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Dome, Wildcat Ranch Again On Trustees’ Meeting Agenda

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Sonora, CA – Outreach efforts underway are paying off to get more community members for an advisory committee that will again address a potential sale of Sonora Union High School District’s historic Dome property.

District Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller tells Clarke Broadcasting, “We put out the word to some service clubs and got some people who were interested…also from Facebook and Twitter, so if everyone still wants to do it we will have about nine people and that works.”

Among the agenda items up for discussion at tonight’s trustees’ meeting is a suggestion from the district to the board to commission the new 7-11 advisory committee at the board meeting on Oct. 8.

Miller had earlier confided a wish list of background experience he hoped might be reflected in the committee, such as a local realtor and appraiser. He acknowledges, “I don’t think we got every occupation that we were wishing for but I think we do have a broad enough cross-section of this committee both in age and interest that we will get a diversity of opinion and some good group thinking together.”

Among other discussion items is a district accounting of activities at Wildcat Ranch, in response to a request for that information at the last meeting by Board Member Jeanie Smith. Miller reports activities at the property remain about the same as before the district’s attempted sale of the property to the Park Foundation that triggered a lawsuit by the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau.

“There’s a fundraiser run on Saturday and a cross-country meet. Some community members us it for walking, and Future Farmers of America has used in spring and summer for farming, cattle grazing, and livestock raising,” Miller says.

Asked if the Farm Bureau has contacted the district yet with ideas to help further support or propose expanded agriculture education-related activities at the ranch, Miller says not yet. He did confirm that the district has finished paying the bureau’s legal fees from the lawsuit settlement.

Among the closed session items on the meeting agenda is a discussion with legal counsel about related legal matters. Miller says he does not know whether that will happen or not but cannot comment about what might still be pending with the Park Foundation.

Yet another discussion item is the state of the district’s career technical ed efforts as part of an ongoing plan for the trustees to cover a setlist of goal topics before the end of the school year. “Last month there was a focus on our facilities, and next month is on student achievement. We hope to move that dial around a bit month by month so we can hopefully hit most of the key topics before the year is over,” Miller explains.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Room FL-1 (100 School Street).