I like when things are clear, and I can see clearly out my windows today that new Meeker Superintendint of Schools Chris Selle is offering a clear vision of what life is within the Meeker School District after his 100th day on the job.
A person with a clear view and a clear mission is far ahead of someone just feeling their way around, and it seems that Selle is headed into the future with a clear plan gleaned from his past with the best of intentions slated for the future.
As Selle said, “As mentioned in my Oct. 9 update to the school board, Oct. 8 was my 100th day in the Meeker School District. While I am still learning about the school district and the community, below are my initial perceptions of what I believe to be true about our students, our staff and our community:”
“There are wonderful, caring adults in our community who want to see our students achieve success.
“We have great kids who will meet the level of expectation set for them.
“Our focus must remain on student learning. Anything that distracts us from that cannot be tolerated.
‘Because of sound fiscal management by previous and current board members and previous administrators, we do have reserve funds we can utilize to provide opportunities for students.
“Those funds will dry up quickly without additional, sustainable revenue sources, either from the state level or local level—or both.
“We need to have serious conversations about replacement of the high school in the near future.
“We have a fantastic school staff. The past few years have been the most dire financial times in the history of public education in Colorado. Nonetheless, you have continued to work diligently to provide opportunities for our students.
“We have the potential to provide wonderful learning opportunities for our students when our focus remains on them.
“Seeing strong community support for, and great student participation in, extracurricular activities is encouraging as it indicates the level of support from our community and that many of our students are involved in positive endeavors.
“I am humbled with how the community has warmly welcomed my family.
“I am proud to be a Meeker Cowboy!”
Those are sage realizations and words we need to hear from the person at the helm of Meeker School District.
This is just a quick reminder that Election Day 2015 is Tuesday, a mere five days away.
The main items on the ballots we received in the mail a few weeks ago are the school board elections in Rangely and Meeker, and this should serve as a reminder that ballots must be returned to the Rio Blanco County Clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Postmarks through the mail will not count; the ballots must be in the county clerk’s office by 7 p.m. in Rangely or Meeker to count in the vote.
In Meeker, there are six candidates running for three four-year terms on the local school board and there are three candidates for the one two-year term.
Running for the three four-year seats are: Scott Aldridge, Tom Allen, Kevin Amack, Kurt Blunt, Dr. Robert Dorsett and George Henderson.
Running for the one two-year seat in Meeker are: Richard Brooks, Mindy Burke and David Smith.
In Rangely, there are four candidates seeking election to the three open seats on the board there. Those candidate are: Leslie Nielsen, Kurt Douglas, Joyce Key and Bart Nielsen.
The past two weeks the Herald Times has presented interviews with the candidates as well as public forums in which the candidates answered poignant questions regarding their candidacy.
An election is the best way to voice an opinion as to how a board has done during its last term in office.
This is the time when incumbent candidates are held accountable for their actions and when non-incumbents test the waters toward the trust the public has in them versus the incumbents.
This is the time to unload incumbents who may not have done what the public wanted, it may be time to acknowledge the good work the incumbents did and it is time to see if there might be someone better suited to serve on the various school boards.
This is the important time to look at your local school district, look at what has happened in the past, the way it is headed and to either keep on the same course it is headed or to find a new set of navigators
But only those who vote can decide the personnel on the board and the priorities voiced by the candidates.
Please get out and vote—but do so before Tuesday at 7 p.m. The students deserve your educated vote.
The school board elections are not the only issues facing Rio Blanco County voters this November.
There is a ballot issue for voters in Rangely and a state issue for voters in both towns to be decided through Tuesday’s election.
Rangely voters will be asked to approve a tax override to help the Rangely School District raise more funds since the state has continually cut state funds for the district.
Rangely district voters will be asked to approve the override, which will raise $429,935 annually to make up for the state shortfall in funding.
Voters in both town will also be asked by the state what to do with the approximately $40 million in excess tax funds raised through the state marijuana licenses and sales taxes.
Voters have a choice of letting the state keep those excess funds and use those monies for public school funding, youth programs, law enforcement and marijuana education and prevention.
The other option is for voters to ask the state for a personal refund for everyone who files a return in the state, and that $40 million would probably translate to a tax return between $6 and $8 per taxpayer.