The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 4, 2012

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— Director: Appointee is not my law partner

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Code of Conduct states, in pertinent part:

1. Board members should work together in … harmony, respect and cooperation, despite differences of opinion.

2. …Decisions should be based upon … sufficient facts, we should vote our honest conviction without partisan bias … and uphold the majority decision of the board.

3. We will not use our positions as school directors to benefit ourselves, any individual or agency.

As an attorney practicing law for more than 25 years, I, as I’m sure all members of our board, take this code seriously.

Recently, WHSD board members were entrusted with the obligation of filling a vacancy. Prior to the meeting, interested candidates submitted letters and resumes of qualifications, of which every board member had an opportunity to review.

Daniel Hill’s submission was on letterhead of a firm that bears my name, although I am no longer a partner and have never been a partner of his. (It is not uncommon for firms to retain the name of a founding member after they have divested from the partnership.)

After publicly interviewing candidates, the board, in a majority decision, voted to elect Daniel Hill.  

The future welfare of the Westmont community depends upon the quality of education and opportunities we provide in our public schools.

I believe that in its recent decision, the board upheld its obligation to the community.  

I can only hope that the community will uphold its obligation to today’s children, as it did for their children before.

Phyllis Forman


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