Tuesday, July 15, 2014

South Jordan City Council Meeting

Below are the notes from people who spoke at the SJC Council meeting.  The feasibility study is supposed to be published before August 1.  SJC will need to hold a special meeting to discuss and decide whether to put a split on the ballot. I will put out information about that meeting as soon as I have it.  Looks like the special meeting to decide about putting a split on the ballot will be July 29.

JEA members in attendance: Heather Reich, James Maughan, Cyndee Bowser, Shannon Diotaiuti, Jenny Pedler, Michelle Robbins, Debbie Warner, Melissa Handy, Mary Meyer, Beth Glattli, Shelly Lloyd, Lori Munk, Mari Bean, Michele Larsen, Jeremy Butterbaugh

Three residents spoke in favor of the split and putting it on the ballot.

Lori Munk, Easltke, spoke against the split as a long time SJC resident.

I read my statement against the split including information from the JEA survey.

Michelle Robbins, Bingham theater teacher, who lives in Clearfield, spoke against a split.  Concerned about losing 5A status. Bingham is flagship of SJC. Cannot isolate ourselves.  A split will tax energy of teachers which will trickle to teachers.

Alexandra Eframo spoke against the split.  There will be extra taxes.  We have to work together. She goes to the school board meetings and has not seen any of them at the meetings.

Tim Ellingson spoke against the split.  Said SJC council bullied school board. Went to SJC university program to widen his perspective.  Council said if district bought land in Daybreak, split would go away, but it didn't. Council said if district made administrative changes, split would go away, but it didn't. Now if sign MOU, split might go away. Embarrassed to be represented by this body.

Cyndee Bowser, West Jordan Elementary, spoke against the split. She wants to make a footprint on the future. Worried that programs for special needs students will go away if split occurs. She will be done if the divorce goes through.

James Maughan, West Hills, spoke against the split. He was on Middle School Building and Design Committee.  He was impressed with priorities of safety, energy efficiency, and cost effectiveness of buildings.  He had just started teaching at time of previous split and the Initial proposal was to layoff over 200 teachers. Students wanted to discuss this, and they realized that class size and discipline problems would increase.  Beware of unintended consequences.

Heather Reich, Majestic, spoke against the split. She read a letter she had sent previously to legislators and mayors. She is a 10 year teacher being paid as a 7 year teacher. Administrative costs have gone up. Worried about loss of programs, curriculum specialists. Hurt students the most.

Mary Meyer, Copper Hills, spoke against the split. Copper Hills is overcrowded with average class size of 40. Previous split created an us versus them. Morale suffered like in a divorce. We had no say in the amount of money Jordan received. Lost collaboration with teachers from Canyons. Kids were worried about teachers leaving. She is breadwinner and concerned about her personal finances.

Gentleman spoke about turf wars of cities. West is the only place for people to move to. Creating more bureaucracy is not the answer.

Mindy Dummer, Valley, spoke against the split.  She teaches at Valley. Canyons students attend Valley, because Canyons did not establish an alternative high school. Consider unintended consequences of a split on students who need an alternative high school setting.

SJC resident visited ASB to help district and West Jordan look at how to develop that area.  He saw efficiencies of economies of scale in touring ASB. Work together as a whole community. He wants to support young families since others supported his students through the education system.

Shannon Diotaiuti, Majestic, spoke against the split.  She remembers what the previous split was like. She knows what it is like for her child to attend inadequate schools. Her son attends West Jordan middle where they really need air conditioning.  The district is trying to equalize things. Nothing goes as fast as we want when it is for our children.  We need to educate all children. Not all future dentists, lawyers and teachers will grow up in your town. Change is hard on kids, but especially hard on special needs kids.

Mayor Alvord pointed out that SJC would need a high school which would cause taxes to increase.

Mr. Newton said the citizens need to have the opportunity to vote.

Feasibility study will be out prior to August 1.

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