VERNON TOWNSHIP — Crawford Central School Board welcomed two new members during its reorganization meeting Tuesday and unanimously re-elected Jan Feleppa as board president.
Kevin Merritt of Fairfield Township and Bryan Miller of Wayne Township, both elected to four-year terms in November, were sworn in and took their seats on the board.
Feleppa was the only nominee for board president. Jeff Rose was the only nominee for vice president and was unanimously re-elected.
Merritt and Miller take the seats previously held by Katrina Proctor of Wayne Township and Glenn Tuttle of Meadville. Proctor did not seek re-election.
Tuttle failed to get on the ballot as a Libertarian in both the Crawford Central School Board and the county commissioner races because his paperwork wasn't accepted by the Office of Elections and Voter Services.
Tuttle had registered voters sign petition forms that are used in primaries by Republicans and Democrats. Pennsylvania's Election Code requires third-party and independent candidates have registered voters sign a nomination form, which is a separate form.
When his petitions were rejected in August, Tuttle told the Tribune he planned to wage write-in campaigns for both Crawford Central School Board and Crawford County commissioner. In the end, he received no votes in the school board race and nine in the commissioners race — seven for the correct spelling of his name, two for a variant spelling.
Tuttle’s six years on the board will likely be best remembered for the uproar that resulted in early 2017 when a member of the public addressed the board about controversial comments Tuttle had posted to social media. Feleppa formally requested Tuttle’s resignation from the board as a result of the controversy. When he declined to resign, his fellow board members, unable to remove him, stripped Tuttle of his committee assignments and his position as the board’s representative to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
Nonetheless, Tuttle, like Proctor, was sent off on a positive note at the board’s Nov. 25 meeting. First Proctor and then Tuttle was presented with gifts by Superintendent Tom Washington and given a round of applause from fellow board members and members of the district administration in recognition of their years of service.
Tuttle, who missed four of six public meetings held from September to November, was not present for the recognition, but Washington assured the board that Tuttle would receive the gift.
“I promise I won’t keep it,” Washington joked.
In other appointments, the board approved Merritt to serve out the remaining year of Proctor’s term on the Joint Operating Committee of the Crawford County Career & Technical Center.
Delwood Smith was re-appointed to serve as the board’s representative to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Paula Jo Lynch was designated as the board’s alternate representative.
Frank Schreck was appointed to serve as the board’s delegate on the French Creek Council of Governments with Feleppa as alternate.
Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.