Saturday, June 14, 2008

PC - Always a Surprise - 6/12/08 Meeting

Municipal Meeting Room After what proved to be a relatively short main meeting with only two somewhat minor agenda items under review, the Planning Commission, at the request of Chairman Dean Turner, held an Executive Session.  No announcement of the topic(s) to be discussed out of public view/earshot was given.  "Staff" was explicitly excluded.  Neither the Zoning Officer (Tim Weis), the Township Engineer (Fred Hay), the Township Manager (Rick Schnaedter), nor the Solicitor (Karl Kline) were invited to participate.  They were at the main meeting.  Mr. Weis who was acting as recording secretary in the absence of Barbara Margolese, was asked to be sure the building would be (self) locked when the PC adjourned. 

Turner said that no action would be taken by the PC and the seven planners moved to the Supervisors' room - for a private discussion. 

It is unusual for the Planning Commission to do this.  In nearly five years of Township meeting observations this is only the second Planning Commission private session we can recall.  The other was on January 27, 2008 when the planners were charged with recommending PC candidates to the BoS.  The candidates were evaluated in private.  The recommendations were announced in public. 

For reference, see PA Open Meetings/Open Records, The Sunshine Act and the Right to Know Law.  The allowed reasons for Executive Sessions and the procedures involved begin on .pdf page 45 (document page 40).  Executive session minutes are not open to the public but must exist.

In an announcement (before the surprise Executive Session) was the fact that at this moment, there are no developer plans in the pipeline to come before the PC at its July meeting.  That may change of course, but it is fair warning that the scheduled July 10th 7 PM meeting may be canceled.  Please check the official Township calendar before braving the July heat to make a trip to the Municipal Building.

And, just in case you were wondering how the agenda items fared, both the lot line adjustment and the minor subdivision were given conditional approval in 7:0 votes.   The projects move on to the Board of Supervisors in July.  See the FAC Projects page for updates.

Our objective is to relate what is experienced at Forks Township meetings for those who cannot attend. We are attempting to be as factual as we can. If we make a mistake, tell us via email or COMMENT here in the blog, and we will do our best to correct it. We are not perfect. We want to get it right.

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