CD school board member: ‘We owe it to tax base to get answers’

Harrisburg

It’s not a big deal to duck out of work 15 minutes early every now and then, but Central Dauphin School board members are not happy that summer employees missed more than that but got paid at their regular rate. 

Four board members now want to know how this happened. 

The issue first started back in 2009 when the school district allowed summer employees like custodians, secretaries, and administration to work four 10 hours days a week to save electricity. 

A few years later in 2017, 40 hours turned into 36.

“We’ve been unable to get the answer to questions of who authorized this, who thought it was a good idea, and why is it a good idea,” said Richard Mazzatesta, a school board member and former principal. 

The decision should come from the board, but there’s no record of a motion. Mazzatesta made a motion of his own on Monday night during the board’s meeting. He’s calling for an independent investigation. 

“So we can actually get the answers to questions like, ‘why, how, how much did this cost us,'” Mazzatesta said. 

Four board members agreed, four declined — tabling the motion. Mazzatesta suspects it cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars during a time where neither the school district or taxpayers can afford it. 

“To, on one hand, raise taxes yearly, and then on the other hand, virtually give money away for services not performed,” Mazzatesta said. 

Mazzatesta promises to bring up the motion again. 

“I can’t speak for the other board members. I can only speak for myself, and what I think is that we as a board need to find the answers to these questions,” Mazzatesta said. 

We reached out to board president Ford Thompson, who voted against the investigation, but he has not yet responded. 

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