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Lack of notice cancels meeting

City tower notifies official that meeting not advertised; mayor was to address board.

City towing business operator Bob Kadluboski

BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton

BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER

WILKES-BARRE – A much-anticipated Wilkes-Barre Area School Board meeting set for noon Wednesday was canceled after the board realized it had not been advertised as required by state law.

The meeting was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.

A small crowd that included Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton and his frequent political nemesis, city towing business operator Bob Kadluboski, had gathered for the meeting at the district administration building when Assistant Solicitor Ray Wendolowski came into the room with the news. Wendolowski said the problem was caused by a “clerical error” and was unintentional.

Dressed in a dark suit and sporting the shaggy start of beard he credited to time on vacation, Leighton declined comment on his presence other than to say he had some items he “wanted to discuss with the board.”

Leighton has been trying to get the board to forgive $445,000 in back taxes owed on the former Old River Road Bakery. The board rebuffed the request in the past, and members have increasingly chided Leighton for coming to them at the last minute with such requests.

Previous owners defaulted on a mortgage and a bank had assumed ownership. The bank then transferred the property to Wilkes-Barre for $1 in 2008.

Leighton had arranged to sell the property to Leo A. Glodzik III, owner of LAG Towing – the city’s contracted tower – and a contributor to Leighton’s election campaigns. The city did not advertise the property was for sale.

The sale has been staunchly opposed by Kadluboski, who had signed a sheet acknowledging he wanted to address the board.

Wendolowski said it was Kadluboski who notified him that the meeting had not been advertised. After the meeting was canceled, Kadluboski criticized the decision to hold the Friday meeting at 8:30 a.m. He argued that it denied the public the chance to comment on board actions and called it “a fix.”

Agendas prepared for the meeting made no mention of the property.

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