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July 15th, 2019 News

Recap on Recent Murray County Commissioner Meetings

The Commissioners met in special meeting on Thursday, June 27th. During this time, they held interviews of the final 4 candidates for the County Administrator position. At the end of these interviews Gary Wiers with David Drowns and Associates helped them move forward with the process. The Board discussed and discovered that for each of them Thomas Burke was at the top for all the commissioners. Burke has served as Cass County Director of Health, Human and Veteran Services for the past two years and for 19 years prior he was the Direct of Health and Human Services in Atkin County. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in social work. The Board decided that they were in agreement to make an offer to Mr. Burke and negotiate his hiring. The personnel committee will work with Wiers to negotiate the terms of Mr. Burke’s hiring and bring this back to the next Board meeting on Tuesday, July 2nd.

On July 2nd, the Board held their weekly meeting. They approved the hiring of Thomas Burke as the new Murray County Administrator per the recommendation of the personnel committee. He will be able to begin on July 22nd and have a starting salary of $105,851.95. This has been an ongoing process for the Board and they look forward to the future.

The Board will next meet on Tuesday, July 16th.


MCC School Board Discusses Operating Levy

Murray County Central School Board met on Monday, July 8th. All school board members were present, and the meeting was called to order.  The agenda was approved and minutes from the June 10th meeting were reviewed and approved. Joe Meyer was designated as the purchasing agent for MCC for the next year and the official depositories for ISD#2169 for FY20 were set to Minnwest Bank - Slayton for general checking and Minnwest Bank Slayton and Lake Wilson, State Bank of Chandler and First National Bank as possible depositories for invested funds and minor checking accounts. The cash balance report and financials for the month were reviewed as well.

Personnel changes for the month include a lane change request from Brenda Whitehead from BA+30 to MA. They also approved the 2019-20 contract for Taylor Ossefoort, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Long Term Sub Contract for Joyce DenHartog who will cover for Tammi Paulzine while she is on leave. The Board next reviewed the 2019-2020 Literacy Plan. This is put together annually and represents the plan in place by MCC Elementary to ensure that all kids K-3rd grade achieve grade-level proficiency and read well by Grade 3. The one change that the legislature made this year is that any students who are not at a proficient level by Grade 3 will need to be tested for dyslexia. This was discussed by the Board.

Todd Burlingame was not present at this week’s meeting and his report was read by High School Principal Jacob Scandrett. The Summer Session will start on July 9th. School’s Out Café has averaged about 70 kids each day. Summer projects are moving along and everything is looking good. The literacy grant has been completed they are now working on the Title grant and prepping for this next school year. Registration will happen on August 6th and 7th and preschool screening is scheduled for August 19th.

Scandrett gave the Board his report. They have hired AJ Wieneke as the new paraprofessional, and he will also fill the JH Football coach position. There will be a total of 18 changes to coaching and activities positions in this coming school year. He has been busy working on grants; those include a Behavioral Health and Wellness Grant and a Soter Technologies Grant. The behavioral and wellness grant will partner with the state of MN to offer social emotional learning-based curriculum for the school. It will promote positive mental health and prevent substance use. They will implement this into the Health classes. The Sotor Technologies grant will help with the purchase of FlySense 250 vaping detectors to place in the bathrooms. This will alert the school when someone is vaping in those areas. Scandrett next gave the Board an update on his recent discussions with Richard Shaffer, the drug dog handler, with Interquest Detection Canines. He would like the drug dog to do random checks on classrooms and parking lots this year as well as the lockers and provided the Board with how these would be done. The students will again have the option to take flight school training through Tracy Area Public Schools as part of a LYFT grant. Also, the Medial Career Course for this next school year has 10 MCC students participating and 10 Fulda students participating. The LYFT grant will help pay for this program and the instructor. Scandrett has spoken with Mr. Berndt and the laptops will be ready for Juniors and Seniors. The agreement will go out at registration time and parent meetings will be held after this. They are working with Grant Harms on having a promotional video put together encouraging kids to consider our district. The details are still being worked out.

Superintendent Joe Meyer reported to the Board that the old lockers are all gone. They were in worse shape than they thought and only made $1,160 on them. The wall repairs and painting have been completed and are ready for the new ones. These have been delayed and will go in the week of August 19th. All three unions have been in contact and he will meet with the negotiations committee to discuss the next steps. Summer projects are nearing completion, and everything looks good.

The Board moved on to old business. The third and final reading of policy 209-306 was read and these were approved. The second reading for policy 402-412 was held. They also discussed the Operating Levy. The recommendation is to keep the levy at what it is currently, just asking for it to be renewed for another 10 years. This will not go into effect until 2021 but by putting it on the ballot for this November it allows time to do a second vote should it not be approved. It has been 20 years since the school has increased the tax levy. By just renewing it, taxpayers will not see an increase in their taxes. This will also allow the school to continue functioning without having to make cuts. Should the taxpayers not approve renewing the operating levy the school will need to look at making cuts of over $740,000.

They next moved on to new business. The first reading of Policy 414-427 was held. They were also provided with the updated 2019-2020 handbooks. These were for High School and Elementary both Student Parent and Faculty. They include a new laptop agreement, student participation in substance abuse education should they violate the substance abuse policy, date changes, updated directions on student drop off, teacher requests: these will be considered not guaranteed, these were approved. They also reviewed the 2019-2020 High School Activities Handbook with few changes being dates and uniform rotation.

The Board accepted and thanked these individuals for donations: MCC Boosters 2250.00 Concessions, Pizza Ranch 108.69 FFA tip night, Bomgaar’s 62.00 FFA, Heartland Eye 250.00 Advertising, Hadley Lions 500.00 Message board, Church of St. Ann’s 400.00 Backpack Program, Hadley Lioness Club 200.00 Backpack Program, Slayton Fireman’s Relief 250.00 Summer Food, Slayton Women of Today 500.00 Summer Food and American Legion 363.00 Community Ed. They approved the resolution authorizing the issuance of order not paid for want of funds from Minnwest Bank, this is similar to a line of credit and would only ever come into play should the district not get state funds in time for any reason. They also approved the annual long-term facility maintenance plan.

With no other business the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be August 12th at 6pm.