Planning Board Up to Full Strength, Might Get Even Bigger
By Chris Jones
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 16, 2017
DINGMANS FERRY – Delaware Township Supervisors filled two vacancies on the Planning Commission last Wednesday, bringing it up to full strength at five members, but there was some discussion about whether the Commission should have just five ore even seven members.
Meanwhile the supervisors appointed William Errico to fill out a one-year term on the Planning Commission and former Supervisor Tom Ryan to fill the vacant two-year term.
Supervisors Jeff Scheetz, John Henderson and Ron Hough all voted for Errico, but Scheetz and Hough voted to appoint Ryan while Henderson voted “no.”
Alluding to Ryan’s having a second in Florida, Henderson said he had been on the Planning commission long enough to know that a member couldn’t follow land plots when he needs to attend a meeting by telephone.
“You need to look at the information in front of you,” Henderson said before casting his vote.
Later during public comment, Dawn Bukaj, herself a former Planning Commission member, asked Hough and Scheetz why they voted for Ryan when there were other candidates for the seat.
“The chairman of the Planning Commission stood up at this meeting and said he [Ryan] was not a good candidate because he can’t be at all the meeting,” Bukaj said.
She then asked why Scheetz and Hough voted for Ryan.
“Because of his experience on the Board of Supervisors and thus with the Planning Commission and his 45 years’ experience in this particular field,” Scheetz said. Ryan is a building trades contractor.
Township Solicitor Tom Farley said there was a provision for removing a Planning commission member: missing four consecutive meeting without cause.
Farley later explained that there was a conflict between the Planning Commission bylaws and the township ordinance governing the Commission, with the bylaws calling for five members and the ordinance for seven.
The township had drafted an ordinance to reduce the number to give members from seven, but here was some discussion that seven might be better because other candidates had expressed interest and seven would provide more “bodies.”
Any change to the ordinance would have to go to a public hearing at a later date.
IN OTHER MATTERS
Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker announced that the Township EMA would begin recruiting volunteers next month. As many as 15 to 20 volunteers are needed, he said. In May and June they will provide two introductory level training programs required by FEMA of all individuals with emergency or disaster response responsibilities.
Beodeker, who also is president of the Delaware Township Fire Department, said that the DTVFD had signed a contract for spring 2018 delivery of a new tanker-pumper costing $282,300. Through township and department funding the cost has been paid upfront and nothing will be owed on the fire engine, he said.
Little League President Salvatore Panetta said the League pays thousands to keep up the ballfield at the township complex on Wilson Hill Road but other leagues play on the same field but they don’t pay much for it.
“Everyone benefits but we pay the bills,” Panetta said.
Supervisors asked for a meeting with the Little League and softball leagues to determine who uses the field and how much is paid for what maintenance.
There was also discussion about the feasibility of a wheelchair wing at the new playground in Akenac Park. Such a swing could cost as much as $25,000 and would require a full-time supervisor.
The playground cost $20,000 less than what was budgeted so there is a balance for other improvements.
Jane Neufeld suggested that since it is a brand new playground about to enter its first season of use, people should wait and see what other needs develop such as providing shade over the playground area, fencing and matting under the swings.