SANDY — East and west transition teams announced their arbitrators Friday as both sides proceeded toward a decision in splitting Jordan School District's assets and liabilities.

The east-side arbitrator is Michael Zimmerman. He is an attorney and former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court.

"He is considered one of the brightest and most experienced arbitrators in the state," said east transition team chairman Steve Newton.

The west-side arbitrator is Darrell White. He is the former interim president of the Utah College of Applied Technology; former superintendent of the Davis, Box Elder, North Summit and Sevier school districts; and former deputy for education to Gov. Olene S. Walker.

"He comes with a lot of experience and a good understanding of school law and school finance," said west transition team chairman Ralph Haws.

Both teams were required by law to select an arbitrator by Monday. The two arbitrators have to choose a third arbitrator by Sept. 15.

There is still leeway, however, for the two teams to come up with a plan and use it even after arbitrators have been selected.

How long the arbitration process lasts and how much it will cost Jordan District is yet to be seen. Newton said he hopes it will be finished by the end of the year.

The west team voted on Thursday to reject a plan suggested by the Jordan District mayors regarding how to split the district's assets and liabilities. The plan included a proposal that the west side give $33 million to the east side.

The east team had intended to meet Monday to discuss the mayors' plan. It has canceled the meeting. "It is now a moot point," Newton said.

Last November, east-side residents voted to leave Jordan District and form their own school district. Since then, the east and west sides of the district have not been able to agree on how to split assets and liabilities.

The east side contends it is suffering from declining enrollment and aging school buildings. The west side says it is worried about predicted rapid enrollment growth and the lack of school buildings to house the student influx.


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