Southern Columbia considers new district alignments
CATAWISSA RR - The Southern Columbia Area School Board is looking into changing the alignment of how many representatives are allowed to serve from each of its three districts.
The board, which has nine seats, has been functioning with eight board members for nearly a year, ever since Region II (Catawissa and Catawissa Township) Ronald Brobst, of Catawissa, resigned due to work constraints. He won the 2011 general election.
Solicitor Rich Roberts said Monday evening Southern's options are to open up each position to the whole district, or to have two members from each district and three at-large or one member from each district and six at-large.
It was decided a committee would be formed with one director from each district and one community member from each district to determine the best course of action.
"It's something we should look at. Any way we can get nine people on this board is a good thing," director Rick Steele said.
To assist the committee, Superintendent Charlie Reh provided Census information from 2010 compared to 2000 showing changes in each region.
Region I, which consists of Ralpho Township, increased in population by 557 residents, and now makes up 41 percent of the district - up 2 percent since 2000.
Region II, which consists of Catawissa and Catawissa Township, decreased by 49 residents, and now makes up 23 percent of the district, down 2 percent since 2000.
Region III, which consists of Cleveland, Franklin, Locust and Roaring Creek townships, increased by 148 residents, and makes up 35 percent of the district.
The total district population increased by 656, Reh said.
Roberts said once the board decides on a course of action, it would have to petition the Columbia County Court to approve the change.
"People have been concerned that we've been operating with eight board members. These are our options," Reh said.
The board asks that anyone wanting to serve on the board or the committee should contact the district office at 356-3509.