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Board unable to chose chair

After rescinding the appointment of Jerry Peterson to the Pine River-Backus School Board, the board was left with six members and a 3-3 split vote on who should be board chair in 2013.

Two votes were taken at the Monday, Jan. 7, reorganizational meeting, each with the same result: Board members Chris Cunningham, Sandy Poferl and Garny Gaffey voted for Poferl as chair; and board members Barb Beck, Jim Coffland and Katy Botz voted for Beck as chair.

When further nominations were taken, the board changed course and unanimously chose to wait until it had a full seven members before taking another vote for who should be chair.

The board plans to appoint a new board member in February based on the applications it receives and an interview process.

Until that time, Gaffey will continue in his position as acting chair.

The board did fill other positions on the board, naming Coffland as vice chair and Botz as clerk/treasurer.

In other organizational business Monday, the board:

• Heard the committees and commissions board members may be a part of. A final list of appointments will be determined and approved at the Feb. 11 board meeting.

• Set official board meeting dates and times for 2013. All board meetings take place on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m., except for the February meeting, which will be Feb. 11, and the December meeting, which will be Dec. 17.

• Set official board salary rates. The board chair will receive $200 a month and all other board members will receive $175 a month. Board members will receive $35 for special board meetings, and will receive $35 for committee meetings. Board members will be paid $75 per full day workshop and $35 per half-day workshop.

• Renewed district membership with various organizations on a split vote. Coffland expressed concern in the value of entering certain organizations for the money spent, and he and Botz voted against the measure.

• Named the Pine River Journal its official publication; set the Pine River State Bank and Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund as the official depositories; authorized superintendent Cathy Bettino, the human resources director, the board chair and the clerk/treasurer to make investments and other banking transactions; and renewed Kennedy and Graven as district legal counsel.

• Raised the meal reimbursement rate by $2 for each meal. The reimbursement rate is now $8 for breakfast, $11 for lunch and $15 for dinner.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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