School district passes budget, names Venhaus to board

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By John Severance

The Los Alamos Board of Education has a budget and a new school board member.

At a special meeting Saturday, the school board approved a $33.1 million budget and named Dawn Venhaus as its newest member.

Venhaus lives in White Rock and will replace Thelma Hahn, who announced her resignation two weeks ago.

Venhaus and her family moved to New Mexico in 1998 and to the Los Alamos area in 2001. Her husband Tom works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and she has two children, Graeyson and Elannah. The board voted unanimously to approve her appointment.

Going into Thursday night’s Los Alamos Board of Education meeting it appeared as though passage of the district’s $33.1 million budget was all but a done deal. However, some last minute questions stalled the board vote leaving the budget item tabled.

School Board President Melanie McKinley took issue with several line items in the budget and asked Chief Financial Officer John Wolfe to explain the items. Wolfe attempted to justify the items, but McKinley was not satisfied with his answers. As a result, Wolfe and McKinley met Friday to go over the budget, line by line, and they resolved all the issues. 

With the issues resolved, the board voted unanimously to pass the budget.

For more on this story, check Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.