School board members said Monday that no district policy exists barring fundraisers that benefit out-of-town businesses from being advertised through official district communications after a local PTA .
PTA President Kim Petulla addressed the board Monday and read a letter protesting the removal of fundraiser information from school marquees and announcements. She singled out Board Member Rob Hammond for consternation after he made it known that he didn't think the district should be promoting fundraisers that draw business outside the city.
Hammond complained to Superintendent Linda Wagner in December when he saw the Westfield fundraiser advertised on the marquee, and Wagner then removed the ad. She said Monday that the fundraiser was removed so that the district could review its policy governing the promotion of fundraisers.
"It was kind of more, 'Hey, let's take a step back' than it was 'Hey, you've got to take this thing down.'"
Petulla was joined by other concerned parents at the podium Thursday who called on the district to allow out-of-town fundraisers to be promoted through official district channels.
"I don't really care where they get the money from," said Mayflower parent Elaine Rodriguez, quoting a local business owner she spoke with. "As a matter of fact, if other communities are able to help our schools, why not. Let them. More power to them if they can get help from other people outside the community."
Mayflower parent John Wilson, who also serves as executive director of the , reminded the board that the district takes in thousands of dollars in grant funding that comes from organizations outside its borders.
Petulla's PTA raises more than $80,000 per year, and she said it couldn't do so without the support of businesses outside Monrovia.
School Board President noted that no policy exists that prevents outside fundraisers from being promoted by the district. The board will be reviewing its fundraiser promotion policy at a meeting next month, he said.
Petulla wrote on Patch Tuesday and said that February is too long to wait.
"I thought it should have been discussed last night as this has been going on for weeks," she wrote. "We cannot wait until sometime in February. Every day we are losing money. The money might seem minuscule to some but it is so important and desperately needed at the school."
Board Member Rob Hammond renewed his objections to sending business outside the city. Petulla questioned whether it was a conflict of interest for Hammond to oppose promotion of outside fundraisers because he owns in Old Town.
"I don't think it's a conflict supporting my community at all," Hammond said. "I certainly wouldn't want to encourage somebody to go spend money outside the city at the expense of somebody in the city. I don't think that's a good idea."
Hammond invited Petulla to speak with him privately about the issue and the two agreed to meet.