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Neligh-Oakdale is moving forward with drafting an agreement to split costs on a potential merger, but the district will only pay for costs involved with a feasibility study.
That decision came Monday night after the Neligh-Oakdale Board of Education stopped midway through voting on the agreement to amend the motion and change its wording after a board member said the motion appeared “misleading.”
The nearly three-hour meeting had several heated moments, including when member Cory Furstenau asked to go into executive session to discuss Superintendent Scott Gregory’s evaluation. Board President Dave Wright said he was “in charge of the agenda” and refused “to recognize your motion.”
Furstenau said the executive session was necessary to discuss Gregory’s performance.
“How do we address the 1s and 2s and even the 3s then?. . . I just didn’t know how we were using the tool. How do we use this as a board? If this was all 4s, we would just throw it in the tool box,” Furstenau said voicing his concerns.
The board eventually did go into executive session but only after Wright made the motion at the end of the meeting. The 51-minute executive session ended at 10:15 p.m.
Much of Monday’s board meeting was spent discussing an interlocal agreement on splitting costs of a potential merger between the Clearwater original school district, Ewing and Neligh-Oakdale. While board members eventually passed a motion, it included only splitting costs of a feasibility study.
The clarification and amended motion came in the middle of voting on the original motion.
Kenny Reinke made the motion to draft the agreement, but during voting, Furstenau asked for the motion to be amended to only include costs of the study.
“I’ll be the first to say that this motion is very misleading,” Furstenau said. “Because, we are going to split the cost of a potential merger? I’m not sure what that means. Just the way that it is written here. I just want to make that aware.”
While Furstenau and Reinke clarified the motion, Wright stopped discussion and said, “Stop, stop, stop. There’s a motion on the table. Are you interested in a friendly motion?”
Reinke then amended his motion to specify the interlocal agreement was on the feasibility study. The motion passed 5-1.
Ryan Koinzan cast the lone dissenting vote against drafting the interlocal agreement. Koinzan had raised concerns over including building contractors during curriculum discussions.
“There’s been a lot more talk about building than curriculum. And to me as a parent and as board member, it's the board of education not the board of buildings,” he said. “I have to be able to show the people of Neligh-Oakdale the curriculum is actually going to improve. And I can’t answer any of those questions today.”