Friday, September 17, 2004

BoS Meeting 9/16/2004

The Express Times' Jeff Schogol did an excellent job of reporting this meeting's goings on, including the big engineering blunder and COMMENTS from the floor. Kudos! The MCall article by Joe Nixon,0,3342310.story (link expired, sorry), covered the new business park project. Read them both. What follows is the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey.)

Yes, there were more police officers at this meeting, six of them! One was in uniform, 3 were in street clothes and 2 were wearing their detective uniforms (the handcuffs from the belts were a giveaway.) As citizens of this great country, even if they do not live in Forks, they have every right to attend a public meeting. Right? Stan Kocher (retired, former Supervisor) said that he was going to look into this. Will keep you posted.

Now for the good stuff (residents names are used because they were also in the Express article):

  1. Upstream Farms seniors wrote a letter to protest the increased trash collection fee. Ms. Nicholas suggested that we could change it to a 'limited' collection but that would mean no grass clippings and that would cause other costs to the township. Payment plans are offered to anyone who wants one. That availability will be advertised in the next newsletter and as a special mailing to residents in senior developments.
  2. Tim Weis (Zoning Officer and Deputy Fire Chief) announced that there will be a special seminar on the townships 'terrorism' plans.
  3. Henning Holmgard read a letter of rejection by the US Postal service. Forks will get no Post Office.
  4. Martin Zawarski, a non-resident, (but large landowner) suggested to the Supervisors that they impose time limits on the residents' "Comments" to avoid filibusters. He said other municipalities do that.
  5. Dean Turner thanked all the township employees who have helped with the 250th. He has ideas for special recognition for them.
  6. Fritz Weide (resident) suggested that the township stop all building until the current traffic mess is fixed.
  7. A couple (not named in the Express article) brought to the attention of the Supervisors the fact that their neighbor is cutting trees on land above them on Paxinosa. This tree cutting person wants a better view. The trouble is that in the process, he has cut trees on their land. They have no trespassing signs newly posted and can now call the police if there are any more trees killed on their land. The problem here is that things are in a delicate balance on mountainsides and anyone cutting the trees that hold the land in place, risks everything below. This couple live below. Their property is now in danger and has already been damaged. Tim Weis and Fred Hays have been involved. The tree cutting property owner will not return calls and does not live in the house he owns there.
  8. Dottie Yautz spoke about how much she learned at the last meeting's presentation (of a resident's findings) re. the township's GSA investigation. She was glad to learn the true story of the "notorious" forklift and would like Lee Fisher rehired. (It's interesting to note here that after Ms. Yautz finished speaking, four of the police officers left. The two detectives stayed behind. )

Item 1 above is in red because IT IS A BIG DEAL! If the Supervisors limit our time, the only forum we, as taxpaying residents, have will be restricted. IMHO, the residents should certainly scream and holler if this is seriously considered. We have NO OTHER FORUM. We pay the bills here. The 'agenda' items are important too. Maybe the Supervisors will consider another night exclusively for "Comments from the Floor?" Of course, then there will be no one at the regular meetings to observe the projects (from the ones not paying the bills) on the horizon. There is no easy answer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Did You Know?

Forks Township has a budget of $75,000 for our Solicitor,Karl H. Kline, but has paid the following over the past few years:

2004 - $71,339.64 (1st Qtr: $38,366.42; 2nd Qtr: $32,973.22)
2003 - $102,649.07
2002 - $96,635.51

Kline's Hourly Rate: 2004 is $110.00 (2003 was $105.00; 2002 was $100.00)

This information and much more can be obtained at the Forks Township Municipal Building.
See website listed below for the Open Meetings/Open Records publication explaining

Monday, September 13, 2004

Board of Supervisors Meeting 9/2/2004 PART 2

The S.R.O. meeting on 9/2/04 was exciting. After the workshop discussion (see Part 1), the regular meeting began. During the managers' reports section, a resident asked why the township trash bills included an insert about grass. Yes, we all got one... an image of a spiked and bejeweled young person with a lawn mower... double meaning it would seem. Why instead of learning the reasons for the new rate (for trash collection), residents were instead informed about grass clippings (in the late summer) and not about leaves? Kichline said that she downloaded the image from the PA website and that although the office staff started to stuff envelopes with a letter of explanation, she had the letters removed and the grass thing inserted in its place. Odd.

The first resident to speak during the Comments session got everyone's attention. She had spent several weeks researching the investigation of the township employees' GSA violations and had many questions to ask the BoS. She wondered particularly why not all of the violators were named. She also wondered what the price tag of the investigation (to the township) was. She requested that the BoS respond next meeting or at a mutually agreed time. There was applause when she was done.

During her presentation the presence of six (?) uniformed police was noticed. Former Supervisor, Stan Kocher, asked what they were doing there... he'd never seen that before. Chief Dorney said that he didn't know which officers were there and maybe they were there for support... a new detective was being named and a new officer hired. He didn't know if they were ON or OFF duty. Interesting for sure.

The next voice from the audience, asked about the association of the Forks Youth Athletic Association with the beer tent at the 250th. Dean Turner (PC and 250th planner) explained as best he could that this was legal and that the FYAA had its permit and that all precautions would be taken to keep people from drinking too much and to keep kids away. He said that no "youth" would be working the beer tent. MADD has objected (via email directly to the Supervisors) to the word Youth in the group's name... if it's going to be selling beer.

This resident also asked why the township was not requiring sink hole studies for all new developments. The BoS (Ackerman?) explained that the sinkholes are known to be here and that spending money to study them would be a waste.

Projects were on the table too... Towne Center at Sullivan Trail was advised to put in a landscape buffer on the Jackson Farm side. Countryside Estates Section 2 was there for Preliminary Major... whatever that is... and the new officer, Terrie Feinberg was introduced... and the promotion of Philomena Sandt to detective was approved. T. Feinberg was in attendance, P. Sandt was not... maybe the six uniforms were there to stand in for her?

This week's meeting (9/16/04) should be interesting.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Welcome to Forks News!

We are here to give you the up to date news from the Board of Supervisors meetings and Planning commission meetings. We will keep you updated with what is happening in Forks.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Board of Supervisors Meeting 9/2/2004 PART 1

Last night's BoS meeting started with a credible objection by Bonnie Nicholas (BoS) during the workshop. She objected to the fact that the Township Mgr.'s office size in the new building will be HUGE. It was the space originally planned as a conference room. Now, according to Alex Gale, the project overseer, this change was urged by him. He is responsible. And, according to David Hoff (BoS), this was all decided some time ago and he didn't want to spend any time micromanaging the project. A resident suggested that if Mgr. Kichline on occassion needs a larger space, well, why couldn't she just move her guests to the conference room? She's right IMHO. It seems wrong to give a 22' x bigger space to one person when according to BN, there are women in the main office without private spaces... women who are working on our (the residents') private information. It seems that a 16' x 16' (the originally planned space) should be adequate as a 'working' office. After all, the conference room is available when needed. Just my opinion. ;-)

The workshop ended rather abruptly with a promise to show the furniture selections to the BoS. Apparently, if John Ackerman (BoS) had not asked about it, it wouldn't happen. The building furnishing would be done entirely without BoS input. Hmmm. And then there was THE meeting... someone else?

Welcome to the F.A.C. blog

My first F.A.C. post is a post of WELCOME. Here's where we can discuss Forks' issues and events that impact us, the residents of Forks Township... like last night's Board of Supervisors (special) Workshop and (regular) Meeting. It was a LONG one for sure.

First though, be advised that we have rules which include respect for people's right to privacy and anonymity. In other words, unless they are an elected official, an appointed official or they are being quoted from a public meeting or media story, we do NOT "out people." Contributors are welcome to criticize our group and/or its positions as this is a democracy, but, if you make this personal by naming names of people whom you think are involved we will pull the post. Again, we welcome dissenting opinions and views from the other side, but we will not allow personal attacks or mentions of non-elected representatives or non-appointed citizens.

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Let the discussions begin! :-)