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Board May Take Action on Gudolonis Absence

The school board finally talked about the long-term absence of one of its members at Monday night's meeting.

At the end of the Spring-Ford Area School District board meeting on Monday night, board member Mark Dehnert spoke up about an issue that has frequented Patch for quite some time:

After last week's , a reader joked that maybe Scooby and the Gang could help the board solve the mystery. Gudolonis last attended the Dec. 20 meeting. Before that, she hadn't attended a meeting since Sept. 19.

It is reported that she has been spending time in Belgium. In Monday night's discussion, Board President Tom DiBello indicated she was there for work-related reasons. Gudolonis was elected to the board in 2009. Her term ends in 2013.

Dehnert cited the school board's policy, stating if a board member misses two consecutive regular meetings, the board can vote to remove that person. Dehnert counted Gudolonis as attending three of the last 16 meetings.

"We have a budget meeting coming up and if we don't have nine members, we could be deadlocked on the budget," Dehnert said. "It's important that this board is represented by nine members."

Board member Ed Dressler suggested to contact Gudolonis first to find out her intentions and then make a decision. Solicitor Marc Davis said he was glad to give his legal opinion whenever the board would like.

"Generally, cases under this statute are very old," Davis explained. "There's not any relatively new case law. Old case law mandates giving due process. If you want to enforce that section, give notice and give the person an opportunity to respond."

Board member Bernard Pettit agreed that carrying out "due process" is the most logical way of going about things. Dehnert continued by saying Gudolonis never communicates when she will or will not attend a meeting.

DiBello said he did communicate with Gudolonis when he became board president. He said Gudolonis claimed she was finishing an engagement related to work and figured it would be complete by the end of February.

Pettit moved to make an inquiry through the board secretary of Gudolonis and also to have legal council prepare research into the issue and provide the board with the results of the research. The motion unanimously passed. There will be more to come in the February meetings.

Hipster Kitty January 30, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I'm not sure why she doesn't phone conference in, like is done in other school districts. Her lack of effort really shows how much lack of care she has for her constituents.
Harry Dixon January 31, 2012 at 05:52 AM
I know that being a school board member is a thankless job, but c'mon...if you sign on, fulfill your responsibilities like 99.9% do!

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