BIG LAKE BOARD OF EDUCATION Chair Tim Hayes (right), is being challenged by Board Member Tom Pietrzak for his leadership role. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Pietrzak challenges Hayes for board chair

Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards
Tom Pietrzak challenged Tim Hayes for the position of chairman of the board of education at their organization meeting last week.
Hayes, who has been chair for at least the last 10 years, said there are still things happening he would like to see completed before he steps down. Board Members Dan Nygaard and Tony Scales supported his bid.
Board Member Mark Hedstrom nominated Pietrzak and was seconded by Amber Sixberry.
“I thought you would have to run for election in November,” said Hedstrom. “It would be useful to have you around as somebody else assumed the role.”
The board voted on the matter three times but remained at a stalemate.
Hayes will keep the position until the January 30 board meeting when the issue will be voted on again.
Scales nominated Hedstrom for the position of clerk. Scales was also reconfirmed as treasurer of the board.
The board named the West Sherburne Tribune as their official newspaper. Board meetings will continue to be set for the fourth Thursday of each month with the exception of January and February. 
The February meeting has been changed to the 20th. Also the November meeting is scheduled for Nov. 20 and December’s meeting will be Dec. 18. because of the holidays. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.
Board members voted to leave their compensation unchanged. The Big Lake School Board is the lowest paid board of all the schools in the area at $45 per meeting and $60 for meetings lasting longer than four hours. 
By comparison, Monticello school board members are paid a stipend of $3,147.84 per month. Elk River Board members garner $500 per month, Princeton school board members earn $350 per month plus $50 per meeting and their chairperson earns $450 per month plus the meeting stipend.
Chair Hayes suggested raising their compensation to Becker’s level, the next lowest paid area board, at $50 per meeting and $80 for meetings which last longer than 4 hours.
“If we are going to go out and ask the people for more money, I don’t favor giving ourselves a raise,” said Nygaard.
The board reviewed their committee assignments and a few minor changes were made. It was also discovered some committees meet rarely or never. The communications committee, for example, was disbanded.
The board approved membership renewals in a number of organizations, including the Minnesota School Board Association, Schools for Equity in Education, Resource Training and Health Solutions, Central Minnesota Educational Research and Development Council and the Minnesota State High School League.


Roanne Euerle works at Advanced Styling in Big Lake as a massage therapist. She also performs the Raindrop massage. (Photo by Heather Smith.)

Animals/Mammals: Bob Severson of Big Lake

CENTRACARE HEALTH CEO Dr. Ken Holmen visited Monticello Tuesday to meet hospital staff and community leaders. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

BIG LAKE TWP. SUPERVISORS Bruce Aubol, Norm Leslie, Bob Hofer and Steve Pfleghaar unanimously agreed Wednesday to submit a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, opposing the proposed 240-acre solar farm for the township. (Photo by Gary W. Meyer)

INFORMATIONAL. Sherburne SWCD Conservationist Bill Bronder and Water Resource Specialist Tiffany Determan spoke with attendees at the first annual Small Farms Day program at the Sherburne History Center last Saturday. (Photos by David Hannula.)