Gary Sullivan was appointed by the School Board at its October regular meeting Monday night to fill the vacant School Board seat left by Andrew Busch (who, by law, needed to resign in order to apply for a position with the district). (Scroll past the video for more article text)

Board policy directed how the vote was to take place. Board members used a signed ballot. A candidate would have needed four votes (a majority) to be declared the winner. If a candidate received no votes, he/she would not be advanced to the next round. A maximum of five rounds would take place before a random drawing, if necessary. Candidates needed to express interest by September 23.

First Ballot

Andrew Busch: 3 votes

Gary Sullivan: 3 votes

Joni Heisner: 0 votes

Debra Hintz: 0 votes

Robert Janetka: 0 votes

Second Ballot

Gary Sullivan: 4 votes

Andrew Busch: 2 votes

In the April 7th election, three seats will be up. The top two vote getters will each receive a three year term, with the third place finisher receiving a two year term. Those needing to run for their seats, if interested, will be Jeff Basting, Tony Dahl, and Gary Sullivan. If they choose not to run, non-candidacy needs to be filed by Friday, December 27th at 5 pm. Any new candidates (including incumbents) need to file by Tuesday, January 7th at 5 pm. (This begins the meeting video)

Other business:

— HSR architects returned with their monthly update to the board. Tim Ruppert of HSR stated the district is still on track to bid out the elementary renovation project at the end of January, which he said is a great time that allows for spring construction when contractors start looking for work. This timeline will allow for two summers of construction.

As for the floor plan of the building, Ruppert said they are fine tuning and refining, with less and less movement of spaces occuring at this point. “We feel very comfortable locking in the floor plan,” he said.

Ruppert also added HSR is trying to maximize the green space, given the elementary sits on a tighter, urban site. 

Next steps will include: engineering discussions (mechanical, electrical, plumbing), interior finishes/colors, and site/civil engineering.

HSR is also continuing to suggest a RFP (request for proposal) process for a furniture vendor.  RFP would allow for better quality and control of the furniture, compared to a traditional bidding process.

The latest floor plans, as we receive them, will continue to be updated here:

(Go to the 50 minute, 15 second mark)

— Superintendent Wainwright gave an enrollment update, following the 3rd Friday in September count.

A three-year comparison can be found here:

(Go to the one hour, 21 minute, 45 second mark)

— The Board approved the 2019-20 budget by a 6-1 vote with Larry Steffes voting no.

Steffes voted no because he stated he believes the staff salaries and benefit increase is too large and is not sustainable.

As of Monday night, Wainwright said the state will release its final equalized aid from the Department of Public Instruction on Tuesday. Depending on that number, the mill rate might change slightly.

As of Monday night, the mill rate was set to be $12.17.

The 2019-20 budget is balanced.

The original projected mill rate increase with both referenda questions last year was $2.52. However, it is now down to a projected $0.79 increase.

The board will set its final tax levy at a special meeting October 28.

(Go to the one hour, 30 minute, 30 second mark)

— An ongoing discussion for the past several months has been whether or not to purchase additional land attached to the current elementary school property.

The thought behind doing so is that, due to the elementary renovation and addition, there will be lost green space. The additional lots could be used for playground expansion.

The board members had various opinions on whether purchasing the land was a good idea or not.

A motion was made to purchase two of the three lots at a cost of $30,000 each lot with the mine shaft being filled in and capped. The money to purchase the lots will not come out of referendum money.

Voting yes were Nate Chambers, Aaron Dunn, Everett Lindsey, and Jeff Basting. Voting against were Tony Dahl, Larry Steffes, and Gary Sullivan.

(Go to the one hour, 49 minute, 30 second mark)

— District Psychologist Katelyn Oellerich provided an update to the Board regarding her efforts in the district during her first year of employment. (Go to the 24 minute mark)

— High School students part of the new Pointer Media class shared their work with the Board, including student video announcements, alumni features, and other news articles. Their website is

(Go to the 35 minute mark)

— The Board approved the bills payable and credit card statement by a 6-0-1 vote with Basting abstaining. (Go to the two hour, 18 minute mark)

— Following closed session, the Board approved the hiring of Renee Rolli as Assistant District Bookkeeper by a 6-1 vote with Steffes voting no.

— Also following closed session, the Board unanimously approved the double step on the salary schedule for three staff members who were evaluated as distinguished this past school year.

— The next regularly scheduled Board meeting will be Monday, November 11 at 6:30 pm. There will be a special meeting Monday, October 28 to certify the levy for the 2019-20 school year.