Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Commissioners Receive Feedback about Sanchez, Parks, Approve Elections Materials Contract

The Commissioners will vote next week on revised rules and regulations for the County's Parks. The last time the rules were updated was 1991.

Updates to the parks regulations include decreasing the default speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph, prohibiting "swimming, bathing, and wading" except when fishing, requiring that feces deposited by pets be removed, and updating the section on firearms to include paintball guns and all forms of archery.

A few residents expressed concerns about their children potentially getting in trouble for wading into the water on a limited basis for environmental projects.

Chief Park Ranger Lore Verne replied, "The rangers will certainly use discretion when it comes to things like that. Our concern was really for urban children swimming under the bridges, where that activity can be lethal."

Gail Meylin of Millersville pointed to Section 17, Rule F, which states, "No person shall... Appear in public in a manner that exposes the female breast, including but not limited to topless sunbathing, while in or on any property within the Park System." "My concern is that many of us are mothers who are breastfeeding, and I was wondering whether that might be covered by this."

"Actually, I hadn't even really thought of that," Verne admitted.

"I'll bet you hadn't," quipped Meylin, drawing smiles and laughter, particularly from the women in the audience.

Many of the persons in attendance at Wednesday's County Commissioners meeting who spoke out about the parks regulations are indviduals who have been speaking out about recently-fired naturalist Lisa Sanchez, and a good twenty-five of them were in attendance again this week - the fourth consecutive week that they've been attending.

Minority Commissioner Craig Lehman defended the Board's decision to remain largely quiet on the matter, stressing the need for "consistency in how the County approaches personnel matters."

Commissioner Vice-Chairman Scott Martin chimed in, "Please don't assume because of our silence that we're not listening and taking your concerns very seriously."

Also at Wednesday's meeting, the Commissioners voted to approve a contract with William Penn Printing of Pittsburgh for elections supplies in the amount of $15,987.

Chief of Elections Mary Stehman explained that the company "provides the box that each polling place receives" containing such items as pens, tape, sample ballots, voter sign-in logs, and the like.

It was also announced at Wednesday's Commissioners meeting that the Controller's Office won a "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in FInancial Reporting" from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for their compiling of the "Annual Financial Report" for the year ending December 31, 2006.