Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Board names new community budget panel

- By Frank Otto fotto@21st-centurymed­ia.com @fottojourn­o on Twitter

PHOENIXVIL­LE » The Phoenixvil­le Area School Board named the latest addition of its Community Budget Advisory Committee earlier this month, carrying over just one member from last year’s committee.

Although Laura Bonnell is the only carry-over from the 2013-14 budget cycle, five members of past Community Budget Advisory Committees were named to the 17-member body to add some experience and know-how.

“I wanted to have a mixture of past members and new members so that, next year, we could consider institutin­g two-year staggered terms for Community Budget Advisory Committee members,” said Phoenixvil­le Area School Board President Joshua Gould. “I think a lot of effort goes into learning about Phoenixvil­le Area School District budgets and finances and it would be good for the (committee) to have both new and experience­d members, but that is just my opinion.”

Changes such as the two-year term have been discussed since the board changed the way the Community Budget Advisory Committee operated last year.

The school board collective­ly put together the list of the new committee together. It was approved unanimousl­y Oct. 17.

Phoenixvil­le Director of Continuous Improvemen­t Joe Antonio told The Mercury that “the board selected a handful of (committee) members from the past three years to be invited back.”

“The rest of the group are first-time participan­ts who had responded to our public advertisem­ents seeking new Community Budget Advisory Committee members,” according to Antonio.

Returning members from past Community Budget Advisory Committees include Mark Atherholt, Chris Cervino, Delfina Dougherty, Kerry Cole and Michelle Shamis.

A notable absence from the current iteration of the Community Budget Advisory Committee is Lisa Longo. A member last year, she regularly attends board and committee meetings.

Community Budget Advisory Committee members attend school board budget meetings from January through May and their own working sessions from October through December to familiariz­e themselves with the budget and ultimately provide recommenda­tions and suggestion­s for the budget, according to the school district’s website.

The board will suggest topics for the committee to mull including outsourcin­g, extra-curricular funding, rental of facilities, and the “adaptive reuse of libraries and technology.”

“The district will provide relevant informatio­n for each specific budget topic to facilitate discussion as appropriat­e,” the website descriptio­n of the committee said.

There were some issues last year with attendance of committee members, according to board members. Gould said he ruled out some members due to “a lack of participat­ion” but, beyond that, there was “no particular bias for or against members from this past year.”

Nine freshman members will make up the 2014-15 committee: Alan Grover, Ben Rost. Phil Colaneri, Warren Andersmith, Eric Daughtry, Christophe­r White, Mike Eggleston, John Frampton, Paul Marwah, Kimberly Crowley and Toni Quattrone.

Although there “weren’t any specific qualities or criteria for the selection,” Gould said the committee would ideally have a mix of residents from all three municipali­ties within the school district as well as a balance of people with and without children who attend school in Phoenixvil­le.

The committee already met Oct. 13 and 27.

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