Community offers thanks together

Receiving and perceiving the blessings of God was the topic of the reflection presented by Father Rich Boever at this year’s community Thanksgiving service. The prayer service was held on Wednesday, November 18 at the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel. Members from a variety of local churches gathered together at the Catholic church in Steelville for the annual service sponsored by the ministerial alliance.

Fr. Boever offered the reflection based on the gospel reading from Luke 17:11-19, which tells the story of Jesus Christ’s healing of the ten lepers. Only one returned to give thanks for the blessing.

Steelville School District Report

The following information on happenings at the three buildings in the district was presented to school board members at their meeting held on Thursday, November 19.
Steelville Elementary School (SES)
    The third and fourth grade fall acuity benchmark data has been distributed and is currently being dissected by staff to aid in RTI, enrichment, and classroom teaching. 
Each grade level has been working with Director of Learning Matt Hammonds on pacing guides and curriculum, specifically with Eureka Math, where they are working on creating priority standards and their units.
Steelville Middle School (SMS)
Students have been gearing up for the Math-A-Thon scheduled for December 10.
More teachers have been using Google Classroom with their classes. 
Steelville High School (SHS)
The ACT Test will be offered at Cuba on December 12. Several SHS students will be taking the test.
Students who took the October ACT are receiving their results. Unofficial scores are looking good.

Colbert questions bias in textbook

Local resident Ken Colbert has expressed concern about what he sees as pro-Islamic bias in the Steelville School District’s 7th grade World History textbook. He approached the school board at their Thursday night meeting to share that concern during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Public comments are limited to just three minutes, so Colbert didn’t have long to present his opinion on the matter, but he spoke with Three Rivers Publishing after the meeting to add to his statement.

In front of the board, Colbert began by referring to the Muslim attacks on Paris this past week, noting it made the discussion of what he sees as pro-Islamic bias in the textbook even more relevant.

Drinking water fee ordinance to be updated

Steelville City Council members approved a proposal to change the current ordinance on primacy fees at the last meeting, held on Monday, November 16. City Clerk Sheila Anderson requested the change after Utility Billing Clerk Sandy Richter had noted the fees listed in the current ordinance don’t match those required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Aldermen agreed to amend the ordinance to reference the fee schedule as set by DNR each year instead of having to update the code each year.

The Public Drinking Water Fees are paid annually by users in Steelville and are based on service connection sizes. For those who are unmetered and those not greater than one inch, the cost for 2015 was $3.24. In Steelville, there were 635 connections of that size. Fees for meters between one and two inches in size were $7.44, and Steelville reported 26 connections. There were four meters between two and four inches in size. That fee was $41.16.

City questions vacation pay to officials

Steelville city council members are seeking legal advice to answer questions about paying salaried employees for unused vacation time. A secondary question is whether elected or appointed officers are permitted to receive that additional pay, since neither state statute nor city ordinance allow for increased salaries during their time of election or appointment.

Current city policy allows employees to receive payment for vacation time not used within the year, but Mayor Terry Palmer wanted to make sure the council was aware that would change the approved total annual pay for salaried employees who do so. Three current salaried employees—City Clerk Sheila Anderson, Police Chief Lydle Davis, and City Supervisor Tom Murray—planned to seek payment for unused time. However, the City Clerk is an appointed position, and the Police Chief is elected. While Murray is appointed to the role of Superintendent of Municipal Utilities and Supervisor of Public Service Workers, those are not listed as officers in city ordinances.