Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Voters oust veteran Easton Area School Board members in favor of newcomers.
After 12 years, Pat Vulcano Jr.'s time with the Easton Area School Board seems to be at an end. Voters on Tuesday chose two newcomers over Vulcano in the three-way race for two seats in the board's Region II. Unofficial results from Northampton County showed Michelle Price and Robert Obey ahead of Vulcano on both the Democratic and Republican tickets with a little over 91 percent of precints reporting. All three candidates come from Easton's South Side. The region is currently represented by Vulcano and board member Tim Reilly, who was not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, in the district's Region III, two other first-time candidates came in ahead of incumbent Robert Moskaitis on both ballots. Dominick Buscemi of Martins Creek and College …
Monday, May 20, 2013
Voters in Palmer and Forks Township will go to the polls in Tuesday's primary election for school board and supervisors races.
Voting day is upon us. Tuesday is the primary election and residents in Palmer and Forks Townships have several contested races to decide among their party affiliations when they go to the polls. The key races include ones of the Democratic ticket for supervisor in Palmer and Forks, the Easton Area School Board race and county executive election. The winners will square off in November's general election. Click on the story below for previews of the races. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here are the polling places to vote in Forks Township. Forks Township Palmer Township Easton Area School Board Northampton County Visit this site for updates throughout election day and results of the races.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Easton Area School Board passed another tax hike, but also appointed an interim schools superintendent in our Week in Review.
It was a week of the good, the bad and the ugly. For Palmer and Forks residents, the good is that the Easton Area School Board appointed an interim schools chief. The bad is that it also approved another tax hike. And the ugly is that more staffing layoffs are coming down the pike. In Palmer, the good was that a new Sheetz could open before Thanksgiving. The bad was a foot chase in the Palmer Park Mall that injured a police officer. And the ugly was the fact that Forks Township is still putting up with a "shoddy" amphitheater. Here is our Week in Review: Construction of a Sheetz gas station/convenience store is under way in Palmer Township. School board approves 1.7 percent tax increase. Job cuts ahead for district employees. Forks …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
John Reinhart, retired Bangor Area superintendent, hired as temporary superintendent.
The Easton Area School District has chosen a retired school administrator to serve as its interim superintendent. John Reinhart, former superintendent of the Bangor Area School District, was hired by the school board Tuesday night. District employees were notified of the hiring after the vote, board President Robert Fehnel said. He noted that Reinhart began his education career as a teacher in Easton, spending 13 years with the district before going to Bangor. “I’m very happy to be back here in Easton…to help the distrct out," Reinhart said after the vote to hire him. Reinhart's employment begins July 1, the day current Superitendent Susan McGinley's current contract ends. He'll get a monthly salary of $12,500, according to his contract—…
Incumbent Bob Moskaitis joined in the race by newcomers Matt Monahon and Dominick Buscemi in Region III race.
Region III of the Easton Area School District is made up of parts of Easton, Forks Township and Martins Creek, and next week's primary involves candidates from each of those communities. There are three candidates two open seats in the region this year. Incumbent Robert Moskaitis is joined in the race by newcomers Dominick Buscemi and Matt Monahon. The region is currently represented by Moskaitis and school board member Janet Matthews, who is not seeking reelection. We sent questions to the candidates and asked them about themselves and why they're running. Click on the candidate's names below to see what they had to say. Later in the week, we'll have a preview for Region II, which features three South Side Easton candidates seeking two …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
School board approves 1.7 percent tax increase. Job cuts ahead for district employees.
The Easton Area School Board has approved the district's 2013-2014 budget, which was balanced by a 1.7 percent tax increase, $750,000 from the district fund balance and an undetermined number of job cuts. The board approved the budget Tuesday night after several unsuccessful attempts to decide on a tax rate and how much to take from the fund balance. The final vote was 6-3, with board members saying they had no good options for balancing the $134.3 million budget. “This is a terrible situation for all of us to be in," board member Janet Matthews said. “My father always told me in a compromise nobody’s happy, and I guess he’s right.” Under the budget, the average district property tax bill will go up $56 a year, Chief Operating Officer …
Easton Area School Board set to vote to name John Reinhart the interim superintendent.
The former head of the Bangor Area School District could lead Easton's schools, at least for a little while. The school board will vote Tuesday night on whether to hire John Reinhart, Bangor's former superintendent, to serve as Easton Area's interim superintendent, according to the meeting agenda. The interim superintendent position became necessary last month when two finalists for the job withdrew their names from consideration. Reinhart became superintendnent in 1999 and retired from education in 2010. Before working in school administration, he was a teacher in both the Easton and Bangor school districts. Also on Tuesday's agenda: the approval of the 2013-2014 budget.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Easton Area School Board meets this week to decide on how much of a tax hike and staff cuts should be made in passing its 2013-2014 preliminary school budget.
This week, the Easton Area School Board is scheduled to vote on the school district's 2013-2014 budget. It's just not clear yet which of three tax plans the board will choose, although all of them involve some district employees losing their jobs: “None of the scenarios are going to improve the quality of education in the district," board member Robert Moskaitis said. His colleague, William Rider, said that if the district cuts jobs, he'd rather them not cut teachers. “If you go to zero and cut additional teachers, yes, you are cutting education," he said. "Teachers teach kids. Kids learn. That’s our business." The district cut hundreds of jobs in 2012 and 2010. Complicating matters is the money the board wants to take from district …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Upgrades to Easton school buildings will cost nearly three times more than expected.
The first phase of security upgrades at Easton Area schools could cost $1.4 million, the school board learned Tuesday night. That figure—provided to the board by D'Huy Engineering—is nearly three times larger than the $500,000 district officials projected two months ago. D'Huy's proposal shows the construction for the security upgrades—assuming the board started looking for bids right away—happening between October 2013 and February 2014. But the board came to no consensus on the work Tuesday, with D'Huy planning to return in June with an updated proposal. "To me this is a good start," said district chief operating officer Michael Simonetta. "I don’t think this is something we should hurry into." In March, Simonetta proposed a five-point…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tax hikes have become the norm for property owners in the Easton Area School District.
When the Easton Area School Board signs off on its preliminary 2013-2014 school budget, chances are a tax hike will be attached to it. After all, a tax hike is among two of the three options school administrators have offered as options along with staff reductions. And tax hikes also appear to be the norm for the school district. School taxes have been raised in 19 of 20 years. And that figure astounded school board member Frank Pintabone when he raised the question during the board's most recent work session. "I've been here a year now and we keep talking about how the future is bleak," Pintabone stated. "When was the last time we were doing OK?" Superintendent Susan McGinley responded: 2007. "When was the last time the district didn't …