Court orders reapportionment of Jersey Shore school district

Lycoming County Judge Dudley N. Anderson agreed with petitioners from the Jersey Shore School District that its school board should be reapportioned to create more equal representation on the governing body.

The judge signed a court order Monday that mandates the district to move from having nine regions with separate school board directors to having three regions with three directors each.

A petition was signed by more than 130 area taxpayers and delivered to the school board Nov. 27, 2012, asking to change the structure of the board to create more equality.

“Under the new three-region plan, Region 2 currently contains four school directors, while Region 3 contains two school directors. As each region must contain three school directors, one school director seat must be moved from Region 2 to Region 3,” Anderson wrote in his order.

“In the 2013 election year, Region 2 has one school director position up for election, namely, the seat for Jersey Shore Borough Ward 3. To remedy the imbalance between Region 2 and 3, the court hereby orders that the seat for Jersey Shore Borough Ward 3 be moved to Region 3.

“A special election is ordered to be held during the May 21 primary to fill the one vacancy thus created in Region 3, with the election winner to be seated as a school board member at the June 10 school board meeting … The elected candidate shall replace the current school director representing Jersey Shore Borough Ward 3 and will serve a four-year term.”

Because of the court’s decision, the deadline to submit election petitions for those running for office – including the special election – has been extended to April 8.

Petitions are available at the Lycoming County Voter Services Office, 330 Pine St., Room 101, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those with questions may call the office at 327-2267.

The reapportionment puts the townships of Anthony, Brown, Cummings, McHenry, Mifflin, Watson and Salladasburg Borough in Lycoming County and Avis Borough and Pine Creek Township Ward 1 in Clinton County in Region 1.

One school board position is up for election in that region.

Region 2 includes the borough of Jersey Shore and Porter Township. No school board seat is up for election in that region.

Region 3 now includes Bastress, Nippenose, Piatt and Limestone townships in Lycoming County and Crawford Township in Clinton County. Three school board positions are open in that region, including the special election.