Saturday, May 12, 2007

GettysBLOG: 3-Ring Circus Comes to Cumberland

In a patently obvious effort to let public interest against the water park project die withering on the vine, the Cumberland Township bozos performed the old “How many clowns can get out of a car?” trick Tuesday night. The Supervisors requested a 90 day delay from Cali Entertainment in their consideration of a curative amendment to local zoning that would allow a “water park” as acceptable use.

Aided and abetted by a county planner named Schmoyer, who released an opinionated article about the Township’s dilemma last week, where he cautioned that in situations like this, the Supervisors could not ”just say no”, as they would leave the Township open to a lawsuit, the supervisors are stalling in hope that public interest and opposition will die out over a three month summer. Indeed, timing is everything. At this same point in August, many folks will be away on vacation, or too busy gardening or staying cool to show up at a contentious Supervisors Meeting to protest the bad news.

This is not the first time the supervisors have tried such tactics. They apparently have some grand plan for an expansion of the Township facilities. They set things in motion immediately after the November election when the general public would not be making too many visits.

So far they have only destroyed about an acre of habitat in expanding their level area in the rear of the building. But, to date, no one has come forward with “The Plan”. Not only that, no one has seen or heard of an environmental impact study. Willoughby Run flows across the rear border of the township property. Much of the habitat they destroyed recently will have run off into Willoughby Run.

Willoughby Run, of course, flows into Marsh Creek, which brings us back to the water park. A letter to the editor in the Gettysburg Times praises the water park plan as being akin to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.

We don’t know what the lady letter writer thinks she’ll be getting with the water park, but it will not resemble Busch Gardens in any way, shape or form. In the first place, the project sits on only 100 acres, and plans call for not one but two water parks [one outdoor, one indoor], a hotel, a multi-screen movie theater, shops and restaurants. Of course, there will be adequate parking as well, right? On one hundred acres? Ummm, where are all the plants going to be for the “Gardens” part?

People, apparently, will believe anything these days.

Not only will the project suck the life [water] out of the area, and destroy the delicate ecological balance of the Marsh Creek watershed [to say nothing of the riparian rights of owners along the banks of the creek], but there will also be the inevitable runoff problems where contaminants are carried from the surface into the stream. Further, local wells will run dry, especially at the critical point of mid-late summer.

Since that will affect local agriculture in the area, I suppose our Supervisory buffoons will figure, “In for a penny, in for a pound”, and go ahead and rezone the entire Marsh Creek basin residential/commercial/industrial. They’ll figure out how to supply it with water later, after it dries up entirely.

Say good-bye to green space between Marsh Creek and Fairfield.

The first question that should be on everyone’s mind about this project is:

WHERE IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT?

The second question is:

WHERE IS THE WATER STUDY?

Of course, the third question should be:

WHO PAID FOR THE STUDIES?

In case you had any doubts folks, the people you elected as Supervisors of Cumberland Township have one goal in life: to make life so easy for developers “a cave man could do it!”

Serving constituents by allowing out of control development? Uh huh.

[Note to the good folks at Highland Township who are about to emerge from a long struggle over the role of local government with their own zoning ordinances: Let the Cumberland Circus be an object lesson to you all, on how NOT to run local government. No secrets, no hidden nefarious plans, no manipulation of meetings to blunt tax payer interest, no budget tricks, just open, honest government. It does not exist in Cumberland Township. Not only that, they use their solicitor to mislead the public with blatantly erroneous statements. So, start with an ordinance that requires all builders/developers to reimburse the township for environmental, water and sewer, and highway/traffic studies. That way, the folks who do the studies will be working for the township and their tax payers, and not for the contractors and developers; and they will do so at the expense of those who wish to build. Also, enact an ordinance that limits the number of houses per acre, and limits the number of building per development. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL GROWTH IN YOUR OWN TOWNSHIP. Don’t just charge fees for the studies, require reimbursement from the developer/contractor/builder/owner.]

Mr. Schmoyer, Cumberland Township DOES have the right to say “no” to a water park. If the Supervisors have any sense of honesty and decency left in them, any shred of respect for their constituents, they will say NO to this project. Cumberland Township better have litigation insurance, as well. Indeed, they should, but we’ll bet they do not. Besides, Cali won’t sue. They’ve been turned down in two other townships in Adams County already, and haven’t sued any of them. And if they do, so what? They cannot prove their case. They can be exposed as dishonest as well. SEND THEM PACKING! Let Cali Entertainment build it on their own property in Cumberland County, not in Cumberland Township.

Cali needs to stop their dishonest claims of how the project will benefit the economy by providing much needed jobs.

One more time:
ADAMS COUNTY HAS THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND ONE OF THE LOWEST IN THE NATION!

So, save your lies for someone more gullible, Cali, and take your dishonesty and go back where you came from.

Meanwhile, dear readers, you must start putting pressure on the supervisors and keep that pressure on. Start showing up at meetings with picket signs, and make sure you vote in the primary next week. Let’s start by saying a resounding NO to any incumbents running for office in Cumberland Township. And throw out the bums in the Commissioners office as well, for tolerating lackeys like Schmoyer.

Let’s get some Cumberland Township Supervisors who work for the people, not the developers. Same goes for the County Commissioners, as well. And add the zoning and planning board members as well. Cast them all adrift and start fresh. It’s time to clean up Cumberland Township and that starts with getting the peanut shells and sawdust off the floor at the Supervisors Meetings.

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