December 13th, 2011 by WCBC Radio
When the Cumberland Mayor and City Council makes a decision next week on whether or not to approve a three way land swap paving the way for a new Allegany High School at the old Sacred Heart site- only three council members will be allowed to cast a vote. The remediation of the current Allegany High School has stirred debate in recent weeks as officials have discussed a land swap, in which Western Maryland Health System would give the former 22-acre Sacred Heart Hospital site to the BOE in exchange for 40 acres of land near Constitution Park, owned by the city. A joint statement of support was issued last week by the council, the school board and the commissioners – but the city won’t formally vote on the proposal until their Dec. 20 meeting. Two council members; Mary Beth Pirolozzi and David Kauffman will not be permitted to participate in the vote due to conflicts of interest. Pirolozzi is a current member of the Health System’s Board of Directors, while Kauffman is employed by the Board of Education. Kauffman said he would have liked the opportunity to vote on the issue- which is viewed by some of the most significant matter handled by the current administration to date- but felt he should first check with the Ethics Committee. After a short review, Kauffman was informed last week that his employment with the board did in fact, represent a conflict of interest.