Arguments Heard On Crestwood Lawsuit For Additional Seat On Career, Tech Center

Luzerne County Judge Michael B. Vough heard arguments for the Crestwood School District to appoint an additional representative to the Wilkes Barre Area Career and Technical Center (WBACTC) Thursday December 10.

Crestwood filed a petition in September asking for additional representation on the WBACTC board against four member districts based on their district’s 2010 Census figures. Crestwood had also filed an injunction barring Greater Nanticoke Area from appointing two representatives to the JOC at their reorganization meeting the same day as the hearing. Vough had a hearing on the injunction earlier in the day.

Crestwood has 83 students attending half-day classes in the current school year 2015-2016, 50 in the morning and 33 in the afternoon. For the 2014-2015 year Crestwood paid $787,715 for 70 students. Cost per student was $10,940.49. Crestwood is also assessed for debt payments owed by the WBACTC.

Wilkes Barre has population of 59,879 and 5 representatives, Pittston has 27,837 and 2 representatives, Crestwood has 20,018 and one representative; Nanticoke has 2 representatives and 19,104 population; Hanover has one representative and 15,439 people. Crestwood is seeking one of the Nanticoke seats now that its population exceeds Nanticoke’s.

Atty. Charles Coslett, council for the WBACTC Joint Operating Committee (JOC) argued that Crestwood had taken too long to go to court and that the claim for the additional seat should have been made after the 2010 census figures were released in 2011. Four years has elapsed since that time. Coslett argued that the 2020 Census is now closer in time.

Crestwood’s council Paul Lalley from the Pittsburgh firm of Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller noted that both of the Nanticoke representatives to the JOC had expiring terms in December 2015.

Judge Vough said he would rule on the case before the JOC holds its annual reorganization meeting scheduled for December 21.

Crestwood’s lawsuit seeks “a stronger voice on the committee” according to Gene Mancini former Crestwood representative on the WBCTC Joint Operating Committee (JOC). William Thomas was voted into the position at the November 19, 2015 Crestwood Board Meeting.