Kingsland board loses member due to move

By : 
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

A brief Kingsland’s October School Board meeting, held Monday, Oct. 15, included the resignation of board member Heather Betts – due to her family moving to a home just outside the district’s boundaries — and a closed session for classified staff negotiations.

During the open session of the meeting, Betts announced her resignation, after which the board and Superintendent Jim Hecimovich thanked her for her time and contributions to the Kingsland School District. She was elected to the board two years ago. The family is moving just outside the western border of the district, so she no longer qualifies as a district resident, thus can’t serve on the board.

It is too late for the position to be listed on the Nov. 6 ballot. The board is already facing a significant turnover — and little interest in serving — just two years after three new members were elected to the board. The board has three positions that expire at the end of the year and none of those incumbents filed for re-election. Only one name — Maranda Emig, who filed earlier this year — will be listed on the ballot for the upcoming election, which will also have an operating levy referendum.

Betts, who works in a Spring Valley business, told the Tribune after the meeting that her children will continue to attend school at Kingsland. She also noted that it was unfortunate that there is no possibility she could continue serving on the board once her family moves.

“I have enjoyed my time spent on the School Board and I intend to stay involved in our community,” she said.

The closed session, pursuant to Minnesota statute 13D.03 subdivision 1, which allows meetings to be closed to the public for labor negotiations strategy, lasted approximately 15 minutes, and when reopened, no action was taken.  The district is in negotiations with classified employees, which includes positions such as secretaries, bus drivers and custodians.

The new business on the agenda included passing a resolution for the establishment of a combined polling place for multiple precincts and designating hours during which the polling place will remain open for school district elections not held on the day of a statewide election.  The board passed the resolution with a roll call vote, setting the polling hours at 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The board also scheduled the 2018 general election canvassing meeting for 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.

In an announcement, it was noted that Sue Kolling, of Spring Valley, has been chosen as the 2018 Kingsland Wall of Honor honoree. The ceremony for the Wall of Honor induction is Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.

FFA members Sydney Eickhoff and Jacob Welch reported that the chapter has been holding new member activities, is preparing for the annual fruit sales and has attended events at Riverland Technical College. 

Personnel changes included hiring Nick Atwood as weight training supervisor – working alongside Brent Stinson — and accepting the resignations of transportation director Kevin Klomps and bus driver Michael Blanchard.  Also, second grade teacher Kristine Swier was granted a leave of absence. 

The consent agenda included approving the minutes of the Sept. 17 regular meeting and the Oct. 1 workshop. 

Upcoming meetings and workshops are on the calendar for October and November. There was an operating referendum informational meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 16, and another is planned for Monday, Oct. 29. The next School Board work session is set for Monday, Nov 5, at 6 p.m. in the elementary school conference room and the next regular school board meeting will take place Monday, Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kingsland choir room. There is also the annual Kingsland Wall of Honor induction ceremony and an election canvassing meeting Nov. 9.  For more information, log onto the Kingsland website at www.kingsland.k12.mn.us, or call the district office at 507-346-7276.