Today’s news … Wednesday, August 17, 2016 | cheap property; Market House Manager RFP; Main Street Program, unchanged melody and more!

Today’s quote“Everything Tom said to me was ethical.” – Comment from the acting Columbia Borough School District superintendent in an article about last week’s school board committee of the whole meeting in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster. [NOTE: The primary purpose of minutes is to create an official record of the actions taken at a meeting. Minutes serve to both memorialize the actions taken for those attending the meeting as well as for those who were unable to attend the meeting.”]

sbd vacancyThis ad was published in The Hempfield Edition of The Merchandiser in June – it’s still pertinent.

Second Quote for today …  “It is worth while for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story.” – Livy, on Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. [Second note: A school board vacancy remains; here’s an opportunity for a Cincinnatus to step up and help do the right thing.

Third Quote for today … “It is up to the public to scrutinize these documents and protect taxpayer funds from being used to give benefits to superintendents and other top administrators in the 16 school districts in Lancaster County. The school board is not fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to protect the district’s taxpayer resources.” – Letter to the editor writer, Jeffrey Butch, in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster. He’s challenging the superintendent’s compensation in the Hempfield School District.

last week's newsColumbia’s last week news is in an article in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster! YES, THERE WILL BE A SCHOOL BOARD MEETING TOMORROW EVENING AT 7:00 PM – CITIZENS WANTING ANSWERS SHOULD BE THERE!!!!!

Here are the agendas from two committee meetings held last night: “Public Works and Property.”

pw agenda

property agendaThis is a phone camera shot; no supply of agendas was available or the supply was depleted.

So, it was kind of a double header at the Borough Council chambers; the Public Property committee meeting followed the Public Works Committee meeting. There may have been 10 or so folks in the gallery as the first meeting convened at 5:48 pm.

Again, the council members seem unaccustomed to using the microphone system that was just installed.

The Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) has been trying to offload the property at 509 Locust Street since June; it’s been “advertised” at the CEDC’s “almost as out-of-date-as-the-school-board’s facebook page.

cedc locust st property

At next month’s Council meeting, there’ll be a motion to accept one of three bids for the property: One for $10,000 – one for $7,500 and one for $5,000.

There is loose guidance about the conditions for the sale: “persons interested in owning and renovating the 509 Locust Street single-family residential property.” More loose verbiage about the property states that “letters of interest should be received not later than August 5.”

Understand the property is a “mess.”

Market House “Plan”

At the meeting, it was stated a  Request for Proposals (RFP) would appear in LNP – Always Lancaster today. It is not in the newspaper. Manheim Borough’s RFP is in the newspaper and at the Website: Manheim Borough is Seeking Proposals For Professional Auditing Services – 2016 Auditor RFP.

It is, as promised, posted at the Borough Website; according to the date on the RFP, it was issued on August 9, 2016:

Accepting Requests for Proposal for Consultant Market House Manager

Market House RFP

NOTE: In the RFP are several issues which “confuse” and “combine” the roles and narratives of an independent contractor and an employee. According to most legal findings, the assignment of responsibilities (e.g., defining the way an assignment is to be performed) classifies an employee rather than a contracted role. It’s always prudent to review and test against the “IRS 20 Factor Test on Employment Status.”

What’s the difference between an RFI, an RFP, and an RFQ? This Humboldt State University delineation offers the clearest and most succinct explanation.

A Request for Information (RFI) is used when you think you know what you want but need more information from the vendors. It will typically be followed by an RFQ or RFP.

A Request for Quote (RFQ) is commonly used when you know what you want but need information on how vendors would meet your requirements and/or how much it will cost.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is used when you know you have a problem but don’t know how you want to solve it. This is the most formal of the “Request for” processes and has strict procurement rules for content, timeline and vendor responses

100 percent The mayor’s thought near the end of the meeting was, in our opinion, a light bulb idea.

He said that in conversations with the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development that all municipalities asking for funding (grants, assistance, etc.) will be significantly enhanced if the entity can produce an orchestrated cohesive concept, like a Main Street Program.

“According to the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, “Main Street is a comprehensive, community-based approach to revitalizing downtowns and central business districts, which has been applied across the United States since the early ’80s.

“Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) serves as the official State Coordinating Program for Main Street, while the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) provides funding and management of Main Street in Pennsylvania.

“Main Street in Pennsylvania

“Our commonwealth has several dozen Main Street programs, all of which feature a unique programmatic focus and appreciation of their respective region.”

Columbia news, views & reviews has long opined about the benefits of a an orchestrated, cohesive strategy like a Main Street Program.

mt joyMain Street Mount Joy brings that town’s promotions together.

  • Wonder why folks charged with Columbia’s economic development don’t get a grip on marketing the town? In Mount Joy, they do … by offering free parking on their Fourth Friday.

fourth friday in another town

  • Manheim’s Main Street program: a video about economic development. [Note: Manheim’s Main Street Program has been discontinued, but “The organization is allowing other organizations – the Manheim Area Chamber of Commerce, Manheim Lions Club and the Manheim Central Foundation for Educational Enrichment – to expand on the programs it had established over the years, ‘so it’s not a loss for the community.’]

Didn’t see any Columbia news in LNP – Always Lancaster today under Municipal Briefs nor School Briefs – Saw a bunch from other municipalities and school districts.

“Let’s don’t tell anyone what’s happening – and they won’t get suspicious … and we’ll be able to slide a bunch of smarmy stuff that benefits a few of us and our GOBAG fiends through.”


last week's news 2

On the topic of last week’s (or last month’s) news, the unchanged melody at the Columbia Borough School District’s Website continues to tout the recently resigned school board president’s photo (with the title School Board President) on the splash page.

And this is a technologically-advanced district?

No draft agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting?

Unbelievable – how much disdain this Board has for its constituents and its students!



  1. WHY is the mayor quoted? Who needs his two cents? Just because he is the mayor does not make him a know-it-all on everything. There could be a poison ivy patch growing in Columbia and he will tell you it’s roses. The mayor wasn’t even at the meeting and neither was Strickler, yet quotes from both. Strickler was hired before August 9, the agenda that was published days prior stated that fact. LNP did not even spell Fran’s last name correctly.

    • Some writers go to the same old sources; others will follow journalism standards as this: “Journalists should deal in reliable facts, so it is important that the sources you use for writing stories can give you accurate information about what happened or what was said. But just as there are lots of different news events, so there are many different sources of information. Some of them will give you very accurate information and we call these sources reliable (because we can rely on what they say). Others are less reliable, but still useful, while some can hardly be trusted at all. The main way of judging sources of information is on their reliability.

      The Journalists Source (and our J-profs always harped on this): Ensure that your list also includes the most basic questions: Is the interview on the record? Even if you know the subject’s name (and presumably you do), you should always ask and confirm the spelling; if appropriate, get the name of his or her organization and title.

      But, hey, it is what it is. Isn’t it?

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