“I’m a hugger. I’m not doing OK,” laughed school board member Tammy Bohachek as she sat six feet from any other board member.
It was a strange scene at the Mora School Board meeting March 26. School board members were spread out, about one per table as their meeting was live-streamed to the public.
New superintendent hired
The Mora School Board approved the contract for Daniel Voce as Mora Public Schools’ next superintendent. Voce is currently the Middle School principal at Princeton Public Schools.
Voce said he was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the staff he witnessed throughout the interview process.
“That’s the kind of team I want to be a part of,” he said.
“You’ve been committed to me, and I’m definitely going to be committed to Mora Public Schools and work closely with all of you to provide the best opportunities that we can for our students and our community.”
Voce was hired with a starting salary of $138,031 for year one, year two at $140,791 and year three is yet to be determined. Before the contract was approved, Bob Jensen voiced he didn’t completely agree with the salary selected when he compared it to neighboring school districts of similar size and function.
The current superintendent, Craig Schultz, will be retiring as of June 30, 2020.
May 12 referendum moves forward
The board members discussed whether or not the May 12 school bond referendum special election could or should be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Board Chair Karen Kirschner said, “It doesn’t change anything in regard to the needs that we have and reasons for the referendum.”
Scott Moe said he has received calls from voters with some encouraging him to postpone the vote, others encouraging him to move forward with the original date.
Superintendent Craig Schulz said he had received calls from parents that said the coronavirus pandemic has further exemplified the need for a building that meets health and safety standards.
“The needs of the building aren’t going away. The students are coming back, whether it is on May 5, or on May 15 or whether it is on the day after Labor Day in the fall. You know they are coming back ... We have to be sensitive to the business owners. We have to be sensitive to the taxpayers. We also have to be sensitive to the students and the parents that trust us,” Schultz said.
The board concurred that the referendum would move forward as planned, unless the state intervenes to cancel elections.
Absentee voting will continue at the Mora High School despite Governor Tim Walz executive “stay at home” order The order defines election functions as an essential service that will continue.
Voters can cast an absentee ballot prior to the May 12, 2020 Special Election. Absentee voting begins March 27, 2020 and runs through May 11, 2020. There are two ways to vote by absentee ballot for this election - in person and by mail. First, voters must apply for an absentee ballot.
How to Get an Absentee Ballot Application
Absentee ballot applications are available business days at the Mora Public Schools District Office, 400 Maple Avenue East, Mora, MN 55051 until May 11, 2020 from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Voters can pick up an application in person, call in a request at (320) 679-6200 ext 5550, email a request to email@example.com, or go to http://www.moraschools.org and download an application.
In order to accommodate for mail transit times, voters should apply as soon as they know they want to vote by absentee ballot.
Completed application forms may be faxed to (320) 679-6209, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Mora Public Schools Attn: District Office - Elections, 400 Maple Avenue East, Mora, MN 55051-1387.
Please make sure the application is filled out completely including signature.
The combined polling place location for the May 12, 2020 Special Election is the City of Mora-City Hall, 101 Lake Street South, Mora, MN 55051. Polling hours will be 7:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Please note, the District Office will be closed on April 10 and there will be no absentee voting.