Archive for the ‘In Columbia’ Category
We just received an email from a Columbia news, views & reviews reader. The email contained a reader’s comment to the recent top of page one LNP – Always Lancaster article.
“Columbia is not an armpit. It has a certain reputation, true, but that has been changing in the past few years. Quietly, buildings and facades are being upgraded, community event attendance has been increasing, new restaurants and even a brewpub have opened. Turkey Hill Experience, the new riverfront park and trail head for the Northwest Trail that will run through Marietta to Bainbridge, an award-winning event venue (Perfect Settings), great tacos, pizza, and fried chicken, not to mention the popular Bully’s and Union Station restaurants, an amazing bakery (The Flour Child)…I could go on. More and more young couples getting started are moving there, too–try finding a mortgage for a nice house for less than $500 anywhere else in Lancaster County. I’ve lived there for 6 years and am constantly impressed by the friendliness and kindness of the people around town. There are still problems, but Columbia is turning around.”
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.
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.”
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 law enforcement to violate citizens’ rights to take pictures in public venues? See Cole Umber’s news site for more on this.
- 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?
- Is it ethical to fail to comply with or truthfully complete the state’s SEC-1 form?
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?”
“The 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.
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.”
Notice: Your contribution may prevent the continuation of these properties as “being marketed as Section 8 housing.”
Interestingly, both the borough of Columbia and the CEDC are $500-level supporters of the Lancaster Economic Development Corporation.
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.“
“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
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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
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.