Heights School Board Aiming for Unity on Budget Vote; Tables Vote Until Special Meeting Thursday

Andrew Trzaska | June 28, 2011

In order to get final questions answered as well as hoping for complete agreement, Muskegon Heights’s school board chose at its meeting Monday night to table its budget vote until the evening of Thursday, June 30.

The decision came when one board member stated before the vote that she did not have enough information on the budget to make a decision for it.

Board trustee Trinnell Scott stated that she had been unable to get necessary questions answered in time for the vote.  Therefore, she had reservations about approving it.

Board president Avery Burrell moved to table the vote until Thursday evening at 6 p.m.

The budget was projected to pass even with the lone vote against it, however other board members including Burrell stressed a need to be unified in the face of possible intervention by the state.

“The state is looking too close at us to have any kind of no votes”, said Burrell.

Board vice president Ronald Jenkins stated that making sure all decisions were made unanimously would ensure that the lean times to come would be handled with minimum conflict.

“The next two months is crucial for us, and crucial for the survival of this district,” said Jenkins.  “We’re trying to do what’s best for our young people.”

Several indications of good things happening in the district came through at Monday’s meeting as well.

Marjorie Cook of the Lights On After School program spoke about the program’s continued work Monday night.
Funded by the local United Way, the initiative provides meals and transportation to student after school three days a week, plus allows students opportunities for field trips and homework help.

With Muskegon Public Schools slated to close their pools, Superintendent Dr. Dana Bryant reported that several school districts are looking at Muskegon Heights to use Muskegon Heights facilities for a fee, generating inter-district activity in area.

Dr. Bryant also noted in his report that the district is working with Middle Cities to navigate the state’s Department of Education to reach a solution to some of the impasses it faces.

To comply with guidelines, the budget must be in place by Friday, July 1, 2011.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst