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Pleasant Vy. School District residents voice displeasure over raised taxes

Published August 17. 2010 05:00PM

Three residents of Pleasant Valley School District addressed the PV school board with their concerns about the increase in their property taxes.

Denise Schriver of Eldred Township asked for answers for why her property tax bill went up five percent.

"That's a substantial jump. Over the last few years, there has been a continual increase and its forcing people to leave the area. I know you closed Eldred school and it was supposed to be a savings. What happened?" Schriver asked.

Susan Kresge, PVSD school board president said she wished Schriver had been to the meeting when a presentation was given on the 2010-2011 budget.

"Our electric bill went up and there's been an increase in the PSERs rate, a major one," said Kresge. "The PSERs is one we have no control over. You should talk to your elected officials."

Shriver said, "You are elected officials. I'm asking you for answers."

Kresge invited Schriver to make an appointment with Dr. Arnold to discuss her concerns.

The Pleasant Valley School District's board of directors approved the 2010-11 General Fund Budget at the June 24 school board meeting. The new budget increased by 7.790 mills for a total of 143.290 mills in property tax.

Schriver asked what happened to the teachers that had been at Eldred.

Dr. Arnold said that 28 teachers in the district resigned and two were terminated and the Eldred teachers filled those empty slots.

"I heard there was going to be an increase in next year's budget," said Schriver.

Dr. Arnold told her that they haven't even discussed next year's budget yet but he would be more than willing to meet with her after the meeting to answer any questions she might have.

Aida Igartua of Chestnuthill told the board that when she moved here her taxes were $5,300 and this year they are now $6,385. She has an autistic 44-year-old son and if they were to move, he would lose the special program he is in.

"It's so out of control. Where I live, the people are talking about their taxes. It's a hole you keep digging for us. People don't get raises," she said.

Frank Magliola of Eldred Township told the board that he was 67 years old and would like to retire but he pays two mortgages, one for his house and the other to Eldred Township. He wanted to know about the help taxpayers was supposed to get from gambling money.

Kresge told him he should have received $450 and it was deducted from his tax bill.

School board director Thomas Murphy said the economy is a national issue.

"We have no control. The electric bill is going up since deregulation. We're doing everything we can. We try to keep the taxes as low as we can. We live here, too. It affects all of us. We understand."

In his report, Christopher Fisher, assistant to the superintendent for professional and support services, stated that since the district went to a four-day, 10-hour-a-day workweek for the summer, even with a hot summer, they used 20 percent less electric than the previous summer, which resulted in a significant savings of $12,000.

Kresge asked if there was any way to find out if the administrative staff, buildings and maintenance and custodial staff are on track for the new school year and Fisher said everyone was on track.

In other business:

*Staff hired: Patrick Murphy, replacement Physics teacher for Ross Partington, PVHS at $42,700; Lauren Travis, replacement PVMS 8th grade Social Studies teacher for Chris Pachuta at $40,950; Jennifer Cinque, first semester, long-term substitute PVI 6th grade teacher for Tanya Durkay-Witmer at $39,200; Jessica Pell, replacement Kindergarten teacher for Stevann Sabatine at $39,200; Amy Buckner, first semester long-term substitute music teacher for Amy Boligitz, effective Aug. 26, 2010 through conclusion of the third marking period at $39,200; Betty Lou VanHorn, substitute custodian.

*Transfers: Chris Pachuta, Social Studies teacher from PVMS to PVHS, replacement for Bruce H. Smith; Jeanne Paulin, speech teacher from PVMS to PVMS/PVHS; Jennifer O'Keefe, speech teacher from PVI to PVI/PVE; Cory McKeever, speech teacher from Polk/PVE to Polk/Chestnuthill; Concetta Sabia, art teacher from PVE/Polk to PVE; Suzanne Werfelmann fro PVE/Chestnuthill to PVE/ Chestnuthill/Polk; Deborah Anderson, library paraprofessional associate from PVI/Chestnuthill to PVI; Mary Bianco, paraprofessional associate from PVE to PVMS; Robin Bok, paraprofessional associate from PVI to PVMS; Debra Connors, monitor from Eldred to PVE; Peggyann Corriveau, paraprofessional associate from Polk to PVE; Barbara Daskal, paraprofessional associate from Eldred to PVE; Cathy Giannakis, paraprofessional associate from PVE to PVI; Heather Kelly, paraprofessional associate from Chestnuthill to PVE; Christine Lorch, paraprofessional associate from PVE to Polk; Lynn Owermohile, paraprofessional associate from PVMS to PVI; Mary Jane Piersa, paraprofessional associate from PVI to PVMS; Patrica Rubelowski, paraprofessional associate from PVE to PVI; Diane Ryzner, paraprofessional associate from PVE to Polk; Carl Smith, custodian from Eldred to PVE; Lynn Walling, paraprofessional associate from Eldred to Polk; Joan Weimmer, monitor from PVE to Chestnuthill; Kathleen Wolff, paraprofessional associate from PVI to PVMS.

The board accepted resignations from Amy Braxmeier, Chestnuthill Elementary School principal/K-12 Science Supervisor, effective, Aug. 2, 2010; Raymond Frinzi, security officer, effective July 29, 2010; Christopher Pfancook, security officer, effective July 12, 2010; Michele Herrmann, PVE, part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Aug. 23, 2010; Barbara Hill, PVE part-time professional associate, effective June 14, 2010; Vanessa Cole, PVI part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Aug. 20, 2010; Ashlee Grennan, PVI part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Aug. 23, 2010; Janice Scheller, PVE paraprofessional associate, effective Aug. 23, 2010; Tim McCutchan as Mock Trial adviser as of 2010-2011.

The board approved requests for unpaid internships for: Nicole Layton, Kutztown University, middle school guidance counselor to serve as unpaid elementary guidance counselor at Chestnuthill effective first semester of 2010-11 school year; Alexia Serlis, East Stroudsburg University, as unpaid administrative internship at PVMS, effective July 1, 2010 through first semester of 2010-11 school year.

The 2010-2011 fall sports assistant coaching positions are: Mark Versuk, freshman football; Mark Kutteroff, 7th grade Boy's Jr. High soccer; Richard Whiteford, 8th grade Boy's Jr. High Soccer.

The 2010-2011 volunteer coaching positions are: Mike Dragotta, Boys' Varsity soccer; Kevin Nagle, varsity football; Vic Golat, varsity football; Justin Martini, Jr. High football.

The 2010-2011 Cocurricular positions are: Dan Mulligan, PVHS drama adviser; Marcie Mulligan, PVHS assistant drama adviser; Carol Ring, PVHS assistant drama adviser.

New school year dates:

*Tuesday, Aug. 179:30 a.m. is PVHS new student orientation; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. is PVE, Chestnuthill and Polk "Find Your Classroom" Day; 6:30 p.m. is Polk Kindergarten orientation and bus ride.

*Wednesday, Aug. 1810 a.m. and 1 p.m. is PVE, Chestnuthill and Polk "Find Your Classroom" Day and 6 p.m. is PV Cyber Academy Open House at the high school new auditorium; 6:30 p.m. is PVE Kindergarten orientation and bus ride

*Thursday, Aug. 199 a.m. is PVMS Welcome Breakfast for new students; 6:30 p.m. is Chestnuthill Kindergarten orientation and bus ride

*Monday, Aug. 239:30 a.m. is PVE Welcome Breakfast for new students

The board approved:

*an agreement with CSI for Polk Elementary School's intercom preventive maintenance at $475 annually, effective Aug. 29-2010-Aug. 31, 2011.

*repair service with TRANE for two PVHS refrigerant units, one for $3,566 and the other at $1,841

*PVE yearbooks at $19.47 each from School Annual Publishing Co.

*Western PA School for the Deaf transportation for student(s) for 2010-2011 at a cost of $4,250 per student.

*Bids for fall/winter athletic supplies and equipment for wrestling (junior high), girls' basketball, boys' basketball were awarded to: Sportsman's for $2,439.38; Passon's Sport Supply $437.81; Pyramid School Products $43.11; Morley Athletic Supplies $326.35; Kelly's Sports. Ltd. $965.70; Triple Crown Sports $264; Bethlehem Sporting Goods $514.44

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