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Dateline Dixon: District to add emergency days for next year

Dixon Public Schools, like most area school districts, faced something this winter it hadn’t in a while: It used its 5 emergency days.

As a result, the last day of school for students during the current academic year will be June 4, instead of May 29. That change is expected to be approved during tonight’s school board meeting.

Also expected to be discussed during the school board meeting, said Superintendent Michael Juenger, is adding emergency days to the 2014-15 academic year.

By adding extra emergency days – possibly 9 or 10 – the district will be less likely to run out of days, Juenger said, and force them to consider taking an “act of God day.”

After using all of its emergency days to cancel school for weather or other reasons, a district can apply for an “act of God day” if it needs to cancel a day for an unforeseen reason – like extreme winter weather. 

The school district used all its emergency days in January.

The closed session minutes

During its March 3 regular meeting, the Dixon City Council voted to keep secret the minutes from 20 of 24 closed sessions. The released minutes were posted on the city’s website.

Released minutes from the July 2, 2012, closed meeting show that current Finance Director Paula Meyer wasn’t the city’s first choice for that position.

The city’s first choice had turned down its offer, according to the minutes, because the salary was too low, and the insurance costs were too high.

During that meeting, Mayor Jim Burke said he called the candidate to ask why the city’s offer had been rejected, according to the minutes, and told city officials during the meeting he felt the applicant had wasted the city’s time.

By the next month, the city had offered the job to Meyer, who accepted a $95,000 salary. Minutes from the Aug. 6, 2012, closed meeting were also released March 3.

On Tuesday, Burke said the salary was increased by $10,000 between the original offer and the later offer to Meyer, adding that the city realized it needed to increase the pay to get the quality it wanted.

The other closed session meetings included a discussion of increasing pay for non-union employees by the same amount as union employees, and a meeting to finalize a list of the released meeting minutes.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

SVM reporter at Books on First today

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini will have "office hours" from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St.

Feel free to stop by and let him know what's on your mind. Is there a story in Dixon you think should be reported? Stop by to share or just to say hi.

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