School district to receive cost savings findings
After two months of considering seemingly every conceivable way to save money and trim costs, a budget committee will present its recommendations at the Park City Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. The recommendations are just that, recommendations, and will receive full consideration by the school board in coming months.
As the Park City School District budget "rainy day fund" dwindled at the end of 2006, several options to get the budget back on track were considered, including, pushing for additional education funding from the state legislature, increasing the voted leeway a special increase of property taxes to build the budget for 2007-08, or forcing the budget on a cost-cutting diet. With any luck, there could be a combination of the three.
Acting superintendent Tom Van Gorder formed a budget committee made up of 45 volunteers: educators, community members, Education Foundation members and administrators, looking for ways to save money throughout the district.
Seven committees were formed, each looking into separate aspects of the budget, headed by experts in that particular field. On Jan 31, roughly 30 of 45 committee members gathered to present their findings, and recommendations, in an all-day meeting. After hearing the findings of the sub-committees, the committee as a whole posted many questions to the chairs of the sub-committees.
Headings of the committees were, Human Resources, chaired by Human Resource Director, Tim McConnell, Curriculum, chaired by Curriculum Director Lori Gardner, Student Services, chaired by Tom Burchett, Student Services director, Business Administrator Patty Murphy heading the Fiscal committee, Community Education Director Judy Tukuafu, heading the Community Education committee, Tom Van Gorder heading the ‘Other’ committee, and Support Services director Steve Oliver, heading Support Services.
McConnell said that auditor Michael Heagren, has been "a huge help" to the process.
Van Gorder, "sees some pretty significant savings" from the preliminary recommendations.
"The committees have shown creativity in other ways of looking at things. It’s been a good opportunity to generate options," McConnell said.
"This will provide plenty of material for the board, but there are still opportunities to provide input," McConnell said.
The committee recommendations will be presented at the Park City Board of Education regular session on Feb. 6. Two hours have been devoted to the budget committee report, which will be presented at the end of the board meeting. The meeting, open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. at the Park City School district Office at 2700 Kearns Boulevard.
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.