District 9 to share financial issues with public in 12 workshops

Superintendent Cynda Rickert spent time in the District 9 workshop talking about involving community and staff in discussion of the financial crisis it appears the district will be facing starting in the 2011-12 budget year. She said over the last three years the district cut $4 million, now another $4 million needs to be cut.

The plan to involve community and staff will include a dozen work sessions held at 5 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the board room. The district leadership team will present topics to the board for discussion. The audience will be given cards upon which they may address their questions. Each session will be advertised in several ways and will feature a particular topic, such as cost per child, athletics, technology, and so forth.

During the regular board meeting Phil Ortega introduced four youth who have been working on projects this summer, including removing graffiti and building a picnic table to replace the dilapidated one outside the District 9 administration building. Each student gave a brief statement on what it meant to participate in something meaningful to improve the community.  The students were: Grace Tuttle, Anthony Valdovinos, Edgar Escareno and Jhoana Rodriguez Olivo. One other student, Jesus Ortega, was unable to attend.

Five fire fighters from Jackson County Fire District 3 were present to express their concern over an item someone apparently told them about that had them concerned. The agenda item read: “Delete Board Policy EBBCC Use of automated External Defibrillator IAED). It was a first reading with no action. Arlen Blenkish, Batallion Chief, said they heard the board was getting rid of the program and they were present to support keeping the equipment.

Director of Special Programs Doug McKenzie said they were getting rid of the policy at the recommendation of the Oregon School Boards Association to decrease liability, and in fact, they would be adding defibrillators.  McKenzie said whatever information Fire District 3 received was in error. The fire district offered to provide additional information and also said there were opportunities for grants to obtain more of the equipment.

Scott Whitman, the new business information officer, said the district received six proposals from architects for the new elementary school. The committee was reviewing information and hoped to narrow the selection and then visit some of the projects these finalists had designed.

The terms of budget members J.B. Dimick and Hart Wilson have concluded and the district is seeking two more members. Applications are available at the district. The deadline for applying is Aug. 24. Candidates will reviewed by the board at the Aug. 25 work session.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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