Notes from the January 22, 2019 borough council meeting

council

Last night’s Columbia Borough council meeting demonstrated the beauty of the democratic system. In the second meeting of the month, meeting participants numbered more than 100 people — including residents, property owners, business owners, media representatives and others.

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The meeting was convened at 7:03 pm and ended at 10:37 pm. The full council was present; so, too, were the borough manager, one junior councillor, the mayor and the police chief.

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Representatives from Susquehanna Heritage, a regional non-profit organization, were on hand to present information about its management of Columbia’s River Park. Meeting attendees were provided with an eight-page Columbia Crossings 2018 Annual Report.

Here’s page two of that report.river park report

Hope Byers, Manager of Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, spoke about the economic impact and other metrics for the center. In her presentation she reported that 96,000 persons used the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail in 2018; though she did not claim that that reported number who used the trail began or ended in Columbia. The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail runs the 14.1 miles from Conoy Canal Park (Conoy Township) to Columbia.

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During the meeting, citizens stood to express their opinions; some expressed support council’s direction for the community while others spoke against the revolving loan program. Some said the property tax increase was unjustified; others supported the “meager increase.”

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Council accepted the resignation of Georgianna Schreck; her last working day with the borough will be Friday, February 1, 2019. Rebecca Denlinger, borough manager, will absorb the duties of the Right To Know officer for the borough. Denlinger also reported that, possibly as early as February, borough council meetings will be live-streamed.

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Councillor Cleon Berntheizel explained that a meeting at his facility on Second Street on Monday night was a Republican Committee meeting and not a council executive session when a citizen asked about a report that several councillors, the mayor and his wife and a local developer were seen.


Columbia news, views & reviews reminds citizens to be involved in local government. We believe it’s imperative in a free society to be knowledgeable about local government decisions. The best way to to that is to attend meetings. While it’s possible to glean bits and pieces from media resources, neighbors or others who attend meetings and minutes of meetings, many times those observations gained are subjective, abridged or adulterated. Live streaming and archiving the meetings is a giant step forward. Columbia news, views & reviews and Columbia Spy have been audio recording meetings for years.

5 comments

  1. Who the heck draws up a lease agreement for their property before they know how much the taxes will be on the property? And if the Boro had the fire station for several years now, why has it not been assessed?

  2. Oh this is interesting, the private meeting at the cafe after hours. So the councilman says it was a Republican Committee meeting. How many members of that committee were present? What was wrong with where they “normally” hold their meetings? Are the two councilmen who attended the meeting actually ON the committee? If not, why were they attending a meeting with only a partial board present? As potential endorsed candidates? And lastly, if this was a Republican Committee meeting, why was a local “developer” present who does not live within the Columbia Borough jurisdiction, has no voting right and cannot be considered as a candidate?

  3. Clarification: I have never called council idiots. As far as my use of the word arrogant, that is a description of the behavior and comments of a few of the six people that spoke at the meeting. I will leave the name-calling to the Republican councilman that is permitted to do it with impunity. I am more democratic than most because as a registered Democrat I have friends that are Republican, Independent, etc. I am more about the cause than the party. The affiliation is necessary to vote in the primary. Lastly, I do not begrudge anyone from their right to speak at a public meeting, it’s funny though how these experts come out of the woodwork and know everything when they have never been to meetings to hear it for themselves. Sharon Lintner

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