4 board members begin terms at Shamokin Area
SHAMOKIN - Three new school board directors and an incumbent began four-year terms on the Shamokin Area School Board Thursday.
Richard Kashnoski, Matthew Losiewicz, Rosalie Smoogen and Edward Griffiths, who is beginning his fourth term, were sworn in by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III.
All four were elected to the board in November. They join Robert Getchey, Jeffrey Kashner, Ronald McElwee, Charles Shuey and Bernard Sosnoskie.
"I hope we all work together. We're going to have a deficit and a budget to work out," Sosnoskie said after the meeting. "Education comes first."
The projected deficit for the 2014-15 budget is estimated between $2.2 million and $2.5 million.
A preliminary budget is due by Jan. 31 if the school board adopts a resolution preventing it from raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation, according to the state's Taxpayer Relief Act.
Should the board seek an increase above inflation - necessitating a voter referendum in the primary election - it must adopt a preliminary budget in February.
The final budget must be adopted by June 30.
McElwee was elected president by his fellow directors on a 6-1-2 vote. Kashnoski, who nominated Shuey for the position, voted "no" but appeared a bit confused during the process, offering McElwee an apology after dissenting. They both laughed it off after the meeting.
Shuey and McElwee abstained from the vote.
Kashner was elected vice president, Losiewicz was appointed to the operating board of the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center, and Kashnoski appointed as liaison to the Pennsylvania School Board Association.
Board meetings will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, January to June and August to November. The meetings begin with a work session followed by the voting session. Traditionally the board does not meet in July or December.
Outgoing board directors Treina Mariano, who served one year to fulfill the term of her late mother, LaRue Beck, along with four-year member Brian Persing and eight-year member Tracey Witmer were given a resolution of appreciation during the meeting along with a lifetime pass for district-sponsored events.
Getchey thanked all three for their time on the board, particularly Persing and Witmer who each served as president.
"This was the toughest time in the district's history," Getchey said. "You were dedicated and did the best job you could."