Archive for Thursday, August 11, 2005

Board approves survey, holds off budget talk

August 11, 2005

After approving a community phone survey, the Baldwin School Board decided to hold another meeting next week to discuss the mill levy for the capital outlay fund.

At Monday's meeting, Supt. James White asked the school board whether it wanted to keep the mill levy down 1.5 mills or make it even with last year's levy.

The idea of choosing a number for the levy without having a plan for the money did not sit well with Board Member Scott Lauridsen.

"I'd like to approach it from a how much do we need standpoint," Lauridsen said. "Right now, I think we are shooting in the dark with a number."

Lauridsen also said he wants to know where the capital outlay money is going before asking the community for the money.

"I'm not comfortable asking for $500,000 without knowing where it's going," Lauridsen said. "I hate not being able to walk down the street and not being able to answer those questions."

White did say the money in the capital outlay fund would not be available to use until the new year.

"When we looked at all of that stuff, none of that will be available to use until that date in January," White said.

So, the school board agreed to meet for another meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night at the district office to further discuss the mill levy.

"We'll try to get a priority list together and plan how to spend what we projected in the budget or an amount up to or equal to 8 percent," White said.

Lauridsen also said the board can create a priority list for the capital outlay items.

"I think we can put a plan together about those bigger things," Lauridsen said. "We can at least start out on the same foot."

Before the board talked about the budget, it approved the decision to go ahead with a community phone survey that it had been discussing.

Jim Yonally from Jayhawk Consulting Services Inc. was brought in to give the board an idea of what questions are commonly asked in the telephone surveys. Yonally presented the board with around 13 questions that are often asked and said who would be targeted.

"We want people who are active in voting in the community," Yonally said. "Usually if they are active in voting, they care about the community."

Yonally said around 300 interviews would be about the right number for a district of this size. Yonally will be sending the district other questions that are commonly asked about bond issues, alcohol and drugs. The board will then meet on Aug. 29 to have its budget hearing and determine which questions will be asked on the survey.

The survey will cost around $3,600 and it is planned on being conducted in September.

The board also discussed teacher negotiations in executive session, and will continue to do so.

"We spent a lot of time talking about negotiations," White said. "The problem with this year's budget is we had to make up the $250,000 we lost in new facilities waiting."

After executive session, the board also approved Roger Arnold, Martha Harris and Laura Lauridsen for the Baldwin Education Foundation board.

Also after executive session, the board approved the personnel report which the resignations of two bus drivers, Diana Cummings and Renee Bellerive. The board also hired Dennis Mills as an assistant football coach at Baldwin High School and Joni Jones as the BHS girl's basketball assistant coach.

The board will meet two more times this month, once on Monday and again on Aug. 29. The meetings will both be at 7 p.m. at the district office.

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