Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Commissioners Not Conducting Public Search for Esterbrook Replacement?

At their Tuesday worksession, the County Commissioners announced that they had met in executive session "regarding personnel matters" preceding the meeting.

In response to questioning from NewsLanc as to whether "any progress has been made, or at least a established a process for, finding Mr. Esterbrook's replacement," Commissioner Chairman Dennis Stuckey said with a wry smile, "that's why we met in executive session," declining to elaborate further.

The Commissioners repeatedly refused to comment even on whether a search process of any kind is going forward.

Said Commissioner Scott Martin, "When we're ready to - we know exactly what direction we're headed, we'll be sure to let everybody know."

This has lead to speculation by some that Mr. Esterbrook was nudged out for personal or political reasons in favor of a hand-selected successor.

In other news, the County is appointing the law firm of Barley & Snyder to serve as special counsel at a rate of $260/hour to represent the County in the ongoing litigation related to 150 North Queen Street.

It was recently reported - and County Solicitor Don LeFever confirmed - that Dr. Ira Trocki, the former owner of the building, is appealing a lower court's decision, which awarded him $7.8 million in addition to the $8.3 million the County had initially paid for the building.

Trocki believes that the building was worth $21 million when the County took it by eminent domain.

In other matters, the County is expected to authorize the expenditure of $965,854.50 to replace the Auction Road concrete arch bridge in Penn and Rapho Townships, and $74,500 to repair the Weavers Mill covered wooden bridge in Caernarvon Township.

The County is also expected to approve state funding for experimental "roof greening." Roof greening is the practice of covering the roof of a building with plant life in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce runoff.

The National Novelty Brush Company at 505 East Fulton Street in Lancaster will be participating in the experiment.

In the first of a series of educational presentations about County government, there will be a presentation on what the Register of Wills does at Wednesday's public Commissioners meeting, which is held at 9:15 am on the fifth floor of the County Courthouse.