It’s all in the names… West Cocalico gets down to business with reorganization, appointments to boards

By on January 7, 2015

If names make news, then the actions of the West Cocalico Township supervisors at their Jan. 5 reorganization should make big headlines.

But, truth be told, aside from some light-hearted banter involving mass resignations and across-the-board firing of all township employees, the three supervisors, James J. Stoner, Jacque Smith, and Terry Scheetz, pretty much got down to the needed, albeit lackluster, details of township business at their Jan. 5 meeting.

First up was reorganization. But that was a re-run of the past: showing unanimity, Smith was again elected chairman, Scheetz, vice chair, and Stoner, secretary-treasurer.

Next up was reaffirming the rest of the staff.

Carolyn Hildebrand (formerly Friesema) continues as both township manager and zoning officer. She’ll continue to be assisted Shelbie Shupp, administrative assistant; Tammy Emerich, clerical worker/recycling coordinator; and Margaret Showalter, part-time clerical worker.

Tom Showalter was reaffirmed as roadmaster. His full-time crew, Doug Miller, Michael Grant, and Scott Zook, as well as part-timers Dennis Schmeck, Marvin Fox, and Richard Pannebecker also continue in their positions.

Larry B. Maier was re-appointed as solicitor and Rettew Associates got the nod as township engineer. The supervisors noted that, in both cases, when speciality matters arise, other attorneys and firms may be tapped for specific expertise — and more critically, at less expensive rates.

Allen Madiera remains the primary sewage enforcement officer, with alternates (in order) Cynthia E. Hix, Leonard W. Spencer, and Brian R. Cobourn Jr.

Seth Bacon remains the consulting soil scientist; Associated Building Inspections Inc., building code official, and Dennis Schmeck, emergency management coordinator.

Two fire police units were reaffirmed: Schoeneck with Capt. Linda R. Weaver, Lt. Jay R. Weaver, and Sgt. Paul Gantert along with Jerry Fastnacht, John Shirk Jr., Ivan Martin, and Garry Christ.

Reinholds with Capt. Dwight Walters and Lt. Dwayne Shank, along with Curtis R. Enck Jr., Ronald Rutt, James K. Beard, Edward Harting, Gerald Weinhold, and Richard Sweigart.

The supervisors also made the following appointments: Kent Reich, five-year term to authority board; Terry Eberly, five-year term to zoning hearing board, David Zimmerman, four-year term to planning commission, and Mark Stoner, five-year term to the park board.

The supervisors also increased the reimbursements for members of the planning commission, and zoning hearing and park boards from $35 to $45 per meeting.

Scheetz noted the cost of transportation as well as the time commitments by members. Some meetings, he noted, can last as long as three hours.

Smith and Stoner agreed.

“Think of what it costs to keep a good employee — the same is true of good board members who basically get next to nothing compared to our employees,” said Stoner.

Supervisors also re-appointed Susquehanna Bank as the depository for township funds. There was some concern over the recent acquisition of Susquehanna by BB&T. Hildebrand noted she has been in touch with bank officials who indicated the acquisition will have no impact on business with West Cocalico.

Among the fees the supervisors retained are the driveway permit fee of $65; the highway occupany permit fee of $125; and the $550 application fee to go before the zoning hearing board. In response to supervisors’ questions, Hildebrand says she has been monitoring the costs associated with zoning hearings and, as of now, the $550 seems to cover those. She will continue to monitor in 2015 and suggest changes, if necessary, for the 2016 budget.

The board also voted unanimously to establish the treasurer’s surety bond of $500,000.

The supervisors again discussed costs of police coverage which they contract with East Cocalico.

Hildebrand noted that while West Cocalico payments amount to 25 percent of the total budget, calls only account, on average, of 15 to 18 percent of total police calls per month. She said those averages are based on calls in 2012 and 2013. The 25-percent payment is based on population count.

The supervisors all agreed to discuss payments relative to the amount of calls placed by residents to police versus population.

“We believe we should pay based on the calls,” said Hildebrand.

“Let’s throw the bone out and see in whose direction it falls,” said Stoner. “This number has to be discussed.”

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