Mehlville reaps rewards from Palamand’s service

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

Venki Palamand has enjoyed unprecedented success as a member of the Mehlville Board of Education.

Palamand was first elected to the school board in 2007 and served until 2013 when he was narrowly defeated by Lori Trakas, who lost her bid for a second term in the April 5 election.

Undeterred, Palamand maintained his extensive involvement in the school district and again was elected to the board 2014.

Palamand has been a major player on the Mehlville board, boasting a laundry list of accomplishments.

Those successes include helping push through such initiatives as weighted grades and helping formulate the funding mechanism of the construction of the district’s Nottelmann Auditorium and tennis courts.

Palamand’s latest term on the Mehlville board runs through 2017.

He served as president from 2011 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2016. Palamand also served as vice president from 2014 to 2015.

During the past year as board president, Palamand helped oversee what we believe is an unprecedented achievement in the Mehlville School District — the passage of back-to-back ballot measures.

In November, district voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition R, a 49-cent tax-rate increase that we believe has been a game-changer for Mehlville. Prop R was approved by nearly 73 percent of votes cast, and is allowing the district to begin implementing its strategic plan.

Earlier this month, district voters approved Proposition A by a healthy margin — nearly 64 percent. The 4-cent, no-tax-rate-increase tax transfer will place roughly $685,000 into a dedicated fund for replacement of roofs and aging HVAC systems.

At last week’s Board of Education meeting, Palamand announced he would nominate board member Samantha Stormer to serve as board president for 2016 to 2017. Palamand had originally recruited Stormer to run for the school board when he was re-elected in 2014.

What a classy move on Palamand’s part. The board responded by electing Stormer president, Jean Pretto vice president and Lisa Dorsey secretary — perhaps the first time Mehlville has had all women officers.

In our mind, few people have been such tireless advocates for the Mehlville School District as Palamand. We congratulate him for his dedicated service to the district and the students it serves.