A look back at 2011

Decisions, decisions, decisions

City buys a golf course, Ventura Schools explore sharing with Garner and more


    Each January the Mirror-Reporter publishes what it considers to have been the Top 10 news stories of the just-ended year.  It’s always intriguing to look back and see the topics that dominated our front

page.  In 2011, news-makers ran the gamete.  There was news of unexpected opportunities, celebrations of jobs well done, announcements that took us by surprise and events which brought tears to our eyes.
    Here are what we, at the Mirror-Reporter, consider to be the top 10 stories of 2011:


# 1 City accepts ownership of All-Vet’s Golf Course
    The Clear Lake City Council unanimously approved conveyance of the All-Veteran’s Golf Course to the City in early March.  The city agreed to pay $214,000 to the former All-Vet’s Board.  That amount covered the course’s outstanding bills incurred while that Board operated the course at 200 North Shore Drive.  The Board asked the city to accept ownership of the course when it became apparent it could not re-open this spring due to financial difficulty.  Minutes after taking ownership, the City Council also voted to approve a two-year lease agreement to operate the course with the new Veteran’s Memorial Golf Club Foundation Inc. 
    The board of the All Veterans Social Center in Clear Lake decided it must pursue transfer of ownership of the golf course in January.  Following the bylaws of the group, the course was first offered to the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce.  It was the Chamber which spearheaded a successful 1945 fundraising campaign to purchase the Clear Lake Golf and Country Club. As his first order of business as the newly elected Chamber President, Mark Ebeling announced at the Chamber’s annual meeting in late January that his board had decided in a special meeting to decline the golf course offer.  As a result, the same offer was made to the City of Clear Lake. 
    According to documents on file at the Cerro Gordo County Treasurer’s Office at the time, the course was $10,160 delinquent on its 2009 property taxes.  In March 2011 another $9,585 was due to the county.  The course’s total debt was estimated in excess of $180,000.
    By late March the Foundation announced the hiring of North Iowa native Jeremy Amosson as course superintendent and Jennifer Currier was named as director of golf.
    At the conclusion of its first season, the Board of the Veterans Memorial Golf Course reported an increase in season passes to 205; an increase in revenue to $316,627 and an increase in net income to $76,769. Because of the increase in cash flow, the Foundation was able to purchase approximately $90,000 in equipment, helping staff to make great improvements to the condition of the course.


# 2 Ventura, G-H School Boards pursue sharing


The Ventura and Garner-Hayfield school boards directed their attorneys to look into the details of drafting a letter of intent to participate in a whole-grade sharing agreement in September and by year-end both districts had committed to the idea of whole grade sharing in the 2012-13 school year.
    Although the two districts have shared a variety of programs in recent years, a major step toward whole grade sharing took place in July, when it was announced that Garner-Hayfield Superintendent Tyler Williams would also serve as superintendent for Ventura Schools. The Ventura Board approved a one-year superintendent sharing agreement at a special meeting July 25.  Ventura agreed to pay 50 percent of Williams’ $150,000 salary, plus benefit package.   The move was necessitated by the unexpected announcement of an early retirement by Ventura Superintendent Brian Rodemeyer.  Rodemeyer received word that a district court judge upheld an eight-month suspension levied against him by the Board of Educational Examiners.    
    The proposed sharing agreement between the schools has each - Read More Via e-Edition

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