Tuesday’s news items [miscellaneous and slush funds; useful information; legal notice & more] – 11/12/2019

Miscellaneous | Did you notice there are little pocket line items in the current budget (the budget is in the council meeting packet here) assigned to “MISCELLANEOUS?” There’s a total of $17,000 in this line item across the entire expense budget. Funny that all of the accountants we’ve worked with over four decades disallowed a miscellaneous line item. We’ve looked at several other municipal budgets and don’t see miscellaneous expenses listed. Some say, “Having a miscellaneous line item isn’t necessarily a bad practice, but it’s unnecessary.” One problem may be that the miscellaneous line item can be viewed as a “slush fund.” Many accounts say, every line item must be identified.

Changes for 2020 budget | Council President Kelly Murphy sent along this comment, “Approximately two months ago, the council removed all miscellaneous line items from the 2020 draft budgets. No more ‘slush funds’ in budget.”

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”General Douglas MacArthur in a final speech to the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1962.

Useful information | About boroughs in Pennsylvania:

  • Boroughs have a strong and dominant council and a weak mayor. Other officials are appointed by borough council.
  • Council members — in most boroughs there are six, two for each ward. A borough not divided into wards has three, five or seven council members.
  • Mayor – has little power in a borough, except as head of the police department, if there is one. Votes only to break ties.
  • Many boroughs in Pennsylvania are now the landlocked older downtown core or business district of a region, surrounded by townships where the regional growth is taking place. Many boroughs suffer from aging infrastructure and little room for taxable growth, while providing and disproportionately supporting services such as fire stations, police departments, libraries, parks, sewers and water systems used by residents of the entire region.
  • Borough councils reorganize on the first Monday in January of even-numbered years, when they choose a president and vice president of council. – SOURCE: Reporter’s Guide to Pennsylvania Local Government


8 1/2 x 11 paper | “How did letter paper come to be 8.5 x 11 inches in size?”MarketPlace

The “evil liquid” | A letter-to-the-editor writer in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster proves it. Anyone can say, or write, anything in this already great nation. The letter writer writes: “So a call goes forth to picket the sellers of this evil liquid, and to shun the places where these things are consumed, and thus avoid contact with those under the influence of this deadly plague on our nation.”

LEGAL NOTICE | Published again in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster and posted at the Borough Website | “LEGAL  NOTICE – The Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Columbia will meet on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at 7:00 P.M., in the Municipal Building at 308 Locust Street, Columbia, PA, to consider the following application(s) and/or appeal(s): Cimarron Investments LLC is requesting special exceptions dimensional variances and/or use variances to establish a hotel and off-street parking on 12 North Second Street in the Downtown Commercial (DC) District; off-street parking facilities associated with the hotel on 131 Locust Street in the Downtown Commercial (DC) District in addition to the existing use of such lot; and off-street parking facilities associated with the hotel on 20, 28, and 30 North Second Street and 150, 152, and 156 Walnut Street, all of which are in the High Density Residential (HDR) District, with such off-street hotel parking being in addition to the residential or other structures and uses currently existing on such lots. If you are a person with a disability wishing to attend this meeting and require an accommodation to participate in the meeting, please contact the Columbia Borough Office at 684-2467 to discuss how the Borough may accommodate your needs.”


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