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Cerro Gordo Principal Jeremy Rodebaugh Rejects Bement’s Coop Proposal

Staff Writer

Before Cerro Gordo even met this week, the High School Principal dismissed Bement’s latest proposal for their intergovernmental cooperative agreement contract which is up in June.

Bement Superintendent Sheila Greenwood stated in an email, that Rodebaugh dismissed the proposal, “We felt that it was 100% fair cooperative partnership and we want to continue with this sports coop in a fair and cooperative manner. Within 17 minutes of their High School Principal getting the proposal, he emailed our High School Principal back and said he “wasn’t going to waste his or his board’s time on the proposal”. So, the CG board won’t even see the proposal that the Bement Board of Education worked on and approved to send to them for their consideration.”

The proposal from Bement was what they thought to be a “true” fifty-fify spilt. They were quite unhappy with the proposal from Cerro Gordo, so there was hope this proposal would work.

During Bement’s meeting Principal Doug Kepley stated, “It gives each school a chance to show off their facilities, for students to work together, for the common good.”

Board Member Janice Forgeson added, “It also gives both schools a chance to make revenue.” To which Kepley replied, “That is correct, everything being shared equally…As far as expenses being shared equally as well.”

Forgeson later added that no matter what, there is a desire to work with Cerro Gordo. “. I think we both, we both need each other. And when two sides need each other, there’s always, there’s always always a way to make magic happen. And there’s not a doubt in my mind that we can make this happen. Because, every single one of us we are on the board for a reason, because we care about kids, and we care about our districts, and we care about our communities. And, and working together it just helps all of those,”

Bement’s proposal was for the high school and middle school to have the choice of basically the main sport for that season, whether fall or spring. From the proposal, “Cerro Gordo will have the choice between High School Football (Fall) or High School Boys Basketball (Winter).” The proposal went on to state if they choose to host Football, they would host Girls Basketball, while Bement would host Volleyball and Boys Basketball. Or if they hosted high school basketball, then Bement would host Football.

This would continue with middle school sports, basically splitting various sports up for a more fifty fifty split in Bement’s opinion than the current two thirds, one third contract. (proposal attached)

The host school in each scenario would be responsible for the coaching, costs, and would be on the receiving end of revenue for concessions and tickets.

As far as track, Bement agreed that Cerro Gordo should be the host school with the all weather track and facilities.

In an email Rodebaugh stated, “In November Bement proposed a 50/50 split of games and practices for all activities. Cerro Gordo worked with Bement on an alternative proposal of a 50/50 split of hosts schools that was ultimately rejected by Bement’s Board of Education. This latest proposal from Bement is actually regressive to their original proposal in November as it is a 50/50 split of hosts schools and a 50/50 split of games and practices for all activities.”

He went on to add, “Cerro Gordo does not have any desire to end CGB. We have the facilities and resources to accommodate all of Bement’s student athletes. Cerro Gordo plans to continue moving forward with our full slate of IHSA and IESA activities and it is our hope that Bement decides to continue with CGB.”

And in a separate email, if for some reason the coop does not work out, “

Cerro Gordo has been clear that even in the very small event that a deal cannot be reached by Cerro Gordo and Bement, if allowed by the Bement School District the Bement student athletes will be welcome to participate in IHSA activities at Cerro Gordo under the name of CGB at not cost to the Bement School District, outside of transportation costs to Cerro Gordo.”

The Cerro Gordo School Board meets this Wednesday in the auditorium at Cerro Gordo Junior/Senior High School at 6:30 pm.

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