Roaring Fork School Board holds public information meeting over superintendent housing

Members of the Roaring Fork housing assistance task force meet on Thursday to futher discuss one of three options.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

A public information meeting held at the Carbondale District Office brought forward discussions and insights on the superintendent housing assistance proposal, an issue that has been a topic of contention since March. The proposal’s significance was underscored by Superintendent Jesús Rodríguez’s recent property purchase in Denver.

Rodríguez, appointed as the Roaring Fork School District Superintendent in May 2022, took a leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in August. In alignment with this, he and his wife purchased an $840,000 residence in Denver as they anticipate the arrival of their child in the coming months. This move further intensified the conversations surrounding the housing proposal.

The housing task force, comprising all five school board members and 14 dedicated community members, was established to assess and provide direction on the housing situation.

When queried about updates concerning Rodríguez, School Board president Kathryn Kuhlenberg was clear. 

“There is nothing that we can provide that isn’t already public due to Colorado state law,” Kuhlenberg said.

Kendall Reiley, representing Crystal River Elementary, spoke about the diversity of the task force’s thought processes. 

“We came into this task force with people holding a lot of different opinions,” Reiley said. Understanding the uniting points, she stated, “We very strongly [believe] in agreement that superintendent housing assistance needs to be in the Roaring Fork School District.”

Reiley added, “We also agreed that we need to keep it consistent with staff housing. They will pay rent and have similar rules.”

While the board’s position on the housing matter is yet to be solidified, Kuhlenberg clarified, “The board has not taken any specific action on superintendent housing.”

In news regarding the upcoming board election, board director Maureen Stepp announced her decision not to seek re-election in November.

 As the school board elections approach and Rodríguez’s personal and professional choices draw attention, the housing assistance proposal is sure to remain at the forefront of district discussions.

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 6, at the Carbondale District Office, 400 Sopris Ave.

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