Elmore County school board explores superintendent raise

The Elmore County Board of Education took time to look at potentially approving a raise for superintendent Richard Dennis during the Jan. 28 meeting.

(Stock photo / The Herald)

Although the 2020 elections are still two years away, the Elmore County Board of Education took time to look at potentially approving a raise for superintendent Richard Dennis during the Jan. 28 meeting.

Administrative assistant Jean Czerpak said board members looked at the salaries of superintendents for neighboring systems to compare where the Elmore County system stands. By law, Czerpak said the board must make a decision at least 18 months before the next election if they want to proceed with a raise.

“They have to vote on this by March,” Czerpak said. “They will discuss it more at their February meeting and we could see them reach a decision then as well.”

In an effort to keep tax revenues in the county, the board approved a pair of resolutions regarding tax millage used for county schools. The first called for a special election to renew taxes collected under Amendment 3 of the Alabama Constitution, while the second requested a special election for a different tax to take the place of one currently collected.

Dennis said all school districts across the state are required to have 10 mills of tax for funding, with systems falling short of tax mills approved in a public vote covered by the state under Amendment 778. If the special vote passes, the 3 mills currently covered by Amendment 778 would be replaced by 3 mills collected under Amendment 382 of the state constitution, putting the Elmore County School System in the same position as the Tallassee City School System, which has already approved such a measure.

Dennis stressed Elmore County residents would still pay 10 mills of tax whether the vote passes or fails but approval means local tax revenues will cover what is currently covered by the state.

The board also approved four bids from three companies to handle lawncare services across the system for a total of $206,025. Site Scapes from Pike Road will service schools in the Eclectic area for $42,000; Millbrook-based Clean Cut Property Maintenance was approved for bids of $45,375 and $34,650 to service the Millbrook and Holtville areas, respectively; and Yard Guard Lawn Care of Wetumpka was awarded the bid to service Wetumpka and Redland for $84,000.

The Elmore County Board of Education also handled the following items:

• Following a private hearing, the board voted to expel a student from the system, effective Jan. 29, although the student will be allowed to return on the first day of the semester beginning in January 2020.

• The board approved a proposed service agreement with Rice Advisory of Montgomery to help the system with some of its financial information.

• Three facility use agreements, one for Wetumpka Elementary School and two for Wetumpka Middle School, were approved.

• Human resources director Susanne Goodin said a new policy on cheerleading was being prepared and also presented a draft for a new organizational chart within the system to the board members.

• A resolution authorizing and providing an extension in maturity of the series 2016 Capital Outlay School Warrant was approved. Czerpak said it was extended from Feb. 1 to May 1.

• The board approved 10 new hires across the system, three employee transfers, four resignations, seven leave-of-absence requests and a request to rescind a resignation.

• The board recognized Frank Hysmith for being selected to serve on the Alabama School Bus Specifications Committee of the Alabama State Department of Education, as well as Holtville Middle School counselor Jessica Shields for being awarded the Outstanding Practitioner Award from the Alabama Counseling Association.

The next meeting of the Elmore County Board of Education will be Feb. 18 at the central office in Wetumpka.