CALL TO ORDER - 7:00 pm
Chair Susanne Vinton opened the special meeting, called it to order at 6:05 p.m. and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, Holly Sather and Tamara Spillum, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook. Trustee Greg Bochy called to say he would be late; Trustee Jason Hamrick was absent.
Evelyn Pyburn from the Yellowstone County News was present.
Mrs. Vinton advised the following:
Any person present who wishes to address the board or raise any question about public school district matters or governing policies may do so under public participation. No discussion of personnel or individual students is permitted at this time. A limit of three minutes is placed on each speaker. Persons who want more time may make arrangements to be placed on a future agenda. The public is also reminded that they may provide input on all motions being considered by the board at this meeting.
Chair Vinton asked those present if there was objection to changing the order of the agenda. Seeing none, she advised that they would consider Items 3, 2, then 1.
HIRING OF SUBSTITUE
Tamara Spillum moved to hire Ilene Gummer and Lauren Elan-Aubrey as substitute teachers. Holly Sather seconded the motion. It was noted that fingerprint background checks have been completed. Susanne Vinton, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Tamara Spillum and Becky Malenowsky voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
APPROVAL OF ALERTNOW
At the Regular Board Meeting on March 10, 2009, the Board voted approval of the $1 per student level of service from AlertNow. This service level would provide for the licensing fee; however the district would have to pay for each call made. After review of the services levels, it was noted that after the second incident, the costs would be more. With the level of service at the price of $2 per student, there is no limit on calls. Supt. Johnson advised that if we had the higher level of service, we could also use it for other purposes, such as a call to parents when school begins or any other key event that is not an emergency.
Trustee Peter Freivalds asked what the levels of service are at $3 or $4 per student. Eileen advised that would be for calling out attendance, which we do not need at this time.
Chair Vinton asked if this cost is an annual fee. Eileen said yes.
Peter Freivalds moved to approve the AlertNow level of service at $2,400 ($2 per student) as presented. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. This is the amount for this first year regardless if our enrollment increases at the beginning of next year. Susanne Vinton, Holly Sather, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum and Peter Freivalds voted yes. The motion passed five to zero.
Mrs. Johnson advised that the trustees will receive an e-mail inviting them to the MTSBA law workshop on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 in the Board Room. This workshop is hosted by the East Special Services Co-op; the topics will include due process for staff and students.
Trustee Greg Bochy arrived at 6:13 p.m.
SETTING THE MILL LEVY
The trustees discussed setting the levy for the Mill Levy Election which will be conducted via mail-ballot election by the Yellowstone County Election Department.
They reviewed the spreadsheet provided by Diane and Eileen, noting that even with the levy at the highest that may be allowed by the Governor’s budget proposal inclusive of a three percent increase, $146,650, the general fund would still be $70,000 short of projected costs.
The trustees discussed the increase to taxpayers for a levy of $146,650, which would be approximately 8.66 mills, which translates to $17.20 annually for a house with a market value of $100,000 and $34.41 for a house with a market value of $200,000.
Last year the trustees did not request a mill levy; they chose to use over $108,000 Kindergarten and $65,000 Deferred Maintenance one-time-only monies to help shore up the general fund budget. This year those funds are no longer available.
It was noted that even if the ballot request is for $146,650, the levy can only be set at the amount allowed by the final budget process after funding is set by the legislature. The levy may be less, but it cannot be more.
Federal stimulus dollars were also briefly discussed. Trustees were advised that it appears that most of this money will come to school districts via Title I and IDEA funding, which can only be used for very specific educational needs.
Peter Freivalds moved to set the mill levy for the 2009-10 General Fund Budget at $146,650. Greg Bochy seconded the motion.
Susanne said it is painful to ask the voters for this. She feels the school is fiscally responsible, so she does support it.
Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, Holly Sather, Greg Bochy, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion was approved six to zero.
Peter Freivalds moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:45 p.m. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, Holly Sather, Greg Bochy, and Tamara Spillum voted affirmatively.
Sue Vinton, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk