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Members refuse call to resign

| Friday, Sept. 13, 2002

Three Avonworth School Board members have rebuffed a request by another board member that four resign for the sake of the district.

The fourth, Gary Short, has offered to resign in exchange for the resignation of three of the board's five-member majority — Jack Connors, Betsy Radcliffe and Susan Abramowich.

The request was second of its kind. Recently, Short and two other board members publicly called for the resignation of the board's five-member majority. Nine members sit on the board.

"Avonworth needs a fresh start," Short said. "These resignations would be in the best interest of the district."

However, the request was met with derision from the board members who were asked to resign.

"Is that his sense of reality — that he is worth three of us?" Connors said. "This is about Gary trying to destroy the district."

Radcliffe said she has no intention of resigning. "I am staying on the board and have no interest in entering his fantasy world."

Abramowich also said she has no intention of stepping down and expressed hope that the board can move on from its current confrontational situation.

"I am going to serve out my term," Abramowich said.

But, she said she finds working on a board with personality conflicts to be increasingly frustrating.

"I have been embarrassed by the coverage the district has received," she said. "But I am willing to move forward."

Short has accused Connors of micromanaging the district.

Last week, Short and two other board members — Michael Mohr and Lynn McGrath — called on Connors, Radcliffe, Abramowich, Joann Gorman and Eric Templin to resign.

Templin, who was asked to resign from the board the first time but not the second, said he was puzzled.

"In the first press announcement, I was one of the five directors asked to resign due to serious dereliction of duty," he said. "It now appears that it is OK for Mrs. Gorman and me to remain."

Templin took issue with Short's claim that the board is bitterly divided, which he said board members' voting records do not suggest.

Short blames the five-member group for the departure of high school Principal Frank McClard and middle school Principal Athena Petrolias. Both resigned this summer.

Connors and Radcliffe contend Short is on a quest to get rid of the district's administrators.

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