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Volume 22, Number 50

1 Section, 20 Pages

9977 Lin Ferry Drive St. Louis, MO 63123

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010

callnewspapers.com

Parents oppose potential cuts to Mehlville’s gifted program By EVAN YOUNG Staff Reporter While the Mehlville Board of Education has scheduled a second work session to discuss possible budget cuts, five parents spoke out strongly last week against potential cuts to the district’s gifted program.

A board work session tentatively is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, at the Administration Building, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road. The board will continue its discussion of a contingency plan that outlines potential cuts to district staff, programs and services. The budget reductions are designed to offset

projections the district will deplete its operating reserves by 2013. One possible cut would affect the district’s STRETCH — Supplementary Teacher Resource for Educationally Talented Children — gifted program. (See OPPOSE, Page 7A)

Mehlville taxpayers to save $2 million with refunding of bond-like certificates By EVAN YOUNG Staff Reporter The sale of more than $19 million in certificates of participation to refund certificates issued in 2001 was approved last week by the Mehlville Board of Education — a refinancing officials say will save taxpayers more than $2 million. The board voted 5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the sale of $19,610,000 in Series 2010 certificates of participation, or

COPs, to refund some of the $36.9 million in certificates issued in 2001 to fund the first phase of the Proposition P districtwide building improvement program. Board member Micheal Ocello was absent from the Dec. 9 regular meeting. LJ Hart & Co. President Larry Hart told the board last week the COP refunding will save the district $2,275,836 over the next decade — an average of roughly $230,000 a year. (See SAVE, Page 6A)

MFPD chief confident his employees physically capable of doing their jobs By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor Mehlville Fire Protection District Chief Tim White knows his firefighters and firemedics are physically capable of doing their jobs. In fact, the chief has the test results to prove it. For the second consecutive year, district

firefighters and fire-medics have had to pass a fit-for-duty evaluation. However, the fit-for-duty evaluation taken this year by employees is a nationally validated physical ability test, White told the Call during a recent interview. While other fire departments locally and nationally administer physical ability tests, (See CONFIDENT, Page 10A)

MSD not required to refund revenue from now-invalid stormwater charge By EVAN YOUNG Staff Reporter The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District does not have to refund moneys collected with a now-invalidated charge, according to a Lincoln County circuit judge. Judge Dan Dildine stated in a Nov. 29 order that MSD is not required to refund customers the roughly $90 million collected over two and a half years with its impervious stormwater charge. Revenue from the charge already has been spent on stormwater (See CHARGE, Page 12A)

Lindbergh honors Academic All-Stars Lindbergh Schools recently honored 1,400 pupils in grades four through eight for their outstanding academic achievement during three Academic AllStar evenings. Pupils and their families enjoyed entertainment by the Lindbergh High School Drumline, Jazz Band, Madrigal Swingers and the Truman Elementary School Choir. Above, the Madrigal Swingers perform during the Sperreng Middle School seventh-grade program. Read more on Page 3A.

Early retirement incentive OK’d by Mehlville board By EVAN YOUNG Staff Reporter More than 170 Mehlville School District employees are eligible for a one-time early retirement incentive approved last week by the Board of Education. The board voted 5-0 to approve the early retirement incentive, for which 171 district employees will qualify. Board member Micheal Ocello was absent from the Dec. 9 regular meeting. While initially proposed solely for certified teachers, the human resources department decided after further research to open the early retirement incentive to all eli-

gible Mehlville staff, Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources Lisa Counts told the board last week. That means roughly 67 classified staff and six administrators also will qualify for the incentive, she said. Counts also said her department found 10 additional teachers who would be eligible for early retirement, increasing the number of qualifying certified staff to 98 from 88. Under the incentive package, eligible employees will receive 25 percent of their base salary paid in equal installments over three years. (See INCENTIVE, Page 7A)

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Our town . . . . . . . . . . Page 3A Opinions . . . . . . . . . . Page 4A Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5A Mehlville news . . . . . Page 6A Area news . . . . . . . . . Page 7A Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9A MFPD news . . . . . . . . Page 10A Classifieds . . . . . . . . . Page 14A Crossword puzzle . . . Page 15A Read more on Page 9A about this championship Area news . . . . . . . . . Page 18A St. Margaret Mary Alacoque soccer team.

Written opinions from the Missouri attorney general’s office and the Mehlville School District’s own attorney have the Board of Education convinced it acted appropriately in leaving one of its seats vacant until the April election. Read more on Page 3A about the legal opinions the board received.


Oakville Call, Dec. 16, 2010