School Board holds off on raisesFacing red ink in the future, the Jamestown Public School Board on Monday rejected a 5 percent raise for administrators and nonteaching professionals in 2012-2013 — at least for the next two weeks. The suggestion of a 5 percent raise came on the heels of a finance committee meeting last week, and a report presented Monday.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Facing red ink in the future, the Jamestown Public School Board on Monday rejected a 5 percent raise for administrators and nonteaching professionals in 2012-2013 — at least for the next two weeks.
The suggestion of a 5 percent raise came on the heels of a finance committee meeting last week, and a report presented Monday.
“We’re obviously going to have to go on a diet from our spending habits of the past,” said Roy Musland, board member, “and I think every decision is going to have to be looked at very closely, and I think a 5 percent raise at this time ... I think that’s quite a bit.”
Board member Diane Hanson said raises for administrators are “a political football,” and that it boils down to a money matter.
She also said people may feel the board doesn’t support administration because of a lengthy debate about administration raises last year.
“That’s how it’s getting sent out to the community, because we don’t do a certain percentage of this for that group that we do not support them,” Hanson said. “Managing salaries has nothing to do with supporting administration, we need to support each other and agree on what is support of our district and what is a money matter.”
Board member Tanya Ostlie chairs the finance committee that approved the 5 percent raise recommendation. She ultimately was one of four board members to vote against the raise in a tie vote that rejected the increase.
The 4-4 vote had board members Greg Allen, Heidi Larson, Gail Martin and Rosemary McDougall in favor and Shelly Jystad, Musland, Hanson and Ostlie voting no. Gary Peterson was absent.
“I voted no because I simply wanted to see it on the next agenda,” Ostlie said.
The finance committee report that contained the recommendation was tabled for the April 16 meeting.
The board also tabled a proposal to spend almost $180,000 on summer building repairs.
The biggest proposed projects would be an estimated $60,000 for roof repairs in the district and $20,000 to remodel locker rooms at Gussner Elementary School.
Roof repairs are a yearly occurrence, and the Gussner remodel would be to update locker rooms currently being used as classrooms.
The money for the building projects would come out of the building fund, while the money for administration raises would come out of the general fund. The district faces deficit spending from the general fund.
“We ask principals every year to turn in a list of things they would like us to do,” said JPS Superintendent Bob Toso. “We have to prioritize what’s going to help the learning environment the most.”
In other news the School Board heard a report from Toso that Jamestown Regional Medical Center would be interested in splitting the cost of a trainer.
Last week Toso met with Todd Hudspeth, JRMC CEO, and Lawrie Paulson, Jamestown College athletic director.
The tentative 50-50 split with JRMC could cost the district between $25,000 and $30,000 that is not budgeted for.
The recommendation for a trainer came following a report from a special committee on how to improve athletics in Jamestown.
“I don’t know if we’ll be able to have a trainer at practices because we practice all over, but what we want to do is have a trainer available from 4 to 6 p.m.,” Toso said.
Toso said the strength and conditioning coach that the committee also recommended would likely be a hire for someone already in the district.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com