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Rib Lake school taxes to drop, Cardey to stay for now

Rib Lake school taxes to drop, Cardey to stay for now Rib Lake school taxes to drop, Cardey to stay for now

Rick Cardey agrees to stay on as administrator through end of school year, was set to retire

Rib Lake taxpayers will pay less this year for the school portion of their property taxes, but just not as much less as originally hoped.

At a special school board meeting Monday, board members set a tax rate at $8.09 per $1,000 of equalized value for the 2020-2021 school year. This is down from last year’s rate of $8.44 per $1,000.

According to district administrator Rick Cardey, the final levy turned out a little higher than projected at the Oct. 5 annual meeting due to state equalized aid dropping by $9,182 over what was anticipated and the opportunity for the district to utilize a one time open enrollment exemption. In addition, the finalized value for the district which was released this month, had the value of the district going up but by about a $1.1 million less than originally estimated. Cardey noted the overall value still went up by about $7 million and is at $288,873,943.

The aggregate school district tax levy is $2,338,293. This breaks down to $1,799,943 for fund general operations, $515,850 for debt service, and $22,500 for the community service fund.

Administrator update

In August, Cardey announced plans to retire in October and the board approved his resignation. However, after doing a superintendent search and interviewing finalists, those retirement plans have been put on hold with the board asking Cardey to stay on through the end of the school year. The board had initially sought to replace and had posted the position statewide. On September 28, the School Board reviewed candidates and chose three to interview on October 13. All 3 were experienced administrators but were new to superintendency. After the interviews, the school board decided that at this time, there was not a perfect fit for the position due to the daily challenges of COVID-19, secondary superintendent roles which could not be filled, and how the transition would impact the continuity at the building levels.

Board members and Cardey came to an agreement on a contract that will extend Cardey’s tenure in the district through the end of the school year.

“Although I had created a bucket list for retirement, I have always been highly committed to the success of the district. I have greatly appreciated the relationships I have had with the students, staff, school board, and community, and I realize the importance of continuity and stability at a challenging time,” Cardey stated in a letter to the community.

One of the concessions for Cardey to stay, the board agreed to grant him additional flexibility in scheduling his hours to take time off as needed.

In other business, board members:

_ Approved hiring Jacob DeLaurelle to be the new Spanish teacher for grades six through 12. He graduated from UW-Green Bay with a degree in Spanish. Jacob comes to Rib Lake with experience as a Spanish Language Instructor for adults.

_ Approved hiring retired educator Martha Danowski as the assistant forensics advisor for the upcoming season.

_ Approved posting of an on-staff substitute teacher. With a small number of substitutes available this year, the School Board would like to limit the number of times that teaching staff are asked to substitute for other teachers instructionally during their prep period. Costs would be covered through money already budgeted for this school year.