School Board Meeting – November 25, 2014

by Autumn Cook

Held at Pleasant Grove Junior High School

Several students were recognized for their achievements and positive contribution to PGJH.

Alpine Foundation recognized 6 individuals for their contribution at PGJH: 2 teachers, 2 staff members, and 2 volunteers.

PGJH Principal Jolley made a presentation about what’s going on at PGJH. PTSA President Sandy Call made a presentation about the organization’s activities.

A representative of the School Community Council discussed the SCC’s activities, mentioning that the SCC’s mini-grants this year are going largely to technology in the classrooms.

 

Public Comment

Many of the public comments were on the Orem University Mall Interlocal Agreement, also known as the CDA (Commercial Development Agreement.) It is an arrangement whereby a taxing entity – such as a city or a school district – allows a developer to pay less than the amount it would usually be assessed in taxes for a given period of years, in this case 20 years.

Margaret Black, Orem City Council member, spoke in favor of CDA.

Andrew Jackson, Executive Director of Mountainland Association of Governments, spoke in favor of CDA, pointing out that our “fiscally conservative legislature” created that law that allows for these types of arrangements.

Julie King, Saratoga Springs resident, spoke against the CDA.

Steven Baugh, former ASD administrator, spoke in favor of the CDA. He said it was important for government to give incentives to business.

Norman Wright, Dean of the Woodbury School of Business at UVU, spoke in favor of the CDA. He noted that there’s competition between local governments for big developers activity. He suggested that if ASD doesn’t give Woodbury a tax break, they may go somewhere else besides Orem.

Rob Sandburg, Lehi resident, shared his concerns about the boundaries for the new Lehi High School under construction. He noted that he and those with whom he is working in the Sego Lily Elementary area were able to collect 600 petition signature in just two days. Their concern is that students from Lehi Junior High will be split under the proposed boundaries. He asked that the boundaries be redrawn to remedy that concern, and advocated a pure feeder school model for our District.

Mark Bezzant (sp?) commended the work of the District, and announced a donation from himself and his wife of $200 per teacher at PGJH to help with whatever they want to use it for.

Amber Gardner commented with commendation for those schools which did well on the statewide SAGE test.

Kara Sherman, American Fork resident, spoke in favor of the CDA, noting that this type of arrangement is common around the country and encouraging the District to catch up with the times.

Lynn Adams, Assistant Dean at Woodbury School of Business at UVU, spoke in favor of the CDA. He encouraged the Board to help “build an economy” because “economies don’t build themselves.”

Billy Hesterman, with the Utah Taxpayers Association, spoke against the CDA.

Randy Woodbury spoke in favor of the CDA.

Autumn Cook commented on campaign emails that were sent using District resources and time, and asked the Board to consider a resolution or policy that clarifies appropriate use of District resources in relation to campaigns. She then spoke against the CDA.

Nathan Guinn spoke against the CDA.

Hans Anderson, member of the Orem City Council, spoke against the CDA. He expressed concern for the small businesses in Orem, particularly those in the housing market, who may be driven out of business because they won’t be able to compete against a subsidized big developer and landlord. “Don’t hurt the small businesses in my city of Orem,” he said. Of Woodbury Corporation he said, “I suggest you send them back to the world of private enterprise.”

Chris Jolley, American Fork resident, commented on the campaign email situation and asked that serious measures be taken as a result of the incident.

Cameron Martin, Vice-President for University Relations at UVU, spoke in favor of the CDA. He talked about creating an “economic ecosystem that is vibrant and able to sustain and to generate good businesses.”

Lowell Nelson spoke against the CDA.

Cindy Davis spoke in favor of the CDA.

Stephanie Grant shared concerns about the boundaries for the new Lehi High School.

Lisa Dean also commented on boundary concerns.

Tanya Richardson, preschool teacher in the Freedom Elementary area, shared concerns about the boundaries for the new Lehi High in relation to students from Freedom Elementary. The proposed boundaries would divide Freedom students into 4 different schools, which is a huge concern for the people living there.

Alison Stowers also spoke about boundary concerns.

Richard Brunst, mayor of Orem, spoke in favor of the CDA. He read a letter from Governor Herbert on the issue, which said in part, “Local elected officials should have economic development as their primary goal.”

 

The Board voted 4-3 to approve the Interlocal Arrangement, 4-3. Voting in favor: John Burton, Scott Carlson, JoDee Sundberg, Debbie Taylor. Voting against: Brian Halladay, Wendy Hart, Paula Hill.

 

The Financial Report for 2013-2014 was presented. The accounting firm Squire reported a passing audit, commending ASD as a leader in school financial reporting. Repeated thanks were offered by the Board and Superintendent to Greg Holbrook, who has served as ASD Accounting Director for 20-30 years (I didn’t catch the exact length of service) and is retiring in the near future. The Board voted 7-0 to approve the report.

 

Student Excursion Requests were approved 7-0.

 

Board Member reports:

Paula Hill reported on meetings about suicide and bullying.

Wendy Hart presented a proposal for opting out of 3rd-party data collection.

Scott Carlson reported on the reviewing of school athletic status (between 5A, 4A, etc.) The public hearing on these changes was held on December 3rd.

 

Meeting was adjourned.

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