Residency of WASD School Board member in question

By: Todd Bartley has confirmed a current WASD school board member is no longer a resident within the boundaries of the Williamsport Area School District.

According to the Cogan Station home owner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “(WASD school board member) has stayed in my home after moving out of his previous downtown address and has not been around in some time.”

“He is back and forth to Florida dealing with his dad and stays (locally) with his girlfriend.”

During the most recent WASD school board meeting held virtually, the WASD school board member noted in this story appeared from a hospital room wearing a mask.

According to the WASD school board policy page under the menu labeled “004 Membership”:


Whenever a Board member is no longer a resident of Williamsport Area School District,

his/her membership on the Board shall cease.[15][21]” has confirmed the Hughesville/Picture Rocks area address of the home believed to be the actual current residence.

According to Lycoming County property records obtained by; the address bears several mortgages and loan satisfaction documents with not only the WASD school board members name but that of the girlfriend as well.

According to publicly posted social media accounts; the WASD school board member and his girlfriend recently became engaged.

Based on information gathered from Lycoming County voter services; when this WASD school board member sought election in 2017 the petitions submitted included a downtown Williamsport, Pennsylvania address.

As of yesterday, and to the best of the recollections of the Lycoming County voter services staff the WASD school board member has yet to request petitions for the upcoming election cycle.

According to a fact witness for this story who is prepared to produce a sworn affidavit under the penalty of perjury offered the following from a conversation between the WASD school board member and Tim Bowers (WASD Superintendent).

“Tim Bowers (WASD Superintendent) encouraged the WASD school board member to use the (Cogan Station) address because he needed him on the board.”


With this information coming to light; reached out to the PSBA (Pennsylvania School Board Association) for clarification on non-district residents serving on school boards.

Annette Stevenson, Chief Communications Officer for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association provided the following response on Tuesday afternoon:

“There is no provision of law that authorizes a school board to remove one of its members from office. Section 319 of the School Code allows (but does not require) a school board to declare the seat of a board member vacant and appoint a replacement when the member (1) neglects or refuses to be sworn in within 10 days of the beginning of their term; (2) fails to attend two consecutive regular meetings without one of the justifications specified in Section 319 (prevented by illness or necessary travel outside the district); or (3) while attending meetings, neglects or refuses to act in their official capacity as a school director. For constitutional reasons, this authority is more soundly viewed as action to recognize that the seat has been abandoned rather than a removal—formal recognition that the member has in essence removed herself by not doing the job.

Section 318 authorizes a court, upon petition of ten resident taxpayers, to remove and replace one or more members of a school board that fail to organize as required by the School Code, or refuse or neglect to perform any duty made mandatory by the School Code.  This procedure is recognized by the courts as constitutionally valid as an exception to the general rule under Article VI, Section 7 of the PA Constitution that public officials elected by the people may be removed for “misbehavior in office” only by the Governor with approval by 2/3 vote of the Senate after trial before the Senate. It is an exception because it existed in law prior to the first adoption of that general rule in the Constitution of 1873.

Under the PA Constitution, Article II, Section 7, a person who has been convicted of an “infamous crime” is thereby disqualified from holding public office. You must go to various court decisions to learn that “infamous crime” includes any felony, and any misdemeanor offense involving deception, fraud theft or similar crimes of “moral turpitude”. Surprisingly, you will not find this general disqualification or any definition of “infamous crime” stated in any statutory provision of the School Code, Election Code or any other Pennsylvania statute. The closest things in the School Code are Sections 323, 325 and 326, which disqualify from eligibility as a school director any person who has been convicted of offering or receiving bribes or who has been removed from any federal, state or local public position due to malfeasance in office (intentional wrongdoing).

However, the fact that anyone has been rendered ineligible by any of these offense does not in and of itself remove them from office or empower the school board to remove them or to declare their seat vacant.  The exclusive procedure to assess whether someone is ineligible for the office they hold and to obtain an order of removal (“ouster”) is a court action in “Quo Warranto”, which normally is brought by the local district attorney.

The same principle applies to ineligibility due to not meeting the age or residence requirements of Section 322, or that section’s prohibition on holding incompatible public offices.  

Section 91 of Title 65 of the Purdon’s statutes (65 P.S. §91) provides that whenever residence within a specified place is a necessary qualification for an office, moving out of that place operates as a forfeiture of that office.

And yet, an action in Quo Warranto still is the exclusive means for finally determining whether in fact the official has moved out of the required locality and declaring that the office has been forfeited, or, in the case of the age requirement, whether at the critical time (prior to the date of election) the person was of the necessary age or had resided in the school district for at least one year.

And, going back to Section 319, in many cases there may be a dispute about whether a board member’s absence from meetings was justified by sickness or “necessary” travel outside the district, about whether the failure to be sworn in on time was due to neglect or refusal, or about whether a board member’s action or lack of action at a meeting constituted refusal or neglect to act in their capacity as a school director. The weight of judicial authority indicates that Quo Warranto would be the exclusive means to conclusively resolve such disputes.  Thus, you could have the situation where the board has declared a seat vacant for one of those reasons and appointed a replacement, while the incumbent board member protests, claiming that the declaration of vacancy and appointment of a replacement both are invalid due to lack of a proper factual or legal basis, and that therefore the incumbent continues to hold the office. An action in Quo Warranto would be needed to conclusively determine which person properly holds the office—the incumbent or the replacement appointee.

If the board believes that the member has moved out of the district, it would ask the DA to look into it.  If the DA declines, and the Attorney General also declines, the district can initiate the Quo Warranto action.”

Multiple attempts to reach Dr. Tim Bowers, WASD Superintendent and the WASD school board member referenced in this story have gone unanswered.

This is a developing story on