Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown used her weekly news conference once again to answer questions about the hiring of former consultant now interim Deputy Superintendent Mary Guinn.
"The fact that members of the public had exercised their option to leave the meeting during executive session really did not come in to play in this particular instance because this is not an item that would have been open to public comment," Brown said.
Brown said she was under the impression that the hiring of a Deputy Superintendent did not need the board's approval, but was later informed by legal counsel that it did. That explains why when the subject came to a vote, some board members were caught off guard.
Guinn's previous position as a consultant was eliminated in October, when the board of education voted to end the district's contract with Cross & Joftus, the consulting firm that employed Guinn in Buffalo. Her tenure had come under fire when board members began asking if it was wise to be spending over $250,000 of taxpayer money on a consultant.
Guinn thinks that her new role will suit her much better than her previous one did.
"I think it's probably much more definitive," Guinn said on Tuesday about her new position. "I don't think there is any question about what my responsibilities are, who I work with, and absolutely it is a better feel for me because I'm not wondering if I'm doing some things that I perhaps should not be doing."
When Guinn's contract was first terminated, the board allowed for Cross and Joftus' services to be retained for a 90-day "transitional period." Tuesday Brown said that Guinn's tenure in her new position will exceed that 90 days, but is confident that Guinn's presence will be a help in setting the district on the right track.