Morenci school board 2012.09.19

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Board of Education received an audit report last week that was both positive and negative. There’s no problem with accounting procedures, but the numbers don’t look good.

Steve Piesko of the accounting firm Maner Costerisan told the board that business office procedures received a clean, unqualified report, but the approaching deficit situation must be addressed.

The budget for the current school year shows a deficit of $363,000 and a fund balance of only $256,000 to cover the shortfall.

When adapting a negative budget, the district must contact state offices to explain a strategy for getting out of the red.

Two accounting firms were hired in May, one to review the district’s business office and another for the annual audit. The decision was made in an effort to restore confidence in the business office after some school staff members had questioned the accuracy of information and reported past errors.

JOBS—Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne told the board about a meeting he recently attended with several regional businesses that will be expanding operations. The business owners want qualified employees to fill future job openings.

Osborne said he was told that requirements are not focussed on academic skills as much as work ethic and teamwork abilities.

APPLAUSE–Secondary principal Kelli Campbell reminded board members of the  “Bulldog Applause” program designed to recognize students and staff for “positive acts.” Nomination forms are available at the school and on the school website.

STEAMER—The board voted to buy two smaller steamers for the kitchen to replace a larger one that needs repairs estimated to cost at least $5,000. The new units cost about $7,000 each.

SUPPLIES—The board approved bids from Lightning Quick for gasoline, from Tri-County Fuels for diesel fuel, from Aunt Millie’s for bread products and from Arps for dairy products.

COACHES—Megan Petticrew was hired as middle school cheer coach and Joe Farquhar as seventh grade boys basketball coach.

INSURANCE—Board members approved sending a letter of interest to explore a county-wide purchase of insurance.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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