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Towamensing residents unhappy with solicitor's decision

Published January 07. 2010 05:00PM

Russ Frank asked Towamensing supervisors if they were aware of the reason that a zoning hearing board decision that was appealed had been overturned.

At the Jan. 4 supervisors' meeting he said the zoning solicitor, George Dydynsky, practically recommended it be overturned. When the board makes a decision it is the job of the solicitor to defend that decision, said Frank.

Township Solicitor Tom Nanovic said if it was a defensible decision he agreed.

Supervisor Rodney George said Dydynsky thought no variance was needed but zoning officer Pat Snyder said it was up to her and she said it was needed.

Frank also said a motion about the Woods Campground was made by the zoning solicitor, not the board, and the decision was not signed by the board as required. "… and you reappointed him," said Frank.

Supervisor Tom Newman said the zoning board chooses its own solicitor. The board's job is to be objective. "There is always next year," he added.

Landowner Glenn Beers said "its hard to know who he's working for. They (his suggestions) weren't illegal but they were unethical."

Resident Mary Ann Lewellyn asked what the procedure was to see the minutes from the last 10 years. Supervisor Penny Kleintop said she had to come to the office and fill out an open records request.

Lewellyn said she heard about a meeting between Newman and the zoning hearing board. It was a meeting so he could learn what the zoning board does and there was no quorum of supervisors so there was no need to advertise it.

Beers asked about runoff from the cinder shed that runs over Beers property. Kleintop said she and township worker Chris Beers went to check and realized water would enter the shed but they could not see where it came out.

Beers was concerned that there would be ground water contamination.

Planner Roy Christman said the planning commission voted to ask the supervisors to have Carbon Engineering check and see if a developer along Pohopoco Drive is following the plan.

Resident Guy Seifert said an "in progress" inspection is a good idea since, if mistakes are found later, they can be expensive to correct.

George said he had asked the engineer to check after the December meeting where it was first brought up. The results of the check had not been received as of the meeting.

Christine Meinhart, zoning officer, will have hours on the first and third Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. and the second and fourth Monday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Township workers' wages remained the same as in 2009.

Newman would like to get a geographic information system (GIS) for historical planning, office management, and zoning. It is a mapping program that can overlay plans.

Christman is going to create a newsletter for township residents, Newman and Connie Bieling offered to help.

Newman would also like to create a welcome folder for newcomers to the township. It would contain a map, voter information, garbage and other township information along with members of committees and officials.

A new winter road policy received some nice comments after the first storm, said Newman.

Sergeant Cawley of the Pa. State Police will be attending the February meeting.

The historical commission would like to find a new use such as a bike or hiking trail for the Koch bridge when the county replaces it.

A personnel policy was set that workers on the garbage truck are to be rotated. That way the burden can be shared. Kleintop asked George if he would schedule workers under the new policy, and he agreed.

Under correspondence there was a complaint about vehicles on the Danny and Warren Serfass properties on Station Street. The zoning officer will check.

George asked what procedures were used in replacing Pat Snyder as secretary and asked why Kleintop and Newman had not told her she was being replaced.

Kleintop said when she was elected two years ago Lora Nothstein told her she was interested in the job and "I thought the time was right to replace her (Snyder)." She had told Kleintop she would not be able to work with Newman.

George said, "You two are idiots." He asked Seifert if he would treat an employee at his business that way.

Seifert said he brought up the subject over and over that Snyder did not do her job right, and Kleintop said she would not judge Snyder.

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