District 9 issues other than cell tower

District 9 Board of Directors Feb. 10 meeting evolved into  a potpourri  of issues with very little having a direct affect on the education of the 4,167 students in the 12 school sites.

Items included student recognition, cell tower on district property, So. Ore. Education Service District, budget update, new school update and the consent agenda were items reported on or that were items of audience interest. In addition, there was one subject in the work session that concerned a board member.

Student recognition included Eagle Rock Elementary students Ryan Gardiner, a 4th grader and Abigail Allred, a 5th grader and 10-year parent volunteer Christy Pomeroy.

From Eagle Point Middle School, Kadie Shaeffer and Bryce Thornton and for the second year, parent volunteer, Gerry Shute. 

Students who are honored are generous, kind, helpful and display leadership traits at an early age.

Scott Perry, superintendent of So. Ore. ESD, and Howard George, business manager, were present to provide the school board information on the ESD’s programs and to ask for their vote to continue the programs. Also present was Teresa Hulla, Eagle Point resident, who now serves on the ESD Board of Directors.

The ESD serves 13 school districts in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties. In addition, they serve some regional special need services in Douglas and Lake counties.
Services and support provided to districts includes:
• Administrative and business
• School improvement
• Special education
• Technology
The board approved their support of these services.

Business Manager Randy Struckmeier reported on the financial picture for the district. He said full year expenses are projected to be $300,000 higher than budgeted with unemployment insurance projected at $400,000 instead of the $100,000 in the budget. He said this difference could be handled with contingency funds and at this time he projects an ending fund balance of $1.5 million in contingency.

For the 2009-11 biennium he said it appears there will be a need to reduce future expenses by $7 million. This is based on an anticipated $5.93 million state fund instead of $6 million.

Struckmeier also updated those in attendance on the progress being made for a new elementary school.
He said after signing a contract for project management with Willamette ESD, there has been a building needs assessment, a positive meeting with the city, evaluation of existing plans from DOWA and ORW, preliminary budgets for five alternatives, approval to move forward to publishing an RFQ and RFP to qualify potential contractors and receive construction bids.

During this quarter (based on a school calendar) a contract has been signed with Geotechnical Engineering  of Portland to determine soil conditions and there has been a meeting with DOWA to begin value engineering to reduce construction costs. By Mar. 10, Struckmeier said they hope to present value engineering to the school board and in the last quarter (Apr. 6-June 15) the plan is to evaluate bids and make a recommendation to the school board.

One item on the agenda that is rarely disputed is the consent agenda.  There were six items on it. Only one created any discussion from board members and that discussion was from board member Jim Mannenbach. He had a list of items involving things he said he said at the last board meting that were not included in the minutes. Board Chair Scott Grissom told him the law gives the board latitude in the minutes. They are a summary, not a record of exactly what was said, said Grissom. Supt. Rickert disagreed with Mannenbach’s report of accuracy. After discussion on methods of voting on the consent calendar, Mannenbach made a motion and Mark Bateman seconded it to remove the minutes from the consent calendar. That motion did not pass with Mannenbach and Bateman the only ones supporting their own motion.

Approval was given for grant applications to the Ben B. Cheney Foundation for $10,000 renewable scholarships for EPHS graduates; Oregon Community Foundation Youth Mentoring for Education Success in Southern Oregon- $50,000 for each of three years; SOU/Oregon Education Association $100 or $500 award and Field trip grant for $700 to Little Butte for Science Works field trips for 75 first graders.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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