Dawn Rye | Writer
During last week’s Parker School Board meeting, a motion was made to have president Jason Chester and board member Ransom Jones meet with two Marion School board members.
Superintendent Donavan DeBoer reflected on the previous meeting with the community and noted some key points. DeBoer discussed getting the school information on the website, which has been done, and coming up with a multiple plan sites. He described the design as a seventh through 12th-grade building with possible future construction on the area south of the track. DeBoer said he did add in parking because that was a big concern.
Chester noted if the Marion School Board agrees to it, there would be a two-party committee.
Jones explained during the public meeting, the community wanted to see where Marion sat with a consolidation. He said he called three of the five board members in Marion. He noted a lot of discussion and dialog came back to Marion’s consolidation committee that consists of Matt Donlan and Larry Langerock. Jones commented the idea would be to get both committees together in an open forum session to see if the consolidation has value moving into the future. He said the board members he spoke with were excited about the idea. Jones noted many pros and cons when it comes to a meeting as a full board or committee
Board member Erin Anderson explained that she was in favor of meeting as a full board meeting.
“We have needs, right now here at the school,” commented Anderson.
She noted if Marion is unwilling to move forward, then let’s put the “pin in it” now and figure it out. Anderson said her concern is consolidation because it is taking away the potential building project. She commented she knows students in Marion and wants to give them the opportunity, however, her concern is it’s time to consolidate.
Chester said if Anderson wants to put the “nail in the coffin,” having full boards meet without any preliminary discussion will do it.
Board member Greg Simmermon noted he believes the only way a consolidation would work is if all five Marion board members are 100 percent for it.
Chester said if the board is discussing consolidation, the Parker board can throw the building project to the side. He noted a different board would take up the building project three to five years from now.
Chester commented that the Parker board had a list the last time when they discussed consolidation with Marion. He said there are specific details that need to be decided upfront.
DeBoer noted consolidation is a minimum two-year process because things need to be filed with the state.
Board member Brett Olson said with all due respect to Marion’s tax base; his concern is he feels like the board is “beating a dead horse” based on previous discussions with Marion.
Chester noted he has no problem meeting as a committee as long as Marion is for consolidation.
DeBoer said it sounds like the board is looking at some choices.
Anderson commented before the board meeting, a smaller committee should set up the talking points. She said the board has to address the community request.
The committee meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 23 and is closed to the public.