Not all fine with nine

Pine Valley is a unique school district in our county. It is one of the few that has a Tractor Day celebration. Its students have an excellent work ethic and the community is closely connected to its successes.

One other unique trait is simply this: its school board has nine members, which is far too much.

In recent years in Chautauqua County, downsizing has been the name of the game. It began with the legislators in Mayville. After years of public outcry, the group finally went from 25 to 19. It later began with municipalities. Neighboring communities, such as Randolph and Perrysburg dissolved and now others, such as Forestville and Cherry Creek, have moved in the same direction.

Most government boards here, for better or worse, are made up of five members. Few are made of more, even fewer are made of less.

Pine Valley is one of those exceptions. Recently, it was proposed to reduce the number to seven. That is still a lot — and it may not happen.

Board member Larry Zollinger pointed out the last time it came up for vote, it failed. We’ve had nine (members) for 50 years and yes, we’ve had a temporary spike in resignations, but I think that things have settled down and we’ll be able to keep our members,” he said.

It’s tough enough to get two people to agree most days. Five is the norm — and nine seems to be just too many.