By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
Last week the Bement School board met and rejected Cerro Gordo’s proposal for their intergovernmental cooperative agreement.
The proposal was basically a fifty-fifty split with a majority of high school sports hosted by Cerro Gordo, with the exception of: cross country, boys and girls softball and baseball.
The agreement had Bement being the host school of Middle School sports, with possible color addition, purple. (School team color)
During Bement’s meeting it was clear they were not happy with the proposal set forth.
Principals Doug Kepley, Steve Cline from Bement and Principal Jeremy Rodebuagh and Athletic Director Brandon Willard have discussed a different proposal for the past month or so, stated Rodebaugh. “Something we went back and forth over the last month.” He added, “This wasn’t our first proposal, this was our best final proposal.”
Rodebaugh released a strongly worded statement, “This came as a complete shock to me as I was anticipating this to either pass or come back to us with a few minor items to tweak. To have it not only completely rejected but also portrayed in such a negative light is disappointing. Additionally it is disappointing that in my view CG was not portrayed accurately or fairly in certain parts of discussing this agreement.”
He went on to add that he believed the proposal was the best fifty-fifty arrangement in his statement released during the school board meeting, “While it is true that in the latest proposal that CG is the host of 7 of the 11 HS sports, the original proposal from CG had an even split in both the JH and HS. It was Bement that requested to remove JH/HS Scholastic Bowl as well as move HSGB to CG and JH BB/Cheerleading to Bement which caused the JH/HS to be unbalanced, although collectively all 7-12 hosts are still split 50/50.”
He went on to add he did not believe the revenue issues were as impactful as Bement discussed. “I also do not believe Bement’s issues with revenue are being accurately explained. While it is true Bement will have a few less games for some revenue sports, they will no longer be asked to pay 1/3 of the expenses for those sports which includes coaches, equipment, etc. Furthermore, it was offered to Bement that if revenue is still an issue CG would be willing to offer the revenue sport of JHVB for the non revenue sports of Baseball/Softball.”
“Cerro Gordo is not willing to give any more than what’s on the table now.,” adding, “For us to give anymore it just wouldn’t make sense.” Rodebaugh made clear this is a school board decision, not merely his own. He also made clear that he would like to continue the cooperative sports agreement, “We do not want to proceed without Bement. We want there to be CGB.”
Rodebaugh not only made clear that the desire to continue with Bement was there, but students are his priority. “However, our best proposal as of right now is rejected, and our coop agreements are up June 30.” Adding,” We have no choice but to explore all options that we possibly can, right now. We are hopeful that CGB and Bement are able to come up with something that we can agree to, but in the meantime, we also have to do our due diligence to give our kids the best opportunity we possibly can.”
Bement was reached for comment and stated they will have more to comment and discuss during their January meeting taking place more than likely via zoom.