NA referendum drive taking shape

    The public relations push in support of a North Adams Community School's general fund referendum — which will ask school district voters during this year's May primary election to approve an increase in property taxes to support the financially-struggling district — will include door-to-door canvassing, meetings with township trustees, newspaper and radio promotions, and website postings.
    Superintendent Wylie Sirk said at Tuesday's board meeting that the referendum committee has been meeting regularly "and has been addressing strategies about how to get the right information out to the public."
    Members of the committee include Sirk, board members Michelle Stimpson and Tim Ehlerding, Randy Hisner, Larry Carty, Bob Keuneke, Bill Fullenkamp and Shannon McNamara.
    The school board in January voted to place a measure on the May primary election ballot that would impose a property tax rate not to exceed 20.45 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation — equivalent to an additional tax load of $204 annually on homes valued at $100,000. The referendum would generate  $1.25 million annually for seven years,

    In other business at Tuesday's meeting, board members heard from Business Manager Larry Carty that a new traffic flow pattern for student pickup at Northwest Elementary has been developed. He said the plan will provide for three "staging lanes" where parents would wait to pick up students. Portable stop signs and orange delineator posts will be erected to separate the bus lane from the auto exit drive.
    The redesign is not expected to be completed until summer.
    Carty also said work is under way to rearrange the central work area in the district's administrative office. Cubicles will be disassembled and access to the office will be controlled through a single entryway. Carty said the new layout will feature an enlarged waiting area at the front of the facility.
    In personnel matters heard by the board, the panel approved the resignation of Dan Hammond as middle school assistant girls soccer coach, and approved Dave Hakes as a volunteer with the high school track program.