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Arbitration finds for Hendricks in school dispute

January 1, 2014

The Ivanhoe School District has been ordered to pay more than $1 million in damages to Hendricks School District....

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(37)

farmkid

Jan-08-14 1:43 PM

Well, they were paired, not consolidated. Paired districts won't have 1 board unless they would have an equal number of members for each district. Having an even number of members can be most unproductive in terms of voting.

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ironhorse

Jan-07-14 10:07 PM

There should have been only one school board elected when they joined. I knew it was doomed from the get go when they decided to have 2 school boards. It should have been treated as "ONE" school. Should have been a clean slate or not at all.

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farmkid

Jan-07-14 7:41 PM

It's over only if the majority of the community want it that way. If they want to get the two districts working together again, it certainly is possible. If they want them separated (and on their way to dissolving) they're well on their way.

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justthefacts4321

Jan-07-14 7:08 PM

That train may have left the station but with very few on it and pulled by the caboose.

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odegaard97

Jan-07-14 11:40 AM

It's too late to be talking about Hendricks and Ivanhoe needing each other. That may be true, but IT IS TOO LATE. 1.) Ivanhoe 9-12 is going to Minneota and elsewhere. That train has left the station. Do you think they will ever come back? Minneota ain't dumb, that's good money coming into their district. 2.) As long as two different school administrations and school boards have completely different agendas, there will be no reconciliation. It's OVER, folks. There is NO PATH back to the good old days. Both districts have made their own beds and must lie in them.

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farmkid

Jan-06-14 6:17 PM

So Detroit is in the clear huh? Is that the way it works?

Ivanhoe has reserves which will be garnished, and future revenue collected would go to pay the settlement, rather than buy down their debt.

The ONLY way out of this mess for Ivanhoe is the same way out for Hendricks. These two must work together if they are to survive. If they can't do that, at least they'll have their memories.

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bucketfoot

Jan-06-14 12:31 PM

Second point. The way out of it for Ivanhoe is probably to file bankruptcy as a school district, like the city of Detroit recently did. I am not sure of the ramifications on taxpayers in the future for that (would they have to pay higher interest on bonds or other borrowing? perhaps), but it would probably put the payment to Hendricks to a halt. Especially if it can be verified that Ivanhoe is maxxed out financially.

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bucketfoot

Jan-06-14 12:29 PM

Two thoughts as an outsider. 1-there's most likely no legal standing to sue the school board members. The accountability for them to taxpayers comes at the ballot. There were public hearings, and every board meeting is open. Plus, surely they could be found in a phone book. There could be legal action if it were proven there was criminal malfeasance, which is hard to prove, unless there were bribes or other examples of corruption. But an elected official exercising his/her judgment -- even if wrongheaded. I dont' think you can sue over that, or else every elected official would get sued at some point.

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ProdigalSon

Jan-04-14 11:04 PM

OK, where's the edit feature? :}

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ProdigalSon

Jan-04-14 11:03 PM

" Just because they are elected board members, hired superintendants, county commissioners, all hired or elected offices that are funded by the taxpaying public. These people have to be accountable for their actions."~BusinessPro

Sincere question: Are school board members not covered by "Qualified Immunity" regarding suits and accountability? As long as the effort and act was in good faith....I see a case getting dismissed.

Possible there could be some recourse on the federal level?

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ProdigalSon

Jan-04-14 11:03 PM

" Just because they are elected board members, hired superintendants, county commissioners, all hired or elected offices that are funded by the taxpaying public. These people have to be accountable for their actions."~BusinessPro

Sincere question: Are school board members not covered by "Qualified Immunity" regarding suits and accountability? As long as the effort and act was in good faith....I see a case getting dismissed.

Possible there could be some recourse on the federal level?

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farmkid

Jan-04-14 8:33 PM

As a school, RTR is about average. They have the same problems and test scores as anyone else (FLY or not lol).

As for a consolidated district, they are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from successful, and it still stems from old grudges and keeping a building in each town. Ruthton's and Russell's members are always the majority vote whenever it comes to matters of upgrades. They will NEVER let their buildings be shut down, and keep pouring money into each location to the point of where there's too much money invested to shut a building down. They also made sure of that in their consolidation plan.

Successful? Not a chance, it's just that they keep it more civilized these days than they used to. Some genius over there probably figured out the bad PR they were getting.

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40again

Jan-04-14 10:59 AM

Ivanhoe would hire THAT superintendent when*****freezes over.

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JustSayin

Jan-04-14 9:53 AM

I agree, the two schools should get back together. I just don't understand why Hendricks has to fire their board and superintendent to do it. You say that law suits are unproductive but one of the only reason people in Ivanhoe are acknowledging a problem is because Hendricks sued and won. Bruce Houck made RTR successful and he can do the same thing for Hendricks/Ivanhoe. Maybe Hendricks can be the high school this time if that helps.

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BusinessPro

Jan-04-14 9:30 AM

As for law suits, they are the most unproductive waste of time and money ever thought of, the only winner is the lawyer, unfortunately it is the way the United States works. Now as to my being a minority when this referendum was passed, yes I think I was. As I had looked around I seen a lot of fine people and many I really like but I also seen that the majority didn’t have a financial stake in this matter or had a very small one at best, the strength of the vote should be based on the financial exposer of the voter, if you have less at risk you have less of a vote or none. My thought is if that were the case both districts wouldn’t be in this predicament.

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BusinessPro

Jan-04-14 9:16 AM

I think you may have touched on something that we can both agree upon, first everyone in both districts need to understand they NEED EACHOTHER, let’s look at the local ag businesses in the past 20 plus years you have seen the major players, AGCO, CNH, JD and alike consolidate their dealer organization, same in the automotive world, in a shrinking customer base you don’t get stronger as a one you band together and grow. Second you said remove the current board and superintendant, and add to that anyone that had agreed to this asinine plan, start over and get both sides to drop this silly suit and move forward. Having two empty buildings in Lincoln County would be far from productive, but wait in Ivanhoe they could move the Jail into the renovated High School, recall my last post, SILLY SPENDING has to STOP! In ALL public departments,. I hope some commissioners read this.

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farmkid

Jan-04-14 12:52 AM

Now ask yourself the following questions. Would you rather see that building with kids in it, or possibly as an apartment complex, or worse still sitting empty? No matter what, the referendum still stands, and all the ******** in the world (and lawsuits) won't change that now.

Next, ask yourself, how many people in Hendricks and Ivanhoe (probably younger generations) would still like to see a k-12 school in their district (yes probably with two buildings).

The only time to say that it is too late is when the wrong people are in charge. Remove the current board members (both boards) and get people in there that want to make this work.

The tax base is sure to be an ugly, drawn out process, but surely it's an alternative that will be better than what the two separate districts are facing.

Make no mistake; you NEED each other.

Get all that accomplished and then start fresh with a new superintendent. Both of the existing ones need to go.

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farmkid

Jan-03-14 11:55 PM

Fine, sue away, it's what dreams are made of. No wonder you can't see what is so plainly obvious.

By the way, your pocketbook has already been touched. You were in the MINORITY when the referendum passed. You sure you're not trying to get even yet?

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BusinessPro

Jan-03-14 10:30 PM

Please keep in mind I am not only referring to the school expenditures but to every department that is funded by the taxpaying public. Just because they are elected board members, hired superintendants, county commissioners, all hired or elected offices that are funded by the taxpaying public. These people have to be accountable for their actions. If you speed down the highway you get fined, it’s meant to remind you that you screwed up, they screwed up they need the ticket. It will be a message to all elected and hired.

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BusinessPro

Jan-03-14 10:06 PM

I am all ears; I want to hear your way out….. As long as your way out does not affect my checkbook or the checkbooks of those of us who had opposed the senseless spending, many of us have a significant tax burden in this county as land owners do and was not in agreement to the constant spending for a shrinking school. Time to run it as a business, when you have less than half the customer base you don’t expand the store., it would seem to me there are some that think the coffers will never run dry, we need to remember it was not all that long ago the local economy was in the tank, the ag industry had failed, foreclosures were in every paper, this can happen again as history has a habit of repeating itself, senseless emotional spending will cause this repeat.

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farmkid

Jan-03-14 8:07 PM

Oh please, you answered all your questions in your first statement. Once again, what financial good would come of a lawsuit? That is what your deleted comment was all about. The only "good" that would come from a lawsuit would be to try and hold the board members accountable. They're going to have enough trouble living in the community without a lawsuit over their heads.

There is a way out of this mess where both districts can win. People who aren't emotionally vested can see it, probably with ease too. Unfortunately, when all you're concerned about is getting even, or holding people accountable, a way out is not in the cards.

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JustSayin

Jan-03-14 5:53 PM

There is significant damage caused by decisions made by the Ivanhoe School District over the last few years. Those decisions have essential setup a situation where Ivanhoe Tax Payers are being triple taxed; Maxed out Levi, school bond, and now a financial judgment for breaking the contract for Hendricks. The end results of those decisions; shrinking population, k-6 newly remodeled school, heavy taxation on farmers and person(s) looking to move into the Ivanhoe community. It would seem to be prudent to try to figure out how this happened. What kind of information led to these decisions. The only way to get the answer would be a class action law suit.

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mikeym

Jan-03-14 5:17 PM

While I do believe that the Ivanhoe board broke the contract. It appears to me that the residents of Hendricks are finding out it auctually "costs money" to operate a school. Looks like they're in debt so lets sue.

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farmkid

Jan-03-14 2:56 PM

Ah yes. The old "I know a lawyer, and it's ALMOST certain..." routine.

In other words, you've got no guarantees, but this lawyer (if he/she even exists) is more than happy to take your money to try and prove your case, win or lose.

Do you really think a lawsuit is going to help anyone? Do you really believe these people will be able to come up with the money if they're found negligent?

They'll be forced into bankruptcy, and you'll still wind up paying the settlement, and your additional lawyer's fee. Bravo.

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JustSayin

Jan-03-14 10:32 AM

I wonder if the former Hendricks district county commissioner should be included in a class action lawsuit against the four board members who made these decisions to break the contract with Hendricks. It is my understanding, that he gave his legal opinion; based of the reading of the contract that both schools were in breach of contract and that Ivanhoe was in its rights to end the contract. I use opinion, to my knowledge the former commissioner does not have a law degree to give legal advice. I hope the school board actually got a documented legal advisory from an attorney before ending the contract with Hendricks.

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