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High school association directors restructure its financial committee

PIERRE -- The South Dakota High School Activities Association directors restructured the organization's finance committee Thursday so it would be only advisory in the future and won't stand as a semi-independent body.

PIERRE - The South Dakota High School Activities Association directors restructured the organization's finance committee Thursday so it would be only advisory in the future and won't stand as a semi-independent body.

The change passed unanimously Thursday. The decision came after a floor vote at the annual meeting in April. School districts with representatives in attendance forbid the board, on a vote of 28-5, from putting spare ongoing revenue into the association's trust fund.

Three directors will have seats on the reformed committee.

They are chairman Steve Morford, who is Spearfish High School principal, and the previous chairman, Jason Uttermark, who is Aberdeen Central High School principal. Those two represented the board on the past version of the committee.

The third director who will serve on the new version of the committee is Sandy Klatt, a Brandon Valley school board member. The directors decided against designating three seats for directors on the committee, appointing Klatt to a discretionary seat instead.

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Klatt has been a voice for openness since she was elected a director in 2013.

Executive Director Wayne Carney supported putting the committee under the board.

"I think it would be one of our board members who would actually conduct the meeting," Carney said.

The revised committee would make recommendations to the board, Carney said.

In another change, investment advisor Brad Reinke won't be an official member any longer, Morford said. Reinke will continue reporting to the directors.

The association's new comptroller, Isaac Jahn, would report to the board each time the board meets.

After those shifts were announced, Klatt said she would like to be a member of the committee "unless other members are opposed to that."

"I don't see any reason why that should be an issue," Uttermark said.

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Morford didn't support changing from two automatic seats to three for directors but he didn't oppose Klatt's addition.

"There might be a time we don't need or want three board members," Morford said.

The Finance Committee's original purpose was to oversee growth of the association's corporate-funded contingency fund.

The goal set in 2006 was 70 percent of the association's annual budget. The 70 percent at that time was $1.4 million. The $1.4 million was reached in the past year.

Other seats on the reformed advisory committee will include two superintendents, two athletic directors, one or two school business managers and one principal. They are to be recommended by their respective professional organizations.

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