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After split votes, Cline named to Waynesboro school board

August 10, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board named Sherry Cline its newest member Tuesday, but not without debate and two split votes.

The eight existing board members were divided between Cline and Bruce Greenshields, both residents of Clayton Avenue. Resolution came only after Greenshields announced he would withdraw his application.

The board largely ignored third applicant Jennifer Johns during its meeting.

"They didn't even mention my name," said Johns, of Hawbaker Avenue. "It's like I wasn't even a candidate."

Board members Billie Finn, Pat Heefner, K. Marilyn Smith and Bonnie Bachtell said they supported Greenshields. Board members Chris Lind, Leland Lemley, Firmadge Crutchfield and Ed Wilson identified Cline as their chosen candidate.

Greenshields, Cline and Johns applied to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of board member Brenda Lucas, who was elected last November. The board accepted her resignation July 16 and conducted interviews last week for applicants who, like Lucas, live within the Borough of Waynesboro's boundaries.

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Board members started the meeting seemingly aware of their 4-4 split.

"I don't want this to get down to mudslinging," cautioned Wilson, the board president.

The board talked about what would happen if it didn't choose someone. Solicitor James Flower said without an appointment within 30 days after the accepted resignation, the public could petition the court to have a judge appoint someone.

Flower also said the board members could choose someone who had not submitted an application.

"You can go out and seek out someone to see if they have interest," he said.

"If I was a borough resident, I'd be perturbed by that," Heefner said.

Smith said she preferred Greenshields because he has experience with conflict resolution.

"I think we could use that now and then on this board," she said.

Lind said he felt choosing Cline, who has three school-aged children, would bring diversity and youth to the board.

"I think we need to diversify wherever we can," he said.

The board voted 4-4 in separate votes to appoint Greenshields or Cline. After the ties, the board decided to move on without a decision. That's when Greenshields raised his hand and said he'd help by withdrawing his application.

"We do not need to spend another two months filling this vacancy," he said.

His withdrawal prompted Finn to change her vote and tip the vote in Cline's favor. She praised Greenshields and his character after the withdrawal.

After leaving the meeting, Greenshields, 66, said he anticipated the board would be split and thought ahead of time about withdrawing to aid the decision.

"I think Ms. Cline is a fine candidate," he said.

Greenshields said he doubts he'll seek election in 2011.

Johns, 33, said she feels the teachers union didn't want her to be on the school board. She lost an election bid in 2007, but said she plans to run again in 2011.

Cline did not attend the meeting.

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