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Petition asks Nettle Creek board to consider concerns

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 9:43 p.m. CST

MORRIS – Due to the lack of response from the Nettle Creek School Board last week over concerns regarding Superintendent Don McKinney, a group of parents and taxpayers have started a petition asking for specific issues to be addressed.

“The idea is to send a clear and concise message to the school board, and it gives grounds for everyone to come together,” said Ted Ergo, former board member and spokesman for the group. “The petition is not asking for Dr. McKinney to be fired.”

McKinney said Friday he had not received a copy of the petition and declined to comment.

There are four statements on the petition:

• Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when sharing information with the community. Do not spin the facts to support your agenda.

• Get your spending in line with your income. Do not keep spending more money than you have coming in. The reserve will run out, and taxes will be forced to go up or we will lose this school to consolidation.

• Tell Dr. McKinney to honor the terms of his three-year contract, and stop trying to get more money every year.

• Hold Dr. McKinney to the professional and ethical standards that are commonplace for his position.

The Morris Daily Herald received a copy of the petition Thursday with 38 signatures from 30 households in the Nettle Creek School District. By Friday afternoon, Ergo said there were more than 100 signatures.

“A few board members made a comment that only four people were upset, they took that to heart and started the petition to show that more were concerned. They came to me, because they know I don’t have kids at the school [anymore],” Ergo said. “We wanted to get a number of signatures over the number of students and over the number of people who voted to let them know there are more than four people concerned.”

According to Grundy County Clerk Lana Phillips there are 627 eligible voters in Nettle Creek School District, but only 150 people voted in the April 9, 2013, election.

Ergo said the plan is to drop off copies of the petition Saturday at the homes of all board members so they have a chance to review it before Monday night’s special board meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m.

About 40 parents and community members attended last week’s meeting. Some wanted to address a Facebook entry McKinney posted on his personal account and has since apologized for, and others regarding a $12,000 pay raise approved for McKinney in March.

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