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Shull-David school up for auction

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    Shull-David Elementary School, along Beaver Run Road in Lehighton, is one of four elementary schools closing at the end of the 2017-18 school year. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

Published June 25. 2019 12:51PM

 

One of Lehighton Area School District’s two remaining unused elementary school buildings will go up for sale on July 15.

The district will auction off Shull-David Elementary School beginning at 1 p.m. at the administration office, 1000 Union St. Behavioral Health Associates, a local alternative education provider, has submitted a pre-bid of $400,000, which will be the minimum the school could sell for at the auction.

The motion to put the school on the public auction block and accept BHA’s pre-bid passed by a 5-4 vote at Monday night’s school board meeting. Andrew Yenser, Wayne Wentz, Larry Stern, Steve Holland and Rita Spinelli approved the measure, while Joy Beers, David Bradley, Gail Maholick and Richard Beltz were in opposition.

“To have an auction in July is super fast,” Beers said of her dissent. “Anyone who might be interested in a commercial property is going to have their own process, and that’s going to take time. I think we should give them that time to arrange a bid and participate in this.”

Shull-David, 200 Beaver Run Road, is one of four elementary schools that closed when Lehighton opened its new elementary center in the fall of 2018.

Superintendent Jonathan Cleaver said the school has been for sale for over a year with minimal interest. A handful of commercial real estate agents, including those from the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia area, have brought clients through the building to no avail. Meanwhile, the district is paying around $50,000 a year to keep the building open.

“Those who have toured it have said they are not interested because it needs too much work,” Spinelli said. “We have someone now who has interest and I don’t think we should pass that up.”

Bradley, who for months has took issue with how the building has been advertised, said Monday BHA’s pre-bid is in stark contrast to the number on the property’s appraisal, which is around $750,000.

Several times during the meeting, he said the district was taking “pennies on the dollar” to unload the building.

“This is a travesty to the taxpayers,” Bradley said. “Their money is being wasted.”

In November 2017, Lehighton sold East Penn and Mahoning elementary schools for $350,000 each, also at public auction. BHA was the successful bidder for Mahoning, where it now runs the Mahoning Valley Academy for grades 7 through 12.

Beers and Bradley unsuccessfully urged the board to push the auction date back to October or December.

Cleaver said he couldn’t say for sure BHA wouldn’t be interested in the school if that took place, but he was under the understanding they hoped to be up and running at Shull-David in the fall, if they were the successful bidder.

“An appraisal is just that,” Spinelli said. “A building is only worth what someone will pay for it. This is what they are willing to pay and other people have the opportunity to bid higher. Sooner or later you have to take what someone is willing to pay and this, in my opinion, is a decent offer.”

Minimum bid increase increments at the auction will be $2,500, according to bid specifications. The property is being sold “as is,” but will not include cafeteria tables, dry erase/whiteboards, modular classroom, U-shaped student and teacher desks, round/rectangular student tables, file cabinets and folding chairs.

Franklin Elementary School will be the lone remaining unused school following the auction.

 

Comments
Someone has to start policing this board they do nothing for the taxpayers in this community. Cleaver must have a buddy in BHA. This will be the second school he gave away to them.
How can Directors Yenser, Spinelli, Wentz, Holland and Stern look themselves in the mirror? Shills, just ignorant, or worse?

Come November, as least Director Yenser will remove the burdens that were placed on the district by his sticky relationships. Too late? Probably. I felt bad for his family name until I realized that they had every opportunity to educate him. The results, or lack thereof, are all too apparent.

Is this just another case of nice guys, poor government representatives, or worse?

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
Dear community,

Good afternoon. Rita Spinelli's comments show her as the rubber stamper director. Did she actually speak to prospective buyers? When? Any proof? And, ethically she had the responsibility to document these 'perspective buyer comments', and share them with the community. Sounds more like the favored buyer is playing these government fools. Pawns in a machine to take more and give less to the children. Sad.

To make statements of opinion without the document should be an unacceptable action of our government. Proper asset management advice was ignored, and decisions were executed on a whim.

The rushed auction sale is just another tell to the corruption. Favoritism, cronyism and corruption block proper governance.

So many options were not even explored. A triple net lease would be a better option compared to the acceptance of an offer of an asset for pennies on the dollar. Consider this sale is going to what basically amounts to a vendor of LASD. What other bidder will be able to assemble a review, inspection and offer in less than 30 days?

A private-public partnership would reduce the district costs, preserve the asset and create cash to a nearly bankrupt district. Soon this board will be seeking taxes from the community.

As defined in the JeRicho plan, asset management was a key shortfall in this district's government. More proof is this government's rushed vote. Director Yenser, the treasurer, seemed all too eager for a rushed auction. Such a vote lacks common business sense. Too bad this Yenser missed the good business sense lessons most farmers learn. Hard work and the value of a buck must have skipped this one, oh well.

The government lacks transparency and the ability to listen to the public, common-sense logic was ignored.

This government agency needs reform. November can't get here soon enough, so they are using their five majority while they still have it. Sick.

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.


It must suck when no one listens to you anymore and you are on the losing side of every vote. I'm sure you can't wait to get off this board to feel better about yourself...Maybe you can find some new sheep to try and herd.....
You for one should know better. And yes your identity is not as hidden as you think. The silent majority shares information.

How can you say such a thing concerning an immoral ans in this case basically an illegal vote?

Please stop the as hominem arguments and move to moral principles and logic.

Being on the moral side is much more important than being on the majority side.

This vote for example should be considered illegal as it did not leave enough time to properly advertise the school according to School Code. Grow a set of principles and take a stand against this corrupt government.

The moral side may be small, but distinguished.

Sincerely.

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
You for one should know better. And yes your identity is not as hidden as you think. The silent majority shares information.

How can you say such a thing concerning an immoral ans in this case basically an illegal vote?

Please stop the as hominem arguments and move to moral principles and logic.

Being on the moral side is much more important than being on the majority side.

This vote for example should be considered illegal as it did not leave enough time to properly advertise the school according to School Code. Grow a set of principles and take a stand against this corrupt government.

The moral side may be small, but distinguished.

Sincerely.

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
You for one should know better. And yes your identity is not as hidden as you think. The silent majority shares information.

How can you say such a thing concerning an immoral ans in this case basically an illegal vote?

Please stop the as hominem arguments and move to moral principles and logic.

Being on the moral side is much more important than being on the majority side.

This vote for example should be considered illegal as it did not leave enough time to properly advertise the school according to School Code. Grow a set of principles and take a stand against this corrupt government.

The moral side may be small, but distinguished.

Sincerely.

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
We need more choices on the ballot in November or this town is doomed.
So it seems that once again a school will be sold without following the law. The law states,

"Section 707. Sale of Unused and Unnecessary Lands and Buildings.--The board of school directors of any district is hereby vested with the necessary power and authority to sell unused and unnecessary lands and buildings, by any of the following methods and subject to the following provisions:

(1) By public auction, either on the premises to be sold or at places selected by the school board, after due notice by publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation published within the county or the school district and in the legal newspaper in said county, if any, once a week for three successive weeks before the date fixed for said sales, and by hand bills, one or more of which must be posted on the property proposed to be sold, and at least five of which must be posted at conspicuous places within the vicinity of said real estate. Terms and conditions of sale shall be fixed by the board in the motion or resolution authorizing the sale. ((1) amended Sept. 27, 1955, P.L.650, No.173) "

Evidently, they have once again chosen not to advertise in the Carbon County Law Journal which is the legal newspaper for Carbon County.

"Pennsylvania Legal Journals

State laws require the government and certain individuals to publish notices of some of their activities in legal newspapers. These laws exist so that citizens are educated about governmental actions that could affect them. Public notices keep these events from happening secretly and without notification. Further, a public notice published in the newspaper becomes a permanent record. A listing appears below of all official legal newspapers in Pennsylvania."

"Carbon County
Carbon County Law Journal
P.O. Box 6
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
610-379-3795 "

From what I'm told by those who get the Times News, no legal notice appeared in today's paper. So unless they have advertised in the Morning Call, the advertising requirements to hold the sale on July 15th have not been met and cannot be met. I, for one, will be calling the administration to find out what is and will be done about meeting the advertising requirements.


Please enlighten us all and share the details of this corruption and also explain how the school board members benefit by this so called corruption....
My pleasure,

Let's start with Anita Stern, and end with the vote to sell a school so fast the proper advertising would be impossible to implement.

Do you think it is moral for Larry Stern to vote on a budget that funds the payment of his spouse?
How about Wayne, Yenser Holland and Spinelli with family and friends in the district? How about on with a tax increase when one without a tax increase exists?

You watch, as the corruption is exposed the rats on this corrupt, insolvent ship will jump off. Yenser so far pointing fingers at other when he was treasurer. Hopefully Stern, Spinelli, Holland and Wentz will see how their their failure to Honor their Oath has done so much harm to the community that they will consider resignation. The lies are mounting.
Their character exposed, will they do the right thing and step aside?

I rebuke them, like the evil I have found them to promote. The evil needs documentation so future generations paying for the evil actions of Wentz, Stern, Bowman, Krause, Finnigan and the others will never be forgotten.

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.

LHGHTN,

Good afternoon. How can you not see the corruption? Sunshine act violations, missing funds, the Yenser Treasurer debacle, Andrew destroyed that family's name.

And Wentz, you'd think a veteran would show a little character and some backbone, a responsibility to protect the students. How many times can Larry, Rita, Andy, Wanye and Steve Holland claim ignorance or immunity? Oops, is the actions of a teenager not seeing the No turn on Red sign. These adults were warned, verbally told with written proof, and acted in complete opposition to common sense they took action. Sorry, we, as a community need to hold them accountable now and in the next election.

Please, LHGHTN, do not fall victim to protecting the rubber-stampers that perpetrated evil upon the very community that elected them. Yes good people do evil things, and these five are just a few examples. Be diligent. Stop protecting defined evil.

I will offer an open debate to anyone wishing to think the proven action of these politician were justified. My only request, so not to expose the foolish, please read their Oath of Office, PA School Code section 6, and our School Policy #011, the feasibility studies (2011 and 2014), and the bond documents.
I eagerly wish to debate or discuss these atrocities with any intelligent person, as to move forward without understanding all the past ills of this board would be another mistake. The process is painful, but needed to heal this community and prevent further damage.

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
Spoken like a true zealot.

With the massive amounts of corruption in this government, my ideas will can never be placed back in the proverbial bottle.

Thank you for watching and making your comments.

BTW, this vote to auction the school on July 15 was technically illegal since the timing is rushed to the point it couldn't be advertised according to school Code properly.

Just another tell in the many corruptions of this feckless board and their crony Solicitor.

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
What do you get when Director Yenser fails to do his duty as treasurer, Rubber-stamping Rita chooses to ignore common sense, wasteful Wayne Wentz a veteran that fought in foreign lands to defend the constitution yet fails to uphold it locally, Larry Stern's claims of immunity and Steve Holland's proposal to spend money on lighting up the student's bleachers yet fails to give students their rights in the classrooms?

Well, a tax increase and the Lehighton Area School District Government, of, by and for the administration. Five abdicating much of their authority to the very people they were elected to oversee in spite of their Oath of Office.


Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.

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