Iron County School Board swears in 3 new members, changes meeting times for public convenience

Judge Margaret Miller administers the oath of office to newly elected school board members Jeff Corry and Dave Staheli (pictured), along with Ben Johnson, who was participating virtually via video stream, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Iron County School District Board of Education welcomed three newly elected board members earlier this week.

Iron County School Board moves through a few agenda items during a short meeting after three new members were sworn in, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

At a special board meeting Tuesday afternoon, Dave Staheli, Jeff Corry and Ben Johnson were each sworn in to begin serving on the five-member board, with Johnson participating remotely via computer video feed. Iron County Justice Court Judge Margaret Miller administered the oath of office to all three simultaneously.

The trio replace outgoing board members Stephen Allen, Mary Ann Kemp and Michelle Jorgenson-Jones, none of whom ran for re-election last year.

Within minutes of being sworn in, the new board members took their places at the table, and Michelle Lambert was elected to be the new board president succeeding Allen, while Dale Brinkerhoff was chosen as vice president.

In its first item of business, the board voted to change its monthly meeting times. Previously, the board’s regular meetings had fallen on fourth Tuesday of each month, with a study session at 1 p.m. followed by the action meeting starting at 4 p.m.

However, Staheli said the early afternoon starting times make it difficult for members of the public to attend in person or even watch on live stream, as many people are still at work. He proposed moving the meetings to a 5:30 p.m. start time and also suggested that the study session and the action meeting be held one week apart, similar to how Cedar City Council does it.

New board member Dave Staheli talks about changing the monthly meeting times for the Iron County School District Board of Education, as board president Michelle Lambert listens, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

After Staheli’s motion was seconded by Corry, Lambert voted for the change as well, meaning January’s regular meetings will be on Jan. 19 for the study session and Jan. 26 for the action meeting, with both starting at 5:30 p.m.

Finally, in the only other item of business on Tuesday’s short agenda, the board approved a proposal to switch over to leasing plan for district vehicles.

More than half of the district’s light- and medium-duty fleet is over 10 years old and some 62 vehicles are currently in need of replacement, business administrator Todd Hess said, adding that a fleet leasing contact is expected to cut maintenance and operating costs and help keep the district’s vehicle budget more consistent from year to year. The move is projected to save the district more than $100,000 over the next eight years, he added. 

The board approved the fleet management proposal by a 4-1 vote, with Corry being the lone dissenter.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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