Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Epitaph for Adams County

There is an epitaph in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona, a throwback to the old west days of Wyatt Earp, and the Cowboys gang. The epitaph dispenses some dry wit along with the information about the demise of one Lester Moore.

Here lies Lester Moore
2 slugs from a .44
No Les, no more.

Your taxes are going up because they want you to move. We live in a modest single home, and our taxes are driving the mortgage up by about $70 per month!

Can you imagine what the local farmers will have to pay? So why is this happening? Exorbitant tax increases like those the County and Cumberland Township are slamming on us are wholly, and totally unnecessary.

Most of the money in their budgets goes to support growth in financial aid to developers, and builders.

But really, they want to drive you out. If taxes get too high and drive your mortgage up enough, you’ll sell. And you’ll sell at THEIR price, not yours, because you have to sell.

They do this to foster more growth.

Your elected officials are doing this to you.

Say good bye to the Gettysburg you know. In five to ten years, it will be gone. Gettysburg will look like York, Carlisle, Lancaster, Hanover, Frederick, and Chambersburg, and all the other “small sleepy” towns that “growth” has destroyed.

Say good bye to the great, stable economy the area has enjoyed for several decades, withstanding inflation and recession alike. Say good bye to lower than average taxes, and lower than average unemployment.

The divide in the county between rich and poor, between haves and have-nots, between us and them, has just increased by miles, and it is taking the middle class with it.

If you move the middle class too far to one side or the other of that divide, you destroy it. Destroy the middle class and you dissolve the glue that holds our society together. Society then decays to an ever widening gap between only two classes, rich and poor. Poverty increases because the rich will have more of the money and with an increase in poverty comes a corresponding increase in crime, disease, and moral decay.

What’s happening is not growth that is healthy, it is destructive, greed-driven growth. And we, our friends and our neighbors are responsible for it because we have allowed it to become the monster that it is. We pay homage to the good works done by people like Dave Sites, Dave LeVan, and Bob Monahan because they spread their money around, and look good in tuxedos receiving community awards, or handing over small checks that are pocket change to them. They buy your good will. Imagine what that purchasing power does to a local politician! Imagine the chains that philanthropy places around their necks. But you admire them for it.

It is not philanthropy because true philanthropy is anonymous and requires nothing in return. What they do comes with an IOU signed by someone, some group who is receiving their money, and is signing on your behalf. It is not philanthropy by any standards, as it is not freely given. There is a return expected.

You are paying part of that bill now. You are paying for everything the developers will need to build their 20,000 homes in the county over the next five-ten years. The first 2,500 are already approved by the local townships! Now there will be more. Many, many more. And the farmers who already pay high property taxes will find themselves taxed out of business. They’ll be forced to sell their farms to developers at extremely low prices – the days of a farmer getting mega-millions for his farm by selling it to a land-hungry developer are long gone.

Very few currently living in this county will get rich from this. The divide is not balanced in population.

What our elected officials are doing to us is, quite simply, thievery and extortion.

The consequences are disastrous. Do you think there is a drug problem in Gettysburg now? Of course there is. But just wait. In the next few years as people with money move here from the DC metro area, the drug problem will explode. Washington Street and Franklin Street will see parades of bright new SUVs that stop at corners and alleyways. The tinted windows roll down, and someone darts out from a darkened doorway: money and drugs change hands. The police are powerless to do anything because they simply will no longer venture into the area.

Gettysburg College will see enrollment drop from around the country because the campus will be surrounded by high density, low income housing, making it a hazard for anyone to leave the campus. Crime on campus will skyrocket.

The economically oppressed resort to desperate measures just to survive. There is no thought of bettering their lives any more, it is purely survival.

Those are your new friends and neighbors. High energy prices, high taxes, high food prices, and theft rates will go through the roof.

It’s already too late. Adams County five years ago was a Garden of Eden. It is rapidly becoming a cesspool, mainly thanks to a few greedy developers and a whole passel of gutless, spineless, greedy politicians.

Here lies Adams - sweet
Too much asphalt and concrete
No green, all beat

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 November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2007: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To the Residents of Cumberland Township

We are not ones to say "We told you so!", but, well, we did.

And now you know just how arrogant the Cumberland Clowns are, and even more, how unafraid they are of you voters and tax payers.

You will now experience a 250% increase in your township taxes.

That is your Christmas gift from the overblown, self-important, greed-oriented, arrogant clowns you call Supervisors.

We suggested to you that they could save money by going from 5 supervisors to 3, and eliminating the Township Manager's position. But even more, that would enable the Township to meet its obligations to its constituents without the expensive expansion program on which they have embarked. Indeed, you are seeing first-hand the cost of the million-dollar revolving line of credit they arranged with Adams County National Bank to pay for the expansion.

We told you they wanted to create a developer friendly environment in their new digs, which will allow them to sit in self-aggrandizement in their new Taj Mahal Cumberland Township Municipal Complex, which will match the Taj Mahal High School your School Board built.

We asked you to show up at the Supervisors meetings. Some did, and they were vocal and expressed themselves about the planned water park, but no one opened their mouths about the expansion plan, because no one showed up to protest the expansion plan.

What they've already done has affected Willoughby Run, partially blocking its flow.

Now they have placed their hands in your pockets to satisfy their greed and arrogance. They will sit as potentates upon their gilded thrones, and you will do without to pay for it all.

We've asked repeatedly where is the Environmental Impact study for their expansion plan, and also for the water park? Apparently there is no requirement for Environmental Impact Studies for the township, or at least they are arrogant enough to feel they do not need one. And if they don't, then neither does Cali Entertainment that wants to build the water park.

This one is on you, dear residents of Cumberland Township. You have a huge problem on your hands, and have allowed it to grow far beyond something simple to fix.

We told you so.

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 November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2007: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 26, 2007

GettysBLOG: …Water, Cool, Clear, Water

The Sons of the Pioneers were a wonderful group of men who sang in many of the old classic westerns, including many of the great John Ford - John Wayne collaborations. They were founded in 1933 by a man named Leonard Slye, who we now know by the name of Roy Rogers. Ken Curtiss, who later went on to fame as Festus in the TV series, Gunsmoke, was John Ford’s son in law. Two of their classics have been placed into the National Archives, Tumbling Tumbleweed, and the other here reproduced [Lyrics only. Sorry!].

Cool Water
All day I face the barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water, cool, clear, water
CHORUS
Keep a-movin' Dan don't ya listen to him Dan
He's a devil of a man and he spreads the burning sand with water
Dan can you see that big green tree
Where the water's running free
And it's waiting there for you and me?

2. The nights are cool and I'm a fool
Each star's a pool of water, cool water
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn
And carry on to water, cool, clear, water

3. The shadows sway and seem to say
Tonight we pray for water, cool, water
And way up there He'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water, cool, clear, water

4. Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for
Just one thing more than water, cool, water
Like me I guess he'd like to rest
Where there's no quest for water, cool, clear, water


http://www.cowboylyrics.com/tabs/sons-of-the-pioneers/cool-water-1908.html

As Adams County and the Gettysburg area contemplate the future, they are faced with the prospect of massive growth that has been in the planning stages for many years, and the unmistakable fact that there is a limited water supply in Adams County. Indeed, there are no streams flowing into Adams County. There are several flowing out. Everything that flows out of Adams County eventually enters the Chesapeake Bay.

Now there is a movement to bring up to 3 million gallons a day of Susquehanna River water clear across York County, and halfway across Adams County to the Gettysburg Area – primarily to Cumberland, Mt. Joy, and Straban Townships. Eventually, it might extend farther west and south to Freedom and Liberty Townships.

According to some reports, developers are already sitting on multiple extensions with the various township governments in the area while waiting for water to be assured. Local residents have been informed through the newspapers that the piped water from the Susquehanna will cost the Gettysburg Municipal Authority [GMA] customers an additional $80 per year. This is on top of a 3% rate hike they already enacted in October!

The enormous cost of building the pipeline will be forced on the water customers currently using the Authority’s Water. These customers, then, will be forced to pay for the water to supply houses and businesses that are yet to be built in Adams County. There is already opposition to the pipeline.

See, there is already water here, though the GMA has issued a water rationing order to cut use by 10% because of the terrible dry weather we experienced this summer. There is enough to support the homes and businesses already here. Just. Over the past six or seven years, this is perhaps the third dry summer we have experienced here. Wells have gone dry. New wells are drilled. And the relentless building goes on. Townships claim they are powerless to stop it, or even slow it down.

They lie.

When the public is in danger, GOVERNMENT MUST ACT TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC!

So what do we have from Government? A borough government that breaks its own rules for height restrictions so David Sites can cram two apartment buildings into the downtown area. Cumberland Township exhibits profligate spending of your money with a totally unnecessary project to expand its own facilities, and of your water with a project to build a water park and 100 room hotel on a scant 100 acres near Boyds Bears Country, and the Eisenhower Resort. Freedom and Liberty Township have sold their souls, as well as their farms to the developers from Maryland to build mega-developments of 1,000 houses or more. Straban changes its zoning to eliminate 11,000 acres of current green [open, farm, forest, etc.] to commercial/industrial/residential zoning. Mt. Joy Township is facing the same pressure from developers but seems to be handling it better than the rest. Up north, Butler Township and Biglerville Borough are struggling not just with water issues but with sewer issues, and shamelessly sucked in Cumberland Township into rescuing a developer so he could cram more homes onto the available acreage.

Townships put up development rules that require certain percentages of housing tracts to be set aside as green space and recreation area. They do not close the door for the developer to go to that space later and build in it, setting aside a smaller portion of it as green space and recreation area. And then later still, building on the green that’s left, and setting aside a percentage for green space and recreation area, then later still… It is the law of diminishing returns at work.

Your local government does not care. They do not care that supposed job creation by the development is wholly and totally unnecessary, and the so called economic boom to come with the development is not needed.

Adams County is about as close to Eden as you will find anywhere in the world. Good economy, low unemployment, high wages, low taxes, it is one of the most stable economies in the country. Between Agriculture, Fruit, and Tourism, the economy is stable and strong enough toward off inflation or recession. If one of the industries comes on hard times the others do not, and in fact, share the load of three among two.

So, why Adams County and not northern Frederick County in Maryland, which makes much more sense for the home buyers from Washington, DC? Several reasons: Adams County land is cheaper to acquire by the developers. Township, County and State government have all been conspiring to lure developers into Pennsylvania for decades and have set up laws governing the local government zoning authorities and stacking it in favor of the developers. There may also not be enough water in Frederick County, though it would be much cheaper to pipe water from the Potomac than it is to run it out from the Susquehanna River to us. Finally, the economy is so good the developers can then con the customers from the DC area with promises of low taxes, and a heritage-linked address.

But in the end, it will come down to water.

The planned development will essentially double the population of Adams County, destroy much of the farm and open green space in the county, and put such a strain on the water resources the residents will have no choice but to pay for the Susquehanna River water, and put themselves at the mercy of every community between the Susquehanna and Gettysburg. What’s left will be a vehicle-choked tangle of old roads, and new houses, new schools, and hospitals, more police and fire, and more crime.

And when the encroaching development hits the next phase demanding to put housing all the way out to the foot of South Mountain, the sprawl will strongly resemble that of Las Vegas, which is paving over the desert until they get to canyon walls. But we don’t have the Colorado River near by, nor the great Hoover Dam.

The decision is being forced on you now. Developers are waiting out the terribly depressed housing market. No one is building housing right now, and no one is loaning mortgage money. So the developers have no choice but to sit tight on their investment and take tax write-offs at the end of the year. But the developers like Wormold, S&A, Sites, Monahan, and LeVan can afford to wait.

Now you have to ask yourself, if somebody has to lose money out of this situation, who should it be, you, or the developers?

Tonight we pray for water, cool, water
And way up there He'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water, cool, clear, water

Choose wisely Adams County, because if you choose the wrong path, what you see around you now will cease to exist. And it will not take long.

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 November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2007: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Proclamation of Thanksgiving

In the midst of a bloody Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln found time, and occasion to create Thanksgiving as a national holiday, fixing the date as the "last Thursday of November".

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,Secretary of State


Please consider Lincoln's words today as you celebrate the holiday he made into our second official national holiday.


Have a safe, and happy Thanksgiving!


GettysBLOG

Monday, November 05, 2007

Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Election time is back. Here are our selected recommendations:

For Adams County Commissioner, vote only for Qually and Moreno. You do not have to vote for 3! Send a message by refusing to vote for the “Old Boys Network” which includes Weikert and Snyder!

Vote Qually and Moreno for Commissioner!

For Straban Township, is there any question here? Throw out that bum McDannell, who has the cojones to brag in his ads that he got the new zoning package passed!! Yes, HE DID, and it will see 70% or more of Straban Township paved over and developed! Get that man out of there! He is the man who brought you the Casino project, tried to pull a fast one several years ago in a land swap deal with Walmart involving land that the township acquired from the Federal Government and was not permitted to part with, and that deal still remains very questionable. McDannell has been trying to ruin Straban Township and the Gettysburg area for a long time!

Vote for Sharon Hamm!

For Gettysburg School Board, never vote for a politician who has 29 years on the job. Dump Biesecker! $3 million for a HS Football Stadium is simply ludicrous. Hell, they built an enormous palace of a school and cannot fill it -- a brand new building that needed the roof replaced? Do not reward wasted tax dollars!! Dump Biesecker!

Why do we have a HACC campus here just about a mile from the Gettysburg High School, where some HACC classes are taught, and the school district does not support HACC financially, forcing local students to pay full tuition? What is wrong with this picture? $3 million for a stadium, but not one penny to further the education of students in the district beyond high school? Dump Biesecker!

On another note, our old friend Steve Maitland has now hung out his tax-payer funded shingle. He still owes the taxpayers of the Commonwealth an awful lot of money that he took unethically and, unconstitutionally. But most of all, remember that you told him unequivocally how you felt about his atrocious actions.

Keep that in mind when the next election round gets here and the Clowns of Cumberland Township are up for re-election. It will be time to clean house and stop the wretched excess practiced by these clowns and their profligate spending. They are spending not only your money, but your water.

Water will become an election issue very soon. There are those who believe the answer to the limited water resources of Adams County lies in a pipeline from the Susquehanna River.

Who will pay for it? If you allow the rampant development of the county to continue, you will certainly pay for it, and for a very long time – perhaps forever.

Keep that in mind as you elect supervisors to your township boards. Will they protect your water resources, or force you to pay for water from the Susquehanna River to be pumped across two counties to supply water to the overdeveloped Adams County?

You need to start making this decision now.

While you are at it, take a ride down US 15 to Frederick. It’s a beautiful ride. Most of the area is gorgeous, with very large farms as far as the eye can see on both sides, and some state park thrown in as well.

So why is Adams County being targeted for development as a bedroom community for the folks from Baltimore and Washington D.C.? Anywhere along that stretch has those people closer to their jobs by 30-60 minutes.

Something does not smell right about this. There is an obvious stink bomb somewhere in this mess.

This is a very serious question that you must seek an answer for very soon.

Meanwhile, to recap:

Vote for Sharon Hamm for Straban Township Supervisor!

Vote for Qually and Moreno for Adams County Commissioners!

Vote out Biesecker from the Gettysburg School Board!


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 November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2007: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

GettysBLOG: The Cumberland Township Circus is back in town!

Tuesday night saw a meeting before the supervisors of Cumberland Township which was advertised as a time and place for the citizens of the township could voice their concerns about or approval of the proposed zoning change that would allow amusement parks in the township, removing a huge obstacle for Cali Entertainment in their third try to install a water park in Adams County.

Why are we even discussing this? There is no water for a water park in Adams County. Folks, we are in the midst of a severe drought, and it is predicted to last for a long time.

So why, in the name of God, are we talking about a Water Park?

Is there not one of those duplicitous clowns called supervisors with a lick of common sense?

To make matters worse, we have the Pro-Casino leftovers of the Goldens, Mr. and Mrs., proclaiming the economic boons [oh, puh-lease! Not again? Or rather not still?!!] of the Water Park! Complete with the “much needed jobs” and “economic boost”, Debbie Golden touted her position in favor of the project. She and apparently her husband Gene, were the only folks besides the Cumberland Clowns who were in favor of the project. The rest of the approximately 20-25 members of the public were against it.

Once again we get a public official from another township coming out against the project in its current location, but thinks Cumberland Township will make the best location for it. Perhaps he has in mind something beside Sachs Mill Bridge so they can suck the water out of the Gettysburg Municipal Authority reservoir there. We must make a profit [and pay the taxes the Goldens claim will be a huge boost to the Township!] at the expense of the public water customers of the mid-county area, including Gettysburg Borough. [Apparently Golden doesn’t think he needs water to run his business.]

If the public official from the other township, which turned down a bid for Cali to build in his township, thinks it is such a worthy project, then he needs to go back and convince his township to put the project there. And he is welcome to it. Just don’t try to take people’s water for this project!

The Goldens, meanwhile, seem consumed by their defeat in the fight for the Casino project, which they very ardently and strenuously backed. Now they have seized upon a new version of the Disneyfication of Adams County, an indoor Water/Amusement Park, along with a large hotel, and other businesses proposed for the area near Boyds Bear Country. What is it about Eden that causes people to go to any lengths to change it?

Adams County is not in need of an economic boost. Neither is Cumberland Township – a township that feels economically strong enough to borrow a million dollars to finance an enormous expansion project to the township facilities, even though they never asked the voters if they should.

These clowns, and their backers like the Goldens are the death of the Gettysburg area. They care nothing for the environment, nothing for the industries that have created one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, a higher than average median income, and a lower than average local tax rate. Why in the world would anyone claim the area needed jobs and an economic boost? Yet the clowns in the Cumberland Township building pander to the developers that will double the county’s population in five years -- far, far faster than the local governments can keep up with increasing infrastructure needs, and far, far too many people for the meager resources of the county’s water supply to provide for that many people.

Should you elect George Weikert to a County Commissioner’s post, and re-elect Glenn Snyder, you can kiss the area good-bye. For that reason, we are backing Moreno and Qually for two of the three seats. We hope that some sense can come to the county if Weikert and or Snyder are no longer in office. Frankly, we’d prefer to see George Weikert turned down. After his performance in Cumberland Township as a lead clown, he’d be a disaster for the county as a commissioner.

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 November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2007: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.