The Salida school board approved a resolution about annexation by Colorado Mountain College to include the wording for the ballot issue during its regular meeting Tuesday.
The approved ballot issue wording reads:
“Shall the property within the boundaries of Salida School District Number R-32-J be included in the boundaries of the Colorado Mountain College District, and in so doing expand the availability of low-cost college degrees and certificates; including education and lifelong learning; tuition free concurrent enrollment for high school students; and skilled trades and industry specific training, on behalf of the residents of the Salida School District Number R-32-J.”
The resolution passed by a 5-1 vote, with District 3 member Cheri Post casting the lone dissenting vote. District 1 member Penny Wilken was not present.
Post said she supported the aim of the annexation but hesitated to vote for the ballot wording as presented because she did not think it was transparent enough and did not remind people a tax is involved with the annexation.
Several other members agreed with the need to inform voters but said they thought that efforts to educate the public on the specifics of the annexation issue would be sufficient to provide adequate information for them to make an informed decision in November.
Board President Jennifer Visitacion said after the vote that the resolution was “not passed with the intention of not being fully transparent with our community.”
Visitacion said she celebrated the work getting to this point in bringing this option to the community and was proud of the community for engaging in the discussion about annexation with CMC.
Rachel Pokrandt, vice president and campus dean of CMC Leadville campus, who has been working with the school board on the annexation proposal, said she was excited and told the board the website about the proposed annexation was “already up and running.”
The website can be accessed at colomtn.edu/salida.
In other business the board:
• Heard a presentation about communication and branding from Bill Donavan.
• Heard beginning-of-the-school-year reports from principals and department managers. Early reports from principals at Salida Early Childhood Center, Longfellow Elementary School, Salida Middle School and Salida High School indicate an influx of new students to the district.
It was unknown how many students have moved out of the district. Official numbers will be available after the Oct. 1 pupil count.
• Approved changes to board representation on committees including the District Accountability Committee and school accountability committees.
The board adjourned to executive session to discuss the superintendent evaluation.