Re­tired teacher to fill va­cant school board seat

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

“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.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Rod­ney Boyer takes the oath of of­fice Tues­day night, March 13, af­ter be­ing ap­pointed to fill a va­cancy on the Boy­er­town Area School Board.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Rod­ney Boyer is a re­tired Potts­grove School District mu­sic teacher.

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