Cheers to working together, jeers to the state of state funding
Cheers to officials from Coal Township and Reading Anthracite, who seem to have struck a chord of cooperation that has put the township's proposed ordinance taxing the company's off-road riding permits on hold. The key is Reading Anthracite's willingness to work with the township to bring control and regulation to abandoned coal and forest acreage throughout eastern Northumberland County. We support the idea of the ordinance, but also agree that the township can gain more for its citizens by working with Reading Anthracite in alleviating vandalism and helping address emergency response costs. Coal companies have kept government and the public at arm's length for decades, and this sign of participation in the process could prove to be a positive, particularly considering the launch of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.
Jeers to the state of government funding in Pennsylvania. While we are pleased to hear Gov. Tom Corbett's proposal to funnel $1 billion in revenue to public schools over four years - local school budgets need it - it's the source of the funding that gives us pause. The money would come from the sale of the state-run liquor store system and liquor licenses. Education paid for by liquor sales, and funding for the care and welfare of elderly through the Lottery, otherwise known as gambling, points again to the need for reform of the state tax system.
Cheers to Clover Hose Fire Company for helping save Mount Carmel Station 6 fire police through a new partnership. Ignoring political overtones, the fire company has recognized the value of fire police service in the realm of public safety, and has offered up physical space and moral support that will apparently keep the group in operation.
Jeers to Coal Township's William R. Knapick Sr. for his lawsuit against Northumberland County that seeks to make Commissioner Vinny Clausi's two-minute public comment rule unenforceable. He's understandably upset that he was cut off in his remarks to the board on Jan. 22 - that should not become routine - but Knapick has had plenty of opportunity to raise the same concerns in the past, and those concerns have even been addressed by the state. Also, his lawsuit goes beyond the dustup over public comment by asking to void all action taken at the meeting. Why? Moreover, commissioners have a right to impose "reasonable" regulations on the conduct of meetings, and Clausi has said he would consider lengthening the time limit.