Trail to hold line on budget
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Lackawanna Trail School Board voted Monday night that if it were to raise taxes for the 2013-14 fiscal year, that it would not exceed a 2.3 percent index established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
“This, of course, does not mean you will be raising taxes,” business manager David Homish said. “But it does mean that our finances are in such good enough shape that we can stand by a modest increase, even if we don’t believe we’ll need it.”
He said a budget process would continue in the months ahead and need approval by the board by June 30.
In celebration of School Board Appreciation Month, three high school students and five elementary center students made presentations to Trail members.
The LTEC students each had a book with them that was donated to the school library in the board’s honor, and the high school students presented certificates and noted the books they had ordered in the board’s honor had not arrived but probably would be there before the end of the month.
Board president Mark Lombardi offered thanks to the students on behalf of the school district.
He also introduced the newest member of the school board, Kevin Mulhern, who was sworn in recently.
The board discussed and approved the adoption of school policy #915, ‘Relations with school-affiliated organizations.’
Superintendent Matt Rakauskas said the original policy had been before the board in October and November and after review by solicitor John Audi, a decision was made to remove a section on small games of chance.
Cathy Rist Strauch, representing the Friends of Music said she had some issues about removing teachers from handling money, such as Jodi Rinehimer and Kevin Dykeman.
Board member Judith Johnson said she had no concerns about either but wondered why they would be taking in money.
One parent said, for instance. That Dykeman could be taking in payment for a band t-shirt.
Johnson said she had issue with a teacher doing that on school time.
Board member David Thorne said he was concerned about some organizations carrying the Trail name and believed the school has some liability there.
“This gives us protection,” he said.
The policy was approved 8-0-1 with board member Joe Strauch abstaining because he didn’t believe it was appropriate to be voting on the matter that, to him, had some discrepancies.
In other board action, several appointments were made, with Michael Petherick as assistant track coach, Peggy Smith to a full-time maintenance II position, and Rachel Satio as a long-term substitute.
Also, the following names were added to the district substitute lists: Nicole Peterson, Dickson City; Erika Chang, Scranton; Penny Kamensky, Kingsley; Vicki Giordano, Dalton; Joann Fremiotti, Tunkhannock; Marybeth Pipeline, Clarks Summit; Tracy Kilmer, Nicholson; Gerry Stuffle, Factoryville; Lisbet Nauroth, Nichiolson; and Mary Cornell, Dalton.
And, the resignation of Joel Nietz as assistant softball coach and Charles Cobb Jr. as assistant baseball coach were accepted with regret.
Later in the meeting, both were approved as volunteer coaches.