Bucks County Herald

New board members take their places at NH-S reorganization

ELIZABETH BOWMAN

The New Hope-Solebury School Board welcomed four new members on Dec. 4 and elected John Capriotti president and incoming member Deirdre Alderfer as vice president.

The new members, Alderfer, Andrew Ordover, Elizabeth Sheehan and Dana Schwartz, were sworn in by a Maggie Snow, magisterial district justice.

The week before, the accepted the resignation of Jennifer Gormley and Superintendent Steven Yanni gave certificates of acknowledgment to Gormley and the other departing members, Adrienne Deussing, Neale Dougherty, Tracy Keyes and Sandy Weisbrot.

At the earlier meeting, Capriotti reported for the facilities committee that some change orders had been presented by the contractors doing the revitalization construction including one for $400,000 that the committee feels is worth examining before funds are released.

Dr. Yanni commented that the contractor is not submitting change orders in a timely fashion, some of the work having been completed before the order was given. With this in mind approved a limited allowance of $25,000 for the general contractor and the electrical contractor that can be approved between meetings by either the superintendent or Andrew Lechman, director of business finance.

District teachers were present to ask for a contract settlement; many spoke during public comment. A senior citizen said, “This school system costs $28,000 per student and taxes are driving poor people out of the district.” She asked where the $28 million will come from to pay for construction.

After the teachers, John Capriotti responded from the board, saying that the contract needs to be fiscally responsible to teachers and the people.

Traditionally negotiations are done outside of the public venue but the board had decided to make the situation public and the proposals and counter will be posted on the district web site.

Capriotti said the teachers had been granted a $2,000 raise per year for the four years of the contract, bringing some of the top salaries up to $117,000, but the sticking point in the process is around health care and the teachers are not willing to budge.

The teachers speaking at the last few board meetings have said that it has been the negotiating team that is making no headway.


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