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Commissioner to serve on statewide committee

Published November 06. 2010 09:00AM

A Carbon County Commissioner will again serve on a statewide committee.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, announced that they have received correspondence from Mark Hamilton, president-elect for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, stating that he is appointing Commissioner Wayne Nothstein to CCAP's County Governance Committee. This is the 11th year Nothstein will serve on this committee.

O'Gurek congratulated Nothstein for his appointment, adding that he is very active in CCAP and has been working to help with legislation that helps the counties.

O'Gurek noted that one thing the governance committee has been working on is abolishing the jury commissioner positions within the counties because they are no longer necessary positions.

Nothstein explained that this has been an issue for quite some time and that the group has been working on solving the problem.

To date, he said, the bill giving counties the right to abolish these positions has been passed in the House but then was amended in the Senate. The bill is now back in the House, awaiting approval.

Other things the County Governance Committee works on, Nothstein said, is anything that is not covered in other committees, such as election issues, county code, and general legislation and regulations.

Nothstein will now serve with Beaver County Commissioner Charlie Camp, who will be the chairman; Erie County Commissioner Fiore Leone, who will serve as vice-chair; and CCAP Executive Director Doug Hill, who will serve as the staff liaison.

In other matters, Randall Smith, county administrator, provided the board of commissioners with an update on a property that an area resident complained about, stating that the homeowner has abandoned dogs and horses.

Smith said as a result of last week's meeting, Bruce May, the K-9 warden, and state troopers went to the property in question, located in Towamensing Township, to take a look at the dogs.

Smith said that the report he received stated that there were 13 dogs on the premises and that there were signs that the animals had been given food and water earlier that day.

He added that he drove by the property later that week to observe the horses.

He said that the house looks like it is a rundown property and that the area that the horses were on had little ground cover left for them to graze in.

Smith spoke with the humane society and was told that the property in question is part of an ongoing investigation by the Pennsylvania SPCA; and that the state dog law enforcement officer was trying to make arrangements to enter the property to observe the dogs.

"The appropriate agencies have been contacted and are on top of things," Smith said.

Commissioner Charles Getz again voiced his disapproval for how the K-9 shelter handled the initial call about the dogs, stating that they shouldn't have immediately said "Call the state police."

O'Gurek said that May was not aware of the phone call complaint because he was not there the day the call came in.

He also noted that they instructed May to go to the property after they learned of the complaint.

O'Gurek said he agreed that the situation could have been handled differently by the part-time employees and that will be addressed.

Getz then again suggested that they pay Donna Crum, the county cruelty officer, for the time that she spends on these matters.

O'Gurek and Nothstein both said that it is a court-appointed, nonpaid position.

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