Steamboat Springs School Board to discuss surplus spending |

Steamboat Springs School Board to discuss surplus spending

Board also to start search for new member

Scott Franz

— The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday afternoon will discuss its district’s recent spending of a $143,000 surplus and also start the process of seeking a new board member.

The district’s spending of the surplus, which it received from an enrollment gain of more than 22 full-time students, has drawn fire from Steamboat’s teachers union.

Superintendent Brad Meeks said last week that the district used much of the additional revenue to fund the additional personnel the school system needed to accommodate its growing student population.

But Steamboat Springs Education Association President Babette Dickson told the School Board earlier this month that she and other teachers think some of the district’s expenditures, including $12,000 for telephone and Internet service expenses and a planned expense of as much as $9,829 to hire a part-time administrative assistant at the district’s front office, could have been better spent elsewhere.

Board President Brian Kelly indicated last week that the board on Monday would discuss whether it should have more control over the surplus spending in the wake of the criticism from the teachers.

"It’s an unusual circumstance," Kelly told the Steamboat Today. "There’s a significant issue there with the amount of money and how you should go about dividing that amount. The question before us is whether it should go back to the budget process, and if so, what’s the limit on" the amount of a surplus the district can spend before it seeks approval from the School Board.

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Included in Monday’s agenda packet is a detailed outline of the district’s surplus spending.

Also Monday, the board is expected to start searching for a replacement for outgoing board member Wayne Lemley.

Lemley resigned from the board last week citing the need to attend to "personal matters."

His seat was in jeopardy leading up to the resignation because he missed three consecutive regular board meetings, and his fellow board members indicated they would consider declaring his seat vacant in the wake of those absences.

The board is set to accept Lemley’s resignation and start soliciting applications for the open District 2 seat Monday. It then will have 60 days to select a new board member, and interviews for the position will be conducted in the public.

According to a release from the school district, District 2 covers the southern part of the school district including voting Precincts 18, 7, and 6, but does not include the Tree Haus neighborhood.

Copies of the district boundary maps are available here, or applicants can call the district office at 970-879-1530 to determine if they reside in the boundary and if they have any questions.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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