Sunday, April 9, 2017

Six takeaways from the school board meeting

At Thursday night's Committee of the Whole meeting:

1) Keith Ramsey, acting business manager, gave a detailed presentation on the budget and a budget preview for the 2017-18 school year. He also promptly posted the budget online, which can be viewed at the school board website or HERE. Ramsey said, "It's a different type of budget presentation. It's kind of the state of the district if you will, things I've seen, I've found, and some issues I see, and what it looks like for next year."

2) Rachael Smith Kedney was appointed to the board. Board President Keith Combs said there was only one letter of interest. The position was not advertised, and the applicant was not interviewed.

3) School counselors were present to talk about a program called "339 Plan" for grades 8-12 to promote career and college readiness.

4) Board director Barry Ford asked what the deadline for applications is for the football coaching position. Tom Strickler, director of operations, said the deadline for applications is April 14. Strickler added, "A former coach has stepped forward, has no interest at all in the position. He's retired and wants to remain that way. However, he is very concerned about our student athletes." The coach will meet with Dr. Smith, the high school principal, to discuss assisting with physical activities that the players need so they don't fall behind.

5) Board director Kathleen Hohenadel requested returning to the former practice of having administrators attend committee meetings to facilitate discussions and have immediate answers in person rather than through emails. President Combs said he does not want to bring in the full administrative staff, but if the need arises to bring an individual in, he would be willing to do so. Hohenadel cautioned against using too much discussion-and-answer through email.

6) The board voted to approve the Land Bank acquisition of 551 Avenue H contingent upon appropriate funding. If the property is acquired, the plan is to demolish it, according to Combs. Afterwards, the land could possibly be sold to adjacent property owners with the aim of getting it back onto the tax rolls. The blighted property has been condemned and is shown below:


Anonymous said...

school board-don't worry about next year. Consolidate the schools NOW. I can NOT fiigure out what the hell is wrong with ALl of you....we can NOT afford to carry all these renters, tenants and their tons of kids. the taxpaying homeowners who are now in their 70's should NOT have to pay property taxes. Shiut down the schools. NOW. this is a POVERTY town. you know it. i know it. we all know it. NO NO NO to raising our taxes.

Anonymous said...

The borough and school district are keeping Columbia residents in poverty. Sharon

Anonymous said...