Retired teacher to fill vacant school board seat
“I felt Rod Boyer was the run away best fit and most qualified, irregardless of election.” Steve Elsier, Boyertown School Board Vice President
“The voters want someone with business experience, who can objectively deal with truth of the budget, not deal in delusion.” Clay Breece, member of the Boyertown School Board
With five votes, retired Pottsgrove music teacher Rodney Boyer was chosen March 13 to fill a vacancy on the Boyertown School Board left by last month’s resignation of Robert Caso.
Caso had defeated Boyer on the November election by 49 votes, but stepped down Feb. 16 citing only “conflicting priorities” as his reason.
Given what had been a fairly reliable 5-4 split on the board when it came to financial matters, few were surprised that the five-vote majority added to their margin by selecting Boyer — widely recognized as representing the opposite camp as board members Clay Breece, Ruth Dierolf and Christine Neiman.
Those who wanted Boyer and those who wanted one of the other two applicants nominated, William Yanalavage and Robert Houck, all referred to the election results as a rationale for their choice.
Boyer “gathered 1,505 votes,” Earl Township resident Matthew Green told the board before the vote. “Region 1 made it clear that a large number of people prefer Rod Boyer.”
But Ruth Baker, who applied for the open seat but was not nominated, told the board that “the (Region 1) voters who voted for Mr. Caso, were worried about taxes, and educational quality.” She urged the board to respect voters’ wishes and appoint someone with views similar to Caso’s.
Neiman, who, with Dierolf voted for Yanalavage, said it doesn’t matter if Boyer ran for election. Region 1 voters “want someone whose views are similar to Mr. Caso’s, and I don’t think Mr. Boyer represents that.”
“The community is tired of special interests controlling the elections, putting their thumb on the scale,” said Breece, who maintains a web site on which he regularly posts comments about issues on which the school board is likely to vote.
“Special interests want a certain candidate, perhaps because we’re about to go into teacher negotiations,” Breece continued. “The community voted for Robert Caso out of field of three. Boyer came in dead last. The voters want someone with business experience, who can objectively deal with truth of budget, not deal in delusion,” said Breece who voted for Houck.
During the election, it was said that conservative candidates “will cut programs,” said Breece. “Some believe that nonsense, and Boyer represents the people who believe that nonsense, the pixie dust.”
Before voting, board Vice President Steve Elsier said he supports Boyer because “he has some idea of how a school board works, he knows public education and he knows the issues facing the district and the district itself.”
“I don’t know about special interests, but these four applicants in essence applied for a job. I felt Rod Boyer was the run away best fit and most qualified, irregardless of election,” Elsier said.
“By far, Mr. Boyer has the most knowledge and can get up to speed the most quickly,” said board member Jill Dennin.
Boyer will serve until the next municipal election in November of 2019, at which point the remaining two years of the term will once again be decided by the voters of Region 1.
Rodney Boyer takes the oath of office Tuesday night, March 13, after being appointed to fill a vacancy on the Boyertown Area School Board.
Rodney Boyer is a retired Pottsgrove School District music teacher.