ROCKLAND — The board that oversees the Mid-Coast School of Technology overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by member Joseph Steinberger to allow members to sit in classrooms to observe what goes on at the facility.

That rejection led Steinberger to criticize the board.

“The board is essentially useless,” Steinberger said during the board’s Aug. 25 meeting held virtually and at the school in Rockland.

He said in the year he has been on the board, it rubber stamped every proposal made by the administration. Steinberger said the board does not serve the community.

“The board of Mid-Coast School of Technology is like the government of Hungary when it was under the Soviet Union,” Steinberger said, adding the board was a puppet of the administration.

“The people of the district agreed to spend $24 million on a new school and everything is rubber stamped. This is said, an example of the decay of American democracy,” Steinberger said.

Board Vice Chair Matthew Speno strongly disagreed with Steinberger.

“I take huge offense,” Speno said.

He said the board’s responsibility is to set policies that create a strong educational environment.

Before Steinberger made those comments, other board members said Steinberger’s proposal would violate numerous policies, but also is against what the role of a board member is.

Board member Tori Manzi pointed out that the board does not direct or evaluate staff. The only staff member the board can direct is the administrator. The administrator then oversees the staff.

Manzi said it would also be disruptive to have board members in the classrooms.

There are 16 members to the board who represent communities from Islesboro to Waldoboro. The school provides technical and career education.

Technology School Director Robert Deetjen said there are ways for the board to get more information on the school that would be less disruptive than members sitting in and observing classes. Manzi said there could be student and teacher presentations to the board at its meetings. There could also be a student representative appointed to the board to offer the board the perspective of students.

The specific resolve rejected Aug. 25 as proposed by Steinberger stated, “it is resolved that the purpose and responsibility of the Board of Directors of MCST is to represent the community which the school serves; to maintain community control of the school in the interest of the students; and to oversee and direct the staff in order to ensure that they serve our students as effectively as possible.

“It is further resolved that it is appropriate and useful for members of the Board to visit the school, to observe classes, and to converse with students and teachers for the purpose of learning more about the school which we oversee, and to understand ways in which it could be improved.”