The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 7, 2014

District decides to give four a 2nd shot

MIDDLEBURG — The Midd-West school board is going to give it another try and will meet Monday to reconsider three applicants for the vacant seat on the panel.

The eight directors failed to cast majority votes for any of the three candidates — Tara Dively, James Downey and Christopher Nesbit — interviewed last week for Scott Norman’s seat. Norman resigned the elected position after three months in March, citing a lack of board leadership and conflict.

Immediately after the vote, board President Victor Abate said directors would let their May 13 deadline for appointing a new member to lapse and turn the decision over to a Snyder County Court of Common Pleas judge.

On Wednesday, Abate announced a change of heart among some directors.

He said directors Shawn Sassaman, Corey Smith and Sherryl Wagner requested a special meeting be held to reconsider the board candidates.

“I also agreed,” Abate said.

The special meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Middleburg Elementary School conference room.

In addition to Dively, Downey and Nesbit, a fourth candidate who had asked to be considered but failed to show up for an interview, former director Ross Snook, will also be considered for the vacancy.

“If Mr. Snook decides to attend, we will interview him,” Abate said.

The candidate who receives a majority vote will be appointed to the board through November 2015.

However, if a majority vote can’t be reached, the task of appointing a new director will be turned over to the court.

The following are the vote results from the first vote last week.

Downey, a retired private school educator who lives in McClure, received four votes in favor of his appointment, from Abate, Wagner, Ronald Hoffman and Ronald Wilson. Opposed were Sassaman, Smith, Nancy Kroh and Jeremy Tittle.

Nesbit, a Beavertown sales representative who garnered 1,101 votes in a write-in campaign for a board seat last fall, received three votes in his favor, from Kroh, Smith and Tittle.

Dively, a Middlecreek Township resident who’s employed as a program director at Hempfield Behavioral Health, received three supportive votes. They were from Abate, Sassaman and Smith.


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