Burton School Board member Ronnie Hohlt officially resigned his position on the board last night saying that a business opportunity came up that would require him working for the district. Hohlt has served on the board for 7 years and was last elected in May of 2016. Board President Demetrius Colvin explained that in order to save the taxpayers the expense of holding another election, the board would appoint someone to replace Hohlt. Colvin said the board agreed to appoint the candidate who received the next highest vote total in the last election. Jeff Harmel, who lost re-election to the board in May by just 12 votes, was then appointed by the board to fill Hohlt’s position. As an appointed trustee, Harmel will serve until the next trustee election in May of 2018. The position will then be on the ballot for the voters to decide. Board member Ande Bostain was voted in to serve a board secretary. Later in the meeting, it was revealed that Hohlt will be employed by the district as a contract employee in charge of campus maintenance.
In other action, the board decided to keep the current tax rate of $1.17 per $100 valuation. That proposed tax rate will be voted on after a public hearing on August 28th. The board will also hold a workshop session on that date to finalize the district’s budget. Currently, the projected budget, would bring in over $300,000 more in local taxes, but would lose over $400,000 in state funding compared to last year. Total expenditures are expected to be just under the 5 million dollar mark, about $150,000 lower than last year. The board decided to table any action on employee salary and benefit increases. The board wanted to wait and see what the state legislature is going to do in the special session that ends tonight (Wednesday). They are looking at a $1200 pay increase to teachers, and a 3 percent increase to all other employees, but will make that decision at their August 28th meeting.
In other action, the board voted to change the graduation requirement for Burton High School. They voted to eliminate the local requirement for a business class that taught how to use Microsoft Power Point and Word. The requirement was added 13 years ago and is now outdated as most students in high school are already using the software.