The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Snyder County

May 12, 2014

Midd-West board appoints Christopher Nesbit

MIDDLEBURG — Christopher Nesbit received 1,101 votes in a write-in campaign for the Midd-West school board last fall, but it took a lot more to convince the eight current board members he was the right choice.

After four votes cast during two separate meetings of the school board this month, Nesbit was unanimously selected Monday to serve part of the unexpired term of Scott Norman through November 2015. Norman resigned in March after three months, citing a lack of board leadership.

“I’ve been ready for months,” said Nesbit, a Beavertown father of four, following his appointment.

At the start of the special meeting to reconsider the board appointment, director Nancy Kroh filed a motion to allow the selection to be decided by a Snyder County judge.

A vote taken on May 1 did not produce a majority for any of the three candidates, Nesbit, Tara Dively or James Downey.

The school board’s deadline for choosing a new director was today, or the appointment would be made by a judge. Kroh and Jeremy Tittle cast the only votes in favor of turning the decision over to a judge.

Director Shawn Sassaman recommended they reconsider Nesbit.

Resident Peggy Rubillo urged the board to make the decision in favor of Nesbit. “Please work together,” she said.

Downey and Dively also encouraged the board to act. “We really need to have a vision for the district and to work together,” Dively said.

By a vote of 5-3, the board agreed to reconsider Nesbit’s appointment. Directors Ronald Hoffman, Sherryl Wagner and Ronald Wilson were opposed.

Sassaman began his remarks about Nesbit by raising concern about a comment made to the board by an unidentified resident that “If you know what’s good for you you’ll vote for Christopher Nesbit.” Though Sassaman pointed out that Nesbit had no involvement in the remark, he didn’t want people to think the board could be intimidated.

Kroh said she didn’t consider the remark a threat, and the board voted unanimously for Nesbit.

The last to vote was Hoffman, who seemed reluctant. “Yes, go ahead,” he said.

Residents Mike Dupuy and Scott Umstead each congratulated the board.

“You showed the public you can vote for someone even if they don’t agree with you,” Umstead said. “It makes me believe we may have some good people in a bad situation.”

He expressed concern that the board may not be receiving the best legal advice, in light of pending lawsuits.

Before the vote was taken Monday, former board member Ross Snook withdrew his name from consideration.

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