What does Romao Carrasco think about the issues?

By on May 10, 2017

We asked Romao Carrasco, a candidate for East Cocalico township supervisor, some questions about the issues concerning the township. Here’s what he said:

How can East Cocalico Township best encourage economic development?                          

Managed economic development and expanding our tax base without stressing our community’s resources (police, fire departments, schools, etc.) should be our goal.  As a result of my corporate background in Strategic Marketing and Sales, I am a big believer in putting in place Strategic Plans that would establish goals at 5 years, 10 years and 15 years.  These Strategic plans are then used to develop supporting plans which correspond to existing zoning plans.  Simply put, we have to understand and know where it is we want to be as a community in these timeframes so that we can all work together as a community to achieve the goals we set.

With that being said, there are three key steps that we must take to develop a Strategic Plan.  Complete transparency and community involvement is critical in the first and second steps below as the ownership, welfare and stewardship of the community does not solely belong to the Supervisors (they are guides and facilitators in the process), it belongs to our community members, it belongs to home owners, businesses, schools, farmers, seniors, police and fire.

First, we work jointly with the community and involve them in defining what the ‘mission statement’ of East Cocalico is so we can create new signs and place these at each of the roads entering East Cocalico reflecting this (example: Lititz is now known as  “America’s coolest small town”) .  These signs will set the tone to all, that we are a coordinated neighborly community.

Secondly, we must work jointly within our community to receive feedback to determine where our community wants to be in the above yearly timeframes.

Finally, we must understand and accept the realities of the reputation East Cocalico has amongst the building community within Lancaster County, resulting from its prior dealings with builders.  We need to mend our reputation with them find ways to streamline and facilitate building procedures and processes.

What is the greatest challenge facing East Cocalico going forward? 

I believe there are actually two great challenges facing East Cocalico; financial and limited transparency.

The transparency challenge must be immediately addressed and is a critical first step needed, in order to move forward as a community and mend relationships within neighboring communities.  More involvement from our community should be welcomed as we have many community members who have much to contribute.

Financial challenges must also be addressed as these will impact our community and taxpayers for years to come.  East Cocalico cannot afford to continue to make decisions which result in significant financial losses (such as selling properties for millions in losses) and damaging our formerly good relationships with neighboring communities (the loss of sharing our police coverage with West Cocalico and Adamstown).

How can East Cocalico supervisors better improve communications between themselves and their constituents?

The first step in improving communications is to improve transparency with our community. This can quickly be accomplished by providing detailed meeting agendas and minutes and complete information packets containing supporting documents for the items being discussed at each meeting.  Residents and visitors should be allowed to discuss important issues without being cut off after just 5 minutes.

Supervisors should consider internet televising all township meetings so that community members have the option to view the meetings, if they are unable to attend in person, or view them at a later time to remain informed.

Finally, the tone and body language of the Supervisors should be professional, respectful and neighborly in nature.

Should state laws be changed regarding health and insurance benefits made available to part-time second-class township supervisors?

If someone chooses to run and becomes a Supervisor, they must fully understand that they serve at the will of the community in a service position.  They have a fiduciary responsibility to the community to be good stewards of public funds.  As such, I personally believe these laws should be changed so that any benefits provided should not be excessive and should at most be reflective of the benefits the community being served has in their personal lives.


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