Sunday, November 20, 2016

School Board Quick Notes - 11/17/16 Meeting

Columbia Borough School Board Meeting November 17, 2016:

Absent: Superintendent Dr. Robert Hollister (due to PASA Board of Governors meeting in Harrisburg), President Cole Knighton (but "present" via phone for the first part of the meeting), Director Leo Lutz Jr., and Director Iris Garrido.

Present in addition to board directors were ELANCO Business Manager Keith Ramsey, Board Secretary Deb Smith and Nathan Saxton (legal counsel). Ramsey is currently taking over business manager duties for Columbia School District, since the board recently voted to terminate the employment of Business Manager Amy Light, as Columbia Spy reported HERE.


Students of the month were honored during the first part of the meeting.



After a brief intermission following the student recognition ceremony, the meeting resumed at about 7:50 p.m. Vice President Kathy Hohenadel led the proceedings. President Cole Knighton voted on items via phone until about 35 minutes into the session when he became unresponsive for the remainder of the meeting.

During citizen comments, resident Don Groom asked the board why the crosswalk lines at the top of the high school hill were not painted. The issue was originally brought to the board's attention in June of this year. Director of Operations Tom Strickler said that lines would be painted on Friday, November 18. Strickler explained that the borough was doing the work without charge, so it would be done according to their schedule.


Freshly painted lines were evident at the top of the high school hill Saturday morning.


Resident Fran Resch congratulated Jordan Haberstroh for placing 13th overall in the Class A cross country state championships (out of about 250).

Mayor Leo Lutz urged the board to vote in favor of both the Thaddeus Stevens Trade School program and the "land bank." Lutz said he was told the school has more jobs available than students and he was asked what he could do to steer more students towards the program.  Lutz said exposing students to the program via a youth aid panel could help reduce absenteeism and dropout rates for students who currently do not have a path.

Lutz said the land bank program allows a municipality to speed up the process of dealing with blighted properties. It also allows the municipality to have a say in what happens to such properties. Columbia Spy previously reported on the land bank program HERE.

The board briefly discussed the land bank issue before tabling it with plans to examine it further at a joint school board/borough council meeting in early December.


Final agenda





13 comments:

  1. School started in August and the crosswalk line painting was done in November. One would think "Safety First," but not in this case.

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    1. Grab a brush and paint them. All critics and nooooooo one steps to the plate and helps at anything.But when bad news arises the bugs come out to feast.typical. and calculated.

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    2. I hope you are not suggesting that the public grab a brush and paint. That is NOT our job as taxpayers. We are not authorized first of all to do work at the school. I'm certain that there would be liability in allowing non employees to be working on school property. Second, why when I am paying thousands of dollars every year in taxes would I dare take on more physical labor when that's exactly what I'm paying them to do? This is absolute nonsense.

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    3. The board was informed repeatedly months ago regarding the crosswalk lines. They had plenty of time and money to entertain ELANCO, but the crosswalk line painting wasn't in the budget and apparently no one had time to do it either.

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    4. You get to pay the highest school taxes in the county & volunteer your time too.

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    5. The Old Boy network are hard at work to use Columbia Borough workers to paint the lines instead of the Maintenance Department. They have more important things to do in town. Why doesn't the Director of Operations make sure this is on his list of priorities.

      The Mayor and Tommy Boy are buddy, buddy and think they can work together to get the school straitened out. Well Mayor Lutz, it is your job to manage the Police Department, not to put your nose in every ones business. Since he has taken a position on Lancaster County Planning Commission, Columbia has not got one red cent of grants for the town.
      Did you know that the Middle School teachers do not give homework because they think the students will not complete the task. This is a reason for horrible test scores and a student controlled school.
      Wake up a get these mediocre non-professionals out of office!

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    6. Correct you are the DOO was aware of the request for the crosswalk line painting months ago and obviously it was not a priority.

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  2. They do as they please! Thats why i do not attend these meetings! Its all who you are and always will be like that!!!

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  3. I have a problem with the phone attendance at meetings. If you are an elected official and know the meeting schedule, you owe it to the taxpayers to be there, unless you are sick or an emergency arises.

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    1. I agree. It was especially disturbing that the call dropped out and Mr. Knighton was only able to vote on some, but not all motions during the meeting.

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    2. I would not accept or run for a position if my employment interfered with those obligations.

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  4. Who gets board president next week at the reorganization? The current president who can't make a meeting or the son of the mayor who is another no show? Bet it won't be the person who should get the office.

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    1. The mayor was there at the school board meeting and again pressuring the board members to vote a certain way. He is not supposed to be doing this, using his position to influence votes by the school board.

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