School Board taps 7 for project task force

Seven members of the community were named to a Bond Projects Task Force on Tuesday night to help the School Board decide how to complete work on up to 18 schools in the Medford district.

Karen Allen, Diana Bilyeau, Steve Erb, B.J. Reed, Peter Sage, Ed Roussell and Mark Wisnovsky were selected to work with the School Board to determine how it can complete all of the projects covered in a 2006 bond measure, despite a $10-million deficit.

Members of the board have been working to fill the task force since their last meeting.

"I'm very excited about this task force," said Medford School Board member Tricia Prendergast. "We got some very strong and knowledgeable members of the community."

The task force will meet at Howard Elementary School on Sept. 4 and 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. to discuss solutions that will enable the board to overcome its budgetary shortfall and complete its projects. It will provide a summary for the board by Oct. 2, and make a recommendation later that month.

"I think that we have selected community members, who by their past service to our community demonstrate that they are problem-solvers, that they can look at the big picture," said Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long. "But they also have a heart for individuals in our community."

He added that he was confident the task force would come up with a good recommendation for the board.

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