SCSD#1 votes to recommend returning Tax District 102 to SCSD#9
It was standing and sitting room only at the Sublette County School District #1 School Board meeting on April 14th to hear the decision on the parity proposal.
Big Piney provided a bus for SCSD#9 members of the public to ride up together to attend the SCSD#1 board meeting.
Waiting in the hall
Sublette County School District #1 School Board did not change their meeting location to a larger room, even though they knew there was going to be a large crowd at this meeting and had been asked days in advance about making this accommodation. This left about 30 members of the public out in the hall for about an hour during the meeting and unable to hear or see the discussions. The Sublette County Sheriff's Office had 3 uniformed officers plus the Sheriff on hand during the meeting.
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
Orignal post April 15, 2011 | Modified April 16, 2011
In a standing room only meeting, Sublette County School District #1 (SCSD#1) School Board voted unanimously to recommend returning Tax District 102 to Sublette County School District #9 (SCSD#9) at their meeting on Thursday, April 14th. They did not have a motion or vote on the proposal by SCSD#9 asking for $1.5 million dollars for revenue sharing. Board members said they felt with the return of District 102, and the SCSD#9 levying the additional 2 mill tax available to them, the revenue for the BOCES and Recreation funds should be similar to what SCSD#1 receives.
The topic has been a bone of contention for quite some time between the two school districts. Both school boards held special meetings several weeks earlier to state their cases and drew crowds of around 250 people at each meeting.
Big Piney brought up a yellow bus for SCSD#9 citizens to come up together and attend the SCSD#1 meeting to hear the board’s decision. The small board room seats about 35 people, with room for about 10 more squished together standing in the doorway, and about 30 more left out in the hallway not able to see or hear the discussions. A request by media to have the meeting moved to a larger room so the public could see, hear and sit was not accommodated.
SCSD#1 Board Chairman Greg Anderson agreed to hear 10 minutes of public comment early in the meeting, giving each person 1 minute to speak. He also agreed to let SCSD#9 board make a comment after hearing the SCSD#1 decision on their proposal. Members of the audience also asked to hear from each individual board member as to their position on the issue and an individual polling for the vote.
Board Clerk Jim Malkowski spoke first saying he felt the decision to return Tax District #102 to SCSD#9 should make them whole again.
Board member Doris Woodbury said she felt her board should answer the question about the SCSD#9 proposal to give them a clear answer to their request. Her comment was echoed by Robin Schamber. (Editor's correction: Schamber said she felt this proposal was a "starting point.")
Jamison Ziegler read a prepared statement saying he felt the school district boundaries need to be manipulated and he could not support a change of cash as a solution. He said he felt revenue from the Cimarex project would ultimately help them get closer to parity.
Sandra Sikorski was hard to hear because she lost her voice recently. (Editor's correction: but she managed to get out that she agreed with Ziegler, and thought this was the right thing to do, not a starting point.)
Greg Anderson said he viewed their decision tonight as a final one and not a starting point for further discussion. He said SCSD#9 had the ability to levy 2 more mills to help their funding, and that might make their revenue equal or even higher than SCSD#1 funding.
Mark Pape said he felt Tax District 102 should go back to SCSD#9, "it’s yours and should be yours." He said SCSD#1 had to protect the programs they have and suggested the SCSD#9 School board should raise the 2 mills for their BOCES. "You can get to the same numbers we are currently doing." He also commended the Sublette County Assessor’s office staff for an outstanding job of getting information and presentations out to the public.
Woodbury said she agreed with Pape's thoughts.
The board was polled individually on the vote, which was unanimous on the motion to return Tax District 102 to SCSD#9.
After the vote, Sublette County School District #9 Board Chairman Kurt Meeks thanked everyone and said "this will be helpful for us" and he appreciated it very much.