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Angst's resignation sought by director

  • Donna Trimmel
    Donna Trimmel
Published December 04. 2009 05:00PM

Recent activities by one Panther Valley School Board director have led another director to call for his resignation.

Citing several sections of the "Recommended Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards," director Donna Trimmel asked director Mickey Angst to resign from the board at the beginning of last night's meeting. Although Trimmel's request was not an actual motion, director Dave Hiles added his support for her request. The request came immediately after Angst interrupted the proceedings to question whether or not the meeting was a legal meeting.

Angst was referring to the reorganizational meeting that was originally scheduled for last night, but was moved to next week, after officials contacted the Pennsylvania School Board Association and were informed that boards serve through the first Monday of December, which will not be until next week, Dec. 7.

Trimmel specifically cited the following sections of the "Recommended Code," that she said Angst had violated:

• Board members should work together in a spirit of harmony, respect and cooperation, despite differences of opinion.

• Personal decisions should be based upon all sufficient facts, we should vote our honest conviction without partisan bias, and we will abide by and uphold the majority decision of the board.

• Individuals have no legal authority outside the meetings of the board, and should conduct their relationships with all stakeholders and media on this basis.

• We should respect that the superintendent of schools and his or her staff are responsible and accountable for the delivery of the educational programs and the conduct of school operations.

• Communication with all stakeholders and the media should be conducted in accordance with board policy.

Trimmel added that Panther Valley's policy is that communication with the media should be done through the superintendent and the school board president.

"You violate this every time that you go on the radio," she said, referring to Angst's frequent phone-ins to "Air Your Opinion" on local station WLSH.

Trimmel and director Anthony DeMarco also questioned Angst's appearance at the Carbon County Commissioners' meeting, where he discussed the ongoing lawsuit between the county and the school district.

"You don't say anything for me. I still had research to do," said DeMarco, who referred to the fact that he was also dropped from the suit after Angst's request.

According to Angst, he presented the commissioners with a copy of meeting minutes that indicated that he did not vote that Portnoff be appointed as the district's delinquent tax collector and asked that he and director Tom Shober be excluded from the lawsuit.

"It was one of the commissioners that said it would apply to you, too," he said to DeMarco.

Trimmel also countered that Angst did not present them with a complete version of all of the minutes. Trimmel cited notes from the Jan. 15, 2009 meeting, where Angst did support a resolution not to have the county collect the delinquent taxes.

Angst justified his decision by saying, "We had a budget that was based on that collection. The best thing to do is to get out of that at the end of the year."

Angst did not respond to any of the other allegations made by Trimmel. Trimmel also warned him that if he continues to make comments about her on the air that could be considered slanderous, she will retain an attorney to look into the matter.

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