By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – The Colmesneil ISD Board of Trustees named Eldon Franco as the district’s lone finalist for the superintendent position.
Franco, who currently serves as the superintendent of Cherokee ISD, and has since 2016, was present at Monday night’s board meeting with his wife Carrie. “Thank you for the vote of confidence. I’m excited to be here, and excited to be part of a great district,” Franco said.
Franco said he is looking forward to doing what he can to encourage faculty and staff and build on community relations. Franco has also served as a principal at Silsbee, Corsicana and Kountze ISD.
Announcing Franco as CISD’s lone finalist was not the only personnel matter the board approved when it reconvened in regular session after a lengthy closed session.
The board voted to eliminate the position of Security District Manager/Instructor and terminate the contract of Thomas Smith, who serves in that role, effective immediately. Board member Kenneth Graham made the motion to eliminate the position “in the best interest of Colmesneil ISD,” and that Smith’s contract be “terminated for good cause.”
The board also approved a change in status and raise in salary for transportation director Ramon Follmar. Follmar will now serve the district as its facility and transportation director and will receive an additional $6,000 in salary.
Additionally, the board also voted to add the position of instructional coach to the elementary faculty beginning next school year.
Bond refinancing discussed
During the first half of the meeting, the board approved an order to go out for refinancing the district’s existing bonds. Assistant Superintendent Sharon Tule said the information about refinancing was on the agenda so that the district could look at getting a better interest rate on its existing bond date, as well as saving money.
Lewis Wilks, managing director of US Capital Advisors, spoke about the refinancing options available to CISD. The district has $1,040,000 in bonds which were issued in 2011. The bonds are now coming up to be callable on Aug. 15 of this year and can be refinanced up to 90 days prior to that date. Wilks said that if refinanced, the district could possibly save 5.67% with lower interest rates.
The current market is about 2.13% interest rate, while CISD is currently paying its bond notes at 4%. Wilks said the possible interest rate with refinancing is a projection, and will likely be lower with the trend in the market.