Thursday, September 11, 2014

Summer is Over, Time to get back to Work!

Sometimes the best lessons arise from relatively insignificant events. While on vacation this summer, I saw a very out-of-place feline who looked as if it had lost its way. It was fumbling through the dunes, in search of food, water, shelter...I can't be sure. It wandered around by itself and soon, I saw some large birds circling the area. Had they spotted a potential meal? Would the cat make it on its own? 

As representatives of our respective boroughs, there are surely times when we feel as alone as this cat. Trying to find the proper level of resources for the survival of our municipalities while fending off those who would wait to see us fail. 

I wondered, how much better would this cat fair if it were in a small group? Would the birds swoop down on a strong coalition? How much better the chances for survival and a happier life, feeling secure and safe in its group?

Our CBA and the PSAB have created an environment within which our boroughs can retain their individual traditions and heritages, but also share in the benefits of the strength created when we come together to support causes dear to our constituencies. Act 89 has increased our individual share of the revenues created by the state gas taxes/fees, and will ensure the maintenance and safety of our roads and bridges. The Adams County Transportation Planning Organization has approved the project funding levels for the next three years. The improvements provided will make traveling through our county better for business, tourist and local drivers. A new unified Borough Code strengthens the influence of your people in the grand scheme which is our Commonwealth. The increased weekly pay-outs from the Small Games of Chance Act reforms have made available more of our own community monies; to be retained and used locally. We will continue to move forward by ensuring the safety of our citizens in offering municipal police departments the opportunity to use radar technology to more accurately enforce local speed limits in areas where other methods are ineffective. Adams County has been a vocal legislative leader on the state level the past two years, penning three resolutions which were eventually voted on and accepted by the PSAB General Assembly, including Small Games of Chance Act reform, supporting local referendum and allowing local municipalities to use radar. We have done so while opposing any type of unfunded mandate which takes the power of appropriation away from our local people and gives it to state and federal leaders. We cannot expect leaders so removed from our daily events to dictate how we should spend within our local budgets, nor should we allow such to occur. I am honored to serve as your representative to PSAB, and its various committees, and will continue to vote as such to defend your rights and liberties.

I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the PSAB Municipal Law Update sessions this past month. The vast amount of information given over the two days were equivalent to 11 Continuing Law Education credits, and focused on how municipalities can better safeguard themselves from potential suits and litigation in the many facets of community services offered. I have already begun to apply the lessons learned in my own borough, with our police contract negotiations, zoning variances and general meeting decorum. I feel it is the duty of one chosen to represent The People to inform oneself of all aspects affecting the position, and to develop an understanding of the benefits and the consequences of the decisions made in our meetings. 

The Hanover Regional Economic Development Committee is in a stage of "strategic doing". The team has already created a Facebook presence, is inventorying local parks and public lands to coordinate an awareness campaign of the facilities, and is looking to attract more businesses into the Greater Hanover Metropolitan Area (new US Census designation, to include most of Adams County and Gettysburg) to broaden the tax base, lessen individual contributions and strengthen the local economies.

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend events throughout the county and work with the various leaders from municipal legislative updates to townhalls discussing important and sometimes controversial subjects.  We are lucky to have a great group of representatives in our area; Congressman Scott Perry, Senators Rich Alloway and Mike Folmer, Congressmen Moul and Tallman and our County Commissioners are all very active and supportive of the will of The People here in Adams County. I was lucky enough to meet with Governor Tom Corbett last week and to thank him for the support with the changes to the Small Games of Chance Act.

I never found out what happened to that cat, but I do know one thing: I would rather be out here in a Lion's Pride than go it alone with the state and federal pressures all above us. By banding together, we guarantee that the will of The People will survive. Thank you for your continued confidence in my ability to represent you.

David Bolton
Councilman, Civil Service Commission Chair and Citizen,
McSherrystown Borough.
Vice-President, ACTPO representative and 
Legislative Committee Chair,
Adams County Boroughs Association.
Hanover Regional Economic Development Committee Representative.
Board of Directors, Policy and Resolution Committee, Nomination Committee, 
Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

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