The Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other School Personnel met Tuesday, November 13 at the Pizza Hut in Ava with twelve members and one guest in attendance. Marie Bristol welcomed all those present. Norma Stillings gave the invocation before the group ate lunch.
David Norman gave an account of his years serving on the Ava R-1 School Board and then on Ava City Council. When David first came on the School Board in 1975, the District was working to complete the Jr. High Building. There were problems with the location of the new building in relation to the street, due in part to the solid rock that lay just below the surface of the street. That problem was just the first problem. Many more problems were addressed during David’s time on the Board. There were issues with bus drivers, bus routes, deteriorating buildings, hiring new superintendents, and a complicated system that resists change.
David noted that the relationship between the Board and school employees or a city council and its city workers should not be adversarial. The relationship depends largely upon the superintendent or mayor. A board or council generally only knows what they are told. David said that he had asked a lot of questions. It takes years to understand just what all is involved in running a school or a city. He said that a good school board or city council needs to have members who represent different views and walks of life, businessmen, professionals, factory workers, farmers, teachers, etc. They need to care about the community they serve. They can’t do a good job if they don’t care.
Julane Williams, treasurer noted that about half the membership dues have been collected. Norma Stillings moved to approve the payment of the expense of postage to mail out reminders. The motion was seconded and passed. Marie said that MRTA members have the option of paying their dues with automatic withdrawals or online.
Ida Mae Huse, Legislative Chair, spoke on issues of concern that the Silver-haired Legislators identified this fall. Their top priority is to ask the Missouri Legislature to restore full funding to Missouri’s Senior Centers’ Meals Program. Generally speaking, seniors need to pay attention to those bills of concern when they get into Committee and contact their own Representative or Senator to voice support or opposition to the proposed bills.
Those present for the meeting were Marie Bristol, Julane Williams, Norma Stillings, Geraldine Gray, Terri Hall, Sue Robirds, Colleen Lakey, Ruth Evans, Ida Mae Huse, Jane Elder, Barbara Groover, Betty Moore, and the guest, David Norman.
The next RTA meeting will be held Tuesday, December 11 at the Senior Center in Ava. Lunch will be served at 11:30. Ava High School Students will perform Christmas Music. A business meeting will follow afterward.