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School board gets first raise in 17 years

Would you work at job that hasn't received a pay increase for 17 years? Members of the Alexandria School District 206 board have. But at Monday night's special school board meeting, members - at least the majority - voted to finally give themselv...

Would you work at job that hasn't received a pay increase for 17 years?

Members of the Alexandria School District 206 board have.

But at Monday night's special school board meeting, members - at least the majority - voted to finally give themselves an increase in their yearly salary.

Board member salary will rise from $2,000 to $3,000 a year with an annual increase of 3 percent each year thereafter.

Two board members, Dave Anderson and Alan Zeithamer, voted against the recommendation. Those in favor of the increase included board members Judy Florell, Dean Anderson, Jean Robley and Jim Hafdal. Board member Pam Carlson was absent from the meeting.

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As in the past, the board chair will receive an extra $500. The salary will increase from $2,500 per year to $3,500.

Dean Anderson, who was voted back in as board chair at the reorganization meeting, noted that the board member salary was falling behind other boards around the area.

He explained that the recommendation went through the budget and facilities committee and that before the recommendation was made, there was plenty of discussion.

The last raise was given in 1990 when board members voted to change their salaries from $1,500 to $2,000 per year.

In addition to the salaries, the board set training and in-service allotments for 2008 at $2,300 per board member, which was not changed from the previous year.

On a side note, board members do not receive any per diems for attending meetings - regular board meetings or committee meetings.

The board also approved the January 2008 through June 2009 school board meeting calendar. All regular meetings take place the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the district's conference room.

The regular meetings for January and February, however, will both be held the fourth Monday of the month because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President's Day, respectively.

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The next regular board meeting will take place Monday, January 28 at 7 p.m. in the conference room in the district's office.

Committee appointments

Officers were also elected at the special meeting, including Dean Anderson, board chair; Dave Anderson, vice chair; and Judy Florell, clerk/treasurer.

Board members were also reassigned to a variety of boards, councils and committees. They include the following:

  • Alan Zeithamer - Runestone Area Education District, Lakes Area Recreation, Interactive Television Committee representative, the Negotiation and Personnel Committee and the Budget and Facilities Committee.
  • Pam Carlson - Chamber Joint Planning Commission, Student Connections and Budget and Facilities Committee.
  • Judy Florell - Minnesota State High School League, Chamber Joint Planning Commission, Student Connections, Budget and Finance Advisory Council and Curriculum and Policy Committee.
  • Jim Hafdal - Negotiation and Personnel Committee.
  • Dean Anderson - representative assembly designee to Lakes Country Service Cooperative and Budget and Facilities Committee.
  • Dave Anderson - Negotiation and Personnel Committee, liaison for Minnesota School Board Association and Special Education Advisory Committee.
  • Jean Robley - Lakes Area Recreation, Curriculum Advisory Council, Student Connections and Curriculum and Policy Committee.

Designations
During the meeting, the board members also designated nine area financial institutions as depositories for school funds for calendar year 2008-09.

The institutions are U.S. Bank of Alexandria, Bremer Bank of Alexandria, Wells Fargo Bank of Alexandria, Viking Savings Association of Alexandria, First State Bank of Alexandria-Carlos-Miltona, Neighborhood National Bank and American National Bank.

Funds will also be placed with the Minnesota School District Asset Fund Plus and AIM Investments.

The board also took the following actions:

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  • Redesignated the Echo Press as the official newspaper for the district's legal publications and postings.
  • Approved Swenson Lervick Syverson Anderson Trosvig Jacobson, P.A.; Kennedy and Graven; and Dorsey, Whitney Law Firm to serve as the legal counsel for the district for the upcoming year.
  • Approved Ness, Waller, Pearson and Company, Ltd. as the auditing firm for the district. The firm is now affiliated with LarsonAllen Firm and goes by the name of LarsonAllen/Ness, Waller, Pearson and Company.
  • Approved Ringdahl Architects, Widseth Smith Nolting and Associates, JLG Architects and DLR Group as the district's on-call architects.
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