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LTE – Mark Jackelen – 11-28-2012

At the New Richmond School Board regular meeting (November 19, 2012) I waited with anticipation as the clock moved toward the seven o’clock hour which would be the start of the meeting; I had arrived early so as to get a good seat.

 It was a full agenda, but the Resolution Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of Approximately $10,000,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds was the root of my anticipation. The school board had been in closed session since 5:30pm, but it was darned nice to see Superintendent Morrie Veilleux and others at the front door of the administration building when I and others entered.

I guessed by the sounds of conversation and laughter that the board must have taken a break from the arduous agenda. At 7:05 School Board President Rick Hinz emerged from the board room and stated it would be about ten minutes until the meeting started. At 7:36pm we were once again informed that it would be about ten minutes. All I could think of was that like a football game, ten minutes can quickly become an hour. At 8:01pm the doors to the board room opened and the meeting got underway. I am still wondering what the result of the closed session was as no report was made and I wondered if while the doors were closed the board had returned to open session. It is good to attend city, county and school board meetings as there can be a great difference in the way meetings are run. If you don’t know the rules (Robert’s Rules of Order) you can’t play the game very well.

After all the waiting the resolution passed with flying colors, given our AA-(minus) rating by Standard and Poor’s (which is a concern for a school district) I now started to relax a little only to be jolted from my seat when the lights came up. Field lights, the field lights are in such tough shape that the insurance company is concerned. To replace six lights could cost upwards of $300,000 to $400,000. Several possibilities were suggested such as going with four lights and checking for height restrictions because of the airport, or tapping alumni. Just when I started to see as one broadcaster says “The End of the World,” a “Ray of Hope” was brought forth by Superintendent Morrie Veilleux. We could have afternoon games, what a fantastic, brilliant, stupendous idea! Of course afternoon games and if we moved games from Friday to Saturday, there would be greater attendance as families with young children could attend, working parents could attend and best of all the players would be well rested and ready to win. This is the WIN WIN idea of the year, THANK YOU MORRIE!

Mark Jackelen
New Richmond, WI