The Tahquamenon Area Schools Board of Education held their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 16. The main topic of discussion was the approval of the language for the operational millage. At question was whether the yearly operational millage, better known as the Headlee, should continue to be renewed yearly, or if voters should be asked to approve it for five years at a time.
Without the passage of the 18 mill operational millage, the school would not be able to collect the $3.2 million the millage generates, and could be forced to close its doors.
The board first debated if the millage should be put on the March or May ballot. Putting the renewal request on the March ballot would cost the school district very little money due to other ballot questions offsetting the cost. However, putting the millage on the May ballot would cost nearly $8,000, since it would be a single-issue ballot.
Next in the discussion was whether to request a one-year renewal of the millage or a one-time, five-year renewal. By seeking a five-year renewal, the district stood to save nearly $35,000 in election fees over five years, by not having to go back to voters for a renewal every year. Because voters rejected the last four bond proposals for school repairs, the board did not want to risk the rejection of their operational millage. Their main concern was that voters might think the five-year renewal might look too much like a bond.
They agreed to seek a one-year renewal this March.
The board also accepted the retirement of teacher Linda Anderson-Paine, after 23 years of service, and the resignation of high school principal Cliff Fossitt, who accepted a new position within the NICE school district.