Trustees tap brakes on new strategic plan

Questions over the scope of Hays CISD’s new strategic design plan led district leaders to hold off on adopting the measure until June 26.

Trustees Vanessa Petrea and Esperanza Orosco all advocated on “finessing” the plan before the district opts to decide on implementing the plan.

Hays CISD’s strategic design plan is a shared, long-term vision for the direction of the school district. The plan was crafted by the district’s strategic design team, which included a citizens committee, which conducted workshops in February and March.

But Petrea raised concerns that the workshops were conducted during the day, which could have prevented parents from participating due.

Tim Persall, Hays CISD assistant superintendent, didn’t have an exact number of parents who attended the workshops, which encompassed six days.

However, he said some parents could make the six days for the workshiop, while others could only make four to five.

Orosco didn’t feel comfortable taking a vote on the plan as she believed it was rushed and didn’t capture “the spirit of an employee friendly organization.”

She also asked staff to flesh out the plan more, while also ensuring the community understood the action steps. Orosco said the community may not be able to measure the plan with “words that we don’t understand.”

Orosco motioned during the meeting to postpone the item indefinitely, but it failed due to a lack of a second.

“I want the community to be clear to what our goals are as a district,” Petrea said.

Trustee Willie Tenorio said the board should also discuss whether the new strategic plan would supersede any of the existing goals the district has currently.

Orosco said she wanted to ensure the district’s new superintendent has some ownership with the plan and will have some input on the process.

“They are going to be the face (of the plan),” Orosco said.

Tenorio said he would like to see a mechanism that’s made public, so constituents can see the progress of the district’s plan.

“It’s extreme transparency and it engenders trust, so people can see specifically what we’ve promised to do, and see what’s getting done or not getting done,” Tenorio said.

Board trustees dismiss possible bond project manager position

Several Hays CISD board trustees balked at the proposition of the district possibly hiring a manager for its 2017 bond projects.

Holly Raymond, Hays CISD board trustee, said she was not a supporter of creating positions for a temporary need.

District officials are proposing to hire a bond project manager, who would be responsible for managing the work of staff and contractors constructing district facilities, according to district documents.

The manager would also work with district staff, its consultants and construction management firms to provide technical assistance in executing the district’s facilities master plan.

Raymond said there would always be projects going on, and that in her experience, firms can handle similar tasks “a lot better.”

“We’re not creating a position we may have to terminate at some point,” Raymond said. “There’s a better way to go about it.”

Merideth Keller, board president, was also not in favor of the bond project manager position. One of Keller’s concerns was that the salary for the bond project manager wasn’t added to the fiscal year 2018 budget, even though district officials knew they could have to manage a $250 million bond.

Carter Scherff, interim superintendent, said the salary for the proposed position is $60,000 per year.

Cost rises in Lehman turf replacement

“Hidden conditions” found during replacement of the artificial turf at Lobo Field at Lehman High might require $25,000 additional dollars.

Board trustees discussed the additional cost, which could be acted upon June 26.

Scherff said damage extended to the base layer underneath the field turf surface at Lobo Field.

Within the contract, the district had a “very small contingency.”

“If I had done like I normally do, we would have built in an additional contingency for these types of conditions,” Scherff said. “However, I failed to do so, so we’re back to the drawing board with this.”

Hays CISD trustees last month approved roughly $700,0000 in turf replacement at Lobo Field and at Shelton Stadium.

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