You are on page 1of 15

CASD board candidate questions

Below you will find the full responses to questions we asked each CASD school board candidate
in an email on Friday, May 8. All responses here are exactly as each candidate turned them in.
Legal fees: Do you think the district is justified in how much money it spends on legal fees; why
or why not? Is it important that the district be transparent about how much is spent on legal
fees and what exactly the fees are for, and how good of a job has the district done with this?
Superintendent: Rate the job Dr. Padasak has done in the district. Has he had a positive or
negative impact, and why?
Spending/budget: Rate the district's financial status. What should be done to remove the deficit
and achieve a balanced budget? Do you support the potential 3.75% tax increase for 2015-16,
and why? (NOTE: Questions were given to the candidates before the school board voted May
13 to potentially use a 2.4 percent tax increase instead of 3.75 percent. Some responses may
refer to the former proposed tax increase.)
Growth and the future: Has the district been taking the right steps to accommodate the
significant growth of 1,000+ students expected over the coming decade? What do you see as
the biggest challenge(s) the district faces over the next several years, and what do you think
should be done about it/them?
Steven Gaugler
Legal fees: "The CASD is a business with revenues of close to $125 million. Based on the
numbers I have seen, our annual legal fees are less than 0.0025% of our annual revenue. I
cannot think of any business this size that would consider such an expense anything more than
a required cost of doing business to protect the interests of their investors who, in this case, is
the taxpayers. It is my understanding that our current solicitor charges us $130/hour. This fee
has been increased less than a handful of times over 40 years from the original fee of $90/hour.
To put this in perspective, in 2012 Harrisburg School District (which has lower enrollment than
CASD) changed solicitors to REDUCE their billable hourly rate to $250 in an attempt to save
money. It should also be noted that their previous solicitor also charged them $60,000 to
transfer their files to the new solicitor's firm. The concept that legal fees are an issue is a farce.
Every school district across the commonwealth has legal fees. Ours are lower than most. This is
reality. Those who are trying to capitalize on the districts piggy bank through lawsuits would
have you believe we are paying too much. I believe the public sees through the smoke &
mirrors and understands that this is purely an attempt to get easier access to the district & the
taxpayers funds.

More information on legal fees & the sources used to draw the conclusions above. See the
PennLive link below for more information concern HSD legal fees.
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/04/solicitors_legal_tab_to_harris.html
Please also note the numbers listed below related to legal fees in other districts in our region
over the 2 year period of 2007-2009 (which is 6-8 years ago) that were taken from the PennLive
link provided below.
Legal fees paid by districts for 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years combined:
Central Dauphin School District: $852,973 total; 10,956 students
Cumberland Valley School District: $210,718 total; 7,730 students
Harrisburg School District: $1,009,642 total; 8,391 students
West Shore School District: $402,526 total; 8,122 students
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/01/school_districts_spend_thousan.html
Concerning Dr. Padasak performance:
In order to answer this question objectively I felt it was necessary to do my own
research. The first step was to find out who hired Dr. Joseph Padasak. I found that in 2005
Eugene Gayman, Robert Helman, Stanley Helman, Lori Leedy, Craig Musser, Tom
Orndorf, Fred Rice, Dave Sciamanna, & Renee Sharpe voted unanimously to hire Dr.
Padasak. The next step was finding out what expectations had been set for him. I
reviewed a number of documents including a 90 page Strategic Plan which was
developed in 2006 to begin addressing the future of the district from 2007-2012.
Numerous members of the community including parents, teachers, district staff, &
administrators were appointed by Dr. Padasak to serve on various committees. These
committees helped identify the long term goals for CASD which set the expectations for
our superintendent. I reviewed this document as well several others provided on the
CASD website. I could not find one challenge these committees gave Dr. Padasak which
he did not accept & there are far too many of them to list. In almost every case he not
only met but exceeded the expectations he was given. I then asked myself what have Dr.
Padasaks performance evaluations reflected. So I politely asked him if he would
provide me with copies of his evaluations. He turned them over with delight. What I
found was that every one of his evaluations has indicated a performance level of
satisfactory or above. The thing I found most interesting is that the first 5 were written by
an individual who is now probably his most vocal opposition. I think that says a lot. So I
will agree with her. Dr. Padasaks performance has been at a minimum satisfactory and,
in most cases, commendable.
Concerning spending & budget:
As a homeowner, I cannot say that I want to pay any more taxes than is necessary. As a

parent, I want what is best for our children & their education. I am pleased that the
majority (8-1 vote) of our current board recognized that paying $234,000 to get $3,766,000
in from a recent reverse tax appeal settlement was a good deal. I cannot understand why
this vote was not unanimous. We all agree the budget needs spent wisely. We also need
to recognize that our district has fiscally changed. We have seen an increase in low
income families. As a result, there is an increase in costs to our districts needs as well
as a reduction in our revenue. That said, the idea of taking away opportunities from our
children should be our last resort and only be considered after every other avenue has
been explored. Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that its difficult to say what our
fiscal status will be come this fall considering we do not know what funding we are
receiving from the commonwealth in the 2015-2016 school year. Governor Wolf has made
a promise to us that adequate funding for education is a number one priority for him.
Until that piece of the puzzle is in place everything else is all speculation. But in reality
we are not in fiscal difficulty. We have saved over $8 million in interest since 2010 by refinancing our capital debt. Of the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, only 15 having a
higher bond rating that CASD according to Moody's Rating Service. If CASD ever
received a downgrading from its current AA2 rating, it will be because we chose to use
our budgetary reserves rather than raise taxes.

Kevin Mintz
Legal fees: "I don't think that the district is justified on how much money it spends on legal
fees, but honestly, with the lack of transparency, how do we really know? It is very important
that the district be transparent as legally as possible so that we as community members,
taxpayers, and parents know how much is being spent and why. I understand that some
lawsuits are unavoidable, however, are we using the best methods in our district to avoid ones
that are avoidable? When right to know requests are delayed by red tape, and questions are
dodged, the transparency is noticeably absent."
Superintendent: "It is not as black and white to rate the job Dr.
Padasak
has done in the district.
Being the superintendent is a thankless job, in which one must wear many hats. Some of the
positives during his tenure are the starting of programs such as
pre
-K that could help our most
at risk students and the
IB
program that could help our highest achievers. Some of the
negatives during his tenure are the previously mentioned lack of transparency, the handling of
employees and students (such as the Cathy
Dusman
case, the
LGTBA
club, forcing out of
students from high school, dress code, the false impression portrayed to the public through
very inaccurate national ranking systems, and the fear of transfer/termination perceived by
employees for speaking their minds). We need to change the atmosphere and the culture of
negativity that is being developed, but we can not ignore this by only focusing on the positives.

We need to find ways to correct these negatives that have occurred over the past few years
and soon.
Spending/budget: "Financially the district appears to not be stable. One big issue I have is that
when a few board members raised questions about the budget, there was not a serious look at
the programs and their benefits to the school and community. While as a taxpayer I am glad
that the tax increase was voted at 2.4% instead of 3.75%, but as a parent, teacher, and
community member I am very upset that we have not really looked at the programs to see if
they are really beneficial to our goals. Why is the budget being approved and tax increases
going through before we answer these questions? We should have two main goals as a district:
Ensuring the well-being of our students and preparing them to be active and contributing
members of our community. Everything we do must fall into those two categories and anything
else is extra that is not needed. We must take care of the needs of the students (especially
those most at risk) before we as a community decide if we are willing to pay for extra things
that we may want but don't really need."
Growth and the future: "The biggest challenge the district is facing is not the overall expected
growth but the rising number of our at-risk students and meeting the needs of our continually
diversifying
socio
-economic population. Many students are entering our schools and cannot
recognize letters of the alphabet. Many students need additional help to learn English to
communicate better with their teachers and classmates. Many students have different learning
styles that need to be addressed. Many students' only meal(s) they eat are in the school. We
have three elementary schools with high FARM (free-and-reduced meals) populations that is so
high that the entire school receives free meals. We need to do the following: Expand
pre
-K, to
give students the opportunity to be ready to learn when they enter Kindergarten. We need to
partner with our business community to have more job training/internships/apprenticeships
available so our students leave with jobs and not just diplomas. We need to partner with our
local community non-profit groups so we can help our at-risk students can have access to
programs that can help ensure their most basic needs are met. Our community is only strong
as our weakest citizen; we need to work together and invest in these ways to stop the cycle of
generational poverty that is going on in our community."
Darrell Snyder
Legal fees: I think that we must understand that the CASD is essentially a 125 million dollar
business and is the second largest employer in Franklin County. I believe that the public would
expect any business this size to incur some legal fees as a part of the cost of doing business. I
also believe that the fee structure and overall costs are very reasonable when compared to
other similarly sized school districts and businesses. I think that transparency in regard to these
fees or any other decisions would be a good thing. A CASD Director is an elected representative

of the community and should be willing and able to discuss any decision made with their
constituency.
Superintendent: While I dont personally know Dr. Padasak, I think its apparent that he is not
afraid of either change or controversy. I admire the role that he has played in the changes that
have been made in the CASD under his leadership to offer better short term and long term
opportunities to Chambersburg students. Offering opportunities like the Junior ROTC program,
the International Baccalaureate program, the Career Magnet School, and Enhanced Workforce
Development at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center have given a large
percentage of the student population chances that they would not have had before. While I like
that he is not afraid of change, I question his relationship tactics with the School Board, the
public, and with CASD employees. I find it troubling that this question would even come up
(especially as often as it does) given the unmitigated successes and growth of the CASD under
his watch. While great leaders dont necessarily need to be well liked, I would like to see some
reconciliation and understanding between all of these very important parties.
Spending/budget: As with any budget, we first have to differentiate between needs and
wants. Often, items on these lists will differ between the public and the administration. For
example, in my viewpoint my son wants a phone, but in his viewpoint he needs a phone.
That is where I believe the elected Board of Directors must decide which category to put the
item in by taking into account the opinions of BOTH their constituency and the administration.
If our budget allows us to fulfill all of the needs of our students, then I would not support the
tax increase. However, if our students needs cannot be met with the allocated budget (still
yet to be determined), then other sources of revenue would need to be found.
Growth and the future: Strategic plans are in place, but need to be revisited often to ensure
long term academic and achievement successes along with fiscal solvency. Our diverse cultural
and socio-economic populations are a challenge to best prepare ALL students for long term
successes. As I mentioned before, I have been impressed with how the administration has
mitigated this issue to this point by developing new programs and curriculums that meet the
individual students needs. I would like to see this trend continue where we are able to provide
opportunities for the full spectrum of students equally rather than taking an easier route of
teaching to the middle to merely pass students through the system with little regard for long
term success.

Kim Amsley-Camp
Legal fees: This is indeed a topic of much discussion. Our legal fees, like all CASD expenditures,
are a matter of public record and are readily available for public inspection and comment.

Legal fees are listed on the CASD website. Our legal fees are managed as effectively and
efficiently as possible. We employ five law firms, each representing the District in specific areas.
To put our fees in context with the general fund budget: CASD has an annual budget of more
than $123 million; our legal fees are slightly more than $286,000, to date, and they include
special education, technology, personnel, real estate and general legal services. Our legal fees
are less than .02% of the District budget. Just this year we spent approximately $18,000 in legal
fees to pursue reverse tax appeals and it resulted in the collection of $4 million that will go
directly to students and programming over the next 10 years. This is $4 million that wont be
coming from local taxpayers pockets. The District maintains liability insurance that protects it
from losses resulting from litigation. 80% of the legal costs for claims are paid by the insurance
company. In exchange, the insurance company controls the litigation and dictates whether
lawsuits are settled or not. Legal fees are a cost of doing business and are never taken lightly
by the District.If one were to do a thorough investigation of the legal fees incurred by
comparable schools districts in the region, the investigation would reveal that CASDs cost of
doing its legal business is far less than that of other districts on a per student basis.
Superintendent. Our superintendent is evaluated annually by the full board. Evaluations are
shown on the CASD website along with the upcoming years goals. His goals are set annually
and mutually agreed upon by the board. This superintendent was hired to make changes to
the District and to improve school performance. He has done that. At the time he was hired,
st
our buildings lacked the necessary 21
century technology infrastructure to allow our students
to compete in an ever increasing competitive global economy. In addition, he has been given
input by and listened to the business community to upgrade/update the schools and
curriculum, which has been the cornerstone to our planning and building program. That has
come with a risk that change is difficult for some and accountability of staff is not always well
received. The board has supported significant changes over the last several years and while
some have taken longer to implement, every decision is analyzed in the best interests of the
students. To answer this question directly, the superintendent has done and continues to do
the job for which he was hired. Depending on the specific initiative, ones opinion might look
more or less favorably on the change. With all the publicity surrounding the superintendent,
we seem to have lost sight of the Districts accomplishments under his leadership. As one of
the fastest growing and most diverse school districts in the state, we have unique challenges
such as increasing enrollments and a corresponding increase in the number of students that
qualify for free or reduced lunches. In spite of those challenges, the District has been
recognized repeatedly for its accomplishments. As an example, in 2013, the
Pittsburgh
Business Tribune
reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts in
which CASD ranked number 444. The higher the rank the better the district is performing.

Spending/budget: Unfortunately, every public school district in the commonwealth is at the


mercy of the state budget process. We are required to adopt our budget prior to knowing the
states allocation. To ensure that the District will be able to meet its obligations for the coming
year, the Board has approved a 3.75% maximum tax increase. Given the savings from the
teachers/support staff contracts and the savings from bond refinancing and cost saving actions
by administration, this 3.75% will most likely not be necessary. In the 3 years, I have been on
the board, tax increases have decreased, and have averaged 1.2% annually which is significantly
less than that of the previous boards in which increases ranged from 3.5% -8.81% annually. It is
important to highlight that CASD is one of only 15 school districts in the state to have a AA bond
rating. This bond refinancing has saved the District $1.8 million since 2008. CASD is the sixth
fastest growing district in the state and because Pennsylvania is one of just three states that
does not have predictable funding formula, the board will be continually challenged fiscally.
My experience allows me to understand the challenges and I am confident that I can lend
leadership in navigating toward long-term fiscal stability. There is always room for
improvement and I promise that I will remain open and accessible to the community and to any
suggestions as to how to improve the budgetary process while maintaining and improving
educational opportunities in the CASD.
Growth and the Future: Our district is growing at the unprecedented rate of 100 students
annually. An increase of 100 students means a need for 4 new teachers, 4 classrooms and all of
the required supporting expenses. We have utilized feasibility studies from outside firms and
worked at meeting that challenge. With the recommendations from those feasibility studies,
we have renovated most schools or built new ones to accommodate this growth while
enhancing the educational experiences of our students. CREATIVITY and forward thinking is the
answer. I encourage and welcome community involvement in helping to address our future
challenges. Education is the foundation of our community and to build on it requires
community investments of time, talent and the resources of everyone. I look forward to
working with those who are ready to help meet the challenges. Our CHILDREN are our FUTURE.

Stanley J. Helman
Legal fees: I don't think anyone likes to pay legal fees. The district has a responsibility however
to defend itself and the taxpayers of the district when lawsuits are brought against it. A large
portion of the legal fees are a result of defending tax assessment appeals. If the district
doesn't defend these appeals the other taxpayers in the district will be required to pay higher
taxes on their properties. The district has published the legal fees on their website and

provided the PO reporter with a detailed summary of these bills. There are some aspects of
the bills which are by law confidential and therefore can not be made public.
Superintendent: I would allow the public to evaluate for themselves the job Dr. Padasak has
done. I would point out that during his tenure in the district we have when from being in the
bottom third of the districts in the state to being ranked near the top of the state in
performance. We are recognized as one of the most advanced district in the state with regard
to the quality and variety of academic and extra curricular programs that we offer our
students. We have received countless state and national recognitions for our achievements.
We are a district which is recommended to parents of special needs students because of the
tremendous programs and support we offer. We are one of the only districts that actually has
a child advocacy group for parents. We also have one of the top 15 bond ratings in the state
according to Moody's Rating service.
Change is sometimes uncomfortable. Therefore
many times it causes contention when it is implemented.
Spending/budget: The district's financial status is very positive. There is not actually a deficit.
The district is using a sound financial plan to use some of our fund balance to prevent the
need for large tax increases. I do not support a 3.75% tax increase. I proposed (and the board
passed) a 2.4% increase. I think that when we pass our final budget in June we should be able
to bring that rate down to close to 2%. The district has been able to save over $14 million
dollars by refinancing bonds over the last five years. This is partially due to our excellent bond
rating and the lower interest rates we can get because of that.

Growth and the future: The district has continued to prepare for future enrollment increases
by improvement and expansion of our facilities to make sure we have capacity for these
students. The biggest challenge the district faces is our ever increasing poverty level of
families. We have implemented programs designed to help these students overcome the
challenges that this poverty present. It is increasingly more difficult to fund these programs as
budgets continue to tighten. The success of these students depends on the continuation and
improvement of these programs.

Dr. Mark Schur


Legal fees: Legal expenses are unnecessarily too much. Litigation has been dragged on beyond
reason with silly appeals that waste tax payer money and distract from education. Right to

know expenses can be reduced by making documents available as a standard practice instead
of spending time and money enforcing bureaucratic roadblocks. Transparency is lacking today.
The Finance Committee, chaired by Mr. Helman, has fallen short of fulfilling its oversight
responsibility of requiring itemization of Legal billing and subsequently making such available
for the public.
Superintendent: Documented specific and measurable performance goals are more important
than individual perspective when discussing job performance. According to the CASD website
and the Superintendent/CASD contract, eight performance objectives exist. Since these are
more strategy in nature and span a five year period, I assume that the Board, led by the
Personnel/Negotiations Committee (comprised of Mr. Helman, Mrs. Amsley-Camp, and Mrs.
Boryan) has laid out specific and measurable performance criteria for this school year. The lack
of such makes the annual June performance review a meaningless exercise and demonstrates a
lack of objective oversight. For example: Objective 1 The Superintendent and Associate
Superintendent will sustain an organizational vision that promotes academic and organizational
success. Exactly what must be accomplished by May 31, 2015 in order or anyone to
OBJECTIVELY evaluate performance? If any such criteria exist, I call for it to be published.
Promoting academic success includes both relaying accolades by outside groups as much as
being present to honor student accomplishments. Personally, I was disappointed that neither
Superintendent nor Associate Superintendent was present at the National Honor Society
induction at the Career Magnet School on May 6. An absence was noted by other parents. Not
attending at least a portion of the induction ceremony does not demonstrate promoting
academic success.
Spending/budget: I do not support the 3.75% tax increase. I do not support a 2.4% increase. I
do not support a 2% increase. I do not understand how the district needed a 3.75% increase for
months (which still would have left a deficit of nearly $2 million), and then during the course of
public discussion (with an election less than a week away) make a recommendation change the
increase to 2.4%. While this may make voters less irritated, I observed in disbelief. Board
members who make motions to add items to the agenda last minute are chastised, yet it is
acceptable practice to move the amount of a tax increase around on a $125,000,000 budget
and not be provided clear financials of those impacts. Only minutes before during the public
comment of the School Board meeting on 5/13/15, I stated the materials provided in this
budget proposal do not provide adequate detail for the Board to make a responsible decision.
The budget proposal does not provide any spending cuts or other recommendations on options
to achieve a balanced budget, and that approval of this budget demonstrates fiscal
irresponsibility and lack of strong oversight by the Board.

In addition to the forecasted deficit (nearly $2,000,000), we are facing further budget deficits of
$1 million in each of next two years. How does the Finance Committee (Mr. Helman (chair),
Mrs. Amsley-Camp, Mrs. Boylan, and Mr. Floyd) expect those deficits to be covered manna
from Harrisburg, more tax reassessments, continued increases to district taxpayers, or spending
cuts?
The first step is for the Board to receive budget and financial performance information in a
manner that allows objective oversight to ensure taxpayers money is used wisely. Provision of
materials in a manner that is acceptable to the Board and that follows existing school board
policy will simply need to be outlined as a performance requirement of the appropriate
administrative individuals.
Growth and the future: A study forecasted growth to occur in the northern region of the
district. I have difficulty understanding how the decision to rebuild a school in the southern
part of the district positions the district well for projected growth. Our three year old second
high school (the Career Magnet School), is already at capacity, scaled back from its original
design. Our future is in a difficult predicament as the result of the efforts and
recommendations of the Buildings and Grounds Committee (Mr. Helman (chair), Mrs.
Amsley-Camp, and Mr. Norcross).
The first large challenge that must be tackled is budgetary discipline and oversight. I look
forward to working with Mr. Norcross, who has been a voice calling for more transparency, Mr.
Lennartz (my fellow candidate with extensive budget experience) and the administration to get
us where we need to be in this respect. Other distractions need to be addressed and finalized
including legal matters and migrating the culture to one of collaboration within the Board,
with Students, with Teachers, and with Administration.

William (Bill) Lennartz


Legal Fees: There is NO transparency! Should there be? Of course! Its the taxpayers money
and they have a right to know how their taxes are being spent. How much is being spent on
legal fees and what are they for? Does anyone know? I spoke with an individual who has been
following the Cathy Dusman case closely and estimated over a hundred thousand dollars has
been spent on that case alone. The district has lost on appeal twice. Its time to admit it made
a mistake and move on and stop spending more and more funds that it doesnt have. The same
individual has asked the Board for this information under the Freedom of Information Act and
ran into a stone wall. It would have cost hundreds of dollars to obtain the information and then
so much would have been redacted (SP) rendering it useless. The individual finally gave up.

Excessive legal fees are evidence of a wrong focus. more a result of personality conflicts and
poor judgment by Administration and Board than anything. If the sincere focus was on
Education these fees would not exist or at least would not be in question as a controversial
campaign issue. And they are excessive. The amount of fees CASD has accumulated over the
past few years is more a result of poor judgment, mismanagement, arrogance, and downright
stubbornness.
Superintendent: I would have to give him a D. Why? I have personally knocked on more than
500 doors in my district while I was out campaigning and of those that mentioned Dr. Padasak,
no one had a positive comment with the exception of one person. (I never brought his name
up first while talking to voters but I would listen to them if they saw him as an issue.) I never
worked with nor spoke with him and normally I like to form my own opinion of someone but
when you hear the same negative comments over and over again, you have to come to the
conclusion that it is doubtful that many people could be wrong. People are our most important
resource and should be treated with respect even if they have a different idea or opinion about
an issue. A good leader does not need to bully by using fear and intimidation to get his or her
way. You need to look no further than the Cathy Dusman case. Our teachers deserve better
and should not have to work in that kind of environment. I would not have voted to renew Dr.
Padasaks contract a year early.
We need a Board that understands and respects the fact that it is accountable to the
Community not to the Administration. The School Board is responsible to direct the affairs
and establish the policies of the School District, while the Administration is responsible to
implement the Boards directives and policies, and to report back to the Board on all matters.
As a Director, I want to be able to walk the hallways of our schools without an escort.
(Currently, an escort is required.) I want to talk to teachers and I want them to talk to me
without the administration looking over my shoulder. (Of course as a courtesy I would check in
with the front office first.) I want to observe classrooms to get a feel for what they do and see
the interaction between teachers and students. I dont want to rely on what the administration
tells me or have a guided orchestrated tour. I want to see and hear for myself.
Spending/Budget: I rate it an F. To sum it up in a word; irresponsible! Past board leadership,
Mr. Helman and Ms. Amsley-Camp, who currently sit on the finance committee, share the
responsibility for the CASDs dismal financial state. In the recent past, the Board has voted for a
5.5% tax increase in 2011-12 and 2.6% last year (for the 2014/15 school year) and now the
proposed 2.4% for next year. (NOTE: The Board voted to reduce this tax increase from 3.75%
to 2.4% at the 13 May Board meeting.) In addition, just recently the Board voted to build a new
school in Marion. My opponent, Mr. Darrell Snyder, is also a part of this group seeking a seat
on the Board.
One of the biggest problems with the budget process is the lack of transparency. Do you hear
them touting the $1.75M budget deficit? I have not seen any evidence of proposed spending
cuts to justify such a large tax increase. How can you justify spending thousands of dollars for a

trip to New Orleans last year to attend a conference and spend hundreds more to attend
another conference at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center when the funding in the
school budget is tight?! My experience as a budget analyst was that when funds are short (and
certainly if they are in the red), one of the first areas you cut is travel and then overhead and
discretionary items in the budget. The Administration, and especially members of the school
board, must set an example and be held to the highest standards. This is only one reason why
the current composition of the Board needs to change. Proper oversight and control is severely
lacking.
I DO NOT support a tax increase of 3.75% (now on the table for a 2.4% tax increase). The only
reason it is an issue today is due to the reckless spending of the current leadership. This is a
situation that could have been and should have been avoided. We all have household budgets
and we all know what happens when we spend more than we have coming in.bad
things.thats what happens. The answer ISNT always tax, tax and more tax. The answer IS to
develop an effective budgeting process by determining proper priorities, making sure that
educating Students remains the highest priority and is properly funded. Its a simple concept!
Growth and the future: Unfortunately, the vote to build a new school in Marion by the Board is
just another example of poor decision making. It is the wrong school at the wrong time. The
school was not at capacity and with declining enrollment the focus should have been on
accommodating the growing student population at those schools that are already at or above
capacity.
As far as I know the School Board has not developed a Comprehensive Plan, with contingencies,
to properly plan for the growth. From a distance, the approach, and resulting actions and
initiatives, seem to be piece meal at best and misguided at worst. This is what the Board should
be doing as a representative body having workshops to review data, statistics, and trends and
work together in a public setting to develop new, or revise current strategies to best plan for
future demands.
Alex Sharpe
Legal fees: The district is absolutely not justified in the amount it spends in legal fees. I find it
interesting that, according to Mr. Darts monthly reports, Black and Davison bills more time for
meetings/consultation than every other category of legal services except for defending tax
appeals. This figure shows that the administration and board leadership over-relies on legal
counsel to make decisions or are pushing the boundaries of the law far too often. I have
personally reviewed CASDs lawsuits regarding Shawn Shreffler, Cathy Dusman, the Sunshine
Act, and many of the Right to Know costs, and they should have been resolved before any legal
actions were pursued.
As far as transparency, the district has improved. Demands from the public have been
considered and probably are the reason for Mr. Darts monthly report regarding legal fees. The

districts actual transparency problems lie not only with the public, but also, the administration
and board leadership must be transparent with respect to the rest of the school board. Board
members have stated meetings that they do not receive information pertaining to the districts
various lawsuits. The districts lawyers and administration/board leadership make all decisions
regarding legal matters without informing the rest of the board or getting board approval. The
Sunshine Act mandates board transparency, so Id say transparency is pretty important. There
is definitely room for improvement.
Superintendent: Padasak has successfully created the appearance that the district is performing
well on an educational level. He also permitted a different vision for the Career Magnet
Schoola STEM school conceptthat has resulted in an excellent educational environment.
After coming to Chambersburg, he implemented the former boards vision to update and
upgrade the districts facilities. However, Padasak has failed miserably when it comes to
valuing staff. He has divided the district by making hiring decisions based on his personal
relationship rather than focusing on merit. He failed miserably in implementing and enforcing
the dress code. Padasak has turned the Act 93 group into a political organization in order to
show support for himself and specific candidates during the present election. Superintendents
are not supposed to be involved in electing board members who will ultimately oversee the
superintendent, so why is Padasak recruiting candidates for the school board and why is Bill
Hodge passing out flyers in support of certain candidates? Most importantly, Padasak has
successfully and completely controlled the flow of information in this district, which has
promoted him to the position of dictator instead of being a collaborator. 21st century
education should be about collaboration. Teachers need the freedom to teach without
worrying about who is looking over their shoulder.
Spending and budget: The state of financial affairs is not good. The districts financial advisers
have warned that the districts perfect bond rating is in jeopardy. That means its going to cost
the district more to borrow money. The current boards decisions have put us in a bad financial
place, and you cant just tax your way out of it. For example, why did we spend $8,000,000 in
cash to build a school in New Franklin when the district could have borrowed the money for 30
years for around 3%? We cant afford to be reckless with spending.
With respect to the tax increase, to my knowledge, there has been no commitment from this
board to cut costs in order to reduce the deficit. This is an absolute necessity. The districts
budget does not give any good information. It contains gross generalities where the district is
spending the money. We need to reform the budget process so that it is a year-round
endeavor to get the most of district resources. This district has to commit to refraining from
spending money that is not allocated in the budget.
Given the events of Wednesdays board meetings and the proposed tax increase, I am skeptical
as to whether the 3.75% increase was ever a serious proposalits looks more like an election

ploy to me. Either way, the district still has a budget deficit. What kind of a budget process is
that?
Growth and future: In response to the population growth and distribution, the district has done
exactly the opposite of what it should have done. It built new 2-deep elementary schools in
New Franklin and Marionareas that see little or no student growth. Instead, the borough
schools and schools in the northern part of the district are bursting at the seam. Didnt the
district buy 5 acres at Grandview because it recognized that it would have to respond to an
increase in student population in the borough and the northern part of the district? Building
these new schools appeared to be politically motivatedStanley Helman pushed very hard for
both of these schools. Now the biggest problem facing the district is that you cant unring the
bell. First, where does the district get the money to accommodate this population growth in
the north? Second, how can the district justify building yet another elementary school? The
district shouldnt be bussing students from their neighborhoods in order to fill vacant
classrooms in Marion and New Franklin.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but the biggest problems facing the district right now all stem from
funding problems. This district has far too many administrators, and it spends too much on the
administration. I dont understand why we have 7 principals in the high school? 10 years ago,
there was one for each grade and an overall building principal. Many independent services rate
our district in the bottom tier of the state, and Im concerned that we dont have adequate
financial resources to implement the necessary changes to make corrections. This district has to
make hard choices and really must scrutinize where and how money is being spenta top to
bottom evaluation of the budget is required. We cant just add to what we have done in years
past. There needs to be legitimate change to the financial mentality within the district and with
its administration.
Joan Smith
Legal fees: It is obvious that the Dusman and Shreffler cases have been a huge waste of
taxpayer money that would never have been done if the board were using good judgment.
Looking forward to a new solicitor.
Superintendent and growth/future: Teacher morale has been at its lowest except among his
trusted lieutenants as heard from many teachers who fear punishment if seen talking to a
board member or talking at a board meeting. His administration is far more concerned with
how CASD looks rather than about how it performs. School Digger and Niche website show that
the state testing picture is not as rosy as it seems, check it out for yourself. It is admirable that
Dr. Padasak endorsed two new elementary schools for his school board cronies: however, he
did not take into consideration where the overcrowding is in our district. The magnet school

was too small to begin with and now its screaming for expansion, but I was reassured at a
board meeting, when we were going over the District Wide Facility Student of 2014, that CMS
was fine. Well, it is not. It now is in need of expansion. The Borough and other elementary
schools are busting at the seams but for some reason his supporters on the board dont seem
to care enough about the overcrowding to their regions I suppose. This mentality must stop.
Spending/budget: District needs BUDGET EVERY DIME!!!!!!!!!! Every expense needs to be
accounted for. Other areas for consideration are as follows:
All our busing should be turned over to sub contractors.
Cell phone coverage should be basic, nothing extra. No one needs multiple phones or I-pads.
A new solicitor should be hird.
Administrative bonuses in hard times should be eliminated.
Again, I will vote against a 3.75 mill increase. I would not go over index. I know that with
cleaning up the pension mess and needing teachers, keeping at-or-a 2 mill increase is being
responsible. With new board members, I would like to scrutinize the budget, eliminating
wasteful spending. I feel the board is never given a clear picture on expenditures like other
districts, only when that happens, can we make proper budget cuts.
Candidate Bill Fosnot did not submit responses by deadline.