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JT board ousts business manager

Jim Thorpe Area School District will be looking for a new business manager after rejecting a one-year contract extension for Kenneth Marx on Wednesday night.

Marx had been with Jim Thorpe since 2020 after spending 14 years at Panther Valley.

“I am disappointed in not getting the extension,” Marx said. “I enjoyed working with all the administration and staff the past three years. I wish the school board the best of luck in their future decisions. And lastly, thank you to my office staff for all their hard work and support.”

Wednesday’s decision was 5-3 with directors Scott Pompa, Dennis McGinley, Paul Montemuro, Cindy Henning and Richard Flacco voting against the extension, while T.J. Garritano, Gerald Strubinger and Pearl Downs-Sheckler voted in favor of extending the contract.

“From my perspective I was disappointed that Mr. Marx could not adapt to the desires of the board,” Pompa, board president, said after the meeting. “The board is anti-tax and having the doom and gloom projections and the need to raise taxes year after year was definitely a deciding factor for the way I voted.”

Marx received a three-year contract in 2020 at a salary of $100,000.

He replaced Lauren Kovac, who resigned in November 2019, after controversy and an investigation into the processes and practices of the business office. The final report about the credit card use cleared Kovac of improper practices.

Superintendent Robert Presley, before the vote, urged the board to retain Marx to ensure consistency in the position.

“I highly recommend the extension,” Presley said. “I have enjoyed working with (Ken) and I believe the two of us continuing to work together would be a positive move for the district. He has done a great job in my opinion.”

Pompa said while he was “not completely dissatisfied” with Marx’s job performance, “there were situations where his involvement produced little or no outcomes to benefit the board’s desires.”

“I believe Ken knows the business and is a qualified business manager who may work out perfectly for another district, board and community,” Pompa said “I truly wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

The job opening has been posted with interested candidates asked to fill out an online application found at www.jimthorpesd.org. According to the posting, the job will be considered open until filled.