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DUSD budget adds 1.78M in spending

The Douglas School Board increased its budget for the upcoming fiscal year by 1.78 million at the July 2 board meeting.

The total aggregate budget this fiscal year, which began July 1, is $30,341,235, an increase of $1,782,808 from last year’s budget. The new budget includes a five percent increase for certified staff and teachers; three percent to administrators and a $1 per hour increase for all classified employees.

The average teacher salary for DUSD educators increased from $34,705 last year to $37,721 this fiscal year and will increase to $39,393 in fiscal year 2020. Beginning teacher’s salaries jumped from $31,000 last year to $32,000 this year.

“We want to do something every year to move us up on that beginning salary to make it attractive for teachers,” Cesar Soto, chief financial and operations director for the DUSD, said.

Soto told the board its important the community understand the property tax is not being adopted just yet.

“That won’t happen until Aug. 15 when the board of supervisors approves the tax rate,” he said. “I also want to remind you that we’re frozen so there is no way we’re going to go up on the property taxes. If it changes it might be the secondary tax, but that will be because of the bonds and the interest we have to pay.”

In other action at the meeting, the board accepted the 2020 Capital Plan that will be submitted to the Arizona State of School Facilities Board.

Soto said what is being submitted at the moment in this report is based off projected enrollment.

“We still don’t know how many kids we are going to have at every level,” he said.

Projected numbers show 1,803 preschool through fifth grade students, 913 sixth through eighth grade students, and 1,527 ninth through 12th grade students.

Denise Cox, Fernando Nunez, Katie Walker and Gail Zamar were appointed as hearing officers for the upcoming school year. If needed, they will conduct hearings for students facing suspension of over 10-days.

Two new teachers were hired: Jose Vasquez at Stevenson Elementary and Rosey Kofron, a science teacher at Ray Borane Middle School.

At the June 21 special board meeting, Dr. Rodney Egan was hired to be the new principal at Stevenson Elementary; Mark Lucero was hired to be the CTE Business and Finance teacher at DHS; Dean S. Ibanez was hired to be the new science teacher at Paul Huber Middle School and Maria Ruiz was approved as a new teacher at RBMS.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6 in the DUSD board room.

Public hearing on proposed tax hike Wednesday

Local residents are invited to two public hearings that are scheduled for this evening at City Hall.

The first public hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m., is for the proposed sales/use tax increase which is being proposed raising the sales/use tax from 2.8 percent to 3.8 percent and the bed tax from two to four percent. These would go into effect Oct. 1, 2019 providing the second and third readings of this ordinance are approved by the mayor and council.

The proposed bed tax applies to hotels/motels, bed and breakfasts or online lodging marketplaces such as Airbnb or Vrbo for people staying less than 30 days at a time.

The 5 p.m. public hearing is to seek public comment regarding the final adoption of the annual budget for fiscal year 2019/2020. The proposed budget may be reviewed at City Hall or at the Douglas Public Library located at 560 10th Street. The complete copy of estimates of revenues and expenses may also be reviewed at the city of Douglas webpage:

The regular monthly city council meeting will follow at 6 p.m. that same evening.

Items on that agenda include recognition of former City of Douglas Engineer Lynn Kartchner as well as presentation of a proclamation declaring July 27, 2019 as ‘Mr. Wonderful Day” in memory of the late Howard Henderson.

Matt Riesgo and Richard Rosales of APS will address the mayor and council regarding their summer preparedness plan.

There will be some discussion to ratify action taken at the June 12 council meeting concerning a possible investigation into inappropriate disclosure of potentially privileged communications by elected officials or city personnel.

The second reading of an ordinance amending the city sales tax to 3.8 percent is on the agenda.

There will also be some discussion regarding entering into an agreement with the Douglas Unified School District regarding the School Resource Officer for Douglas High School.

The third reading of an ordinance regarding the levying upon the assessed valuation of property within the City of Douglas, subject to taxation, a rate upon each $100 of valuation sufficient to raise the amount estimated to be required in the annual budget, is on the agenda.

Special meeting Thursday

A special meeting has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday in the City Hall council chambers.

The purpose of this meeting will be to conduct interviews for the city manager position. There will also be some discussion in regards to the hiring concept having to do with the protocol or the hiring process to be taken by the administration in relation to the city manager’s recruitment and hiring.

Both meetings are open to the public.

For more information on the agendas click on