Parent Nadine Macri responded, “We need someone with a proven track record. Why would you interview people who aren’t qualified?”
Kaminski again spoke, “Why not wait until next month? Let us get in office and do interviews and if she’s selected it’s a win-win.”
The majority of the board appeared unmoved by the numerous comments preceding the vote. With Director Randy Swank’s absence, the vote came down to 5 –3, with Eric Aigeldinger, Michael Marshall and Maureen McGovern casting the dissenting votes.
Also of concern to the three successful candidates was a swift transition of the representative to the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center from outgoing director Gene Mancini. The previous meeting had the position transferred to Director Norb Dotzel. This meeting the board voted to name William Thomas to the post, raising questions regarding a conflict resulting from Thomas’s wife working there. When asked why the abrupt change, Dotzel replied to Kaminski, “I have too much work.”
“And the board appoints Mr. Thomas? Is that how this works?” Kaminski persisted.
“He expressed interest,” Orloski said.
Thomas explained his interest, stating, “Vocational education is a big deal for me,” citing a number of reasons he wanted the position.
“I understanding that. But this is like musical chairs. Why didn’t they pick you last month?”
“That was their decision then and I respected it,” Thomas replied.
Full disclosure, Sturgeon noted, required him to advise that his wife represents the support staff and he wants no part of any negotiations relative to that. But he added that he hopes that this appointment has no bearing on Thomas’ vote on the matter of the superintendent. “That’s been out in the community
the last few days,” Thomas confirmed. “I’m glad that we are addressing that. It needs to be a matter of public record and I’m not the least bit displeased that you brought it up.”
On the same subject, Mancini noted that the legal action seeking a second seat on the CTC board was to have been heard in the coming week, however, he advised that issues may require the hearing to be postponed.
Safety concerns were raised as to the exiting of vehicles after home football games with 100s of cars exiting onto South Main Road.
Also, Director Aigeldinger noted that he and Michael Marshall attended an event with U. S. Congressman Lou Barletta and state legislators where he provided information of them on the security measures the district has enacted. He added that he raised a concern he has had in the years he has been on the board, “That’s the kids coming from White Haven and Penn Lake on Route 437. I bought it to everyone’s attention that there is truck traffic on that highway,” that is a safety concern. “I’d like to stop truck traffic on state Route 437, there is absolutely no reason for it to be there. I just want the public to know that we are worried about bus safety and we’re doing something about it.”
Retiring Superintendent David McLaughlin-Smith said that the next meeting, scheduled for December 10th, will be his final meeting. He also reported that an un-announced drug raid was conducted that week. He noted that he asked that the administration not be notified in advance of the event in order to test the protocols in place. He vouched to pass on the results to the board when received.
Concluding his remarks he thanked the outgoing members of the board for the opportunity to work with them.