Uncertainty permeates post lawsuit board meeting

With a pending lawsuit over the bond election and the imminent transition of leadership, an aura of uncertainty seemed to permeate Monday evening?s meeting for Unified School District 410?s Board of Educa?tion.

The board voted to issue an 11-month contract to Doug Huxman to serve as superintendent beginning Aug. 1.

Because Superintendent Gordon Mohn will retire effective June 30, the board also approved a one-month contract for Dale Honeck in that capacity.

?We appreciate your willingness to do that,? said board president Rod Koons.

Among issues that still need to be discussed and resolved are Mohn?s role regarding the lawsuit and verbal agreements with Tabor College concerning use of the proposed athletic facility.

?I feel too much ownership to just walk away, but I don?t want to impede the transition to (Huxman),? Mohn said.

The board did adopt a resolution authorizing Piper Jaffray to prepare for the bond sale July 9, despite uncertainty caused by the recent lawsuit to keep the district from filing the bonds.

?It?s best to adopt the resolution,? said Mohn prior to the vote. ?Nothing prohibits us from doing that.?

While the board?s action puts the bond-selling process into motion, that resolution cannot be signed until the lawsuit is settled, Mohn said.

Legal fees and litigation from the lawsuit could have a financial impact on the district between $300,000 and $400,000, ?even if we prevail,? said Mohn.

Architects Ken Helmer and David Riffle of Howard and Helmer attended the meeting and presented information about selecting a contractor for the bond election projects.

The board decided to follow the architects? recommendation to use a construction management at-risk model for all four projects, which will increase efficiency and effectiveness.

The board met in executive sessions to discuss personnel and a student issue.

Board member Eddie Weber suggested designating the $15,000 gift from Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church toward a project the community can benefit from, such as equipment in the new weight room.

The board also took action the following personnel and compensation issues:

  •  accepted letters of resignation from Bruce Winkler as a computer lab coordinator and Irene Bezdek as custodian.

  •  granted Kory Unruh?s request to be released from his contractual obligations for the 2007-08 school year.

  •  approved issuing contracts to Marty Hoffner to serve as custodian and Tonya Bartel to serve as a Parents as Teachers educator.

  •  approved issuing classified contracts with a total compensation increase of 3.88 percent, with one exception?Charles Jones in technology will receive no salary increase.

  •  voted to renew contracts for business manager Jerry Hinerman, transporta?tion/maintenance director Keith Goossen, TEEN director Shelli Elliott and Community in Schools personnel Linda Ogden and Charles Rempel.

  •  approved 3.88 percent total compensation increase for administrative staff. In addition to that increase, Goossen?s salary will also be raised by an additional $2,000.

  •  approved supplemental contracts and pay rates for non-contracted classified personnel.

  •  established the substitute teacher pay rate at $85 per day for 2007-08 school year, the same as previously.

  •  approved payment to Mohn of unused vacation days.

    The board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, to act on an amended budget.

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