MOUNT CARMEL - There's still too much fat in the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center's (NCCTC) budget, according to at least one Mount Carmel Area School Board director.

The board did not approve the $2.2 million budget at Thursday's meeting, despite the fact that NCCTC administrators worked to pare it down from $2.8 million.

That $2.2 million is just shy of being $100,000 more than last year's budget, according to Director Rose Marquardt, who was one of two members to vote yes. Judy McCollum was the other yes. Directors Michael Rovito, Charles Mannello, Eric Belfanti and Robert Muldowney voted no.

Directors Donna James, Dr. Ray Kraynak and Nicholas C. Goretski III were absent.

"There's too much fluff in it," Rovito said of the budget. "I'd like to thank (District Superintendent) Mrs. Latorre for pointing out all that bad money."

If Shamokin Area and Line Mountain school districts approve the budget, though, it won't matter if Mount Carmel Area voted no, Marquardt said.

Tennis courts

Tempers flared briefly over the colors for the new tennis courts.

After June's board meeting, the directors were still unsure, Latorre said. They made a quick decision to go with blue and gray. James, who is board president, decided to give the board some time to consider, and called each of them in turn, except for Rovito, who had been unavailable.

It seemed that after consideration, the board members were more comfortable with green and tan, with one exception. Mannello wanted the colors to remain blue and gray, and hadn't given James an answer.

When Mannello found out that a purchase order had been sent to MM Architects directing the colors of the tennis court be green and tan, he was livid.

"(James) can't change the decision of the board," he shouted. "I don't care who she is."

"If you don't have the balls to do it, I do," Mannello said later about opposing James, saying he was tired of the president changing board decisions.

Belfanti pointed out that there had been no official motion regarding tennis court colors, so the decision didn't fall under the purview of the Sunshine Act. Muldowney noted that there had been informal polling of board members via telephone before.

Mannello was undeterred, saying at one point that he'd contact the Attorney General's office and have them investigate the matter.

Latorre said she wouldn't make a move to change the colors back without the full backing of the board. Marquardt recommended finding out if a color change now would cost money.

James was unavailable for comment Thursday night.

In other news

The board approved:

- The hiring of Jesse Wagner as varsity boys soccer assistant coach at a salary of $1,400.

- The hiring of Beverly Cooper as assistant volleyball coach at a salary of $1,200.

- Dr. Jeff Greco as team physician at a cost of $2,000 and to provide sports physicals at a cost of $1,500 for the 2010-2011 year. Physicals for all athletes will be held at 11 a.m. July 28 at the high school. If students attend, the physicals will be free of charge.

- The tenuring of Diane Yoder, Jill Greco, Brenda Moser and Erica Sechler.

- The hiring of Patricia Kisseleff as a kindergarten teacher at a salary of $29,583 with benefits.

- The hiring of Lauren D'Agostino and Cheryl Lupatsky as part-time elementary custodians to work four hours per day, $7.25 per hour without benefits.

- The hiring of James Graham as part-time high school custodian to work four-and-a-half hours a day, at his current hourly rate.

- The hiring of Frank Brosh and William Angeli as full-time high school custodians at a rate of $7.25 per hour with benefits.

- The hiring of Christopher Rhinard as a personal care aide for the 2010-2011 school year, at a salary of $18,500 with benefits.

- The hiring of Susan Nestico and Cheryl Toborowsky as homebound instruction coordinators with a stipend of $300 for each.

- The hiring of Lauren McGowan as the French Club and Latin Club adviser, with a total stipend of $350.

- The hiring of Dorothy Smith as an elementary teacher at a salary of $29,583 with benefits.