Voters may be asked to re-configure Moffat County Board of Education
CRAIG — Five months after the November elections, the seventh seat on the Moffat County Board of Education remains empty, and, so long as no one living in District 6 — an area roughly north and east of Craig — comes forward to fill the seat, it will remain vacant, leaving the board vulnerable to deadlock.
During its meeting Thursday, April 26, the board took the first steps in creating a ballot measure, which, if approved by voters, would retain a seven-member board, but change the makeup, reducing district seats from seven to five and opening two seats to candidates at-large.
Under a combined plan — a configuration that mixes district and at-large seats — a candidate cannot run for two seats in the same election and would be required to declare the type of seat for which he or she were running.
If there were vacant seats following an election, it might be possible for un-elected candidates to be appointed to vacancies, if:
- the vacant seat were an at-large seat, or
- if the candidate ran for an at-large seat but lives in the district represented by the vacant seat.
As long as the board adopts a resolution — which would include maps for newly proposed districts — by July 19, a measure will appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, reconfiguration would take effect for the 2019 school board elections.
In a separate motion, board members authorized Superintendent of Schools Dave Ulrich to enter an agreement with a contractor to create new boundary lines and maps to reflect the proposed new plan of representation.
State law requires school districts to review and revise director district boundaries by 2020. Moving forward this year will allow the county to fulfill that requirement.
Estimated costs for a contractor to create new boundaries and maps were not provided at the meeting, however, it is expected to cost about $8,700 — or $1.25 per voter — for the district to place a measure on the 2018 ballot.
The school board also took the following actions at Thursday’s meeting.
- Received athletic and activities reports from high school and middle school students.
- Approved a consent agenda.
- Listened to a report from Ulrich about annual student testing, plans for a teacher walk-in and recent cooperation with local law enforcement to avert a threat to school safety.
- Approved the second reading of policies addressing school wellness, annual budget and employment process for volunteers. A public hearing for the three policies was held during the board’s workshop prior to the meeting.
- Passed eleven additional policies on first reading. These policies dealt with student transportation, staff conduct, job descriptions, admission and denial of admission, homeless students, students in foster care, district choice/open enrollment, suspension/expulsion, student health services and records and student records/release of information on students.
- Unanimously approved a motion to authorize the administration supports and Early Childhood Center to relocate to the vacated East Elementary School building. Earlier in the evening, preschool Director Stephanie Davis answered board members’ questions about plans for preschool in 2018-19.
At the work session, the board also received reports from:
- Community members who attended the FIRST Robotics regional competition, held during spring break in Denver. They encouraged the school board to consider funding a robotics program in 2018-19.
- Moffat County resident Adam Cozzens, who spoke about his efforts to have the school administration building, also called the Yampa Building, listed on the state, possibly national register of historic property. Cozzens said a historic designation wouldn’t prevent its sale or renovation.
- Finance Director John Wall, who gave a budget update.
The board plans to meet again May 10 for a budget work session.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
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