Commissioners questioned about public comment

BY STACI WILSON

The Susquehanna County Commissioners were questioned at the Wednesday, Feb. 22 meetings by an audience member about public comment not being noted in the meeting minutes.

Bruce Paskoff objected to the approval of the Feb. 8 meeting minutes.

Commissioner Alan Hall said in order for comment to appear in the minutes, it has to be testimony offered in an official capacity.

When the floor was opened for public comment, Paskoff asked for the solicitor to put the policy in writing.

Hall said the solicitor’s advice to the commissioners fell under attorney-client privilege and would not be put out to the public.

Paskoff said that four the past four years, public comment had not appeared in the meeting minutes and asserted it had to be to meet Sunshine Law requirements.

“Your interpretation of the Sunshine Law is different from our solicitor’s,” Hall said but offered to check with the solicitor for the definition of the word “testimony.”

The commissioners entered into an agreement with Michael Baker Jr.,Philadelphia, for $44,742 to update the county’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The county has been approved for a 75% federal reimbursement and a 25 percent state reimbursement for the cost of the plan update.

The Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan was adopted by the county in 2007.

The commissioners also signed an agreement, dated Jan.11, to allow FEMA to continue working out of a field office established in the county office building. FEMA will not be charged for the space

Municipal tax collectors were exonerated from collecting delinquent 2011 county returns in the amount of $677,552.85. ThecountyTaxClaim office will now be responsible for collection of the delinquent returns.

The commissioners signed a one-year maintenance agreement with Reed’s Generator Service LLC, Jackson, at a cost of $1,260 to inspect and provide preventative maintenance on generators at the Jailhouse, Fairgrounds,LowerOfficeBuilding, Pig Pen Alley and theFriendsvilleTower.

Reed’s will also provide emergency service and repair at rates of $60-$120 per hour, depending on day and time of occurrence.

Jeffrey Bostic was terminated from his position in Children & Youth, effective Feb. 17.

The commissioners recognized this year (2012) as the Centennial Anniversary of 4-H inPennsylvania.

A salary board was also convened by the three commissioners. Treasurer Cathy Benedict was not present at the meeting.

A second, full-time custodian position was created by the board.