|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Swift Communications, Carson City, Nevada|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
'4 , Vol. VIII, No. 27 Thursday, March 24, 1983 Two Sections, 28 Pages ctoillter reimstaiitedl after packed fineanrnm by David Hampshire r A crowd estimated at 500 people packed the Park City High School i multipurpose room Tuesday in an ex-; ex-; pression of support for Dr. Brian ? Schiller, principal of the Treasure 7 Mountain Middle School, r In a 90-minute public input session in ; front of the Park City Board of Education, speaker after speaker expressed ex-pressed dismay over the board's decision not to renew Schiller's con- tract for the upcoming school year, c i Among those making prepared statements to the board was Bud i. Crowther, a teacher at the middle : school, who read a statement of sup-1 sup-1 port for Schiller signed by all the em-: em-: ployees of the school. He was followed : to the microphone by Steve Holcomb, speaking for many of those at the ; meeting, who demanded that the board reverse its decision by noon Thursday. About 30 other citizens, all but ; unanimous in their support for Schiller, seized the chance to vent their feelings. Many of the speakers were in-:-: terrupted by standing ovations from the crowd. However, the meeting . remained orderly throughout. Schiller, who appeared briefly at the . board's executive session before the public meeting, received the first standing ovation of the evening when he walked into the multipurpose room and took a seat in the front row, next to the microphone and facing the board. As he sat down, camera lights snapped snap-ped on and crews from Salt Lake television stations KUTV, KTVX and KSL began recording the proceedings. Before the public input session began, board member Ralph Hale made a motion to ratify the March 10 ettlemenf close by Rick Brough You may not have noticed, in the wake of the Brian Schiller controversy, controver-sy, that the city-school district argument over redevelopment hasn't been settled yet. But city officials are hopeful they have reached the end of the tunnel. A plan, approved by City Council last Thursday, has been submitted to the Park City School Board. At this writing, they are considering it at a Wednesday night executive session. The board sued Park City's Redevelopment Agency, contending it was unfairly and illegally dipping too much into the district's tax base. (In ;1 i - - ' photo by John Kinch Highway u letter notifying Schiller of his termination. ter-mination. Board member Nancy Mc-Comb, Mc-Comb, a vocal supporter of Schiller, voted against the motion, to the applause ap-plause of the pro-Schiller crowd. A statement expressing the board's position was ready by President Gary Avise. It listed eight "problems" which had been discussed with Schiller, including the failure to separate the upper from the lower grades, the implementation of new programs without approval of the superintendent or the board, failure to complete teacher evaluations in a timely fashion, taking inconsistent positions on athletic programs, and showing a disregard for school policy, procedures and supervisory personnel. Answers to many of these concerns were included in the statement to the board from the members of the middle school staff. The statement also dismissed the suggestion that Schiller had only added to the staff turmoil which was present under previous administrators. ad-ministrators. "We would like the school board, the superintendent and the public to know that the extent of cooperation, respect and rapport among the students, principal, prin-cipal, teachers, office personnel, lunchroom lun-chroom workers and custodial staff at Treasure Mountain Middle School is remarkable," Crowther read from the statement. "We invite each of you to come to our school and experience the productive atmosphere and caring attitude at-titude that prevails there." The statement from the teachers also charged that the decision not to renew Schiller's contract was based on "flimsy evidence and false accusations." theory an agency freezes the property values of a city's redevelopment area at a certain year. For each succeeding year, as the property increases in value, only the redevelopment agency can tax the increase in value, or increment. in-crement. For the life of the agency, other tax entities can only tax the property values of that area as they were set in the "freeze year.") Board president Gary Avise said the district wants to approve the plan on Wednesday, and the board will strive to immediately resolve any questions. City Attorney Tom Clyde, said he will be "sitting home on my phone" if any information is needed. wmsm 40, south of Phoston Hill, suffers Highway 40 is slip slid "We believe the board failed to address ad-dress the question that should be basic to all board decisions: what is best for the students? The board could not find a more student-oriented principal. He makes every student feel special." At the end of the statement, Crowther read the names of the staff who had signed it. As he did so, each The Park City Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday evening to renew Dr. Brian Schiller's contract for the 1983-84 school year. The decision came about 8:30 p.m., following an executive session with Schiller. staff member stood up. There was another standing ovation. Crowther was followed to the microphone by Steve Holcomb, who was effusive in his praise for Schiller. He listed the accomplishments of the second-year principal, including the introduction of an outdoor education program, an artist-in-residence, travel study, and an open-office policy. "We believe that, when you made your initial decision not to renew Dr. Schiller's contract, you did not have all the facts and were dealing with inac- in squabble over redevelopment The city plan was substantially the same one offered to the school district last fall, said Clyde. "They didn't approve ap-prove it then because they wanted to hear from the legislature," said Clyde. The plan limits the agency to collecting collec-ting $1 million dollars lower in increment in-crement each year from calendar years 1983 to 1988. This applies to the existing Main StreetSwede AlleyDeer Valley area. Clyde said he was confident the school board would agree to this provision and most of the other sections. The only hitch, Clyde said, might come with a provision that the city can Si " ' V . v from a pothole of the gargantuan i curate and incomplete information," Holcomb charged. "We feel that you were not aware of the extremely strong and devoted support sup-port for Dr. Schiller from the middle school staff, parents, and students. "We respectfully request, expect and demand that a decision regarding Dr. Schiller's reinstatement be made in writing to Dr. Schiller by 12 o'clock noon Thursday, March 24." There was another standing ovation. Holcomb was followed to the microphone by an array of citizens, ranging from the president of the middle mid-dle sthool parent-teacher organization to the former director of the Park City Recreation Department. Although students were discouraged from making statements, several spoke anyway. All praised Schiller's performance. "Because of Dr. Schiller and the form new redevelopment areas. At that time, it can freeze the property valuations, as is customary. However, any new redevelopment area will not be taxed until after the present Redevelopment Agency expires in 1988. It is conceivable that five years could pass between the time a new area is "frozen" and a new redevelopment agency begins taxing it. This benefits the city, Clyde said. The longer the time, the more the increase in-crease in value, and the more tax increment in-crement there will be for an agency. A recent law passed by the Utah Legislature affects the present agen S kind. staff of the middle school, my children care," said John Evans, who has two daughters at the school. "My daughter last year was given the award as the most improved student in the school." Another who came to Schiller's defense was Highland Estates resident Aysha Quinn. "I'm sure Brian Schiller is stunned to see me standing here," she said. "I am one of the parents who has taken him to task several times Some of those, such as Mike Eberlein, acknowledged that they didn't exactly follow every move that the board made. "Like many other parents, I have never been to a board meeting because I though you were doing a pretty good job," Eberlein said. "But I'm here to tell you tonight, board members, that I think you've screwed up ..." "I have only one question tonight. Who reviews Good worth? In a second trip to the microphone, Aysha Quinn wondered out loud what has been discussed by a number of parents in private. "What happens if our kids donjt go to school?" she asked. Isn't there money lost, or something? "I guess that sounds like a threat, doesn't it?" Another woman wondered why there had to be a crisis before people took an interest in the affairs of the school board. "If I understand it, the number of people whose names appeared in the paper (on a petition expressing support sup-port for Schiller) is above the number who voted in the last school board election." elec-tion." Also taking her turn at the cy. A restriction on size compelled the city to cut its redevelopment area from 1850 to 590 acres. "The effect is to take out Silver Lake," Clyde said. (The cut also sets the maximum life of an agency agen-cy at 32 years.) One provision in the settlement says that any increment above the $1 million could be used by the city and district to jointly construct or operate public facilities. New state law forbids such joint ventures, said Clyde. The settlement also mentions the possibility that legislative or judicial actions will award levies to the school district that will reduce the agency's yearly increment below $1 million. In ing away by John Kinch Three weeks ago it was just an insignificant crack in the pavement. Two weeks ago the crack had grown into a slab about the size of a car that collapsed and had to be filled. Last Sunday, a 30-foot long section of Highway 40 between Park City and Heber slid 60 feet into the ravine below. By Monday the section of Highway 40, about a mile south of the base of Phoston Hi!!, deteriorated even further. fur-ther. The erosion continued with several feet slipping at a time. By mid-morning the west side lane dissappeared completely and cracks spread into the east side lane. The Utah Department of Transportation Transpor-tation (UDOT) crews arrived on Monday morning and began to fill the ever-growing chasm along the west side of the road. Harold Jones of the UDOT headed the repair crew and was astounded by the size of the gorge. "I've never seen anything this radical," he said. "The road has collapsed before along here, but this... this is a damn mess." The mess, as Jones called it, was apparently caused by springs undermining under-mining the road. "The whole hillside is just saturated with water from springs. The ground just kept getting wetter and wetter until it just went," said Jones. The main part of the road collapsed Sunday morning. No one was injured, but Highway 40 was closed until crews could survey the damage. The road continued to erode until Wednesday, microphone was Dianne Vance, a former for-mer middle school teacher whose contract con-tract was terminated unexpectedly by the board three years ago. "I think the time has come to look at the importance of educating the students," she said. "I think you are looking at other facts. ' ' One of the last speakers, Don Gomes, challenged the board to respond. "You've heard from the heart from us," he said. "I think we'd like to hear from you." However, Avise indicated that the board would not go beyond its earlier statement. "That will stand as our position this evening." Avise told the Park City Newspaper Wednesday that he thought the meeting was conducted "in an extremely ex-tremely professional manner." "I was encouraged by their interest in the subject," he said. "I think their involvement is healthy and good for the district." However, he said the board may not have made any further decision on Schiller's employment before noon Thursday. "I don't agree that we should be held hostage to a noon deadline kind of thing," he said. Avise also wanted to point out that the board's opinion of Schiller was far from one-sided. "We can see that he has done a terrific job with the students, and has tremendous parental rapport, and we acknowlegethat." The board met in executive session with Schiller again Wednesday after-, noon. However, at press time there was no announcement of any further developments. that case, the 1988 termination date can be extended. This provision includes in-cludes acts by the just-completed legislature. The settlement also contains the following: It certifies that the project area of the agency is valid. It also says that any defects in the 1977 formation of the agency are technical and are protected by a statute of limitations. The amount of the tax increment that is not used will be placed in the general collection of the county, and will be distributed to the various entities en-tities in line with property tax statutes. when crews were finally able to fill in enough dirt to stop the slippage. Just halting the slide was an arduous task for the UDOT crew, hampered for days by weather and traffic. As cars and trucks cautiously crept by the ravine on Monday, Jones worried about the stability of the road. "The pressure of the traffic, especially es-pecially those semis, is causing the road to slip more. It is a mighty dangerous situation. It could set there a long time or it could go in 15 minutes." Later on Monday Jones detoured northbound traffic on the old highway east of 40 and kept southbound traffic on 40. On Wednesday all traffic was returned to 40. Rain and snow delayed work, but the road crew, armed with a battalion of dump trucks, bulldozers, and caterpillar caterpil-lar scrapers, was able to scrape enough of the nearby hillside down into the ravine to stop the slide. "Up until now for every load we put into the hole, more just slipped away. I think now, though, we have enough dry dirt in there, so we can start fixing the road." Jones expects the highway to be repaired in a week or more, but doubts the permanence of the repair. "The road here is on a natural slip-plane. With all the water underneath under-neath it will just keep slipping. We are going to put some drains on the east side, but, hell, you can't get rid of water in country like this. This could happen again next year."