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school programs, are the only things suggested to be cut to accommodate the budget. The district’s budget would be better spent on programs rather than litigation, he said.

“You’re an advocate for your group and that’s fine,” Melone told Boone later. “But I don’t teach math and you don’t do accounting.”

“We’re off every year by a million and we come out ahead,” Boone said.

“We’re really not off,” Melone replied, causing some grumbling from the audience.

“We’re not playing games here,” stated board member William Jones, noting that he and others on the board are volunteers that spend many hours trying to come up with the best budget solutions for all parties. “…I don’t want to see anybody laid off and I don’t want to see programs cut.”

At the January meeting, Melone did add that the tentative budget allows the district to keep its options open, that the plan is non-binding and may be adjusted as other matters are factored in.

Also at the Feb. 18 meeting, the board appointed Jones to fill a second seat on the Joint Operating Committee that runs the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center. The second seat was won through a lawsuit the district filed in September, stating that, with Crestwood’s increased population, it needed a stronger voice on the 11-seat committee.

The school board heard from Dean that there was a discrepancy in tax breaks given for new improvements to a property, and the district will now be reimbursed between $100,000 and $120,000 for that mistake. Dean thanked Melone in helping discover this.

The board agreed to purchase a removable fence, at a cost not to exceed $750, at the middle school/ high school, in conjunction with the Mountain Top Little League.

The board heard from Student Representative Taylor Herron that faculty advisor Micki Harper will accompany 17 middle school and 23 high school students to the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition, on March 5 at Wilkes University, where they will present projects in math and science.

The regional Science Olympiad competition will take place March 9 at Penn State, Lehman campus, with 15 middle school and 12 high school students attending, Herron related. Also, twenty juniors and seniors are competing in the LCCTM competition, on March 7 at Wilkes University, and 40 students will compete in the Marywood Math Competition, on March 19 at Marywood University.

Student Representative Preston Israel reported that 11 students will attend the Luzerne County Band Festival, at Dallas High School on March 1, and Ashley Lewis will attend Region Band, March 10 to 12 at Marywood University.

Erik Thomas advanced to Region Orchestra, scheduled for Feb. 24 to 26, at Twin Valley High School in Elverson, Pa. Israel also related that Elizabeth Hines, Chloe Lacoste, Joanne Monfiletto, Megan Wood, and Matt Zwiebel advanced to the Region Chorus Festival, scheduled for March 16 to 18 at Nanticoke High School.

In sports, senior Maddie Ritsick scored her 1,490th career point on Jan. 21, in a victory over Tunkhannock to become Crestwood’s new all-time leading scorer in Girls Basketballs, breaking a record held by Diane Madl since 1985.