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News from the week of October 24, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Garry Hippe is school board write-in candidate

Garry Hippe announced his candidacy for the Tracy school board this week.

The 1966 Tracy High School graduate is running as a write-in.

“What really got me started thinking about this is the number of people who have asked me to run, people that I really respect,” Hippe said.

Three, four-year terms on the Tracy Board of Education expire at the end of this year. Two incumbents—Ed Carter and Eric Nelson—have filed for reelection. The third incumbent, Keith Rayman, decided not to run again. A Nov. 6 election will fill the three positions.

Hippe is the only person to announce a write-in candidacy.

“The important thing is to concentrate on the kids and the education we should be providing for them,” he said of his goal as a school board candidate.

Hippe is a rural mail carrier on the Garvin route. Prior to accepting the job with the U.S. Postal Service, Hippe worked 14 years as a Tracy Public School custodian.

United Fund needs $1,500 to reach 2001 drive goal

The Tracy United Fund is within $1,500 of reaching their $12,500 goal.

As of Monday, donations to the 2001 United Fund stood at about $11,000.

United Fund board members urge citizens who haven't yet given to the drive to send in their contributions. Board members say it is important the United Fund reach its goal, because more organizations are requesting United Fund support this year.

“It is extremely important that all be as generous as possible as we have had an increase in the number of agencies requesting help from the fund this year,” notes board member Clara Andrews.

Pledge cards were mailed to all Tracy residential addresses in September. Businesses were solicited in a door-to-door campaign. The United Fund Board hopes to conclude its drive soon so funds can be distributed before the Christmas holiday season begins.

Disagreement over starting time sparks termination of CPT sessions

Tracy School Board members approved a motion Monday night to discontinue Common Planning Time (CPT). CPT sessions are currently scheduled for the second Friday of every month and involve a 2-hour late start for district students. The CPT sessions will be replaced with curriculum planning at the direction of each building's principal.

The motion comes on the heels of a disagreement between Tracy Education Association (TEA) members and the school board regarding the starting time for CPT sessions.

The school board received a Letter of Memorandum from TEA at the Sept. 24 board meeting stating that CPT was scheduled from 8:05 a.m. to 10:05 a.m. In June, the Board changed CPT from a 50-minute late start 14 times a year to a 2-hour late start 8 times a year. That move came following a recommendation by a CPT committee asking that the Board give teachers a longer block of time for CPT. Board members assumed that CPT would start at the same time it had last year, 7:35 a.m. The board didn't sign the Letter of Memorandum at the Sept. 24 meeting because of the time discrepancy.

At the Oct. 8 school board meeting, board members learned that the TEA had conducted a survey of teachers in the spring. The survey included a question asking if teachers would like CPT sessions to begin at 8:05 or 7:35 a.m. The response was, overwhelmingly, to begin at 8:05.

Board member Eric Nelson made the motion which states that the new curriculum sessions will begin at 7:35 a.m. In making the motion, Nelson commented, “I'm disappointed that our professional teaching staff is unwilling to add an extra 30 minutes of time 8 mornings out of the year for our children.” Nelson said he is “interested in building relationships with the teaching staff but not at the expense of our kids." He added that he felt the survey included a “loaded question” for making the time change.

TAMS board supports Prairie View project

The Tracy Area Medical Services (TAMS) advisory board has gone on record supporting a proposed expansion of the Prairie View Healthcare Center.

The TAMS board unanimously passed a “letter of support” for the project at their regular October meeting last Wednesday.

“Tracy Area Medical Services is in strong support of Prairie View Healthcare Center's plan to develop a campus community of health services within the City of Tracy,” the letter begins. “Not only do we support this plan, but we hope to be partners in its development.”

Prairie View announced plans in the spring of 2000 to build an assisted living addition onto the south side of the nursing home. Construction was to begin in the summer of 2000.

Instead, TAMS and Prairie View began a joint study on the feasibility of a cooperative building project that would connect the nursing home with the hospital.

The plan drafted by a Minneapolis architect would require the closing of East Fifth Street and a new common parking area developed between the nursing home, hospital and clinic.

City, school reps move slowly toward joint powers consensus

Tracy School Board members and Tracy City Council members continue to work toward an understanding for a new Community Education Joint Powers agreement. School and city representatives are also attempting to agree on how a possible $10,000 school district contribution toward educational programs at the pool could help the city qualify for a matching contribution of $10,000 from Lyon County.

Monday night, both boards discussed the draft of a five-point agreement that City Administrator Audrey Koopman and Supt. Rick Clark had worked out.

“I believe this (the letter) has gotten to the crux of where we want to go,” Dr. Clark said, in presenting the letter to school board members.

Koopman told council members that she felt the memo represented a workable compromise.

The school board has officially notified the city of its intention to end the school-city joint powers agreement. A bone of contention for school leaders, was a provision that the school and city split the operating costs of the pool. School representatives have felt that paying for pool operating expenses go beyond the scope of what a public school district should be expected to do. City leaders have countered that it is entirely appropriate for the school district to contribute to a program that, among other things, teaches children how to swim.

Eastview `spec' house will soon have `for sale' sign

The Tracy Economic Development Authority hopes to host an open house “in about a month” for the new “spec” house being built in the Eastview Addition.

Robert Gervais, Tracy Community Development Director, told EDA members Friday that contractor Karl Campbell is nearing completion on the house.

When will the house be ready for sale? Gervais was asked.

“In about three weeks,” Gervais responded.

EDA members approved another payment to Campbell for work completed, and agreed to seek a proposal from Greenwood Nursery to landscape the property, seed the lawn, and plant trees this fall.

The split-level house is located on Sunrise Drive.