Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 3.11.10

March 10, 2010

Today’s Program: Roberto Pedros Bretos on his exchange year.

Happy Birthday: Bob Will (3/8), Jim Herreid (3/10) and Scott Davis (3/11).

Next Week: Library Centennial: Margit Johnson, Lynne Young (Lane)

Last Meeting:

Charlie Kyte’s presentation on the state budget and its affect on k-12 education left me wondering, hoping maybe, that it really is darkest before the dawn.

The executive director for the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and a former Northfield superintendent, painted a grim picture for the foreseeable future. A Solomon-like deal by power brokers at the end of the Ventura administration eliminated state surpluses as we cut income taxes and saw the state assume responsibility for k-12 education. Given Governor Pawlenty’s “no new tax” stance, school districts have been in a box for the last several years. Government’s revenue cycle trails the business cycle by a few years, Charlie said. Given the slow climb out of this “great recession,” money for government services, including k-12, will be in short supply.

The state is staring at a $1 billion shortfall for this immediate biennium. Given the number of legislators running for governor and Pawlenty’s national ambitions, Charlie predicts we will see “political hardball” over the next few months. He reminded us that our future depends on how well we education our children.

Guests: Dana Cogan (Cogan)

Scholarship Enhancement: David Halsor, a repeat offender


Brasil and Back was a financial success. All of the bills are now in, and we netted $7,800 on the evening. Wonderful job.

Tom Stringer announced that Andrea Wilgohs, Sidney Beaumaster and Brenda Kell, all Northfield High School juniors,  have been selected to attend Rotary’s Camp RYLA later this spring.

President Estenson reported that we now have 127 members.

President-elect Chris Weber and President-elect elect Robert Bierman attended the PETS conference.

Rick Esse has been selected the district’s next assistant governor. He will follow Mark Cashman in that post.

President Estenson said the youth exchange conference he and Vicki Dilley attended in Chicago was invigorating. He said there is a lot to learn, but the conference affirmed the program we are developing here.

Coming Up:

March 25 – Colleen Van Blarcom (Tiano)

April 1 – Manger Inn: Ten Year update, Mike Behr (Caskey)

April 8 – Neil Lutsky, Fountain Pen

April 15 – Mama Tesha, founder and current principal of the primary school, St. Margaret’s Academy, in Arusha, Tanzania and her principal,  Mr. Michael Magaya, host (Carlson)

Welcome Our Newest Members:

Dayna Clemments

Peter Schmelzer