The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

November 10, 2012

Central looks at director positions’ consolidation

DEWITT — Superintendent Dan Peterson opened discussion on consolidation of director positions at the Central Community School Board’s regular meeting Wednesday.

Peterson cited enrollment decline (70 students in the last two years) as a decision factor contributing to the need for budgetary reductions. He said the district would need to use unspent balance funds to cover costs this year and anything that would reduce current costs would help in cost reductions for next year. In a memo to the board, Peterson noted “tough conversations” will have to start and “tough decisions” have to be made.

With costs for recovery of unspent balance funds this year, declining enrollment, and potential personnel cost increases, Peterson said $810,000 in budget reductions were needed in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. He added that even at a state 2 percent allowable growth rate, there will be no new money next year. The 1,487 district enrollment figure is the smallest ever.

Consolidating the transportation director and buildings and grounds director positions effective Dec. 21 would provide immediate savings in salary and benefits and ongoing efficiency of maintenance and transportation departments working together, Peterson said. The new position would be director of operations and the current building and grounds director would assume all duties. Operations of both departments would be based in the 11th Street building (formerly the Krieger building). An estimated $51,000 would be realized in annual savings.

Board member Jim Irwin was the first to speak to the recommendation.

“It’s not personal; it’s about budget and position,” he said. “We are going to have more conversations in the next few months.”

Irwin said changes in the transportation department had been looked at before, that money for cars and buses comes from a different fund and salaries are from the general fund which is impacted by less available money. He added that the board did not want to do anything unsafe for students.

“There are some very legitimate concerns, but I think it can be worked out,” Irwin said, later adding, “I support where we are going with budget issues.”

All school board members voiced concerns about cutting teachers and programs and agreed it was their last option.

Board member Steve Fuglsang questioned the timing in losing a director and full-time mechanic (Ryan Jones submitted his resignation) and suggested the district might be setting up the new position for failure. Some administrative positions also might be cut, he said, adding he felt pushed for a decision.

Board member Jennifer Naeve said parents’ biggest concern was a contact point for transportation; board member Kurt Rickard said a greater overlap in combining positions would be better; and board president Christy Kunz suggested combining positions such as driver and mechanic. Questions about secretarial needs, need for a full-time mechanic, and more information were voiced.

Building and grounds director Keith Walker said he knew vey little about the position but that current transportation director Steve Thiltgen would help him until the end of December.

“It will be learning time for me,” Walker said, noting that he would inform the board if he could not handle the added workload. Walker would be paid an additional $10,000 if he assumes duties as director of operations.

School board members reiterated elimination of the position was about budget savings, efficiency and keeping cost reductions away from students.

In a follow-up of the meeting, Peterson said he had discussed elimination of the position with the transportation director but no official notice of termination had been given. In the process of creating a director of operation and if the board approves, Peterson’s recommendation, the building and grounds director would have to resign and the board, by motion, could rehire him in the new position.

According to legal counsel, the new position does not have to be posted, Peterson said. No decision was made but action is expected at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Dutch Days grand marshals Fulton couple honored as grand marshals

    Bob and Trudy Feldt have been dedicated to the city of Fulton for decades. Whether it be Trudy's 27-year commitment to teaching the children of the community at the River Bend School District, Bob's 33-year career with the Fulton-born c

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Court denies man's appeal in robbery CLINTON -- The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a conviction of a man who robbed a Clinton pawn shop in 2012. Darrell L. Thomas recently appealed his first-degree robbery conviction to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The court released its decision Wednes

    April 17, 2014

  • CCDA will match funds to secure van

    CLINTON -- One local non-profit organization soon will benefit from a donation from the Clinton County Development Association but it's not their typical form of grant giving. During a meeting Wednesday, CCDA members discussed the possibility of matc

    April 17, 2014

  • Jury deliberating in sex abuse case CLINTON -- Jurors were set to return to court this morning to continue deliberating on the trial of a man accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl. The jury deliberated for more than two hours on the Russell McColley case Wednesday afternoon, be

    April 17, 2014

  • City considers upsizing storm sewer capacity CAMANCHE -- Residential development is a key component to the fortitude of Camanche, according to city leaders so they are taking the steps necessary to keep it an appealing location for future investors. To do so, those leaders are looking to up siz

    April 16, 2014

  • Schools will continue sports-sharing agreements CLINTON -- Students attending Camanche, Central DeWitt, Northeast and Prince of Peace schools still will be able to participate in the athletic programs offered in the Clinton School District. At a meeting Monday, Clinton School Board members approve

    April 16, 2014

  • Sex abuse trial continues CLINTON -- Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow began his case Tuesday against a man charged with sexual abuse of a 3-year-old girl. Russell McColley, 39, is charged with second-degree sexual abuse, a class B felony carrying as much as 25 years in

    April 16, 2014

  • Cattail Slough closed due to high water FULTON, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi River Project announces that Cattail Slough recreation area south of Fulton has been closed due to high water levels. The recreation area will remain closed until it has dried out sufficie

    April 16, 2014

  • Thefts from farms investigated MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — Carroll County Crime Stoppers is asking for help to solve two recent burglaries being investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff's Department. A caller could receive a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to an ar

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16-14 Braley Visit Local candidates gear up for primary election CLINTON -- The campaign trail is heating up a little early this year for Iowa politicians as the primary election is on the horizon and many challengers await. Three Republican primary races are causing those candidates to get their names and faces o

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.