a few Town Hall meeting notes

40 to 50 people were assembled at the Columbia Consolidated Fire Company on 10th Street last night; the assembly included the mayor, police chief, most of the councillors, the borough manager, the borough codes officer, the school board president, the planning commission chairperson and a few other presenters.

The Town Hall meeting convened by the mayor is the second installation; last night’s meeting focused on What has been done since the first meeting and “where do we go from here?”

The mayor began by sharing projects that are moving along: the River Park building; the 441 bypass of the downtown and the Bridge lighting.

The police chief showed a Power Point that included notes about the police department’s staffing (16 full-time police officers and four part-time); the volume of calls and the primary problems: abuse of prescription drugs, heroin use and arrests, burglaries and copper thefts. He also asked citizens to call the police department to report crimes or incidents. He said the police department is using facebook to communicate with citizens and, as a result of a recent seminar he attended, will engage citizens with increased use of social media. He also stated that the borough engages more than “20 cameras” and will add two more in designated “high crime areas.”

The mayor than showed photos of juveniles violating property in the little Park at Locust and Fifth Street.

Several citizens made observations and citizen comments concerning the reactivation of a “neighborhood watch” program; asking for information about the K-9 officer (it costs the police department’s budget over $8,000 annually to pay for the K-9 officer’s care, feeding and training of Max); the “half-price” police puppy and the lack of timely police department response to a citizen’s call to the police department.

In the two and one-half hour meeting, the presenters touched on issues, challenges, successes and opportunities for the borough’s residents. Columbia news, views & reviews will address several of these in future posts.

In the meanwhile, less than one-half of one percent of Columbia’s adult population attended last night’s town hall meeting. If you had a cold or were not feeling well or you were working or coaching your child with homework or serving as a care-giver or other wise missed the meeting or you were unable to clearly hear what was uttered by some of last night’s presenters … and want to hear what was said, contact Columbia news, views and reviews to ask for a copy of the recorded digital file.

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