17512 Columbia

Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

pick a number … any number

In Everyday Living, Government, Lists on September 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm


One of the seemingly ever-present components of getting folks to give money to you is the subterfuge of economic impact numbers. Take a look at this article from The Atlantic.

The economic impact analysis (EIA) examines the effect of an event on the economy in a specified area, ranging from a single neighborhood to the entire globe. It usually measures changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs.

The same is true when speculation turned into reality-of-sorts about the economic impact that might result from the projected visitors to the Turkey Hill Experience and then, too, Columbia.

THE 1Turkey Hill Experience Website, Baltimore Sun article, April, 2013

“’This old shell of a building will be transformed. By the time it’s opened in April 2011, we’ll have 250,000 visitors a year coming to Columbia,’ said John Cox, Turkey Hill Dairy executive vice president, speaking at the event.” – Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. article, August, 2010

THE 2Turkey Hill Experience Website, Lancaster County Magazine, July 2011

“Roberts, who developed a similar complex for Binney & Smith’s Crayola division in Easton during the mid-1990s, predicts the Columbia attraction would draw 250,000 to 350,000 visitors per year.” – Harrisburg Patriot-News article, September, 2010

“The Dairy anticipates it will attract more than 250,000 visitors a year.” – Turkey Hill Experience Website, news release, February, 2011

“If the destination hits its projected attendance of 250,000 visitors a year, it would be among the busiest tourist attractions in Lancaster County.” – Lancaster Farming, June, 2011

THE 3Turkey Hill Experience Website, North Penn Life, July 2011

“With a projected presence of 250,000+ annual tourists, the site will enhance economic vitality for complimentary businesses and industry throughout the local area.” – Columbia Economic Development Corporation Website

THE 5Extracted from the grant application for the Experience.

“Roberts, who developed a similar complex for Binney & Smith’s Crayola division in Easton during the mid-1990s, predicts the Columbia attraction would draw 250,000 to 350,000 visitors per year.” – Lancaster Online, September, 2008

THE 6Extracted from Lancaster County Planning Commission Report, January 2011.

THE 4Chamber of Commerce newsletter claim of the number of “impressions” a message on the digital sign at the eastbound exit of Route 30.

At Monday night’s council meeting, Columbia Market House’s market manager petitioned the Council for financial support to enter into a collaborative marketing initiative with the Turkey Hill Experience. She said the Turkey Hill Experience manager, Bob Adams, claimed 90,000 people have visited the attraction so far this year and the year-end total of visitors will be 150,000.

No wonder one or two councillors and several in the gallery wondered aloud whether the joint endeavor was as good as it sounded.

Coming up: more on the numbers of economic development.

Surprise – surprise

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities on September 16, 2015 at 7:31 am

So the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Education visits with Columbia’s school superintendent 

and it doesn’t merit notice at the district’s Website.

BUT … there are two posts at the Columbia Police Department’s facebook page.

Group to present “movie under the stars” at River Park on September 26

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opportunities on September 16, 2015 at 7:13 am

Bring your blankets, bring your lawn chairs … to Columbia’s River Park to watch a “movie under the stars.”

Saturday, September 26.

The NeverEnding Story (A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.) – family fun – SOURCE: IMDB


At Monday’s council meeting, an agenda item II, e, included a presentation from Beth Troxell about a community-building event slated for Saturday evening: an outdoor movie in the park for families.

Troxell elaborated about a community-building event that she and others will be holding at Columbia’s River Park on Saturday,September 26 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. She said that she’d visited a town in New Jersey where the event is highly successful.

Lots of New Jersey’s communties, in fact, hold ongoing summer “movies in the park” events according to this website.

“What’s better than watching movies under the stars? Watching free movies under the stars. So save some money, spend a little time outdoors, and take in a family-friendly flick. If the kids get restless, they can always take a break and look for lightning bugs. Have fun out there! (While most movies listed here are rated G or PG, some may be PG-13 or have heavier themes for kids, so remember to check before you go.)”

Troxel, who introduced herself as the new market manager of the Columbia Market House, approached the council and told them there are significant costs associated with the showing of the movie. She said she was looking for approximately $1,300 and continued that the Parks and Recreation Board had promised to pony up the $1,300. Councillor Jim Smith, also a member of the Parks and Recreation Board (as well as the Columbia Economic Development Board), had several questions and issues about whether the Board had enough money to cover a project as this. Discussion ensued and it appears that the Board chair and the Board had approved funding the movie in the park on September 26.

Someone mentioned that Lititz also has movies in the park; Lititz’s movies in the park are sponsored by a Lititz retirement community.



Agenda from tonight’s borough council meeting

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists on September 14, 2015 at 11:55 pm

The September meeting began  at 7:04 pm with the entire council present as was the mayor, the solicitor, the interim borough manager and the finance director. The room was filled with citizens – many of whom had discussion topics that were shunted to the end of the meeting because theirs were not “agenda items.”

The end of the meeting came, finally, at 11:09 pm. Largely, those remaining were citizens who had real concerns about:

  • slum landlords who seem to operate with impunity … certainly with impunity from the codes department.
  • why landlord Sam Bigler appears to have to not comply with obvious codes infractions. One citizen offered: “Sam Bigler is the blight of my neighborhood.”
  • letters that have been sent to certain retail establishments that sell previously owned merchandise and law enforcement presence in the 400 block of Locust Street. The mayor contended that the police are too busy going to people’s homes where there are people getting beat up and robbed.

Agenda page 1

09-14 council meeting0001Agenda page 2

09-14 council meeting0002

The above agenda items were approved by the councillors.

Columbia news, views & reviews regularly reminds readers to attend meetings to get unfiltered first-person information as it happens.

Reading reports or listening to second-hand information from someone who may have been at the meeting provides, at best, superficial and selective accounts of what actually transpired or was said.

Due to time constraints and other early morning, out-of-town obligations, Columbia news, views & reviews is unable to provide a more detailed report of what happened at tonight’s meeting. More details will be coming in a day or two.

the consistency of inconsistency

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities on September 13, 2015 at 8:15 am

There is a borough council meeting tomorrow night – that is consistency!

There are indications the gallery will have more people in attendance than usual.

con and incon

Inconsistency is when someone repeatedly says, “We’ll put that on the facebook page.” Then they don’t. (NOTE: The Columbia Police Department’s facebook page has had zero posts during September.)

Inconsistency is when, in February, someone says, “… the Police Department is close to having a new application called ‘CrimeWatch.‘” It’s seven months later, it’s still not live.

Repeated instances of codes personnel not adhering to published codes; more inconsistency.


Back in July, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this: “According to Agenda II, 11-a on the Columbia Borough Council Meeting of the Whole on July 27, 2015, ‘Janice Nikoloff of the CEDC will be doing a presentation at the Borough Council meeting on August 10, 2015 regarding the Columbia Targeted Economic Development Plan.’ – There was no mention of the announced presentation at the August 10 meeting.

There’s a “missing persons” post at a Columbia facebook page stating “We have filed a missing person report with the police.”

In August, we posted this list of promises (strategies) from the Columbia Economic Development Corporation’s (CEDC):

CEDC strategies identified for 2Q 2015 implementation – UPDATE –


And now as the end of 2015-Q3 is in sight (only 17 more days), here’s the list of strategies that were targeted for attention and/or completion by the end of September.


zero hero

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, People on September 10, 2015 at 7:10 am

Zero! None! Nada! Zilch!

Despite the tens of times the mayor has promised in council meetings that “he’ll have the police chief” inform citizens about borough happenings using the police department’s facebook page, the facebook page is largely devoid of current information that citizens would find helpful and useful.

Despite the promises, none is the number of social media posts the Columbia Police Department has posted at its  during September so far.

action items

Despite the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report that police departments engage citizens by using social media, Columbia’s Police Department remains lethargic.

Despite the promise that the police department will soon have a group page on the increasing used CrimeWatch Website, Columbia’s police department is not listed.

West Hempfield Township – Manor Township – New Holland – Manor Township – Northern Lancaster County Regional – Strasburg – East Cocalico Township – East Hempfield Township – East Lampeter Township – Ephrata and Lititz: Each of these municipalities has a group page at the Crimewatch Website,



In June, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this: “Way back in February, we posted these items from the mayor following the February Council meeting of the whole: ‘Number 2 … He announced that the Police Department is close to having a new application called “CrimeWatch.” He said that a number of communities have signed up with CrimeWatch (click here or on the graphic above to see area departments) to share the daily police log information – the arrests, the warrants, the news about policing and safety – not only for the Borough but for other areas too. He said the pictures that now hang on the windows of the police station will be online. Number 3 … He said information about the above – the first two tidbits – would be posted at the Columbia Police Department’s facebook page. That’ll be a welcome addition for borough citizens – though there’ve been only 1o posts since the beginning of the year. 55 days and only 10 posts! We applaud the announced transparency and communication that’s been promised.’ The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Bring on the pudding.”

Community policing seems to be showing results in Bethlehem

In Everyday Living, Government, Opportunities on August 30, 2015 at 8:06 am

“That means police are expected to get out of their patrol cars when possible, walk through neighborhoods, meet people and talk to them.” – The Reading Eagle

Norman-Rockwell-The-Runaway-Norman Rockwell recruited Stockbridge neighbors, including state trooper Richard Clemens and 8-year-old Eddie Locke, to model for The Runaway. (The Norman Rockwell Family Agency) – Smithsonian Magazine

“The Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office is supporting national efforts to implement the recommendations outlined in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report. The Task Force recommendations provide meaningful solutions to help law enforcement agencies and communities strengthen trust and collaboration, while ushering the nation into the next phase of community-focused policing. The Task Force recommendations are divided into six pillars:”


But what about policing those kids in the park? Another town wrestles with that, too.

“Before we go for new tax dollars, let’s squeeze every penny out of what we have: Mike Folmer”

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities, People on August 30, 2015 at 7:16 am

“Government just doesn’t seem to be able to say ‘no’ to spending, turning to the taxpayers to find ways to get them to give more – more for continued spending and borrowing.”

This PennLive opinion column by State Senator Mike Folmer, makes so much sense as he identifies a major problem with government – at the federal level, the state level and the local level – as it demonstrates regularly that it has a spending problem.

“Unfortunately, it never seems to be enough and government works to find creative ways to generate more revenues rather than looking for ways to cut. Government just doesn’t seem to be able to say ‘no’ to spending, turning to the taxpayers to find ways to get them to give more – more for continued spending and borrowing.”

School districts, too, tend to follow this “having an elephant for a pet” pattern as they seem to find ways to spend first. One of the easier ways to tackle the spend, spend mantra is to incorporate “zero-based budgeting.” That’s one of the 500 cost reduction strategies listed in this report.

cost saving

2016 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opportunities on August 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Local Gov Award photo

Have local government leaders in your community demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving public services through innovative projects or initiatives?

If so, the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services (GCLGS) wants to hear about it! Each year, the GCLGS presents the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence in recognition of successful undertakings that may serve as inspiration or as best management practices for local government officials throughout Pennsylvania.

Nominations for the 2016 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence will be accepted from September 1, 2015, through December 1, 2015, and may be submitted for one or more of the following award categories:

  • Building Community Partnerships
  • Responding to Adversity
  • Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization
  • Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives
  • Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices
  • Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation
  • Information Technology
  • Health and Wellness Initiatives

Please visit newPA.com/lgawards to learn more about the judging criteria for each category, as well as to view the award winners from prior years and to submit a nomination during the timeframe specified above.

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development news item

How about some information about police department regionalization?


It’s a Community Yard Sale in Columbia – Save the date!

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opportunities on August 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm

community yard sale


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