Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Officials are held to higher standards

You are an elected official – doesn’t matter whether you are president of the United States or a borough council member or township supervisor, you can’t please everyone all the time. In fact, if you can please half of the people, you are doing a pretty good job.

Unless you are the president of the United States, who is pretty much shielded from public complaints, you, on the smaller level as a borough council or school board member or a township supervisor, you not only have a lot to do, but also are target of frequent critics for what you do or don’t do.

I’ve probably been to more public meetings than anyone in our town. Not only here in Columbia, but numerous other areas in York and Lancaster counties. I’ve seen it all, heard it all and left many meetings shaking my head as to what happened, what didn’t happen and what people, not only on the governing bodies said or what the people who attend the meeting say at meetings.

Sometimes I think because the meetings were being covered by not only the local newspapers, but others, it was grandstanding. Other times, I thought people who brought things up at meetings has legitimate concerns or questions. Yet, those concerns or questions got brushed aside because of who was speaking or the manner it was brought up.

I get to thinking sometimes how certain people can get away with what they say, not only from the head table, but the citizens as well.

I can say Columbia is unique in that respect. Over the years I’ve seen many times where governing bodies and the public tangle and be at odds. It’s gotten to the point where it has divided communities.

But the one thing at times I think is missing is respect. Respect for those in charge and respect from those in charge toward the citizenry.

Sometimes the governing bodies haven’t earned that respect from its citizens and other times they have.

What I don’t like however is when people don’t care their way and take their ball, so to speak, and go home. Sure, I’ll admit, there are times when it is tough to sit at a head table and get beat up all of the time, but that’s why people get elected to office. Sure, sometimes it goes overboard, but when an elected official doesn’t get his or her way, shouts an obscenity and takes their ball and goes home, its time for a change. You have to ask yourself as a citizen if that type person is one we want leading our community and also have to ask at the same time, if the comment from a citizen really needed to be made.

Either way, its not a good way for a community leader to act and some are questioning whether that person should be involved in the decisions of our town.

In you had a vote

If you had a say on what your community would look like and be involved in the planning process for that future, what would you want your town to look at and if involved in the planning process, would you look at the entire picture as to what is good for the town and not good for you as an individual? Or, would you look at it from the point, this is good for me and I don’t care about what others think?

It is a discussion I was recently involved in and my answer might differ from others. I know there are a lot of projects under way or being planned for in our great town. They all sound good on paper or in black and white and if they ever get completed, I am sure they will have a positive impact on our town.

Unlike those in power, who have a full plate of projects, decisions and meetings to attend, I would prefer to take a simple approach. That would be to take one project, get it off the “wish list” and get it done. One thing it will do is show the citizens of our town that there is progress a nd something is happening.

I don’t want to spend too much time rehashing what has or hasn’t been done in Columbia, but it is safe to say that not only from the municipal leaders but private developers, the number of projects that have been done might only fill up a couple of pages in a three-ring binder, but the projects that have been planned, spoken about or studied to death, will fill up more than a few three-ring binders.

I know progress takes time, but how much money has Columbia spent in planning projects such as parking lots downtown, new lights and trees for the downtown, the Route 441 relocation project, plans to turn the borough owned property at Third and Linden streets into the Turkey Hill Experience or previously a hotel or some other entity. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the River Park Expansion project. The list could go on and on and on.

What about weighing trucks that come through our town? The equipment lays idle at the borough highway department. We keep hearing officers are waiting to be trained or officers haven’t been picked yet. Why not? I understand we’ve had offers from other areas to share or use the equipment, but have been stone walled. Heck, pull a couple of trucks over in a day or a week and it could be an easy $100,000 in the borough’s financial pockets.

It seems like we study, study and study some more the various projects. Despite the studies, citizens see very little action. Does anyone think that each time Columbia complains about the lack of approvals for the Route 441 relocation, those in power tell Columbia to relax, things are moving forward and you’ll get your relocation project? I know I am not the only one who feels that way.

I understand, believe me, with what I’ve been through since my accident, dealing with many government entities takes time. It has been frustrating for me because I am not one that likes to see things moving slowly. I like to get things done and move on.

Perhaps that is the attitude our borough should take. Let’s get things moving, get something done and move on.

I believe in our town and always will. Sure, I’d like to be involved in moving things forward and in the planning, but sooner or later one of these projects needs to get started or completed, so we have some hope.

Right now all I see is borrowing an expression from former CHS football coach Mike Burke, who use to tell his players “don’t wake up wishing.” Right now, that’s what Columbia is dong, “waking up each morning wishing” instead of forcing things to get done.

CHS football news

The envelope please!

Thursday night, the Columbia School Board is expected to name a replacement for Jason Shoff as Crimson Tide football coach.

The new football coach that is expected to be approved by the board is Michael Burke III, longtime assistant up on the hill and the son of former CHS sideline boss Mike Burke.

Burke III is a former CHS player and has served a number of years as the Tide’s defensive coordinator.

The Tide is coming off an 0-10 season in 2009.

The schedule the new coach will face will be slightly easier than the one the Tide played this past season. Gone from the schedule are District Three playoff qualifiers Lampeter-Strasburg, who moved up to Section II in the L-L League and York Suburban, who will now become a scrimmage for the Tide.

The 2010 schedule is as follows:
Sept. 3, Eastern (5-5)
Sept, 10, at Northeastern (4-6)
Sept. 17, Daniel Boone (9-3), District Three playoff qualifier, who lost to Manheim Centra, 24-20 and is the only 4-A team on the Tide’s schedule.
Sept. 24, at Boiling Springs (5-4)
Oct. 1, Elco (8-3)
Oct. 8, at Northern Lebanon (6-4), only other team in Section 3 with new coach as Ray Ball replaces longtime NL coach Jack Beidler.
Oct. 15, at Annville-Cleona (3-7)
Oct. 22, Lancaster Catholic (16-0), reigning Class AA state champions.
Oct. 29, Pequea Valley (2-8)
Nov. 5, at Donegal (2-8).

CHS Spring Schedules


Friday, March 26, at Conestoga Valley
Thursday, April 1, McCaskey
Monday, April 5, at Pequea Valley
Wednesday, April 7, Lebanon Catholic
Friday, April 9, Lancaster Catholic
Monday, April 12, at Annville-Cleona
Wednesday, April 14, Lancaster Mennonite
Friday, April 16, at Lampeter-Strasburg
Monday, April 19, Manheim Central
Wednesday, April 21, at Cocalico
Friday, April 23, Elco
Monday, April 26, at Northern Lebanon
Wednesday, April 28, Donegal
Friday, April 30, Pequea Valley
Monday, May 3, at Lebanon Catholic
Wednesday, May 5, at Lancaster Catholic
Friday, May 7, Annville-Cleona
Monday, May 10, at Lancaster Mennonite
All games at 4:15 p.m.

Friday, March 26, Upper Dauphin
Tuesday, March 30, Reading Central Catholic
Monday, April 5, Pequea Valley
Wednesday, April 7, at Lebanon Catholic
Friday, April 9, at Lancaster Catholic
Monday, April 12, Annville-Cleona
Wednesday, April 14, at Lancaster Mennonite
Friday, April 16, Lampeter-Strasburg
Monday, April 19, at Manheim Central
Wednesday, April 21, Cocalico
Friday, April 23, at Elco
Monday, April 26, Northern Lebanon
Wednesday, April 28, at Donegal
Friday, April 30, at Pequea Valley
Monday, May 3, Lebanon Catholic
Wednesday, May 5, Lancaster Catholic
Friday, May 7, at Annville-Cleona
Monday, May 10, Lancaster Mennonite
All games at 4:15 p.m.

Monday, April 5, Donegal
Saturday, April 10, at White Rose Invitational
Monday, April 12, Elco
Saturday, April 17, at Shippensburg Invitational
Thursday, April 22, Hempfield
Saturday, April 24, at Stan Morgan InvitationalMonday, April 28, at Lancaster Catholic
Monday, May 3, at Annville-Cleona
Monday, May 14, at Lancaster Mennonite

QRS to host breakfast

The Columbia Quick Response Service will host an All You Can Eat homemade breakfast from 6-10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 20 at the Columbia Consolidated Fire Department, 10th and Mifflin streets.

The cost is $6.75 for adults and children 5-12, $4. Children under the age of 4 are free.

The breakfast includes eggs, pancakes, fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, toast, coffee and juice.

Yard sale and flea market

The Columbia Boy’s Athletic Association will hold a flea market and yard sale on Saturday, April 17 from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., at Glatfelter Field.

The cost is $15 for a space.

The deadline for registration and money is April 10.

For more information, call 684-2399.

Treasures in Your Attic

Treasures in Your Attic, an antique appraisal fair, hosted by the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce will be held Saturday, March 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 116-118 North Third St., the site of the former Revival Skate Shop.

Local antique dealers and appraisers Dave Dickson, Ron Madar and Harold Keller will be on hand to lend their assistance in appraising family heirlooms and treasures. No stamps, coins or military items are allowed and all items must be hand carried to the event.

Tickets are available at two prices – $5 for a verbal appraisal for one item and $10 covers the verbal appraisal of three items.

Tickets can be purchased at the chamber’s visitor center, 445 Linden St., or at the door the day of the event.

Proceeds from this event the rivertowns of Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville, along with the upkeep of the visitor’s center.

Sponsors for the event are the Rivertowne Antique Center, Burning Bridge Antiques Market and Partners and Friends.

For more information, call the chamber at 684-5249.