CROSBY - A Crosby surgeon told Crosby-Ironton School Board members Monday that the board needs to consider asking voters again to pass an operating levy referendum.
Dr. Howard McCollister was speaking on behalf of the members of the People for our District Committee, a grassroots community organization that has been actively fundraising and showing public support for the school district since last year's referendum failed.
"We have concluded that in order to retain the quality of the school district and therefore the health of the community, we need more money basically," said McCollister. "We believe that a significant number of the population within the school district supports that the school district consider an operating levy referendum this coming fall, to try again to convince fellow community residents that this is important for the health of our school district and community."
The board took no action on McCollister's request and did not provide a response during this public comment portion of the school board meeting Monday.
However, in the finance committee meeting minutes from June 11, the committee members decided to defer a decision on a referendum until July or August.
In board action, the board approved the 2007-09 master agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 65 and Local 1691.
The contract called for a zero percent increase for 2007-08 and a 4.2 percent increase in 2008-09. Board chair Bob Sandin thanked the union for coming to an agreement on a contract the district could live with during these tough financial times.
"AFSCME stepped to the plate and we're proud of them," said Sandin.
The board authorized the sale of aid anticipation certificates, which allows the district to borrow money for cash flow purposes. For 2007-08 , the district borrowed $1,210,000 and for 2008-09 the district will need to borrow $1,455,000.
The board increased the meal prices for the 2008-09 school year as follows: breakfast (students), $1.25, a 15-cent increase; breakfast (adults), $2.25, a 25-cent increase; lunch (elementary), $1.75, a 10-cent increase; lunch (secondary), $2, a 10-cent increase; and adult lunch, $3.35, a 10-cent increase. Board member Maurice Slepica opposed because he felt that with escalating food costs, the district was setting prices too low. Board members have the option of revisiting food prices later in the year.
The board set the activity and gate fees for the 2008-09 school year as follows: seventh-through-eighth-grade student activity fees, $175 per activity, an $85 increase; ninth- through 12th-grade student activity fees, $230 per activity, a $120 increase. Board member Mike Domin opposed the increases. The adult and student gate fees will remain the same as it was last year at $5 for adults and $2 for students. Deerwood resident Steve Krum later asked that the board consider an increase for the gate fees since it'll help bring in more revenue for sports.
The board placed teacher Jodi Stangel on .50 full-time-equivalent unrequested leave as part of budget reductions for this fall.
The board accepted the resignations of John Hanson, special education teacher, and Barry Hite, baseball coach, and approved filling these positions. The board accepted the resignation of Cynthia Koons, a paraprofessional. The board also approved hiring Linda Wehseler as a .71 FTE long term math substitute teacher, ending Oct. 31.
The board set the substitute and other employee wage rates for 2008-09 but all were kept at the same rates as last year. The only change was an increase from $10 to $20 per home event for scoreboard operators.
The board adjourned to meet in closed session with its attorney to discuss the case against the C-I district involving former C-I Spanish teacher Maureen Morrow, who was terminated after participating in the 2005 teachers' strike.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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