Levy cut, state aid boost in school district budget

by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH – A bit of welcome news accompanied approval of the Plymouth School District’s 2014-15 budget at its annual meeting Tuesday.

A drop in the levy of almost a million dollars translates into a drop in the mill rate of 74 cents – meaning that on a $100,000 home, school taxes will go down by $74. Total revenues in the budget are $27,200,839 – almost identical to last year’s $27,227,555 – and expenses of $27,331,499, about $450,000 more than last year.

The decrease was brought about by a 6 percent rise in state equalized aid, a key figure in revenues.

Business Manager Jon Miller said that the result was a budgeted deficit of about $130,000, and added that very early projections of next budget suggest there will be a similar deficit next year. He said that events during this year had virtually erased a comparable deficit, and he anticipated more of the same in the 2014-15 version.

The budget was unanimously approved by voice vote. At a district annual meeting, all residents (electors) of the district may vote, not just the School Board.

The electors also unanimously autho- rized the board to engage legal counsel and authorized the board to sell a half-acre parcel the district owns at the intersection of State 67 and Hill and Dale Road to the state Department of Transportation for $10,700.

The only non-unanimous action came when School Board member salaries were considered. After a School Board member introduced a resolution to freeze members’ salaries, an audience member said he felt the board should have a raise because it involved a lot of hard work. His motion to raise the base salary from $800 to $1,000 for the 12 regular board meetings was adopted, and this became the motion on the floor.

Board member Richard York said he did not like the idea of a raise as he felt that service on the board should be voluntary, and was supported by a few comments.

After an unclear voice vote, board President Tim St. Clair, who chaired the meeting, asked for a show of hands. The raise carried by a split decision.

• • •

In the regular meeting – which immediately followed – the board formally accepted a donation of $2,690 from resident Jim Weinbauer, made in honor of his mother, Janet Weinbauer. The gift was used to purchase new Plymouth High School choral room chairs.

Also accepted was a donation of $728.85 from the Fairview PTO to be used for supplies.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board approved:

• A 100 percent contract for Kelly Lugoncic to be a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Riverview Middle School for this year. Lugoncic received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has 12 years’ experience teaching in the Sheboygan School District.

• A 100 percent contract for Steven Helmer to be a special education teacher at Fairview Elementary School for this year. Helmer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Milwaukee, and taught for 14 years in the Howard-Suamico School District and two years in the Milwaukee District.

• A 100 percent contract for Tina Helmer to be a school psychologist in the district for this year. She received her bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay, her master’s from UW-Stout, and taught 14 years in the Howard-Suamico School District.

• A 100 percent contract for Tim Struck to teach physical education at PHS for this year. Struck received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Oshkosh; this will be his first year of teaching.

• A 100 percent contract for John Lenz to be a social studies teacher at PHS for this year. He received his bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point, and this will be his first year of teaching.

The board also accepted the resignation of Alexandra Leichtnam, Fairview special education teacher, effective Sept. 19, after a year in the district.

Support staff hirings include:

• Elizabeth Lau as a food server at Parkview;

• Cheri VonDer Vellen as a special education aide at Fairview;

• Heather Russell as a special education aide at Fairview;

• Kathryn Dykstra as a special education aide at Riverview;

• Heather Clayton as a special education aide at Riverview; and

• Amy Ziehm as a special education aide at Riverview.

• • •

In other matters, the board voted to finalize the sale of the property parcel, as authorized by the annual meeting. The board also approved updates to 2014-15 Extracurricular Pillar of its strategic plan.


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