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District 518 school board elects new chairperson

WORTHINGTON — District 518 Board of Education member Brad Shaffer has been elected the board’s new chairperson.

Entering his 12th full year on the board, Shaffer was nominated and elected to the position Thursday after serving the past four years as treasurer. This will be his third year serving as chairperson during his tenure as a board member.

Also during Thursday’s reorganizational meeting, the board elected former chairperson Lori Dudley to the vice-president post; Steve Schnieder to clerk; and Linden Olson to treasurer. The board also welcomed newcomer Adam Blume.

Additionally, the board unanimously approved an approximately $100 increase for each of its positions after the compensation had remained stagnant for at least the two previous years. Board members’ annual salaries include: Shaffer, $3,320; Dudley, $2,900; Schnieder, $3,120; and directors Mike Harberts, Blume and Joel Lorenz, $2,800.

The board also approved additional compensation for members’ attendance at committee, special board, board workshop and negotiations meetings. Members are eligible to receive $40 for up to two hours; $80 for two to four hours; $130 for four to six hours; and $200 for more than six hours up to a full day. The hourly compensation excludes regular monthly meetings.

Schnieder said one of the purposes for compensating board members is to try and encourage more people to run for public office.

“If someone had to take off work to go attend a meeting and it becomes an issue for them to participate as an elected official on the school board to have a reduction to support their family or pay their bills,” he said of the need for increased compensation. “We didn’t want to discourage people from running because it was an economic hardship for them.”

Board member Mike Harberts commented that being on the board for a year now has shed light on what time commitment is required to serve.

“You are taking time from your job or independent occupation,” he added.

The board will also see new members on its instructions committee, as Blume and Dudley will join Linden Olson and Schnieder. Lorenz and Harberts will continue their work on the operations side.

The public instructions and operations committee meetings will continue to be hosted at 7:30 a.m. monthly on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, during the week prior to the regular board meeting. The committee meetings take place at the District Administration Office.