December, 2014...............................Volume 2, No. 5
The Meeting in Review
The Board held a special meeting on Thursday, December 18; during which Board President S. Christian Nascimento made a statement on the status of the bids for the high school fields improvement project. The statement is as follows:
"As everyone is aware, this Board and School District Staff have been working diligently to continue progress in the Fields Project. We are excited and hopeful that Methacton athletes will be able to use these new facilities as soon as possible.
Bids from interested contractors were due on December 3, 2014. All bids received were opened at a public meeting on that date. In summary, we received five general contractor bids, four bids from electrical contractors, and three bids for plumbing contractors.
Additionally, we received several other bids for the turf, fencing, and other work. We held meetings with the low bidders on Monday to confirm that they fully understand the requirements of the project and to be sure that their proposals accurately reflect the cost of doing the work required. Our Property Committee then reviewed the low bids and has prepared a presentation and recommendation to the full board to vote to formally accept the bids tonight.
Unfortunately, we have been forced to postpone this vote. In the last week, an individual who is not involved with the project in any way filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to challenge our financing of the project.
This legal challenge is not new. The appeal is baseless and can only serve to delay the project and cost the District precious tax dollars. This individual had previously challenged our bond before a state agency and had appealed to the Commonwealth Court, the second highest court in Pennsylvania. Both the agency and the Commonwealth Court reviewed his allegations and summarily dismissed them as meritless.
Because the Petition has no merit and is costing the District time and money, this Board has instructed legal counsel to seek any recourse available under the law to recover the District’s costs. For this reason, our attorneys have sent a letter demanding a withdrawal of the frivolous appeal. They have informed this individual that we will be requesting the Court to require payment of the District’s attorney’s fees and costs if he does not.
Regardless, the District continues to take all action it can to resolve this appeal as quickly as possible. It is very likely that the Supreme Court will decide not to allow the appeal.
We will keep the students, parents, and residents of the School District up to date with this case at each public meeting. Make no mistake, the board and the district are committed to this project. We still expect to complete the project on time and will take every step necessary to make sure that this happens.
Thank you for your patience and understanding."
The Board also approved the authorization to engage the legal services of a law firm with specific experience in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Also related to the fields project, the Worcester Township Board of Supervisors approved the district's conditional use application, with several additional conditions, during their meeting on Wednesday, December 17. A statement from the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, as well as the full decision and order, can be found on the township's website. The School Board announced it's plans to appeal the Township's decision.
The Board took action to approve Dr. Zerbe's goals for the District. These goals, focused on the area of communications, curriculum, and data driven decision making, can be found in the Superintendent's area of the website.
School Board Director, Peter MacFarland, chair of the Board's newly formed Communications and Community Relations Committee, announced the distribution date of its debut "Board Update" newsletter. The newsletter is designed to provide all Methacton constituents with information and insight into the activities and actions of the Board. This newsletter will be distributed via the website, social media, SchoolMessenger, and district email on Monday, December 22.
All items listed on the agenda were approved.