Ignacio School Board President Toby Roderick feels that, well into his second term, he is finally learning all the things he needs to know to be of full use to the district. But he is running up against term limits.
"You look at how much learning curve there is in the first term. It's the second half of your second term that you are really making those connections in education," he said, meaning the influential people to know as well as the understanding of K-12 issues.
He wants a change to Ignacio term limits, although the change wouldn't affect him. He raised the issue at the Dec. 11 school board meeting.
Changing term limits requires voter approval.
Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto noted Roderick could sit out for two years and run for the board again.
Board member Troy Webb noted the difficulty getting people to run for the board. The last board election was canceled because only two people (Luke Kirk and Bobby Schurman) ran for two board seats.
"It's what's best for the board in the long run," Webb said, noting there could be good and bad aspects to longer board tenures. "It can be a very stable district, but if you get a dysfunctional board, you burn through superintendents. It's something that would be excellent to put before the community to at least get their ideas."
Fuschetto cited the school board in Center, named Board of the Year last year by the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), and this year they are up for recall. "That's how fast it can change," he said.
Webb responded, "I think it's good. It supports our democratic process. Unlimited terms is realistic in a small community, but you still have recall power."
Fuschetto added, "If people aren't happy with you, they can vote you out."
Webb said, "A real honest election creates conversation. I think it's a good vetting process for the district to see different ideas presented."
Also at the Dec. 11 meeting, Fuschetto gave updates on school construction projects. The elementary school has been occupied since February but has had roof leaks. "We're still dealing with the roof situation," he said. "I talked to the bond company today. We aren't getting anywhere with Okland (the general contractor). They got pulled out of Colorado, so they aren't interested in doing anything."
He asked IES Principal Karl Herr to make a list of problems. "I'm done dealing with them," Fuschetto said. At the Nov. 6 board meeting, he stated his intent to go after Okland's performance bond.
A Colorado Department of Education BEST grant paid some of the cost of the elementary school. Fuschetto said there is $399,000 left from the project, and that 61 percent of that belongs to the district but the state is claiming it.
"That belongs to the district, and the state is going to keep it," he said. "We want that."
Roderick agreed. "The (state) treasurer and secretary of state decided it was their money. It's our money."
Fuschetto said good weather has helped construction at the high school. "They are moving right along. There are some things we are doing that aren't part of the contract. The changes we've made, I think they are good changes," he said.
The district didn't get the $250,000 GoCo grant it had sought for the baseball field, so the board will have to decide whether to do a natural grass or artificial grass surface. And there are still problems with water accumulating around the perimeter. "We can't tell where it's coming from, maybe a spring. It's causing issues in the shot put area too," Fuschetto said.