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School board cancels election, two directors to be sworn in

With two unopposed candidates for open school board seats, the Archuleta School District 50 Joint school board has cancelled its proposed November election.

Linda Lattin, director for District 5, filed papers for reelection and was unopposed in her district. Matt Aragon’s seat in District 1 will be filled by Bill Nobles, currently head of the Archuleta County Extension Office.

Nobles was unopposed for the District 1 seat. Local resident Tim Taylor had started the petition process, but reconsidered his candidacy after hearing that Nobles had filed a petition to run for the seat.

District Superintendent Mark DeVoti thanked Taylor for halting the petition process, saying, “Tim took out papers but looked at the cost of the election and did what he thought was best for the county and the district.”

For his part, Taylor said, “I think Bill will do a good job.”

If an election was held in November, estimated costs ran between $30,000 and $40,000.

Lattin and Nobles will be sworn in at the Nov. 10 district school board meeting.

Another open seat on the board, vacated after Sandy Caves resigned on Aug. 11 after moving out of District 3, will be filled by appointment, Individuals interested in the position need to submit a letter of interest by Tuesday, Sept. 22, to the district office at 309 Lewis St. Those letters can also be mailed to Executive Secretary Robyn Bennett, Archuleta School District 50 Joint, P.O. Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Interested candidates should call the district office, 264-2228, Ext. 401 or 402, for more information.

The school board will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library to interview candidates. Following the interviews, the board will make a selection and swear in the new director at the regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 5 p.m.

In other news, DeVoti reported that preliminary enrollment numbers indicate a slight boost from last year — 1,498 students as of last Friday. “We can’t be sure of these numbers, but it may be an indicator,” DeVoti said.

Considering the district receives equivalency funding for students to the tune of about $8,000 per student, a jump in enrollment — up 45 students from last April — would be good financial news for the district.

DeVoti also announced that, due to technical limitations, the district was not able to stream President Obama’s speech to students into classrooms Tuesday. Instead, the district recorded the speech and students will view the speech at a later date, giving teachers time to formulate classroom materials to accompany the speech. A more detailed explanation regarding the president’s speech is available on the district’s Web site at www.mypagosaschools.com.

Also on the Web site is information on the district’s policy regarding the H1N1 virus (swine flu). A three-page informational packet was sent home with students on Monday.

Finally, the board considered the matter of waiving impact fees until more information is made available to the Community Economic Roundtable (CER) — in about seven weeks.

The district had agreed to participate in the CER, to the tune of about $1,800, for finding a “rational nexus” for impact fees — creating a joint impact fee program that would be fair, while avoiding duplication of one-time fees assessed against new development. However, when the Town of Pagosa Springs made the decision to waive impact fees last June, it asked the district to join the town in the waiver of those fees (the town has an Intergovernmental Agreement with the district for collecting the district’s impact fees).

“I think we need to stay consistent and, hopefully, down the road, we can raise them (impact fees),” said Lattin.

With results from the CER still pending, the board decided to table the decision regarding impact fee waivers until that data is made available to the school board.

jim@pagosasun.com