Siuslaw School Board holds summer meeting

District welcomes new board members, signs intergovernmental agreement

Aug. 3, 2019 — The Siuslaw School District Board of Directors administered the oath of office to four members during its July meeting on Wednesday, as well as discussed a new intergovernmental agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Guy Rosinbaum, who had already served a four-year term on the board, was also elected board chair, with previous chairperson Suzanne Mann-Heintz handing over the gavel after the board voted unanimously for Rosinbaum. John Barnett was again elected vice president.

“This is a huge commitment and often a large aggravation, and honestly we could not do this without you guys. So thank you very much,” Rosinbaum said.

Incumbent directors Bob Sneddon and Dennis King were sworn in after running unopposed during this year’s election, though both were appointed to vacant positions in the spring. Sneddon is a former radio journalist for KCST and current manager at Roby’s Furniture and Appliance, while King is a former elementary teacher who worked for the district for the past 22 years.

New to the board is Dianna Pimlott, director of Pharmacy Services for PeaceHealth Peace Harbor and a 21-year resident of Florence, who was sworn in after winning the position over longtime board member Bill McDougle.

Wednesday’s agenda was slight, “being that it’s summertime and things are pretty quiet,” Barnett said.

One of the only new orders of business came from Kari Blake, the district’s Director of Finance and Operations, who introduced an Intergovernmental Agreement between Siuslaw School District, the DMV and other local school districts regarding licensing for school bus drivers.

“For many years, DMV has executed a formal written interagency agreement that authorizes Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to operate as a ‘Third Party Commercial Driver Licensing (CDL) Skills Testing Entity,’” the agreement read. “In 2018, there were two significant and high-profile driver testing incidents, prompting the DMV to take a closer look at the inter-agency testing agreement. ODE does not employ the skills test examiners who administer the tests to drivers, but rather, bus companies and school districts employ the examiners who actually administer the tests. No formal written subcontracts were ever established and no verification that insurance and surety bond requirements were being met.”

Blake explained, “Basically, what this is saying is that in the past, ODE and DMV had an agreement directly. They oversaw the program, but not necessarily making sure that all of the people that were testing had the proper insurance. So they changed that now so you have to contract directly with the DMV if we want DMV to do our testing. It pushes the timeline to get drivers in the driver seats. School districts are supposed to enter into third party testing agreements with other school services in order to provide testing to those entities. The districts that have reached out to us are Coquille School District, Mapleton School district, Myrtle Point School District, and Lewis Transportation. By entering into these agreements, it helps these school districts get drivers in their seats faster because they’re not having to do appointments with the DMV.”

The board passed the IGA unanimously.

In closing statements from the board, Sneddon and King complimented the newly resurfaced track, with Sneddon commenting, “I think we need to remember how many students touch the track, middle school and high school students. There’s a lot of students who use that facility.”

The track was financed primarily by an estate bequest of $165,653 from an anonymous benefactor, who will be named and honored during Siuslaw’s first home football game on Sept. 20.

Regarding the football program, Barnett said, “I’ve had the privilege of watching some of our high school football staff and watching that work and watching the cohesion that we’re seeing with the team and staff and it’s pretty exciting to see. I had a chance to talk with our head coach (Sam Johnson), and he’s very motivated. It’s uplifting.”

After the meeting, the board held three executive sessions to “consider the dismissal or discipling of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or agent.” The specifics of the meeting were not discussed in regular session, though it was announced that there would be a hearing held on the matter during the Aug. 14 school board meeting. It was not specified if the hearing would be held in public or in an additional executive session.


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