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Cobre School Board accepts audit report, opens superintendent search

The Cobre school board meeting came to order at 7:17 on Monday, February 11, 2013 as board president Frank Cordova announced that the closed session had discussed limited personnel, pending litigation and student identifiable issues, and no decisions had been made. He noted that Frank Gomez and Freddie Rodroguez were absent. Cordova, Fran Kelly and Ralph Sepulveda were the three constituting the quorum.

The unfinished business of January 28 saw Mike Stone of Stone-McGee and Company, Silver City, reporting on the audit performed back in November. He noted that while his report was months late, the District’s work had been turned in on time and there were no comments, no recommendations needed. All that remained to be done now was ask questions if they were needed and take action to either accept or reject the audit. The board voted to accept the report.

Under the administration topic, Copper Little League asked permission to use the softball field near Bayard Elementary as it had in years past. Cordova questioned whether work being done on the field would interfere with this request. George Peru, interim superintendent, said there would be no problem this school year, but next, when the work of fills and paving was being done, there could be conflicts. As Hector Carrillo’s letter was in place, the board approved the request as presented.

Three budget increases were requested and a budget adjustment for special capital outlay considered. The board approved an operational increase in the amount of $109,340 with the note that the Public Education Department had made a calculation mistake of about $78,000 which financial director Frank Ryan had discovered and the district was able to claim. As the transfers to AmBank are still in progress, Cordova asked whether incoming funds would go to the old bank or AmBank. Ryan explained that it depended on when the funds arrived.

The transportation adjustment amounted to $19,822 and the Title I adjustment was $12,537. The special capital outlay request was for $61,155, increasing the summer school/after school budget from $32,773 to $57, 484, a difference of $24,711. Other instructional increases in nine other categories brought the total to the $61,155 figure. The board approved all the requests as presented.

Cordova explained the School Board Association Achievement Awards available and asked for nominations of staff or students to be sent in. Kelly nominated Ruben Udero for his past work with students over a many-year period. Cordova indicated he had the same person in mind, and no other nominations were made. Udero’s name will be submitted before the March deadline.

Peru gave the board the certificates of election for the recent school board election and said they were to sign them and send them in. It was also noted that the 210 tie between Freddie Rodriguez and Robert Montoya was broken on the recount by a single ballot, electing Montoya, who will be seated in March.

Cordova reminded the board that Peru had been given a one-year contract and it was time to either continue the contract or open a search again. Sepulveda moved that a search begin as early as tomorrow if it was appropriate, and continue to March 29, allowing about 33 business days (no weekends) for the effort. The vote approved the motion.

The review of bills was approved without discussion. The total of bills approved was $1,050,150.59.

Under Superintendent’s Report, Peru said the Sun Day Reading Program was money well spent, being used for special needs students and a few regular students. “It has helped our students tremendously," he said. He also reported on transportation needs, saying there had been no new bus replacements in years, and no fleet additions in the past five years.

He hoped a new, smaller bus could be afforded before long, as some trips were being made in the large buses which weren’t even half filled. He also noted that windows weren’t functioning properly and created problems in both very cold and very hot weather. This was mainly cosmetic, but still inconvenient.

One softball field was due for major work. Places needed to be filled in; old work was so worn that accidents were possible. The infield had been redone but more work was needed.

During the public input section, Eloy Gonzalez of Chino Federal Credit Union asked if the company could use the cafeteria on March 27 for the annual meeting. Board members said he needed to send them a letter stating what he wanted to use, such as additional equipment for a PowerPoint presentation or other items on the request. There was still time for board approval, and they would keep him informed after he sent them a letter.

Various people offered Ryan their thanks for finding the $78,000 shortage in the PED work. In Hampton Burnette’s absence, no student report was given.

The board looked at items for the next agenda and adjourned at 7:51. The next board meeting is scheduled for February 25.

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