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Voters to decide Riverside income tax levy in November

Master contract approved with teacher’s union

Riverside Board of Education members approved at their Tuesday evening meeting a motion to proceed with a 1.75 percent income tax that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The five-year renewal levy would generate about $1.144 million per year for operating expenses.

It also represents a reduction from the current 2 percent income tax that district residents pay through two operating levies. These two levies will expire at the end of 2014.

“Our community made a huge step several years ago by adding the .75 percent tax. Now we’re going to give it back,” member Robert Bender said.

“It’s big for our district to say that we’re reducing our tax rate.”

A master contract also was approved with the Riverside Education Association beginning July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2016. The new agreement does not include any raises for certified staff, Superintendent Scott Mann said.

Members said hopefully in the near future it will be financially feasible to issue raises to employees. However, the overall negotiations went well with REA members, President Don Klingler noted.

“I commend the REA and their representatives for their good discussion. They conducted good negotiations and the whole process went quickly.”

In administrative matters, the board issued an amendment to Junior High and High School Principal Andy McGill’s current contract to add special education duties. With these added duties, his contract will change from 224 days a year to 260 days, and his annual salary was set at $73,000.

Special education services previously were contracted through the Logan County Educational Service Center, and the change will provide a cost-savings for the district, the superintendent reported.

Treasurer Jennifer Blackford’s salary also was increased to $65,000 per year, effective Aug. 1, as a result of her completion of her school treasurer’s license. She began working for the district last fall.

Members also accepted the retirement resignation of Cindy Garrett, technology coordinator, effective July 31. She has worked in the district for 13 years.

During the treasurer’s report, the board approved a resolution recommended by the treasurer to help keep the district finances sound in future years. Members voted to maintain a general fund cash balance equivalent to at least two months of operating expenses, or about $1.1 million.

The resolution states that if such a cash balance may not be achieved at any point in the five-year forecast, “the treasurer shall report such a finding to the board, along with proposed options that the board may consider.”

“Financial responsibility is a commitment not only to our employees, but also to our community,” Ms. Blackford said. “Being good stewards of their money is important.”

“This is the most important topic tonight because we want to better serve our community,” Mr. Klingler said.

Related to year-end financial statements, Riverside concluded the year with about $311,000 more revenues than expenditures. This represents the third year in a row that the district has left behind a previous deficit spending pattern, the treasurer noted.

“That’s something to celebrate, something to be proud of,” Superintendent Mann said. “Everybody’s made great sacrifices. We used to worry that we were one step away from a potential crisis closing our school.”

The superintendent also thanked Ohio Hi-Point Career Center for the donation of a number of gently used items to Riverside, including upright storage cabinets, 40 office chairs, a librarian cart, three wooden rockers, filing cabinets, two bookshelves, an audiovisual cart and metal shelving.

In other action, the board:

• extended a one-year contract to Tim Walls, who has gone through the retire/rehire process;

• accepted the supplemental contract resignation of Wendy Cromer, head volleyball, and extended a contract for the position to Elizabeth Myers; Ms. Cromer will fill Ms. Myers’ previous position of seventh-grade volleyball coach;

• extended supplemental contracts to Gae Linson, senior class adviser, yearbook, senior class play; Lindsay Wyan, senior class adviser, National Honor Society; Lucinda Fleming, Stacey Fauley, junior class advisers; Patti Leiss, NHS, athletic secretary; Stephanie Smith, senior class play; Alex Szargua, marching band, solo/ensemble instrumental, solo/ensemble vocal, pep band/jazz band; Molly Corwin, elementary music K-4, elementary music 5-8; Chad Kean, assistant varsity boys basketball; Darek Zook, JV boys basketball; Chuck Stevens, freshman boys basketball; Rod Yoder, eighth-grade boys basketball, athletic director; Tim McGill, assistant athletic director; Patti Leiss, athletic secretary;

• approved the payment of stipends to the following individuals: Stacie Newman, EMIS coordinator/food service supervisor, $5,000; Brenda Kauppinen, head cook, $1,000; Terri Mees, transportation secretary, $1,000; Patti Leiss, guidance department assistance, $1,000;

• approved athletic fees as follows: high school, $65 participation fee, $30 transportation fee; junior high, $35 for participation, $30 for transportation;

• approved participation in the Child Nutrition Service School Meal Program for the upcoming school year;

• approved meal prices as follows: breakfast — $1 for K-12 students, $1.25 for adults; lunch — K-4 $2.25 for grades K-4, $2.50 for 5-12, $3 for adults; a la carte extra sandwich and main entree $1.75; milk 35 cents; and

• appointed Robert Bender as a representative and Brian Wright as an alternate to attend the Ohio School Boards Association annual meeting.

The next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the school library.

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