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MERCEDES INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Mercedes Independent School District Board of Trustees met in Regular Session on Monday, June
Daniel R. Salinas, President Monte R. Churchill, Member, 7:12pm
George Cardenas, Vice President Oscar A. Hernandez, Member
Don Vogel, Secretary
Absent: Benjamin F. Castillo, Member; Ron McVey, Member
Present from the District:
Dr. Daniel Trevino Jr., Superintendent Jeanne Gonzales-Venecia, MJHS Principal
Maria J. Chavez, Assistant Superintendent Rene Guajardo, JF Kennedy Principal
Olga Hinds, Chief Financial Officer Michelle Guajardo, Hinojosa Principal
Dr. Andrea Cruz, Exec. Dir. for Human Resources Elva Rivera, North Elem. Principal
Edward L. Churchill, Safe Schools Director Lisa Cantu-Reyes, Taylor Elem. Principal
Gabriel Cosme, Maintenance Director Pearl Guerrero, Travis Elem. Principal
Dr. Cynthia Wise Galvan, ACE Program Director Evangelina Gracia, MECC Principal
Paulita Guzman, Special Education Director Delia Garcia, Accountant
Adan Vallejo, Transportation Manager Frederick Garcia, Purchasing Agent
Walter Watson, Federal Programs Director Attorney Michael Salinas
Sylvia Carlin, MAA/Options Coordinator Eva Cuadra, Administrative Assistant
President Daniel R. Salinas called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Mr. Cardenas led everyone in the
Pledge of Allegiance and Mr. Vogel gave the invocation.
A. Attendance/Enrollment Report
Mr. Edward Churchill, Safe Schools, presented the report for the 6th Six Weeks period and for the 2010-
2011 school year.
At the secondary level the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) percentages were:
Campus 6th Six Weeks Yearly
Mercedes High School 92.29 93.47
Mercedes Academic Academy 90.33 76.01
JJAEP 85.26 80.61
DAEP 72.83 77.26
Mercedes Early College Academy 95.07 96.20
Mercedes Junior High Highest 95.22 95.79
At the elementary level the ADA percentages were:
Campus 6th Six Weeks Yearly
Travis Elementary 96.96 97.25
Mercedes Early Childhood Center 94.89 95.18
Ruben Hinojosa Elementary 96.67 96.81
JF Kennedy 95.73 96.60
North Elementary 97.01 96.95
Taylor Elementary Highest 97.06 97.11
Mr. Churchill said the district totals were 95.06% for the last six weeks with 5,434 students and 95.54%
for the year.
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Dr. Trevino said there was an additional item under the Superintendent‟s Report. He added it was not an
item of action, it was an informational item. He proceeded to recognize the Mercedes Special Education
Coop Special Olympics Athletes from Mercedes and La Feria who had traveled to the University of Texas
at Arlington on May 25-27, 2011 to compete in the 2011 Special Olympics Summer Games. He said
throughout three grueling days of heat and wind the athletes had competed in 13 different track and field
events, winning 24 metals overall - 11 gold, 8 silver, and 5 bronze plus several 4th and 5th place ribbons.
He said a great finish to the 2011 Summer Games on Sunday morning was the Girls 4x100 Meter Relay
team winning the Division One (ages 12-19) Gold medal by beating teams from Houston Worthing,
Bonham, Kay, and Ft. Worth Wyatt.
Dr. Trevino said the report from the staff was that all of the Mercedes Sp Ed Coop athletes had displayed
great character, courage, and pride when they competed; each one had performed to the best of their
ability and it had been an honor for the staff to have been there with these athletes. Dr. Trevino made
mention that the athletes and their parents wanted to thank the administration, board members and
especially Ms. Paulita Guzman, Special Ed Director, for the outstanding support given to the Special
Olympics program. He asked Hector Martinez, Coach for Special Ed Adaptive PE and Special Olympics
and Ms. Guzman to introduce the students that were present.
Coach Martinez said the goal of the adaptive PE program and the Special Olympics was to give each
student the opportunity to do his best and this had been the case for the recent Special Olympics. He
said it was quite an accomplishment for 18 athletes (14 from Mercedes, 4 from La Feria) to come back
with 24 medals. The students that were recognized were Jeremiah Martinez, Tanya Lopez, Enrique
Sanchez, Darin Martinez, Nicole Vargas, Daniel Garza, Marta Hernandez, Ashley Martinez, Lillie
Hernandez, Alyssa Hinojosa, Carlos Rodriguez, Joelia Briones, and Freddy Hernandez.
Coach Martinez said Ashley Martinez and Freddy Hernandez were double gold medal winners. He also
made special mention of the girls‟ 4x100 meter relay team consisting of Nicole Vargas, Tanya Lopez,
Joelia Briones, and Lillie Hernandez. He said the young ladies had shown what true competition was.
He said the girls had defeated the previous year‟s champions - a team that had gotten Gold medals in this
race three years in a row. He added the girls had finished 25 yards ahead of the team that finished
second. He concluded by thanking the school board for giving the Special Ed students the opportunity to
participate in the Special Olympics and Ms. Guzman for supporting the students and staff 100% because
this was a true form of competition in the tradition of the Special Olympics motto which states: “let me win
but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.” Coach Martinez said the young people before the
Board had been very brave in the attempt and they had won.
Mr. Cardenas and other Board members congratulated the students, Coach Martinez, and the rest of the
Special Ed staff for working together for the sake of the students. Ms. Guzman thanked Coach Martinez
who has been with the Special Department for six years and through his effort and dedication has built up
the Special Olympics program to the point it is presently, involving the participation of over 100 students
in some type of athletic event.
Ms. Lizette Villarreal: “I am the parent of a victim of an aggravated assault, an eighth grade boy that is
going into high school. He was beaten up by three high school boys. One of the boys is in DAEP; he
was in DAEP this past month. I am very worried because my son started today for the conditioning at the
high school. They are going to be seeing each other and this (bullying) started since in 2008. Brass
knuckles were used on him - he is scarred for life, his jaw is messed up.
This is very big concern for me. A judge signed a recommendation letter for the boy to go back, to be let
out because he is a football player, because he is needed to play varsity next year, at the beginning of
school. I don‟t think that is fair. My son is an athlete, too. He was beaten up very badly. I have pictures.
I don‟t know if I am allowed to show them. We are pending a court date. We are going, I believe on June
20th; they were charged with aggravated assault, the three boys, but one of them is in DAEP and they
are trying to put back into school with a recommendation letter that is not a court order signed by a judge.
I am concerned and I just want for you to take it into consideration that my son is the victim here. The
bullying could have been stopped; I reported it. The Junior High has all the complaints and everything. I
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have the pictures here; again, I don‟t know if I am allowed to show them. (Attorney Salinas advised Ms.
Villarreal to just speak without showing anything.) I just want to make sure my son is going to be safe,
like I said conditioning started today. I don‟t know if the other boys are going to be allowed back in school
or what is going to happen with that. I am very concerned about it, for his safety but if he is going to be in
the ninth grade, they are going to be together, they are going to play together, they are going to be in the
gym together and I worry for his safety. Thank you.”
1. Discussion and possible action on consulting agreements above $10,000.00
Dr. Trevino explained these agreements were for the site coordinators for the 21st Century CLC/ACE
program for the 2011-2012 school year, with the amounts as noted. Motion was made by Mr. Hernandez
and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve the agreements. Mr. Vogel voiced concern that the fees were
the same for all the campuses regardless of the number of students being served. Dr. Trevino explained
that each coordinator works an allotted amount of hours per week, not to exceed the monthly amount of
$2,900 per month; although some activities may require more hours than others the cost per year will
average to about $29,000.00. Mr. Vogel said that even though these monies were coming from a grant
they were still coming from the taxpayers and needed to be monitored to make sure the District used
these funds wisely. Dr. Trevino said monitoring was being done to assure all aspects of the grant were in
Mr. Hernandez asked how much had been paid to the site coordinators the previous year. Dr. Trevino
said they all had been paid within $29,000 to $32,000. Mr. Vogel reiterated the need to monitor, to have
oversight in the expenditure of grant funds. Vote was taken on the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
2. Discussion and possible action on consulting agreements under $10,000.00
Dr. Trevino reviewed the agreements listed, two of which were for staff development completed the week
before, the other for dance choreographies for MHS dance team. Motion was made by Mr. Hernandez
and seconded by Mr. Vogel to approve the agreements. Mr. Vogel asked Dr. Trevino if he had attended
any of the inservice sessions. Dr. Trevino said he had visited the training for secretaries, clerks, and
paraprofessionals and it had gone very well as the presenter, Dr. Hooper, had covered important topics
intended to emphasize the important customer service role that secretaries and clerks play as they deal
with the public. He said the technology staff development was related to use of iPads in the classroom
setting. Vote was taken on the motion. Motion carried.
3. Report and discussion on State Accountability 2011-2014
Dr. Trevino said this report related to Curriculum and Instruction would be presented by Mrs. Maria J.
Chavez, Assistant Superintendent for C&I. Using a handout Mrs. Chavez reviewed the transition from
TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) to the new state accountability system - STAAR
(State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) - that will be phased in from 2011-2012 through
2013-2014. Questions and discussion were about the difference in difficulty between TAKS and STAAR.
Mrs. Chavez explained that STAAR will be based on a curriculum that is more rigorous, more complex,
with more depth, geared toward college readiness, which will in turn demand a higher skill level from the
teachers. She said curriculum alignment and correct sequencing of students‟ college and career paths
will be vital to preparing the students for the assessments.
Mrs. Chavez noted that the staff development held the previous week had been very informative as
teachers and administrators were given more in-depth exposure to STAAR and the challenges the District
must address in the transition process to a more rigorous college readiness curriculum standard.
Mr. Hernandez asked about the effect of the new standard to special populations, particularly ELL
(English Language Learners) and if data was available to the District on MHS students‟ scores on the
ACT & SAT tests. Mrs. Chavez explained that an indicator that is being transitioned in is the ELL
Progress Measure which was not active the past year but will be this year. She said the measure will be
applied at the campus level and districtwide and in order for a campus or school district to earn
„Recognized‟ status this measure must be met. As far as the ACT and SAT test scores Mrs. Chavez said
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the district does not automatically receive the information because the ACT and SAT are individual tests
that are paid by the student. She said the report would be requested and the information would be
provided at a later date. It was discussed that information on these test scores would be a good indicator
as to how the district is doing in preparing students for college. Dr. Trevino said the district did have
software in place to help students prepare for college entrance exams.
Mrs. Chavez passed out to the Board the 5-year comparison of State Accountability Data for the district
and each campus. She said all data was preliminary pending the official state posting that will be
available July 29, 2011.
Mr. Churchill commented that it troubled him that secondary math scores were not where they needed to
be despite the large amount of money and time that has been spent addressing this. He said this could
lead to the secondary campuses and possibly the district not meeting AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress),
but most of all the concern was for the students who are not where they ought to be in this core subject.
He said he has been on the Board for seven years and for seven years math has been a problem.
Dr. Trevino explained the previous year the District had benefited with the Texas Projection Measure
(TPM) where this year this would not be there. He said gains have been made in certain areas but the
District needs many more gains in secondary-level math and secondary-level science, and gains in
elementary reading. He said these were areas that needed to be targeted and administration was looking
at making changes in the curriculum and in the administration of the curriculum. Mr. Churchill commented
there was a great need to recruit secondary-level math teachers that had the college math hours,
experience, and ability to engage students in the learning process. He said progress was being made but
it was very slow and he feared with the end-of-course exams being more difficult the students that are
struggling now will be so much more behind.
The discussion continued with Mr. Hernandez saying that he agreed that progress has been slow but at
least there has been progress. He said it certainly required a team effort that commenced in the lower
grades, that testing will be harder for all students, and that accountability was a necessary component in
the equation. Mr. Churchill added that accountability was critical however in the area of math it was very
difficult to find teachers with a Math major. He said the bar was continually being raised and it was pretty
tough to hold someone accountable when all they had was some courses in college algebra.
Mr. Vogel said he felt it was something that works through the whole district. He said it starts at the
elementary level where students need to be given encouragement to help them build their confidence as
they learn new things. He said teachers not only need to know the material they teach they need to know
how to deliver it, to be like a salesman who sells an idea in such a way that the students buy into it, where
they get excited and involved in the subject matter. He said principals and other administrators needed to
monitor student participation because to him this was an indication of a teacher doing a good job.
The Board members discussed whether the District was getting a return for its investment in technology-
related purchases. It was noted that technology-based products were supplemental resources for the
classroom teacher and that staff development was essential for teachers to learn how to effectively use
these tools in the classroom. It was the consensus of the Board that progress can be achieved.
Dr. Trevino said that future years in public education in Texas will be more challenging as the system
moves to STAAR and end-if-course assessments. He said the developing of curriculum, managing the
curriculum through walkthroughs, individual teacher preparation and staff development, and recruitment
efforts are all critical components, along with the vertical and horizontal alignment of the curriculum, in
being prepared for the upcoming exams at all grade levels. This was a report only. No action was taken.
4. Discussion and possible action on external auditor
Dr. Trevino said Frederick Garcia would present the recommendation of the business office committee.
Mr. Garcia said the Administration was presenting four (4) Requests for Qualifications for External Auditor
for the Board to review. He said the committee had reviewed the RFQs and they felt the proposal
submitted by Pattillo, Brown, and Hill LLP was the most advantageous to the District at a price of $24,900
per annual audit. He said it was a one-year contract with an option of two additional one-year options to
renew if in the best interest of the District.
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Mr. Salinas asked about Reyna & Garza being given the lowest rating on the purchase price and yet they
were the low bid. Mr. Garcia explained that when the request for proposals went out the bid specified that
the insurance coverage was to be $2,000,000 per occurrence; Reyna & Garza did not have the coverage
and indicated that if they were selected they would obtain the required coverage and would adjust the
audit fee to accommodate the increase in premium. Mr. Salinas questioned why Reyna & Garza were on
the list being they had not met the bid requirement regarding the insurance. Mr. Garcia said the bid
specified that at the time of selection a firm had the option to increase its insurance coverage but since
Reyna & Garza could not provide the amount of increase for the insurance the committee was not sure if
they would indeed be the low bid. Mr. Salinas asked if the bid was known for this firm. Mr. Garcia said it
was not. Motion was made by Mr. Vogel and seconded by Mr. Churchill to select Pattillo, Brown, and Hill
LLP as the external auditor. Motion carried unanimously.
5. Discussion and possible action on purchase of educational software
Dr. Trevino said this was for purchase of EduSmart, a science software program for the Special
Education Co-op. He said funding would be from Special Ed ARRA funds and it would be used in grades
3rd-8th. Motion was made by Mr. Hernandez and seconded by Mr. Vogel to approve the purchase. Mr.
Salinas asked if this would be used by all students or only Special Ed students. Dr. Trevino said it was
for Special Ed students only. Mr. Salinas asked if the purchase was for individual licenses. Ms. Paulita
Guzman, Special Ed Director, responded the software will be loaded to the District server and teachers in
the classroom will be able to access the program on their classroom computers. Vote was taken on the
motion. Motion carried.
6. Construction Reports, discussion, and possible action
Dr. Trevino said the construction reports would be presented by Mr. Gabriel Cosme, Maintenance
Director and architects on the listed projects.
a. Vitetta Architects - Graham Auditorium
Mr. Dan Block, Architect, reported that twice a week meetings were being held at the job site with the
contractor, work was progressing but not as fast as it should be, with the contractor being pressed to
finish the project. Mr. Block reviewed the various items that had been completed - installation of
windows, seats, restrooms, etc. When asked about the new completion date Mr. Block responded it
would be in about three weeks.
Mr. Cardenas asked if there were enough workers showing up at the jobsite. Mr. Block said he had
stopped by on a non-meeting day and there was no one there; on meeting days a lot of people are at the
site. Mr. Cardenas questioned if the work that remained was being done. Mr. Block indicated the work
that remained was not very much. He said the work on the A/C system and the wood floor on the stage
could not proceed until the electricity was connected. Mr. Salinas asked if the A/C had been installed
correctly. Mr. Block assured the Board members that Mr. Cosme, the people from Prodigy Construction
Management, and himself were making sure all work was being done correctly and up to standard.
Mr. Churchill questioned why Top Con Construction was not present, if they had been invited to be at the
meeting. Mr. Block and Mr. Cosme indicated they did not know why the contractor was not there. Mr.
Churchill said the contractor needed to be at the meetings where they were on the agenda to answer
questions, particularly as to why the project is not completed yet. Mr. Hernandez asked about the
construction management consultant, why Mr. Mario Rodriguez was not sending emails to the Board
members as he said he would do. Mr. Cosme indicated Ms. Donna Rodriguez from Prodigy CM was
there. Mr. Hernandez asked her to elaborate on what Prodigy has done to get this project completed.
Ms. Rodriguez said she has met with the contractor at their office and at the site and gone through items
in detail, in essence to hold their hand, all this in an effort to get answers to questions. She said a hold up
on the project had been the electricity being connected by the service provider but that was to be done
the following day; another has been that Top Con has not moved on the drawings on the penetrations on
the stage floor to set the a/c in. Mr. Churchill asked if the contractor was being charged the $500.00 per
day penalty for the delay in completion which should have been April 23. He said the contractor was
turning in payment requests but at some point in time he was going to be the one making payments to the
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district. Mr. Cosme said the remaining balance to finish the project, including retainage was $383,
Ms. Rodriguez commented it was doubtful the contractor would come to the meetings unless something
drastic was done. Mr. Churchill stated he didn‟t know how the other Board members felt but in his opinion
from this point forward if the contractor did not show up to meetings he would not get paid. Mr. Cardenas
said that it was not only the money; if a contractor is interested in his project he will show up to meetings.
Mr. Churchill said everyone in the audience knew and it was in the minutes that he had not voted for this
contractor and the reason was Weslaco ISD had sat there and waited for several years for this contractor
to finish up a project. He said Mercedes had an auditorium he wanted to see finished before his term of
office was done in about a year and a half. Mr. Block said he hoped he was not involved in this project for
another year and a half. Mr. Churchill responded the feeling was mutual but unfortunately the track
record was there.
Mr. Vogel asked if the $500 per day penalty amount up to this point could be deducted from the current
payment request coming up later in the agenda. The Board members felt the attorney needed to advise
on this; however the attorney was out of the room addressing an issue with a member of the audience.
The discussion continued that taking action on the penalty clause of the contract would have to be done
under the attorney‟s advice. Mr. Cosme pointed out that in the past he had purposely left some payment
requests off the agenda in an effort to get the contractor to meet his timeline obligations.
Mr. Hernandez asked for Dr. Trevino‟s recommendation. Dr. Trevino said he agreed the contractor
needed to be at the Board meeting and if he was not, then the District needed to somehow draw him in.
It was the consensus of the Board members that payments not be considered unless the contractor was
present in case there were questions.
b. ROFA Architects - MHS Tennis Courts & Baseball Field
Mr. Cosme said Mr. Mike Allex, Architect, had confirmed he would be at the meeting but he had not come
in. He said the contractors, Teni-Trak and Southern Landscapes, were present. Mr. Cosme reported the
MHS tennis courts were 100% complete and that he was recommending a walkthrough at the next board
meeting. Mr. Salinas said in walking the site he had been told there was a sprinkler head buried
underneath the sidewalk. He asked Mr. Cosme if he had heard about it. Mr. Cosme said he was aware
that underneath a new sidewalk there was a sprinkler head but it was his understanding it was going to
be removed, it was going to be fixed by the contractor. Mr. Jeff St. John from Teni-Trak said the sprinkler
head had been capped off. Mr. Salinas said the thing was that when the sprinklers were turned on water
was coming out from underneath the sidewalk. Mr. Cosme said he had pointed out to the architect that
any areas not specified in the plan needed to be restored to their original condition so in this case the
contractor needed to correct the problem with the sprinkler head. He said overall the tennis courts looked
great. He said the contractor had done a great job, had gone in and taken care of business which was
why he was recommending a walkthrough. Mr. Vogel asked if the problems with the fence posts at the
Junior High had been rectified. Mr. Cosme responded the problem was taken care of - there were no
more cracks in the concrete around the posts.
Regarding the baseball field Mr. Cosme said the grass was looking better. As far as the erosion Mr.
Cosme said it was still there but because the watering is being managed better the erosion is much less.
He said the cinder issue in the infield has been improved since the contractor had gone back, mixed in
more dirt, and compacted it. He said the maintenance crew had been watering the area and they were
giving it some time to get hard before walking on it. Mr. Cosme said in speaking with Mr. Allex and Jerry
the project manager they had asked for a walkthrough in order to proceed with the pending payment
application for Southern Landscapes.
Mr. Churchill expressed concern with the erosion issue saying he didn‟t think it was Southern Landscapes
since they had done what was in the architect‟s plans. He said the field looked nice but he wondered if it
was ever going to work when no grass is planted on the sides to prevent erosion. He said this worried
him because he felt it was a problem with the design. Mr. Vogel said he agreed with Mr. Churchill
because Mr. Cosme had said that changing the watering schedule had lessened the erosion however he
wondered what would happen when there was a heavy rain. The discussion continued that all the dirt
from the field would wash down in to the drain causing it to plug up and making things even worse. Mr.
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Cosme said he had studied the situation - right after the fence line there was the incline into the retention
pond. He said he had discussed with the architect the idea of leveling the field a little bit further out
beyond the fence. Mr. Churchill suggested the coach or Mr. Cosme check with other districts to see if any
of their fields were built like that; are they having the same problem and what are they doing to resolve it.
Mr. Vogel asked if there were be a problem with the retention pond being filled in to a point where the
water flow to the drain would be less, thus cutting down on the erosion or eliminating it altogether. Mr.
Cosme said he would check into that because it was definitely possible. There was more discussion on
the sprinkler system and the adjustments that were made to counter the recent high winds. The
gentleman from Southern Landscapes said the system needed to be on the automatic timer in order to
maintain uniform watering on the entire field. Mr. Vogel asked about some ponding of water around
home plate. Mr. Cosme said the contractor had eliminated a sprinkler head in the home plate area to
correct that and that he would monitor the situation to make sure it wouldn‟t be a safety problem for the
players, particularly after a rain shower. Mr. Cosme concluded the report by saying he would check that
the pending issues at the baseball field have been taken care of. This was a report only. No action was
taken on the item.
7. Discussion and possible action on Change Order,
Drainage plan (Sigler, Winston, Greenwood & Associates) - Graham Auditorium
Motion was made by Mr. Churchill and seconded by Mr. Hernandez to approve the change order. Mr.
Churchill asked if the District was working with the City on this. Mr. Cosme said the District was working
with the city. Mr. Churchill said he understood from Mr. Winston‟s letter that the engineering firm will draw
up the drainage plan. He asked if Mr. Cosme, Mr. Block, and the city engineer were okay with the plan
that is being proposed because when it rains a lot of water accumulates around the building. Mr. Cosme
said he needed to see the SWG plan before deciding he is okay with it or if changes need to be made.
He said he planned to review the hydrological data on the 100-year range to see if the plan would meet
the expected flow requirements. Mr. Cosme said if the engineer says the plan will work and it doesn‟t
when there is a lot of rain it will be his license that will be on the line.
Mr. Vogel asked how far the SWG plan would extend; did it include what the city would do in the alley to
get the water to flow to the storm drain on 10th Street. Mr. Cosme said he had spoken to the City
engineer, Mr. Munoz, and Mr. Munoz is asking to see the SWG plan because they are working on some
projects that could incorporate a change order to re-pave the alley. The discussion continued that it was
very important the District and City work together on this because improvements to the alley would benefit
both entities. There was concern that draining a lot of water into the alley during heavy rains might cause
flooding to the residents on the other side of the alley.
Dr. Trevino said the change order focused on the grading around the building and channeling water to the
alley; what happened beyond that was a matter that needed to be worked out with the City. Mr. Cosme
said that was why he felt the City engineer needed to see the SWG drainage plan because of the effect it
would have on the City‟s alleyway and it would be up to the City engineer to decide on the design to
accommodate the water flow. Mr. Vogel asked about the stage door entrance, what was being done to
have access to it. Mr. Cosme said constructing a concrete ramp was part of the building renovation plan.
Vote was taken on the motion. Motion carried.
8. Discussion and possible action on Change Order,
Top Con Construction - Graham Auditorium
Dr. Trevino said this change order included five (5) items that were detailed in the board packet. Motion
was made by Mr. Vogel and seconded by Mr. Churchill to approve the change order. Mr. Cardenas
asked if these were mistakes by the contractor or things that had been left out of the plans. Mr. Dan
Block said these proposals were part of the contingency that allows for repairs or replacement of
materials, along with the labor, to restore damaged areas or to make aesthetic improvements. He said
these were items he and Mr. Cosme had decided were needed to make things better.
Mr. Cosme explained that he believed that just because something is not included in the architect‟s plan
does not mean it cannot be done. He said one of the items was to remove the concrete base in the
classrooms because it was not going to look right to place the rubber base on top of the concrete. Mr.
Cardenas said he understood things being done to make things better however some things should not
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be done just because there is money there to spend. Mr. Block said he and Mr. Cosme have been very
careful to hold tight to the contingency funds in order to have money available for unforeseen structural
damages, to have additional funds to pay for the seats if needed.
Mr. Salinas made mention that of the original $400,000.00 in the betterment/contingency fund approval of
this change order would leave a balance of $108,764.00. Mr. Cosme and Mr. Block added there was an
additional $150,000.00 in the structural betterment fund. Vote was taken on the motion. Motion carried.
9. Discussion and possible action on Change Order,
Drainage plan (ROFA Architects) - MHS PE Complex & Gym
Dr. Trevino said this change order was for the plans/specs and site observation for the drainage issue
occurring between the gym building and PE building. Motion was made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded
by Mr. Vogel to approve the change order. Motion carried.
10. Discussion and possible action on Construction Project Expenses,
Top Con Construction - Graham Auditorium
Dr. Trevino said this was a payment request for work completed through May 31, 201. Motion was made
by Mr. Vogel to approve payment of $140,120.25 to Top Con Construction for Payment Application 11.
There were some questions to Mr. Cosme however Mr. Churchill pointed out to Mr. Salinas that a second
needed to be made before there was discussion. Mr. Salinas acknowledged the point made. He asked if
there was a second to the motion. No second was made. Mr. Salinas said the item was closed for lack of
11. Discussion and possible action on Construction Project Expenses,
Teni-Trak - MISD Tennis Courts
Dr. Trevino said this was a payment request for work completed through May 19, 2011. Motion was
made by Mr. Vogel and seconded by Mr. Hernandez to approve payment of $99,741.37 to Teni-Trak for
Payment Application 4. Mr. Vogel asked how much was left to be done. Mr. Cosme said the project was
100% complete, this being the final payment, with only the retainage remaining. The Board members
asked about the sprinkler head that was under the sidewalk, if the contractor had been told about it
because he seemed surprised when it was discussed earlier. Mr. Cosme was asked if the contractor had
been notified in writing. Mr. Cosme said he had communicated the problem to the architect via emails.
Vote was taken on the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
12. Discussion and possible action on Construction Project Expenses,
Raba Kistner - MISD Tennis Courts
Dr. Trevino said the payment request was for professional testing services on the tennis courts project.
Motion was made by Mr. Churchill and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve payment of $1,838.38 to
Raba Kistner for Invoice R021677. Motion carried.
13. Discussion and possible action on consultant agreement between Mercedes Special
Education Co-op and Jose Treviño, Speech Language Pathologist
Dr. Trevino said the MISD Special Ed Co-op was experiencing a shortage in personnel and were in need
of this consultant‟s services for speech assessments and/or ARD meetings. Motion was made by Mr.
Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Hernandez to approve the consultant agreement. Motion carried.
Mr. Cardenas pulled Item 23. Mr. Churchill pulled Item 24. Mr. Vogel pulled Item 21. Motion was made
by Mr. Vogel and seconded by Mr. Churchill to approve the remaining items in the Consent Agenda.
The following items were approved:
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14. Employee Out of State Travel
15. Minutes for the following meetings:
a. Special Board Meeting held April 28, 2011
b. Regular Board Meeting held May 9, 2011
c. Special Board Meeting held May 23, 2011
16. Policy revision:
FNF (Local) Student Rights and Responsibilities - Interrogations and Searches [Second Reading]
17. Renewal of memberships/subscriptions
a. Equity Center
b. Texas Association of Community Schools
18. Check Payments for May 2011
Abstentions: G Cardenas on check #139466 to George Cardenas; M Churchill on check #139472
to Monte R. Churchill; D Vogel on check #139593 to Barbee Neuhaus
19. Tax Collections Report for April 2011
20. Revenue and Expenditure Report for April 2011
22. Budget Amendment #9 - General Operating
25. 2011-2012 Student Transfer Requests
26. Student Out-of-Valley Trip Requests
21. Discussion and possible action on Investment Report ending April 30, 2011
Mr. Vogel asked about the money from the litigation settlements, where it was noted in the report and
where was it invested. Ms. Olga Hinds, Chief Financial Officer, explained that the funds were in the
Construction Fund 2000 and invested in Securities. Mr. Vogel noted that some investments were earning
much less than others and asked why more money was not placed in higher yielding accounts. Ms.
Hinds said part of the Investment Act requires the District to diversify, to not put all the eggs in one
basket. Mr. Vogel asked with the change in banks if there was any idea on the rate they could offer. Ms.
Hinds said a rate quote had been requested from First National Bank and other banks for reinvesting
some of the funds through a CD spread. Mr. Vogel asked about some banks that are advertised on TV
such as Capital One. He suggested Ms. Hinds look into what is being offered. She said she would
inquire around because there were certain requirements that had to be met. Motion was made by Mr.
Vogel and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve the report as presented. Motion carried.
23. Discussion and possible action on acceptance of donations for student scholarships
Mr. Cardenas said he had pulled the item to publicly thank the Booster Club, Mrs. Guerrero for the five (5)
$500.00 scholarships awarded to the students. He said this was a great help to the students receiving
them. Mr. Hernandez expressed his appreciation, too. Motion was made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded
by Mr. Hernandez to accept the donations for student scholarships. Motion carried.
24. Discussion and possible action on Requests for Use of Facilities/Equipment
Dr. Trevino reviewed the details of the two requests. He said Mr. Cosme, Maintenance Director, had
prepared a Facility Use Fee Schedule for each request and for two requests that had been approved at a
previous board meeting. Mr. Churchill said he had pulled the item to address what Dr. Trevino had
mentioned - the details of each request and the fees that would be charged in accordance to the use
being requested. He said allowing the use of facilities was done as a public service to the community but
because of the present budget constraints the district could no longer afford to allow the use of facilities
without charging for anticipated utility costs and labor costs for custodian services. Mr. Salinas requested
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that in the future the Facility Use Fee Schedule be included in the agenda packet with every request for
use of a facility.
Mr. Vogel said the information with one of the requests did not have the liability insurance item checked
off. He asked Attorney Salinas about the liability issue, would the District be held accountable should an
injury occur. Attorney Salinas said the District was in Hidalgo County so the chance of being sued was
very probable however there were exceptions for a school district as a political entity. Mr. Churchill
questioned whether the District insurance carrier would cover an incident that was not school related,
something being done by a community organization. Attorney Salinas said this was true, that a school
district did subject itself to potential liability issues in cases like these.
The discussion continued as the Board members expressed that they were not trying to make money
from the use of facilities by community organizations; in essence, they were just breaking even on the
associated utility and custodial costs. Motion was made by Mr. Churchill and seconded by Mr. Cardenas
to approve the requests. Mr. Vogel stated that he was in favor of approving however he felt there should
be something given to the requestors informing them of the need to provide proof of liability insurance, to
make them aware of the District‟s predicament in allowing the use of its facility to non-district
organizations. He asked if something could be noted on the form itself that a requestor/organization will
be held accountable for any injuries or damages. Attorney Salinas said the Application/Contract that the
requestor signed included a paragraph that is a release and indemnification for anything, that it was the
best the District could do to protect itself. Vote was taken on motion. Motion carried.
Mr. Salinas read the posted items for Executive Session, Items A through D. The Board went to
Executive Session at 8:37 pm; they reconvened in Open Session at 10:50 pm.
27. Discussion and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Dr. Trevino said the Administration was recommending Board action on Item A as discussed in Executive
Session. Motion was made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Vogel to approve administration‟s
recommendation. Motion carried.
Dr. Trevino said the Administration was recommending Board action on Item B as discussed in Executive
Session. Motion was made by Mr. Vogel and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve administration‟s
recommendation. Motion carried.
No action was taken on Items C and D.
The Board members discussed the possible date of a special board meeting. Dr. Trevino said the
meeting would have to be after the following week because of conferences the Administration would be
Motion was made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Churchill to adjourn the meeting. Motion
carried. Meeting adjourned at 10.51 pm.
Don Vogel, Secretary Daniel R. Salinas, President
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