An otherwise short, quiet evening ended with cross accusations from David Bressman and Marc Schare at the Worthington Board of Education meeting on Monday night.

An otherwise short, quiet evening ended with cross accusations from David Bressman and Marc Schare at the Worthington Board of Education meeting on Monday night.

Both picked up where contentious talks left off at the Sept. 14 meeting, when the board voted 4-1 to accept a 0-percent increase in teachers' base salary for the 2011-12 school year.

The Worthington Education Association (WEA) made the offer. Many residents had asked that the teachers' accept a wage reduction prior to the Nov. 3 vote on the 6.9-mill incremental levy.

Schare cast the dissenting vote, stating that the freeze - which does not freeze step increases - would not be a concession, but would lock the board into what would be the first year of the next union contract. He said he saw no advantage to pushing the negotiations cycle.

"Everybody on both sides of the negotiation table understood that without a levy passing, there would need to be significant cuts in the district to pay for the contract," Schare said during the Sept. 14 meeting.

Not so, Bressman said on Monday.

"Nobody on this board has a right to state my intent or my understanding," he said.

The board president said he had no understanding that the three-year contract which the board approved last year would result in the need to reduce spending.

Schare then took the stage to restate two issues he raised on Sept. 14 - community engagement and transparency.

At that meeting, the board was asked to vote on a five-year financial forecast, which was presented to them 30 seconds before the vote.

The agreement with the WEA was also not on the agenda that night.

Not only could the board not be prepared to vote on those issues, but any interested members of the public had no way to know they would be discussed or voted on.

The board has come a long way in four years in terms of transparency, Schare said. He complimented the administration for putting the agenda on its Web site before meetings.

This time, though, the administration dropped the ball, he said.

"What can be done to make sure that doesn't happen again?" Schare asked.

His question was answered with silence.

cbrooks@thisweeknews.com

A candidates' night will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Congregation Beth Tikvah, 6121 Olentangy River Road, starting at 7 p.m.

The Worthington school district operating levy will be discussed, and all local candidates will have opportunities to present information and answer questions.

Races represented will be Worthington City Council, Worthington Board of Education, Sharon Township Trustees, Perry Township Trustees, and Riverlea Village Council.

The event is presented by the Franklin County Consortium for Good Government. It is sponsored by Congregation Beth Tikvah, First Unitarian Universalist Church, and ORT America