John Mahle got another year as board president, the district got another $20,000 in lieu of taxes, and teachers got a Memorandum of Understanding allowing them to take summer pay in one lump sum in June rather than over three months.
The Hanover Area School Board meeting began with the swearing in of three incumbents — Vic Kopko, Frank Ciavarella and Stacy McGovern — along with newcomer Rick Stevens. The board then unanimously elected Mahle as president for another year, and tabbed Paul Holmgren as vice president.
The board also set regular monthly meetings for 2018 on the first Tuesday of each month except January, when it will be held Jan. 9. As has been the custom, work sessions and regular meetings will be held the same night, with the former beginning at 6 p.m. and the latter immediately following.
Kopko announced that, in the wake of a “tough year” that saw the district scrambling for funds, the board has launched an effort to get a total of $250,000 from businesses currently exempt from property taxes. The money is known as “Payment In Lieu of Taxes,” or PILOT. Kopko noted the district began the effort by getting $20,000 from NorthPoint Development.
NorthPoint Vice President Brent Miles had attended the June meeting to present the board with $10,000 in lieu of taxes. NorthPoint is developing several properties in an industrial park on land that is exempt from taxes under the state Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assessment, or LERTA program. At Tuesday’s meeting, Miles said the company had agreed to donate another $20,000 now because two more tax-exempt properties within the district are being leased.
Superintendent William Jones said the memorandum with the teachers union resolved an issue that arose last summer. Typically, teachers have been allowed to take their pay in 12 monthly installments — even though technically they are not paid during summer vacation — or to take the summer pay in one lump sum in June. Jones said for some reason about 10 teachers seeking the lump sum payment, known as “balance of contract,” didn’t get it until August, prompting a grievance.
The memorandum spells out that the default method is payments each month, but that teachers can get a balance of contract payment in June if they request it by May 1.
The board also voted, with three members against, to re-appoint Mike McCree as head football coach. The three no votes came from Holmgren, Kevin Quaglia and Joseph Steininger.