Waynesboro Area School Board holds interviews again with same result

February 24, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, PA. - In a unanimous decision Friday, the Waynesboro Area School Board upheld its appointment of the Rev. Lee Daywalt to the board position vacated in December by state Rep. Todd Rock.

The board held a special meeting to reinterview candidates for the position as a gesture to "redo what was challenged by the media as a violation of the (Pennsylvania) Sunshine Law," according to school board officials.

"The board has a written policy that interviews are to be held in public, but in this case, the ad for the first interview was not placed, so it was not open," board solicitor James Flower Jr. said. "Tonight's action was to cure a defect in procedure and ratify the earlier decision."

In January, a committee of President Larry Glenn, Vice President Stanley Barkdoll and Director Leland Lemley interviewed Daywalt, Firmadge Crutchfield and Ed Wilson in an unadvertised session.


At its Jan. 9 meeting, after an hour of closed-door discussion, the board voted 6-2 in favor of Daywalt as the new representative of the district's north end.

On Friday, every school board director but Lemley was present to reinterview the candidates. Glenn said the board chose to conduct interviews as a full board "so no one could question the procedure."

While the directors favored Daywalt, some of the residents present at the meeting supported Crutchfield, including Wilson.

"I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but if you don't choose Mr. Crutchfield over the other one, something is wrong," Wilson said in his interview.

Most board members called Friday's decision "difficult," saying that while both Crutchfield and Daywalt were "educated and well-qualified," they were looking for the one who best fit the board.

"This is a close-knit community that is hard to break into," director John Fitz said. "I think Mr. Daywalt has established his connection to his community."

Daywalt, who was born and raised in Waynesboro, currently serves as pastor of the New Baltimore Church of God in South Mountain.

Crutchfield, who works as vice president and chief financial officer of Energy Enterprises Solutions LLC in Germantown, Md., said he was disappointed in the board's decision but was not surprised.

Both Daywalt and Crutchfield said they intend to run for school board in the May primary.

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