Reports from the east and west Jordan School District transition teams are being reviewed by the three Jordan district school boards while those involved wait for area mayors to unveil their plan for splitting district assets and liabilities.
"I think that's great they (mayors) have been working to break the logjam," said Peggy Jo Kennett, president of the west Jordan school board.
Both east and west transition-team reports include the history of past proposals and negotiations, as well as reiterations of how each side feels and what they want.
By law, the reports were to be sent before Friday for review by the west Jordanboard, east Jordan board and the original Jordan School District board.
The eight-page west-side report is available on the Jordan district Web site, www.jordandistrict.org.
The east-side report is 24 pages long with an additional nine pages of exhibits. Go to www.deseretnews.com to view a copy of the report attached to this story.
In November, east-side residents voted to leave Jordan district and form their own school district. Since then, neither side of the district has been able to agree on how to split assets and liabilities.
The mayors of the 10 cities in the Jordan district are now working on a plan that could resolve the issue. The plan could be unveiled as early as Monday.
Ralph Haws, president of the west transition team, said the group would be happy to sit down and listen to what the mayors have to say."We will keep the door open for productive discussions," Haws said.
Kennett added the decision on splitting assets and liabilities is still up to the transition teams and school boards, however, although "any input is appreciated."
Regarding the reports, J. Dale Christensen, president of the original Jordan district board and now also a member of the west school board, said, "I feel there are things both teams can reach an agreement on. There are a few things that will be more difficult."
Tracy Cowdell, president of the east Jordan district board, was not available for comment.
Christensen said the complexity of how the district facilities should be valued is "probably going to take arbitration."
If the east and west teams can't reach an agreement regarding splitting assets and liabilities, each team is to choose an arbitrator by Sept. 1. The two arbitrators are then to select a third arbitrator by Sept. 15.
The west transition team's report includes details from a 2006 feasibility study that acknowledges both sides have capital needs: growth-related needs on the west side and remodeling needs on the east side. The study calculates that over the next five years, the east side will face $194 million in capital facility needs, whereas the west side faces $585 million in capital facility needs.
The study states the east side currently has greater financial resources as measured by its economic tax base than the west side, and fewer students to support with those resources.
The report says the east side now seeks $112 million from the west side. "Because the East side's demands would not result in a fair or equitable allocation of the District's property, the transition teams have reached an impasse and unfortunately must submit the allocation of the District's property to binding arbitration," it noted.
The east report outlines a history of proposals. In the first proposal, both sides agreed to be fair and equitable. A proposal that was pitched in March included the east side requesting $196 million in bond proceeds. It was rejected.
East transition board members contend their side's aging buildings need attention. "We just want our fair shake," said East transition team member Mike Shelton.
Other proposals that followed didn't fly either. "We're at an impasse," Shelton said. The east report includes ways to calculate Jordan district's assets and liabilities.
"We want some fairness," said Steve Newton, president of the east transition team.The east report also includes a safety net that allows the two teams to come up with a plan and use it even after arbitrators have been selected.
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