Fireworks erupted once again at the Olentangy school board meeting Sept. 23 with board member Jennifer Smith pitting herself against the other four board members on whether district treasurer Rebecca Jenkins should get a 2.8-percent raise.

Fireworks erupted once again at the Olentangy school board meeting Sept. 23 with board member Jennifer Smith pitting herself against the other four board members on whether district treasurer Rebecca Jenkins should get a 2.8-percent raise.

Smith recited a list of deficiencies she claims Jenkins has and told the board that the treasurer is a sloppy accountant who "did not serve the district well."

Smith clashed with other board members at a meeting earlier this month over whether a single board member could add an item to the board agenda. Other board members and district officials said two members are required to add an item, a position that Smith disputes.

At the Sept. 23 meeting, Smith said her biggest problem with Jenkins is that she allegedly permitted an assistant treasurer, who took a job as treasurer in another school district, to stay on the Olentangy payroll for three months. District spokeswoman Amanda Morris said after the meeting that former assistant treasurer Barb Donahue was on the payroll for a couple of months while she finished some work earlier this summer but was off the payroll as soon as she took the new job.

Other board members criticized Smith's comments about Jenkins.

"I think it is awful to say this in public," board vice-president Dimon McFerson told Smith. "Let's not let the meeting get out of hand."

Board member Julie Wagner-Feasel reminded Smith that the 2.8-percent raise is the same given this year to teachers and administrators and is not out of line with Jenkins' performance.

Board president Scott Galloway then cut off further discussion and the board voted 4-1, with Smith casting the lone "no" vote, to give Jenkins a raise. The raise, which is effective immediately, increases Jenkins' salary from $102,250 a year to $105,113.

Smith, who was elected to the board in November, then raised a question as to whether the board was going to act on a 6-percent performance annuity that goes toward Jenkins' retirement. That item was not on the agenda and Smith said it should be handled at the same time as the treasurer's raise. McFerson seconded Smith's call to add the annuity as an agenda item.

The vote on the annuity also was 4-1, with Smith casting the "no" vote.

During discussion of action items on the agenda by Superintendent Jenny Hooie, Smith accused Wagner-Feasel of a conflict of interest because her husband, John C. Feasel, is head coach of the girls basketball team at Olentangy High School. He was listed on the agenda to receive $5,436 as coach of the team.

"How is this not a conflict by hiring a board member's spouse?" Smith asked.

"He was employed by the board long before I got on the board," Wagner-Feasel responded, adding that her husband has been very active in Olentangy sports and other activities for years. She also said she abstains from voting on any items involving her husband.

"Do you want me to resign?" from the board, she said to Smith.

"If it's a conflict of interest, I think you should," Smith responded.

Galloway then ended the discussion and called for a vote. The board voted 4-0 on the superintendent's action items with Wagner-Feasel abstaining.

In other business at the meeting:

Andy Kerr, executive director of district operations and facilities, told the board a redistricting plan involving the two new elementary schools and a new middle school should be ready for review by the board by December. Plans call for input from consultant DeJong Associates and to have a 30-member focus group assist with the process. Hooie likely will have two plans to present to the board, although as superintendent she will have final say on redistricting.

DeJong, which is using geographic information system (GIS) technology extensively in the mapping process, is being paid $15,000 as a consultant, Kerr said. Three years ago, during the last redistricting, DeJong was paid about $43,000. The district currently has nearly 14,000 students and has been growing at a rate of about 1,000 students a year. Officials expect enrollment to peak at about 26,000 in the next decade, so a fourth high school and several other new schools will be needed in the future. Kerr noted the latest redistricting plan will not change any high school boundaries.

Kerr also updated the board on the Orange Road widening process that will impact three schools -- Orange High School, Orange Middle School and a new elementary school that is being built. Funding for the widening between South Old State Road and Bale Kenyon Road is being done by Orange Township.

The school district is being asked to give easements to the township, which will build three roundabouts as part of the roadway improvements.

Kerr told the board that the project will not only improve traffic flow along that stretch of Orange Road but also will improve safety, an important factor because three schools are there. He estimated work could begin in the spring and take up to a year to complete. The board will have a second reading on the easement proposal at its Oct. 14 meeting.