Thursday, May 16, 2013
On Tuesday, the Saucon Valley School Board voted to approve a proposed 2013-2014 district budget without a tax increase. If adopted, it will be the fifth year in a row without an increase for property owners in the school district.
A proposed 2013-2014 Saucon Valley School District budget without a tax increase was approved by school board directors at their Tuesday night meeting. Money from the district's multimillion-dollar undesignated fund balance was used to balance the roughly $40.7 million budget, which superintendent Dr. Sandra Fellin pointed out is the district's fifth consecutive budget without a millage rate increase. As is often the case, the budget represents a financial compromise between competing interests. For example, although the proposed budget includes $8,108 to fund a full-time behavioral therapist in schools, it only funds the replacement of one school bus, whereas normally the district would seek to replace two buses, according to its …
Saucon Valley School Board member Ralph Puerta, who is seeking re-election to the board, submitted the following rebuttal to 'The School Board Election: A Guide for the Perplexed' by Arthur Joel Katz.
It is my belief that over time most of us come to about the same place, hopefully above midpoint, on the Perfection Scale. I make my mistakes, learn, and try to do better. So does Ed Inghrim. Therefore, in response to Arthur Joel Katz's article (published May 15, 2013): I am running with Ed in this election because I have witnessed directly his genuinely valuable contribution to analysis and planning for eight years. We have a long history of talented people serving our board. You may put yourself on that list, and you are entitled to a judgment about Ed from your perspective. However, I have seen it in much closer detail for eight years. Ed is one of those talented contributors, providing a level of expertise in some areas that we have …
The Saucon Valley School Board primary features 11 cross-filed candidates running for four seats.
Voters have plenty of candidates to choose from in the Saucon Valley School Board primary on Tuesday. Eleven candidates—three incumbents and eight challengers—are running for four seats. All candidates are cross-filed. The top four vote-getters on each ticket will advance to the general election. If the same four candidates get the most votes on both the Republican and Democratic ballots, the election will essentially be decided in the primary barring any write-in campaigns in the fall. Patch sent questionnaires to the candidates and is posting the responses in their entirety. Click on the name of the candidate to read his/her questionnaire answers. Incumbents Challengers
Bert Macklin of Hellertown has differing opinions to those expressed by Joel Katz in his opinion piece about the upcoming Saucon Valley School Board primary election: 'A Guide for the Perplexed.'
To the editor: I could not disagree more with the foundation of Arthur Joel Katz's opinion piece "The School Board Election: A Guide for the Perplexed" (May 15, 2013). It was not a guide to the upcoming school board elections, but merely a flawed endorsement of a slate of candidates. The article should be more clearly labeled as an editorial. Joel starts his opinion piece on the belief that the large candidate pool is solely an indication that many do not know what they are getting themselves into. He believes that only "magic" can provide the patience and knowledge to make the tough decisions of balancing budgets against the quality of education. I do not have the same glass half empty mentality. After reading 10 of the candidates' …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I'm recommending four candidates of the 11 running in the May 21 Saucon Valley School Board of Directors primary election.
The fact that 11 candidates are entered in the May 21 primary for the four seats available on the Saucon Valley School District Board of Directors indicates many of these candidates have no notion of the work entailed, and/or they believe that they have some sort of magic formula which will enable them, if elected, to reduce school taxes without harming the educational system, and/or they have a very dim idea of how complicated being a good board member can be, and/or the patience required. As Nathan Hale is alleged to have said just before he was hung as an American spy during the Revolutionary War, “Except for the honor, I’d just as soon pass.” Seriously, a good board member must passionately believe his or her board business is to …
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Monday, May 13, 2013
Meetings of the Saucon Valley School Board can now be viewed online, in real-time or as recordings.
Score one for technology—and transparency. In a testament to changing times, video recordings of Saucon Valley School Board meetings are now available online, for viewing both in real-time or as recordings. The links to the recordings are posted on the School Board Agenda page of the Saucon Valley School District website: www.svpanthers.org. Saucon Valley School Board meetings are typically held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the high school Audion room. The most recent meeting video posted on YouTube is from the Tuesday, April 23, 2013 meeting, which was well-attended due to school bus driver outsourcing concerns. Videos of the Feb. 26, March 12, March 26 and April 9 meetings are also posted online. The next …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Saucon Valley School District board members and staff are poised to review proposals from independent transportation companies. If it turns out the district can achieve savings by outsourcing its school bus operations, should it?
Whether you're a parent of a school-age child or a district taxpayer—or both—how much is having Saucon Valley school bus drivers employed by the school district worth to you? The district has maintained its own bus fleet and employed its own drivers for decades, but the school board is now preparing to review requests for proposals from independent operators. At the last school board meeting, several board members said that as fiscal watchdogs elected to represent taxpayers, they feel obligated to review the proposals in order to determine whether significant savings can be achieved by the district and its taxpayers. The district was scheduled to open any submitted requests for proposal from private companies on Friday. Some residents, …
Friday, May 3, 2013
Although still a top-rated school district, Saucon Valley fell four places this year—from 64 to 68—in a statewide ranking of Pennsylvania school districts.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include additional information about the ranking system referenced, and how statewide rankings were compiled. Saucon Valley School District fell four places—from 64 in 2012 to 68 in 2013—in a recently released annual statewide ranking of Pennsylvania school districts. The updated, searchable list was published online in an April 5 article by the Pittsburgh Business Times about the top two school districts—Upper St. Clair and Mount Lebanon school districts—both of which are located in the Pittsburgh area. The rankings were compiled by the Pittsburgh Business Times for its 2013 Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools, which is a statewide guide. According to the guide's website, "three years of …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Cedric Dettmar is one of 11 candidates running for Saucon Valley School Board in he May 21 primary.
Wednesday, May 1
Cedric Dettmar Age: 52 Family: Wife: Kathleen; Daughter: Rebecca, 4th grade; Daughter Amanda, 1st grade; Mom: Ludy. Political party affiliation: Cross-filed Tell us about your educational background: BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); MBA, UCLA Tell us about your professional/business background: I have almost 30 years management experience with high tech companies. I served as a Vice President at Oracle Corporation for many of those years and was responsible for a $25 million business unit. Currently I work for myself helping small businesses take advantage of new technology on the internet. In addition to my professional background, I also have experience in community service in Saucon Valley. When my daughters entered …