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Members sought for new Duquesne advisory council

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 2:06 a.m.

Duquesne City School District's receiver is inviting residents to take part in an advisory council.

“I have to make a lot of decisions about education, administration and finance,” Paul B. Long said in a letter posted on the school district's website. “The opinions and insights of parents, employees and taxpayers is an important part of the decision-making process.”

The panel will not be the same as the committee of volunteers who answered Long's call when he was appointed the district's chief recovery officer by then-state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis. The now-disbanded committee met on only a few occasions before the school board rejected Long's financial recovery plan.

He since has been appointed the district's receiver by county Common Pleas Judge Judith L.A. Friedman, and will implement his plan despite the board's objections.

“Members on the council will come from a variety of backgrounds, to include parents and guardians, teachers and support staff members, taxpayers and business people, school directors and administrators, and I hope a student or two,” Long wrote in an open letter posted on the www.dukecitysd.org website.

“A full council will have 20 members who are interested about public education in Duquesne,” Long wrote.

Like the earlier advisory committee, it will have no power.

“Council meetings shall be purely informational,” according to a policy Long approved at a receiver business meeting on June 25. “No decisions, commitments or plans about the administration or operation of the Duquesne City School District may be made at meetings of the council.”

Council meetings will be the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., beginning in the fall, in the board room of Duquesne Education Center, where Long conducts executive sessions with school board members.

“The first meeting date has not been set, but it will be early in the school year,” Long wrote.

Long's receiver business meetings, where he normally makes decisions acting as the board of school directors, are on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Duquesne Education Center auditorium.

Long invited residents with questions to email him at paulblong@hotmail.com or call him at 412-466-0714.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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