Octorara’s December Calm Before The Storm

Octorara's December Calm Before The Storm

The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committee Meetings, Reorganization Meeting, and Work Session Meeting on Monday, December 5, 2016. Eight of the nine members were in attendance, William Kloss was absent.

This week’s meetings can be described as mundane. The few topics discussed in committee and at the work session meeting were pretty much routine and ordinary. It is the kind of work that needs doing, but is ultimately very procedural. In fact, next week currently includes only 5 action items scheduled for a vote. However, there were several items of note.

Help Wanted: No Experience Required

During the Reorganization Meeting, it became apparent that Octorara taxpayers have a unique opportunity for real change. This coming year, voters have the ability to replace 6 of the 9 Board Members, fundamentally changing the composition of the Board and the direction of the school district. Those seats include:

  • Anthony Falgiatore, Region 1
  • William Kloss, Region 1
  • Samuel Ganow, Region 2
  • Hank Oleyniczak, Region 2
  • Nelson Stoltzfus, Region 3
  • Timothy Alexander, Region 3

While Mr. Falgiatore and Mr. Kloss’ terms do not technically end until 2019, they were both appointed and can only serve until the next municipal election. Therefore, the persons who win those seats, in 2017, will be the ones to finish those terms.

So, if you are ready to make Octorara great again, then it is time for you to step up. It is time to stop just complaining about high taxes and low academic achievement. It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines grumbling about spending on pet projects and the influence of special interests. It is time for you to stand up and say, “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” 

Board Reorganization

The Octorara Area School Board of Directors Reorganization Meeting was fundamentally a technicality. Nancy Pelo… oh, um… I mean, Lisa Bowman was reelected as Board President. I joke but, much like the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Bowman has been around a little too long, with leadership that is more image over substance, but somehow she receives overwhelming support from her colleagues. Seriously… no one else would even have accepted a nomination against her if I had thrown a name out.

You can take that for what it is worth. Some people actually like Nancy Pelosi. So, if you are in that camp, you probably have no complaints about Octorara either. I obviously don’t agree. I’m simply not going to sugar coat my feelings or obscure the reality about academic performance or our local tax burden. We can do better and we should do better… for the students, the taxpayers, and the overall community.

Regardless, there were two committee changes. Anthony Falgiatore will join the Education Committee, and Hank Oleyniczak will replace Lisa Bowman as the Chair for Policy. All other roles and positions will stay the same. Of the two changes, Mr. Oleyniczak becoming the Chairperson for the Policy Committee is ideal. Simply put, he is a policy guy. Over the years, I have witnessed Oleyniczak go over every reviewed policy with a fine-toothed comb. It did not matter how vital or trivial, he meticulously evaluated each and every one.

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