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EAST PENN/EPIC CANDIDATES NIGHT FLOPS!

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Monday, May 4, 2015

The Candidates Night sponsored by the League of Women Voters and EPIC (East Penn Invested Citizens) was held at the Macungie Institute’s meeting hall.  The event was called to introduce and hear from the seven candidates running for the East Penn School Board.  Of those seven candidates, only three were in attendance, Ken Bacher, Paul Champagne and Richard Mathesz.  Carol Allen, Charles Ballard and Chris Donatelli had previous commitments but their letters were read to the audience.  Finally, School Director Wally Vinovskis was expected but did not show and did not notify the organizers that he was not coming.

As for the audience, there were 28 people and 3 news reporters present.  A far smaller crowd than the same event produced two years ago.  Why was this so?  For one it is believed by a segment of the community that EPIC is a front for the Teachers Union and School Administration and as such promoting the Teacher’s Union slate of 5 candidates.  Furthermore, this time around, the Teacher’s Union supported candidates will control the School Board no matter what happens in this election. The only question is by how large a margin?  Thus we may be seeing a lack of public interest in this event.

Who are the Teacher’s Union slate?  It appears that Ken Bacher, Charles Ballard, Wally Vinovskis, Paul Champagne and Richard Mathesz represent that slate.  The opposition challengers are Carol Allen, a 30 year teaching professional and Chris Donatelli.

The Epic event was scheduled to run from 7pm to 9pm but ended after an hour and a half.  A series of prepared questions were presented to the three candidates who did show up, Ken Bacher, Paul Champagne and Richard Mathesz.  Here are the points made by the three;

1.  All 3 candidates support keeping the large Fund Balance the District tries to maintain.  The policy is to keep 5% of the $140,000,000 Budget.  In fact Paul Champagne suggested that  maybe it should be  8%.

2.  Champagne and Mathesz said that they would cut nothing from the Budget.  Bacher said he may consider eliminating the School Resource Officer.

3.  All three candidates supported the School District’s efforts to have 13 and 14 year old students read books, in the Reading Program, that are considered by many to be pornographic.  The books in question were “Prep” which had graphic descriptions of oral sex and other sex acts and the book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”  which glorified drug use, and had graphic descriptions of a “gangbang” of an inebriated woman.  The candidates claimed that “this is a good learning experience for the students”!

4.  Next, the issue of the School District’s burying hazardous waste, including asbestos, at the Wescosville Elementary School grounds.  All three claimed that they had no problem with this because they trust the administration.  In fact current School Director Bacher claimed that the Administration did not authorize the burying of that material!  Ken Bacher must not have been paying attention when the Superintendent admitted, at a Board Meeting, that they did in fact authorize the burial in a 26’x30’x4′ hole and lined it with clay, and in addition to this authorization, School Directors Bacher and Ballard voted Yes to pay for the equipment used for the burial of the hazardous waste. Also, the Commentator has viewed purchase orders signed by the administration’s officers, authorizing the equipment and materials purchased to accomplish that burial. Lastly Bacher made the unbelievable statement that no agency investigated any such violations.  Well the School Board voted 8-1 to not investigate this.  But the Commentator has learned that the EPA did launch an investigation that appears to be still open.

5.  Finally, all three candidates made the claim that Common Core/Pennsylvania Core will not interfere with the School board’s local control of education.  Clearly, the three don’t understand Common Core, or are trying to hoodwink the public.  One would think that after all this time, those in the Education Business would have a clear handle on Common Core/PA Core!

 

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