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Southmoreland seeks Porter's assistance with financial report

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 12:49 a.m.

Southmoreland School District will call on former business manager Bill Porter to assist with completion of its annual financial report.

Porter was approved Monday for a tenure not to exceed 10 days at a rate not to exceed his per diem upon his retirement as business manager by a vote of 7-2. School directors Catherine Fike and Ken Alt voted against the appointment. In fact, Alt said “absolutely not” when polled for his vote, and Fike said “How loud can I scream no?”

“I think this is the sickest thing you could possibly even think about doing,” Fike said. “You have not explored any options to do it right.”

Superintendent John Molnar said he hoped Porter would only be needed for a couple of days.

“(We) ran into some difficulties in regards to the financial system that is now being used; it's different than the one that we used before,” Molnar said after the meeting. “Bill is an expert at that system. We're actually past the due date right now. We need to get it done and done quickly.”

The board also reorganized Monday with School Director Levi Miller being elected as the new president by an 8-1 vote. Fike voted no.

“We give every child in our district a chance to learn the basic skills, habits and knowledge to succeed in our society whether the children come from poor or rich, privileged or disadvantaged families,” Miller said. “It's an honor to be associated with parents and families who support public education...It's an honor to be associated with outstanding teachers and authentic and strong administrators.”

Miller also talked about the honor of being a part of a “good board.”

“The good is that we look at decisions from several points of view,” Miller said. “We don't always agree, but over time the best decisions are the ones where various points of view are considered.”

The fact that Miller read from a prepared statement bothered Fike, who felt that maybe Miller's election was arranged before Monday's meeting.

Miller said he did not talk to any other board member concerning the presidency.

“I'm not aware of anything that was pre-planned,” he said. “Frankly, I was hoping I might be elected.”

Outgoing president Michael Bentz was unanimously elected vice president.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

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