Valley Falls school board fails to pass budget on first attempt
by Clarke Davis
The Valley Falls school board failed to pass its budget following the public hearing Aug. 8 and was back at the table Aug. 11 with all members present.
Five members were present for the hearing and a vote of 3-2 was not sufficient to approve the budget.
Superintendent Loren Feldkamp said a majority of a quorum will pass most things on a seven-member board, but state law requires four votes to approve a budget.
LaVerne Clark and James Stevens voted against the budget with Carrie Belveal, Jody Lockhart, and Sharon Sweeney voting in favor.
A special meeting had to be called Thursday night at which time all members, including Heidi Pickerell and John Shipley, were present. The vote was 5-2.
Clark said he was unhappy with the process because he felt they needed more information earlier and could have had more input before the hearing was held. He opposed the increase in the local option budget mill levy, stating there was a $300,000 carryover built into the budget and he thought this was more than what was needed.
He would have favored a budget calling for no increase in the LOB levy.
He said they had to meet Thursday to get some more “yes” people around the table.
The board will meet an hour early for its Sept. 12 meeting for a “goals and vision” setting session.
Joining the board at 5:30 p.m. will be a representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards who will help the board members establish its goals for the next three years.
“This will just start the process and it will be good for the new board members as well as those who have been here,” Feldkamp said.
Other business items included:
- Caleb Gatzemeyer was hired to be head middle school football coach.
- Mark Scherschligt will be head middle school boys’ basketball coach and assistant high school football and track coach.
- Julie Craft was hired to be an aide for at-risk students in grades 7-12.
- Angel Funk was hired for a district cook’s position.
- The board purchased a new Chevy Impala from Ed Bozarth Chevrolet for $15,728.
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