Once again, the possible closure of Redfield Middle School was a pressing issue at the Nov. 13, meeting of the White Hall School Board as Redfield Mayor, Tony Lawhon, along with several other representatives from the RMS and Redfield community were present to support Lawhon, who had requested to address the board on the matter.
When Lawhon recieved his opportunity speak, he began in a plea, asking what the city of Redfield could do to help in the decision on whether or not to close RMS.
“My goal tonight is to address some issues that we have with the city, began Lawhon. What can we as a city do to assist in aid with the school board in this decision.”
“There is currently a one cent sales tax and it has been pretty steady over the past few years, continued Lawhon, with his proposition of the city wide sales tax. The downside to increasing the sales tax would be that it would have to go through an election, he continued. If we can do the sales tax, there’s a couple of issues with the law with what we can use the sales tax. Out of our surplus we can write you a check to reimburse you but cannot use it to simply pay for the school,” concluded Lawhon.
“I don’t think a decision will be made on this topic until January, replied Scott Pittillo, board president. Some of the assumptions that we are dealing with don’t happen until January, and some them don’t happen until at least January 2014. The declining in enrollment is definitely an issue at the time as well as rebuilding. We have to leave it up to our staff and administration at the time to make a decision.”
Pittillo added that even though there are assumptions that student population may pick up, the board was not there to make a bet and any planning decisions would have to be made for the best outcome.
“Despite our welcome attitude to those willing to come and state their stance on this issue, we can’t get to details if we keep having large crowds such as this every month, Pittillo continued. We have other issues that need to be dealt with at this time. We will continue to put why this needs to be evaluated. We all agree it’s a great school but we have to look at the trends of population in the RMS. Understand the trends we are looking at. We do have an increasing but declining tax revenue base. If the board wants to sit down, we can look at some facts and discuss the matter. We need to address all of these assumptions. Thank you Tony!” concluded Pittillo.
Members of the board recommended that the Task Force schedule a word session with the Board sometime in the near future for further discussion about this issue without the large crowd.
Page 2 of 2 - In other business, Bill Mitchell gave the Facilities and Transportation report. “The District will have two new bus drivers if they are hired tonight, said Mitchell who also extended his thanks to Mark Stanfield and his ability to train.
There were several facility use requests that were approved and one that did not meet approval.
Recognition was given to the White Hall High School Boys and Girls Golf teams for finishing 2nd in a 5A South Conference and placed 5th in the 5A State Matches. Students from the White Hall High School Girl’s Tennis Team were recognized for their achievements. Mary Passmore and Lizzie Bridgforth placed third in the 5A South Conference. The White Hall High School Boy’s Tennis Team had Cole Guy place 1st in the 5A South and Tyler Sidwell place third in 5A South. Cole Guy also placed third in the 5A State finals. The White Hall High School Volleyball team finished their season with two students, Marleigh Pearce and Maria Ramirez, being selected as All-Conference. “Congratulations to all these students for their hard work and dedication,” commented Pittillo.