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Greensburg Salem School District won't hire custodian

| Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 11:39 p.m.

Greensburg Salem School District won't be hiring a custodian for the high school, at least not immediately.

In a 5-4 vote Wednesday, directors nixed advertising to fill a vacant custodial post.

Directors Richard Payha, Barbara Vernail, Angela DeMarino-Tooch, Lee Kunkle and Jeff Metrosky voted against seeking the employee.

Directors made the decision after some of them last week questioned the proposed hourly rate of $21.53 — a sum set by contract.

“That's a lot of money,” Salem resident Tom Ridella told directors.

Vernail conceded directors approved a rate that was too high in the last custodial contract in February 2012. All of the current directors supported that contract, except for Metrosky, who joined the board last year.

“We're guilty,” Vernail told Ridella and others who packed the meeting room.

Directors mistakenly considered the contract based on percentage raises, rather than examining flat rates, Vernail said.

“I hope we see some improvement. ... You people are responsible for the money we give you,” Ridella replied.

The district probably will re-evaluate custodial staffing because of the board's decision, Superintendent Eileen Amato said after the meeting. “We may have to revise our schedule district-wide,” she said.

In another matter, directors did an about-face on buying security cameras at the middle school and Metzgar Elementary.

They agreed to purchase 46 cameras for the middle school and 24 for Metzgar for a total $62,775 from Rampart Security Systems.

During a January meeting, directors nixed purchasing the cameras, saying they first wanted a state police vulnerability assessment of schools so they avoided wasting money.

The assessment will not be done for several months, so directors decided to buy the cameras, Amato said after the meeting.

The police analysis examines areas of vulnerability, not placement of cameras, officials learned later.

The money for the cameras will come from the bond refinancing fund earmarked for capital projects. That fund now has about $252,000 remaining, according to district records.

Directors used the same fund to pay a $39,578 tab for cameras at the high school.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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