Thursday, July 10, 2014

Possible WJC Split

We were successful last night!  The West Jordan City Council did not vote to have a feasibility study done.  It sounds like they are going to wait to see what South Jordan City decides. If South Jordan puts a district split on the ballot, West Jordan will use a 2007 feasibility study to meet the legal requirements to put a split on the ballot.  West Jordan City voted to split from Jordan District at the same time the now Canyons District voted.  The vote in West Jordan was 70-30% opposed.

Now we need lots of teachers to attend the South Jordan City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 15 at 6:00 at the South Jordan City Hall (1600 W Towne Center Drive [10610 S]).  Please

For your information, I have included the list of "demands" made by South Jordan here.

Here are notes from Vicki Olsen, JEA Negotiations Team, who attended the school board study session where these issues were addressed.

All Board Members were present.  Dr. Godfrey was acting in Dr. Johnson's capacity while she is out.  All cities had representation at the meeting except for Herriman.  The Mayors are meeting on Monday the 7th followed by a meeting with all Mayors and the School Board on the 14th.  South Jordan Councilman Seethaler was at the table with the Board.  The meeting started at 8:45 and we ended at 10:45.

They proceeded with discussion in order of the resolution.
#1.  Richard Osborn has no problem with the concept but does have a problem with the 30 day request.  Susan Pulsipher suggested making a plan and be allowed to make modifications to it every year based on need and economic circumstances.  Peggy Jo Kennett likens this process as similar to the calendar process.  1 year is set in stone and 2 future years are tentative and are changed as needed or as feedback comes in.  Someone pointed out that the District does have a plan.  The Administration have looked at potential growth and when schools may be needed.
Mark Seethaler would like to see this plan published where the public has access to it.
Bluffdale Mayor pointed out that some cities can't split and must work with the District.  He likes some of the resolution but it doesn't answer/resolve all their questions.  Being all one school district is the key!  Communication needs to be both ways.  He agreed that sometimes Bluffdale doesn't communicate well with the District.
Susan Pulsipher said the 6 items represent a change of process.  We need to all work together, Board and Cities. 
Janice Voorhies & Dr. Godfrey will work on a document for a written response for mayors that will be ready for their meeting on the 7th.  The Board directed Administration to bring info about schools, property owned, use etc. to Board Meeting on the 22nd.
#2 Trying to find weeks that there are no conflicts with meetings.  The Board noted that WJC changed their meetings to Wed.  Herriman holds meeting on Thurs.  The Board is willing to change their weeks to the 2nd & 4th weeks.  Asked Bluffdale to consider changing their meetings as well.
There is a concern about mayors being in closed session for certain parts like student appeal, personnel.  All concerned agreed that if the communication process is working, cities would already know in what meetings property would be discussed.  There was a discussion on what is the best way to notify of upcoming meetings.  Who should receive emails with agendas, etc.?  This will be worked out and administration directed to send notice of all meetings via email to all cities.
#3 Need to create a list of all properties owned by District.  This list would tie into #1.  This document will be given to the Board at the next meeting on the 22nd.  This list will also be reviewed every year along with the 5 year plan.
#4  The Board will share building reviews already done by various committees the past year.  The Board is supportive of multiuse features on buildings.  Will work with the cities to determine best places for schools.
#5 Worth exploring.  Have directed Administration to put out an RFP for legal counsel.  They are okay with RFP since they don't have to accept and buy.
#6 Currently the money is dedicated for new schools.  When the funds stop, the District will have to Bond.  Peggy Jo Kennett pulled out some document that showed where the money had been spent and gave it to Mark Seethaler to look at. 
West Jordan Mayor says he does not want to split.  Wants to stay together.  Only reason to put on ballot is to let citizens have a vote. 
At this point someone pointed out that cities are allowed to hire lobbyists while school districts cannot.  Susan asked if cities would hire lobbyists to help with legislative issues concerning education.  All cities agreed that if everyone worked together it would make a difference.
There was a State Senator in attendance.  I believe his name was Wayne Harper.  He liked what he had listened to over the course of the evening. 
Overall it was fairly positive.  It sounded to me like there is going to be effort on both sides to work things out.

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