Voices

Small offers bond options

The Freeman Future Business Leaders of America chapter  just returned from the national conference in Nashville.  One team took fifth in the nation. Pictured are Freeman adviser Scott Moore, Hanna Weathers, Danny Cossey, Cody Dickinson, Tyler Hjaltalin, Emma Ohlstrom, Chelsa Ayers, Mackenzie DeRuyter, Dalton Fetsch, Danica Cramer, Andy Coumont and Joshua Grandinetti.
The Freeman Future Business Leaders of America chapter just returned from the national conference in Nashville. One team took fifth in the nation. Pictured are Freeman adviser Scott Moore, Hanna Weathers, Danny Cossey, Cody Dickinson, Tyler Hjaltalin, Emma Ohlstrom, Chelsa Ayers, Mackenzie DeRuyter, Dalton Fetsch, Danica Cramer, Andy Coumont and Joshua Grandinetti.

It may still be summertime, but school boards in the Greater Spokane Valley area are still busy.

Central Valley School District

Superintendent Ben Small of the Central Valley School District asked the school board Monday to consider possible dates to put a bond on the ballot for capital facilities projects.

The bond would include modernizing and expanding Evergreen Middle School, constructing a new elementary school at Mission and Long, modernizing and expanding Opportunity Elementary, modernizing Ponderosa Elementary and Greenacres Elementary, modernizing and expanding Chester Elementary and improving building safety at all schools in the district. The project is expected to cost $70 million, and the district expects to receive $32 million in matching funds from the state.

Small explained the pros and cons of each election date the district has available.

The first would be Nov. 2, 2010. Small said this date would be favorable because construction costs are low right now. He then said that the district would have to scramble to prepare for a campaign in such a short period of time and the general election ballot tends to be crowded.

The next date Small suggested to the board was Feb. 8, 2011. He said this date would be good since the last election the district participated in was in 2009 and the levy was approved by voters. The ballot isn’t so crowded during a February election and the date is early enough that the district can come back with a second proposal to voters if it doesn’t initially meet the supermajority required to pass.

He also mentioned that the Mead School District is also running a school bond on that date.

“They are open to talking about similarities in our message,” he said. The two districts could also share the ballot costs.

The downside of this election date would be the short time frame, since the district would have to put together a campaign by January, including seeking endorsements.

The next date would be April 26, 2011. This would give the district time to prepare a campaign, the ballot would not be so crowded and the district could share the costs with other bonds, such as Spokane County, which will have a bond on the ballot for its new jail. But the district works on its budget in April, it is a busy time of year for parents, students and staff in the district, and federal income taxes are filed in April. The bond for the Spokane County jail is also on the ballot at that time and voters may feel reluctant to approve two bonds.

“They’ll be hitting it pretty hard,” Small said of the county’s campaign.

The district’s timeline for the capital facilities plan would also be pushed back two months, Small said.

The other dates available to the district are May 17, Aug. 16 and Nov. 8, 2011.

Small will make a recommendation to the board at its next meeting in August.

Freeman and East Valley FBLA

Members of Future Business Leaders of America from Freeman and East Valley high schools recently attended the 2010 National FBLA Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

From Freeman High School, the team of Andy Coumont, Dalton Fetsch and Joshua Grandinetti took fifth place in Management Information Systems.

The team of Danny Cossey and Hanna Weathers made its first appearance at nationals in Emerging Business Issues, and the team of Chelsa Ayers, Danica Cramer and Mackenzie DeRuyter made its first national appearance in Business Ethics.

Also attending from Freeman was Tyler Hjaltalin in the category of Help Desk and Cody Dickinson in Introduction to Technology.

Emma Ohlstrom, of East Valley High School and state champion in Public Speaking II, became the first student in school history to attend nationals.

The FBLA adviser at Freeman is Scott Moore. Bret Kiefer and John Twining advise the chapter at EV.

West Valley School District

The board of directors in the West Valley School District has approved two students to serve as representatives on the board.

The nonvoting positions would provide the board with insight from the students’ points of view, serve as liaisons to the schools through student government, and would report back to the students in the schools about what the board is doing.

The two will be able to participate in the discussions with the board, but won’t be able to vote, make motions or attend executive sessions.

Jaymee Vaughn was selected to represent West Valley High School and Shannen Tai Mai Wan was selected from Spokane Valley High School.

Members of the board will be meeting with the students before the August board meeting to discuss procedures.



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