So it is possible …
Archive for the ‘Government’ Category
Wow, there’s a public pat on the back.
The editorial in today’s “hold-it-in-your-hands” LNP – Always Lancaster is hammering Mount Joy’s lack of transparency with its citizens .
“That’s a complete turnaround since March when Columbia charged an LNP news correspondent $32 for the board packet five days after a meeting,” the editorial continues.
Government entities need to know that the citizens in this representative democracy are the Customers. Government exist only to serve and protect Customers.
Why are these “elected public servants” seemingly trying to hide things from the folks they’re pledged to “protect and serve.”
Each of them takes this oath: “”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.” – Maybe some of them ought to re-read these documents!
“Providing excellent services to citizens, businesses and other organizations is integral to most federal agencies’ missions. However, agencies have not always put the needs of their customers first when designing and delivering services. And they have not always embraced the latest technology to ensure that their customers are receiving the best services possible.” – Serving Citizens | Strategies for Coustomer-centered Government in the Digital Age.
that anyone in government is looking out for the “average citizen.”
This comes from freepress.net.
BAD NEWS: According to several news reports, the FCC has voted to approve the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger.
With Chairman Tom Wheeler at the helm, the agency ignored hundreds of thousands of people like you who urged it to block this disastrous deal. Instead of standing with the people who use the Internet, he sided with the companies that want to control it.
Here’s Where Things Stand:
Charter now rivals Comcast in size. Together the two companies will offer service to nearly 80 percent of U.S. households. In more than half of Charter’s territory, customers will have no other real option for bundled broadband and pay-TV services. Without real competition, Charter can charge whatever it wants.
And Charter has to charge more: This deal is saddling it with nearly $27 billion in new debt. To repay that, Charter will have to raise its already steep prices. This merger will hit low-income communities and low-income people of color the hardest, forcing many offline.
The FCC attached various conditions to the merger. But know this: No conditions can make this deal OK.
What the Decision Means for You:
If you’re a Time Warner Cable customer, you can say hello to Charter’s much higher prices, which currently start at $40/month for the first year of service and jump from there. While it isn’t clear when Charter will implement the rate hikes, the company needs to pay off its debt. It will do that by charging customers more.
If you’re breathing a sigh of relief because you’re not in the Charter-Time Warner Cable orbit, well — don’t. Because this merger gives Charter so much market power, it will be able — along with Comcast — to influence what all providers charge for broadband and cable. This means you can expect your already high rates to get even higher. What’s more, this deal will have grave impacts for the online video market — hurting consumers seeking to cut the cord.
Go to FreePress.net to find out what you can do to help undo this travesty ruling.
Next, remember to vote against any incumbent. It’s time to start anew!
Remember Comcast and Charter “openly” write checks to the “elected public servants.” Look at the numbers at OpenSecrets.org.
Who knows what is not openly done?
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. – SOURCE: The Declaration of Independence.
The Pennsylvania Department of the Treasury published a bunch of pages in newspapers across the commonwealth with lists of people’s names; people who are owed money by the state.
The Treasury Website states: “We currently seek the owners of $2.3 billion in unclaimed property. Remember, we will always help you recover your property free of charge. 1 in 10 residents have unclaimed property waiting for them – do you?”
The list contains a bunch of residents and businesses in the 17512 zip code.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced it will be activating a new type of left turn signal that has been proven to improve left turn safety at intersections.
Flashing Yellow Arrow signals are new to Pennsylvania but they have become commonplace in many states across the United States over the last 10 years. Based on many national studies and transportation agency testimonials, Flashing Yellow Arrow signals improve left-turning safety by helping motorists recognize that they should yield while making left turns when there is oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
According to research funded by the Federal Highway Administration, left turn crashes can be reduced by as much as 20 percent after the installation of the Flashing Yellow Arrow signal. Also, Flashing Yellow Arrow signals can be adjusted depending on the time of day, reducing delays and improving mobility.
The current signal configuration features a green left arrow to allow left turns followed by a yellow arrow and then a circular green indication. The new configuration will feature four left turn arrows:
- Steady green left arrow meaning the left turn is protected and oncoming traffic is to stop.
- Flashing yellow arrow meaning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before completing the left turn.
- Steady yellow arrow meaning left turns should stop because the signal is about to change to red.
- Steady red arrow meaning left turns must stop and cannot proceed.
Remember the famous Arte Johnson line?
So, how come the Columbia Borough School Board has so many “executive sessions” with one and two word narratives … in the shadow of the admonition to the Manheim Township School Board’s hiding information?
And how come, the School Board has the temerity to lay so many rules including “announcement of their name, address and group affiliation if appropriate?” transparency rules on citizens? Who determines the appropriateness?
And why can’t citizens find the April 18 memo written by Acting Superintendent Klawitter, “Exploration of District Partnership between Columbia Borough School District and Eastern Lancaster County School District”, at the Borough Website?
Not to worry, citizens may find out the specifics at the May Board meeting; the memo states:
“We intend to provide more detailed analysis and information at the May 2016 Board Meeting so that a decision can be made in a timely manner leading into the summer months and new fiscal year.”
“What does a state attorney general actually do? Read this before you vote in the Pennsylvania primary” – Public SourceIn Government, Uncategorized on April 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm
“Most former PA attorneys general have been criminal prosecutors. But the AG’s office does so much more.”
“The Pennsylvania attorney general is the state’s top lawyer. The office can bring down drug rings, investigate public corruption and it defends the state when it is sued.
“The attorney general is also a political figure, working with the governor and the Legislature to reform state drug laws, its prison system and to combat the state’s heroin epidemic.
“Most of the modern, elected Pennsylvania attorneys general have been former prosecutors — either district attorneys or U.S. Attorneys. Television ads that mention a candidate is tough on crime can reinforce the perception that the attorney general’s job is to put criminals behind bars — almost like a statewide district attorney.
“However, that view doesn’t capture the vast responsibilities of the attorney general’s office. In addition to investigating criminal operations, the attorney general’s office looks into scams targeting seniors, violations of the state’s clean air and water laws and evaluates whether mergers break antitrust laws.
“On April 26, voters in both parties will have a choice for attorney general. Do the voters prefer a candidate with political experience or a candidate who’s been a prosecutor?”
Continue reading this article at Public Source.
“One of our most valuable and underutilized resources in state government is data,” said Governor Wolf. “Our goal is to make data available in order to engage citizens, create economic opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, and develop innovative policy solutions that improve program delivery and streamline operations.”
Open data refers to data in a format that can be understood by a computer and used freely by anyone. In Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia and the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center established by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the University of Pittsburgh have released 450 data sets on topics including public safety, housing, health and human services and transportation. By releasing state data, it increases the ability for researchers, businesses and citizens to find innovative solutions to improve public and private services.
“Making government data easily accessible benefits the public in many ways,” said Erik Arneson, Executive Director of the Office of Open Records. “Experience has shown that a good state-level open data portal will lead to cost savings for the government, opportunities for businesses, and more information for citizens. I applaud Governor Wolf for taking this important step.”
The Governor has directed the Office of Administration to establish a central repository to serve as the common location for open data published by state agencies. The Office of Administration will also work with agencies to identify, secure, and release valuable data sets. The executive order requires agencies protect sensitive information. The new site is expected to be ready this summer and will continue to expand as new types of data are added.
“Over time, we believe that open data can provide a faster and more efficient way to deliver data to those who need it, and create opportunities for data analysts, entrepreneurs and technology developers to leverage our data and services in new and innovative ways.”
To read the executive order, click here.
SOURCE: news release
Among the issues for discussion and intended action for the Columbia Borough Council meeting slated for Monday, March 14 is the “Floodplain Management Ordinance requiring all persons, partnerships, businesses, and incorporations to obtain a permit … ” – Lancaster Online
Notice all the chatter about the razing of the trees at River Park? And the comments about new ones being planted in the spring. How long does it take for a tree to get to be the size of the downed ones? Depends, but lots of folks may not be around to see the growth. Here are the “fastest growing trees.”
Kind of disturbing to know there are some “elected public servants” who would rather blindly follow party tripe than follow the intent of the Constitution. Among the beautiful, lasting tributes to our form of government is that positions in the branches of government can be filled in an orderly manner. The appointment process has precedent.
“Nobody listens to us!”
The divisiveness in politics is at the root of the current malaise in government. This column in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster kind of “nails it” we think, as the author plainly speaks out: ““Nobody listens to us!”
Politicians, increasingly career politicians, march to the dogma spewed by party leadership rather than than those they’re elected to represent. Ergo, the “elected public servants” are serving the wrong masters. Stop them – vote them out!
Why does it seem that Columbia never appears in the Municipal Briefs or the School Briefs?
In some cultures, when there’s a major screw-up impacting public safety or ethics, the perpetrator “falls on his sword” or resigns or is arrested. Why is it that we don’t get the same from the folks who screw up in this country?
For instance, when the folks at the helm of the protected monoply, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, “left more than 500 vehicles stranded on the turnpike in Somerset County, some for more than 24 hours” recently, the highly paid leader, turnpike commission Chairman Sean F. Logan said, “We want to learn from this. Our team recognizes that we need to be held accountable for our management of this emergency.”
More than 75 people with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission get paid more than $100,000 plus generous benefits – the chief executive officer made nearly $195,000 in 2014. Ah, again, the beauty of being on the career political merry-go-round.
Wouldn’t you think if you were paid that much you’d get weather reports right; particularly if you were handed the instruction manual that included many of the things that were identified in the Valentine’s Day Massacre?