Billings SD2 board will meet to pick new trustee

2011-12-18T15:00:00Z 2011-12-18T22:25:05Z Billings SD2 board will meet to pick new trusteeBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
December 18, 2011 3:00 pm  • 

After postponing the decision to make reference checks last week, the Billings School District 2 board will meet again Monday night and pick a trustee to fill the seat left vacant by Barbara Bryan’s resignation in October.

The board has a full agenda Monday night that includes a presentation on the budget, discussion on the district’s contract with Fielding Nair — the school design firm advising SD2 — and planning the board retreat.

Last Monday, the board interviewed each of the six trustee candidates individually. The applicants are Leo Hart, Allen Halter, Jeff Ogletree, Mary Jo Fox, John Eisen and Michael Leo.

They are vying for the seat left vacant by Bryan — who resigned from the board in October — to represent Zone 6, which includes the neighborhoods along Poly Drive and Rimrock Road from about Glenwood Lane out to the Ironwood and Yellowstone Country Club subdivision.

Trustees had originally planned to make the appointment last Monday night, but confusion on how to make best use of the applicants’ character references pushed the decision forward a week.

Trustees voted to use the week between that meeting and this one to call the references provided by each candidate.

The budget presentation Monday is slated to last an hour and will look at the projected shortfalls in state funding and what it can expect in revenue.

Growth in the district’s elementary school has been strong this year, with 325 new students enrolled. That will translate into roughly $1.3 million for the district next year.

That will help cover roughly $800,000 that won’t be coming from the state because of cuts made by the Legislature.

Also the district fell below its 5 percent budgetary reserve last year and would need an additional $1.33 million to get back up to that level.

Divisions on the board caused by strife from a tumultuous summer pushed trustees to talk about holding a retreat in an effort to find common goals on which they can work and possibly mend relationships.

Trustees are hoping to hold the retreat Jan. 7-8 with interim Superintendent Jack Copps and the new trustee.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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