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Donches: Lack of Notice on Willow Lane Meeting ‘Disturbing’

East Penn School Board Director Lynn Donches addresses fellow board members, administration at tail end of Monday night’s school board meeting about the district’s failure to publicize a Nov. 27 meeting about a Willow Lane walking study.

East Penn School Board Director Lynn Donches voiced concerns at the end of Monday night’s school board meeting regarding the failure to publicize a Nov. 27 meeting at which the East Penn School District presented the Willow Lane walking study that led 17 Willow Lane parents take the podium Monday night.

As the result of a possible oversight, few people were aware of the Nov. 27 meeting that included parents of Willow Lane Elementary School students, an engineer and Willow Lane administrators. School board directors were neither invited nor notified.

The Dec. 10 school board meeting included several rows of extra chairs that were added to accommodate the parents who came to the meeting try to convince board members it would be a bad idea to make Willow Lane Elementary School a “walking school” beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.

The parents were mobilized, in part, due to the Nov. 27 meeting and what they believe to be significant flaws in the study.

“I find it disturbing,” Donches said, “that no board members were notified about the district's Nov. 27 meeting. As the parents said here tonight, it was not widely publicized. Usually special presentations are reported at board meetings. It’s too bad it wasn’t publicized. In response, it was lightly attended.”

Donches went on to say that she would have attended the meeting, had she known about it, and she was bothered by the fact that Willow Lane parents had been left with the impression that the school board didn’t want to be a part of the meeting or resolving the concerns of the Willow Lane parents.

“The citizens realize that official action can’t be taken, except in board meetings, but if there is a forum in which I have the opportunity to listen to people’s concerns first-hand, I find that useful,” Donches said.

“It is just unfortunate that no one from the school board was present at the meeting,” she said.

Following Donches’ comments, School Director Julian Stolz thanked the Willow Lane parents for coming to the meeting and making the board aware of the lingering issues related to the elimination of busing at Willow Lane.

“We weren’t even informed of that meeting,” Stolz said. “Your input is critical. I am a budget-cutter, but I did not approve cutting the $60,000 [that will be saved when busing is eliminated.] You are not satisfied. You don’t feel safe yet and we need to rectify that.”

ron December 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Get Real are you serious, you dont know one person that sends their kids to public school. And why dont you actually find out what the votes are on issues instead of relying on rumors. It should not be hard since you seem to have already found out how much tax money the district has to pay for everything. And lol im sure the two board members you mentioned are just there to grab headlines, its probally the hollywood life style they are after. And im sure at that age kids are capable of a lot more than just walking to school at least i hope so or America is in big trouble. And i think the east penn school district is pretty good overall. I dont know anything about the school districts in the other areas of the country you lived in but i bet there sure glad your gone.
Get Real December 19, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Ron, Let me guess- either you do not have children or your children are no longer of school age so you want to pay the least amount of taxes possible. Take a drive by Willow school during the day and justify how a five year old is supposed to WALK to and from school each day. Also, it is "their" not "there." Did you go to school?
Mark January 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Many comments and observations, but most involve process and politics. Simply stated, Willow lane and Saurkraut can be a very busy and dangerous intersection. Especially when Mack Truck traffic increases about 3pm daily. As the industrial footprint of the neighborhood increases, so too will traffic. The speed limits are not enforced, the stop sign at the intersection is always being run through. Basicly, that intersection is unsafe for walkers over the long run. Implement safety measures and walking to Willow would be fine. Personally, i would drive my kid to school regardless..........
linen23 January 10, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Lost me in the heading "Donches: Disturbing". Yes she is.
linen23 January 10, 2013 at 03:01 PM
I am always in favor of child safety but from what I gather Willow was built on the premise because the walking feasibility study had been completed and verified as "walkable". Was this study completed or is this simply a result of a few well manicured stay out home moms who's children have asthma, nut allergies, seasonal allergies, sensitivity to light, sound, exhaust fumes, etc...if you know what I mean? PS: I do not believe Donches has any children herself.

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