Friday, July 31, 2015

The Public Forum not welcome in Adams County


[From the Gettysburg Times, Thursday, July 30, 2015, page A5: Proposals continued from page A1, under the byline of Alex J. Hayes]

"...All three commissioners assured him that public comment is welcome at every meeting.  

'You can talk to us at any time,' Phiel said.  'We appreciate it here and we appreciate it individually...'

'...Phiel explained that the commissioners do not believe the meetings are the appropriate place for an open dialogue.  He said such back and forth can bog down the meeting's progress and urged those who want a dialogue to contact the commissioners individually.  The commissioners are open to responding to concerns such as they did on Wednesday, he added."
Unbelievable!  "...the commissioners do not believe the meetings are the appropriate place for an open dialogue.  He said such back and forth can bog down the meeting's progress and urged those who want a dialogue to contact the commissioners individually..."

That makes the public Commissioners Meeting nothing more than a "dog and pony show."

That meeting is the public forum, it exists in that format so the public can address the commissioners, ask questions, express opinions, and have discussions about whatever business is being conducted, and to create "new business" for the next meeting.  If that becomes too burdensome for the Commissioners, then they need to find another job.  They work for the very people "...who bog down the meeting's progress..."

Hey Commissioners, those folks are your bosses.  You work for them.  They give you your marching orders, and you do not have a say in how they do it except to structure the meetings to allow it.  If they need more time, call another meeting.  Maybe if you spent less time in "executive session" and more time listening to your constituents in the established open forum, things might actually run better.  

Maybe you should ask for volunteers to serve on committees to oversee County Government, Infrastructure, County Employees, Taxes, and so on, to cover all the business the County does.

Mr. W. G. Davis wrote in in Fixing Local Government, Part 4:
"Something is wrong with a governmental process that sets in motion decision-making at closed-to-the-public-meetings [work or executive sessions] where decisions are made, and then public meetings are held for public comment, before taking the “official vote” on the decision that was already made in the earlier private “work session.” 

"That stinks!

"Pardon me, but these are elected officials, who work for the taxpayers, who are put in office by the voters, and who are responsible to every person in their township, school district or county as the case may be.  If the public, and the fourth estate are not permitted to observe the workings of government, even the disagreements, and political wranglings, then you no longer have a government that is responsible to the people, but a government of dictatorial elites that rule by fiat, that make backroom deals, and put polish on them for the public meetings.  Even personnel matters should be publicly discussed.  Employees, too, work for the public.  In addition to the presence of a reporter at each and every meeting, the minutes of each meeting should be published within two days, and the agenda and schedule for the next meeting should be printed a week beforehand.  And space rates for those two items to be published in the local paper should be budgeted by the townships and the County – and the school board! 

"James Madison wrote, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”  That is what has occurred here, in Adams County, and in other areas as well.  It is a shameful abridgment of the contract between the electorate and the elected. 

"And Abraham Lincoln said, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”  How is it possible to gain the measure of public sentiment when decisions are made before the public is allowed to speak? 

"This needs to stop and it needs to stop  now!"
We at GettysBlog agree with this sentiment completely.  It is obvious to us that these Commissioners have absolutely corrupted the system of county government and deserve to be thrown from office in November.

Let's elect commissioners in November who work for the people, and don't stifle public interest or input, who don't make decisions in Executive session then go hold public meetings and pretend you'll change your minds.  End Executive Sessions.  If there are disagreements, air them in public.  That is what the Commissioner's Meetings are for.  Government must be visible to be acceptable responsible, responsive and open.  Adams County government is anything but!

Good grief!  Whatever happened to that sentiment that Abraham Lincoln spoke of so eloquently here in November of 1863.  You know, at the end, when he said, "...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."  Seems to us here at GettysBLOG that the part about "...government of the people, by the people, for the people..." has gotten twisted way out of shape here in the very county where Lincoln gave that magnificent speech.  He wasn't just talking about the Federal government, but all government in this nation. 

A certain group of office holders need to stop feeling so self- important and elitist and start working for the people again. 


GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Blog on TIF, Gettysburg Crossing

A new blog has arrived called Gettysburg Crossing Blog.  Make of it what you will...

Here is the link:  https://www.gettysburgcrossing.com/blog/

At least check it out.  It may be to your liking.  

Note:  It is not a creation of ours, nor do we have any connection with the blog.  It does not carry our posts.  We will, however, add a permanent link to it.  

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Government without Common Sense

We've seen some pretty stupid things happen in and around Adams County over the years, but the planned infrastructure changes at the south end of Fairfield take the cake.  This project is right up there with a retirement community off US 15 north of town, which will never, ever, reach even 50% occupancy [while soaking the taxpayers because the developer will likely file for banruptcy, thereby sticking the taxpayers with a large overdue bill thanks to TIF]!  It is also up there with the other TIF project at 15/30 interchange.  Better that project move to the proposed casino site where the infrastructure costs will not approach the level of what is currently planned for the TIF loan.

Now comes news that local developer Bob Sites wants to build a grocery store [and who knows what else] across from the small shopping center on the east side of Fairfield Road just yards south of the grounds of Fairfield High School.

Just imagine, a nice spring day, you are out in the afternoon for a drive down 116 to see the mountain blooms, and you come to Fairfield.  Immediately you drop your speed to 25 mph for the next mile, starting at the traffic light installed at the north end of town where the entrance to the new 100 home development is built, and after clearing the light and most of Fairfield, you drop your speed again  to 15 in front of the school.  Then a red light for the new grocery store shopping center.  But before you get to the light, 20 school busses come roaring out of the school driveway, some going north, some south.  The light will change three times before you clear it.  Your quest has been dashed, along with your mood, and unless you are very familiar with the back roads around Fairfield, you are forced to retrace your journey back through the lights, back past the school, and good old 25 mph Fairfield.

Fairfield has a long established family style grocery store, and it will likely be put out of business by the new grocery store south of town.  There will be talk about a bypass around it all, but that is all it will be for at least a decade into the future, likely more.

The area that really needs it is Carrol Valley.  They need a grocery, a drug store, and another gas station [hear me Giant?] and they need it down near the entrance to the Ski Liberty resort.  Putting it there would not further burden the already over-trafficked area at the south end of Fairfield where the school is located, and of course the need for a light there would be eliminated.

Where are the heads of the planners these days?   There are so many common sense alternatives to the current projects.  Instead they play to the developers and the Economic and Industrial Development Corporations [who already waste your tax dollars as tax-funded government entities]!  Obviously the planners and local and county government officials can't see where there is no light!

Moving the Walmart project a quarter mile east to where existing roads are already wide enough, and a traffic light already exists, would cancel the need for TIF financing, and create less congestion around an already awkwardly configured interchange.

As for our hypocritical buddy Rick who wants to put scads of senior citizen residences up 15 an exit or two, we would hope and pray that his project fails and leaves him broke.  Dear Rick and his partner in conspiracy from Maryland formed a PAC and drafted five candidates to run for Gettysburg School Board under the guise of a "no new taxes" pledge.  It was easily exposed, as was his lack of due diligence in vetting his candidates, and "The Gang of Five" lost quite decidedly.

The hypocrisy exists because he is asking for TIF money to complete his project, and that means asking the School District [and the County and the Township!] to essentially waive any newly realized tax increases as the value of the land and project goes up, forcing all those taxing bodies to raise taxes to keep up with increased costs for everything, including infrastructure, fire, police, and emergency services, and so on.  "No new taxes" indeed!

We will leave you with these two thoughts from a decade ago:
"Greed knows no limits, and has no character. Greed endures no absolute moral values, and has its own ethics. Greed has no memories but vengeful ones. Greed has no friends and no family, only partners, and partners are expendable. Greed consumes and corrupts absolutely. Greed is blind to itself."
and
"Arrogance is a fool's disease!"
GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Days return to Happy Valley!

Jake Corman, State Senator from Centre County who, along with State Treasurer Rob McCord had filed a suit against the NCAA seeking disclosure of the NCAA's reasons and authority for the actions it levied against Penn State, Joe Paterno, and the past and present students and student-atheletes.

After trying a bluff that failed, the NCAA finally caved in and repealed all of its actions done to punish so many innocent people in the wake of the Sandusky crimes.

All 111 wins will be restored to the University and to Coach Joe Paterno, no other sanctions exist since the NCAA had already restored cuts to scholarships and bowl games for the Nittany Lions.

The $60 million fine will stay in Pennsylvania to be used to combat child sexual abuse.

All in all, justice is finally served, where the acts of one person were used by the NCAA to punish so many who had no connection to or knowledge of the actions of Jerry Sandusky.

One final step remains:  PUT THE STATUE BACK UP IMMEDIATELY!

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.