Monday, June 11, 2018

Quick takeaways from Monday's Borough Council meeting


About 50 residents crowded council chambers for Monday night's meeting.

Four junior councillors were sworn in.

A motion to approve $650,000 to Cimarron Properties for the Clarion Hotel project at 2nd and Locust was tabled, pending attorney review. Residents stated their opposition to giving the money.

Several residents voiced complaints about borough codes, code enforcement, and fairness of the quick ticket system.

Former borough manager Norm Meiskey chided council on protocols, spending, and legalities.

Mayor Lutz said there may be a method to remove abandoned cars from borough streets, which he will discuss at this Wednesday's legislative/safety committee meeting.

Rebecca Denlinger was sworn in as borough manager/secretary/treasurer. She became Columbia's Assistant Borough Manager/Economic and Community Development Manager on January 1, 2018.

The mayor announced that another municipality has offered Columbia the use of their K-9, if needed.

MORE TO FOLLOW...

55 comments:

  1. If Denlinger is Manager , secretary, treasurer, why do we have all the others at the borough? The borough pay roll has doubled , who ok did this, who is in charge , this is out of control . Denlinger better get hold of this or she will be known as Leo's crony ,like Greg was.

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    1. The secretary/treasure position is a board position mandated by the Pennsylvania Borough Code. They are not new positions council created. Every municipality, including Townships, must have a secretary/treasure for their board or supervisors or borough council. Most appoint the borough manager or township manager to the position. In a nutshell, it is a formality.

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    2. Na-s-s-h-h.

      Upstanding, municipalities with an eye for excellence, progress, transparency and granting equality in the recruitment and hiring processes actually reach out by advertising open positions. They cast wide nets ... besides, it's the ethical way to do business.

      For example, look at the borough manager positions advertised at the Pennsylvania State of Boroughs Website (http://boroughs.org/subpage.php?link=Classified%20Ads):

      Job Announcements
      Borough Manager, Parkesburg Borough (Posted 6/4/18)
      Police Chief, Edinboro Borough (Posted 6/4/18)
      Borough Manager, Ellwood City (Posted 5/22/18)
      Borough Manager, Crafton Borough (Posted 5/15/18)
      Public Works Director, Sharpsburg Borough (Posted 5/7/18)
      Community Development Director, Kutztown Borough (Posted 4/30/18)
      Borough Manager, New Hope Borough (Posted 4/30/18)
      Borough Manager, Kittanning Borough (Posted 4/24/18)

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    3. OUR council lead by MR Murphy think they are above the law. THey tried to back door Deninger and it got out , sham on them , TRY THAT AT YOUR DAY JOBS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

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  2. Bet the mayor has a bark machine at his house to deter the unruly.

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    1. It is a wonder the mayor even listened to Norm, he is a know it all person,do as I say NOT as I do.

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  3. Norm told them that a law suit could happen since they did not advertise the boro manager's job.And they still voted her in. Yes there are too many employees in our small boro plus the code people get free cars to use. Too many of them too. It's terrible when people are told what to do with their properties the code guys don't pay their taxes so they should not have any say. I hope more meetings are like last night's to let them know how we the taxpayers feel.

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    1. If we didn't have a codes department we would have even more dilapidated properties and unsafe living conditions..

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  4. Keep adding people to borough payroll, code officers, 20+ dollar secretary, 95 thousand dollar manager. Enough already, there's only 10,000 residents here. Codes needs to stop picking on residents and start holding slumlords accountable. We need an "out-of-town" lawyer to stir things up and defend the resident taxpayers of this borough.

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    1. Yes these people must be held accountable

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  5. I hope someone does bring a law on the borough it is about time they stop doing all these back door things she was not to be the borough manger till next year and they never did advertise but they do that all the time i guess the council thinks they are above the law they all need to go ASP












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  6. Every job in there is cut and dried they never advertise if you know someone in there you are guaranteed a job if one is available. Also this quick ticket thing why do they worry about people's grass it's not their yard and they don't pay taxes for these properties. If someone owns a property they should be able to park a car in it too. We never had this stuff years ago and we were better off. They just like to give code people jobs. Cut down on jobs and our town will have more money. I think The manager better be on her toes too I think she will be watched and I hope she doesn't need an asst. now

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  7. Norm Meiskey Nailed It!!!

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    1. Frank Doutrich also nailed it when he said, it's not IF they are giving the grant, it's HOW they will do it.

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    2. Years ago people would have ran the council and president out of town on a rail, now we have to watch them through are money away.

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    3. NO MONEY CIMMERON IS BIG ENOUGH THEY HAVE THERE OWN MONEY ,which one of our clowns offered it to them , they ( EVEN IF IT WAS THE MAYOR ) should go. Stop throughing money at the money pit , it is big enough , HELP the tax payers this is way way out of hand, I know the people of the council have no sham or they would not spend the way they are. In Closing we have a school superintendent that is NOT credited to be there, now a illegle borough manager that has NO EXPERENCE , WE are THE LAUGHTING STOCK OF THE COUNTY , IT REALLY WILL BRING IN NEW BUISNESS AND HOME OWNERS ! THINK COUNCIL BEFORE YOU ACT.

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    4. These people all should step down , there sworn oath means nothing to them.

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    5. "Years ago" people had the guts to form a resistance movement.

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  8. Some may have disliked Norm Meiskey, but he held Columbia together financially and fiscally responsible. The only thing he did not do was a growth pattern. The current government pushed for the sewer plant sale and won that case (Losers: Citizens). Other bad decisions made by this Council:
    Columbia Market House (Loser: Citizens)
    Columbia No.1 building for $900,00+ (Loser: Citizens)
    208-210 Locust Street $125,000 (Loser: Citizens)
    Lancaster Land Bank $100,00+ (Losers (Citizens)
    3rd Beautification Loans (Losers: Citizens)
    4th & Locust Street Lot $25,000 + (Losers: Citizens)
    Tree Grates $2,500 (Losers: Citizens)
    Flags and Bags $10,000 (Losers: Citizens)
    Heritage Drive $40,000+ (Losers: Citizens)
    Columbia Trolley $50,000+ (Losers: Citizens)
    Columbia Crossings $50,000+ (Losers: Citizens)
    Possible Council Miscues:
    McGinnis Airfield $1,6 Million (Losers: Wow a close one for the citizens)

    Now we have a potential $750,000+ (Grant and taxes) loss for the taxpayers if this approved with not potential earnings. Council please be smart and tax each room so the citizens will see a return on our taxes. This $10,000,000 Bond is possibly the most ridiculous thing for the Borough. It should have been a $5,000,000 Bond for infrastructure, not a development venture.
    What is next? Let me guess, the Colonial Metals property for $2,000,000+. With all the tax incentives and non profits the school district will never survive and with major cut to come.
    Time to stand up!

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    1. I agree with everything on your list except the sale of the sewer plant. My sewer bill is lower and we the citizens of Columbia are not alone on the hook for our aging infrastructure.

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    2. You forgot the Christmas lights on 462, a state road at a cost of over 300,000!

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    3. LEO's river cabin fence , the truth came out that's why Ron Millar Said it was salty .

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    4. I think you missed the lot on commerce st & walnut....

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    5. To much to list , they have to go.

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  9. The $650,000 grant and ten year tax abatement remained on the final agenda Monday night. The decision to table that issue had to be decided at the very last minute. The attorneys review should have been completed prior to Monday night. Something stinks.

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    1. BEHIND DOORS THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO PRIDE

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    2. Kick backs ??? maybe audit them!

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  10. well if council didn't see the reaction of the crowded room last night something is wrong with them. This was a message that people are getting fed up with the money they spend. Yes Norm Meiskey was a good manager. The new manager started all this land bank buying. She likes to spend money because she don't pay taxes here.That job should have been advertised. Another shady deal.

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    1. CALL IN THE STATE ATTORNEY , Audit the whole mess , file charges if neccesacery , name these people in the suit. None of them are up holding the oath they took.

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    2. These people need to answer for the things they have and are doing, if they did this at a job (working for someone else)they would have been terminated, WHATS UP WITH THE BOROUGH is it all back door (leo style ) management?

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  11. Quick tickets should be published , people have the right to know who and what people are being fined for. Did council president get a letter about the flacking paint on his garden structure? BET NOT SLECTIVE ENFORCMENT started by Helm 25 years a go and still goes on today, but if your not in the click you got a notice. 371 kinderhook road still digging no permit must be part of the click ,beside mayors(#1COP) HOUSE, and 1 house down from a Helm owned property GEZZZ

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    1. As should restaurant inspections! The state publishes them, why don't we. Are they hiding something?

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    2. More back door stuff , whats next?

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  12. Looks like a case of robbing Peter[taxpayers] to pay Paul[]. Banks were created to safely store your money, while they can lend it out, creating more money.
    GO to the bank to borrow the money you need, not the backs of us taxpayers.
    If Columbia borough has so much cash on hand to give it away, they should taxing the hell out us

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  13. I would like to know how your sewer bill is lower when mine.is higher every time i get it

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  14. Really with the sewer you guys are still complaining cuz you think your bill is high. The sewer bill is based on how much water usage you have that goes through your sewer system. If it wasn't for LASA buying Columbia sewer out we would have to pay millions and millions of dollars for a new plant because that one was no longer legal. If you think you pay a lot now wait until you would have seen how much that bill would have cost. Thank you LASA!!

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    1. LASA rates are a flat per quarter fee not based on water usage. When Columbia had the sewer system it was based on your water bill.
      There are some people paying more now since it is a flat. But someone who has a high water usage saw the bill go down (those of us with swimming pools and large families saw a decrease.)

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    2. I don't have a large family, no pool or much garden to water. We have my husband and I one part timer living here. My sewer bill used to be between $45-$60/month. So we are definitely saving money with LASA.

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  15. Wrong! Federal and State Grants are available for upgrades. The sewer plant generated over $900,000 profit to pay for how many government workers in Columbia. The sewer plant also used the water usage rate. The plant only had three violations since the 1960's. It was all about the money and now look what is happening. My bill is a lot higher since LASA has taken over and with only two people in the house.

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    1. I'm saving money with LASA with two people in my house and one part timer. Wished I could get my water bill down there too!

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    2. More of this councils mistakes

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    3. Last year, there was a hearing concerning the water rate increase to be excised on Columbia,Marietta, etc. Where was is held? Marietta, inaccessible to any non motoring , broke , folks. The hearing was a joke.
      CWC's lawyer stated something like "we provide clean water for 1 cent a gallon" or something to that. I pay 10 cents/gallon here. Do the math....the less you consume the more it cost/gallon. A

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    4. Now, come on. Don't go throwing out facts!

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  16. why are they afraid to put restaurant inspections out there? Would be nice to know we eat at clean places. I too congratulate Norm on speaking out on behalf of us. He was a great boro manager. I hope he continues to come to the meetings. The one we have now likes to spend cause she don't pay taxes here. That job should've been advertised.

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    1. With the job performance that Helm has shown do you trust his restaurant inspections, time to turn inspections to the state , they don't charge the towns for it ,,It is a NO BRAINER , Council think that is what the oath says , please do it or step down.

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  17. Why don't they have the state checking are restaurants his someone afraid they will close and even when Helm does it we never have a report what are they hiding time to have it done right by the state we are the only town that does thier own inspections why is that time to change ASP

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  18. THANK YOU DON MURPHY!!!!!

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  19. don't understand why they don't give the restaurant inspections to the state! let's demand it!
    the Boro has a manager and multiple managers but the REAL BOSS is Boro COuncil. IF you don't like something, anything, you MUST take it to Council!!! they run the show. like it or not.
    i do thing the code manager has done what should have been done years ago and that is to condemn blighted, unsafe properties. however, i do NOT agree with them telling you that you have to paint your house....most of us don't have $6,000 and up to do that...you see the School taxes are so so out of control that every day there are more of us losing our homes. THIS is what I will NEVER understand. How can COuncil NOT GET THAT???
    I do however, support the codes dept to insist on and quick ticketing for the following:
    1. trash and rubbish sitting, laying, scattered on ANY property. I don't want to look at it, see it or smell it. and it draws rodents. 2. high grass and weeds also draws rodents, mosquitos and looks disgusting 3. a junkyard full of vehicles...they do NOT belong sitting in any front yard or rear yard for decades. 4. dog waste! who wants to smell that?
    So the bottom line is...we support the code dept for having everyone CLEAN UP their properties either by trash removal or cutting grass (onto your lawn NOT the street!). but it's 100% UNACCEPTABLE TO TELL THE HOMEOWNER THEY HAVE TO PAINT THEIR HOMES. IF THEIR HOME IS TRASH FREE AND THE GRASS IS CUT AND IT DOESN'T SMELL LIKE SHIT, THEN LEAVE IT ALONE. That's crossing the line. Any one agree?

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    1. Yes well written , Council man that don't pay taxes has to go , how can he make any decision for the people with his track record, and codes should give warnings first, than after a time period fines, not blind siding people .

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    2. i agree also! so, council won't say it out loud...BUT THEY ARE THE ONES WHO INSTRUCT...NO WARNINGS...JUST ISSUE QUICK TICKETS. they don't have the kahunas to admit that at a council meeting now do they???? people we've GOT to continue to attend Boro council meetings!!!! it will make it awful hard for them to SLIDE the frivolous spending thru. :)

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    3. if you want a warning...go to the next Boro Council meeting and tell them! They run the show!

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  20. Remember Phil Gerber? He has codes going in right direction . He was tough but people didn't like him. He was fired. Which eventually brought us Helm. Now we're going back and people complain. Just comply

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  21. Helm is better then you think

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  22. Who was Mayor when Phil Gerber was in charge of Zoning ?, just curious

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