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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Paul Harvey’s kind of policeman

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on December 23, 2014 at 5:01 am

This video is making the rounds. It’s Paul Harvey’s tribute to the policeman – the law enforcement officers.

Harvey wrote the tribute in 1970; Harvey’s tribute comes about because his father was a policeman – a policeman killed in the line of duty.

“What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back. He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.

But  . . .  if the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting; if not, he’s a grouch. He must make an instant decision  which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But  . . .  if he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without  damaging his uniform and without being “brutal.”

If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully. A policeman must know everything—and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake. A  policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal—and tell you where the criminal is hiding. But . . . if he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce.

If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen—but refused to remember. The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius . . . for he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.”

All true enough for arguably one of the most difficult professions in the world. We want to look up to the person behind the badge – the person sworn to “protect and defend.”

But that was then and the climate is changed somewhat today. There are departments who have among their ranks police officers with drunk driving records; leaving the scene of an accident records and “reduced IQ requirements.” In 1970, most departments had “residency requirements” and police officers were members of the community. Times change and standards have changed as well.

The report shown below also identifies other differences and challenges departments encounter, including hiring “officers who were inadequately screened and, in a few notable cases, had criminal records prior to their police service.”

hiring police officers

Every citizen wants to have confidence that his or her police department is comprised of “Paul Harvey policemen.”

Agenda – Council meeting of the whole – December 22, 2014

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, People on December 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

As the council president tapped the gavel convening this last announced meeting of the year, fewer than a handful of citizens were in attendance, but a full complement of councillors, the mayor, interim borough manager and the financial manager began the proceedings at 6:05 pm.

The “not-exactly ho-hum” meeting was adjourned at 8:16 pm after which the mayor asked the councillors to join him in a private meeting in the chamber’s anteroom.

Look for more about the meeting’s items discussed tomorrow.


cotw agenda side oneBack

cotw agenda side two

Borough alerts citizens, others about holiday hours

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities on December 19, 2014 at 5:52 am

good job

Feed the ducks or don’t feed the ducks?

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, People, Uncategorized on December 15, 2014 at 6:25 am

A lingering thought about ethics and morality in governance struck yesterday when we watched as a man parked his car by the Long’s Park pond. He walked toward the posd and clapped his hands and all the ducks in the pond scurried from the water toward him. For the next five or so minutes he fed the waterfowl from a paper sack he carried.

ethics comp

If, as one source states, ethics are “a set of principles of right conduct or a theory or a system of moral values” … who is right in the above scenario. The folks who put up the signs asking park visitors to “not feed the ducks and waterfowl” or the guy feeding the wildlife.

If you ask the wildlife folks, they tend to agree, “Don’t feed the ducks.”

keep wildlife wild

If you ask the guy feeding the ducks, wonder what he’d say is his ethical reason for violating the park’s rules?

And on to “Ethical leadership: Doing the right thing.” in governance …

  • Is it ethical for one “not-for-profit” entity to ask for an exemption of borough fees?
  • Is it ethical for other “not-for-profit” entities to expect similar exemptions?
  • Is it ethical for a member of that “not-for-profit” to make the motion, vote on the motion and sit on the borough council?
  • Is it ethical for that same member of the “not-for-profit” and the council to suggest that “Borough turn over borough-owned property at 1020 Blunston Street to the CEDC so that organization could dispose of the property in a manner ‘like’ the Turkey Hill Experience and the riverfront properties.”
  • Is it ethical to be on the board of a “not-for-profit” entity and not be a contributing sponsor? To ask others to be a contributing sponsor?

a community economic development initiative?

In Everyday Living, Government, History and Heritage, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, People on December 13, 2014 at 6:35 am

A few weeks ago, several local information resources reported that the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) was granted an exemption by the borough council from paying the Dumpster Permit Fee; the CEDC’s stated intention was to have a dumpster placed in front of the Hotel Locust and Hotel Columbia for a few days. “The CEDC’s IRS reporting form 990-EZ shows its net assets or fund balances at the end of 2013 as nearly $65K. Could the CEDC have afforded to pay the borough’s fees?”

hands outThe Columbia EDC has bought the Hotel Locust and Hotel Columbia sites for $150,000. The nonprofit wants to find a developer who’ll bring new life to the adjoining structures.” – from a Lancaster Online article.

And maybe bring life to some adjacent and nearby properties? Like the one at 305 Locust Street? Or 307 Locust Street? 

Or the prime one at 301 Locust Street which, we understand, has been sold to another private-party developer?

  SOURCE: Cole Umber’s news site, ColumbiaPA17512, with permission.

And now the CEDC is reaching out to Columbia for more money to help it “support the revitalization of the Hotel Locust/Hotel Columbia.”

hands out cedc letter0001

Notice: Your contribution may prevent the continuation of these properties as “being marketed as Section 8 housing.”

give card

 Learn more about the composition of the CEDC here.

See the CEDC’s list of sponsoring contributors here.

Interestingly, both the borough of Columbia and the CEDC are $500-level supporters of the Lancaster Economic Development Corporation.

2015 borough meeting schedule, crosswalks, bagged meters

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on December 12, 2014 at 5:35 am

In today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, you’ll find the 2015 schedule of meetings for the borough listed in the Legal Notices in the classified pages. You can also find meeting times here.

2015 meetings


Small solace: In yesterday’s LNP – Always Lancaster, in the Police Log there was a blurb about two people in Lititz being struck by a driver who hit them while they were “within a crosswalk.” Both were taken to the hospital. The driver was cited for “failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.” Turns out that’s not really a big deal. Here’s what happens when a driver doesn’t yield the “right-of-way to pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

(a)Penalty for violation of Sec 3542

  • Fine of $50.00 plus costs
  • points on license

The pedestrians follow the law and are taken to the hospital; the driver breaks the law and gets a puny penalty. Are you shaking your head, too?

bagged meter

And Lititz encourages visitors and foot traffic to shop in its shops and stores. Bagged meters during the Christmas shopping season. No dumpsters, either.

Columbia Police Department’s facebook page comes alive

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities on December 11, 2014 at 6:12 am

This is the kind of communication citizens need to have. Great change at the Columbia Police Department’s facebook page.

We have received a complaint from a resident that they received a phone call from “The Columbia Borough Police Department”, requesting money donations. This is a SCAM. We do not call asking the public for money. Please advise your friends and family so they do not fall victim to this.

School Board sets 2014-2015 meeting dates

In Education, Government, In Columbia, Lists on December 11, 2014 at 5:48 am

The Columbia Borough School District’s Board of School Directors set the board meeting and committee meeting dates for 2015 as follows which will be held at the District office, 200 North Fifth Street, Columbia, PA 17512.” Click here to read this LEGAL NOTICE published at Lancaster Online.

The scheduled meetings are also posted at the School Board’s Website and shown below:

The following meeting dates were adopted at the Reorganization Meeting held Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7pm.  Please note that Committee meeting dates are subject to change based on the needs of the school board:

Meetings for December 2014:
Curriculum Committee - no meeting
Finance & Audit Committee - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6pm
Property Committee - Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Extracurricular Committee – Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6pm
Reorganization Meeting and Committee
of the Whole Board Meeting – Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 7pm

School Board Meeting- Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7pm

Meetings for January 2015:
Curriculum Committee – Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 6pm
Finance & Audit Committee- Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 7pm
Property Committee – Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6pm
Extracurricular Committee – Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 7pm
Committee of the Whole Board Meeting – Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 7pm (if needed)

School Board Meeting- Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7pm

Meetings for February 2015
Curriculum Committee – Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 7pm
Finance & Audit Committee – Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 6pm
Property Committee – Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 7pm
Extracurricular Committee – Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 6pm
Committee of the Whole Board Meeting – *Tuesday, February 12, 2015 at 7pm – business meeting for Preliminary Proposed Budget
(if needed)
School Board Meeting- Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7pm

Meetings for March 2015:
Curriculum Committee – Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7pm
Finance & Audit Committee- Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 6pm
Property Committee – Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 6pm
Extracurricular Committee – Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7pm
Committee of the Whole Board Meeting (if needed)

School Board Meeting- Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7pm
Read the rest of this entry »

Council appoints interim borough manager effective December 9

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opportunities, People on December 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

The borough council December meeting was convened at 7:01 pm; the entire council, the mayor, the counselor and the borough’s financial officer were in attendance as well as perhaps eight or so observers.

Soon enough, those in attendance learned that public works director, Ron Miller, was approved as the interim borough manager replacing the former manager, Sam Sulkosky. Sulkosky’s hiring was introduced as the borough manager at the May 13, 2013 council meeting.

Miller resigned as Columbia’s public works director at the end of 2010 to accept a position in York County. In July, 2011, it was announced he’d been rehired by Columbia Borough. Miller, it was announced by the borough’s finance manager, is not a Columbia resident. Miller will perform his interim borough manager responsibilities while maintaining his public works role; his compensation will remain unchanged.

Personnel committee chair, Mary Barninger, responded to a citizen’s question about the borough manager’s whereabouts. She said Sulkosky had “resigned” and the borough had come to terms with the former borough manager with a separation agreement that provided for approximately two months pay before taxes and medical benefits through the end of the year. She stated that the agreement was essentially “boiler plate” verbiage.

Finance committee chair, Kelly Murphy, announced there was no tax increase in the proposed 2015 budget. And, he said, there will be no staffing reductions of borough staff.

Agenda page one

council meeting agenda side oneAgenda page two

council meeting agenda side two

The council president asked at the meeting’s onset whether “anyone was recording the meeting.” Columbia news, views & reviews has been audio recording borough meetings in accordance with state law for years; Columbia news, views & reviews also provides copies of the recordings for persons who may have hearing disabilities or if requested.

In Pennsylvania, The Sunshine Law specifically states that public meetings may be recorded, “The Sunshine Act allows persons attending public meetings to record the proceedings with recording devices.” Click on the picture below and go to page 10 to read the portion of the Law that addresses recording devices. It also states “Persons who attend and verbally participate in public meetings must expect to have their statements recorded.”

The meeting, on the whole a “ho-hum” one, lasted until 7:54 pm.


Police facebook page shows activity

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opportunities, People on December 5, 2014 at 4:23 am
Please come out and show your support for a good cause.
Officer Bryan Keyser and Officer Brent Keyser will be playing in this event.
Photo: Please come out and show your support for a good cause. Officer Bryan Keyser and Officer Brent Keyser will be playing in this event.

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