17512 Columbia

Archive for March 29th, 2012|Daily archive page

today’s news … Thursday, March 29

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 6:00 am

today’s news and information gleanings from here and there! 

Quote for today… “Violence sometimes may have cleared away obstructions quickly, but it never has proved itself creative.” – Albert Einstein

  • Citizens may think that a notice about tax collection updates would be on the Borough Website; citizens also may want to find the agenda and minutes from the February council meeting. They will be disappointed, though.
  • “Despite a number of signs telling people to wait, someone tried to pay property taxes at the Columbia Borough offices on Wednesday. But borough officials are reminding town residents that it will be Monday, April 2, until the borough resumes the collections. Columbia officials have said they can’t start collecting the taxes until after former tax collector Tom Vecchiolli closes his books with Lancaster County and they have time to learn the collection system. Columbia’s council had taken a series of steps Monday to enable the borough to collect the taxes, including appointing Borough Manager Norman Meiskey as tax collector. Residents who had tried to pay their 2012 property tax bills at Vecchiolli’s office on Cherry Street earlier this month saw a handwritten sign, notifying them he was no longer accepting payments. Anyone with questions can call the borough offices at 684-2467.” – MyColumbiaNews
  • Best Buy is closing 50 U.S. stores in fiscal 2013 and is looking to cut costs $800 million by fiscal 2015. A list of the stores to be closed was not immediately available. Best Buy said Thursday: ‘We will announce details about specific store locations and timing for closings once they are finalized.’” – USAToday
  • Who dat? featured in Pittsburgh Magazine OnLine:  “Two great collections make this village (Columbia) situated on the Susquehanna worth the visit. The National Watch & Clock Museum has a gallery commemorating the famous Hamilton Watch Co., housed in Lancaster County until 1984, with an overview of the ways humans tell time. Nearby Wright’s Ferry Mansion is the former abode of one of Pennsylvania’s most accomplished early residents, Quaker settler Susanna Wright. Her 1738 home is furnished with exquisite 18th-century American furniture and crafts. Book your room at Sheppard Mansion in Hanover. Don’t miss: Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen. Seriously.” – Congratulations, Sharon.
  • Surveillance exoneration. At the Tuesday council meeting of the whole – part II, the mayor fessed up that the surveillance cameras recorded no substantiation to the wildly irresponsible and insidious rumor that someone spit on the window of the then “Hub” for Fourth Friday  in Columbia. It’s interesting that these cameras were installed to catch the ne’er-do-well’s. Quite a turnaround!
  • Letters to the editors in today’s Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era are about hunting and guns and voting.
  • “Ah, those trusted staffers in non-profit organizations – “Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee defrauded at least 50 candidates, officeholders and political organizations out of $7 million in a scheme that dates back more than a decade, according to a court filing made Tuesday by federal prosecutors.” – USAToday

Who collects taxes across the county?

In Government, In Columbia, Lists on March 29, 2012 at 5:17 am

In a recent post about the tax collection situation in Columbia, there was a link to the Lancaster County Tax Collectors’ Listing at the County’s Website. That link listed the 2011 collecting agencies and individuals; here is a link to the 2102 listing.

Yesterday, Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. published an article (“Meiskey will collect taxes”MyColumbiaNews) announcing that the Borough would assume the role of tax collection agency for borough tax payment. In Lancaster County, five of the 18 (28%) boroughs collect their own taxes. Another 28% have a local tax collector do the task of tax collection. Eight boroughs have tax collection duties to the Lancaster County Treasurer.

Population figures, US Census 2010 and *- estimated figures from city-data.com

Curiously, Pennsylvania’s laws do provide for a tax collector for each jurisdiction; here again is the link to the Tax Collector’s Manual … in case you want to consider running for tax collector next time that office is on the ballot.

What’s the pay? You would have to get that information from the borough, but if you assume seventy-five cents per taxable property (3,772, according to the article) plus associated fees and charges, that could be in the area of $3,000 a year. Right now, that might translate into a new revenue stream for the borough.

This is for those citizens who vote.

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on March 29, 2012 at 4:23 am

Pennsylvania Voter Identification Bill

House Bill 934, also known as the Photo Voter ID bill, which requires Pennsylvanians to produce photo identification when they vote, has now been signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett.


  1. The law goes into effect immediately
  2. Photo ID will not be required for the primary election on April 24
  3. Voters will be reminded that the a photo ID will be required for the election on November 6

For the General Election in November and forward:

All photos must be current and include an expiration date, unless noted otherwise. Acceptable IDs include:

  • Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of PA Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (Please note: IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past the expiration date)
  • Valid U.S. passport (not expired)
  • U.S. military ID – active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
  • Employee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, County or Municipal government (not expired)
  • Photo ID cards from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university (not expired)
  • Photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes (not expired)

If you do not have one of the IDs listed above and require one for voting purposes, you may be entitled to get one free of charge at a PennDOT Driver License Center.

To find the Driver License Center nearest you, and learn what identification and residency documentation you will need to get a photo ID, visit www.VotesPA.com or call 1-877-VotesPA (1-877-868-3772). Also, you can learn how to vote if you have a religious exemption to having your photograph taken.

Please note: NO ONE legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to do so. If you do not have a photo ID or are indigent and unable to obtain one without payment of a fee, you may cast a provisional ballot, and will have six days to provide your photo ID and/or an affirmation to your county elections office to have your ballot count.

EDITOR’S NOTE #1: This is particularly applicable for those elected “public servants” and others with very irregular voting records.

EDITOR’S NOTE #2: This is particularly important for those who want to change to an improved and ethical governing body in Columbia!