Citizens began arriving at the borough council chambers by around 6:40 pm; by the time the meeting was convened at 7:04 pm (AT&T time), between 40 and 50 people crammed into the available space at the borough hall at 308 Locust Street.
The numbers diminished during the two hour and 38 minute meeting, but just about half of them remained for the duration.
Most, it appeared, attended to voice their comments about two agenda items:
- a “grant and tax relief requests from Cimarron Investment, LLC in conjunction with the Clarion Hotel at the Chip Factory project located at 12 North 2nd St. and 161-163 Locust St.” and
- a citzen’s request to “a to address council with issues regarding Quick Ticket program.”
Borough Council Kelly Murphy quickly announced that the item concerning the “grant and tax relief requests” item would be tabled until a later meeting and would not be considered for approval at the meeting.
The council president also stated that council had long considered the concept of “Junior councillors” and introduced local students “Mya Black, Trinity Cover, Robert Misciagna and Madison Simpson as Junior Council Members.”
The purpose of a Junior Council is to give young adults experience in government and politics. The Junior Councillors were sworn in by the mayor and will be included by observing and, perhaps participating in council meetings, agendas, minutes, and taking on some public projects.
OPINION: The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs has lots of information about the “Junior Council Person (JCP) Program; it provides youth in your community with an opportunity to get engaged in borough government and develop leadership skills. It also allows borough officials to serve as mentors to students who will be future leaders in their communities. Since 2000, PSAB has been encouraging high school students to get involved in borough government by becoming a JCP. Since that time, hundreds of students have participated in the JCP Program in boroughs throughout PA.”
Glen Rock, PA has a Junior Council Person program and it’s spelled out at the Website. So, too, does Warren, PA and numerous other communities in Pennsylvania. Curiously, a cursory Internet search yielded lots of junior councillor programs, many in other nations — specifically African nations.
It’s unfortunate that the junior councillors were not recognized last night with a proclamation and an acknowledgement token of a certificate.
Rebecca Denlinger, the assistant borough manager and former consultant to the borough was sworn in as the borough manager.
The mayor announced the bike sale generated $419.25 that will be allocated to the Police Department’s bike fund.
“Really nasty graffiti” on the Route 30 bridge over Ironville Pike was the focus of one of the mayor’s statements.
The mayor also stated that another police department has offered to provide access to a “part-time, on-call” K-9 dog and handler.
So many issues were addressed at last night’s meeting, it will take some time to review our notes and digital recording of the meeting. We’ll have more on these agenda items
- the borough’s audit report;
- Citizen comments and observations on the Quick Ticket / Codes / Codes Department response;
- the borough’s hiring procedures and probable conflict with Equal Employment Opportunity rules and guidance;
- a former borough manager’s observations about recruiting, hiring, following the borough codes, due diligence processes; internal rate of return and return on investment and more;
- consideration of “veterans preference” in Columbia’s hiring practices;
- the closing of Colonial Metals;
- the importance of “returning calls” to Customers and Customer Service; and finding ways to add to Columbia’s retail community;
- what can Columbia do to provide assistance for its long-time residents? and
- what happened to the “promised” tax reduction following the borough’s assumption of the Sewer Authority’s assets?
EDITOR’S NOTE:Columbia news, views & reviews believes the best way for citizens and community shareholders to be informed about what has happened and what is planned is to attend the monthly meetings to get first-hand information. Otherwise, any reports about what happened and what was said will be “secondary source” reporting that may include subjectivity. News media reports and pass-along recollections from one to another will only include certain aspects of actionsa and conversations. And may not always be accurate! Official minutes, too, unless audio or visually recorded will be months away.
Wonderful dream! | It was stirring to see so many citizens participate in government last night. This Wonderful Dream song kept playing in our mind.