Recall Election Date Set for J.B. Atkins, but Not Carl French

Recall Election Date Set for J.B. Atkins, but Not Carl French
Broken Bow School Board approves 2017-2018 budget on Monday night

BROKEN BOW—After 45 minutes of standard agenda items, the Broken Bow School Board went into closed session on Monday night to obtain legal counsel from the board attorney via telephone. No decisions were made in the 33 minutes the board was in closed session.

Upon returning to the high school library, Board Member Pam Holcomb made a motion to set the recall election date for November 14, 2017. Mary Shaw seconded the motion. The discussion played out as follows:

“I make the motion to set the special recall election for J.B. Atkins and Carl French for November 14, 2017,” Pam Holcomb said.

Mary Shaw seconded.

“I think that we need to, as a board, comply with the state statute and the state statute calls for us to go ahead and set the election,” Holcomb said.

“I think Carl’s letter that came from his lawyer has a couple of really valid points, so I’m not in favor of this. I think he has a high percentage chance of making his point, and to be honest, I just think it’s unjust, being part of this situation, that we have to keep hiring lawyers to protect ourselves. And I think it’s fairly clear the petitions didn’t meet the requirement. So I guess that’s how I feel about it,” J.B. Atkins said. “I would add that I’m willing to set my election for November 14. I don’t have a problem with that situation. It’s Carl’s situation that’s the issue,” he added.

“I guess I’d like to weigh in: To me, this whole process, I disagree with the ‘do-over’ I guess. To me six months is six months so, that’s where I’m at,” Gerald Pirnie said.

The motion failed. Mary Shaw, Pam Holcomb, Tom Osmond voted in favor, while Gerald Pirnie, J.B. Atkins, and Carl French voted against.

Atkins then made a motion to carry on with his election for November 14, Pirnie seconded. The motion passed unanimously. His ballot information was also approved.

It was after adjournment that Carl French informed the media that the board attorney had asked French to leave the closed session. Last week, French mentioned a letter would be mailed to the board from his private legal counsel. French informed KCNI/KBBN that he would be forwarding the letter via email so that the media could make the contents of the letter public. When asked if the board will be in violation of the state statute, it was advised the media inquire with the County Clerk. KCNI/KBBN is in the process of making that inquiry.

The other pressing agenda item for Monday evening was the official 2017-2018 budget vote. Atkins made the motion and Pirnie seconded to approve the $10.99 million budget. All board members voted in favor except for Holcomb, who voted against.

Holcomb also voted against the proposed tax request, which passed five to one at $8,815,734 with a levy of 0.897114. This includes the property tax request of $8,375,371 and the bond fund of $440,363. (According to Business Manager Heather Nichols, the bond fund is the North Park addition from 2012.) The request is down from last year’s tax request of $9,793,278.

Atkins reported that $3,074,007.26 is the 2016-2017 ending balance, with $1.29 million currently in the general fund. Monthly claims were approved.

Administrator Comments:

Kim Jonas: Pam Holcomb, Tom Osmond, and Kim Jonas discussed the success of the elementary curriculum night and its focus on ‘literacy at home.’ Jonas also reported that five elementary students have been selected to participate in a state-wide choir concert on November 16. Nebraska Loves Public Schools has contacted the BBPS, hoping to highlight the Character Works Program.

Nikki Altig: Preschool Family Reading Night on Tuesday evening. Altig also reported that of the 864 students (at the time she gathered these numbers) in the district, 160 have been verified to receive extra help in school, ranging from articulation errors to mental handicap designations.

Rusty Kluender: ACT scores above state average; the Patriotic Program on September 13 was a success working with the band, choir, VFW, and police department on the courthouse lawn; Student-led Safe Zone Program has been working with counselors to support other students in stressful situations

Ryan Hogue: Emphasized importance of parental involvement with children/youth and their use of social media; College fair on Wednesday; Janet Landrigan and Berean Church support in recent Cross Country meet; Homecoming bonfire on Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Melham Park; Pep Rally on Friday, September 29 in the City Square

Tom Bailey: Acknowledged that Broken Bow students are applying to colleges and institutions all over the country; Attending Legislative Forum Breakfast on Wednesday at the Bonfire Grill

A work session was scheduled for October 2 and the next official board meeting will be held on October 16. Monday night’s meeting adjourned at 9:01 p.m.