Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ACBA Vice-President's Report: PSAB Annual Conference Update

The PSAB Annual Conference was held April 25-29 at the Lancaster Marriott.  I attended the Board of Directors meeting on the 25th.  In that meeting, we discussed replacing the sign outside of the PSAB office in Harrisburg, which incorrectly reads Pennsylvania Boroughs Association.  A cost-effective solution was agreed upon, and WJ Strickler of New Oxford had provided the quotes.  It was suggested that we get other quotes, but I successfully lobbied in favor of Strickler handling the changes, as they had built the original sign and were familiar with the delicate materials involved.  After which, a vote was held and I was selected to serve on the PSAB Executive Committee as the Eastern Region At-Large representative of 35 counties, and serving all 916 member boroughs throughout the state, and will also serve on the PSAB Finance Committee.  It was also officially announced that my appointment to the Governor’s Rural Development Council was approved by Gov. Wolf.  In this capacity, I will work with all relevant representatives from several state departments to improve economic and agricultural opportunities for counties like ours across Pennsylvania.

During the Resolution & Policy Committee meeting, we reviewed the submitted legislation and recommendations of the Steering Committee, and those meeting approval went before the General Assembly for consideration and adoption.  There were 23 new resolutions in all.  2015-1 supported amendment to Act 164 of 2014 to exempt municipal employees from tax collector certification and continuing education requirements.  The motion was to oppose adoption, as it was determined that these requirements, which are funded by the individuals and not the municipalities, are essential considering the nature of the position.  2015-2 supported enabling legislation allowing active volunteer fire fighters to receive a tax credit equal to their Local Earned Income tax, which would help offset the financial costs of equipment and other costs paid by the individual associated with their service.  I argued in favor of this legislation after a motion was made to decline support, stating the number of volunteers across the state has dramatically decreased due to financial constraints.  The amount of taxes necessary for these credits would be a minimal loss to the municipalities and would promote increased participation of this vital infrastructure.  The motion to decline support passed; I was the only dissenter. I also expressed support towards 2015-12, legislation requiring municipalities with populations of 4000 or more to pay for PSP service or provide their own force.  With more and more municipalities, such as Red Lion, with greater population densities opting to ease budget concerns by relying on PSP service, we are creating a situation where increased PSP budgets will eventually increase state taxes to provide these services.  I believe we should keep those funds local by keeping our police services in these more urban areas under local control with local and regional police efforts.  The committee agreed and passed this resolution.  The discussion on our own ACBA 2014-2: Industrial Hemp Cultivation involved much debate, as two individuals opposed to the measure tried to make a motion to decline support just as I was making my motion to adopt.  After I gave a lengthy and informative presentation, the committee determined that my motion was entered first, and the resolution was accepted, with only the two original dissenters opposing.  Our resolution passed the General Assembly as well, with only the two original dissenters opposing that vote.

I was also asked to preside over the information session with Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer discussing Medicinal Cannabis (Senate Bill 3).  There was a lot of great discussion, questions and commentary from individuals about their personal experiences.  At the General Assembly, a member of the R&P Steering Committee called upon the PSAB to allow me to draft a resolution in support of SB3, which has passed the Senate 40-7, but is currently being derailed by Rep. Matt Baker who chairs the House Health Committee and refuses to bring it to a vote.  There is significant support in the committee and House to pass the bill, and Gov. Wolf has pledged support to sign if it reaches his desk.  This bipartisan legislation would bring much needed reform to our state laws and allow patients and doctors to decide the best treatment options available for their ailments.  The US Congress, with Rep. Scott Perry in the lead, has promoted legislation preventing the federal authorities from interfering with state law implementation of medicinal cannabis programs.  No one person should have the power to derail the efforts of the majority of lawmakers and citizens, and there is a call to reform the rules of committees in the state Congress to take this power away from the committee chairs. I will be an active advocate for this necessary reform.

I have also been asked to consider running for 2nd Vice-President of the PSAB at next year’s Annual Conference, as the candidates will be chosen from the Eastern Region.  I am very proud to serve Adams County in these capacities and will continue to safeguard the interests of The People I have been sent to represent.  Thank you for the opportunity.

David Bolton
McSherrystown Borough Councilor and Citizen

Monday, April 13, 2015

Republican Debate for Adams County Commissioner

For those who could not be in attendance at the Republican Candidate for Adams County Commissioner debate April 9th at the Brethren Home Nicarry Meeting House, I would like to share my answers to the questions presented there, as well as two topics that were not discussed.  This is my Vision for the Future of Adams County.


I am a true fiscal conservative.  In developing the 2013 McSherrystown budget, I formulated a plan to stave off a proposed tax increase AND sewer base rate increase (both of which I voted against), and proposed increasing the sewer usage rates. This would have protected seniors and those on fixed incomes, promoting responsible water conservation, while affording funds for the necessary infrastructure repairs.

The usage rate increase would expire in three years, after providing the funds needed, at the end of which the rates would have been lowered to their original levels. 

As Adams County Commissioner, one of my first actions would be to place a moratorium on an Ordinance passed Feb 6, 2013 by the current Board of Commissioners to increase the pay of the three Commissioners, starting next year.  This would create a savings to the county of over $18K in salary expenses.

I would also support a wage freeze on Commissioner compensation while I hold office.  I would encourage other departments to follow suit in finding savings through regular department VAM meetings.

The County Prison budget is over $10M. I have spoken to prison employees who tell me their suggestions are going unheard, and they are experiencing a declining faith the leadership of the current Commissioners.  I have spoken with residents who tell me they are tired of paying to feed and house non-violent offenders, tarnishing their futures instead of rehabilitating productive citizens.  

I have also been asked by constituents why we need a County Manager, at a cost of over $100K/yr., when we supposedly have three "full-time Commissioners".

We must reduce spending and increase revenues, not the other way around.  County Commissioners must facilitate the expansion of the tax base and reduce individual contributions, putting more discretionary spending into local economy.

I shall detail my vision of how we can help make that happen in the following topics.


During my tenure on McSherrystown Council, I have attended many seminars and conferences hosted by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.  I have received training in Police Contract Negotiations, Volunteer Fire Department Liability Laws, Regionalization Processes, and more.  I am currently certified by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security in National Incident Management Systems.

I am an Advocate of Regionalization. Its proven benefits include long-term cost savings through consolidation of services, improved coordination and reduced response times, to name a few.  I have been a vocal proponent of a police regionalization effort centering around Conewago Township and McSherrystown for some time, as posted several years ago in my blog, Along with Mayor Tony Weaver, I have attended these meetings and supported the realization of a regional force.  We are making progress and hope to have our combined team ready within the year. 

With the loss of WellSpan ALS, county responders are doing a fantastic job organizing to fill the gap. SAVES & Hanover Hospital (Medic 46 stationed), efforts by United and local officials, and a meeting next week in Biglerville for municipalities in their surrounding area.  I am involved with these efforts to supply for the needs of The People.

Experiencing declining numbers at volunteer fire stations as memberships grow older, our companies are having a harder time raising funds.  I authored the Adams County Boroughs Association Small Games of Chance Resolution two years ago. It was designed to help local service clubs increase community contributions by raising the aggregate prize limits.  Although we wanted to eliminate the ceilings completely, Gov. Corbett allowed a $10K/week increase, demanding other reforms, such as giving public bars licenses but keeping the community portion for the state coffers.

Government does not have the right to tell you how to spend your money. Putting money into the SGOC system through service clubs puts more money into your communities and helps support your Police and Fire Departments.  We have a K9 unit in McSherrystown, fully funded by donations, much of which comes from SGOC.  Our fire company, SAVES, relies on their own fundraising efforts and the contributions from the local service clubs.  I will continue to work to help keep our safety infrastructure healthy and saving lives.


Speaking with citizens of the county, they feel the previous administration fumbled the reassessment, however, the current administration capitalized on that to gain election, promising correction.  These same citizens do not feel that the correction processes implemented have been most beneficial to average homeowner.  They also feel that the recent appeal awards, like those granted to Utz and Knouse Foods (not to disagree with those companies' rights to their appeal award), will create greater issues moving forward when those funds, mandated to repayment in lieu of tax credits,will create a hole in the upcoming budgets.

I have seen many homes on the market that are being sold “under market value”. Are they a great deal, or part of the “bubble” created by the flawed assessment processes over the last five years, and they Will burst, leaving Adams County residents with a gapping hole in their county budget, possibly prompting yet another tax increase? I believe 2 tax increases in the past three years-over 10%-is more than enough to ask from our citizens.

When do we finally say “Enough” and utilize Pro-Active Solutions instead of being Re-Active?  When do we expect more vision and common sense from our leaders?  When will our leaders stop expecting more from its citizens instead of our citizens expecting more from our leaders?

My Ag-Economic Plan for the Future of Adams County may help to answer a few of these questions.


On November 17, 2014, I presented a resolution, in favor of Industrial Hemp Cultivation, to the ACBA. It was the first piece of municipal legislation in modern state history to bring back an industry to our county & state which once thrived.  Hemp was one of the four staples of PA agriculture up until the 1930s. 

The resolution passed unanimously.

Since then, 19 municipalities have confirmed adoption of resolutions in favor of starting pilot studies to reconfirm the feasibility of hemp cultivation on our lands.  Senate Bill 50, taking its cue partially from ACBA efforts, will allow private participation of county farmers in these studies.

Instead of using TIF monies to fund corporate welfare for a single store or to help private for-profit businesses sell homes, let’s secure hemp harvesting & processing equipment, use it in conjunction with the County Agriculture Department & Penn State Co-op Extension, and start cultivating & processing this $50B Dollar Crop.  Once legal, allow farmers to lease the equipment, to reduce market penetration costs, allowing them to grow and then purchase their own equipment in the thriving industry.

Instead of building a store or a development, let’s build an industry that is proven to be profitable to the estimate of $350 per acre according to the Pennsylvania Hemp Company.  Let's use TIF money to eliminate blight & restore industrial facilities to attract companies to process & sell Adams County hemp.

Currently, Senate Bill 201 in Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee amends “Clean and Green” Laws to allow landowners up to 2 acres of designated lands for the operation of a rural enterprise which is incidental to the tract of land enrolled.  What does this mean for the future of Adams County farming?  It means we can continue to preserve lands, like those secured by our Land Conservancy, while still giving the landowners an opportunity for greater profitability by running a Farmer’s Market, or performing farm equipment repair as a business on those lands.  It would allow our future hemp farmers to process and manufacture their own crops into goods, increasing their revenues, creating jobs, revitalizing our economy!

Rep. Scott Perry has since co-sponsored an Industrial Hemp Bill in the US House.  Rep. Dan Moul has recently co-sponsored an Industrial Hemp Bill in the PA House. Ag-Economic opportunity is here.  As Commissioner, I will continue to see through this Vision for the future of Adams County’s Agriculture & Economic Revitalization by providing the inspiration and leadership to produce and promote any viable Ag-Economic advantage to help our farmers and citizens thrive.


Speaking with citizens and courthouse employees alike, I hear they are concerned about the restructuring of the county offices that occurred under the current Administration.  I have also heard it expressed that every vote being 3-0 with little to no discussion at public meetings “doesn’t seem right”.

I will agree that I do not appreciate the dysfunctional displays of government in DC, but not EVERY vote should be unanimous, especially when the public is clearly expressing other opinions.  Most of the current administration’s meetings last 10-15 minutes at 9am on Wednesday mornings. As a blue collar worker, I cannot justify a day off to attend, especially when no real information is disseminated anyway, and when there is rarely a reply to public comment or questions to them.

As Commissioner, I would support holding one of the two monthly Commissioners meetings out in the county, in the evening, to promote greater participation and to gain greater insight as to how I can serve The People of Adams County.

In efforts to keep our citizens better informed, I would also suggest utilization of Community Media to film Commissioner Workshops; allowing People to hear the discussions & provide feedback prior to decisions being made without explanation.  I would also suggest policy be initiated where each Commissioner would be required to give a brief comment on each vote and what led them to their final decisions. This would help The People better understand the decisions our leaders struggle with for the good of the county, and would give all involved opportunities to grow together.  As Commissioner, I will support these initiatives to help create more transparency and understanding within the county.

Lately, you may have heard the words "Experience", "Leadership", "Vision" and "Common Sense" thrown around a bit. When a candidate uses these words, please pause for a moment to see if what preceded or follows their usage actually defines a previous demonstration or a plan to demonstrate such in the future.

I hope I have demonstrated leadership in fiscal conservancy with my words and my votes as a Councilman, and have shared here specific, measurable ideas that are ready for implementation to cut county budget costs immediately. 

No other candidates have given such a Vision for the Future of our County.

I hope I have demonstrated my commitment to our emergency services and police departments time and again through my involvements in public service, in the community, in educating myself to better serve The People, and by authoring legislation to provide for such. As County Commissioner, I will continue to support this vital part of our county infrastructure in any capacity deemed appropriate.

I have heard the concerns of The People concerning the effects of improper property assessments and the damage it causes our economy. I have shared their concerns to our future budgets and presented common sense solutions to these issues. I have demonstrated my experience as a seasoned legislator by taking the ideas of the People, putting them into words that formed legislation designed to make life better here in our county. Voter Referendum, Municipal Radar, Small Games and Industrial Hemp; initiatives which have given power back to communities to determine their own future instead of relying on state and federal government for more mandates and expenses.

I have outlined my Vision for common sense solutions to constituent disillusionment when it comes to the office of Commissioner by suggesting new policies and protocols designed to promote transparency and greater dialogue, which will generate even more ideas for the betterment of Adams County.

I hope I have given you enough to convince you that I am the right person to support on May 19th, and I hope that you will agree by filling in the block next to the name David W. Bolton on your ballot.  Thank you all for being involved, for sharing these words with others, and may God continue to bless you and Adams County.  Thank You.  DB

David W. "Scotty" Bolton
McSherrystown Borough Council;
VP & Legislative Chair,
Adams County Boroughs Association;
Board of Directors, Resolution/Policy & Nomination Committee,
Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
Phone:  717-634-8726 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unabridged Version of Letter to Editor of Gettysburg Times 3/6/2015

Good Morning Mr. Hartman,

Below is the letter that we discussed by phone earlier this week. I met with Mr. Clark yesterday and he encouraged me to send the letter in, also. I have received several phone calls for and against the views. Your paper continues to publish letters fueled by the first one, under the assumption that I was somehow involved in the views presented (which you have never published a retraction or correction to your article after our conversation). I hope that I have addressed all concerns expressed by your readers and yourself clearly in the below article, and would appreciate your presenting it in its entirety, in hopes of clearing up this misunderstanding and moving forward with productive debate. I appreciate your service to our communities and look forward to working with you and all involved for the good of The People. DB

Elections have historically served two major purposes in our country: 1) To select our elected officials, and 2) To act as a forum for idea generation from the candidates and electorate. Elections should be a time of bringing The People together, not tearing them apart in order to advance an individual's campaign or other interests. It's not about the individual running for a position; it's about The People.

I will say this: The recent onslaught of negativity put forth in this publication is not conducive to the success of this process. I will concede that our citizens have the right to their individual opinions; this I would not deny anyone. However, I believe that each candidate involved in our county commissioner race has the best interests of The People of Adams County in the forefront of their activities, even if our ideas on how to accomplish them vary. While we should respect the opinions of one another as well as our constituency, it is not directly correlative to assume that the opinion of a supporter is exactly the same as that of the candidate, and we should proceed with caution when addressing such matters, so that, by drawing defense against the former, we do not falsely condemn the latter.

I have always been an advocate for our military personnel and veterans, coming from a family with many who have served. My grandfathers and brother served, several cousins currently hold leadership positions in the forces, and my son attends a JROTC Academy and has enlisted in the US Marines for his career after high school. I have a very personal interest in making sure our military personnel and veterans are treated with the services and respect they deserve. Meeting with our county VA Director for the first time on Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak with him, browse his letters of recommendations and speak with him about his current projects. He accentuated his level of service to the community and our county. I understand how it feels when your record (or supposed lack thereof) is called into question, as mine was in this paper last week. Therefore, I would like to set that record straight.

My name is David W. Bolton. I currently serve on the McSherrystown Borough Council, chairing the Civil Service Commission. I am the Vice-President and Legislative Committee Chair of the Adams County Boroughs Association. I serve the county as a voting delegate to the Adams County Transportation Planning Organization, as the county representative to the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, serving on the Board of Directors, Resolution & Policy Committee and Nominating Committee, and have served on the Hanover Regional Economic Development Committee since its inception three years ago.

I have represented Adams County as an active voice in the affairs of state in Pennsylvania, penning and promoting the adoption of several resolutions, which have been individually adopted at the municipal level by Boroughs and Townships alike, that have made changes for the better for The People. These resolutions have resulted in an increase in the allowable pay-outs for local service clubs in the Small Games of Chance Bill, which has provided funds for an active K9 unit in the county, a new scoreboard for Delone Catholic, a speed sign for the McSherrystown Police, and much more. This keeps local money local and provides for our communities without pulling from state funds or raising taxes. I am steadfast in my pursuit to allow local and regional police the use of radar to protect those in areas where VASCAR and other systems fail. I will continue to help move forward the right to municipal voter referenda during primary and general elections. I represent Adams County as an active influence on the PSAB’s Municipal Policy, providing legislation and leadership for The People.

I am a true fiscal conservative. While drafting the 2013 McSherrystown budget, I developed a plan to stave off a proposed tax increase and sewer base rate increase (which I voted against) by increasing the sewer usage rates. This would have protected seniors and those on fixed incomes, and would promote responsible water conservation, while affording funds for the necessary infrastructure repairs to our system. The usage rate increase would expire in three years, after providing the funds needed, at the end of which the rates would have been lowered to their original levels. This past year, I voted in favor of reducing my own Council salary by 50%. As County Commissioner, one of my first actions would be to put a moratorium on an Ordinance passed Feb 6, 2013 by our current Board to increase the pay of the three Commissioners, saving the county over $18K in salaries on my first day in office.

My current efforts through the ACBA Legislative Committee to bring industrial hemp back to our county through a provision of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill will provide for economic growth, cleaner water and soil, more productive farmlands, and an increase in business and job opportunities for The People of our county. To date, 15 individual municipalities have followed the ACBA in adopting a resolution in favor of starting pilot studies to determine the feasibility of this industry in Pennsylvania, with several others considering it on upcoming agendas. Improving our lacking infrastructure will help us compete for and attract relevant manufacturing industries, so that we don’t lose opportunities like we did to Lancaster County last year when a French company, the Charles and Alice group, built a $10M applesauce facility, creating 50 jobs.

You can research more about my voting record and my level of service to The People of Adams County on my website, Anyone can contact me directly at, should questions concerning my service record arise.

I believe in the God-given rights protected by our Constitution. I believe in Property Rights and responsible Gun Ownership. I believe in reducing regulations that inhibit the success of our businesses. I believe in lowering taxes by creating an environment conducive to job creation. I believe in the future of Adams County, and I hope you will believe in my demonstrated abilities to serve The People, and consider me for your next Adams County Commissioner.

David W. Bolton

528 ½ Main Street

McSherrystown, PA 17344

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bolton Explores Run for Commissioner

David "Scotty" Bolton, a second term Councilor in McSherrystown Borough, has announced he is eyeing a run for Adams County Commissioner this Spring.

The councilman has assembled an exploratory committee to determine what resources and support are available should he decide to enter the race this coming year. "We have spoken to people across the county this past year who have been very encouraging about a possible run", said Bolton, "and right now we are putting together a game plan to garner support and define the logistics of what a campaign might entail."

Councilor Bolton was first elected via a write-in campaign in 2011 for a two-year term made available due to a vacancy on the seven-member Borough Council. He won re-election in 2013 to a four-year term, with four people vying for three positions.

"Scotty" has been very active in his civil duties since taking his seat three years ago. He has served on the Hanover Regional Economic Development Committee as McSherrystown's municipal delegate since its inception his first year on Council. He was the Sewer Committee Chair his first two years, overseeing the commencement of the Borough's Sewer Upgrades, until he was reassigned last year as the chair of the Civil Service Committee. 

Attending Adams County Boroughs Association (ACBA) meetings since his first month on the job, Bolton was asked to run for and won the seat of Vice-President of the organization in his second year, which he has maintained since. He was also asked to form and chair the new Legislative Committee for the ACBA, which has produced four pieces of legislation over three years, three of which have been adopted by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) as objectives in their Municipal Policy Statements. The fourth, the ACBA Resolution 2014-2: Industrial Hemp Cultivation, is quickly gaining groundswell support by municipalities in the county and across the state, and will lend support to a forthcoming PA Senate Bill to legalize the industry in Pennsylvania.  

Bolton also serves as one of three ACBA voting representatives to the Adams County Transportation Planning Organization and has served as McSherrystown's and Adams County's voting delegate to the PSAB General Assembly. He is also a member of the PSAB Board of Directors, serves on their Resolutions and Policy Committee, and is the Region 5 (of six) representative on the organization's Nominating Committee.

In addition to his service, Councilor Bolton has also taken every opportunity to expand his knowledge and understanding of the political process, having attended many courses and seminars in Municipal Procedures, Leadership and Municipal Law offered by the PSAB.

"He has been schooled, trained and proven in successful business management most of his adult life. He has a passion for public service. He has had a lot of opportunities to serve on many levels in public and we believe that his unique and diverse skill set is directly translatable to the successful performance of the duties of a County Commissioner", an anonymous member of his exploratory committee stated. Bolton's current vocation is with RMC, Inc. as a General Manager in one of their 13 locations.

"I have enjoyed working with all three of our current Commissioners at one point or another over the past few years. I believe in the democratic process and I believe that voters should always have a choice of candidates. It bothers me that all too often candidates run unopposed. I believe our voting system serves not only to select our elected officials, but also to open up dialogue between the candidates collectively and the voters as to the expectations and direction of our future.", Bolton added, "I am very grateful and honored to serve in the capacities I have, and am equal to the task of serving as a County Commissioner if given the opportunity by The People of Adams County."

Bolton and his committee hope to make a public announcement sometime prior to the start of the petitioning process, which begins in February of this year.  Adams County will elect three County Commissioners in November to serve four-year terms, beginning in 2016.  Current Commissioners Randy Phiel, Jim Martin and Marty Qually, all serving their first terms, have already announced they will all seek re-election.