This correspondence is being sent in response to your letter of September 20, 2002 requesting information concerning the school district’s contract with Pyramid Healthcare, Inc.
The Tyrone Area School Board was made aware of Pyramid Healthcare’s interest in purchasing Greentree Village in Bald Eagle in a Board Bulletin received in June 2002.
Editor’s Note: The Tyrone School Board of Directors forwarded this letter to The Daily Herald.
The Tyrone Area School Board was made aware of Pyramid Healthcare’s interest in purchasing Greentree Village in Bald Eagle in a Board Bulletin received in June 2002. Before that, the board discussed enrolling some of our students in the day program offered by Pyramid. As you know, these students are from Tyrone and some also live in Snyder Township. These students cannot adapt to a normal school setting and Pyramid offers an alternative educational program for them. Pyramid has been quite successful with troubled teens.
Section 6 of The Sunshine Act requires that written minutes of public meetings identify: (1) the date, time and place of the meeting; (2) the names of the school directors present; (3) a description of the substance of the official actions taken and a record of how each school director voted; and (4) the names of the citizens who spoke and the subject of their comments.
The Right-To-Know Law entitles any citizen of Pennsylvania to inspect and make copies of all “public records.” The school board has the right to establish policy to control when copying occurs and the right to impose reasonable security measures and reasonable costs. The audio tapes are only used to provide clarity to the board secretary as board minutes are prepared. Public citizens are allowed to audio tape board meetings if they so choose to do so.
As you know, Pyramid Healthcare is leasing the buildings in Bald Eagle. They are a private business and the school board is not privy to discussion between the owner of the buildings and Pyramid Healthcare. The school board only voted on a management agreement with “Pyramid” to provide alternative educational and therapeutic services to students. During this particular vote, Board Member Becky Emenhiser abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest regarding her employment with Pyramid Healthcare. During her employment with Pyramid Healthcare, Ms. Emenhiser has enjoyed her work and has observed the caring and competent nature of the staff. She has also reported that the staff-to-client ratio is quite higher (14 staff to 15 clients) then the staff-to-client ratio of a personal care home where she was formerly employed. Students are receiving competent services from Pyramid Healthcare and are exhibiting significant progress.
The school board is thinking about its relationship with those young students, doing all we can do to help them. It is better for them to be in a supporting and learning environment close to home rather than in another school district.
Bald Eagle residents speak of their concern for the safety of students in the buildings. As you know, Pyramid has completed many repairs to the buildings. They plan to erect new classrooms, hook-up the sewer system and install a new boiler. We wonder how the buildings passed inspections when the elderly resided there. Was no one concerned about the safety of the elderly? Why were the elderly permitted to live in houses where there was no working sewage system?
We hope your questions have been answered. The Tyrone Area School Board looks forward to a pleasant working relationship with Pyramid Healthcare and the citizens of Snyder Township while providing excellent educational programs and services to our students.
Tyrone Area School Board of Directors
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To the editor: It has occurred to me that Mayor Patricia Stoner may be even more Machiavellian than I thought her to be.
As a write-in candidate, she courted a power structure headed by downtown landlords, publicly campaigning that she could do for them, what they refused to do for themselves…if she got elected. And with “free money” yet! Once elected, she honored her promises and improved downtown properties with $1 million upgrade of the entire area. And got re-elected. That much is known.
First, a question. When we non-commercial property owners improve our properties, are not those properties re-evaluated and up-taxed?
Now here’s the tricky part – and well within her power now that she finally has council set to agree to her every decree.
Could it be that all along, she has been plotting to truly help the entire community by increasing the value of the downtown properties, then reassessing them, thereby increasing taxes and procuring thousands and thousands more dollars with which to improve the rest of the town.
If not, why not, Mayor?