By Travis Smola
The Schoolcraft school board unanimously voted to take final steps to place a $39 million bond issue for a new elementary and addition to the high school on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The board is confident voters will approve the bond issue, but they also stressed the need for transparency during the project. Vice President Jason Walther proposed accepting an idea by Treasurer Kathy Mastenbrook to hold bi-weekly meetings to address fiscal accountability through the process.
Last month, Mastenbrook voted against a resolution to put the bond issue on the ballot because she wanted another request for proposals for comparative purposes. Board President Jennifer Gottschalk noted later in the meeting they were in the process of doing just that.
Superintendent Rusty Stitt agreed that the bi-weekly meetings were a good idea. “There’s going to be some decisions when we pass this that have to go through the board,” Stitt said.
Gottschalk said the different groups working on a possible new building project are going to be stretched thin and it may be easy for information on progress to get lost in the process, underscoring the importance of regular meetings. “The board needs to be fully informed and engaged with that group,” she said.
Village council trustee Jon Stodola spoke to the board briefly at the start of the meeting, reminding trustees about recent movement in the proposed sewer project for the village. He encouraged the board members to come to the council’s next scheduled meetings on the issue.
Stitt said it would probably be a good idea for the board and council to meet at some point to discuss the two proposed projects which may end up running parallel to one another.
In other matters, the board approved the hiring of Melissa Ottesen as an 8th grade English language arts teacher and extended the contract of Superintendent Stitt.