WILKES-BARRE — Robert Corcoran’s colleagues on the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board on Monday voted unanimously to vacate his seat and advertise for candidates interested in filling it.
The move, which was expected and presented for a vote by Phil Latinski and seconded by Lynne Evans, came about after Corcoran missed two consecutive board meetings without providing an excuse.
Solicitor Ray Wendolowski said the board is authorized by state statute to vacate another board member’s seat for that reason.
Wendolowski said after the meeting that he had emailed Corcoran, who accepted a job in Germany and is living there, about the board’s intent. He said Corcoran emailed back “saying he understood and he had no objection.”
Corcoran did not participate via a Skype computer connection at the March 11 or April 8 meetings as he had at a February meeting, sparking arguments when he insisted on voting on agenda items. Board President John Quinn had said in March that Corcoran refused to resign but would not participate in any more meetings.
Anyone who wishes to be considered for the seat must submit a letter of intent and a resume to the school board postmarked no later than May 3 or hand-deliver the documents to the school district administration building by the end of that business day.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Harry Heck, who said he heard rumors that the board intended to close down a Head Start program at one of the city schools and wanted to know why, considering how beneficial the program is for students.
Superintendent Bernard Prevuznak said the board has been in discussion with Lynn Biga, director of Luzerne County Head Start. “What we have, very candidly, are budget concerns. But we do understand the great work that Head Start does. … We are evaluating what Head Start offers. We know it offers a lot to the academics of our district. … We will try to put everything in perspective,” he said.
• Approved a $3.29 million budget proposal presented by The Nutrition Group and extend the company’s contract for food service management services for the 2013-2014 school year.
•Awarded a contract for annual gymnasium floor refinishing to low bidder Mastercraft Hardwood Flooring. An option for only regular maintenance would cost $10,540. An option that included the total refinish and repair and addition of new court lines at Meyers High School would cost $22,440.
• Approved an agreement with the American Red Cross to allow GAR High School, Leo Solomon Education Complex and Heights-Murray Elementary School to be used as temporary shelters for disaster victims.
• Approved 7-1 a request from the GAR Soccer Booster Club to use the GAR gym for a Dodge Ball Tournament Fundraiser from 4 to 10 p.m. May 31. Lynne Evans voted against it because information was presented at the previous board meeting that only GAR students would participate but that changed to allow at-large participation. She’s concerned non-district students might form teams to target certain students with dodge balls.
• Approved 7-1 an administration request for 105 hours of psychological testing in the summer. Maryanne Toole voted against it because she didn’t understand why the testing couldn’t be done during the school year and avoid the additional costs.
• Approved a request to allow the GAR boys basketball team to have a pizza party in the cafeteria on Wednesday.
• Accepted the resignations of Rosemary Marchese, Diane Thomas, Claire Krutz, Deborah Sibbering and Frank Brizgint.