Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Sunday, October 18, 2020
This week's photos of Columbia
(Click/tap on photos to see larger, sharper images.)
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
Daytime attractions run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Haunted tours begin at 7 p.m.
The fun takes place at Columbia River Park, 21 Walnut St., Columbia. For more information, visit albatwitchday.com.
Columbia Borough Council approved a contract with a public relations firm this week to handle communications and information about a potential purchase of the McGinness property at 1020 Manor Street.Gavin, a "public relations and communications services" firm, will "guide communication strategies" (according to their proposal) concerning the purchase of the 58-acre tract. (Currently, the property is not under agreement.) The 10-page contract proposal detailing the scope of services and pricing structure begins on page 25 of the meeting's council packet, which can be downloaded HERE.
Council vice president Sharon Lintner said she knew nothing about the Gavin proposal until she saw it on the meeting agenda. (The agenda lists the item as "11. b. Consider Contract for Communication and PR Support for the purchase of the McGinness Airport.") Council president Heather Zink suggested tabling the item, but after discussion the item remained, and council ultimately voted to approve the contract 5-2, with Lintner and councilman Howard Stevens voting against the motion.
This is not the first time the property has been under consideration by the borough. At the April 10, 2017 council meeting, the former council voted 5-1 to purchase the property but nixed the deal in July due to "environmental and/or subsurface conditions of the property." According to the minutes of the July 24, 2017 special council meeting, council approved the following motion 6-0 to void the agreement of sale:
The property is currently listed at $1,495,000.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Wickersham Elementary School principal to become Columbia superintendent in 2021; current superintendent placed on leave
The school board on Thursday night hired Ashley Mercado, the principal of Lancaster's Wickersham Elementary School, as Columbia's new superintendent. Mercado's first day will be Jan. 2, 2021, after students return from winter break.
In an abrupt response to the hire, current Superintendent Tom Strickler will go on paid administrative leave until his contract expires Dec. 31.The board unanimously approved Mercado's appointment and Strickler's leave, and then it named Gregory McGough, the district's director of curriculum, as interim superintendent until Mercado takes over.
School board Vice President Kathleen Hohenadel declined to answer questions about Strickler's leave prior to the meeting. Instead, school board President Charles Leader sent a prepared statement, which he also read aloud during the meeting. The board and Strickler "mutually agreed" to the leave, according to the statement.