Oct. 26, 2019

By Tribune Staff

On Oct. 16, members of the Lee’s Summit R-7 Business Roundtable met with school district leaders to discuss two issues facing the R-7 Board of Education: a possible bond issue on the April 2020 ballot and a search for a new superintendent.

Former superintendent Dennis Carpenter resigned in July. Dr. Emily Miller was named interim superintendent following Carpenter’s departure.

Minutes of the meeting indicate that Bill Brown, business roundtable steering committee member, “put a question before the group and wanted it noted in the minutes that there was consensus of the room suggesting the Board of Education delay a superintendent search. This was called for by a show of hands.”

The minutes do not indicate whether the roundtable’s members expressed support or opposition for the board of education’s proposed April bond issue.

Shortly after this vote, Carpenter took to social media calling out the actions of the members of the business roundtable tweeting, “As a resident of LS Missouri & father of 2 children in the school district, I will not sit quiet while a non-diverse group of white men over 50 & a sprinkling of white females aka “business roundtable” dominate the supt search conversation. U shouldn’t either!”

According to the business roundtable web page on the district’s website, this organization was chartered by the district superintendent in 2011 after a failed levy issue. Forming this organization allowed for more formal and regular opportunities for communication between the district leadership and community stakeholders.

Business roundtable attendees at this particular meeting included the following: Bill Brown, Spectrum Consulting Group, LLC; Brad Cox, Langsford Development; Tina Chace, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council; Carl Chinnery, Chinnery, Evans & Nail, PC.; Jon Ellis, Paradise Park; David Gale, Gale Properties; Bob Glaser, Community America Credit Union; Lynn Hinkle, Great Southern Bank; Kristi Johnson-Ware, Central Bank of the Midwest; Rob Lund, Tratos III Real Estate Services, John McDonald, Lee’s Summit Medical Center; Lee’s Summit Economic Development Chair Chip Moxley, Tingle Flooring; Bobby Olm-Shipman, St. Luke’s East Hospital; Jon Plaas, Plaas Associates; Rick Viar, Citizens Bank & Trust Company; John Beaudoin, KC Communications & Media Matters; Machelle Riffe, Riffe Homes; and Diane Forte, Lee’s Summit City Councilmember.

In attendance representing the school district were Board of Education members Mike Allen, Julie Doane and Dennis Smith, Interim Superintendent Dr. Emily Miller, Executive Director of R-7 Public Relations Kelly Wachel, District Chief Financial Officer Wesley Metz and Director of R-7 Library Services and Partners in Education Laura Maxwell.

Tribune staff contacted Tina Chace with Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council (EDC) and she confirmed that she was at the meeting on behalf of the EDC.

Tribune staff also contacted Cheryl Nash, creative services manager with the City of Lee’s Summit, who stated that Councilmember Diane Forte did not attend the meeting as a liaison to the city or to the council.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  • Vicki cox

    October 30, 2019 - 8:06 am

    Good, we need diversity in this decision.

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