Wednesday, October 26, 2016

School board votes to terminate business manager at special meeting

Amy Light

At a special meeting Wednesday night, the Columbia Borough School Board voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Amy E. Light as business manager, effective October 31, 2016.  The action also authorized the board to issue a written notice of termination. The board did not specify the reason for Light's termination, citing an ongoing process that could include a hearing and another determination. Light was not present at the meeting nor was she present at last Thursday's regular board meeting. Board President Cole Knighton and members Leo Lutz and Keith Combs voted via phone. Board member Iris Garrido was not present for the vote but arrived later.

The board also voted unanimously to engage ELANCO School District for immediate temporary business services to complete required time-sensitive financial reports and/or audit business services on behalf of Columbia Borough School District, with the stipulation that the cost shall not exceed $11,000.  The amount is subject to possible future increases as may be necessary for the completion of time-sensitive business services. A written scope of work will also be included in the agreement. Garrido was present for this vote and voted in favor of the agreement.

Board Vice-President Kathleen Hohenadel, who led the meeting, explained that the action is necessary to fill a temporary vacancy in the business office. "While we may have taken action to terminate Ms. Light, we don't necessarily have a vacancy until we get through the process," she said. 

Light was hired as the district's business manager, effective March 16, 2015 at $85,000 per year. She replaced Laura Cowburn, who retired.


  1. Is this the beginning of the job cuts and outsourcing? Dr. Hollister did say he wants to look at everything from snow removal to other services in order to cut costs.

  2. Good scoop Cole. I wonder how long it will take the Lancaster Newspapers to copy it.

  3. It will be interesting to hear the reason for termination. All members voted for it. The board said a hearing may be involved and possibly an determination. It sounds like this may go to litigation.Cole, keep us posted.