Two school board members to be appointed for abatement negotiationWORTHINGTON — In an attempt to proceed with the tax abatement program proposed by the Worthington Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee, the Worthington School District 518 board of education approved a motion for two members to be appointed to represent the board in a meeting with Worthington city representatives and Nobles County Commissioners.
WORTHINGTON — In an attempt to proceed with the tax abatement program proposed by the Worthington Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee, the Worthington School District 518 board of education approved a motion for two members to be appointed to represent the board in a meeting with Worthington city representatives and Nobles County Commissioners.
Board members inquired about the school district’s authority for its own abatement during the October meeting. Upon verification with the school district attorney, District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said the school district does have the authority to implement an abatement program.
Members were in agreement about the difficulty of moving forward with each entity (school district, city and county) on a separate agenda. Board member Steve Schnieder asked if another joint meeting will occur.
“It’ll be hard for the auditors and assessors to manage something like this if we had different programs approved by different people,” he said.
Landgaard said he had not heard about specific plans for another meeting involving all groups
“I wholeheartedly agree that if we’re all not on the same page then I’m not sure what you’re in for,” he said. “It’ll be a nightmare for all of us to try to do something if there isn’t the same plan to move forward.”
Board members expressed the abatement options they were in favor of during the October meeting. Shaffer noted rehashing the previous discussion would not produce different results.
“I wouldn’t want to take any action on this prior to the other entities taking action, because I don’t believe we’re the housing experts in this. I think that falls under other entities of government involved in this,” board member Scott Rosenberg said.
Similar to how the Nobles County Commissioners tabled the abatement recommendation at a board meeting earlier this month and appointed two commissioners — David Benson and Bob Demuth Jr. — to represent the board at a possible meeting of all three entities, Schnieder presented a motion for the board chair to appoint two members.
Board members Linden Olson and Mark Shepherd expressed their disinterest to participate in any future joint meetings. Shaffer said he will verify if a joint meeting is being planned before he appoints board representatives. The motion was approved by all board members except for Olson.
In other news, the board:
* Approved the resignation of Shelly Morrow as ECFE teacher with Community Education, Doug Brands as assistant boys basketball coach with the high school, Jerusha Lowe as program assistant with community education, John Singler and Gillian Singler as prom advisers with the high school.
* Approved the employment of Benjamin Cunningham as program aide with the EDGE program, Sarah Steffl as enrichment instructor with the EDGE program, Jodie Frazee as program aide with the EDGE program, Katie Milbrandt as third-grade teacher with the EDGE program, James Van Horn as art teacher (0.8 FTE) at the Area Learning Center, Rhina Galvez as short-term program assistant with the EDGE program, Missy Van Dyke as enrichment instructor with the EDGE program, Clint Meyer as “A” assistant boys basketball coach with the high school, Zach Dingmann as “B” assistant boys basketball coach with the high school, Christopher Aggen as ninth grade boys basketball coach with the high school, and Transito Villeda as soccer and scouting coordinator with Community Education.
* Approved a reduction in overload time of 0.83 FTE for Mary Brown as special education teacher at the high school.
* Approved an increase in assignment of 0.4 FTE for Sara Zins as long-term ECSE substitute teacher with Community Education.
* Approved donations for October 2011 from: Prairie Parent Group for second grade field trip, Target Take Charge Program, and Prairie Elementary Sports Booster Club for the fitness room.
* Approved Missy Van Dyke and Megan Haberman as volunteer dance coaches, Paul Olsen as girls hockey volunteer coach, Pat Williams as girls basketball volunteer coach, Robyn Morrow as gymnastics volunteer coach, and Mike Luft, Bob Paplow and Ben DeRynck as wrestling volunteer coaches.
* Approved $1,500 as toward the National Science Foundation Grant application in partnership with the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., City of Worthington, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
* Approved two student expulsions for “illegal use of inappropriate substances.”
“These expulsions are never a good thing to do, but we do have policies in place and standards for students in our district. That’s why these expulsions are here,” Landgaard said.
The expulsions will last slightly less than a year’s period with the option of night school during the expulsion. Expelled students, upon signing a waiver, will be allowed to return at the beginning of the next school year.