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MNSD School Board Member Will Be Sorely Missed

The following Letter to the Editor was provided by Marple Newtown School Board Director John McDevitt on the recent resignations on the school board.

Dear Editor: 

Within the past 30 days, three members of the Marple Newtown School Board have tendered their resignations. First, Fred Dewey resigned since he has or will be moving out of the district. Now, Dave McGinley and Jamie Mariano have also moved on.

I have had the privilege of working with Jamie over the past year. Jamie proved from the very first day that she was everything the voters bargained for. The best three words to explain Jamie’s time on theboard are honesty, integrity and independence. Independence is as equally as important as honesty and integrity and Jamie never yielded to internal or external pressures. Jamie and her husband Joe, along with their three children are just the family you would want as your next door neighbor. We will be a better community if Jamie and Joe come back and serve the community in the future.

When it comes to Dave McGinley, the first word that comes to mind is legend. I didn’t take to Dave at first when I came on the board. My bad and a lesson learned. I quickly realized that this “bull in a china shop” is completely committed to using his talents for the youth of this community. As he was raising his kids and enjoying his grandchildren and a very successful businessman, Dave found the time to coach over 100 youth teams.

Dave's kids were grown and on their own when he joined the school board. Dave started day one at 100 miles per hour and never looked back. His work with the renovation of the high school, including planning, funding and construction were legendary. As soon as an obstacle was in the way, he ran right through it and asked for another. With Dave’s leadership and favorable bidding, the administrative offices were renovated from the steel and concrete without any additional burden on the taxpayers.

Dave squeezed budgets realizing that Kid’s Stop and MN Recreation were not only important to the community, but vital to two-income families. Work continues to this day further providing safe and secure facilities for our kids.
Dave is a businessman and represents all 37,000 members of the community. Dave’s parents are from the greatest generation and he never forgot that generation come budget time.

Marple Newtown by far has the lowest school tax per $100,000 of home in the county. Dave was brutally honest with his now infamous “vocal minority” comment. However, he never lost sight of the kids. Dave was blunt, tough but fair in all labor negotiations. He kept his promises and the board’s relationship with MNEA under his leadership was one of great respect and trust with a mutual concern for the future of this community–it’s youth. Dave has proven capable of making tough decisions in regards to improving the quality of education.

I am a little surprised that Dave resigned. I talked to him on Sunday and he was going line item by line item looking to cut the fat to restore $600,000 plus in cuts over the past six years. Dave knows that there is not one penny in the 2013-14 preliminary budget to restore or add a single program. I was surprised at the applause in passing the preliminary budget [on Tuesday night] knowing the only way the “vocal minority” would get the programs they want and need, is the way Dave was going about it. Then, I talked to Dave on Monday and all the paperwork was tossed into the fireplace. Why?

This was a very easy letter to write because it came from my heart. Our school board was lucky to have Dave for seven plus years. I think both sides of the table are going to find out early and often in this budget process that we need honest Dave around. Honor, trust, integrity, independence, commitment and hard work are just a few of Dave McGinley’s attributes. Thank you, Dave!

John McDevitt

MNSD School Board Member

George Nicholson February 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM
THIS SAYS IT ALL!!! About this column: Letters to the Editor are welcomed by Patch. The opinions expressed in letters are only that of the letter writer and do not represent Patch. The letters solely represent the views of the author and have not been edited other than to check for spelling errors. Send letters to the editor to marplenewtown@patch.com.
Jack DiPompeo February 15, 2013 at 09:00 PM
I agree with the heartfelt letter that John has written. I have known Dave for a long time and I can say while I did not always agree with him,.. I found him to be a man of his word. He always had the best interests of the kids and the citizens he represented. I do not believe the building project would have ever been completed with out Dave's steady hand to guide it. It appears there is something sinister going on with this board and i think we will all be sorry that Dave is not there to protect the rights of the taxpayers of Marple-Newtown Jack DiPompeo
Ann H February 15, 2013 at 10:02 PM
They are dropping like flies. . . .wonder why?

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