The East Penn School Board decided on Monday to direct Superintendent Thomas L. Seidenberger to prepare a report about the feasibility of webcasting school board meetings on the school district website.
The decision came on a 6-3 split vote after a motion by Julian Stolz who, at the end of the meeting, was stunned.
"Oh my God, they approved one of my motions," he said.
The webcasting issue has surfaced in the past, with Stolz most recently broaching the topic during the board’s Sept. 24 meeting.
On Monday, Stolz reminded his fellow board members that several of them had spoken out in favor of webcasting during their campaigns for office.
Seidenberger said a report was done by the administration three to four years ago, but it would be necessary to update the information.
The superintendent also said he was willing to do a report without a vote by the board forcing him to do it.
However, Stolz said he preferred to make his motion directing Seidenberger to prepare the report. He also wanted the board to vote on it.
At that point, board Chairman Charles Ballard said he would like board solicitor Marc Fisher to contribute to the report -- to comment on any district liability issues with webcasting.
Board member Alan Earnshaw added that the superintendent’s report also should take into account that sometimes the board changes its meeting place when a larger audience is anticipated. For example, Earnshaw said, sometimes the board has met in the cafeteria.
But even after making those suggestions, Ballard and Earnshaw voted against Stolz’s motion directing Seidenberger to put together a webcasting report. The board vote was 6-3, with Francee Fuller joining Ballard and Earnshaw in voting against the motion.