The Board of Trustees for Bear Valley Unified School District convened at Big Bear Elementary School for their regular Board meeting on Wednesday, during which time they did their annual reorganization. Current School Board President Debra Sarkisian was nominated to head the Trustees once again, though declined before recognizing her fellow Trustees—Dr. Ken Turney, Beverly Grabe, Randall Putz and Paul Zamoyta—by saying, “This last year was our first year together and it was a great year. We’re a strong team.” Former teacher Grabe was ultimately, and unanimously, selected to serve as BVUSD’s President, while Randall Putz, a father of two Big Bear High School students, was selected to serve as the Board’s Clerk. In terms of other appointments, the Board approved the Measure Q Citizens’ Oversight Committee, which includes re-appointed members Jean Sweet, Ed Kibbey, Collene Barrette, Cathy Herrick and Kathy Campbell and new appointees James Gonzales and Mary Kelso.
The School Board, just back from the California School Boards Association conference, also discussed the potential for a local bond or parcel tax to support BVUSD educational programs while funding is being cut at the state level. Trustee Zamoyta reported, that during the CSBA conference, experts noted that these measures have been passing at a higher frequency since the recession started; if our community was to vote on a parcel tax, only registered voters who live here (rather than all property owners) could vote, though a 2/3 majority would be required to pass. As funds would only come to the district once placed on the tax roll in August, BVUSD would need to get a ballot initiative readied for June 2010—rather than waiting on a fall election—to assure receipt of potential funds during the 2010/2011 school year. Trustees are holding a special meeting today, to review the feasibility and timeframe for such.
The December 9 meeting also included a Big Bear Middle School construction update from Jeremy Moore of Tilden-Coil Constructors. He reports that of 213 items on their “punch list” (a number he noted is “exceptional” in terms of being a low number as other clients have had up to 4,000 items on their lists), just 110 of those remain undone; and, in good news, new BBMS facilities, including the library, will be ready for students when they return from Winter Break on January 11.
In other school news, Big Bear High School’s secretary of 13 years, Sue Merritt, who has been with the district for 20 years, will be retiring as of December 18, which is the first day of Winter Break for students. A replacement for Merritt will be decided after candidates are interviewed next week.
Update: The BVUSD Board will continue the conversation with regard to a possible parcel tax initiative, with another meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 15 at 12:15pm at the school district offices.