Parkland School Board Director Patrick Foose announces run for re-election
SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — Parkland School Board Director Patrick Foose is running for re-election.
The seat is among six on the board that will face an election this year.
Foose said in announcing his candidacy to LehighValleyNews.com that he wants to run because he wants to continue to push for more transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility on the board.
- Parkland School Board Director Patrick Foose is running to keep his seat in the upcoming election
- Foose recently has clashed with other board directors and has been the lone dissenting vote on several issues related to transparency on the board
- He did not say whether he plans to campaign with anyone else, but said he has “a plan in the works to help flip this board”
- Six seats on the board will face an election this year
“I feel that while I made some great groundwork with what I wanted to achieve, there's still more to be done in the realm of transparency, accountability and this fiscal conservatism when it comes to the board's spending,” Foose said.
Foose was elected to the board in November 2019. He recently has clashed with other board directors and has been the lone dissenting vote on several issues related to transparency on the board.
“I feel that while I made some great groundwork with what I wanted to achieve, there's still more to be done in the realm of transparency, accountability, and this fiscal conservatism when it comes to the board's spending."Patrick Foose, Parkland School Board Director
Foose said that if he’s re-elected, he would advocate replacing the board’s committee structure with workshop meetings that would be open to the public.
He said he also wants meeting agendas to be published at least 72 hours in advance and to limit the number of outside entities on which board members can serve.
Foose and board transparency
Foose repeatedly has said he believes the school board should be more transparent. He has been the lone dissenting vote on certain issues because of these concerns, such as the recent appointment of Director Robert “Bob” Bold.
Foose said he thinks the board’s process for appointing Bold violated state transparency law and he would support a lawsuit against the district.
Discussions about transparency at board meetings have often become contentious. Former board President David Hein said at the meeting to appoint Bold that he was angered that the integrity of the board and its members continues to be questioned by Foose.
Newly elected state Sen. Jarrett Coleman also raised transparency concerns when he was on the board. He voted with Foose on issues such as the purchase of an $80,000 aquatic scoreboard, but Coleman resigned from the board after he was elected to the Senate.
Foose said the board would have to have a “new majority” for any of his proposed changes to be made. He did not say whether he plans to campaign with anyone else, but said he has “a plan in the works to help flip this board.”
Foose’s other actions on the board
Foose said that as chairman of the board's Buildings and Grounds Committee, he led the effort to keep the prices of school lunches the same when the administration proposed raising them.
Foose also advocated for the school board meetings to be livestreamed. He said other board directors seemed to be opposed to it when he first raised the issue, but then the pandemic happened. Now, all board meetings are livestreamed.
Foose said he is the first member of the school board who openly has a learning disability — he said he is autistic and has ADHD.
“I'm very proud of the advocacy and work I've done to help ensure that the special education department is in tip-top shape,” Foose said.
The upcoming election
Among the six seats on the school board that will be on the ballot in 2023 will be board President Carol Facchiano, Vice President Marisa Ziegler, and directors Jay Rohatgi, Lisa Roth and Robert Bold.
Bold said when he was appointed that he does not plan to run to keep his seat in November.
Ziegler also announced her re-election campaign this week. Other board members have not said whether they intend to run in November.