Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Judge may appoint new Spring-Ford school board member

ROYERSFORD A Common Pleas Court judge may be asked to appoint a new Spring-Ford Area school board member, after the sitting board deadlocked on two candidates.

Twice this month, the board has voted, 4-4, on appointing Clinton Jackson or Janet Stokes to the Region II seat.

Board members Joseph Ciresi, Thomas DiBello, Dawn Heine, and Bernard Pettit backed Stokes, who previously served on the board for eight years.

Willard Cromley, Mark Dehnert, Todd Wolf, and Kelly Spletzer backed Jackson, a project manager for an engineering firm who has two children in district elementary schools.

The seat opened in January after Julie Mullin was sworn in as the Upper Providence tax collector.

District Solicitor Mark W. Fitzgerald said that since the district had passed a 30-day window to fill the vacancy, any qualified resident could petition for a court appointment.

Stokes confirmed Wednesday that she will file a petition. Jackson said he was still considering doing so.

Whoever fills the seat will provide a tiebreaking vote on major district decisions, as the current board is split into two factions.

Fitzgerald said that the process for filling the vacancy was outlined in the Pennsylvania School Code, but that it was so rare that the judge would have "no set standard" on which to decide.

- Jessica Parks

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