SA board eyes upcoming vacancy

    Because South Adams School Board Member Tony Mellencamp was recently elected to fill an at-large seat on the Adams County Council, board members are preparing for a vacancy.
    The schools' board at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night announced that it will soon be looking for candidates to fill one (and possibly two) board vacancies for the city of Berne (District 3). South Adams Schools Superintendent Scott Litwiller explained that the qualified candidates must live within the city limits of Berne and be at least 21 years of age.
    Interested applicants should mail a cover letter and resume to Arlene Amstutz, Board President, 1075 Starfire Way, Berne, IN, 46711. The applications must be received before Nov. 30.
    According to a timeline to fill the board vacancy, an advertisement will appear in the Berne newspaper until Nov. 28, and applications will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 30. The applications will then be screened and an executive session will be held between Dec. 3 and Dec. 7, to interview applicants. Finally, a full criminal history check will be completed prior to appointing a candidate to fill the vacancy on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
    In other business at the meeting, board members:
    — Appointed Andrew Briggs to the Board of the Adams Public Library System to serve a second term of three years.
    — Reviewed the A-F Accountability Report Cards from the Department of Education.
    — Approved the second and final readings of several revised school board policies.

Property back on market
    The former South Adams Elementary School property, located across from the Muensterberg Plaza and Clock Tower in Berne, will once again be up for sale beginning Dec. 3.
    South Adams Schools' Attorney Tim Baker was on hand at Tuesday's meeting to explain the process and to finalize the bid specification documents. Baker said that most of the bid specifications are the same as the last time the school corporation attempted to sell the property. School board members may still reserve the right to reject any and all bids or to move to an auction at any time during the process as long as bidders have received written notice of the change.
    Baker also noted that board members may choose to accept a bid and move forward with a sale at any time during the open bidding process as long as a public hearing is held and notice is given to all bidders. If after 60 days there are no bids or the school corporation rejects all of the bids, it may then choose to list the property privately and sell it through a broker.
    If board members choose to accept a bid in fewer than 60 days into the open bidding process and for some reason the sale falls through, they would not have that option and would have to go through the open bidding process again.
    If the school corporation chooses to reject any and all bids, it must hold a meeting to declare that decision. There must also be a public hearing before listing the property for sale with a private broker.
    In an attempt to attract more serious bidders, school board members decided to require $10,000 in earnest money with any accepted offer, of which $5,000 will be non-refundable.
    The open bidding process will begin December 3, 2012, and end February 1, 2013.