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Farmington Public Schools Officials Approve Board Ethics Code

Board member Dr. Murray Kahn votes against the board policy, citing issues with a provision about using cell phones.

Farmington School Board members during their Tuesday meeting at approved a Code of Ethics for the board, but the vote was not unanimous. 

Dr. Murray Kahn, who is new to the board this year, said he voted against the 16-point policy because of a new section regarding use of cell phones. He initially brought up concerns about the proposed policy during a May 8 study session. 

At that time, Kahn explained that he occasionally needs to access his cell phone during meetings because of his position as division head of podiatry with Henry Ford Health System. He explained that his phone has a security code that requires him to type in numbers in order to access his messages. 

But board member Priscilla Brouillette said that if an official needs to use his or her phone, "the appropriate thing would be to step away". 

Board member Howard Wallach suggested softening the language, to encourage board members to avoid using cell phones unless absolutely necessary. But the final language read, "Refrain from using all electronic communications" among board members or with members of the public during board meetings. 

A section of the code that did change deals with conflicts of interest, board member Frank Reid said Tuesday. Kahn suggested the change, which requires board members to disclose any "actual or potential" conflicts of interest and to refrain from voting on issues in order to "avoid even the appearance of impropriety".

Other provisions deal with not succumbing to special interest groups, staying informed about educational issues and all issues considered at board meetings, not using the board position for personal gain, adhering to provisions of the Open Meetings Act and respecting confidential information. 

A copy of the policy will be published on the district's website

Peggy May 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM
We get that he is a dr. I think he has hammered us in the head with that but he is not a transplant surgeon. I doubt as head of podiatry there is a life or death case that someone else cannot handle for an hour or so. Phones should be 100% excluded.
LH May 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I agree w/ Peggy - also all the board member are also parents and realize that something may happen that they need to be reached, but if an emergency was to happen they can step away and return the call.
Gordon May 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM
If Mr. Kahn has such important duties at Henry Ford that an answering service cannot handle without him, perhaps he should resign from the board so that he can devote time to his personal career/life and the Board members can focus on the important issues of ALL of our childrens' education.
Bob May 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Sound to me that the above comment are from the supportes of the incoumbant board members... don't worry folks they too will be voted out
Darren Whittaker May 31, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Sounds to me like your a "friend of Murray's". He's an embarrassment, ineffective and pugnacious. He got elected amidst lots of noise - and it turns out that's pretty much all he is.
Darren Whittaker May 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Spoken like someone who's long on criticism, but short on solutions. It's pretty easy to stand at a distance and lob verbal bombs, especially when you don't seem to have a clue as to how to fix the things you say are the problem. We just hear the constant bleating and denigrating of those who actually put themselves out there. Consensus is branded "rubber stamping", and conjecture is offered as fact in the ongoing effort to devalue an elected body you just happen to disagree with. Kahn has demonstrated a lack of interest in anything not on his own agenda. He is disruptive as well as obstructive, distracting and rude. If this doesn't embarrass you, it says more about you than you may care to reveal. As for Mr. Sharp...It's one thing to have to miss some meetings for work, quite another when you're there but you're not paying attention. Suck it up for an hour or two, and answer your phone - later.
Jimmy June 01, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Anyone who thinks Podiatrists do not receive time sensitive calls need to do google search and read about of diabetic foot wounds, gas gangrene, open fractures of the foot and ankle, compartment syndrome and post op patients in severe pain. Maybe these clowns would like to have their family member wait to have their infected foot bone treated while it is spreading up the leg causing systemic sepsis.... Also, those of you making fun of the guy most likely fall well within the 98% of less educated people than even a lowly podiatrist... If not, then you still are a middle class moron working for a living like everyone else... and when you look in the mirror tell yourself that even Paris Hilton is more famous and rich than you will ever be.
Jimmy June 01, 2012 at 03:49 AM
He is a Dr. with patients that depend on him to retain their feet and legs. Maybe your diabetic family member with a deep infection and sepsis secondary to a gas gangrene can wait a couple hours for him to make a decision on surgical intervention. It's not as if the operating room is sitting there reading his mind and knows when the sick patient is to go to surgery to clean out the infection. This Surgeon needs his phone to instruct his residents on the treatment of the patients, he needs his phone to call the operating room to schedule a time to amputate the dead and dying limb. He needs the phone to call the cadiologist, primary care, vascular surgeon etc to be able to formulate the best treatment plan for this patient before the patient becomes septic and .... dies... yes DIES. He needs his phone to receive calls about his post op patients from previous in the day. They may have post op complications, hours, days, weeks, months later which may require quick action to prevent mortality, loss of limb or even death. You fools should feel fortunate that he practices locally. In many parts of the country many simple foot infections lead to amputation for lack of knowledge and/or lack of enough surgeons to do the surgeries. Maybe that will happen to the detroit area if the economy continues to tank. Then your family members can wait to have their foot problems fixed. Ignorance sure is bliss.
Jimmy June 01, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I am not from the area, but in most areas, this wouldn't even be an issue... MOST PEOPLE IN MOST AREAS RESPECT THEIR PHYSICIANS.... They appreciate what they contribute to their community... Maybe this community is backwards and maybe there is something in the water making you people weird.... No wonder Detroit is near RUINS.... It's you people who are RUINING it... No one else.
Darren Whittaker June 01, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Nice writing Jimmy. All that's missing is the "nyah, nyah, nyah" at the end.
Darren Whittaker June 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I am no one's apologist. While I may not agree with each and every decision made by the FPS board, I realize that we elected a group of people to consider all options, and make a decision based on reality and feasibility, not in response to those who stand on the sidelines and shout. It's not a perfect system, but not a bad one either. Ah, so you're point is, all the school board has to do is turn in unison and adopt whatever emanates from Mr. Terry. I'm sorry, but what qualifies you as unassailable font of wisdom? You have a history of rants and raves, (yes, I've read them - and congratulations to your youngest on his PhD from UofM, something it seems you feel the need to repeat (flaunt?) quite often) against the school board in particular, yet no evidence of stepping up to the plate and actually serving the community in this regard. I'll give Dr. Kahn credit for putting himself out there in support of his rhetoric. However, I think he's found, as you just might, that the job is more complex than originally figured, that it is not a one-note symphony, and that one should be prepared to engage, respectfully and reasonably, with one's colleagues.
Bob June 06, 2012 at 03:57 PM
How many time have we seen Gary Sharp not at the meetings.... most of the time. Paying attention...hmmmm how many time have we heard parents look at the good old boys on the board and tell them to look at them while there speaking, instead of duddling on a pad or looking at there phones, When my son spoke to the board, he interupted them three times to pay attention... and stop wispering to each other, I guess a student then in the 9th grade, now 22 and a voter and parimedic does not get the same respect, but you trash on a man that takes a call that could save a life... might want to look up what he does.... make the other board members look like they need to go back to school

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