BY ROB WHEARY
ELIZABETHVILLE — Officials at the Upper Dauphin Area School Dis- trict are finding it is getting harder and harder to find people willing to work security and handle other duties at athletic events and may soon increase salaries to find people to do the job.
At their board meeting March 8, members discussed the problem with athletic director Brent Bell.
“It is getting tougher, particularly in finding security for football games. We used to have 8 to 10 people working security where now we are down to 4 to 6 depending on the game,” Bell told the board.
Bell told the board he doesn’t feel the entire problem is monetary.
“You are asking people to stand for hours at a time at a football game, sometimes in inclement weather for not much money,” he told the board. “Also consider the fact that people are getting harder to deal with at a foot-
ball game. It’s not just telling the kids to stop doing something inside the sta- dium. Adults argue back. We had some instances of people bringing alcohol onto campus.”
Bell told the board that he has heard from people saying that with the issues they deal, it’s just not worth it.
Board records show the last time there was a raise for event staff was in 2009 and it was a $1/hour increase.
If an increase comes, Bell feels that it has to be done across the board, from security to ticket takers. Current salaries for staff members are $22 for ticket takers, $24 for time keepers, $30 for security officers. Bell is looking for a $10 increase across the board.
“I think it is time, its something that we hopefully can work into next year’s budget,” board member Jack Laudenslager.
Bell also gave a lengthy presenta- tion at the start of the meeting over the use of strength coaches in the dis- trict’s weight room. The information was given for the board to ponder.
The board will also consider joining as plaintiffs in a statewide class action
lawsuit to force the state to restore funding for education.
“It is getting tough everywhere,” superintendent Evan Williams said. “It was just reported that the Red Lion School District may have to file for bankruptcy.”
“If we get that far down, we may just take a loan, but when you have the other school districts worse off than us, especially the bigger dis- tricts, they can put a lot more pres- sure on lawmakers than we can,” board president David Barder said.
In other business from the meeting:
— The board approved Shana Erdley, Ann Shutt, Kaitlyn Maurer and Amie Savidge as program volunteers for the 2015-2016 school year, and accepted the resignation of Lisa Hoffman as a part- time paraprofessional. Brandi Crum was hired as a part-time aide for the PreK-Counts classroom as a rate of $8.25 an hour, with a 50-cent for first aid and CPR qualifications, and Kea- na Lesher and Melissa Rankin were named van drivers for Rohrer Trans- portation for this school year.
Two contracts were approved at the meeting, one with JP Harris to pro- vide door-to-door census taking for those that didn’t respond to the census mail- ing, and for a new vendor for the poster and pocket athlet- ic schedules.
— Board members approved the 2016-2017 oper- ating budget for the Capital Area Intermediate Unit. Upper Dauphin’s share will be $9,568.54 with no increase from last year.
— A $500 bid was approved for Pillow Borough to pur- chase a property from the Dauphin County Repository, along with approving the lease between the district and Elizabethville Borough for the use of the baseball field.
All action was approve on a 8-0 vote with David Barder, Kirk Wenrich, Roni Mace, Angela Mattern, Steven Weller, Jack Laudenslager, Mills Eure and the Rev. Nathan Minnich voting yes. Board member Kathyrn Tal- helm was absent.