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June 8, 2022 Special Voting and COW - Budget Discussion (ADA Compliant)


The Hollidaysburg Area School Board met for a Special Voting and Budget Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in the Senior High Library, 1510 N. Montgomery Street, Hollidaysburg PA 16648.  Ms. Hartman called the meeting to order at 6:17p.m. and opened the meeting with the pledge to the flag.

Roll call was taken by Mrs. Fiscus with eight members present. Attending were Ms. Hartman, President, Mr. Nichols, Vice-President, Ms. Frye, Mr. Snyder, Dr. Sommer, Mr. Stephens, Ms. Bilek and Ms. Costanza.  Mr. Brenneman arrived virtually at 6:42p.m.

Also present were Dr. Gildea, Superintendent, Dr. Palazzi, Interim Director of Curriculum, Mrs. Koehle, Director of Special Education, Mrs. Fiscus, Business Manager/Board Secretary, Mrs. Thomas, Director of Accounting Operations, Mr. Caldwell, Director of Human Resource/Transportation, Mrs. Summerville, Data Management Administrator, Mr. Nihart, Director of Physical Plant, Attorney Dambeck, Solicitor, Mr. Harrington, Mr. DeLattre, Mr. Keagy, Dr. Letcher, Mr. Madden, Mr. Krott and an Altoona Mirror representative.

Public Comment

The following individuals expressed their opinions regarding a potential tax increase:
Corey Hartman, 609 Front Street, Hollidaysburg spoke to the board
Dean Grenfell, 1205 Allegheny Street, Hollidaysburg
Christian Wolf, 812 Liberty Lane, Duncansville
John Wessner, 159 Richards Drive, Hollidaysburg
Andrea Walter, 140 Spur Lane, Hollidaysburg
Jim Murphy, 234 Clubhouse Drive, Hollidaysburg  
Trish Haight, 211 Clubhouse Dive, Hollidaysburg
Steve Link, 216 Hunters Pass Drive, Duncansville  
Michael Eardley 103 Gulf Drive, Duncansville
Richard Latker, 703 Allegheny Street, Hollidaysburg PA
Missy Sullivan 125 Deer Track Road, Duncansville
Louis Lusk 1800 Reservoir Road, Hollidaysburg

Business Office Report / Mrs. Fiscus

The board met in executive session Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 5:45p.m. for personnel. 

Meetings for June, 2022: 
Committee of the Whole/Voting (Budget Adoption)
June 15, 2022
Time: 7:00p.m.
Senior High Library
1510 N. Montgomery Street
Hollidaysburg PA 16648

All board meeting agendas are available for public viewing (3) days prior to each meeting date on BoardDocs.  BoardDocs web address is Interested parties should enter the public site.

2022-2023 Budget Discussion:

Ms. Hartman opened the floor to discussion.  Ms. Bilek asked if the administration had any additional information for narrowing the gap on the deficit, projected deficit and ways to balance the budget.

Mrs. Fiscus noted that current reductions in the amount of $413,521 were made in insurance, worker’s comp, medical insurance, GACTC, department cuts, employee changes through salary/benefits.

Ms. Costanza commented that the board had asked, at a previous meeting, for the administration to bring a more balanced budget for them to review but didn’t feel the administration provided that information.

Dr. Gildea noted that although the board asked for additional cuts, the administration was unable to find additional cuts without cutting programs or teaching positions.  Six positions and three quarters of a million dollars was already cut from the budget.  Unless the board wants to direct administration who to cut or what programs to cut, the budget presented, is presented for approval.

Ms. Costanza asked that the minutes reflect that the board didn’t do what the board was requested to do from the last meeting.  She felt that the only information provided were categories and examples.  She specifically asked for all line item expenditures for every category, including what teachers or staff are under each category, and felt that the administration hadn’t provided those answers. 

Mrs. Fiscus explained that all of the 100 categories are all of the employees on payroll.

Ms. Bilek commented that the board, as members who have been voted into positions to represent the taxpayers, that they have an obligation to do a better job, obtain more information and look at things more closely.

Dr. Gildea recommended the board take a straw vote on the proposed budget.   

Ms. Bilek, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Snyder Ms. Costanza, and Mr. Stephens were opposed to a tax increase.

Ms. Costanza commented that the administration didn’t bring any cuts.  Dr. Gildea stated that the board was presented with three quarters of a million dollars in cuts and a supplemental list of cuts in May.  The board reviewed the supplemental list but decided not to make any of the cuts on the list, including a resource officer, a guidance counselor and an English teacher.

New Business

Ms. Costanza requested that the administration release board agendas on Thursdays rather than Fridays.  It was agreed that this practice would start in August.

Autumn Fiscus
Board Secretary