voting on a contract I haven't seen yet," said board member Pamela Peterman. "It just seems like we're put in this position over and over again, with this pressure of you have to do it now."

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