School Board President Ignores Will of Voters

School Board TransparencyHow’s this for underhanded and nefarious election activity: On Nov. 8, longtime Pennsbury School Board President Gene Dolnick was voted out, but that didn’t stop him from trying to hurry through a new support staff union contract in a hushed election-night negotiating session. Pennsbury School Board Director Simon Campbell noted:

In a move of pure arrogance, and behind the backs of his own school board colleagues, Gene Dolnick (sometime in the week before election day) facilitated a negotiating session between the Pennsbury solicitor Jeffrey Sultanik and representatives of the PESPA support staff union (bus drivers, custodial workers, aides, etc.). This negotiating session took place in the evening of Tuesday 8th November i.e. election night.  The entire Board was not informed about it until the prior day i.e. Monday 7th November, and nothing was advertised to the public or media ahead of time.

On the same day as his authority to even be on the school board was facing voters Dolnick had privately arranged for taxpayer money to be spent on the school negotiator to try and ram through a contract deal with very little public transparency and without thinking he should discuss this matter ahead of time with his colleagues i.e. elected officials.

The State Senate recently passed legislation that would make it illegal for lame duck school board officials to vote on major issues between Oct. 1 and the board’s required December re-organizational meeting.  Actions like Dolnick’s—flying in the face of voters—show why such a law is needed.