The Brainerd School Board has already identified several issues about the proposed College Drive project that could become contentious between the district and the Brainerd City Council.
On Monday, Tom Fitzpatrick, who represents both the district and city, asked that the board hire another attorney on this matter while he continues to represent the city.
Fitzpatrick said Monday that up until this point, there hadn't been any conflicts of interest on the project but in the future the district will be approached by the city to purchase right of way and easements. He said it would not be appropriate for him to represent both parties in that process.
Fitzpatrick said that he works on a retainer for the city of Brainerd and works on an hourly basis for the district. He said a lower cost solution for both public entities is that he continues to represent the city and the board hires another attorney on an hourly basis for this matter.
"The net cost shouldn't be significantly different for the school district than what I would be charging," Fitzpatrick explained.
The board agreed to hire another attorney for this situation. Fitzpatrick offered to provide recommendations to school administrators.
"It's not about who I like the best," Fitzpatrick explained with a smile. "I think it's inevitable at some point in the process there should be counsel separate from the two entities."
The board learned Monday that the proposed five elementary school options for projected growth has grown to nine options, including an option to do nothing. The school board facilities committee will meet at noon Tuesday to hear and discuss these options. A forum is planned for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Forestview Middle School to find out what the public has to say about these options.
The board canvassed the Nov. 3 election results. There were 2,870 people who voted in the district, which had 25,193 registered voters as of 7 a.m. Nov. 3. Eighty people registered to vote on Election Day and there were 109 absentee ballots.
Tom Haglin, Chris Robinson and Jim Hunt were elected to the board and sat together in the audience at Monday's board meeting. Board chair Ruth Nelson also was re-elected. Board members welcomed them.
Board members also gave their thanks and appreciation to board members who won't be returning in January. Board member Bob Nystrom was defeated and board members Lew Hudson and Molly Kurtzman did not seek re-election.
The board rescinded a decision last month to use April 2, Good Friday, as a possible snow make-up day if needed. Students and staff will continue to have that day off next spring. Superintendent Steve Razidlo said after further review and contact with representatives from different unions within the district, it was determined that some union groups had bargained for that day off.
Razidlo did not name another potential snow make-up date.
The board heard from Junior Achievement members and Lauren, a Forestview fifth-grader, about Junior Achievement, which has economic curriculum in about 130 classrooms in kindergarten through sixth-grade, and its BizTown program for fifth-graders.
Razidlo took a moment to reflect on the tragic death of Brainerd High School sign language teacher Melissa Wooden, who died in a car accident on her way to school Oct. 2. Razidlo said her students are working to establish a scholarship in her memory at Central Lakes College.
"She was a wonderful person," Razidlo said of Wooden. "We're sad for her passing and we hope her family achieves peace over time."
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