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A report on the last meeting of the Sacajawea Center Team was presented to the February 15 meeting of the Salmon City Council by Committee Chairman Jesse Bender.

She said that Sacajawea Center Director Judy Barkley shared her concerns over the need to take action on the Centerís annual contracts.

Bender said she along with Councilmen Jim Bockelman and Fred Waidely explained their proposal to combine two of the current part-time Center positions into one Programming Director position. She said the intent of their proposal is twofold; first, to provide an incentive for employee retention and second, to move the position into a permanent full-time job beginning in fiscal year 2013.

Councilmen Bender, Bockelman and Waidely also outlined what they feel is the ideal staffing structure for the Center based upon discussions with Barkley. Their recommendations included a full-time Director, a full-time Programming/Education Director, a seasonal volunteer Coordinator and a seasonal part-time Groundskeeper/ Maintenance employee.

Another recommendation from the three council members of the Sacajawea Center Team was that each official Partner of the Center commit to organizing and directing an agreed upon number of evening and weekend programs at the facility. Bender said that after a decision is made regarding this seasonís staffing, a draft letter of request will be written regarding the weekend and evening programs. After approval from the team the letter will be sent to the Centerís Partners.

Bender said Barkley is looking towards transitioning the Sacajawea Centerís Heritage Garden out from under the Centerís direct operations. She is presently working on that goal with Salmon Valley Stewardship, the Local Foods Group, and the Youth Employment Program.

Sacajawea Center Committee Team member Bob Russell suggested that the Center incorporate Salmon-Challis National Forestís Partnership Liaison Angie Hurley into Center operations to help lighten the load where possible. He made the suggestion with the approval of Salmon Challis District Ranger Kimberly Nelson. Nelson said she will study how Hurley may of greatest benefit to the staff.

Russell also pointed out that as the amount of grant money for the Center increases, the money budgeted for the Center by the city goes down. He asked that City Councilmen not decrease the Sacajawea Centerís budget.

Bender went on to tell the council that members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe offered to speak with the Tribeís Cultural Committee regarding how they could best serve the Center in protecting and sharing their Native American history. Members of the Tribe would like to present a proposal for the Center Teamís consideration the week of February 20.

Mike Crosby encouraged the Team to revisit the Historical Society Report on the Center as a way of finding additional ideas.

Bender said it was agreed by all that there are two decisions currently at stake. They are hiring a staff for the 2012 season and the presentation of a long-term staffing proposal for the Center.

The next Sacajawea Center Committee Team meeting will take place on March 14 at 11AM in the Learning Center of the Sacajawea Center.

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