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Towamensing comes out against weighted votes on the tax board

Published April 02. 2010 05:00PM

In a report to Towamensing Township supervisors at the Thursday meeting, Supervisor Tom Newman, the representative to the county tax collection board, said there are 23 municipalities and five school districts.

Four of the districts, with the assistance of one municipality, have a weighted value to their vote that lets them control what is done including raising taxes without the approval of the other municipalities.

Newman looks upon it as counting twice because the same people are counted on the school district rolls and on the municipalities.

When Rep. Keith McCall was contacted, he said he had been waiting for a response to the Department of Community and Economic Development regulation. At the first meeting of the committee no one understood the meaning of the weighted vote and it was approved in the bylaws.

Newman said people should contact representatives and complain.

Resident Roy Christsman said originally the legislature was set up as one house for the people and one house for the counties, but that was declared unconstitutional. The counties and townships are created by the state and do not have inherent power.

He does not consider it double counting and asked, "Why should Towamenting or Bowmanstown have as much value as a school district?"

The smaller government units would win. "We just have to bite the bullet. It's reasonable," he said.

Newman said the law is changeable. "At least give us the opportunity to go to our representatives."

Solicitor Tom Nanovic said the weighted average is the default - 17 vs. eight and eight wins. People did not realize the meaning of weighting.

"So why would anyone go to another meeting? I'm wasting my time. Do you want a taxing agency that has carte blanche," asked Newman.

In other business: The planning commission requested supervisors buy a book, "Envisioning Better Communities," for commission use. The purchase was approved at a cost of $59 plus $6 shipping and handling.

Supervisor Rodney George resigned from the Ag Security Board in March. Kleintop was appointed as supervisor chair of the board. Earl Beers agreed to continue serving and gave Kleintop the names of three others who were on the board. They will be contacted to see if they wish to continue.

Road inspection is scheduled for April 16, 7 a.m.

There will be a used equipment sale in conjunction with Lower Towamensing at the Towamensing building on May 18, 5 p.m. Dean Ahner will be the auctioneer.

Joe Farrell resigned from the zoning hearing board.

A donation was requested by East Penn Search and Rescue which is run for the entire county, said Newman. "These are people who respond to crisis." He recommended donating $200, which was approved.

Christman attended a meeting, Revisioning Commercial Strips, a program he will discuss with the planning commission.

Special needs people will be asked to fill out forms for emergency use stating special health needs such as oxygen or being nonambulatory. The records will go to 911 with all information kept private.

Carol Copeland, chair of the historical commission, sent a letter to the Carbon County commissioners asking that certain things be considered when replacing the Koch Road Bridge: it be replaced with a precast concrete arch, the concrete be lined to give the appearance of stone, the railing be open and the plaque be removed from the old bridge and placed on the new one.

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