Absenteeism of North Hills School Board member causes concern

| Thursday, April 17, 2014, 3:45 p.m.

Regular absences of one the North Hills School Board members is frustrating some of his colleagues.

Board member Jeff Meyer has missed 14 meetings since Aug. 19, 2013. He attended two board meetings in person and phoned into one meeting in the past eight months.

“I'm making every effort to get back to the meetings,” said Meyer, who now works in Harrisburg but maintains a home in Ross. “I do have my fingers on the pulse of what's going on in the school district.”

At the April 16 meeting, which Meyer did not attend, board member Kathy Reid brought up Meyer's absences.

“I believe the time has come that the board needs to take action,” Reid said.

“It is not right.”

Last year, Meyer accepted a position of managing director for investor operation with the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System in Harrisburg and spends most of his week in the state capital. He still owns a home in Ross Township.

Meyer has been on the board since 2003, and his current term expires in 2015.

He ran unsuccessfully for the 2nd Ward seat on the Ross Township Board of Commissioners in November.

Meyer said his job has prevented him from making it back to Pittsburgh for the school board's Thursday-night meetings, but he anticipates returning to board meetings in May.

North Hills' board policy says that a director “who neglects or refuses to attend two successive regular meetings of the Board” or “neglects or refuses to act in his/her official capacity as a School Director” may be voted out of office by a majority vote of the board.

Board President Ed Wielgus said Meyer is trying to work out a way to be at the meetings, and the board is “patiently waiting for that response.”

“The board will sooner rather than later begin to decide how we want to move forward with this,” Wielgus said. “We want to give Jeff the benefit of the doubt.”

Board Vice President Lou Nudi said he thought the board had agreed to address the issue once the school year was over, but Reid suggested it be brought up at the next meeting, which is at 7 p.m. May 1 in the large-group-instruction room at North Hills Middle School, 55 Rochester Road in Ross.

“It's been out of sight, out of mind,” Reid said.

“Everyone is real hush-hush on it.”

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at kshea@tribweb.com or at 724-772-6353.

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