The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 11, 2013

Midd-West to allow more public participation in meetings

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — MIDDLEBURG — The Midd-West school board’s public meetings will be conducted in a new way to allow more visitor participation.

Board President Victor Abate said he will initiate some changes at the next meeting, to be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Middleburg Elementary School, to “hopefully stir more community involvement.”

Visitors who want to speak or ask questions of the board about agenda items will no longer be required to call the district office hours before the meeting and asked to be recognized.

And, instead of starting off the meeting with reports and presentations that often take an hour or more, the meeting will begin with the student report, guest speakers and action items.

The length of school board meetings in recent years has ranged from one to four hours.

At Monday’s meeting, the board is expected to vote on one of five candidates seeking the interim superintendent position. One of the applicants is Assistant Superintendent Daphne Snook, who was tapped in October to serve as substitute superintendent until Dec. 31 when Wesley Knapp’s resignation takes effect.

Knapp stepped down suddenly from the $118,400-a-year job after the board filed a notice of charges against him.

Neither Knapp nor Abate will divulge the nature of the charges.

Abate would not release a copy of the charges to The Daily Item, saying they were not subject to Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law since they involve personnel records.

Despite Knapp’s voluntary resignation in exchange for the withdrawal of the unspecified charges, he isn’t leaving empty handed. The board agreed to pay him a lump sum of $60,682 and $10,000 to be paid in monthly installments through June.