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Mt. Pleasant Area School District looks to hire assistant superintendent

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 2:06 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Area School District will begin the process of hiring an assistant superintendent. The school board agreed Monday night to advertise for the position.

Board President Bob Gumbita said there is no assistant superintendent, but only because Michael Picarsic, who would have held the position, did not have the necessary credentials.

“His (Picarsic) title right now is director of secondary and elementary education,” Gumbita said. Picarsic is set to retire in April after nearly 40 years of service.

Board members decided that, with the retirement of Picarsic, they would again look to fill an assistant superintendent position.

In another matter, directors agreed to employ Donald Funk and Tracey Surma as classroom assistants at $11.25 per hour.

Directors approved hiring Craig Spisak as an assistant baseball coach and adding a seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls swimming program and seventh- and eighth-grade girls softball program.

Director Kyle Potts voted against the new programs, although he said he thinks they're great and hopes they succeed.

“I just don't like to see us raising taxes and creating new institutions in the same year,” he said.

In other business, directors:

• Approved the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit general operating budget for the fiscal year July 1 through June 30, 2015, totaling $4,794,290, with the local projected contribution in the amount of $18,057.49. This is an increase of $36.50. Gumbita said this is the first time the IU has asked for a raise in the local contribution in more than 20 years.

• Approved a performance audit report dated January from the state's Department of Auditor General.

• Approved an agreement with the Westmoreland County Land Bank. The purpose of the land bank is to acquire blighted properties in disrepair and delinquent in taxes, fix them up, tear them down or sell them to individuals who will fix them, as a way to get the property back on the tax rolls.

For the first five years after the land bank acquires the property, it will get 50 percent of any taxes, with the municipality getting 25 percent and the school district getting 25 percent.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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