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Day: May 28, 2014

Budget committee holds line on money for HS swimming

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For the Keizertimes

The Salem-Keizer School District’s 2014-15 budget proposal, representing the first projected revenue gain in five years, received budget committee recommendation Tuesday.

The budget committee met Monday and Tuesday for comments from the audience before recommending the $616,356,557 proposal, which the School Board is expected to adopt June 10.

Receiving the most attention in the budget discussions were the swimming program and the career technical education proposal.

Four people spoke from the floor Monday, all on the status of swimming. All wanted financial support for the sport restored to the budget. The argument was that the reasons for unfunding swimming were gone, because the fees swimmers paid were enough to support the sport.

Michael Wolfe, chief operating officer of the district, said that funding of swimming, which had never been eliminated, had been coming out of the general fund.

“Lately,” he added, “there has been less time and effort put into it.”

Betty Pataccoli, budget committee chair, noted that other sports have been reduced and eliminated at the middle school level. Questions were raised about funding comparisons of swimming and sports for which no one spoke from the audience Monday. Paula Radich, interim superintendent, said more information on sports funding would be ready Tuesday.

The Salem-Keizer Swim Boosters gave Radich a financial projection Tuesday that concluded that restoring swimming to its previous level could be budget-neutral for five years. Radich, noting that the budget proposal was built on the two criteria of classroom and infrastructure, recommended that swimming be left where it is for one year, at which time the district could look at what funding is available.

No budget change was recommended for swimming.

Tuesday, when no one spoke from the audience, the CTE proposal was the main topic. Rick Kimball, a board member of the committee, sought to transfer the $429,000 for the project to the contingency fund. He said that, although he supported the CTE concept, he thought the district should work first at recovering reductions.

Chris Brantley, also a board member, argued that the CTE program would keep students from dropping out. He noted that a large donation expected from Mountain West Corp., which would work with the district to organize CTE, might not be available later if the project were transferred.

Chuck Lee, a board member who is president of Mountain West and was to abstain from voting on the motion for that reason, said there was a possibility of further donations from Mountain West if the project were approved. It will be on the agenda of the board’s June 10 meeting. The committee voted to leave the $429,000 where it is.

Frosh baseball finishes with 18-4 record, huge roster


Of the Keizertimes

Louis Tiller, head coach of the McNary High School freshman baseball team, felt more than a little wiped out after the season ended last week.

It took getting a round-up of stats for the season for him to figure out why.

“We had 21 kids on the roster, but everyone scored at least twice, had at least seven at bats and played in at least seven games,” Tiller said. The team finished the season 18-4.

A huge turnout for team tryouts in March left Tiller with a problem, a bevy of riches.

“We had to do some cutting, but there were a lot of kids with ability and room for growth,” Tiller said.

“I told them that if they wanted to stay and keep training they could, but I wasn’t able to make any guarantees for field time.”

All the hopefuls accepted the offer and then Tiller had to figure out how to get 21 kids to almost every game. The depth of the team gave Tiller lots of options as the season unfolded and shined through in a preseason double-header at Dallas High School.

“They played both games to extra innings and won both. I was very impressed with how our guys persevered through the games on a long day,” he said.

The Celts followed up that performance