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Off the Editor’s Desk – 5-2-2018

Glenwood City School Board members on daycare expansion issue!

Last Tuesday morning as I read the draft of the story about the Glenwood City School Board meeting of Monday night I was shocked to find that the school board was considering expanding the schools daycare to include babies.

I quickly addressed an email to school Superintendent Tim Johnson about my objection to the expansion idea. My concern is spending taxpayer’s money on a service that is readily available in the community. 

My concern was that the new facility which Glenhaven just recently completed to provide childcare services plus the several other home based childcare individuals met the needs of the community and are not supported from the public coffers. I noted to Mr. Johnson that the community probably could not support both Glenhaven and the school operating daycare centers along with the private ones.

I quickly got off a call to School Board member John Logghe on this item and the fact that it was not an agenda item on the meeting notice for the April 23rd meeting. John informed me that it was in a committee report and I conceded that was a proper event. He noted to me that he had concerns about Glenhaven and the school on this issue and indicated that he presented them at the board meeting.

Did anyone ever try to contact a school board member by telephone? Not one of the members of the Glenwood City School Board has a number listed in the phone book, nor does the school’s website have a number listed. They each, however, have an email address. So, on Thursday I sent off an email to all members of the board except new member Lisa Logghe. I figured I would let her get her feet wet on the board before diving into a matter that she has yet to get all the information about.

By Thursday morning I had heard a rumor that the Superintendent had told the members of the board not to talk about the childcare issue. I made note of that to the board members in the email and asked them to respond to me by phone or email about their support of the school getting involved?

As of Monday, and closing in on the deadline for this week’s newspaper, I had received two emails, one from board member, Jon Mrdutt. His comment was “I would encourage you to attend a meeting so that you can hear the dialogue regarding this topic or any others.”

Monday morning I got a response from board president Dr. Lisa Kaiser indicating that I needed to correspond with board members individually so that a walking quorum does not occur. “We were advised to not speak as a collective group for that reason only,” Kaiser wrote. She continued with, “The goals in my opinion are to encourage people to keep their children in our district, promote services that Glenwood City has to offer so as to attract individuals to live in our community and raise their children here. I believe there are more than 16 children ages newborn to 2 ½ years of age in our community and surrounding townships. We have limited childcare here and this is why so many chose to go to Baldwin/Woodville. We have just been revisiting what we started a year ago. Nothing has been put in place and it is just dialog.”

Mrdutt is right about attending public meetings. That is something that we all should do and get in on the ground floor. Whether it’s the school board, town board or village board, it will keep you informed on what is happening in your community.

I urge you to attend the next regular school board meeting which is a 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 14th.

Thanks for reading!     ~Carlton