All the councillors, the mayor and the borough manager we present for the special meeting of the Columbia Borough Council to interview and select a councillor to fill a vacancy created by a resignation.
The meeting was convened at 6:00 pm and adjourned at 7:17 pm. Only one citizen was in attendance.
Two persons, Frank Doutrich and Mary Wickenheiser, applied for the open position that has a term that expires at the end of December, 2017.
Both candidates have served on council before.
Following the interview process of both candidates, the councillors selected Wickenheiser.
Wickenheiser noted she’d have to resign from the position of tax collector to assume the position. Council will have to appoint a replacement within 30 days. There was discussion about the educational requirements of property tax collectors; here are the training requirements according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic
Doutrich used his “interview” time to point out codes inconsistencies, road irregularities and other problem areas. He said he really came to provide testimony for another citizen whom he thought was a candidate. When informed the only candidates were in the room, he chastised the borough for its lack of communication.
In another agenda item, the council voted to authorize a $100,000 payment to the Lancaster County Land Bank. The money is earmarked for Columbia’s projects. Council will introduce a new budget line item to reflect the allocation of funds.
Columbia, at this point, is the only borough partner in the Land Bank.In one of the few meeting minutes shown at the Land Bank’s Website, Columbia is mentioned. A citizen made a point that the Land Bank cannot claim any property by “eminent domain.”
Other discussion topics included:
- the reason for inspections of properties being sold before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.
- the chatter that exists on some social media sites. One councillor suggested that people should come to meetings rather than rely on social media for definitive answers.
- the borough is constructing a mayor’s office in the borough hall.
The meeting was adjourned and the councillors remained for a closed meeting to discuss personnel matters.
NOTE: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. To fully understand what happens at borough council meetings or school board meetings or any public meeting, you have to attend. Citizens and interested parties, otherwise, rely on secondary source reports – media articles, waiting for a period of time for the “official minutes” or catching the recollections and recounting of someone who may have attended the meeting.