Negaunee Public Schools

May 18, 2009


Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education, Negaunee Public Schools, City of Negaunee, County of Marquette, and State of Michigan, held on May 18, 2009, at the Negaunee High School Library.


Members Present:   Fae Collins, Dan Hintsala, Virginia Paulson, Cheryl Radloff, Martin Renaldi, Dave Rice, and Martin Saari

Members Absent: None        


Administrators Present:

James Derocher, Superintendent

Bob Bonetti, High School Principal

Dan Skewis, Middle School Principal

Joe Meyskens, Lakeview School Principal

Mary Kay Johnson, Administrative Aide for Finance

Julie Dompierre, Recording Secretary


76.       The meeting was called to order by President Dave Rice at 7:01 p.m.


77.       A quorum of the board was established.


78.       Motion by M. Renaldi, supported by F. Collins, to approve the agenda with the following additions: Item 83. Administrative Reports and Comments, B. Health CoordinatorÕs Report and Item 85. Old Business, B. Tile, Drywall and Acoustical Bid. Motion carried 7-0.


79.       Public Comment:


Mike Beacco asked what was contained in the Consent Items. Superintendent Derocher explained these are reports that require no action. They are submitted by the Community School Director, Health Coordinator, and High School Assistant Principal etc.


Wendy Beacco, a teacher, read a letter describing how her family had left the area but returned so their children could attend the Negaunee School District. She mentioned the budgeting efforts she uses to run her household. Mrs. Beacco questioned the reason for extending the school year if the cost to the district is $15,000 and asked why renovations were done to the Administration Building when it only housed 5 employees. She indicated that each teacher at Lakeview Elementary School was given a yearly school supply allowance of $250. Mrs. Beacco suggested that selling the auto shop building and charging rent to the Ishpeming-Negaunee NICE Community Schools, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters may not seem like a large amount of money but to a teacher who has a $250 a year budget it is a lot of money. She reminded the Board that the teaching staff did save the district $30,000 by receiving their pay check at a later date. Mrs. Beacco referred to the districtÕs Mission Statement and hoped the Board would listen to the public.


Superintendent Derocher addressed Mrs. BeaccoÕs question on the renovation at the Administration Building. He explained that the improvements were done with money from the Sinking Fund. The money contained in this Fund is not available for operational purposes.


80.       Motion by M. Renaldi, supported by V. Paulson, to approve the minutes of the

Regular meeting held on April 20, 2009, and the Special Meeting held on April 29, 2009. Motion carried 7-0.


81.       Motion by M. Saari, supported by F. Collins, to approve the Consent Items as presented. Motion carried 7-0.


82.       Payment of Bills and Financial Reports:


A.    Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by V. Paulson to approve the payment of bills totaling $574,887.72. Motion carried 7-0.


B.    The Financial Report was received from the Administrative Aide for Finance, Mary Kay Johnson.


83.       Written reports were received from the Community Education Director and Health Coordinator. Oral reports were received from Bob Bonetti, High School Principal, Dan Skewis, Middle School Principal, Joe Meyskens, Lakeview School Principal and Jim Derocher, Superintendent.


84.       Correspondence:


            Superintendent Derocher informed the Board that he had received a letter from         the Michigan Department of Education stating that if the two weather related days      are made up the Tuesday and Thursday Kindergarten classes will meet the    instructional hours required by the State of Michigan.


85.       Old Business:


            A.    SuperintendentÕs Goals – This item was brought back at the request of the Board – Board members will submit their goals to President Rice. No action taken.


            B.    Motion by M. Renaldi, supported by M. Saari, to re-bid the 9250 Drywall, Insulation and Acoustical Treatments, due to all bidders not having access to all of the approved products for the acoustical panel materials, for the High School auditorium project.


                    In order to expedite the bidding process, the Board has given Superintendent Derocher permission to award the bid on behalf of the Board. Motion carried 7-0.  


A.     Mark Loch, from OHM, the Board, and Superintendent Derocher discussed a request from the City of Negaunee concerning transfer of property.


        Motion by V. Paulson, supported by M. Renaldi, to grant the City of Negaunee the Right of Way on the west and south sides of Lakeview Elementary School. The purpose of this request is for street renovations, proper ownership, maintenance of Croix Street and the road easement for a portion of Birch Street. Motion carried 7-0.


          B.    Superintendent Derocher explained the procedures that he and Mary Kay Johnson, Administrative Aide for Finance, took to determine the budget reductions. The Board and Superintendent Derocher discussed the items listed below. The Board then prioritized the list as follows:


                      VSRP                                                                          $320,000

                      Optional Health Insurance                                           $40,000

                      Increase in Athletic Fees                                             $20,000

                      Reduction of Support Staff                                         $40,000

                      Eliminate Tech Position                                               ????

                      Sell Auto Shop                                                            $500

                      Freeze Non-Union Salaries                                         $23,000

                      Eliminate Board Stipends                                            $4,200

                      Eliminate LV/HS Media Specialist $63,000

                      Close Swimming Pool                                                $87,000

                      Shorten School Year $16,000-$67,000

                      Reduce Lakeview Sections                                          $226,236

                      Close Administration Building                                    $3,350

                      Eliminate SHINE Program                                          $18,715

                      Privatize Custodial                                                      $169,045

                      Privatize Bussing $80,000???

                      Eliminate Lakeview Specials                                       $288,677


          C.    Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by F. Collins, to lay-off the following teaching staff members: Katie Korpi, Dan Bonetti, Barbara Savolainen, Jodi Johnson, Cindy Kendall, and Michelle Anderson. Motion carried 7-0.        


          D.    Superintendent Derocher shared a letter, he had received from the Michigan Department of Education, concerning the weather related make-up days and the affect it would have on the Tuesday and Thursday Kindergarten classes. In order to fulfill the instructional time for the Kindergarten program the Board will not reverse the decision to extend the 2008-09 school year. The last day of school will be held on June 12th.


E.    Motion by F. Collins, supported by D. Hintsala, to reschedule the Annual Budget Hearing Meeting, which will now be held on June 29th, beginning at           6:30 p.m. the Regular Board Meeting will immediately follow. Motion carried 7-0.


F.    Motion by M. Renaldi, supported by C. Radloff, to enter into a 3-year agreement, 2009-2011, with Anderson, Tackman & Company, PLC for financial services. The payment schedule is listed below:


                                                            July 1, 2009    $8,590

                                                            July 1, 2010    $8,890

                                                            July 1, 2011    $9,200

                    Motion carried 7-0.


                 G.    Motion by M. Saari, supported by F. Collins, to award the school picture bids for the 2009-10 school year to Engstrom Studio Inc. Motion carried



H.    Superintendent Derocher and the Board discussed the Section 105 Schools of Choice program. Motion by M. Renaldi, supported by D. Hintsala, to set the Kindergarten openings to 15. The administration will list publicly the available openings of each grade level.      Motion carried 7-0.


            I.     Motion by F. Collins, supported by D. Hintsala, to pass the resolution affirming that the Latch Key Program, at Lakeview Elementary School, is in compliance as required by Public Act 116 of 1973 as amended. Roll call vote 7 ayes – 0 nays.


J.     Motion by V. Paulson, supported by F. Collins, to pass the resolution appointing Martin Renaldi as the district representative at the MARESA Budget and Biennial Election. The Board directed Mr. Renaldi to vote for    the following individuals: Stephen Norman, Shelley Ovink and Barbara Hermann. Roll call vote 7 ayes – 0 nays.                                                                  

                 K.    Motion by M. Renaldi, supported C. Radloff, to approve the awarding of diplomas, to the Class of 2009, pending completion of all requirements per Board Policy. Bob Bonetti, High School Principal, submitted a list of 104 students. Motion carried 7-0.


                 L.    Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by M. Saari, to approve a request for unpaid leave, per Article XI, Sick Leave and Business Leave B.4, to Karen Bingel, Middle School teacher, for the 2009-10 school year. Motion carried 7-0.


M. Motion by M. Saari, supported by C. Radloff, to approve the following Schedule B Positions:


                        Football -               Varsity Head   -           Paul Jacobson

Assistants -                 Mark Marana

Kevin Jacobson


                        JV Football -          Head -                         Kevin Bell

                                                       Assistant -                   Andy Skewis

                                                       Volunteer -                  Kyle Bell


                        Freshmen -             Head -                         Jeff Niemi

                                                       Assistant -                   Mike OÕDonnell


                 Cross Country -      Head Coach -              Lisa Bigalk

                        Cross Country -      7th & 8th Grade -          Bill Ellerbruch


                   Motion carried 7-0.


                  N.  Superintendent Derocher informed the Board that he had received a letter of resignation from Bryon Nelson, Freshman GirlÕs Basketball Coach and he had sent a letter of appreciation on behalf of the district. No action needed.


87.       Public Comment:


Coleen Allen, MESPA Union President, questioned the Board on the budget reduction order of priority. She stated that when the Board awarded the construction bids consideration was given to local companies, in order to keep the work locally. She then asked why the outsourcing was ranked at the top of the priority list. President Rice explained the ranking system to Ms.                  Allen and explained it was at the bottom of the list. Ms. Allen misunderstood the ranking standings.


Gina Sorenson, Lakeview/High School Media Specialist, asked for clarification on the budget reduction amount, of $63,000, listed in the       elimination of Lakeview/High School Media Specialists. Mrs. Sorenson stated that she has raised over $12,000, through fundraising for the libraries.   Superintendent Derocher explained that he had shared Mrs. SorensenÕs letter with the Board, and that the reduction amount was determined through a bumping process within the teachers union.


Terry Garceau asked the Board to please speak up at future meetings. He stated that it was difficult to hear.


Michael Erva, stated he had 7 children in the district and knew of other larger families in the district that would prefer a shorter school year. He also offered his services as a energy savings advisor.


Mike Beacco asked where the consent items could be reviewed. Superintendent Derocher informed him they were available at the Administration Building.


Paul Collins, a teacher, asked if the Administration Building has ever been appraised as the income from the sale of this building could help with the budget problems. Superintendent Derocher explained that all the buildings in the district are scheduled for appraisals for insurance purposes this spring. Superintendent Derocher said in order for staff to move out of the Administration Building a fireproof vault for personnel records is needed. Superintendent Derocher also indicated that if the staff were to move the cost of building the fireproof vault would also need to be taken into consideration.   He said no matter where the employees were located there would still be the daily operational expenses.


Raeann Loy, NEA Union President, commented that the Board had ranked the         sale of the building as a low priority item. Upkeep of this building is financed by the Sinking Fund, which receives money from taxes. By keeping this building open it is affecting students.


Mary Jo Kytta, a teacher, asked if any more renovations for the         Administration Building were planned and at what cost.


Superintendent Derocher said if the roof leaked it would have to be fixed. He was not sure of the cost involved.   


Mike Beacco asked if the Sinking Fund money can be used at other buildings in the district. Superintendent Derocher said yes.


Stu Skauge, MEA Uniserve Director, informed the Board that as of April 24th the bus drivers and mechanics voted to join the MESPA union. He also said the school district should look into free and reduced meal applications for additional Title I funding. Mr. Skauge said the district should progressively pursue middle and high school students to turn in their applications because some students do not turn in the forms.


Mark Churchill, a teacher, asked if the $3,350 cost per organization housed in the Administration Building had always been paid. Superintendent Derocher said no, the other two did not share the cost in the past. The Board allowed them to stay as a community service. This will be the first year the cost of utilities will be charged.


Dan Thompson, custodian at the Middle School, discussed the savings to the district by shutting down the boilers on the weekend. He spoke about a water pipe break, which was discovered during the weekend while he was doing a building check. Dan mentioned this to reinforce the good job done by the custodians and the potential damage that could have been done.


Mary Ganfield, a teacher, commented on the custodial staff and what a good job they do.


Sabina Carlson, a teacher, asked if 5 teachers were to take the early retirement incentive would the Board consider allowing the incentive to go through.


Superintendent Derocher said that could not be determined at this time.


88.       Other Business - None


89.       President Rice adjourned the meeting at 9:18 p.m.




_______________________________          ________________________________

Dave Rice, President               Fae Collins, Secretary