Jersey Shore teachers get new 4-year contract

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Each Monday, the Sun-Gazette summarizes major votes of the past week and, more specifically, how our locally elected and appointed officials voted on each matter. Watch for it each Monday in the Sun-Gazette.)

Locally elected and appointed officials voted on the following matters in the past week:

Federal

• The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives did not vote this week.

State

• The Senate voted 39-9 to pass a bill amending the statute on law and justice to add provisions for law enforcement activities by providing for release of law enforcement officer information when a firearm is discharged or use of force incurred. Voting yes were state Sens. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway.

• The House of Representatives voted 182-0 to pass a bill amending the statute on health and safety to authorize municipalities to enact a tax credit against the earned income and property tax liability of active volunteers of a fire company or EMS company.

County

• The Lycoming County commissioners unanimously approved $526,998 in Community Development Block Grant Program funds, of which $250,675 will go to the county and the rest will be distributed to various municipal projects. Voting at the meeting were commissioners Rick Mirabito, Jack McKernan and Tony Mussare.

Municipal

• Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority voted 9-0 to approve a $375,000 grant application to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for main replacement costs at Mosquito Valley Road near South Williamsport. Voting were Steven W. Cappelli, chairman of the water authority and vice chairman of the sanitary authority; Johnny Meyer; Matthew Rebeck; William Ertel; William Nichols; Eiderson Dean; Cindi Perry Rischar; Thomas Marnon; and Gregory Zeitler. George Bierman was absent.

• City Council voted 7-0 to allow the city administration to apply for a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Interior for passage through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for improvements to the Brandon Park nature play area, a rock outcrop and water education site, tennis court resurfacing, lighting and pathway improvements. Handicapped accessibility improvements in development area. Voting were President Jonathan Williamson, Joel Henderson, Bonnie Katz, Don Noviello, Randall J. Allison, Liz Miele and N. Clifford “Skip” Smith.

• The Loyalsock Township supervisors unanimously approved the demolition and rebuilding of the Sheetz at 330 Westminster Drive, conditional on the engineer’s approval. Voting were Richard H. Wheeland, John C. Bower Jr., Marc C. Sortman, Virginia M. Eaton and Paul D. Nyman. The project will cause the Sheetz to be out of service for six months beginning tentatively on Jan. 10. It will reopen in early July.

School District

• Jersey Shore Area School Board voted 8-1 on a new teacher’s contract Monday night after being without one since July 1, 2015. President of the Jersey Shore Area Education Association Brad Williamson said the three main points that were being negotiated were wages, health care and retirement. Employees over the four-year contract will receive around a 3 percent increase, a total increase of 12 percent over that duration, he said. With the previous contract teachers could begin receiving retirement benefits at the age of 50 years old, with the new one they must be 53 years old, Williamson said. Voting yes were David Hines, Karen Stover, Kelley Wasson, Craig Allen, Denise Smith, Christopher Fravel, Loren Koch and Mary Thomas. Merrill Sweitzer voted no. It voted 8-1 to start a sixth-grade Prentice Hall math curriculum pilot for around $9,800. The new curriculum will be taught to half of the sixth graders in order to see if it helps them with math language skills better than the current Everyday Mathematics curriculum the sixth-grade teachers now use, Jersey Shore Area Middle School Principal Laura Milarch said. Voting yes were Hines, Wasson, Stover, Sweitzer, Koch, Allen, Fravel and Smith. Thomas voted no.

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