Herald JournalHerald Journal, March 24, 2003

HLWW seeks to correct unbalanced board terms

By Lynda Jensen

The subject of fall elections highlighted the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school board meeting Monday.

The board unaminiously opted to petition the Tenth Judicial Court to correct its current "imbalance" ­ that is, that five seats are up this fall for the seven member board.

Seats scheduled to expire are Al Doering, who was appointed to fill out Gene Lorentz's term, Chairman Jim Raymond, Jim Fowler, Charles Weber, and Ken Zimmerman.

The imbalance came about in the elections of 1999, which was attributed to human error, that allowed one of the terms to be posted as four years instead of two, Ladd said in the January meeting.

Supt. George Ladd investigated the idea of staggering one of the terms so that the board would not turn over so many positions at once.

Ideas discussed in the past were:

· casting lots to make one of the positions two instead of four years,

· changing from odd to even year elections, or

· pass a resolution to change one of the terms.

None of these ideas were pursued. It was decided to ask the court to either draw lots for which seat, or otherwise give direction on the matter.

Another issue discussed was possibly breaking the school district into voting precincts.

So far, Winsted Township is in favor of the idea, with the City of Winsted giving a verbal positive response, Ladd said. Ladd is waiting for responses from other townships and cities.

Memorial ballfield is out for fall, too

The board also discussed the shape of the Memorial Park ballfield.

Neither baseball this spring nor football in the fall will be played at the field, Athletic Director Dale Decker told Ladd before the meeting. Decker was not present.

Currently, the Lakers' varsity baseball schedule is composed entirely of away games.

The whole ballfield at Memorial Park was seeded and fertilized last fall, commented Tim Kosek of the city maintenance department.

"It did come up somewhat green before it froze (in the fall)," Kosek said.

The lack of snow cover at first was a damper, and might affect the new grass, he said.

"We're going to seed it again this spring, and fertilize it," Kosek said.

"It's hard to say where it's going to be at this year," Kosek said. "It takes time."

Hopefully a good growing season will spur the new grass, but this kind of thing takes time and patience, he said. "It won't happen overnight."

'Mini grants' to be available to students

The board also discussed what to do with about $11,000 annually that is generated by the Pepsi vending machines on the school premises.

The pop and juice machines are turned on after school.

Previously, the board discussed using the money toward student programs directly, since the money is made from student purchases.

It was decided to give authority to the principals, plus a committee of parents, to decide how the money will be distributed, in the form of "mini grants."

The money will be divided up, with 50 percent going to the high school, 25 percent going to Humphrey Elementary, and 25 percent shared between Howard Lake and Winsted elementaries.

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