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Silver Falls School District

Number crunching: SFSD talks layoffs, school closures, schedule changes

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has started mapping out options to cut $8.8 million from next year’s budget, including layoffs in all departments and temporary school closures. During a special meeting May 8 of the SFSD Board, Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock presented options based on feedback from principals, employees and community members. Proposed reductions These included […]

Wachter Meadows in Mount Angel. Stephen floyd

Mount Angel subdivision – Wachter Meadows receives final permits

By Stephen Floyd Mount Angel has issued the final occupancy permits for the Wachter Meadows subdivision, finalizing a six-year development process that brought 63 new single-family units to town. Administrative Services Director Colby Kemp said, as of the start of May, all inspections have been completed and permits issued, finalizing the city’s role in the development. He said all 63 […]

Capt. Todd Engstrom, left, is taking over for Jim Anglemier as chief of the Silverton Police Department. A retirement party for Angliemier is set for May 17. James Day

Changing of guard: Engstrom takes over as Silverton Police Chief

By James Day When Todd Engstrom joined the Silverton Police Department in 2021 “I knew Chief Anglemier was getting ready to retire and I knew taking his place as chief would be a possibility,” he told Our Town. Jim Anglemier knew it, too. “Todd is ready and will be a good chief,” Anglemier said. “He is tied to the community […]

Scales of Justice

Legal Matters

Alleged assault leads to high-speed chase An Aumsville man is facing multiple charges after an alleged domestic violence incident near Silverton resulted in a high-speed pursuit. Matthew James Rodgers, 33, was arrested May 6 for an incident the previous evening on Hwy. 214 near Silver Falls State Park. Rodgers allegedly strangled a woman, threatened her with a hatchet and damaged […]

Silver Falls School District

Layoff notices expected by next week for SFSD staff

By Stephen Floyd Staff at the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) are expected to receive notice of their job prospects within the next week-and-a-half, according to Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock. During an ongoing meeting tonight of the SFSD Board, Morelock said he hopes within the next 10 days to notify staff whose positions are being eliminated as part of steep […]

Silver Falls School District

$3.8M TAN for SFSD almost half of Oregon total

By Stephen Floyd A $3.82 million bridge loan sought by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) accounted for nearly half of such loan requests in Oregon, according to a report from S&P Global Ratings. In a summary dated May 10, S&P measured the creditworthiness of four districts, including SFSD, requesting a total of $8 million in tax anticipation notes (TAN). […]

Community input sought on 2024-2025 SFSD cuts

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is asking the public what they would like to see prioritized financially as significant cuts for next year threaten staff, programs and facilities. The district has been advised to reduce the 2024-2025 budget by roughly $8.8 million, or 12 percent of the current budget, to correct years of overspending and revenue […]

Silver Falls School District approves furlough days

By Stephen Floyd Seven furlough days for the present school year have been approved by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board as part of efforts to address significant budget shortfalls. During the board’s regular meeting April 22, members voted unanimously to designate May 3 and 24 and June 10-14 as furlough days on the school calendar. These will be […]

Nonprofit guiding interim superintendent search for Silver Falls opening

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has partnered with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) to find an interim superintendent as the search for a permanent superintendent takes shape. During the SFSD Board’s regular meeting April 22, it approved a COSA-led search process that could result in hiring an interim superintendent by mid-May. This would leave […]

Silver Falls School District

School district applies for $3.8 million bridge loan

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has applied for a $3.8 million loan to help address a $1.3 million cash shortfall, with most of the funds expected to be invested to offset financing costs. During a special meeting April 11 of the SFSD Board, officials voted unanimously to pursue a tax anticipation note (TAN), which borrows against […]

Scales of Justice

Legal Matters

Silverton house forfeited in pot sting A Silverton-area house once used in by an interstate marijuana ring has been sold as part of federal forfeiture proceedings. The residence, at 17344 Powers Creek Loop NE, was among 14 property forfeitures announced April 1 in a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Oregon.  The other houses were […]

Silver Falls School District

Admins cuts favored, K-8s and esports opposed in survey

By Stephen Floyd Respondents overwhelmingly supported cuts to administration in a survey by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), while opposition emerged against preserving all K-8 schools and esports programs. As of Monday afternoon, 1,347 people had participated in a survey on ThoughtExchange asking what they believe should be preserved as the district plans steep budget cuts for next year. […]

Silver Falls School District

SFSD furlough days begin this Friday

The first of seven approved furlough days in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) begins this Friday as employees from all job classifications take cuts to balance the district’s budget. The SFSD Board approved May 3 and 24, and June 10-14, as furlough days during their regular meeting April 22, and both of the district’s unions have since ratified the […]

Silver Falls School District

SFSD applying for $3.8 million bridge loan

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is applying for a $3.8 million bridge loan to avoid a $1.3 million cash shortfall in June and additional budget challenges forecast for the next school year. During a special meeting Thursday of the SFSD Board, officials voted unanimously to pursue a tax anticipation note (TAN), which borrows against property taxes […]

Silver Falls School District Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock Submitted Photo

Money woes mount – SFSD struggles to make sense of the dollars

By Stephen Floyd Former Newberg Superintendent Joe Morelock has been hired as interim superintendent for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), with the goal of “stabilizing” its finances and administration. During a special meeting April 1, the SFSD Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with Willamette Education Service District (WESD), where Morelock currently serves as superintendent. The agreement, effective through June […]

Silver Falls School District

Silver Falls School District proposed interim superintendent search timeline

Silver Falls School District officials proposed a timeline for choosing an interim superintendent to begin July 1 after current Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock’s service concludes. During the SFSD Board April 8 meeting, dates for gathering public and staff feedback, and conducting interviews were presented. Board Chair Jennifer Traeger said the goal is to expend as little money on the process […]

SFSD told to cut $10 million over 2 years

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has been advised to cut $1.2 million from its current budget by June and $8.8 million for the next school year to correct a looming deficit and patterns of overspending. During the April 8 meeting of the SFSD Board, officials received a financial presentation from Jackie Olsen, executive director of the […]

Former SHS Principal Sione Thompson Submitted Photo

More transition: Silverton High principal resigns to take Nevada position

By Stephen Floyd Former Silverton High School Principal Sione Thompson has resigned from his position as of April 2 to take the helm of a struggling charter school in Nevada. The Silver Falls School District confirmed Thompson’s departure in a media release that day and said Assistant Principal Patrick Mulligan has stepped in as interim principal. Mulligan is expected to […]

On the rebound – Senior Center has new leadership, big plans

By James Day The Silverton Senior Center is down but not out. The group’s building on Westfield Street is out of commission because of a plumbing disaster that occurred during the January ice storm. The center, however, has been able to keep most of its programs rolling along by using other sites: aerobics, line dancing and gentle yoga at Immanuel […]

City of Mt. Angel

Precautionary measure – Mount Angel rolling out chlorination May 15

By Stephen Floyd The City of Mount Angel is finalizing plans to chlorinate its municipal water supply as a preventative against unhealthy microbes, with public meetings on the matter set for April. In a timeline published on the city’s website, officials said chlorination is scheduled to begin May 15 to comply with an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) mandate from 2023. […]

Money woes – Revenue shortfalls, expense overages put SFSD in turmoil

By Stephen Floyd Officials with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) believe workforce reductions are necessary as they learn a projected budget deficit may be greater than initially estimated. On March 21 during a special meeting of the board, Director of Finance Kim Doud said they were learning about revenue shortfalls that could deepen an original deficit projection of $825,000. […]

Legal Matters

Fraud charges filed for hardware store scheme A Silverton man has been implicated in an alleged large-scale and sophisticated fraud scheme targeting hardware stores throughout Oregon, including new local charges. Elton Bud Ralston, 40, has been charged in four separate cases in Marion, Linn, Yamhill and Washington counties for alleged thefts involving tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise. According […]

Scott Drue (foreground) resigns as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District Wednesday night during a special meeting of the SFSD Board.

Scott Drue resigns as SFSD superintendent

By Stephen Floyd Scott Drue has resigned as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) as the district braces for an $825,000 budget shortfall and faces a crisis of employee trust. Drue’s resignation was accepted by the School Board during a special meeting Wednesday night effective immediately. The board then named Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch as acting superintendent. In […]

Residents and district employees pack the Silverton High School library for the March 11 meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board amid ongoing discussions of a projected $825,000 deficit. Stephen Floyd

$825K shortfall: Silver Falls School District details complex layers

By Stephen Floyd Community members walked away with more answers but no fewer questions about an $825,000 deficit after the Silver Falls School District Board meeting March 11. An estimated 120 people attended in person and more than 200 watched by Zoom. The large audience was prompted by the deficit projection announced to the board at its Feb. 26 meeting. […]

Members of the Executive Team of the Silver Falls Education Association share concerns aboutalleged financial mismanagement March 11 during the Silver Falls School District board meeting. Stephen Floyd

‘Financial negligence’ Education association files formal complaint

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) is filing a formal complaint against Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Superintendent Scott Drue amid a budget crisis that appears to threaten June paychecks. During the March 11 meeting of the SFSD Board, the SFEA Executive Team shared a statement alleging Drue committed acts of “financial negligence” that resulted in a […]