Nextrush
Since Oct 9, 2005

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Rush Limbaugh has helped me keep my sanity and inspired me to realize I have talent and potential so why not blog on the internet. The left says "think globally, act locally" so here I am on FR with a perspective based on my talent and experience. I report and comment on the news happening right here in my home area.........................

THE YORK REPORT CONTINUES

LONGTIME BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS.....RESERVE FUNDS TAPPED FOR PENSION BOOST....TEACHER UNION REFUSES PAY FREEZE...THE LATEST FROM DALLASTOWN... .

JANUARY 10-16, 2011......

ATTORNEY CHRIS MENGES ENTERS YORK COUNTY JUDICIAL RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 16TH)

He's been a lawyer for local government, a family law lawyer in private practice and even a township supervisor. Now, Christopher Menges wants to be a Common Pleas Court judge in York County.

Menges is the seventh candidate to announce in the race for two new seats on the court.

Menges is a senior partner at the Menges, McLaughlin and Kalasnik law firm. He has supported and volunteered for a number of organizaions including Human Life Services, Junior Achievement and the York Rescue Mission.

Chris Menges has seen the political world and has a healthy cynicism about it. His entry into the judicial race is a good development and gives voters a real choice to make in the May primary..

JANUARY 3-9, 2010.......

'INSIDERS' BATTLE 'OUTSIDERS' OVER CONTROL OF "ANTI-RACISM" GROUP

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED JANUARY 9TH)

When last year's firing of York City School District Superintendent Sharon Miller was discussed by the York County Community Against Racism, the group's board divided into factions.

One faction of generally white people felt that the firing by the radical dominated school board was racist and wanted YCCAR to oppose it. But another generally black faction said the firing wasn't racist and that YCCAR should stay out of it.

This conflict led to a letter of resignation from YCCAR's board president Don Hake.

But then, Hake withdrew his letter and asumed control of YCCAR over the objections of board members from the other faction. Hake's faction changed locks and froze bank accounts.

Its all turned into a legal fight the the Hake ("white") faction represented by attorney Larry Markowitz and the ("black") faction represented by attorney Sandra Thompson.

When YCCAR was first formed radical racial extremism was evident up to and including the organization's executive director accusing a local country club of "racism."

After that, the executive director resigned and Mr. Hake asserted leadership. Hake has a track record of civic involvement and ties to the Democrat Party. That makes it appear that the fight going on now is between insiders who see YCCAR as a tool of York's business-political elite including the Democrat Party and outsiders who are radical and left-wing.

DEFENSE LAWYER SEEKS EVIDENCE IN CASE OF FORMER SOUTH EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 9TH)

Prominent Harrisburg defense attorney Joshua Lock is seeking documents in the case of Tracy Shank, the former South Eastern School District superintendent accused of filing a false police report.

Shank is now an assistant superintendent for the Oley Valley School District in Berks County after being told to leave her office at South Eastern by the school board. The board has refused to accept her resignation.

Attorney Lock will meet with York County Common Pleas Judge John Kennedy next month to explain his pre-trial motion for documents from the school district. Lock believes the information will point to Shank's innocence and may show misconduct involving the school board and the Stewartstown Police Department, whose officer filed the charge against Shank.

This whole situation has a lot of smell to it and the public deserves to know more about it.

YORK COUNTY PROSECUTOR JOINS RACE FOR TWO JUDICIAL SEATS

(NEWS UPDATE)(POSTED JANUARY 8TH)

Karen Comery, Chief Deputy Prosecutor for the York County District Attorney's office, is running for one of the two new judgeships created for the county this year. The "York Daily Record" describes Comery as a Republican, but judicial candidates usualy crossfile and run in the primaries of both parties. She joins five other known candidates in the race so far.

DECEMBER 27, 2010-JANUARY 2, 2011.....

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT PROJECTS 6.1 MILLION DOLLAR SHORTFALL IN NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET WITH 1.6 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE

AFTER DIP INTO RESERVE FUND, 4.4 MILLION DOLLAR GAP MUST BE FILLED TO KEEP TAX HIKE AT STATE CAP

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 31ST, JANUARY 1ST))

The ideas of a 'budget study committee' were revealed by Dallastown School District Superintendent Stewart Weinberg in a newsletter published just before Christmas.

Cuts totalling millions of dollars were laid out as the district faces a huge budget hole for the next school year.

The biggest item on a list of some 5 million dollars in potential cuts was a salary freeze for school district employees that would save 2.3 million dollars.

Also mentioned is an early retirement incentive program for existing employees that could save 1 million dollars, the closure of either the Leader Heights or Dallastown elementary schools at a savings of 464-thousand dollars and other measures.

The list of cuts will be refined later this month by the "committee" with the school board making final decisions. The 'budget study committee" is dominated by insiders who have been party to the tax and spend policies at Dallastown that have led to this situation.

Meanwhile, Dallastown's Business Manager Donna Devlin told the "York Daily Record" that the school board can freeze salaries for all employees but teachers. Their pay could only be frozen by negotiations between the union and school district.

With both the York City School District and now Dallastown appearing to be in deep holes financially, one wonders if there are any more messes like these in other York County districts?

What's certain is that all the districts have large budget gaps with insider school board members hard pressed to work through them and get re-elected this year.

The end game right now in Dallastown for the insiders appears to be a combination of budget cuts and a property tax increase of 1.6 percent. Tapxayers should say "no more property tax increases" and demand pay cuts for top administration of 5 to 10 percent.

HERE COME THE CANDIDATES FOR JUDGE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 1ST)

There are two new positions on the York County Court of Common Pleas to be filled in the 2011 elections. At the beginning of the new year there are at least five known candidates entering the race with others likely to follow.

Thomas O'Shea, Bruce Blocher, Craig Trebilcock, Andrea Marceca Strong and Michael Flannelly are the names of the candidates out early. Strong and Flannelly ran for two judicial seats in 2009.

O'Shea is an attorney with the CGA Law Firm in York where another lawyer, Lawrence Young, has become active in Republican politics in recent years.

Blocher is York County's Chief Public Defender.

Attorney Trebilcock is listed on the website superlawyers.com as 90 percent focused on immigation law. He first rose to prominence defending illegal immigrants detained at the York County Prison. Trebilcock is a military reservist in a non-combat unit.

Strong appears to a left-leaning lawyer trying to fool more conservative York County voters. Judicial candidates cross file and run in both party's primaries and Strong has liberal-insider supporters from both parties listed on her campaign website.

Flannelly is York County's solicitor and has served both the Mitrick-Kilgore dominated board of commissioners and the current commissioners board that replaced them. Flannelly intimidated opponents of the Mitrick-Kilgore scheme to use eminent domain to take the Kohr family land at Lauxmont Farms. He then acted on behalf of the board that replaced them to clean up the legal mess and settle the dispute over the Kohr family land.

CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 1ST)

When Genevieve Ray ran for York City Council in 2007, the perception I had was that she was there on behalf of York's political establishment to prevent any questioning of taxes and spending annointed by then Mayor John Brenner or City Councilwoman Toni Smith.

It appears that Ray had more of a mind of her own. She challenged annointed candidate Kim Bracey in the 2009 Democrat primary for mayor, then became council president and has been questioning parts of her agenda after she took office.

Most recently Ray drew the ire of Smith for "micromanaging" Bracey's 2012 budget plan to spend on a new city hall and raise property taxes by nearly 13 percent. Now, Ray has anounced she isn't running for re-election this year.

While she says its about returning to urban planning, it will be interesting to see what happens when 2013 rolls around and Mayor Bracey faces re-election.

MERRY
CHRISTMAS

DECEMBER 20-26, 2010.....

YORK CITY TEACHER UNION SAYS THEY WILL TALK SALARY CONCESSIONS BUT.....

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 26TH, 28TH)

The union that represents York City School District teachers says it will talk with the school district about salary consessions but won't give back unless administration and other employees do the same.

The York City Education Association members responded positively to the school dstrict's request to reopen their contract but the union that represents support employees like aides and cafeteria workers rejected a similar request. Both unions are part of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's largest teachers union.

Teachers have had to deal wth layoffs for this school year and are concerned about more for next school year. But what may be concerning them more and probably should are the views of the school board's president.

Sam Beard has stated that one possible response to the 15 million dollar budget shortfall is the conversion of the city's public schools into charter schools.

He may have an important ally in the new governor, Tom Corbett. The head of Corbett's education transition team is a Philadelphia area lawyer who operates charter schools.

CHRISTMAS SEASON BRINGS CITY, COUNTY BUDGET AND TAX VOTES

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 25,26)

The week before Christmas brought votes by the York City Council and the York County Commissioners on budgets and taxes for 2011. While the commissioners held the line on any property tax hike, the new York City budget plan was approved with a double digit percentage property tax hike and a double digit percentage increase in sewer rates.

CITY BUDGET PASSES COUNCIL IN 3-2 VOTE

The property tax hike of some 13 percent was cut to around 11 percent in the final version of York City's 2011 budget, but there's plenty of bite for property owners in the city. Along with the 11.2 percent property tax rise there's a 15.4 percent jump in sewer rates for next year.

The budget is driven by Mayor Kim Bracey's plans to buy a building and renovate it for a a new City Hall building along with renovation of the existing City Hall building to become a new police station.

Bracey does not have to face voters until 2013 for re-election. In politics this would be a "safe" year to jack up taxes and fees.

City Council President Genevieve Ray, who opposed Bracey in the 2009 Democrat primary for mayor, was rebuffed in efforts to cut some of the spending out of the budget.

NO PROPERTY TAX HIKE IN NEW COUNTY BUDGET

York County Commissioners have approved a budget that keeps the property tax rate steady at 4.15 mills or 415 dollars per 100-thousand dollars of property value.

Its an election year for commissioners and that's usually a year not to raise taxes. The board elected in 2007 (Republicans Steve Chronster, Chris Reilly and Democrat Doug Hoke) replaced the tax and send Mitrick-Kilgore majority and committed themselves to changing things.

News reports say commissioners are concerned about next year when they have obligations to raise salaries.

The county salary board is set to meet in the coming week to lower the threshhold for salary increases of elected officials. The plan is to cut it from the current 3 to 5 percent to 0 to 3 percent. There is uncertainty about tax revenues in a tough economy.

Will Yor

County property taxes be raised in 2012????

AN 'HONEST' VOTE FROM CONGRESSMAN PLATTS???????

SWITCH FROM NO TO YES ON 'DONT ASK DON'T TELL' USES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION 'STUDY' AS COVER

(SPECIAL COMMENT)

Considering that Congressman Todd Platts has been responding to gay political activists by answering surveys and even attending a forum held at York's Unitarian church several years ago, his "Yes" vote to homosexualize the military seems like a vote from his heart.

Earlier this year Platts voted "No" on the matter and says his change is because the Defense Department finished its "study" of the issue. Its no secret that the Obama Administration was on the "Yes" side and its "study" was to promote that position.

Marxists and Progressives have again defined another group as "oppressed" and "victims of discrimination" and the "moderate" RINO Conmgressman Platts has followed along like a puppy dog.

This vote angers many presently serving in the military and many of the veterans that Congressman Platts claims to care so much about.

Platts has suported a move that will drive some conservative people out of our military and replace them with others who are politically more leftist.

Its a subtle kind of Soviet-Nazi style purging of the armed forces.

DECEMBER 13-19, 2010.......

YORK CITY BOARD PLANS COMMITTEE TO STUDY SCHOOL DISTRICT'S FUTURE

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 18TH)

As it stands right now the York City School District has budgeted 112.5 million dollars in spending for the next school year with only 97.5 million dollars in revenue expected.

With that in mind, school board president Samuel Beard says an ad hoc community committee will be formed next month to advise the school board on ways to cut spending. Anything that doesn't involve the basic necessities of education should be considered as a possibiity to save money.

Beard says that property tax increases alone will not be enough to make up the difference.

The radical racial majority of the city's school board believes that racism is behind the academic failure in the city's public schools and they have supported charter schools. Mr. Beard told the "York Dispatch" that one possibility for the district's future is as a charter school district.

A move to make all the city's public schools charter schools could stir up a hornets nest of controversy with the minority of school board members and or the teacher union.

DECEMBER 6-12, 2010.....

SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET ROUNDUP

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)

York County school districts are moving their budget processes forward this year in the face of school board primary elections next spring. The business as usual school boards appear to be trying to "settle" their budgets ahead of the election.

TALK OF NEARLY THREE MILLION DOLLAR HOLE IN EASTERN BUDGET

The early spin from the Eastern York School District projects 39.2 million dollars in spending for the next school year with only 36.4 million dollars in revenue. A public meeting is reportedly set for next month so district insiders can pitch the situation to the public.

The district notes that it has that it has a reserve fund that roughly equals the gap, but it also says that a 6.6 percent property tax hike of 1.25 mills (125 dollars per 100-thousand dollars of value) could also balance the budget.

The district would have to ask the state education department for an exemption from the inflation index cap on raising next year's property tax.

Local governments and school districts lay out worst case scenarios first when budgets come up, then come up with a lower tax hike to give taxpayers a false sense of optimism because the tax hike wasn't "so big."

Pay and benefits including the 8 percent pay hike given to Eastern Superintendent Darla Pianowski for this school year fuel expenses that total some two-thirds of the district's budget.

YORK CITY SEES 15 MILLION DOLLAR GAP IN BUDGET

The story being given by York City school officials is that next year's budget contains a 15 million dollar gap between spending and revenue.

Federal "stimulus money" financed by taxes and the national debt have helped to prevent a property tax increase for the Democrat voting City Of York. Now that money is running out.

Pennsylvania's Act 1 law sets a 2.2 percent property tax increase cap for York's school property taxes next year, but the district could ask for exemptions to raise them at a higher rate.

The "York Dispatch" reports that the district's business office has drawn up plans for 7.8 million dollars of cuts involving attrition, getting rid of staff and ending programs.

The radical racial faction that controls the school board believes that students in general and black students in particular have been denied an education by the city's public school system and fully support the exodus of students to charter schools.

They will have no qualms about cutting staff to help balance the budget for the next school year.

DOVER SEES A TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR SHORTFALL

Blaming the large gap on contractual obligations like a 3.25 percent pay hike for teachers, Dover School District's business manager Belinda Wallen has revised the gap in next year's spending plan up to 2.5 million dollars.

Another example of a "contractual" cost increase is the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System's decision for jack up the employer contibution to employee pensions by just over 3 percent for the next school year.

Districts like Dover will have to contribute 8.65 percent of their payroll in the 2011-2012 school year. That's up from the 5.64 percent of payroll contribution required by the pension system this school year.

NOVEMBER 29-DECEMBER 5, 2010......

DALLASTOWN SUPERINTENDENT GETS CONTRACT EXTENSION IN 5-4 VOTE

EXTENSION INCLUDES PROVISIONS TO BOOST PAY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 4TH)

The ever controversial Dallastown School District Superintendent Stewart Weinberg was the subject of debate Thursday night. School board members considered a two year extension in his contract.

In the end they voted 5 to 4 to approve an exetnsion till June 30, 2013.

Voting YES were members Frederick Botterbusch, Kenneth Potter, Lauren Rock, Mary Shoemaker and Donald Yoder.

Voting NO were members Margaret Ibex, Donald Jasmann, Earl Miller and Carroll Tignall.

Mr. Jasmann spoke during the meeting noting that the contract extension has the same provisions that resulted in some 22-thousand dollars more in base and incentive pay being given to Weinberg this school year.

Jasmann said he might have been able to vote for an extension if Weinberg assured him that he would not get involved in next year's school board elections like he did in last year's.

Mr. Miller said that the new intermediate school is too big and the 60 million project to build it was a failure.

The "York Daily Record" quotes the school board president Mr. Botterbusch as saying that Weinberg with the help of his staff has: "shown fiscal constraint and good management."

For the current school year Weinberg's base salary rose from 146 thousand to 150 thousand dollars and he was given 18-thousand dollars more in "incentive pay." That brought his total salary to 168-thousand dollars.

Dallastown's business as usual school board members are not on the side of fiscal restraint with this kind of contract in place for Stewart Weinberg.

YORK COUNTY BUDGET PLAN HOLDS THE LINE ON PROPERTY TAXES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 4TH)

Next year is an election year for York County Commissioners and it should come as no surprise that there will be no property tax increase in the 2011 budget year.

The 444 million dollar budget includes a large chunk of federal and state taxpayer money being passed onto the county to run mandated programs.

The property tax rate will remain at 4.15 mills or 415 dollars for every 100,000 dollars in property value.

The county is stepping up up efforts to collect delinquent taxes with a new 5.5 percent 'administrative fee' on unpaid tax bills. That's expected to bring in 600-thousand dollars in new revenue.

President Commissioner Steve Chronister and Commissioner Chris Reilly have steered county government away from the excesses and mismanagement of the Mitrick-Kilgore years.

NOVEMBER 22-28, 2010......

CONTROLLING THE AGENDA DRIVES ADMINISTRATION-SCHOOL BOARD 'TOWN HALL' MEETINGS

THEY WANT TO LOOK LIKE THEY ARE 'ELIMINATING DEFICITS' AND 'BALANCING BUDGETS' WHILE IGNORING BIGGEST COSTS TO TAXPAYERS

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED NOVEMBER 28TH)

Its common practice in the local government budget process to present the worst case scenario first and then make things look better in the final version.

That way a ten percent rise in taxes in the first version can be whittled down to five percent in the final version to trick taxpayers into the idea that it wasn't "as bad" as expected.

Pennsylvania's Act 1 law mandates an early budget process for the next year that enables this kind of shell game to be played.

But with school board primary elections in May of next year and lower caps for property tax hikes for the next budget year there's something new in the mix.

York County school districts like Dallastown and York Suburban are holding "town hall meetings" where citizens are given the chance to suggest ways to cut the budget.

But the ideas that get shot down at these meetings are the ones from taxpayers that involve stopping pay increases and the freezing or cutting of pay for school administration or teachers.

School officials cite "contracts" for those employees.

But contracts can be reopened in a 'crisis', can't they.

If things are as bad as they are being presented with school district's millions of dollars in the hole, then the biggest source of spending should be addressed

One Dallastown official admitted at their recent 'town hall' meeting that pay and benefits are nearly 70 percent of the budget.

The school superintendents of York County should be stepping up to the plate right now and sign new contracts for the 2011-2012 school year that cut their pay by ten percent. Other administrators like assistant superintendents and principals should be willing to have new contracts with five percent pay cuts next school year.

And what about the teacher contracts? If budget problems are as serious as advertised, the incumbent school boards in places like Dallastown and York Suburban should ask the union for contract makeovers to freeze pay for at least a year. That would save a half million dollars or more. Instead, the business as usual school boards refuse to take the challenge.

I suspect that a sweep in next May's primary by outsider candidates for school board would cause insider members to vote extensions of existing teacher contracts, "locking in" those already "locked in" pay increases for teachers for several additional years.

NOVEMBER 15-21, 2010....

STATE HOUSE PASSES UNION BACKED PENSION LEGISLATION WITH YES VOTES FROM MILLER AND DEPASQUALE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 21ST)

A lame duck session of the Pennsylvania State House passed a bill backed by government employee unions that keeps their pension systems and delays payments to keep the pension plans solvent.

The 165-31 vote on the Senate amended version of the legislation drew more NO votes than the 192-6 House vote earlier this year.

Joining Republicans Scott Perry (92nd District) and Seth Grove (196th District) who voted NO the first time were Republicans Stan Saylor (94th District) and Will Tallman (193rd District)

The YES votes both times came from Republican Ron Miller (93rd District) and Democrat Eugene Depasquale (95th District).

Republican State Representative Keith Gillespie of the 47th District, who voted YES earlier this year, did note vote.

The lawmakers who supported this legislation were making government employee unions happy by keeping the state and school employee pension systems going instead of converting to 401 K systems. They were also fooling taxpayers by delaying the increases of payments into the pension programs.

YORK CITY BUDGET PLAN CALLS FOR DOUBLE DIGIT SPENDING AND TAX HIKES

FORTY PLUS PERCENT HIKE FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED NOVEMBER 20TH,UPDATED NOVEMBER 21ST)

York Mayor Kim Bracey has proposed a nearly 98 million dollar spending plan for next year that increases property taxes by 13 percent and sewer fees by 15 percent.

The largest spending increase is for the police department with a 7 million dollar (over 40 percent) rise to 23.4 million dollars.

Looming large in the budget plan are plans to buy the property at 101 South George Street for a new City Hall and converting the old City Hall into a new police station.

Pension costs are also on the rise. Meanhwile, a more than 100-thousand dollar cut is planned for the city's human relations commission that involves the elimination of one full-time staff position.

The rise in sewer rates is to help pay off nearly 40 million dollars in debt from sewer projects. In recent years, sewer systems in central Pennsylvania have been forced to spend milions to comply with enviromental regulations related to the Chesapeake Bay.

And who gets to pay the bill to comply with all those big government regulations, sewer customers like you and me.

The push to consolidate the city's police nand fire departments with the suburbs continues. The York Counts -Metro York people are trying to bail out the city by bringing suburban taxpayers into paying for regional departments.

NOVEMBER 8-14, 2010......

TOP MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT SALARIES NOT AS BIG AS EDUCATION ONES

'YORK DISPATCH' PUBLISHES BOROUGH, TOWNSHIP AND CITY MANAGER PAY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 13TH)

Your property tax bill for local government (borough and towsnhip) is always a lot less than the school one. So it should come as no surprise that the salaries of top local govenment officials in York County fall short of those for the top offcials of local school districts.

The "York Dispatch" has published the salaries of managers for York County's local governments.

Unlike public education, the newspaper found only two making more than 100-thousand dollars a year. The manager of Spring Garden Township makes just over 117-thousand dollars a year. John Holman, the manager of the highly bureaucratic and regulatory government of Springettsbury Township is the the top money maker. His salary is nearly 126-thousand dollars a year.

Still, that puts Holman's pay under that of dozens of public school superintendents, assistant superintendents and other administrators in York County's school districts.

Its interesting to note that the townships with the highest manager salaries worked together to form York Area United Fire and Rescue and are key participants in the police consolidation study.

Supposedly those efforts are about saving money but the notion that local governments who pay the highest salaries for their managers have a money saving mentality is hard to believe.

NOVEMBER 1-7, 2010...........

ELECTION NEWS HEADLINED IN RED

POLICE AND FIRE CONSOLIDATION SCHEME MOVES FORWARD

SUBURBAN RESIDENTS WILL END UP PAYING THE BILL FOR CITY POLICE AND FIRE PROTECTION

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED NOVEMBER 6TH)

In the last days of Ed Rendell's administration, a scramble is on to get Harrisburg under Pennsylvania's Act 47 law. Other financially broke communities in the state like the City Of Reading operate under state supervision with the law. Act 47 cities tighten their belts when it comes to spending but also get power to levy new taxes and Reading has imposed a wage tax on people who live in the suburbs, but work in the city.

There's been talk of tight finances in York in recent years including late pension payments by the city and a downgrading of the city's bond rating.

While those issues have been patched up, there's knowledge that even with tightened spending plus tax or fee hikes, the city's financial situation will worsen in the years to come.

What York's political-business leaders appear to be doing in the face of this is to develop their own plan to deal with city's financial problems under the York Counts-Metro York banner. Their plan is slightly different from Act 47 because it intends to force every suburban taxpayer to bear the burden of paying for city services by consolidating their services with those of the city.

The first services being nudged towards consolidation are the fire and police departments. York City's financial burden is deeply rooted in the costs of its police and fire services, weighted down by massive pension obligations.

A fire department study commissioned for the City of York and released recently calls for the city's fire department to be consolidated with York Area United Fire and Rescue. York Area United was created by elected officials in Springettsbury and Spring Garden townships and has recently expanded beyond those communities to manage the fire service in Manchester Township.

Meanwhile the York Counts police consolidation study is getting underway after more than 70-thousand dollars, most of it taxpayer dollars from Harrisburg, was obtained. The York Chamber of Commerce Foundation also kicked in five thousand dollars with Bob Jensenius of the chamber explaining to the media: "crime is a concern of business."

Nine local governments and five police departments are in on the study with Springettsbury Township, Spring Garden Township, Manchester Township and the City of York prominent among the local governments.

When the police is completed next year it will be used to justify consolidation of police services in York City and nearby suburbs.

Metro York-York Counts, the police study effort and York Area United Fire and Rescue are all pieces of a scheme by York's business and political leaders aimed at bailing out York City with suburban taxpayer dollars.

REPUBLICANS CRUSH DEMOCRATS IN YORK COUNTY VOTE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 6TH)

Two years ago Democrats may have thought that a new day was dawning in York County when Barack Obama got over 40 percent of the vote and carried some areas outside York City.

But a new and higher wave swept over the county last Tuesday. Voter turnout was nearly 48 percent and the results countywide overwhelmingly favored Republicans in contested races.

Pat Toomey picked up just over 67.5 percent of the vote in the U.S. Senate race, while Tom Corbett racked up over 70.5 percent of the vote.

For Congress, Todd Platts picked up nearly 72 percent of the vote with Democrat Ryan Sanders just under 23 percent. Independent Patriot Joshua Monighan received just over 5 percent of the vote.

In the 28th State Senate District incumbent RINO State Senator Mike Waugh got 84 percent of the vote, while 15.6 percent went to Libertarian Ed Gately.

In the contested State House races, all of the incumbent insider Republicans won with over 70 percent of the vote.

Voters sent a message about the leftward drift of the Democrats by overwhelmingly voting for the GOP.

The day of reckoning, if any, for York County's RINO state legislators will have to wait for the primary election in the spring of 2012. For now, they have time to clean up their acts and stop the business as usual taxing and spending that's now going on in Harrisburg.

OCTOBER 25-31, 2010.......

COUNTY HIRES COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR IN PARTISAN VOTE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 30TH)

York County Commissioners have voted 2-1 to hire a newspaper reporter as the county's commuinications director.

Carl Lindquist of the "York Dispatch" will become a spokesman for county government and oversee the county's website, among other duties.

Republican commissioners Steve Chronister and Chris Reilly voted in favor of hiring Lindquist at an annual salary of 58-thousand dollars. Voting against was Democrat commissioner Doug Hoke.

In these tough economic times, this is not a wise decision to create a new government job at taxpayer expense. Is it linked to the election campaign next year? Doug Hoke and the Democrats will certainly be able to make it an election issue.

Media front people are the rage nowadays in government right down to the school district level. They block direct communication between goverment officials and the media, not to mention the people.

This is a truly sad decision.

YORK SUBURBAN SAYS IT WANTS 'COMMUNITY INPUT' ON NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 30TH)

There's a tighter cap on property tax increases in next year's school district budgets. One example is the York Suburban School District where there's a 1.4 percent property tax increase cap.

York Suburban Superintendent Kathryn Orban tells the "York Dispatch" that the district is going to be making 'some hard decisions.'

With that in mind, the public is being invited to a meeting Saturday November 13th in the high school cafeteria at 9 AM.

Orban says the district is looking for ideas that will save money but not hurt students.

Let there be no doubt that spending on salaries and benefits is the biggest part of York Suburban's nearly 50 million budget.

If the teachers union can be convinced to forgo the three percent or so pay increase next year, savings of well over half a million dollars could be realized.

If the administration could be convinced to forgo any pay hikes, savings could top 100-thousand dollars.

It is apparent that the York Suburban School Board is working feverishly to have a budget plan in place early next year well ahead of the budget year's July 1st start.

Thi is so that the incumbent board members can look as good as possible when it comes to spending taxpayers money. Opposition candidates are expected to face them in the May primary election.

RINO'S, LIBERALS AND LIBERTARIANS ARE ON THE BALLOT IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 31ST)

The choices for Congress, State Senate and State House in York County offer mostly business as usual politicians with a smattering of wild card libertarians running as third candidates.

INCUMBENT PLATTS IN THREE-WAY GENERAL ELECTION RACE IN 19TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Liberal Democrat Ryan Sanders is the latest big party challenger to face the formidable RINO-Moderate incumbent Congressman Todd Platts in the 19th Congressional District.Platts is still mentioned prominently as "pro-life" by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation in its voter guide, but not as prominently as other candidates.

That's because Platts only votes the Pro-Life side just over half the time. Democrat Sanders wouldn't answer their questions.

The statewide pro-life group ignored third candidates and maintained its policy of featuring big party politicians, especially Republican ones in its voter guide.

The third candidate on the ballot in the 19th Congressional District is the libertarian oriented Joshua Monighan who is running on the Independent Patriot label.

Monighan stresses freedom for property owners, gun owners as well as limited government. He also takes a Pro-Life position.

RINO MIKE WAUGH HAS OPPONENT IN 28TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT RACE

Incumbent Republican State Senator Mike Waugh has been taking powerful special interest money from people outside of York County since his 1998 GOP primary contest. Now, Waugh is now fifth in line among GOP Senate leaders in Harrisburg as he seeks his fourth term.

Senator Waugh marches in lockstep with tax and spend pork barrel Republican leaders like Senate President Pro-Tem-acting Lieutenant Governor Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. Waugh deals with Democrat Ed Rendell and Democrat leaders in the State House to pass budgets that increase spending and or raise taxes.

Waugh also takes a Pro-Abortion position according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, contrary to public statements Waugh has made claiming to be "Pro-Life."

Opposing Waugh this year is Libertarian candidate Ed Gately, stressing the need to reform Harrisburg. Gately is also advocating the elimination and replacement of property taxes.

Gately has told the Pennsylvania Family Council that he would support state pro-life legislation if Roe vs. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. Waugh told that group he's opposed.

OCTOBER 18-24, 2010........

YORK MAYOR SUGGESTS CHANGING HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION AS A WAY TO SAVE MONEY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 22ND)

The York City Human Relations Commission would like to spend 315-thousand dollars next year, up from 258-thousand this year.

But when York Mayor Kim Bracey spoke at a city budget hearing last Wednesday, she said its time to consider whether to disband the commission or make it a volunteer organization.

Bracey said the service provided by the city's commission is duplicated by the state's human relations commission based in Harrisburg.

Speaking in defense of the commission that takes complaints and judicially resolves cases of discrimination in employment, housing and public accomodations was its executive director Stephanie Seaton.

Seaton said it would be a barrier for complainants to travel to Harrisburg. She also said the city commission deals with cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation which the state doesn't.

Under questioning from the mayor, Seaton acknowledged that the commission only handled two such cases so far this year. Bracey suggested that such a small number of cases provided little justification for spending hundreds of thousands on the human relations commission.

Tight times are forcing a tightening of belts and cities like York are running out of time and money. The York Counts scheme and or Act 47 may be in the city's future as the big leaders scramble to aovid an eventual bankruptcy of the city.

SOUTHERN SUPERINTENDENT GETS CONTRACT EXTENDED TO 2014

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 22ND)

His contract was set to expire the middle of next year, the middle of a school board election year, but Southern York School District Superintendent Thomas Hensley has been reappointed for three additional years.

The school board voted to extend Hensley's contract from July 1, 2011 to June 20, 2014.

Hensley told the "York Daily Record" that contract terms are the same as before. That would mean Hensley is guaranteed a minimum five percent a year pay raise contingent on a "satsfactory or better evaluation rating for the preceding school year."

His salary for the 2010-2011 school year is 178,744 dollars a year.

The taxpayers get it again with the issue of this superintendent's high pay and high pay raises locked up out of the reach of any new fiscally responsible school board candidates who may be elected next year.

OCTOBER 11-17, 2010......

TALK ABOUT NO TAX INCREASE IN DOVER FOR SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 17TH)

When Dover's school board meets Monday night, a discussion of strategy for next year's budget is on the agenda.

Ahead of the meeting, board member Roger Gorman says he'd like to see a budget without a tax increase. The "York Dispatch" quotes Gorman as saying: "Why are we looking at increasing millage in the second year of no inflation?"

What do these words mean?

Make no mistake, next year is a school board election year with York County's 912 Patriots involved. There is a state inflation index of 1.9 percent for any property tax hike. Any move to go over that limit and seek an exemption from the state would anger taxpayers.

Dover is under contract to give teachers pay raises of around 3 percent guaranteeing a 1.5 percent increase in its budget for just that item alone.

Business as usual tax and spend board members will have to talk tough about taxes and spending to look good for the May 2011 primary election.

Another school board re-election trick that may be pulled in Dover and other school districts next year is the use of reserve funds already taken from taxpayers in previous year's property tax hikes.

The reserve money could be tapped to reduce or eliminate property tax increases for the school board election year.

BERKS COUNTY DISTRICT APPROVES SOUTH EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT FOR JOB IN SPITE OF CHARGE AND CONTROVERSY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 17TH)

The Oley Valley School District took a couple of months to investigate the false police report allegation against South Eastern Superintendent Tracy Shank, but in the end they approved her employment as assistant superintendent in a 5-3 vote.

Shank's attorney Brian Boland says she plans to start work Monday. Her contract includes a clause that she will automatically resign if convicted on the police report charge.

The laywer who represents Oley Valley as solicitor says that South Eastern's solicitor told him the district would release Shank's commission to enable her employment at Oley Valley.

These moves do not resolve the dispute over Tracy Shank's July resignation letter, which was rejected by the South Eastern School Board in August.

Board president Ralph Marston said he was happy that Shank was getting the job and said the dispute was not an attempt to prevent her from moving on. Marston wants her resignation to exclude 60-thousand dollars in severance pay.

Shank's resignation was part of a series of administration departures from the district in the wake of an outside lawyer's investigation into South Eastern's administration.

The investigation was ordered by a school board that has come under the domination of an organization calling itself the "South Eastern Taxpayer Reform Coalition." Some say the SETRC is a vehicle for the teachers union to control the district.

This a matter for concerned patriots-citizens in South Eastern to deal with in the coming school board election year.

VIETNAM VETS HONORED BY INCUMBENT YORK COUNTY POLITICIANS 26 DAYS BEFORE ELECTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 11TH)

It was over a month ago when I was sitting at the break room table with a couple of Vietnam vets talking about a letter they got from State Representative Ron Miller (R-93rd District).

They were invited to get a medal and be honored last Thursday October 7th in a 1 pm ceremony at the York Expo Center. Hundreds were honored with family members in attendance bringng the crowd to over a thousand.

The ceremony was sponsored by York County's state representatives like Democrat Eugene Depasquale and Republicans Scott Perry, Ron Miller, Stan Saylor, Keith Gillespie, Seth Grove and Will Tallman. And that's where the whole thing starts to smell very fishy. This honor was being given less than a month before an election by incumbent elected officials. These vets are now in the their 60's and older, the group of people who vote more often than others.

Coincidence, I doubt it...

Representative Miller, who had a tough primary election fight and faces Democrat opposition on election day, said Representative Perry's service in Iraq delayed the ceremony. But when it was finally scheduled, it was timed perfectly for election season. While its certainly a good idea to honor veterans who served in a war that bipartisan politicians ran so they wouldn't allowed to win it like World War II, the bispartisan politicians now choose to exploit them just before the election.

Wouldn't it have been a better idea to have honored them on Veterans Day (Thursday November 11th). But that would have been too late for York County's state reperesntatives looking for re-election on November 2nd.

Another incumbent politician looking for re-election was in attendance at the ceremony, Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District).

OCTOBER 4-10, 2010.......

INFLATION INDEX FOR SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX HIKES CUT FOR NEXT YEAR BUT....

THERE ARE TRICKY WAYS AROUND THE LIMITS IN A SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION YEAR

(NEWS, ANALYSIS, COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 10TH)

The inflation index caps for York County's school property tax hikes next year are going to be around half of what they were this year.

The lower caps include York City's dropping from 4.6 percent to 2.2 percent, Central York's from 3.5 to 1.7 percent, Dallastown's from 3.4 percent to 1.6 percent and West York's from 3.6 percent to 1.8 percent.

What does this mean for the tax and spend habits of York County's business as usual school boards in a school board election year? It will likely mean some tricky maneuvers to appease voters.

When a typical school district decides to give teachers and other employees a three percent pay hike, they have also decided on a 1.5 percent budget increase for the next school year.

Under Pennsylvania's Act 1 law, school districts can ask for exemptions to allow a larger property tax hike for special education, pension payments and other reasons.

It will be interesting to see if any districts try that route to pay for their rising costs driven primarily by pay and benefits.

But another more interesting way to keep property tax hikes down is to tap into reserve funds.

Dallastown School District, where there will be a major political fight for school board next year, has already made major additions to its reserve funds at taxpayer expense. That prompted questions from taxpayers at a school board meeting earlier this year.

Maybe reserve funds will be used in Dallastown and other districts as a political weapon to defend business as usual board members when the budget plans are finalized for the next school year? They can keep property tax hikes down covered by reserve money.

SAT SCORES OUT FOR YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 10TH)

The Scholastic Aptitude Test scores from York County's students in the class of 2010 are out. They show slight increases in Verbal, Math and Writing categoies with the averages 491 for Verbal, 503 for Math and 476 for Writing.

The average scores for York County are slightly below the statewide averages.

In the troubled York City School District, the Verbal average jumped from 389 to 405, but Math fell from 417 to 408. Meanwhile the writing score went from 374 to 377.

The York Suburban School District's academic tradition continues to show with its average scores highest among the public schools. They were 545 for Verbal, 559 for Math and 534 for Writing.

York Catholic High School students averaged 542 for Verbal, 521 for Math and 542 for Writing.

Teacher pay rates did not automatically determine the highest average scores and one major non-public school (York Catholic) where teachers are paid less was right up there with York Suburban in the quality of its average scores.

Lets hope education can be focused in the years to come on math and writing skills, instead of diversity, obesity and other diversions. Keeping political agendas and ideology out of schools and securing better educational quality at lower cost should be priorities.

For York City's schools, security is a vitally important concern as well.

BOARD PRESIDENT DECRIES DISCIPLINE AS VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN YORK CITY SCHOOLS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 9TH)

A Hannah Penn Middle School teacher was assaulted by a student Monday afternon, according to police.

The police report says that teacher Brian Fay was attacked by a female student who hit him in the head with a book, threw her shoes at him and punched him in the face.

The student is being charged with aggravated assault as a juvenile.

This is the third known incident of violence in York City schools in the last three weeks.

Meanwhile, York City School Board President Sam Beard has told the media why the firing of Superintendent Sharon Miller was justified.

Last Sunday, The "York Sunday News" printed Beard's view that the thousands of suspensions of students and thousands of students being sent to the office were bad policy. Beard claimed the disciplinary actions prevented the students from getting an education.

The real problems preventing education in the York City School District include the disruptive and violent students who deny themselves an education. But the out of control students also intimidate staff and other students with their behavior. That disrupts education for all students.

Mr. Beard is either in denial of these problems with his attitude about discipline or a believer in some sort of Marxist-Leninist theory that racism, capitalism or society in general bear responsibility for unruly students.

Beard and other members of the radical racial majority on the school board have already denied security officers the use of pepper spray or handcuffs to deal with violent students.

Their anti-discipline attitude makes bad worse. Safety and security for students and staff of city schools are threatened by the radical majority of school board members.

SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 3, 2010......

WILL SUBURBAN TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL FOR FIREFIGHTING IN YORK CITY?

STUDY CALLS FOR YORK CITY DEPARTMENT TO MERGE WITH YORK AREA UNITED

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED OCTOBER 3RD)

There was no doubt in my mind when Springettsbury Township supervisors teamed up with Spring Garden Township commissioners to launch the York Area United Fire and Rescue Service that this was a move to eventually implement the consolidation of fire departments in and around York City.

A few months ago, it was announced that York Area United will manage the fire service of Manchester Township upon the retirement of its fire chief.

This week, it was revealed what the next step could be with major financial implications for suburban York taxpayers.

A study of York City's fire department, commissioned by former York City mayor and York Counts-Metro York supporter John Brenner, is now out calling for the merging of the city fire department with York Area United in 2012.

Its no secret that York City is headed for the same financial fate as Harrisburg, Reading and other Pennsylvania cities. On Friday, it was announced that Harrisburg will have its government operations overseen by the state under Act 47.

What appears to be happening in York is that powerful community leaders like Louis Appell, Tom Wolf, Tom Donley and others are pushing the York Counts agenda to bailout the city by merging its departments with the suburbs.

This agenda, if it succeds, will drive up the taxes of suburban residents to pay for the city's financial burdens led by its generous pensions. The wealth of York County will be "redistributed" to the city.

Tea Party-Patriot activists should take note of the situation and involve themselves in Spring Garden, Springettsbury and Manchester township's governments. There are supervisor-commissioner elections next year.

CHARGE AGAINST SOUTH EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT IN FIGHT WITH SCHOOL BOARD WILL GO TO TRIAL

TRACY SHANK ACCUSED OF FILNG FALSE POLICE REPORT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 2ND)

A hearing was held before District Justice John Olwert on Thursday in connection with the charge against Tracy Shank, currently embroiled in a dispute over her resignation as South Eastern School District's superintendent.

Stewartstown police officer Jeffry Carey, who serves as a 'resource officer' for the school district, testified that Shank told him she was being followed by a car that had been outside a friend's house and her own home. Carey said that Shank later told her the car had been on school district property.

Carey then followed up on the license plate number that Shank had given him and spoke with car's owner, who is a neighbor of Shank's. The owner told Carey he didn't know where the school district was located and the man and his car didn't match the description given by Shank.

Under questioning by defense attorney Joshua Lock, Carey said he didn't consider filing a false report charge until five months later. That's when the attorney hired by the school district to investigate Shank and other school district administrators, Michael Levin, gave him a copy of his deposition of Shank. Lock said according to the "York Dispatch": "Who's calling the shots around here? It apears as if somebody else is intervening." Lock was referring to the school board and attorney Levin.

Lock got Carey to acknowledge that Shank did not wish to pursue the investigation a few weeks after it started. He also argued that since Shank did not ask for anyone to be charged, she should not be accused of filing a false report.

District Justice Olwert ruled that the case can proceed to a trial.

School "resource officers" like Mr. Carey are police department employees who do work in the school districts. Sometimes their police departments are paid by the school districts for their services. Is there a financial string tugging at the officer's decision to file the charge against Shank? Perhaps the school district pulling out of using the services of his department if he doesn't do what the school board or its lawyer wants?

YORK HIGH STUDENT ARRESTED IN ATTACK ON EMPLOYEE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 2ND)

York City Police have cited a York High student for harrassment after an attack Monday morning.

Police say that Jessica Ann Pena was punched in the forehead causing a bruise and swelling.

Security officers in city schools should have all the tools they need in case of fighting. The failure of the new school board to give them handcuffs and pepper spray endangers the safety and security of everyone in school buildings.

SEPTEMBER 20-26, 2010.....

THREE YEAR CONTRACT FOR CENTRAL YORK TEACHERS APPROVED

PAY HIKES SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN NEARBY DISTRICTS LEAVE SOME TEACHERS UNHAPPY

(NEWS,ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 26TH)

In the face of a countywide movement aimed at school district spending habits, the Central York School District appeared to be in an appeasing mode with its contract offer that was approved by teachers almost two weeks ago (Tuesday September 14th).

The board made the new three year deal official with its 7-2 vote last Monday night. The teacher pay raise for this school year is 2.5 percent, the second year is also 2.5 percent, while the third year includes a 2.25 percent pay hike.

When Central teachers met to vote on the deal earlier this month, it was said that there were some unhappy faces in attendance.

These pay raises are a little lower than other school districts in the area giving a sense of trying to appease voters ahead of next year's school board election. Board members who may be trying to defend their re-election next year can use this contract along with the one percent plus increase in teacher work hours this year as excuses for saying they are fiscally responsible.

But voters will have to take a look at the broader record including the building agenda of the school district and some incumbent board members which included the palacial high school building, the pool and artificial turf on the football field.

This building agenda has been costly to Central taxpayers and set an example that other school districts feel the need to imitate with their own pools and artificial turf fields. The burden of Central York's spending decisions has reverberated to the detriment of taxpayers in other York County districts.

WEST YORK BOARD GETS DEFENSIVE OVER BUILDING PLANS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 25TH)

The West York School District's plans for a facilities steering committee to consider tens of millions of dollars in new building projects is being put on hold for a month.

The move came as West York resident Dan Bradley questioned the scheme expressing the belief that the committee members chosen by the school board had potential conflicts of interest. Bradley also said he believed the board was planning an expensive series of construction plans including a new pool.

Bradley questioned the presence of Superintendent Emilie Leonardi on the committee, saying she might pressure the other members into making decisions. Leonardi said that as superintendent, she is on every commitee.

One school board member, Robert Crouse, said his mind wasn't made up on buidling a pool, but if the steering committee voted for one and it would be a benefit, would that be a bad thing. Crouse said the public should go to other government meetings to express their concerns.

Sorry, Mr. Crouse, but it looks like patriots in York County are beginning to focus on the games school boards and school superintendents play. Mr. Bradley is leading a charge of concerned taxpayers who may influence next year's school board elections.

Discussion about steering committee members is set to continue at next month's school board work session, a preparation meeting before the official monthly meeting.

POLICE APPROVED FOR YORK HIGH FOOTBALL GAMES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 25TH)

The York City School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire four city police officers to cover York High's home football games.

The vote came after school district security director Michael Muldrow asked the board for help in dealing with fights and potential fights at the games.

At last, a decision that makes sense coming from the school board. But the board should allow school district security officers to have pepper spray and handcuffs to deal with unruly students.

The possibility of injury or worse in these situations is nothing to ignore.

PLATTS PASSED OVER BY OBAMA BUT.....

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 25TH)

Congressman Todd Platts will not be the Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office. Platts was one of four finalists for the position but President Obama chose Gene Dodaro, a longtime employee of the GAO who's been acting as its head for the last two and a half years.

Platts praised the selection. Earlier this year he said that the president would not be picking him because of partisaniship in Washington.

But one wonders if moderate Congressman Platts will feel comfortable in the more conservative Republican run Congress after the election. Maybe President Obama will offer him a job as a "bipartisan" gesture.

If such a thing were to happen, the National Republican Congressional Committee is believed to want longtime York County GOP insider and 92nd District State Representative Scott Perry as Platts replacement.

After more than 10 years loyalty to the late John Thompson Sr., the longtime moderate Republican "boss" of York County, Perry fashioned a more conservative "Patriot" image when he ran for state representative in 2006.

Its an image that doesn't fool me.

SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2010.......

THE GRAVITY OF A SITUATION

THE YORK CITY SCHOOL NEWS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)

The big stories this week all revolve around York City schools and that's the focus of this week's edition. The problems aren't going to improve with the current school board's radicalism and dsyfunction.

Defeating current radical board members in next year's elections will require everyone from Tea Party Patriots to Hispanics to people of good will from all races joining forces.

CITY SCHOOL BOARD DISMISSES SUPERINTENDENT IN CONTROVERSIAL 6-3 VOTE

OPPOSING BOARD MEMBER CALLS IT A 'NAKED POWER GRAB'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 19TH)

At a Wednesday evening meeting, the York City School Board voted to fire Superintendent Sharon Miller "without cause."

The six members voting in favor of the firing: Samuel Beard, Beverly Atwater, Gary Calhoun, Sandie Walker, Margie Orr, James Morgan. The three members voting against: Julio Aguayo, Jeanette Torres, Aaron Wilford Jr. Before the firing vote, Mr. Aguayo asked the board's president Samuel Beard to explain the reasons why. Beard refused and Aguayo spoke in opposition to the firing and its cost to tapxayers. He called it a 'naked power grab.'

The "York Dispatch" reports that board member Jeanette Torres cited "racial hatred" as being behind the firing of Miller, who is white. Director of Human Resources Eric Holmes, a former middle school principal, was named acting superintendent. His pay is expected to increase by some 10 percent from his current salary of over 116-thousand dollars a year.

The severance package for Sharon Miller that will be borne by taxpayers is over 300-thousand dollars including two years of pay and the cost of her benefits.

The school board has employed outside legal counsel in the firing and Miller's lawyer told the board a firing without a public hearing is grounds for a lawsuit against the district. More costs for taxpayers on the horizon.

SCHOOL DISTRICT SECURITY CHIEF ASKS FOR MORE TOOLS TO KEEP THE PEACE AT FOOTBALL GAMES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 19TH)

There was a fight involving a knife and a potential fight during York High's home football game on Friday night September 10th, causing concern for York City School District's security chief, Michael Muldrow.

Muldrow says he and his security people only have walkie talkies to work with and are fearful for their safety. One private security guard gave Mr. Muldrow the name of a loved one to call in case he was hurt. An elderly fan said she no longer feels safe at the games.

He asked the school board to consider measures from using police to beef up security to sending out trespassing notices to people who cause security problems.

Muldrow suggested the creation of a 'special events police' staffed by off-duty law enforcement officers for football games. He also asked for security staff to have pepper foam and handcuffs as 'minimum personal protective equipment'

Michael Muldrow took the job of security chief for York City's schools when the former director resigned in a dispute over the use of pepper spray or handcuffs by district security.

The current board majority opposes the use of those tools causing concern for the safety of staff and students in school district buildings.

Unless security is improved in the York City School District, someone is going to get hurt. The new radical board majority appears to enabling violence and disruption in the school district. It also appears to be tying the hands of its security officers.

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 19TH)

STUDENT CHARGED WITH ATTACKING YORK HIGH TEACHER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 18TH)

York City police have charged a female student with aggravated assault and harrassment of a teacher in connection with a Thursday morning incident. The teacher told police the student became extremely disruptive, called him names, flipped over her desk and elbowed him, almost causing him to fall over.

The police report about the incident mentions the 100 block of West College Avenue, but does not name William Penn High School located there. In incidents such as this students are first removed from the building, then arrested.

Is this an attempt by the York City School District to technically claim in reports about crime to the state that arrests are not occurring at the high school? Is this part of the coverup and denial by the school district and the new school board majority of violence in city schools?

STANDARDIZED TEST RESULTS RELEASED WITH CITY SCHOOLS CONTINUING TO BE THE CENTER OF FAILURE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 18TH)

The expectations from the PSSA tests of students in Pennsylvania's schools earlier this year was for 56 percent proficiency in math and 63 percent in reading.

When results came out this week, both the York City and Red Lion School Districts were found not to be making adequate yearly progress.

In the York City School District, almost every school with only one exception was found to be failing to meet the standards.

Red Lion's problems were in its junior and senior high schools.....

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2010......

THE DEAL IN DOVER AND WHAT IT MEANS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 12TH)

The new three-year contract for Dover Area School District teachers features the kind of pay hikes that put it in line with other York County school districts. The Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union coordinates its strategy making it pretty easy to predict pay raises in contracts.

The contract is retroactive to last school year with a 3 percent pay raise. For this school year (2010-2011) and next school year (2011-2012), the raises in pay will be 3.25 percent.

For one half of the contract period, the last semester of this year and the next school year, 10 minutes will be added to the teacher work day (2 percent more work time).

Starting next school year teachers will pay a flat eight percent of their medical insurance costs. Right now the individual teacher pays 40 dollars of the 500 dollar a month cost, for two person coverage the teacher pays 80 dollars of the 12-hundred dollar a month cost and for family coverage the teacher pays 100 dollars of the 1,410 dollars a month cost.

What stands out in all those statistics is the stark reality that teachers bear much less of the burden of medical coverage costs that most taxpayers do.

School districts like Dover with a 50 million dollar a year or so budget are spending well over five million dollars a year on medical coverage for employees with taxpayers picking up over 90 percent of the cost. That's ten percent or more of the Dover district's entire budget being spent on health insurance costs for employees.

This contract will expire in June 2012, giving concerned taxpayers a theoretical chance of having input into the next one. That's contingent upon the election of new more conservative school board members next year. Its also contingent upon the current liberal board not trying to extend this contract beyond the terms of new conservative board members during the election year while the liberals are still in office.

TALK OF SAVINGS FROM EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT AS ELECTION LOOMS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 12TH)

In recent weeks, Eastern York School District's superintendent has put out word that the district is saving some 200-thousand dollars.

Darla Pianowski points to cost savings involving decisions not to employ several teachers and a number of other lesser paid employees.

The 912 Patriot group is already organizing its members by school district for next year's elections involving school board members. School district taxes and spending are likely to be hot issues and the timing of this announcement has a political odor to it.

Its ironic that Pianowski would speak of cost savings in the school district in light of the school board approved contract that raised her pay by eight percent this year (some 12-thousand dollars). That deal will also raise her pay by five percent a year for the next four years taking her pay level to over 190-thousand dollars a year.

Another note, in school districts the size of Eastern each percentage point of pay increase for teachers costs around 200-thousand dollars a year.

A pay freeze for teachers for one year in lieu of a three or four percent pay hike could save taxpayers well over half a million dollars.

YORK CITY SUPERINTENDENT REPORTEDLY FACES FIRING

ELECTED OFFICIALS EXPRESS DISMAY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 7TH,UPDATED SEPTEMBER 11TH)

The "York Sunday News" reports that city school superintendent Sharon Miller has received a letter stating that she will likely be fired on September 15th.

Miller is to be fired without cause, meaning that she will receive a cash payment equal to two years of her base salary (278-thousand dollars).

Firing school superintendents is a difficult and expensive business because they are under contract.

Both Republican York County President Commissioner Steve Chronister and Democrat State Representative Eugene Depasquale of the 95th District that includes York City have expressed their dismay over the turn of events and urged the school board to pursue a different course.

The special meeting to decide Miller's future has been set for 6 PM Wednesday evening September 15th at William Penn High School.

The city school board is using a Lancaster attorney, Robert Frankhouser Jr., to handle the firing.

Miller's firing would come at a time when poor performance is being reported on math and reading tests in the city's schools. Is she being made a scapegoat for that?

Opponents of the new racially oriented majority on the York City School Board say the firing relates to the board's desire to hire a black person to replace Miller, who is white.

The trouble that was expected from the new school board majority is now coming out into the open in a big way.

Speaking of race, York's mayor Kim Bracey is remaining silent so far on the situation. Perhaps a political move to avoid offending anti-white opinion in the city?

AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 5, 2010..........

DOVER TEACHER DEAL IS REACHED WITH SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS LOOMING

CONTRACT COULD LOCK IN ADDITIONAL SPENDING AND TAXES OF TWO MILLION DOLLARS PLUS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 5TH)

The Dover School Board is set to vote Tuesday night on a new teacher contract.

Details will not be revealed until after both the union and school board vote on their agreement.

Based on the school board's rejection of four percent pay hikes in a state mediator's plan earlier this year, it is safe to assume that any pay raises in the deal are probably in the three percent or so range.

If the contract is a four year one as is likely with three percent pay raises per year, the total financial impact of the deal would exceed a half million dollars a year and over two million dollars during the agreement.

With taxpayers organizing in York County's school districts under the 912 Patriot umbrella for next year's school board elections, it appears that unions and business as usual school boards are rushing to lock in new labor contracts with increased spending and taxes.

Now that the West Shore contract agreement is in place (See story below), it looks like Red Lion and Central are the only York County districts left with unresolved teacher contracts. Watch out for activity there.

Taxpayers should request reopening of existing labor contracts in York area school districts regardless of whether any deals are reached.

Laudable goals would include a five percent rollback in administration pay and at least a one year pay freeze for teachers, along with limited pay hikes for lower paid school employeees.

SOUTH EASTERN REBUFFS RIGHT-TO-KNOW REQUEST ABOUT 'INVESTIGATION'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 5TH)

The "York Daily Record-York Sunday News" request for a copy of the "investigation" results in the probe of South Eastern School District administration has been refused.

The school district's lawyer Brooke Say and lawyer Michael Levin of the law firm conducting the probe contend that the document would involve personnel matters of privacy and lawyer-client privilige, among other things. The "investigation" is said to be continuing, as well.

That means a continuing and increasing tab for taxpayers in the South Eastern School District.

YORK HIGH PRINCIPAL HIRED BY SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 4TH.UPDATED SEPTEMBER 5TH)

The last of the principal positions in the South Eastern School District is now filled.

William Penn High School Principal Rona Kaufmann will be principal of Kennard-Dale High School and serve as assistant to the superintendent. She will be paid 125-thousand dollars a year.

She replaces someone who was paid around 100-thousand dollars to do the same work.

This is more evidence that liberal tax and spend members control the new South Eastern School Board.

As for Rona Kaufmann, much praise has been heaped on her from the York City School District and South Eastern School Board president Ralph Marston.

Meanwhile, word has leaked out of continuing poor performance by students in the PSSA tests that measure reading and math skills of William Penn students.

When failure like this persists, principals lose their jobs. Kaufmann has apparently succeeded in getting out of the school before she could face such a scenario.

WEST SHORE TEACHER CONTRACT FEATURES PAY RAISES JUST OVER THREE PERCENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 4TH)

There's a new four-year teacher contract in the West Shore School District that includes portions of York and Cumberland counties.

Average pay increases in the contract are about 3.1 percent on average (3.056 percent).

The West Shore School District turns out to have the highest starting pay for teachers of any school district in York County, even higher than Dallastown.

The starting pay for a West Shore teacher rises to 47,464 dollars this school year with the highest pay rate on the scale going up to 76,824 dollars. The impact on taxpayers of this contract is probably over 750 thousand dollars per year and more than three million dollars over the total length of the contract.

The school board vote to approve the contract was 8-1 with Brian Guistwhite being the sole NO vote.

This is another clear sign of the trend by school districts to lock in new teacher contracts, increased spending and higher taxes ahead of next year's school board elections.

AUGUST 23-29, 2010......

BAD TEST SCORES AGAIN FOR YORK CITY SCHOOLS

SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT EXPRESSES HIS DISDAIN BUT WHAT ABOUT 'SOLUTIONS'?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 29TH)

The specific scores are not public yet, but there's word coming out that York City's public school system again registered below standards for math and reading.

Early results of the state's PSSA standardized tests have been provided to school officials with the overall picture poor again.

York City School Board President Samuel Beard has expressed his displeasure to the media over the results.

Based on my conversations I know that many city parents are concerned about their children's education. Their concern is reflected in the growth of charter schools in the city.

Children need parents who are not focused on addictive behavior, however. Parents must clean up their acts to help their children have a brighter future.

Teachers and administration must be committed to real education in reading and math skills, discarding political and social agendas that masquerade as being helpful to students in urban neighborhoods where there are more poor people.

Get God back into the schools? What will the courts and ACLU think if prayer comes back? Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, thinks prayer should come back to schools. She said this at Saturday's "Restoring Honor" event in Washingon.

I would be impressed if York Mayor Kim Bracey, who speaks much of "faith" in her encounters with city residents, would take the lead in such non-violent acts of civil disobedience by leading prayers in city schools.

A NEW WAY TO JUSTIFY TEACHER PAY RAISES:
MORE WORKING HOURS IN YORK CITY TEACHER CONTRACT

(SPECIAL COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED AUGUST 29TH)

York City School District gets a big amount of state taxpayers money to keep it afloat and hopes someday to obtain federal taxpayers money and a share of the national debt through the Obama Administration's "Race To The Top" program.

What all the taxpayer money is paying for now is a new four year teacher contract approved last Thursday.

Pay increases average 3.6 percent a year and are retroactive to the expiration of the old contract in June of 2009.

What school officials are touting to the public is the lengthening of the school day allowed by the new contract starting this school year. They also note that teachers will be working three more days under the new contract.

One can argue that taxpayers are getting something for their "investment" in the new contract. But taxpayer dollars are not achieving much results other than transferring wealth from one class of people (taxpayers) to another class (government employees).

The taxes must be brought under control and the additional spending must stop.

There's been an increase in working hours in one other York County school district this year.

That's Central York. Teachers are working two more days this school year for an increase of just over one percent in their work schedule.

Talks on a new teacher contract to replace the one that expired June 30th of this year are expected soon. Will the roughly one point one percent increase in working hours for Central teachers be used to justify a three percent or so pay increase????

UNION CONTRACT APPROVED FOR OVER 100 COUNTY EMPLOYEES WITH PAY RAISES AVERAGING 2.5 PERCENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 28TH)

York County Commissioners have approved a four year contract for unionized county employees including maintenance, data entry and 911 center workers.

For the next three years they will receive pay raises of 2, 2.5 and 3 percent.

President Commissioner Steve Chronister said the pay rate is determined by what workers in neighboring counties receive. Chronister believes the contract agreement is a good settlement.

I'm not going to disagree with Commissioner Chronister because these hourly workers certainly can't be denied a pay raise in a county where six figure salary school superintendents get pay raises like four and a half percent in West York, eight percent at Eastern and so on.

Teacher contracts seem to be handing out pay raises like this in York County for people whose starting salaries are 37-thousand dollars or more a year, much greater than the workers covered under this contract.

Until we can change the tax and spend climate in our school districts by containing those pay raises at taxpayer expense, we can't begin to ask these employees to take any less from us.

CENTRAL BOARD VOTES LAPTOP PLAN DOWN 8-1

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 23RD,UPDATED AUGUST 25TH)

The Central York School Board gave an overwhelming thumbs down to the idea of buying more than a thousand laptop computers at a thousand dollars a piece.

The only vote in favor of the plan was that of the board's president Eric Wolfgang.

Wolfgang was close to Central York's former superintendent Dr. Linda Estep, who wanted to provide all of the district's students with a computer.

Why was the vote so lopsided?

One thing is for sure. There will be school board elections next year and York County's 912 Patriot movement appears to be planning a role in those elections.

One may wonder if this school board is beginning to get common sense into it or just running scared from public opinion. I have no magic answer to that question?

The true picture is likely to emerge from the teacher contract talks that may begin soon. Will Central's board end up caving and be handing out 2.5 to 3 percent pay raises like other nearby school districts have or take a firmer stand for lower ones in the end?

The contract for Central's teachers expired at the end of June with no talks held over the summer. Will there be an endrun this fall to reach a contract ageement before next year's school board election or will the contract wait until after next year's elections?

AUGUST 16-22, 2010........

THE LATEST FROM SOUTH EASTERN:
SUBSTITUTE SUPERINTENDENT GETS 726 DOLLARS A DAY

(SPECIAL COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED AUGUST 21ST,UPDATED AUGUST 22ND)

When school district's bring in substitutes, the custom is to pay them less than regular employees.

A substitute teacher in York County may get paid around 100 dollars a day. That's less than the 140 to 175 dollar a day starting pay for regular teachers in York County based on a five day work week.

A substitute employee for custodial or cafeteria work will be paid less per hour than the regular employees in those positions.

It is with that knowledge that I find it astounding to learn that the South Eastern School District is paying Robert Wildasin 726 dollars a day to be its substitute superintendent.

That's equal to over 265,000 dollars a year for 365 days of pay.

There is no currently employed school superintendent in York County whose slary approaches this amount.

The school district's solicitor is now saying that Wildasin's pay is less than that of Tracy Shank, but I can only see that as being true because he started work August 6th and will be paid until June 30th next year. On an annual basis it appears his pay is more than that of Shank.

This money being spent on top of the 75 dollars an hour for Dr. Linda Estep's consulting work to hire new principals and the the Levin Law Group's "investigation" of administration adds up to bad news for South Eastern taxpayers.

Some voices say the investigation, the resignations of principals and the controversy raging around the resignation of Superintendent Tracy Shank is all part of a campaign of revenge by school employees and their supporters who have taken over the school board.

It appears that this is true.

The developments in South Eastern provide proof of the need for a law that will prohibit public school employees and their close relatives from serving on school boards in Pennsyvlania.

SOLICITOR SAYS BRACEY VETO STANDS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 21ST)

York City's solicitor, Donald Hoyt, says that Mayor Kim Bracey's veto of a bill repealing an ordinance requiring 130 city employees to live inside the city limits is valid.

His opinion reverses one given by the city's former deputy solicitor, Shaleeta Washington. Washington said that the mayor did not present a formal list of objections to the city council until after a ten day deadline that expired on July 30th.

In his opinion, Hoyt says that the mayor's objections were listed in her July 30th veto press release sent to council, making the veto valid.

York City Council is not planning to try to override the veto. It passed the bill 3-2, one vote short of a veto-proof majority.

Bracey has told council earlier she would sign anything they passed, but then changed her mind.

Some see the veto as an attempt by Bracey to demonstrate her power against City Council President Genevieve Ray.

Meanwhile, the mayor says the residency issue will be studied with city residents being questioned about the matter. There is some evidence that residents would prefer that the employees remain city residents, rather than leave and further deteriorate the quality of life in the city.

AUGUST 9-15, 2010....

YORK 912 PATRIOT GROUP LOOKS AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 15TH)

The York 912 Patriots are looking forward to next year. A strategy meeting held Thursday night drew some 300 people according to the "York Daily Record."

The 912 group has pretty much written off the Democrat Party and wants to see changes in the Republican Party. Both Congressman Todd Platts and York County's Republican party chairman Carville "Peck" Foster were in attendance.

Foster said that GOP candidates should be supported even though many think they are too liberal. He spoke of the need to support candidates who you agree with most of the time, but not 100 percent.

As for next year, the meeting offered the opportunity for participants to split up into groups by school district. School board elections will be held next year and it would make a lot of sense for 912 patriots to get involved in the process.

It is interesting to note that established Republican politicians and officials are showing up and speaking at 912 events. But they need to be challenged with facts about their liberalism and confronted with the need to change direction instead of continuing to spend government in the direction of bankruptcy at a slower pace than Democrats.

I continue to be skeptical about 912 groups-tea party groups which in some places seem to trend towards a speaking platform for Republican politicians and a cheerleading section for them.

There's not much to cheer about when Republican leaders in Washington still want to spend more than 3 trillion dollars in the federal budget with over a trillion dollars in debt. Here in Pennsylvania politicans like Republican State Senator Mike Waugh from York County's 28th District vote for a 28 billion dollar budget this year and for higher business taxes last year.

Then we have GOP state representatives from York County like Stan Saylor, Keith Gillespie, Ron Miller and Will Tallman who supported the union backed House Bill 2479 to keep the currently spiraling out of control government pension system in place.

DISPUTE OVER SOUTH EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT'S RESIGNATION BURNS HOT

MONEY SAID TO BE ISSUE WHILE LOCAL POLICE FILE CHARGE AGAINST SUPERINTENDENT

(NEWS, ANALYSIS, COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 14TH)

The dispute over the school board's rejection of Superintendent Tracy Shank's resignation was in full spin mode this past week.

The school board threw its side of the dispute on the wall this week hoping it would discredit Shank's side of story that she signed the deal given to her by the school board then they backed out.

The story, apparently being spun with the help of Philadelphia area lawyer Michael Levin, is that the board was unaware that Shank had found a job as assistant superintendent in Berks County's Oley Valley School District.

Because of that the board says it doesn't want to pay 60-thousand dollars to Shank for her resignation. The spin is that taxpayers money needs to be saved.

When you add up the Levin Law Firm's costs for investigating school administration that led to the mass resignation of principals and the Shank resignation, plus the cost of using Dr. Linda Estep as a consultant for 75 dollars an hour to help hire new principals, I doubt if any taxpayers money is being saved in this situation.

Meanwhile, there's word from Stewartstown police chief George Cunningham that Tracy Shank is being charged with filing a false police report about being stalked.

Shank made the allegation to Stewartstown Police last spring with Cunningham saying the investigation took until now to complete. But he does acknowledge to the media that lawyer Michael Levin spoke to police and provided a deposition given by Tracy Shank about the matter.

Shank's lawyer Brian Boland calls the charge 'frivilous' and designed to ruin Shank's reputation. Boland says that laywer Levin threatened Shank with the charge in his conversations about the resignation dispute.

Just more smelly and fishy things going on in and around this school district.

The legal costs of this dispute will no doubt continue to expand at taxpayers expense all the way.

SPRINGETTSBURY OFFICIAL FOUND GUILTY IN HARRASSMENT INCIDENT INVOLVING RESIDENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 14TH)

A Springettsbury Township resident went to the township office on April 26th to resolve a zoning violation ordinance. When he spoke to James Baugh, the township's director of community development, police say that Baugh closed the office window on the resident's arm and pushed him.

A York County Detective Bureau investigation led to a charge of harrassment against Baugh, who was found guilty in court on July 22nd.

"The York Daily Record" reports that township manager John Holman is not commenting about any disciplinary action taken against James Baugh, citing confidentiality in personnel matters.

What Holman does confirm to the media is that Baugh is still employed by the township.

Mr. Baugh has filed paperwork saying he will appeal the harrassment conviction.

Arrogance of government in Springettsbury Township ranging from the ban on a charitable Christmas tree sale to attempts to regulate pet ownership have raised eyebrows in recent years.

The township supervisors have also agreed to participation in a police consolidation study that will used to justify suburban taxpayers picking up the cost of policing York City.

Perhaps 9/12 Patriot-Tea Party priorities for York County should include the election for supervisors in the township next year.

STETLER ENTERS NOT GUILTY PLEA TO BONUSGATE CHARGES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 14TH)

Former Democrat State Represenative and Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue Steve Stetler is waiving a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday. Instead of appearing in court, Stetler's lawyer Joshua Lock filed paperwork to enter a not guilty plea.

Stetler faces charges of theft, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest for use of taxpayer money to help the Democrats political campaign for state legislative seats in 2006.

Pennsylvania Attorney General (and Republican candidate for governor) Tom Corbett's office has charged both Democrats and Republicans for using taxpayer money for legislative political campaigns in what has become known as "Bonusgate".

Lock told "The York Dispatch" he expects a trial for Stetler next year.

A number of York's leading Democats and liberals have set up a legal defense fund for Stetler that has raised tens of thousands of dollars.

AUGUST 2-8, 2010......

VETO OR NO VETO

YORK MAYOR'S VETO IN LIMBO AFTER LEGAL OPINION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 8TH)

The latest word from York Mayor Kim Bracey is that she will abide by the city's solicitor's final opinion on the legality of her July 30th veto announcement regarding an ordinance that repealed the city residency requirement for over 100 city employees.

In the aftermath of the mayor's veto, York City Council president Genevieve Ray sought a legal opinion from the city solicitor's office. The opinion from assistant solicitor Shaleeta Washington was that the veto was not valid because Bracey's written objections to the ordinance were not given until Monday August 2nd, after a ten day deadline for the veto and objections to be submitted to the council.

Then Mayor Bracey sought the advice of former city solicitor and prominent Democrat Party insider Stephen Hovis of the liberal Stock and Leader law firm.

Hovis offered the written opinion that the ten day deadline was actually on August 2nd.

The assistnt solicitor who declared the mayor's veto void left city employment on Thursday. When assistant solicitor Don Hoyt returns to work Monday, he will be the one to offer a "final opinion."

Bracey is calling on the council to abide by the 'final opinion.'

A power play by York's power elite and their handpicked mayor who appears to have acted in a sloppy manner with her veto?

The ordinance passed council on July 20th and was vetoed on July 30th, but the law says a veto must be accompanied by a list of objections. The list did not appear until August 2nd.

SURPRISE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING IN SOUTH EASTERN REJECTS SUPERINTENDENT'S RESIGNATION, CITING 'CONDITIONS'

BOARD HIRES SUBSTITUTE SUPERINTENDENT AT REGULAR MEETING

SUPERINTENDENT'S ATTORNEY THREATENS LAWSUIT OVER BREACH OF CONTRACT AND DEFAMATION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 5TH,UPDATED AUGUST 8TH)

The South Eastern School Board met suddenly on Tuesday with only 24 hours notice.

The board voted unanimously to reject the resignation of Superintendent Tracy Shank, who has accepted a position as assistant superintendent in Berks County's Oley Valley School District.

Board president Ralph Marston says her conditions were unacceptable and legal counsel is being asked to protect the interests of the school district.

From the moment the Levin Law Group was brought in to investigate administration five months ago, it was obvious that the board's intention was to remove the administration.

Three principals resigned after that and now the superintendent has done the same. Why is Shank's resignation being held up?

The board president and other board members have been telling the media in the last several weeks that they hadn't received Shank's resignation. Yet the resignation is dated July 17th and Shank hasn't been in her office since July 19th.

This raises more questions for the media and the public to ask, but board members are now going silent on the matter.

Board president Ralph Marston was again refusing public comment at the school board's reuglar meeting Thursday night. He said that people could file Right-To-Know requests, but that the district and its solicitor would decide on what documents would be released.

Marston had put out the word about Thursday's meeting after all the controversy surrounding the surprise Tuesday meeting.

The reason became apparent when Robert Wildasin was appointed "substitute superintendent" at the Thursday meeting. Wildasin is the retired superintendent of Lancaster County's Hempfield School District. His first day on the job was set for Friday with salary and contract to be negotiated.

All this leaves the status of Tracy Shank uncertain. South Eastern School District laywer Brooke Say refused comment when asked whether Shank is still a district employee.

York's newspapers are now reporting that Tracy Shank's attorney says the district board broke an agreement for her resignation that they offered and she signed last month.

Attorney Stephen Boland says the South Eastern board made an offer for Shank's resignation on July 15th and that she signed and returned their written resignation offer on July 17th. The board was wiling to pay her 60-thousand dollars in exchange for Shank's agreement not to sue the district.

When they rejected her resignation, the board president Ralph Marston spoke of Shank imposing conditions on her resignation and said she had not been at work since July 19th.

Boland says Shank hasn't been at work because the board told her not to be in the office and she left on the effective date of her signed resignation, July 19th.

The attorney says that unless the board honors the resignation agreement, a lawsuit will be filed alleging breach of contract and defamation.

This situation in the South Eastern School District looks as murky as ever.<

JULY 26-AUGUST 1, 2010.........

YORK MAYOR MAKES FRIDAY VETO ANNOUNCEMENT ON RESIDENCY REPEAL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 31ST)

In a move designed to minimize publicity, York Mayor Kim Bracey announced Friday that she is vetoing an ordinance to repeal a requirement that 130 city employees live in the city.

In a prepared statement, Bracey said the council had acted too quickly without researching the matter more.

City Councilman Henry Nixon told "The York Dispatch" that: "At the council meeting, she said she would support council's decision no matter what. Obviously she went back on that statement."

Nixon said he received no input of any kind from city residents and few attended the council meeting, leading him to believe there is no concern one way or another about the ordinance.

City Council President Genevieve Ray told the "York Daily Record" this: "I'm disappointed because she had said she would support whatever council decided, and she isn't..." Bracey says a survey of residents about the matter will be included in sewer and water bills. She also says that that data is being collected about the possible financal impact of repealing the ordinance.

Bracey knew her decision would be contoversial hence the Friday anouncement. She has stressed the need for public input during her first six months in office, but it appears Bracey said one thing a few weeks ago and now is doing something different.

Council passed the ordinance in a 3-2 vote and would need to a 4-1 vote or better to override Bracey's veto.

CITY ADMINISTRATION IN CONTROL FIGHT WITH HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 31ST)

The city government wants to take administrative control of the three employees of the York City Human Relations Commission.

City Business Adminstrator Michael O'Rourke says the oversight is needed so that the city can be sure that its employees of the commission follow procedures like clocking in for work.

The human relations commission's executive director, Stephanie Seaton, says such a move by the city threatens the commission's very existence.

The York City Human Relations Commission was set up as an independent quasi-judicial organization in 1974 to deal with discrimination allegations in the city involving housing, employment and public accomodations. Its 11-member board currently deals with personnel matters.

The administration of Mayor Bracey is also proposing cutting the size of the commission's board from 11 to 7 members. Seaton says that's not the city government's business, its a matter for the commission's board to decide.

O'Rourke says the city is not trying to control what the commission investgiates, just oversee its daily operation to see that producures are being followed.

I won't get into the rights or wrongs of having such a quasi-judicial group like this operating in the first place, but I will admit that Stephanie Seaton may onto something when she fears the organization's future existence.

Lancaster County commissioners recently moved to eliminate the "human relations commission" run by the city and county of Lancaster because of its cost and the duplication of work done by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Mayor Bracey will have to make tough budget decisions in the years ahead and this move to take control of the commission staff could provide the ability to eliminate it in a financial pinch using the same rationale as Lancaster County.

LATEST SOUTH EASTERN NEWS

(POSTED JULY 31ST)

If one is to believe the word put out by the South Eastern School Board as printed in "The Star" weekly newspaper on July 22nd, an efficient process is underway to replace the sudden loss of four principals in the school district.

Working at the rate of 75 dollars per hour, retired Central York School District superintendent Linda Estep has already interviewed 11 applicants according to the school board president Ralph Marston, interviewed by "The York Dispatch."

Marston acknowleges that Estep was approached about interviewing for the South Eastern superintendent position, but has declined it.

Not involved in the process is current South Eastern superintendent Tracy Shank, who has accepted a position as assistant superintendent in the Oley Valley School District in Berks County.

The investigation of administration that came in conjunction with sudden resignations of three principals and Shank's move has been presented to the board, but there's been no decision on making it public.

The South Eastern School Board is set to meet on Thursday and may receive Shank's resignation at that time.

SOUTH EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT FINDS A NEW JOB AMIDST INVESTIGATION

RETIRED CENTRAL SUPERINTENDENT HIRED TO PICK NEW PRINCIPALS

(NEWS,ANALYSIS.COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 26TH)

The investigation that has coincided with the resignation of three South Eastern School District principals is now coincident with South Eastern Superintendent Tracy Shank accepting a lower paying job in a Berks County school district.

Shank has accepted a position as assistant superintendent in the Oley Valley School District and will be paid 115-thousand dollars a year. She now makes some 143-thousand dollars as South Eastern's superintendent.

Meanwhile, the school board has decided to hire Central York's retired superintendent, Dr. Linda Estep, as an independent contractor. Estep will be paid 75 dollars per hour and will have the responsibility of hiring four principals for the district.

There are people who say things were really bad in the district for teachers, but there are other voices that say the teachers union has taken over the school board and is conducting a witch hunt against administrators.

What is the truth here? Supposedly candidates aligned with taxpayers are on this board, but it appears that current school district employees, former school district employees and family members are playing key roles on the South Eastern School Board.

This is a very suspect situation.

Now Dr. Linda Estep has entered the picture. The board says that she is around to hire new principals. Lets hope that's all. Linda Estep is no friend of taxpayers. She was behind everthing from the new "Taj Mahal" high school to the now hotly debated laptop computer for every student program at Central.

Estep is being paid a big 75 dollar per hour salary. The investigation into the administration launched several months ago has already racked up a bill of at least 30-thousand dollars and now thousands more will be spent employing Dr. Estep.

And with the superintendent leaving South Eastern, one wonders whether Dr. Estep's role will expand in the coming months?

JULY 19-25, 2010..........

SPRINGETTSBURY SUPERVISOR CHALLENGES LATEST MOVE TO REGULATE PET OWNERSHIP

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 24TH)

Springettsbury Township Supervisor Julie Landis got right to the point as the newest version of a pet ordinance came before the board.

As quoted by the "York Dispatch", Landis said: "Local government shouldn't tell you how many pets you can afford and care for...Soon we'll be telling them how many cars and how many kids they can have. I'm not voting for this."

Landis responded to the latest attempt by the township to pass a new pet ordinance. Two sisters who own 17 dogs successfully challenged the existing law in state court that limited onwership to two pets.

Township lawyer Charlie Rausch argues that the new ordinance is needed because some people own too many pets and don't properly care for them

Rausch is pushing for a new ordinance that again limits pet ownership to two adult dogs or cats with provisions about kennel requirments thrown out by the court removed

Opponents agrue that the real issue is how pets are cared for, not how many are owned

It looks like new Springettsbury supervisor Julie Landis is a breath of fresh air in a township that seems to want to impose controls on everything from pets to charity sales.

DALLASTOWN SUPERINTENDENT COMPLAINS OF 'WITCH HUNT' AMID BONUS CONTROVERSY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 24TH)

With taxpayer anger aroused by an 18-thousand dollar bonus that helped boost his pay by over 15 percent July 1st, Dallastown School District Superintendent Stewart Weinberg is apparently ticked off himself. What's bothering Weinberg are questions about whether he did anything to violate policy in connection with last year's school board elections.

The "York Dispatch" reports more details on efforts by school board member Carroll Tignall to find out about what happened. While the whole school board turned down his motion for a formal investigation, they are allowing the policy commitee to keep asking questions.

Weinberg says that continuing questoning by the committee, that includes both Mr. Tignall and another pro-taxpayer board member Don Jasmann, is a "witch hunt."

Mr. Jasmann is quoted by the newspaper as saying that the questioning is "fact-fnding." Tignall says that residents have contacted him to express concern that Weinberg and other school staff were using classroom time and school district resources to promote certain candidates (the more liberal ones who support more spending) in the election.

Weinberg insists that anything he did including two phone messages to parents on the district's phone chain system encouraging them to vote were all part of a "civics lesson" to students.

In these tough economic times, the outrageous pay boost remains issue number one for now that could bring a new look to Dallastown's school board after elections next year. Maybe then, the issue of violating policy during school board elections could be examined in a formal investigation.

YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD CONFIRMS LAYOFFS IN 6-2 VOTE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 24TH)

The York City School Board has approved the elimination of 47 jobs in the district that will cause the layoffs of 24 teachers.

Board members led by President Sam Beard, along with members Javier Aguayo, Gary Calhoun, Jeanette Torres, Margie Orr and Sandie Walker all supported the layoffs.

Members Beverly Atwater and James Morgan voted No.

Beard said the unless the teachers were laid off, the school district would forced to raise taxes next year.

Its good to see Mr. Beard on the side of common sense in this matter.

Parents in the city of York are opting for charter schools causing York City School District enrollment to decline. Standardized test scores have shown poor performance in reading and math and no one can blame parents for trying to do something to improve their children's education.

I sure wish that the Pennsylvania State Education Association and its York City teachers local would change their agenda away from protection of jobs, pay raises that are outrageous and pensions that are too much to a relentless effort to teach basic reading and math skills to students.

But I'm not holdng my breath waiting for that to happen.

SOME JUSTICE FOR THE KOHR FAMILY

STATE COURT GIVES PARTIAL VICTORY ON USE OF LAUXMONT FARMS LAND

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 19TH)

The Declaration of Independence proclaims rights that are given by a Higher Power and cannot be revoked, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

At our country's founding, "pursuit of Happiness" was linked to the concept of being free to use one's land to prosper.

In recent years, local, state and federal elected officials, with the deep involvement of York's business and civic leaders, sought to deny that sacred right to pursue happiness.

The case of the Kohr family land and the county scheme to seize it by eminent domain has been wrapped up by a legal settlement.

But there are still legal wranglings over some plans to develop Lauxmont Farms land.

In 2003 Lower Windsor Township supervisors rejected two plans that involved the building of 78 townhomes on one tract of land and a 205 home subdvision on another. The York County Common Pleas Court upheld the decision.

But last week Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court gave preliminary approval for the development of the townhomes and ordered York County Common Pleas Court to hold a hearing on the subdivision. Those who supported the land grab at Lauxmont Farms have always expressed their disdain for development but they've gone beyond that to smear the Kohr family.

They attacked the family for not paying back property taxes when the attempt to seize the land left them unable to sell or develop the land and make the money. The government added insult to that injury by trying to use eminent domain to buy the land at a fraction of the actual market value.

Now that the family stands a chance to make money and make good on back taxes, they are attacked for making the money.

The eminent domain case also cost the family legal expenses and the loss of a family member in poor health.

I am so glad that the county made a legal settlement with the family because of the injury caused. Maybe the rich men of York County who backed the injustice of seizing the land should pay, but it was us taxpayers who had to make good for the mistakes of our elected officials that the business leaders colluded with in the scheme.

The township has 30 days to decide whether to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. If the Kohr family prevails, they will still have to get final approval from the township to proceed with development.

Lets hope that opportunities for the Kohr family to prosper continue to open up as the legal process continues because our country was founded on the idea that a power greater than government gives them that right and it cannot be denied them.

JULY 12-18, 2010.....

CENTRAL YORK DELAYS NEW TEACHER CONTRACT, ADOPTS NEW GRADING SYSTEM AND 'PERFECTS' ITS LAPTOP PLAN

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED JULY 17TH)

There's a lot going on in the Central York School District from a delay in teacher contract talks to a new grading system and attempts to make the plan to buy more laptop computers look better to taxpayers.

Lets take a closer look at what's going on and why.

TEACHER CONTRACT AT CENTRAL HAS EXPIRED WITH TALKS AHEAD AND A LIKELY STRATEGY TO JUSTIFY PAY HIKES

At the end of last month, the contract for teachers expired in the Central York School District.

Pennsylvania State Education Association union laywer Clinton Gibbs says the district and the union won't be negotiating until after teachers come back to school next month. Both sides are said to agree on a delay.

Gibbs notes uncertainty over the school pension situation. Meanwhile union supported pension legislation recently passed the State House that will lower payments required by school districts. That legislation could pass the State Senate and be signed by the governor to become law.

Central's 72.6 million dollar budget for the new school year only raises spending by around 189-thousand dollars which apparently covers the cost of giving support staff and administration pay hikes.

Central is touting set asides of money raised by higher property taxes into reserve funds for increased pension payments.

If a new teacher contract is reached for a group of around 400 people with average pay around 60-thousand dollars a year, the spending of several hundred thousand more dollars will be required for each percentage point of pay raises.

After taxing more out of property owners and putting it in "reserve" for pensions, will a new teacher union supported pension law allowing for smaller payments to the pension fund provide the excuse to divert money to union members pay increases?

CENTRAL BOARD APPROVES NEW GRADING SYSTEM

The new Central York School District grading system will have 4.0 in it and 3.995 and 3.985 etc. in it instead of whole grades given to all students who are in a certain percentage range. Students who do extra credit may see an average over 4.0 like 4.2, 4.3 etc.

A failing grade of F will start if a student scores below 65 percent in a class, but in the first marking period students cannot be graded below 50 percent.

This is supposed to allow a student to make-up work in the next marking period.

A lot of attention has been paid to the top of this grading system.

Before the public outcry last year, the intense competition to reach the top academically was decried by Central's Suerintendent Dr. Michael Snell, who was following the "vision" of the previous superintendent, Dr. Linda Estep.

As one analyzes that "vision" it appears to be one that involves equalizing those at the top with those at the bottom in grading. Its just another socialist-progressive agenda, but this time it involves academics and not wealth.

The plan to ban valedictorians and salutatorians at graduation had to be dropped last year, but the plan to lift students at the bottom appears to have taken a step forward with this new grading system.

The school board approved the new system unanimously.

COMPUTER PLAN DISCUSSED WITH LOWER NUMBERS

Former Central York superintendent Dr. Linda Estep envisioned every student with a computer. After a plan to acquire 1,900 new laptops for high school students created controversy, the matter has been under discussion.

At this month's meeting, Assistant to the Superintendent Richard Burd presented alternatives to the original plan.

Instead of spending 1.9 million dollars to acquire 1,900 computers, Burd said only 1,600 could be picked up by the district at a 1.6 million dollar cost. This would give all students a computer but the district wouldn't buy additional computers to loan out or replace broken ones.

Another idea that Burd laid out was getting 1,300 computers at a 1.3 million dollar cost using them for 9th to 11th grade students, while seniors used older laptops. Then next school year, the additional computers would be purchased.

Board member James Zito wanted the school buildings to be open after school to provide internet access to students who don't have it at home. Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell says additional hiring will be done to accomodate such a scheme. This means more spending of taxpayer money.

In the case of Central's computer plans, the national debt of nearly 13 trillion comes into play. Mr. Burd's presentation included the use of 1.2 million dollars in 'stimulus' from the federal government. That translates into spending federal tapxayer dollars and a part of the national debt.

A 22-THOUSAND DOLLAR PAY RISE FOR DALLASTOWN SUPERINTENDENT

MOST OF IT IS PART OF BONUS SCHEME WRITTEN INTO HIS CONTRACT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 17TH)

Dallastown School Board President Fred Botterbusch has announced that in addition to his regular pay raise from 146-thousand to 150-thousand dollars a year, effective July 1st, Dallastown School District superintendent Dr. Stewart Weinberg is getting an 18-thousand dollar bonus.

Botterbusch says that Weinberg was "very successful" in reaching goals determined by the school board. Those "goals" were written into a contract approved when the board received complaints about Weinberg's abrasive behavior towards teachers and parents.

This kind of compensation for school superintendent's just adds more fuel to the fire. Many ask why in these times, West York's superintendent Emile Lombardi is due a 4.5 percent pay hike this year, still more express outrage at the eight percent pay raise in a contract approved earlier this year by the Eastern York School Board for Superintendent Darla Pianowski.

And now we have the story of Superintendent Stewart Weinberg's contract at Dallastown. It adds up to a just over 15 percent pay raise this year. That takes the cake.

Taxpayers have already elected three outsider school board members in Dallastown. This should just inspire them even more to elect additional pro-taxpayer outsider candidates in next year's school board election.

There is a vague report in the "York Sunday News" noting that pro-taxpayer school board member Carroll Tignall called for an investigation into Dallastown School District administration and staff involvement in the 2009 school board election campaign.

Superintendent Stewart Weinberg used the district's phone chain system twice to alert parents to the general election in 2009. Weinberg drew attention to a candidate questionaire developed by Parent Teacher organizations in the school district.

There are allegations that teachers offered rewards to students who brought their parents "I Voted" stickers to school from the November 2009 general election that involved school board candidates.

His motion was voted down.

FEWER TEACHER LAYOFFS THAN EXPECTED IN YORK CITY AS UNION MAKES BIG STINK

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 17TH)

There had been talk of around 40 or so layoffs but by Monday the York City School District had whittled that number down to 24. Vacant teaching positions were involved and some due to be laid off were offered long-term substitute positions.

Pennsylvania State Education Association attorney Clinton Gibbs, who represents York City Education Association union members says teachers are upset by the timing of the layoffs at a point in the summer when many open teaching positions are already filled.

Gibbs is quoted in "The York Dispatch" as saying: "This doesn't look like good management, does it." Perhaps he is hoping that the city school board will overrule the administration that many of its new members have disparaged in the past.

The final decision on the layoffs will come from the York City School Board. They will vote on the layoffs at their meeting this coming Wednesday. It will interesting to see how the new more radical school board will vote on this matter.

Meanwhile, the York City Education Association sent a delegation to last Wednesday's York County Commissioners meeting. There they spoke about the furloughs (layoffs) and the lack of a new contract with the school district.

In response, President Commissioner Steve Chronister noted that commissioners do not have the call on school district matters, but that he hoped the district would weigh the value of their teachers in any decisions made.

I'm not quite sure I would have responded this way. It's sad to see the union members pushing for a contract that would have three percent pay raises paid for by taxpayers in these difficult economic times where the world's money supply is dwindling under a mountain of debt.

JULY 5 -11, 2010......

TWO YORK COUNTY LEGISLATORS VOTE THUMBS DOWN ON UNION BACKED PENSION LEGISLATION

WHY DID GROVE AND PERRY JOIN FOUR OTHERS IN TAKING CONSERVATIVE STANCE?

In a reflection of union power in Pennsylvania, the State House voted 192-6 last month (June 16th) to preserve the current pension systems for state government and public school employees.

The legislation would reduce benefits for future employees by 20 percent and it lessens the contributions that school districts will have to make into the school pension system in the near future.

Opponents says the legislation fails to address the exploding expense of providing pensions in the decades ahead.

Vocal conservative State Representative Sam Rohrer from Berks County was one of six House members to oppose the pension legislation, but he was joined by two state represenatatives from York County.

Representatives Scott Perry of the 92nd District and Seth Grove of the 196th District were also NO votes.

Perry has worked hard to craft a conservative image after years of service to York County's "moderate" Republican machine led by the late John Thompson Sr. Perry is also mentioned as a likely Republican candidate to replace Congressman Todd Platts.

Grove has worked as a legislative aide to Platts and other local Republican elected officials. Perhaps he has visions of higher office and the need to project a conservative image as well.

CHARTER SCHOOL GROWTH LINKED TO LAYOFF PLANS IN YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 7TH,UPDATED JULY 8TH)

A union representative has been told that furloughs are planned for the York City School District. Employees will be told about them Monday.

Hundreds of elemenatary and middle school age children have been enrolled in charter schools.

Furlough plans appear to be linked in part to the new charter middle school in the city, the Helen Thackston School. In the last five years, the district has charted a 26 percent drop in enrollment at the high school and two middle schools.

While the union says it has been provided details, all the district says is that it's considering the idea.

Pennsyvlania State Education Association union representative Clinton Gibbs says the number of furloughs-layoffs would total 32 and that teachers are not pleased. Gibbs thinks the money should be found to keep the employees on the job.

Parents are concerned about the quality of their children's education and their safety in school buildings. Charter schools were enabled when former Governor Tom Ridge fought the Pennsylvania State Education Association over issues like giving parents the option to send their children to private schools where public schools are failing. The union controlled legislature prevented that, but the public charter schools were enabled.

SOUTH EASTERN INVESTIGATION COSTS MOUNT AS RESULTS ARE EXPECTED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 10TH)

The new South Eastern School Board initially planned to spend around 20-thousand dollars when it hired a Philadelphia area law firm to investigate the district's administration earlier this year.

But, it was revealed at June's school board meeting that costs have reached nearly 26-thousand dollars for the Levin Law Group's probe.

When asked by a resident why the costs have mounted board president Ralph Marston is quoted as saying: "We didn't put a dollar value on it....I want the results to be correct....." (Reported by "The York Dispatch") The board was anticipating having results of the inevestigation early this month.

Opponents of the investigation describe it was a "witchhunt" and three principals at three different district schools have resigned in the midst of the investigation.

Mr. Marston says the investigation's findings will be reviewed in private, then a decision will be made as to whether they will be discussed in public.

The new school board is filled with people who ran as "taxpayer" candidates. But the board appears to be filled with people who are current or former school district employees and close relatives of the same.

The conflict of interest issue is something that can be seen in the composition of school boards all over York County and Pennsylvania.

JUNE 28-JULY 4, 2010......

THE BUDGET AND YOUR LEGISLATORS

THE YES VOTES, THE NO VOTES AND WHY THEY VOTED THAT WAY

(SPECIAL COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED JULY 3RD)

Some final details remain to be worked out, but Pennsylvania's legislature staged its key budget votes Wednesday with a 37-13 vote of approval in the State Senate and a 117-84 vote of approval in the State House.

Supporters of the 28 billion dollar budget in the Senate included Republican Senators Mike Waugh (28th District), Pat Vance (31st District) and Lloyd Smucker (13th District. Its not surprising to see Republican Senate leadership member Mike Waugh and "moderate" Pat Vance supporting a budget that relies on federal taxpayers and the national debt to keep Pennsylvania's government afloat.

What's shocking is Lloyd Smucker's vote. Smucker's district is in eastern York and western Lancaster counties. The conservatives who were assured of his conservatism when he ran for election in 2008 apparently got hustled as usual.

In the No column was State Senator Jeff Piccola of the 15th District that is mostly Dauphin County with a slice of northeastern York County. Piccola needs to be as conservative as possible since GOP primary voters in his district are primed by the likes of WHP Radio host Bob "shut up and pay your taxes" Durgin.

Then there's the No vote of a known Republican moderate insider Rich Alloway who's trapped in the conservative 33rd Senate District that goes from the Dover area of York County west to Adams and Franklin counties. In Franklin County, the Tea Party has taken over the local Republican Party and Alloway has no choice but to look conservative or risk losing his seat.

Now over to the State House where Democrat Eugene Depasquale of the York City centered 95th District was a sure vote for this tax, spend and borrow business as usual budget.

Depasquale's Yes vote was accompanied by the Yes vote of 94th District Republican Stan Saylor, who is a GOP leader (House Appropriations Committee Chairman). Saylor told the "York Daily Record" he felt he had a duty to support the budget. Party leadership usually does take the hit and vote for unpopular things like this controversial budget that many believe is in debt from Day one.

The rest of the York County (all Republican) House members were No votes.

Lets start in northern York County's 92nd District where Representative Scott Perry has fashioned himself as a conservative after years of insider anti-conservative activity. Perry notes that this budget relies on money from Washington that may not be coming. National Republican Congressional Committee insiders savor the idea of Mr. Perry being a replacement for 19th District Congressman Todd Platts if the seat becomes vacant.

Voting No was Ron Miller of southern York County's 93rd District. He was lucky to have won with 53 percent of the vote in the GOP Primary and his opposiion divided among three candidates. Also voting No was Keith Gillespie of the 47th District.

Both men have been backed for election in the past by the Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union. The same applies to Yes vote Stan Saylor in the 94th District.

In some recent communications, I understand that these teacher union backed legislators are spreading the idea that they are opposed to the union and want fiscal responsibility in local school districts.

Also in the No column are freshman House members Will Tallman of the 193rd District and Seth Grove of the 196th District. They both need to be No votes in the conservative climate.

But while there are conservaitve rumblings a more liberal pro-union note was struck when York County's legislators joined in a massive 192-6 vote on June 16th to approve a union backed plan to preserve pension plans with future employees getting a smaller benefit. There was no conversion to a 401 K system in the plan and the pension system problem was kicked down the road for future legislators and taxpayers to tackle.

While this budget cuts funding for some state departments and contains no increase for others, there were two places where spending was increased.

The legislature approved a budget that spends more on the legislature itself definitely sending a business as usual signal.

Liberal Eugene Depasquale praised the key aspect of the the 2010-2011 Pennsylvania state budget, the 4.5 percent hike in spending for public schools. Since most public school spending is about pay and benefits, make no mistake this reflects teacher union power and control of the legislature.

YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD'S TOM FOUST REMEMBERED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 3RD)

York City School Board member Tom Foust died Wednesday.

The 63-year old Foust started receiving treatment for throat cancer last year.

Foust continued to attend school board meetings during his cancer treatment. He was honored earlier this year at a party involving area business and political leaders.

Tom Foust was active in York City politics, a voice of moderation favored by the political insiders in the face of more militant board members. Foust was also known for being a wealth of knowledge about the city, the school district and government operations.

Foust served as a vice-president of the York City School Board until the more militant racially oriented faction took control.

Current school board president Sam Beard praised Foust as someone who devoted many hours to serve the city and the school district.

There's no immediate word on plans to replace Tom Foust on the school board.

JUNE 21-27, 2010......

YORK COUNTY SCHOOL BUDGET ROUNDUP

BUDGETS PASSED AMID TAXPAYER ANGER, LOOMING ELECTIONS

(NEWS, ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 27TH)

There's been a flurry of activity ahead of July 1st, when the new budget year begins for school districts in Pennsyvlania. School boards have held final votes for their 2010-2011 budgets.

The school boards of York County can pass along givebacks to property owners that come from Pennsylvania's gambling revenue. Areas considered "rich" don't get as much as those deemed "poor." In this way, only the "rich" onwers of "big" homes end up paying higher taxes.

But this isn't dampening an increasing determination by taxpayer groups to take action at the local level. Dallastown voters have put three taxpayer oriented candidates on their board and may elect a majority in next years election.

DOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT JACKS UP PROPERTY TAXES NEARLY FOUR PERCENT

The budget for the Dover School District will be 50.6 million dollars. The school board unanimously approved the plan that raises property taxes by 3.9 percent or .76 mills. That's 76 more dollars for every 100-thousand dollars in property value.

The liberal "Dover Cares" group controls all nine seats on this board.

When they were first elected in 2005, the "Dover Cares" slate pushed for a quick resolution of a teacher contract dispute.

Now the incumbent school board members are themselves delaying a new teacher contract. The board has even rejected a fact-finder's report that calls for teachers to get three percent pay raises in a new contract. The old more conservative board was actually willing to give teachers a fopur percent pay raise in 2005, which their union objected to.

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CENTRAL PASSES NEW BUDGET WITH COMPUTERS, TEACHER CONTRACT ISSUES OUTSTANDING

While Dover's expired teacher contract has not been replaced and is making news, the now expiring Central York teacher contract seems to be a semi-official secret.

The Central contract expires June 30th and its likely that some planned pay increase is factored into the well over 70 million dollar budget that includes a .50 mill-2.9 percent property tax hike.

The budget vote was 5-4. School board elections next year may be behind the no votes with members wanting to appear fiscally responsible.

The Central board did act to waive rental fees for non profit groups that consist of 2/3 or more residents of the school district. This appears to be a way to buy the favor of district residents in future school board elections and will particularly benefit youth sports programs with hundreds of parents-voters at stake.

WEST YORK RAISES PROPERTY TAXES AND SUPERINTENDENT'S SALARY

Property taxes were hiked 3.6 percent when the West York School Board approved the 2010-2011 budget on May 25th. The 46.8 million dollar budget takes 1.6 million dollars from reserve funds.

The board also voted to give Superintendent Emile Lonardi a 4.5 percent pay hike raising her salary to 165,922 dollars a year. The raise is described as a "merit" pay increase.

In these times how can such pay raises be tolerated on the taxpayers's back?????

RED LION APPROVES 3.9 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE WITH TEACHER CONTRACT OUTSTANDING

In a 7-1 vote with one member absent, the Red Lion School Board approved an 81 million dollar budget for 2010-2011.

The budget includes 1.75 million dollars taken from reserve funds. Property taxes were raised by 3.9 percent or roughly 87 dollars for a property valued at 105-thousand dollars.

Actual spending increased by 770,000 dollars from last year or .95 percent, but there's still one matter unresolved. The issue is how big of a pay increase will teachers get next year. That's because talks for a new teacher contract have not yet reached an agreement.

NEW BISHOP APPOINTED FOR CATHOLIC DIOCESE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 27TH)

Pope Benedict has named Most. Rev. Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of the Philadelphia Diocese, to be the Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

McFadden was a Catholic school teacher before he chose to go into service as a priest. He has been as a personal secretary to former Philadelphia Cardinal John Krol and was in charge of Cardinal O'Hara High School in suburban Philadelphia.

McFadden has a reputation for building and sustaining Catholic education.

McFadden says he will have much to learn in the days to come. He will assume his new position on August 18th.

McFadden will succeed Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who was transferred to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana.

JUNE 14-20, 2010........

POEM BANNED AT EASTERN YORK GRADUATION

SCHOOL DISTRICT LAWYER TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR CENSORSHIP

Senior Class President Aaron Mackley stepped up to speak at the Friday June 11th Eastern York High School graduation after being told a few hours before that he would not be allowed to read a poem entitled "The Graduate's Prayer."

Mackley explained that he was asked not to read the poem when he spoke.

The decision to ban the poem was made by the school district's solicitor, Phil Spare, from York's Stock and Leader law firm.

Speaking at Thursday's school board meeting, Spare said according to the "York Dispatch": "I take full reasonability for this decision...To embrace free speech, then you have to take an anything-goes mentality. If the district doesn't want to open themselves up to anything that may include inappropriate or vulgar comments, then it must give its stamp of approval to each speech. I felt that if we gave the stamp of approval to this prayer it would violate the law. I stand by that decision."

School Board President Doug Caldwell said according to "The York Dispatch":.."we followed the law as it was dictated to us."

Aaron Mackley's father Robert Mackley was joined by others who spoke in opposition to the ban at the school board meeting. Mr. Mackley said "in this situation you all took the easy road." Pastor Don Pullen of Valley View Alliance Church said the poem should have been allowed and was protected by the Constitution. He noted that he has actually prayed at the beginning of Eastern graduation ceremonies four times.

I think one of the problems on the table in this matter is the Eastern School District's use of Attorney Spare from the liberal Stock and Leader firm. York County's school districts need to break away from using Stock and Leader lawyers.

That won't happen till another problem is dealt with, removal of the existing Eastern board members and other business as usual school board members in next year's election.

A more conservative school lawyer serving as the district's solicitor may have had a different view of this matter.

YORK MAYOR TALKED UP FOR DEMOCRAT PARTY CHAIR IN PENNSYLVANIA

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 20TH)

The "buzz" only lasted for a few days.

York Mayor Kim Bracey was the subject of speculation as Democrats met to select their new chair in Pennsylvania. It was reported that Bracey had talked with Governor Ed Rendell and several Democrat Party legislators about the job.

In the end, Allegheny Party Democrat leader Jim Burn was elected to a four-year term this weekend.

Bracey is one who is favored by York's wealthiest people like Louis Appell and Tom Wolf, both big money political contributors and supporters of Governor Rendell. So it should come as no surprise that her name would surface when a Democrat leadership post is up for grabs.

But it appears that the selection of Burn as Pennsylvania's Democrat chair may reflect the power of the Democrat's candidate for governor this year.

Allegheny County's Dan Onorato may be behind the selection of Jim Burn from Allegheny County as Democrat chair in Pennsylvania.

JUNE 7-13, 2010............

PRO-LIFE ACTIVIST ORDAINED INTO PRIESTHOOD

YORK COUNTY RESIDENT GRANTED SPECIAL DISPENSATION FROM POPE BENEDICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 13TH)

Paul Schenck is a married man who was raised Jewish, then converted to evangelical Christianity when he was a teenager. After a spiritual journey that included being a Protestant pastor and a minister in the Reformed Episcopal Church, Schenck converted to the Roman Catholic Church six years ago.

Yesterday, Schenck was ordained as a priest in a ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Springettsbury Township.

Father Schenck says that his journey to the Catholic Church came when: "I saw that coherent moral theology, Christian unity and spiritual authority were essential to success." Schenck also notes that: "The pro-life movement drew me toward reunion with the Catholic Church."

He became active in pro-life activities as one of the founders of Operation Rescue and is described as a hero by fellow actvists. Schenck founded the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington D.C. He has been arrested for protesting at abortion clinics and is now director of the Office of Respect Life Activities for the Diocese of Harrisburg.

Schenck served as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and expressed his interest in the priesthood to the now former Bishop of Harrisburg Kevin Rhoades. Because Schenck was a married man, special permission was needed from Pope Benedict and it was granted last fall.

In recent years, Schenck has made York County his home. He will continue his directorship of Harrisburg Diocese pro-life activities and serve as associate pastor at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Harrisburg.

Pro-Life Protestant laity and clergy have been drawn towards the Roman Catholic Church in recent years. A former Lutheran pastor from York County, Rev. Leonard Klein, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 2006.

(QUOTES FROM FATHER PAUL SCHENCK ARE COURTESY OF 'LifeSiteNews.com')

THREE SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT PRINCIPALS RESIGN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 13TH)

Three administrators (principals) are leaving their posts in the South Eastern School District, a few months after the school board brought in a Philadelphia law firm to investigate the administration.

School board president Ralph Marston says that the law firm's report is due the first week of July, according to the "York Daily Record."

The principals of the Kennard-Dale High School, South Eastern Middle School-West, and the assistant to the superintendent who oversaw the Delta-Peach Bottom Elementary School have resigned.

One of the resigning principals (Kennard-Dale's Eric Lam) is said to be taking a job as a teacher in the Dover Area School District.

Concerned citizens in the South Eastern School District say the school board is coming under the influence of the teachers union, the South Eastern Education Association. They say that one board member is married to the union president and she is a ex-teacher who now teaches in the Red Lion School District.

The situation in the South Eastern School District does not appear to be good with at least some school board members pursuing a personal agenda of revenge on administrators.

This is what happens when public school employees and their close family members are allowed to serve on school boards in Pennsylvania. It should not be allowed.

JUNE 1-6, 2010.....

EASTERN BUDGET APPROVED WITH 2.8 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 5TH)

The Eastern York School Board voted 6-3 to approve the district's 2010-2011 budget that totals 38.8 million dollars.

A half million dollars in reserve funds will be used along with a .51 mill property tax increase that will raise 536-thousand dollars in tax revenue.

Twelve thousand dollars (or just over 2.2 percent) of that tax hike will fund the salary increase of Eastern York School District Superintendent Darla Pianowski. An additional part of the tax increase will fund increased pension and Social Security costs on the employer's side of her pay hike.

Earlier this year the school board voted 6-2 to approve a new contract for Pianowski that raises her salary eight percent from 148-thousand to 160-thousand dollars on July 1st.

RENDELL DUMPS 'STMULUS MONEY' ON YORK CITY SCHOOL RENOVATION PROJECTS

24.6 MILLION IN BONDS COVERED BY FEDERAL TAX AND DEBT BURDEN WILL BE REDISTRIBUTED TO AREA THAT VOTES DEMOCRAT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 5TH)

The cost of renovating York City's McKinley and Davis elementary schools is going to be covered by all of America's taxpayers to the tune of 24.6 million dollars in bonds with taxpayers paying the interest..

Governor Ed Rendell appeared with York City School District officials in Harrisburg on Thursday to make the announcement.

The governor is sending on 660 million dollars in 'stimulus' funds to 46 school districts in Pennsylvania.

Some important things to remember here. This "money" is your tax money because it is federal and since the federal budget is filled with debt all Americans will bear the tax and debt burden for 'stimulus' projects.

Also note that your money is going to York City, an area that votes for Democrats.

President Barack Obama is living up to his stated belief in "spreading the wealth" from Republican areas to Democrat areas.

And yes, don't forget the 'stimulus' is being handed out in an election year when Democrats want to keep both the governor's office and a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

TWO STUDENT FIGHTS INJURE TWO STAFF MEMBERS AT YORK HIGH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 5TH)

There were two fights involving students at William Penn High School last Wednesday that led to two staff members being injured. One student is charged with aggravated assault and simple assault after guidance counselor Billie Jean Miller was hit in the mouth. Miller was trying to break up a fight between two students.

In another fight situation that day, teacher Jody Harman was hit in the ear while trying to break up student fighting. The student who hit Harman is also charged with aggravated and simple assault.

The new more left leaning York City School Board has refused to allow security personnel to use pepper spray and other methods of quelling violence. The reason such methods are used is to prevent injuries in violent situations.

The York City School District has also undereported criminal acts and arrests in its schools when statistics are sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Concern over safety has been one reason for York parents opting for an increasing number of charter schools in the city.

MAY 24-31, 2010.........

SCHOOL BOARD BUDGET VOTES ARE ABOUT POSTURING, NOT CONTROLLING SPENDING

(SPECIAL NEWS ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 31ST)

The recent budget votes by the Central York and York Suburban school boards might make one think there is serious opposition to higher taxes and more spending.

I wish could say there is, but I just don't believe its so.

Lets take York Suburban first, where the board deadlocked 4-4 on the 2010-2011 budget. One member was absent from this meeting.

One of the four members voting NO, Roger Miller, said he did not want to see a 3.5 percent property tax hike that is above the state's "inflation index" of 2.9 percent because of the difficult economic times.

The district's business manager said a 168-thousand dollar cut would allow for the 2.9 percent tax hike instead.

In politics, it is common practice for budget and tax increase estimates for local governments to start high and end up lower. This kind of tactical maneuvering by local government councils and boards is designed to make taxpayers think they are "getting a break" because the amount of their tax increase gets lowered.

The sentiment of not wanting to raise taxes is good, but the reality is that the York Suburban board set the stage for this new budget and property tax hike that will probably end up at 2.9 by approving a new teacher contract in February.

What's forcing York Suburban to spend more is the new teacher contract. When you give 400 to 500 people who make on average around 60-thousand dollars a year a pay raise of 2.75 percent, the budget has to increase by over 700-thousand dollars a year or the equivalent of around 2 and a half percent more in property taxes.

There's your property tax hike, York Suburban, its all about the new teacher contract and its pay increases.

Meanwhile, the Central York board has voted 5-4 for its 2010-2011 budget with a 2.9 percent property tax hike.

Under this close vote are some important unresolved spending issues like the controversial plan to lease over one thousand computers and a new teacher contract.

Three years ago this month a four year teacher contract was approved retroactive to July 1, 2006. This means that at the end of the June the current Central contract expires. A new one may come sooner than we think if my hunch is right.

There is a pattern to union strategy in contracts and the Pennsylvania State Education Association has already come up with contracts in the Dallastown and York Suburban School districts. The pay increases there are 2.67 and 2.75 percent.

Meanwhile, I'm certain that this budget just approved by Central's school board "budgets" some sort of pay raise in that range.

Then there's the school board's 7-2 decision to change next year's school calendar. Teachers will work two more days during the school year which is an increase of just over one percent in their work hours

The teacher's union agreed to the change

Is the increase in work days a pretext for a pay increase in a new Central York teacher contract that could come soon????

(SPECIAL UPDATE: THE YORK SUBURBAN BOARD HELD A SPECIAL MEETING AND VOTED 5-3 FOR THE NEW BUDGET WITH A 3.4 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE. TEACHER UNION BOARD MEMBER LOIS ANN SCHROEDER, WHO VOTED NO ON THE FIRST BUDGET VOTE, LEFT THE SPECIAL MEETING EARLY. FOR HER AND ALL OTHERS WHO VOTED NO ON BOTH SCHOOL BOARDS, ANOTHER QUESTION. HOW MANY OF YOU VOTED NO BECAUSE OF NEXT YEAR'S SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS AND NOT BECAUSE OF ANY CONVICTIONS ABOUT SPENDING LESS MONEY?

SOUTHERN MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SUDDENLY RESIGNS

ONLINE RUMORS OF RELATIONSHIP WITH HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 24TH)

Southern York County School Superintendent Thomas Hensley says that the circumstances of a middle school principal's sudden resignation were reported to "the appropriate state and local authorities."

Southern Middle School Principal Kevin Helmeczi resigned last Thursday May 20th.

Superintendent Hensley says he isn't free to disclose the details that led to Helmeczi's resignation, but describes it as "entirely appropriate that he resign."

A letter from Hensley from which the quotes are drawn is on the school district's website.

Online web postings claim that the middle school principal, Mr. Helmeczi, was involved in a relationship with a female student who is a senior at the district's high school.

Sexual desires are out of control everywhere and that includes our public schools from the students to the staff to the administration.

Rather than tell all the dirt I have accumulated over the years, I'll try to move on with a warning to those reading this. There are consequences to all this sexual activity like the story that you've read above.

Seek help before there are disasters in your lives.

THE "YORK DISPATCH" REPORTS MONDAY THAT SOUTHERN REGIONAL POLICE ARE INDICATING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S INVESTIGATION OF HELMECZI WAS A 'PERSONNEL MATTER' AND DID NOT REQUIRE POLICE ACTION BECAUSE NO LAW WAS BROKEN. IF THE ONLINE STORIES ARE TRUE, THEN THE 'RELATIONSHIP' WAS WITH SOMEONE 18 OR OLDER.

SOUTH EASTERN RAISES PROPERTY TAXES 3.8 PERCENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 24TH)

The South Eastern School Board has approved a budget of just over 47 million dollars for the 2010-2011 school year. It raises property taxes by the 3.8 percent maximum allowed under Pennsylvania's Act 1 law. (A higher increase would need either state appproval or voter approval in a referendum)

The board asked the school district administration to trim the proposal to a 3.8 percent tax hike from a plan earlier this year to seek a higher property tax hike by requesting an exemption from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Board President Ralph Marston is reported by the "York Daily Record" as asking residents to contact state representatives about the way the state funds schools and the upcoming pension cost spike for Pennsylvania's public school districts.

I have little sympathy for Mr. Marston and his board that includes Southeastern and or other public school employees and their relatives.

I have a suggestion. Freeze employee pay for a few years to help pay for the pension cost spike.

Will our business as usual rubber stamp tax and spend school boards step up to the plate and demand this in future contract talks as a "non negotiable" matter?

MAY 17-23, 2010...........

ELECTION NEWS IN RED(BELOW)

DALLASTOWN BUDGET AND TAX INCREASE APPROVED ALONG USUAL LINES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)POSTED MAY 23RD)

The 90.9 million dollar Dallastown School District budget for the 2010-2011 school year has been approved by a 6-3 margin. Voting against the budget that includes a 3.4 percent hike in property taxes were Margaret Ibex, Don Jasmann and Carroll Tignall Jr.

In favor were Fred Botterbusch, Mary Shoemaker, Earl Miller, Kenneth "Butch" Potter Jr., Lauren Rock and Don Yoder.

There was a separate vote of 5-4 on the new tax rate of 22.26 mills with Earl Miller switching to the NO side for that vote.

Salary increases of 3.75 percent are included in the budget and Superintendent Stewart Weinberg says the energy costs for the new intermediate school in Springfield Township will be one million dollars.

The lines between fiscal responsibility and tax and spend as usual have been drawn on the Dallastown School Board with six members on one side and three on the other.

INSIDERS PREVAIL FOR POLITICAL OFFICES, LOSE BATTLE FOR PARTY OFFICES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 23RD)

Candidates who identified themsleves with York County's "912 Patriots" had a tough going in Republican Primary races last Tuesday.

In the 196th State House District teacher Dan Bradley was defeated by incumbent State Reperesentative Seth Grove. The margin there was 3-1.

Down in the 93rd State House District, incumbent State Representative Ron Miller won just over 53 percent of the vote, with opposing votes split between Ernest Merisotis, Carroll Tignall and Doug Walters.

Congressman Todd Platts won 70 percent of the vote in the GOP Primary for the 19th Congresional District, but only 66 percent of the vote in York County, where opponent Mike Smeltzer appeared to focus his campaign.

Smeltzer came off in many ways as a non-conservative, non-outsider candidate during an April 1st "debate" sponsored by the 912 Patriots group in York.

He admitted that he supported the TARP bailout in 2008 and was in a meeting with then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson regarding it. Platts brought up Snmeltzer's lobbying of him for "earmark" porkbarrel spending. That's something that Smeltzer campaigned against.

I won't dwell on taking all this apart other than to say Mike Smeltzer with his manufacturer's association leadership role is not an outsider. He may have been in this race deliberately to protect Congressman Platts incumbency by being an intentionally weak opponent.

Platts continues to downplay his chances for the Comptroller General job at the General Accounting Office. If Platts were appointed to that job, national political sources cite the National Republican Congressional Committeee as pointing to 92nd District State Representative Scott Perry as the GOP candidate.

Republican Party precinct leaders would pick a candidate for a special election. Scott Perry is an insider and would be an insider favorite in such a situation.

In the race for the 12 elected positions to the Republican State Commitee from York County, eight members of the 912 Patriot group and nine outsider candidates overall were winners. All those elected this year will serve for four year terms, instead of the two year terms that state committee members previously served.

MAY 10-16, 2010.........

PLATTS VERSUS SMELTZER PRIMARY RACE HEATS UP

LEFTWARD DRIFTING INCUMBENT FACES CANDIDATE WHO FAVORS BUSINESS TO CREATE JOBS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 16TH)

When he entered the Republican primary for the 19th Congressional District, Mike Smeltzer said that Washington doesn't get it. The executive director of the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania joined up with the 912 Patriots group in York and began to identify himself with changing things in Washington.

At a candidates debate with incumbent Congressman Todd Platts early last month, Smeltzer's performance was very shaky as he acknowledged support for the TARP bailout program of President Bush in 2008 and Platts showed a letter from Smeltzer lobbying for earmark spending that Smeltzer attacked. Smeltzer has hit Congressman Platts for his alternating support for earmarks in non-election years and his opposition to the pork barrel spending in election years.

Smeltzer says he is Pro-Life and supports tax cuts to spur job creation and economic growth.

Mike Smeltzer has noted that Platts is in line for a Washington job as Comptroller General of the General Accountng Office and may resign his seat at any time to take the job if President Obama picks him. Platts downplays his chances of getting the job.

Not very widely reported are the letters of endorsement for Platts from Democrats in Washington like Congressman Barney Frank and the late Congressman Jack Murtha, noted for his pork barrel spending projects in his western Pennsylvania district.

In 2008, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation boldly called Todd Platts "PRO LIFE" in its voter guide. But the organization gave Platts a 57 percent rating in 2007 and 2008, down from his higher rating of 91 percent during his first congressional term in 2001-2002.

In general, Congressman Todd Platts has drifted from an 80 percent conservative position to a 60 percent conservative position during his nine years in Congress. When Senator Arlen Specter left the Republican Party last year, he was only voting conservative roughly 40 percent of the time.

Smeltzer is pro business while Platts is pro union. Congressman Platts has been endorsed in the primary by the state's number one teachers union, Pennsylvania State Education Association. PSEA is firmly behind the generous pay increases and benefits for its members that drive up property taxes and other taxes in Pennsylvania.

There's much debate about economic issues and the role of business and government in the Platts-Smeltzer contest, but the Constitution has been missing as it pertains to the First Amendment violating legislation supported by Congressman Platts.

On two occasions the US Supreme Court has ruled parts of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law unconstitutional as a violation of First Amendment freedom of speech. That's a law that Congressman Platts proudly supported.

Then last year, Platts voted for the "hate crimes" law that uses taxpayers dollars to support law that could be used against people who discuss what their religion has to say about homosexuality.

When a constituent noted that in Canada and Europe clergy have been targeted as "hate criminals" from quoting the Bible, the response from the congressman was to claim clergy would be exempt. But what about the First Amendment right of free speech for the rest of us.

I want my children and grandchildren to live in a free country. Congressman Platts apparently doesn't.

FOUR WAY RACE IN 93RD DISTRICT GOP PRIMARY

CROWDED FIELD FAVORS INCUMBENT RON MILLER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 15TH)

This Tuesday, Republican voters in the 93rd State House District of southern York County will have four candidates to choose from including incumbent State Representative Ron Miller.

There are a lot of names floating out there nowadays like moderate, liberal, progressive or RINO to describe certain Republican politicians. Whichever of those names you use or another name would fit State Representative Ron Miller.

Miller has been cited on Pennsylvaia Pro-Life Federation Voters Guides consistently as "Pro-Abortion." Miller has been consistently endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Education Assciation teachers union which demands higher pay and generous pension benefits for its members driving up property taxes.

Back in 2001, Miller voted for the Act 9 legislation that bumped up government employee pensions ranging from school employees to legislators at great cost to taxpayers.

Contrary to what Miller told the "York Daily Record," the law increased the school employees pension benefit by 25 percent in exchange for the employees only having to pay 20 percent more into the system.

Beyond that, Miller has been in the lead in pushing a ban on smoking in public places like bars.

Miller does vote against budgets that raise taxes like this year's state budget, but he remains silent while fellow southern York County Republican State Senator Mike Waugh voted for the tax increasing budget. This vote of Miller had nothing to do with any conservative convictions he may claim.

It was a vote of convenience, with Miller knowing that Democrats in the House and Republicans in the Senate like Waugh would pass the budget while he could cover himself with York County taxpayers by voting against it.

For purposes of re-election, Miller is talking about tighter state spending citing the Department of Public Welfare and mentioning tax shifting from property taxes to income taxes.

Miller's three primary opponents have come out swinging about politics as usual and government as usual.

Ernest Merisotis is a truck driver who used to own a restaurant. He's calling for repeal of government employee pension raises and reform of the pension system, making it a 401k type savings plan.

Merisotis wants property taxes replaced with an income tax and a state laws to cap spending hikes to inflation and population growth.

Merisotis is also calling for a cut in business taxes.

Challenger Carroll Tignall is a member of the Dallastown School Board. He is a retired Maryland state government financial officer. Tignall has been a leader in calling for less spending by the Dallastown School District.

Tignall says the Act 9 pension raise of 2001 should be repealed. He's calling for a ten percent across the board cut in Pennsylvania government spending.

Tignall also advocates gettng rid of the state's liquor store business and the elimination of school property taxes to be replaced by an expanded sales tax and or a combination of sales and income taxes.

The third opponent to Miller in the Republican primary is Doug Walters. Walters is from the "Ron Paul Camp" and speaks in terms of Constitutional principles, including the soverignty of states. Walters advocated for the withdrawl of American troops from Afghanistan in a letter to Congressman Todd Platts. The libertarian view is reflected in Walters comments as quoted by the "York Daily Record": "Our government doesn't have the right to tell us how to manage our lives."

This picture of three challengers facing an incumbent ends up favoring the incumbent by splitting the opposition vote. I'm operating under the assumption that all three men are sincere and none was put up to this to protect Ron Miller's incumbency.

If I had to choose from the three opponents, I would pick he experience of Mr. Tignall over the other other two.

MAY 3-9, 2010......

ELECTION NEWS IN RED

INCUMBENT STATE HOUSE MEMBER FACES REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CHALLENGER IN 196TH DISTRICT.

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 9TH)

On May 18th, State Representative Seth Grove (R-196th District) faces Republican primary voters for the first time.

Back in 2008, then State Representatve Bev Mackereth suddenly resigned to work in the York County government. Republican precinct committee people met and chose Grove to be the GOP candidate for the seat and he won the general election in November.

Seth Grove graduated from York College with a government degreee (public administration). He then worked as an aide for a number of elected officials including Congressman Todd Platts.

Based on what I know of Representative Grove, he has a keen interest in watching government agencies and making sure they get money from the taxpayers.

Grove says he wants a "lean mean working-for-the people machine" for state government as quoted by the "York Daily Record." Grove is also calling for lower corporate taxes.

In contrast to Grove's insider background is that of his primary challenger, Dan Bradley.

Bradley is a teacher with experience in both public and non-public schools. He has a degree in elementary education from York College.

Bradley first ran for office in 2006 winning election to the Republican State Committee from York County as a conservative, pro-life, outsider candidate. Bradley was re-elected in 2008 and is on the ballot for GOP State Committtee as well as State House in the primary.

Dan Bradley says state government is too big and needs reduction. He's calling for a ten percent cut in legislatve staff, studying consolidation of school districts and school choice as ways to cut spending.

Bradley also questions the use of high priced union labor to build new schools. Dan Bradley was teaching as unionized construction work wrapped up and the first year of classes were held at the new Central York High School in the 2005-2006 school year.

He's also calling for eight year term limits for political office holders.

Bradley clearly has outsider credentials in this primary while Grove has the insider credentials.

The 196th District includes Spring Grove, Jackson Township, most of West Manchester Township and the Dover area of York County.

PROPERTY TAX REBATE "SPREADS WEALTH" AROUND PENNSYLVANIA AND YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 9TH)

Word has come down from Harrisburg about how Pennsylvania's gambling revenues will be distributed to reduce property taxes for homeowners in the 2010-2011 school year that starts in July.

After a big and disproportionate chunk goes to the Philadelphia area for wage tax relief, money is then handed out in favor of homeowners in school districts labeled as "poor".

In York County, this means that homeowners in the York City School District get a 495 dollar rebate. Meanwhile, Northeastern School District homeowners will only get a 203 dollar rebate. At the lowest end for rebates are school districts like Dallastown with 127 dollars, York Suburban with 113 dollars and Central with 109 dollars.

One can sum up the program this way. More money is handed out to urban school districts and the Philadelphia area that vote for Democrats than is handed out to areas that vote Republican. More money goes to areas designated as "poor" than areas designated as "rich".

Pennsylvania's "property tax relief" program is throughly socialist.

STETLER GETS OVER 100-THOUSAND IN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR HIS LEGAL DEFENSE

LIBERAL AND WEALTHY CONTRIBUTORS LEAD THE WAY WITH SOME SURPRISES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 8TH)

At last word, $107,595 had been collected for the Stephen Stetler Legal Defense Fund. The former Democrat state represenative for York County's 95th District is facing charges in the Bonusgate investigation involving the illegal use of taxpayer dollars for political campaigns.

A group of five led by some of York's richest men, Louis Appell Jr. and Tom Wolf, sent a letter of solicitation to well over 100 people. They've gotten responses from most of them plus some contributions from people not on the list.

Rich liberals and people who do business with taxpayers money are prominent in the list of contributors, along with well-known Democrats. Former Republican Congressman Bill Goodling is also on the list of contributors as well as former "York Sunday News" editor Gordon Freireich.

The amount of contributions is not being disclosed but you can be sure that Appell and Wolf are putting up large amounts of money for this fund.

Stetler will face a preliminary hearing before a Dauphin County judge on June 14th. His defense lawyers have been attacking Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is behind the Bonusgate prosecutions of Democrats and Republicans for using taxpayer money for political purposes.

The lawyers accuse Republican Corbett of using his office and aides in connection with his campaign for governor. It appears that the known Democrat and liberal political contributors giving to Stetler's legal defense are helping the Democrat Party's campaign efforts against Corbett.

APRIL 26-MAY 2, 2010........

CONTRACT DEAL ADJUSTS PAY FOR CONSOLIDATED FIRE DEPARTMENT

(NEWS, COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 2ND)

There's a new four-year contract that adjusts pay upwards to give Spring Garden Township's firefighters the same pay as the Springettsbury Township firefighters who are part of the consolidated York Area United Fire and Rescue.

While the 17 Springettsbury firefighters get a 12-hundred dollar lump sum for 2010 and then 3 percent pay raises for the next three years, the 15 Spring Garden Township firefighters will get 3 percent pay hikes for four years.

Much is said about money being "saved" when governments merge as is envisioned by groups like York Counts.

But the truth is that lower paid employees will have to get their pay adjusted upwards to equalize with higher paid employees. In education, there are York County school districts with starting teacher pay in the area of 35-thousand dollas a year and others with starting pay just over 40-thousand dollars a year.

Consolidation could see five thousand dollar a year or more pay adjustments for thousands of York County teachers with a possible cost of over 10 million dollars for county taxpayers.

Meanwhile, there's been no word since York Area United Fire and Rescue was formed by Spring Garden and Sprigettsbury townships several years ago regarding a new fire station being built. Officials who were claiming that the scheme would save money were also talking of a new fire station being built in the Tri-Hill area of Spring Garden Township as part of the consolidation.

The cost of the building was being estimated at around several million dollars.

JUDGE RULES TO KEEP YORK TOWNSHIP COMISSIONER'S HOME E-MAILS PRIVATE IN DEVELOPERS LAWSUIT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 2ND)

York County President Judge Richard Renn has ruled against a developer's lawsuit seeking personal computer e-mails of anti-development York Township Commissioner Ken Silberstein.

Renn's ruling reverses a determination by Pennsylvania's open records offfice that Silberstein's personal e-mails were public record.

Attorney's for developers including locally based Heritage HIlls Associates have accused both Silberstein and another anti-development commissioner, Dennis Ness, of conspiring with anti-development opponents to block development in York Township.

In the end, I'm not sure what all this accomplishes. The left-wing anti-development people manipulate the emotions of residents who don't want their neighborhood's disturbed. Developers pressure public officials to get their way.

The anti-development people should consider the economic benefits of new development.

APRIL 19-25, 2010..........

MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION DINNER ASSOCIATES PLATTS CHALLENGER WITH MORE NEGATIVES

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 25TH)

The Manufactuers Association of South Central Pennsylvania remembered its 104th anniversary with a dinner Wednesday night. One thousand people were in attendance with the organization's executive director Mike Smeltzer running in opposition to incumbent Republican Congressan Todd Platts of the 19th District.

Smeltzer's efforts to portray himself as a conservative outsider alternative to liberal insider Platts were undermined by the dinner's program. Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich may have given a rousing speech, but conservative activists are still smarting over his joint apppearance in a public service announcement with current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the controversial climate change issue. Gingrich also supported liberal progressive Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava in a New York special election last year.

Gingrich declined to endorse either candidate, probably the best news for Smeltzer.

Smeltzer's organization also honored Dr. Stewart Weinberg, superintendent of the Dallastown School District, as Educator of the Year. Weinberg's advocacy for taxes and spending has made him an enemy of district taxpayers. Last year Weinberg used the school district's phone chain to alert parents to a parent-teacher organization survey of school board candidates and the school board election. The survey painted pro-tax and spend school board candidates in a positive light.

This is more evidence that there's something fishy about the Smeltzer challenge to Platts. Both the candidate and his organization are again painted in a negative non-conservative light as happened in the 'debate' earlier this month.

There Smeltzer revealed his support for the TARP bailout plan of the Bush Administration stating he was in the room with then Treasury Secretary Ben Bernanke when the plan was announced. Also, after Smeltzer spoke out against spending 'earmarks' from congressman, Platts then revealed Smeltzer's support and lobbying for an earmark in a visit to the congressman's office.

Is Smeltzer the real deal or just a staged candidate with weaknesses and flaws designed to ensure RINO Congressman Platts a primary victory and immunity from a real conservative challenger?

Have you seen Smeltzer's "invisible" campaign signs with the blue letters buried in a reddish colored background? Meanhwhile, Platts old signs look good as ever with white letters over a blue background.

In the end, all this looks worse and worse with the Smeltzer campaign appearing designed to falter and fail.

STUDENTS USED TO BOOST 1.9 MILLION DOLLAR COMPUTER PLAN AT CENTRAL

(NEWS AND COMMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 25TH)

Several students appeared at this month's Central York School Board meeting to support a four-year, 1.9 million dollar plan to buy 11-hundred Apple laptop computers.

The "York Daily Record" quoted high school student Paul Rodriguez as saying "Our school is run on Apple...I'm at a disadvantage at home because I'm using a PC." Students who support the laptops say the Apple's are compatible with Central's web server and the software and programs used at school.

The "Daily Record" also quoted another student, Grant Meckley, speaking in opposition. Meckley said the plan would take four years to pay off, by then the technology in the computers would be obsolete. Meckley said: "Teachers need to teach." He called for a plan to subsidize computers for students who may need them saying: "I have my own computer at home."

I'm disappointed at what appears to be another effort to use students to promote more spending of taxpayer dollars. When will it end?

One good thing, a student came to offer opposition to the taxpayers giving every student a laptop they could use at home. Maybe there is hope for some real change in our future.

The school board could vote on the laptop plan next month.

APRIL 12-18, 2010.....

SOUTH WESTERN SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES A PAY FREEZE FOR NON-UNION EMPLOYEES

UNIONIZED TEACHERS STILL GETTING FIVE PERCENT PAY HIKE UNDER THEIR CONTRACT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 18TH)

By a 5-4 vote, the South Western School Board has voted to freeze the pay of its non-union employees in next year's budget.

The vote cancels plans that would have given bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and other support employees a 3.5 percent raise and school administrators a five percent hike.

The school district is facing the propsect of a four percent plus property tax increase, needing state approval to go over its 3.6 percent inflation index.

The district has to increase its contributions to Pennsylvania's school employee pension plan with additional spending of 2.7 million dollars projected over the next three budget years.

Its an historic decision, the first I know of in a York County school district.

But there's also the matter of teacher salaries. They get a five percent pay raise under their contract in the 2010-2011 budget year.

Taxpayers and responsible parents must demand pay freezes in teacher contracts in these tough economic times. The trickery of long-term contracts through economic downturns must be overcome. Any new contracts for teachers, whenever they come due, must include pay freezes.

Because of the recesssion of recent years and the spiking pension payments, its time for unionized public school employees in Pennsylvania to "give back."

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET MOVES TOWARDS TAX HIKE WITH MILLIONS HELD IN RESERVE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 18TH)

The preliminary budget for the Dallastown School District was approved by a 6-3 vote, with fiscally responsible members of the school board Carroll Tignall, Don Jasmann and Margaret Ibex voting NO.

Jasmann suggested to the board that maintaining a reserve of 10.8 million dollars in the 2010-2011 budget is too much and some of the funds should be spent to lower the planned 3.4 percent property tax hike. Tignall also supported the idea.

One of the boards more liberal members, Kenneth "Butch" Potter, said the spike in pension payments and unexpected expenses are good reasons to maintain the lage money reserve.

Dallastown Superintendent Stewart Weinberg says keeping the ten million dollars plus in reserve helps Dallastown's bond rating and enables the school district to borrow more money.

The 90.9 million dollar spending plan includes a million dollars more in utility costs for the new intermediate school being built in Springfield Township and a 3.75 percent increase in salaries.

We know that the new teacher's contract rushed through last year before the school board election only gives them a 2.67 percent pay hike, so are other employees like Superintendent Weinberg getting big pay raises in excess of 3.75 percent in this budget?

Is anyone considering the example set by the South Western School District, whose board has voted to freeze pay of administration and other non-union employees in its 2010-2011 spending plan?

The school board will vote on Dallastown's final budget plan at a May 20th meeting.

APRIL 5-11, 2010.......

AN EDITORIAL NOTE

I TRUST THAT SOME OF YOU ARE VISITING THIS PAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RESPONSE TO ATTACKS ON IT. SOME WANT TO PAINT THIS PAGE AS PARANOID OR PERHAPS INSANE.

"THE YORK REPORT" BEGAN FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO AMIDST THE TUMULT OF A HOTLY CONTESTED DOVER SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION THAT I WAS TAKING PART IN VOLUNTEERING MY TIME AND EXPERTISE. THEN CAME THE NEWS OF A TEACHER BEING FORCED OUT AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL AND FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES INVOLVING SEX WITH STUDENTS.

AT THAT TIME I WAS EXPERIENCING SOME FEAR, ANXIETY, YES EVEN PARANOIA. MY LIFE INVOLVED LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD AS A WAY TO 'MEDICATE' MY ANXIETY.

LET ME CONFESS MY FAULTS OF BEING A COMPULSIVE PERSON WHO WORKS HIMSELF TOO HARD AND HAS ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE DISCONNECTED FROM OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. I'M TOO SELF CENTERED AND HAVE BEEN TOO PARANOID IN THE PAST.

BUT I AM ALSO ONE WHO HAS IMPROVED THE QUALITY OF THIS WORK AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE BY. I OFFER A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT THAT YORK'S NEWSPAPERS AND THE AREA'S RADIO HOSTS WON'T GIVE YOU. THIS PAGE HAS EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION ON IT THAT IN SOME CASES HAS 'TIPPED OFF' OTHER MEDIA ABOUT NEWS STORIES.

INDIVIDUAL RESENTMENTS THAT TRANSCEND EVERY LABEL FOR EVERYBODY ARE MANIPULATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS TO PIT US AGAINST EACH OTHER SO THE POLITICAL MANIPULATORS CAN HAVE POWER.

WHILE I WORK TO CONTINUE TO OVERCOME MY RESENTMENTS, I WANT THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH ME TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A CONFLICT BETWEEN FORCES THAT DESIRE A MORE POWERFUL GOVERNMENT AND THOSE WHO SHARE THE VISION OF OUR NATION'S FOUNDERS. ITS PLAYS OUT IN WASHINGTON AND HARRISBURG, BUT IT ALSO PLAYS OUT RIGHT HERE IN YORK COUNTY.

AND SO LET US MOVE FORWARD.....

YORK'S RICH AND LIBERAL LINE UP FOR A LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

WOLF AND APPELL AMONG GROUP SEEKING DONATIONS TO DEFEND STETLER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 11TH)

A letter has been sent out to raise donations for the legal defense of former Democrat State Representative and Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler.

The letter, signed by Tom Wolf, Lori Mitrick, Louis Appell Jr., Jane Zarfoss and Bill Shipley III says that Stetler has been wrongly accused by Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett in the "Bonusgate" investigation.

Stetler is charged with conflict of interest, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft of services, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received and criminal conspiracy. The charges involve using taxpayer money and resources for political campaigns.

Stetler has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him saying that Republican Attorney General Corbett is using staff and resources in his campaign for governor.

While Tom Wolf is well known as a Democrat, Louis Appell Jr. is a Democrat turned Republican who can aptly be described as the "richest man in York." Appell sold off his major business interests within the last five years and was paid well over 3 billion dollars for them.

Appell has spread his money in many directions but one of his causes over the years has been the pro-abortion Planned Parenthood organization. Appell served on the board of the group that wanted to run the Kohr family land at Lauxmont Farms as a "heritage park" after eminent domain land seizure.

Appell has contributed to many political campaigns including those of former governor Tom Ridge and current governor Ed Rendell. Appell has also supported many supported local politicians like Stetler and York Mayor Kim Bracey. He also contributed money to the campaign of the liberal Dover CARES faction in the 2005 Dover School Board elections.

And just last Thursday, this diminutive 86-year old man appeared on the stage of the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center to be honored by Governor Rendell with an award as a parton of the arts. He's certainly put his money there, too.

POPULAR COACH AND TEACHER RESIGNS AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL

EYEWITNESSES SAY DAVE MARSH WAS TAKEN TO OFFICE AND REMOVED FROM SCHOOL BUILDING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 11TH)

Central York High School's longtime softball coach Dave Marsh is suddenly gone. Marsh, who also coaches field hockey and is a physical education teacher, resigned his positions right before the Easter break.

Marsh told the "York Daily Record" he wishes to focus more on his M2 Sports business and his family.

But it appears that Marsh's resignation came under forced circumstances. Witnesses say he was taken to the school office and removed from the buidling. Mr. Marsh was also described as not being happy with what was going on.

The protocol used for his removal from the school is reminiscent of that used for a teacher or staff member accused of a serious offense that may lead to criminal charges. Back in November of 2005, teacher-coach Robin Winkis was taken from her classroom and removed from the school weeks bfore she faced criminal charges involving sexual activity with students.

Coach Marsh has been very successful with his softball teams gaining a 152-95 record and consistent post season play. Many of the girls on his teams have great respect and admiration for Marsh.

It is not clear what may happen next, but there are stories that a confidentiality agreement was signed to keep parties quiet and that Mr. Marsh used school supplies and or equipment for his sports business.

One other note, this is a year for Central York to look as good as possible. Keeping any wrongdoing quiet could help the political candidacy of Central's school board president Eric Wolfgang. Wolfgang is the Democrat candidate for state representative in the 47th District.

TEACHERS UNION AND SCHOOL BOARD APPROVE FACT FINDERS REPORT IN YORK CITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 11TH)

Teachers and school board members in York City are looking forward to a new teacher contract after approval of a fact-finder's report.

The four year plan outlined by the fact finder increases salaries an average of 3.6 percent per year and will make York City teachers, on average, the second highest paid in York County. The highest York County teacher salaries are in the Dallastown School District.

The teachers workday will increase 15 minutes in secondary schools and 35 minutes in elementary schools but their pay will also rise .5 percent in exchange. Payments for medical coverage will increase under the plan.

The union and school district will now meet to finalize details of a new contract for teachers that will be retoractive to last July.

With large amounts of taxpayers money pouring into York City under a funding formula that favors city school districts over others in Pennsylvania, property taxpayers are not in danger of suffering for these large pay increases in tough economic times. Its the taxpayers of all of Pennsylvania and casino gamblers who are picking up the tab.

MARCH 29-APRIL 4, 2010.......

COMPUTER PLAN AT CENTRAL MOVES FORWARD WITH 'TOWN HALL' MEETING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 4TH)

"This is what's going to happen and you better get used to it, because we know everything and are wiser than you."

That pretty much sums up how things go at the spring "town hall" meetings where the Central York School District administration shoves its agenda down people's throats.

This year's big item is the plan to lease 11-hundred Apple computers spending around 1.9 million dollars.

Residents did show up to ask questions about the cost of the plan and its wisdom.

They asked if the district was going to be able to prove the computer's effectiveness and if the program was a step away from basics. One resident said the Apple laptops were too expensive and don't last long.

Central York Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell said the plan to use the more expensive Apple laptops is about student acheivement.

School board member James Zito said the plan will really involve spending above and beyond the 1.9 million dollar figure that goes beyond the next four years. The "York Daily Record" quoted Zito as saying the goals of the laptop program are "unlcear, vague and not measurable." He added that more work needed to be done on the plan.

Zito also noted the dramatic increase in employee pension spending that will occur in all Pennsylvania school districts in 2013 and the current contract talks with the teachers union.

As with all things Central, I don't see too much standing in the way of rubber stamp school board approval of the new spending although some delay may be part of the process.

WAS THIS A DEBATE OR A TRAIN WRECK?

PLATTS-SMELTZER DEBATE LEAVES A LOT OUT AND SHOWS FEW DIFFERENCES MAKING THE CONTEST SMELL LIKE ITS STAGED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 2ND)

Incumbent Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District) faced challenger Mike Smeltzer in a "debate" that showed Smeltzer to be as flawed by Platts.

Platts hit Smeltzer for lobbying him for pork while Smeltzer hit Platts for supporting earmarks like the Johnstown airport in Pennsylvania and the bridge to nowhere in Alaska.

Both candidates expressed their opposition to "cap and trade" legislation.

Smeltzer applauded Platts for voting against the Obama "healthcare" plan but said Platts should have exercised more leadership in getting Democrats to vote against it.

Platts noted his opposition to bailouts while hitting Smeltzer for being a supporter of the TARP bank bailout in 2008. Smeltzer spoke of the need for Platts to see to it that TARP funds were spent "wisely."

Its hard to see who the really conservative candidate is when all this comes out in their debate.

Is Smeltzer of the Republican Party linked manufacturers assocation a weak ploy candidate trying to help the incumbent Platts win his primary?

Platts involvement in the moderate Republican organization known as the Republican Main Street Partnership never came up, nor did his support for the controversial McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which has been gutted by the Supreme Court twice on First Amendment grounds.

Platts ever falling ratings from groups like the pro-life National Right To Life Committee also never came up.

The prospcts of Congressman Platts picking up the comptroller job in Washington (see story below) were on the back burner here. A report in the "Harrisburg Patriot-News" on Friday said that both political parties in Washington can only agree on three of the four finalists for the job. If President Obama wants to look 'moderate' or 'bispartisan' in this Congressional election year, a Platts pick for the job would make sense.

Meanwhile, this debate left many motivated tea party patriots feeling empty and confused. I sure hope that the 912 Patriot group here in York County is not a Republican Party organization front, but one is entitled to be very suspicious.

After the primary election next month, the patriots running for GOP committee posts who win will then become obliged as Republican committee members to support less than conservative candidates often put forward by the GOP.

MARCH 22-28, 2009........

PLATTS DOWNPLAYS WASHINGTON JOB AS HE MAKES THE FINAL CUT

IF CONGRESSMAN GETS GAO COMPTROLLER JOB, IT MAY TRIGGER CONTEST BETWEEN PARTY PICKED CANDIDATES FOR HIS SEAT

(NEWS ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 28TH)

Congressman Todd Platts says "partisanship" in Washington will deny him, a Republican, the job as Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office.

Platts has been submitted as one of the final four candidates for the job by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama will make the final call on who gets the job.

Platts applied for the Comptroller General job with letters of recommendation from two key Democrats, the late Congressman John Murtha of western Pennsylvania and House Banking Committee chairman Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

There is some speculation by the "Wall Street Journal" that Obama could choose Platts to create an open congressional seat for Democrats to pick up.

If Obama makes such a move after the primary election on May 18th, Platts will resign his post and Republican committee people will pick a replacment candidate.

A possible choice would the longtime GOP insider who's just returned from military service in Iraq. 92nd District State Representative Scott Perry fashions himself as a "Patriot" nowadays but was a moderate anti-Conservative, anti-Pro-Life supporter of former 92nd District representative Bruce Smith. Smith retired from the legislature in 2006 after his support for the legislative payraises of 2005.

If Platts is picked and his seat opened up by President Obama, one would expect current Democrat candidate Ryan Sanders to back out and be replaced by 95th District State Representative Eugene DePasquale. The former Democrat chairman in York County has raised large amounts of money. DePasquale has been out front to support the Obama 'health care' agenda and he makes frequent media appearances to tout new legislation. (See story below)

DEPSAQUALE PUSHES FAKE REFORM AGAIN

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 27TH)

There he goes again. State Representative Eugene DePasquale is trying to portray himself as a "reformer."

The 95th District Democrat has used the media in the past to trumpet his so called reform of leasing a state car instead of one from a private car dealer.

Now DePasquale is proposing allowing independent voters in Pennsylvania particpate in the major party primaries. DePasquale's bid to draw the increasing number of independent voters who want the system reformed into the Democrat and Republican primaries is being promoted as a "reform."

But its not. The independent voter is trying to get away from the "Donkey and Elephant" system. DePasquale is really trying to lure them back into the major parties.

If Mr. Depasquale really wanted reform, he would push to make it easier for third parties to get started in Pennsylvania. He would lower the bar so that independent candidates would not have to get large numbers of signatures to be on the ballot. Right now the major party candidates get on the ballot with a lot fewer signatures than independents.

Eugene DePasquale has raised tens of thousand of dollars and held fundraisers outside his district. This member of a Pittsburgh political family has brought his big money type of big city politics to York County.

That isn't reform. Its politics as usual speading its ugly tentacles into York County.

STETLER LAWYER DELAYS HEARING WITH MOTIONS AGAINST CORBETT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 27TH)

Former Democrat York State Represenative and Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday on corruption charges in the Bonusgate investigation.

But on Wednesday his lawyer filed two 40 page motions asking Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Lewis to dismiss the charges of using taxpayer money for political campaign purposes.

Attorney Joshua Lock alleges that Attorney General Tom Corbett, who's office is prosecuting the case, has been using taxpayer money for his 2008 re-election campaign and current campaign for governor.

Corbett's spokesman called the allegations "bogus."

Its an election year and the Democrats will use the corruption trials to attack the Republican candidate for governor.

CENTRAL YORK PLANS 1.9 MILLION DOLLAR STUDENT LAPTOP PROGRAM

1,900 COMPUTERS TO BE LEASED OVER FOUR YEAR PERIOD STARTING THIS FALL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 22ND)

When former Central York School District superintendent Dr. Linda Estep went to a conference some years ago, she was led to push for laptop computers for every student in the district.

Her idea was fueled by support from Pennsylvania's taxpayers under a computers for schools program.

While Estep is now retired and the state program curtailed, the idea lives on.

A plan is now in place to lease some 1,900 Apple laptop computers at a cost of 999 dollars each over a four year period.

The plan is being hailed by supporters like Superintendent Michael Snell and board member Timothy Bieber as "real world" preparation for students.

But will the computers improve reading and math skills for students? Snell says there are different measures of achievement according to the "York Daily Record," which quotes him as saying--"I will not sit here and guarantee you that test skills will go up because of this."

One thing is certain, the cost of public education is a great burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers with Governor Rendell proposing five to six percent increases in funding next year, with some districts like Central getting funding hikes over 10 percent.

I doubt if Dr. Snell and many school board members really think about the spending of taxpayers money as they follow the "holy grail" of "laptops for every student."

Its really in the hands of the taxpayers of Central and other school districts to rise up and say "no more."

Spending control is the only proven and effective way to relieve taxpayers. And hopefully the "Tea Party" spirit will trickle down to every local school district with massive taxpayer attendance at all school board meetings and slates of candidates for school board next year.

If patriots can take on the public school cronies and insiders of York County's school districts, they can handle anyone.

Central is planning what it calls a "town meeting" on the laptop program on Tuesday March 30th at 7pm at North Hills Elementary School.

MARCH 15-21, 2010........

INVESTIGATION RAISES SUSPICION IN SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 21ST)

The South Eastern School Board's decision to spend up to 20-thousand dollars to investigate the conduct of school district administration has aroused concern among many residents.

The Levin Law Group from Philadelphia has been called in to check if the school district's administration is following district policy in its operations.

Some residents are worried about the expense, while others see it as a sort of "witch hunt" aimed at South Eastern Superintendent Tracy Shank.

The Levin Law Group was used last year by the Red Lion School District in an investigation that led to the firing of Athletic Director Katy Grenewalt.

A lot has come down in the South Eastern district in recent years including a contract with four percent plus pay raises for teachers and the election of school board members with ties to public education who claim to represent taxpayers.

Many complaints have been aired in public meetings, letters to the editor, and online saying that teachers are poorly paid and treated improperly by the administration.

One must be concerned that school board members employed by the district or with close ties to teachers are trying to take revenge on the administration.

All the more reason to have a state law that strictly prohibits public school employees and their close relatives from serving on school boards.

FACT FINDER IN DOVER TEACHER CONTRACT DISPUTE CALLED FOR FOUR YEAR CONTRACT WITH PAY RAISES AROUND FOUR PERCENT

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED MARCH 20TH)

The state fact finder in the Dover teacher contract dispute tried to meet differences somewhere in the middle.

Alex Kashock's report called for a four year contract retroactive to July 1st of last year that gave teachers a 4 percent raise in 2009, a 4.25 percent raise in 2010, a 4.25 percent raise in 2011 and a 3.50 percent raise in 2012. That averages out to just under 4 percent a year in pay hikes.

The Dover School Board wanted a three year deal with three percent pay hikes each year. The Dover Area Education Association union wanted a six year contract with five percent pay raises each year.

While the union accepted the fact-finder's report, the board voted twice to reject the report. School board president Bryan Rehm said the district cannot afford the pay increases in the report.

Rehm and many of the other Dover school board members were first elected with some five thousand dollars of union money supporting them back in 2005. They attacked the conservative school board for not working to reach a contract deal with teachers.

And ironically the old conservative board was offering teachers four percent pay raises a year which is almost identical to the deal the new liberal board is turning down.

The Dover board will likely cave into the union demands for a deal based on the fact finders report in the long run, unless taxpayers mobilize a massive effort to stop it.

MARCH 8-14, 2010......

FOUR WAY RACE IN 93RD DISTRICT SMELLS OF INCUMBENT PROTECTION SCHEME

RINO STATE REPRESENTATIVE RON MILLER FACES THREE CHALLENGERS

(SPECIAL ANALYSIS, COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 14TH)

When the filing deadline passed, four candidates filed for the Republican primary in the 93rd State House District in southern York County.

Incumbent Ron Miller is facing newcomer Ron Paul-aligned anti-war candidate Doug Walters, Dallastown School Board member Caroll Tignall and real estate agent Ernest Merisotis.

Merisotis filed his candidacy early along with Representative Miller, indicating he had some sort of organization behind him to gather the 300 signatures required to file as a state representative candidate.

This number of candidates in a primary election puts incumbent Ron Miller in a good position to win. It is probable that Miller arranged for one of the opponents, Ernest Merisotis, to run.

The other two candidates, Walters and Tignall, look like they have some strong philosophy behind their decisions to be candidates.

Carroll Tignall was the first taxpayer oriented candidate to be elected to the Dallastown School Board back in 2007 amid the controversies over wasteful spending and new building construction.

Tignall appears to have a deep concern about taxes and spending in public education.

Incumbent State Representative Ron Miller has been noted for silence on wasteful spending in the Dallastown School District. In fact, Miller has been consistently endorsed for re-election by the Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union. PSEA HAS BEEN VERY MUCH RESPONSIBLE FOR HIGHER TAXES AND SPENDING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 60 TO 70 PERCENT OF SCHOOL BUDGETS ARE ABOUT PAY AND BENEFITS.

Miller has also been rated Pro-Abortion by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation based on his answers to their survey questions.

INCUMBENT GOP STATE REP. FACES PRIMARY CHALLENGER IN THE 196TH DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 14TH)

It was less than two years ago when Republican committee people in the 196th District chose Seth Grove as their state representative candidate to replace GOP moderate Bev Mackereth, who suddenly resigned from the legislature for a job in county government.

Now Grove, who worked as an aide to a number of Republican polticians including Congressman Todd Platts, faces primary opposition from Dan Bradley.

Bradley was elected to the Republican State Committee from York County in 2006. He is a non-public school teacher and is associated with the faction of the GOP state committee believed to be a conservative front for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, which is aligned with Republican political insiders, rates incumbent Seth Grove as pro-life.

This raises speculation as to whether Mr. Bradley's candidacy is a serious conservative challenge to insider Seth Grove or a staged candidacy Bradley intends to lose.

Grove's district includes from Spring Grove, North Codorus and Jackson Townships, most of West Manchester Township, all of Dover Township and other areas north and west of York City.

DOVER TEACHER CONTRACT DISPUTE ESCALATES WITH STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE

LIBERAL SCHOOL BOARD REJECTS FACT FINDER'S PLAN FOR NEW CONTRACT

When the Dover CARES faction took over the school board just over four years ago with some five thousand dollars in teacher union contributions to their campaign, they moved quickly using a state appointed fact finder to come up with a teacher contract agreement allowing annual pay increases that totalled over four percent a year.

Now with a new contract overdue, the board again used a fact finder who decided on a deal involving pay raises between the board's three percent a year offer and the union's demand for a five percent per year pay hike.

But this time the union's yes was accompanied by the school board's rejection of the deal.

That prompted the Dover Area Education Association teachers union to vote to authorize a strike.

It appears that a tenser atmosphere is being created for an eventual cave by the business as usual Dover CARES run school board.

Taxpayers need to get involved bigtime to stop these kind of contract deals that dictate pay increases and generous benefits that are unsustainable.

MARCH 1-7, 2010........

PLATTS DOWNPLAYS FINALIST STATUS FOR FEDERAL COMPTROLLER JOB AS PRIMARY CAMPAIGN STARTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 7TH)

Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District) acknowledges he's one of four finalists for the job of Comptroller General at the General Accounting Office. But he says there's no chance President Obama will appoint him because of partisan politics.

When Platts applied for the job he got "bispartisan" letters of endorsement, including some from prominent Democrats in Congress like the late Representative John Murtha from western Pennsylvania and Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

Is it possible that Platts is interested in making sure voters re-elect him and he's downplaying his quest for the comptroller's job?

This story is worthy of critique from Platts' Republican primary opponent Mike Smeltzer. Smeltzer spoke to a packed crowd at the York 912 Patriots group last week. Smeltzer came out in the last week noting that Platts has mailed a taxpayer paid for newsletter that coincides with the beginning of the election campaign and held town meetings in the district as well.

Platts countered that there is nothing unusual about the timing of his newsletter and meetings.

Is Mike Smeltzer running a serious campaign against Platts or is this just a put on arranged by the Republican insiders to protect the incumbent?

Smeltzer should focus on the facts in the comptroller job story that stand out like sore thumbs.

The endorsement of a pork spending politcian like Jack Murtha who smeared United States Marines doing their duty against terrorist insurgents in Iraq is very damaging to Platts. Todd Platts has also worked with Murtha to bring earmarks of pork into the 19h District.

Then there's House Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank. Frank's endorsement of Platts that may be even more damning. The collapse of the national economy is linked to Frank's pressure on banks to give mortgages to people who couldn't pay them back. Frank's connection to corrupt financial institutions is filthy.

There's plenty more to talk about when it comes to the Todd Platts liberal record. Will we ever hear about it in the primary election campaign to come or is this all for show?

PUSH TOWARDS STATE TAKEOVER OF FAILING SCHOOLS TARGETS DISTRICTS LIKE YORK AND HARRISBURG

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 7TH)

A revision of the Education Empowerment Act to shorten the time between test score failure and state takeover of schools was discussed by the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee at a hearing at York College on Thursday.

Chairman of the Committee is Republican State Senator Jeff Piccola, whose district includes the City Of Harrisburg. Harrisburg schools continue to fail under the control of a board appointed by the city's mayor.

The proposed legislation would move up takeover of schools by a "School Reform Commission" to the third year of "Corrective Action" status under state guidelines. Right now York City School District is in the second year of that status.

If the legislation is passed, the state takeover could occur within the next year.< b>

Participating in the hearing was York's leading Democrat politiPian State Representative Eugene DePasquale, whose 95th District includes the York City School District.

Parents in the district are deeply concerned about the quality of their children's education and have been promoting charter schools as alternatives. The radical outsider faction that now controls the city school board puts the quality of education among its top priorities

With that in mind, insider politicians like Mr. DePasquale need to demonstrate that they care, too. The are putting on a show but they are also convinced like many of us that the dysfunctional school board majority is incapable of fixing the mess. Can a state takeover improve education in public schools in York and other places?

It won't but politicial leaders need to demonstrate that they are "doing something" that will acutally mean little or nothing when the dust settles.

This same explanation applies to the Race To The Top federal aid program that York City schools are likely to be a part of. Its for show at best to make parents think someone is doing something and at worst its just a federal takeover of local schools.

Dysfunctional families must get their acts together. Education will improve when everyone from school boards to administration to teachers, parents and ultimately students are committed to it. And education must be about basic math and reading skills without indoctrination about "diversity", "climate change" and countless other matters.

TEACHER CONTRACT AT TECH SCHOOL INCLUDES THREE PERCENT PLUS PAY HIKES

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED MARCH 7TH)

There's a new three year contract for 120 teachers at the York County School Of Technology starting July 1st.

The York County Vocational Technical Education Association union is affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Educational Association and its contract is pretty close to recent PSEA contracts for York Suburban and Dallastown teachers.

However, the pay increases are 3.1, 3.2 and 3.15 percent during the three years of the contract. This is a little higher than the contracts in the nearby school districts.

The York County School of Technology is mostly funded by taxpayer dollars taken from the school districts of York County that participate.

Starting teacher pay at the school will be 43,170 dollars a year in the first year of the new contract. The average teacher salary will be 58,621 dollars a year.

YORK CITY CUTS DEAL IN PRO-LIFE DEMONSTRATORS FIRST AMENDMENT LAWSUITS

TAXPAYERS WILL PAY AGAIN FOR CRACKDOWNS ON PRO-LIFE PROTEST

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 6TH)

Two federal lawsuits against York City by pro-life protestors are being settled. The city is paying out money in the cases of Edward Snell and John McTernan. Snell says that York City Police Captain Ron Camacho wrongly arrested him in November of 2004 for using an alleyway near the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on South Beaver Street. McTernan says that city police Sgt. Richard Barth threatened him with arrest in the same alley in September of 2005.

The lawsuits were originally thrown out on summary judgement by Federal District Judge John Jones, but then then the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Jones and ordered a jury trial on many of the protestors claims.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the two men, says its reached a "favorable setttlement" with York City in the cases. Details were not disclosed.

City Solicitor Don Hoyt told the "York Dispatch" the city is admitting no wrongdoing in the cases and that the decision to settle was made by the city's insurance company.

The taxpayers are paying again for the city's tough approach to pro-life protest ranging from abortion clinic protests to the Halloween parade floats of Reverend Jim Grove. These crackdowns came during the tenure of now ex-Mayor John Brenner.

Hopefully, new Mayor Kim Bracey will have the common sense to see to it that York City Police do not act against pro-life protest in ways that will trigger more free speech lawsuits and more costs for taxpayers.

FEBRUARY 22-28, 2010.........

YORK SUBURBAN TEACHER CONTRACT FOLLOWS DALLASTOWN STANDARD WITH MORE COSTS FOR TAXPAYERS

ANNUAL 2.75 PERCENT PAY HIKES FAR EXCEED ANY ADDITIONAL TEACHER COSTS FOR NEW MEDICAL COVERAGE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 28TH)

The York Suburban School District and its teachers union have quietly and with virtually no media coverage approved a new three year contract. The contract starts July 1st of this year and runs until June 30th, 2013. Teachers will get 2.75 percent pay hikes each year.

After the end of this year, a new PPO plan for medical coverage will start with teachers making additional payments for the coverage.

The substance of this contract almost matches that of the Dallastown teachers contract rammed through before last year's school board election. The Pennsylvania State Education Association union coordinates its contracts through the work of regional representatives like the one who negotiates contracts in the various York County districts.

Just like Dallastown's teacher contract, the taxpayer cost for the pay hikes far exceeds any additional payments the teachers will make for the new medical coverage. In general, school employees in York County are paying less than 10 percent of the cost of their medical coverage.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SEEK 'EARMARKS' FROM WASHINGTON PORK

PLATTS, SPECTER, CASEY GET REQUESTS FOR USE OF YOUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AND YOUR NATIONAL DEBT

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 27TH)

Concern over wasteful spending in Washington has focused on many matters including the controversial pork doled out in what are called "earmarks."

That's when legislators put in a few million dollars here and few million dollars there to benefit their state or district.

York County Commissioners are asking Congressman Todd Platts and Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey Jr. for more than 9.6 million dollars in "earmarks."

The biggest project on the five item list is 4.5 million dollars to help renovate the Government Center to consolidate human services departments in one location.

In these tough economic times its even tougher for county commissioners to find money to run big government, much of which is mandated from Washington and Harrisburg.

But trying to keep local tax rates down by tapping into federal taxes and the national debt seems like a deceitful shell game or a cruel hoax on taxpayers.

The United States will continue towards economic disaster if this kind of wasteful spending continues. Todd Platts has already done "earmarks" in the past and Arlen Specter and Bob Casey Jr. are more frequent users.

The ultimate answer to the eventual bankruptcy of the United States is a smaller goverment that will not consume tax dollars at higher rates at any level (federal, state or local).

YORK DAILY RECORD OWNER USING BANKRUPTCY LAW FOR QUICK TURNAROUND

COMPANY TO 'FARM OUT' JOBS AND CUT PAY AT SOME NEWSPAPERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)

The holding company behind the onwer of the "York Daily Record" filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court last month.

Affiliated Media Inc. is the holding company for MediaNewsGroup, which owns 54 daily newspapers in the United States.

The company says it worked out arrangements with its major lenders and shareholdrers with hopes of a short stay in bankruptcy court. They hope it will only be for as short as two months.

The Chapter 11 plan calls for major lenders led by the Bank of America to become the company's majority owners with 89 percent of its stock.

The head of the company, William Dean Singleton, says all but one of the company's newspapers are profitable.

But there's been a major drop in newspaper advertising revenue with the company's annual revenue declining twenty percent in the last two fiscal years.

Affiliated Media made a disclosure statement with its bankruptcy filing discussing farming out production, newsroom and administrative jobs. Plans were also disclosed for pay cuts at some newspapers this year.

There's no word yet on how those plans will affect the "York Daily Record."

. New media are pushing out old media and the changes are painful for those who are used to things the way they are.

Pay cuts at privately owned newspapers should send a message that its way past time for pay restrictions in government, including education and public safety.

FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010.......

SOUTH WESTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT SEEKS TAX HIKE OVER 'LEGAL LIMIT'

ACT 1 LAW CRAFTED WITH LOOPHOLES TO SHUT OUT TAX INCREASE REFERENDUM

(POSTED FEBRUARY 21ST)(SPECIAL COMMENT)

Pennsylvania has a law that says school districts can only raise property taxes each year by a percentage based on an 'inflation index' set for each district by the Pennsylvania Depatment of Education.

If property taxes are to be increased any higher, the law says there would be a referendum.

But there are exceptions that would allow for a higher property tax hike including mandated costs like the spike in school district payments to the school employee pension system in Pennsylvania.

With that in mind, the South Western School District is asking the state to grant a referendum exception so it can raise property taxes by up to 5.25 percent this year.

The district says it is planning to raise teacher salaries by 5 percent and other staff salaries by 4 percent July 1st.

This is an example of another public school OUTRAGE. Last week, it was the eight percent pay hike for Eastern York's school superintendent in her new contract.

Now we are hit with this story of a school district forced to raise property taxes over a "legal limit" that taxpayers were led to believe would give them a vote on the issue.

But the politicians played games when they drafted the law and put in loopholes that would give districts the ability to raise property taxes by rates higher than inflation without a referendum.

Taxpayers must demand salary freezes for public school employees for the next few years and demand that top administration take salary cuts.

Real world conditions need to prevail in public education. Tough economic times for taxpayers must translate into tough times for schools that spend taxpayer dollars.

FEBRUARY 8-14, 2010.....

BURIED DEEP IN THE SNOW: YORK CITY GETS LOWEST BOND RATING

CITY OFFICIAL SAYS 'THERE'S NO NEWS THERE'

Word came out in the last week about Moody's Investors Service putting out a new bond rating for the City of York. After pulling the city's rating for lack of information last December, Moody's has dropped the rating for any bonds issued by city government to Baa3 from the previous Baa2 rating. Baa3 is lowest of ten rating's issued by Moody's.

The new rating makes the city's 45 million dollars worth of outstanding bonds more difficult for investors to sell and would make it more difficult for the city to find bond investors for any future projects.

When asked about the lower bond rating by the "York Daily Record," York City Business Manager Michael O'Rourke said: "There's no news there." Moody's issued a news release this week saying York City government's 15 million dollar operating defecit in 2008, along with a diminishing general fund, limited tax base and largely low income population all led to the lower bond rating.

This is again evidence of a worsening situation for York City that O'Rourke has acknowledged in the past and he admits to the "Daily Record" that the lower rating is step 'in the wrong way.'

Employee pay and benefits including pensions should be under discussion as means to deal with city government's worsening financial picture.

DEMOCRAT DEPASQUALE'S DISTRICT GETS BIG BOOST IN TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS WITH RENDELL SPENDING PLAN

THREE SCHOOL DISTRICTS GETTING DOUBLE DIGIT INCREASES ARE IN DISTRICT OF TAX AND SPEND REPUBLICAN MIKE WAUGH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 14TH)

When Democrat Governor Ed Rendell's 29 billion dollar budget plan was unveiled this past week, three York County school districts were in for a surprise.

While most York County districts will have their infusion of state taxpayer dollars hiked by around 6 percent, the Hanover, West York and Central York school districts are getting jackups of around 10 or 11 percent.

Parts of the West York and Central York school districts are located in the legislative district of Democrat Eugene DePasquale (95th District). DePasquale comes from a business as usual Pittsburgh political family and he has been a point man for Democrat causes like "health care" and "climate change" in York County. This is an election year and one can see the extra money as a way to buy support for DePasquale in an election year.

The Hanover district is also up for a big increase in taxpayer dollars and all three York County districts seeing more of our money happen to be in the district of Republican State Senator Mike Waugh (28th District).

Waugh is also up for re-election this year and has voted for this years's state budget that increased taxes by 800 million dollars.

BACK IN 2008, DEPASQUALE JOINED WAUGH AND STATE RPERESENTATIVE KEITH GILLESPIE (R-47TH DISTRICT) FOR A BREAKFAST WITH THE CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION AND SCHOOL BOARD. THEN SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT DR. LINDA ESTEP JOINED WITH SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT ERIC WOLFGANG (NOW CHALLENGING GILLESPIE AS A DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE THIS YEAR) TO MAKE A PITCH FOR MORE TAXPAYER MONEY FROM HARRISBURG. IT LOOKS LIKE THAT MEETING MAY HAVE 'PAID OFF' BUT THE 'PAYOFF' COMES FROM YOUR WALLET WITH RENDELL'S PLAN TO EXPAND PENNSYLVANIA'S SALES TAX THROUGH REMOVING MANY EXEMPTIONS WHILE LOWERING THE OVERALL RATE.

One other note, most of the money spent by school districts is about pay and benefits. The constant infusion of tax revenue to public education may buy the votes of those who work in schools and are now locked into generous benefits and guaranteed annual pay raises.

For most taxpayers, however, these perks and privileges are not the norm.

EASTERN SUPERINTENDENT GETS EIGHT PERCENT PAY HIKE THIS YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 14TH)

The Eastern York School Board has voted 6-2 to approve a new contract for Superintendent Darla Pianowski that starts July 1st.

In the first year her salary will jump 8 percent from 148-thousand to 160-thousand dollars a year. For the remaining four years of the contract she gets five percent hikes that will take her salary to over 194-thousand dollars ay the 2014-2015 school year.

There's no other word to describe this contract other than OUTRAGEOUS.

Board members Ron Abel and Bob Flaharty Jr. voted against the contract.

The Eastern York School Board needs a thorough housecleaning next year. Do not forget this vote taxpayers.

LIBERAL REPUBLICAN RON MILLER GETS CHALLENGER IN GOP PRIMARY BUT......

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 13TH)

State Representative Ron Miller of the 93rd District appears to be what grassroots conservatives would call a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

From his support of "nanny state" legislation to ban smoking in public places to his Pro-Abortion position as measured by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, Ron Miller comes off as being a big government liberal.

Miller is silent in the face of higher taxes and spending by the Dallastown School District which encompasses half of his district.

Miller can claim to have voted against the higher taxes in this year's state budget, but he has no criticism for fellow York County GOP State Senator Mike Waugh, who supported the new taxation.

Now, an opponent has emerged to challenge Miller in the May 18th Republican Primary.

Doug Walters works as a computer technician for the Southern School District and sees government as getting bigger, more intrusive, more expensive and deeper in debt.

Walters views seem to mirror those of Ron Paul when it comes to foreign policy. Walters wrote to Congressman Todd Platts urging a withdrawl of American troops from Afghanistan.

In the letter, he used the Paul expression "blowback" and said Americans are dying in the War On Terror because of their interference in the affairs of other countries.

The letter can be accessed at the "Campaign For Liberty" link at Walter's website-http://walters4pa.com/

I am concerned about Doug Walters candidacy because it may be an example of left-wing infiltration into the political process that was seen in Ron Paul's anti-war fueled 2008 presidential candidacy.

This infiltration could cause trouble in Republican ranks when a faux conservative arrives on the scene to hurt the GOP so a Democrat can win in the general election.

I wish for a patriotic authentic conservative who supports our soldiers to be the challenger to Ron Miller in the 93rd District GOP Primary.

FEBRUARY 1-7, 2010........

SMELTZER ANNOUNCES CHALLENGE TO PLATTS IN GOP PRIMARY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 6TH)

Mike Smeltzer has formally announced a challenge to 19th District Congressman Todd Platts in the May 18th Republican Primary.

Smeltzer is the executive director of the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania and is running on a platform that includes fiscal responsibility, job creation and a reduction in the size of government.

He's pledged to serve only four terms in Washington and will step down from Congress after eight years.

Interviewed on WHP Radio about his candidacy, Smeltzer said that the politicians in Washington "just don't get it."

The Smeltzer candidacy has a nice sound to it for grassroots conservatives and tea party activists, but incumbent politicians also leave nothing to chance in protecting their seats.

We'll hope that Smeltzer isn't a weak token candidate put up to help re-elect Congressman Platts or part of a strategy to undercut another conservative candidate yet to emerge or just split votes in a race involving some three or more candidates.

Todd Platts has an increasingly liberal record according to issues tracking done by national organizations.

In his first term, the pro-life National Right To Life Committee gave Platts a 94 percent positive rating. In the 2007-2008 period last reported Platts rating dropped to 57 percent.

The American Conservative Union gave Platts an 80 percent rating in 2001 and a 68 percent rating in 2008.

The "fair tax" Americans For Fair Taxation Group gave Platts a 0 rating in 2008 for not supporting a "fair tax." In 2008, the National Taxpayers Union gave Platts a C rating.

The Club For Growth gave Platts a 57 percent positive rating in 2008.

The record of Congressman Platts recorded by the various national groups reveals a less than solid conservative record.

JANUARY 25-31, 2010.......

LEADING YORK POLITICIAN SUPPORTS EVENTUAL STATE TAKEOVER OF CITY SCHOOLS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 31ST)

State Representative Eugene DePasquale (D-95th District), who represents York City in the legislature, is throwing his support behind legislation that would mandate a state takeover of the York City School District in two years.

The legislature is working on the updated law for compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law. The proposed new law would mandate a state reform commission taking control of any school district where standards have not been met for eight years.

The law would mean an immediate state takeover of the Harrisburg School District and a takeover of the York City School District in two years.

School districts taken over by the "reform commission" would be under state control for at least five years.

Reform measures under the law include removal of existing elected school boards, conversions to charter schools and longer school days and years.

DePasquale says people are leaving the city because they don't trust the schools and the city cannot move forward unless the school system is good.

York's liberal political insiders and many other observers know that the new radical racial faction dominating the school board will make the bad situation in York City's schools even worse.

This legislation seems like the Democrat political insiders way of trying to fight back against the radicals and dealing with the "bleeding" that is dead ahead for the city school district.

CENTRAL SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT WILL BE DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE

ERIC WOLFGANG TO CHALLENGE INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN KEITH GILLESPIE IN 47TH DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANAURY 31ST)

Central York's school board president Eric Wolfgang thinks incumbent Republican State Representative Keith Gillespie of the 47th District deserves a challenger. So Wolfgang is planning to be the Democrat candidate for the seat this year.

Mr. Wolfgang is currently laid off from his job as quality assurance manager at Engel Machinery. He speaks of bringing "change" to Harrisburg and wants to deal with taxation to fund schools. Wolfgang describes creating new taxes to pay for public education as as revamping or elimination of the current property tax system.

Eric Wolfgang was the right hand of the now retired Central superintendent Dr. Linda Estep, pushing the building of the controvesial new high school, its swimming pool addition and other Estep agenda items including the politically charged "diversity" program and more recently the elimination of valedictorian and salutatorian honors for Central's graduatates.

Wolfgang and current superintendent Dr. Michael Snell were forced to return to allowing the honors last year amid protests from parents that reached a national television audience.

Incumbent Republican Keith Gillespie touts among his accomplishments legislation to allow children in sexual abuse cases to testify against the accused by video monitor instead of facing them in court. He also cites helping to increase the income limits for the PACE and PACENET programs that help senior citizens pay for prescription drugs.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation considers Gillsepie to be Pro-Life and Gillespie has been supported by the left-leaning Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union. That's apparently because Gillespie has stated his opposition to providing taxpayer support for children to attend non-public schools.

YORK CITY OFFICIALS CONTINUE PUSH FOR NEW TAXES ON COUNTY RESIDENTS

SAY CITY HAS SERIOUS FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 30TH,UPDATED JANUARY 31ST)

York City's Business Manager Michael O'Rourke says city government is headed for a financial crisis.

O'Rourke spoke before the Pennsylvania Economy League and York County Chamber of Commerce.

York Mayor Kim Bracey says she has pleaded with state legislators for new tax options, ranging from taxation of tax exempt properties in the city to an alcoholic drink tax, an additonal sales tax and an income tax that would have people who work in the city but don't live there paying to fund city government.

Bracey says she doesn't want the city to go into Act 47 financial distress status and will do her best to avoid that.

O'Rourke made the pitch that York is not just the city but a region. This parallels the York Counts agenda to create a supergovernment merging suburbs with the city.

Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donley urged business leaders to join the call for legislative action to allow the city new tax options. The "York Daily Record" quotes him as saying: "We're all in it together."

O'Rourke noted that employee pay and benefits take up 60 percent of the city's budget.

Instead of looking for new ways to tax it is way past time for the city to find a way to cut costs, especially in the pay and benefits for all city employees including those in the police and fire departments. These are tough times for taxpayers and police and fire employees should not be above everyone when it comes to belt tightening measures.

Beyond that, the path to where the city is today took many years but its decline is linked in the timeline to matters from the creation of welfare programs to those of race and violence starting with integration of schools in the 1950's to the rioting of 1969. Both residents and businesses took flight in the wake of these events.

Is the city's present state a legacy of the Great Society and Civil Rights? Can the blame be dropped at the feet of liberalism?

There's more to this than political and social "movements" because York City's decline is ultimately the story of bad decisions made by people to be in rebellion and resentful of others. The rebellion and resentment is reflected in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as sexual misconduct and the resultant dispution of what were our societal norms.

JANUARY 18-24, 2010........

LINES DRAWN ON DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

Who wants to spend more and who wants to spend less?

When it comes to the Dallastown School Board, the answers are becoming clear after last fall's election.

The board voted 5-3 to spend over 900-thousand dollars to build a corridor between the middle and high schools.

Voting YES to the spending were Frederick Botterbusch, Earl Miller, Mary Shoemaker, Kenneth "Butch" Potter and Lauren Rock. Voting NO were Margaret Ibex, Donald Jasmann and Carroll Tignall Jr.

Potter, Rock, Ibex and Jasmann were all elected last fall.

One should expect this pattern to be repeated when the new budget and higher property taxes are approved later this spring.

How concerned taxpayers will respond to the continued tax and spend mentality of Dallastown School District Superintendent Stewart Weinberg and the school board majority remains to be seen?

YORK CITY SCHOOL ARREST RECORDS FUDGED

SCHOOL DISTRICT CLAIMS ONE ARREST IN SCHOOL YEAR TO STATE WHILE POLICE RECORDS SHOW OVER THREE DOZEN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

"The York Dispatch" is reporting that police records show much larger numbers of arrests in York City schools than the school district reported to the state.

In the 2007-2008 year, 19 arrests were made in the city schools according to the school district while police records show about 50. For the 2008-2009 school year only one arrest was made according to the district while the police reports show more than three dozen arrests.

There is a state law requiring school districts to report violent incidents and arrests to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

York City School District Superintendent Sharon Miller says the district limits its reporting to 'serious incident' arrests. A spokesman for the Department of Education said that school districts should reports all arrests.

Meanwhile, York City School Board president Samuel Beard claims the district is following the state's requirements. Beard says the district has security measures. He says one of his jobs is to change how the city schools are seen.

Lets get it clear. Mr. Beard is in denial about violence and crime in city schools. His adamant opposition to increased police presence, Guardian Angel presence in the schools and even allowing security guards to use handcuffs, pepper spray and other measures is well known.

Parents have come to school board meetings to demand better security, but they have gotten no meaningful action from the Mr. Beard and his sympathizers on the board. These racially motivated radicals are more worried about the image of the schools than the safety of students and staff.

Meanwhile, a police officer who works at William Penn High School says that so far this school year there have been nine arrests there. Lets keep a close eye on what's really going on with safety, security and arrests in York City schools.

STATE COURT RULES AGAINST REMOVAL OF FORMER WRIGHTSVILLE MAYOR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 23RD)

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has overturned York County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Renn's 2008 ruling that removed Steve Rambler as mayor of Wrightsville.

Then York County District Attorney Stan Rebert sought Rambler's removal from office because of his 1996 guilty plea to a federal felony extortion charge. Rambler was accused of soliciting nude pictures of people in "swingers" magazines, then extorting money under threat of publicizing the photos.

Judge Renn ruled that Rambler's guilty plea made him ineligible under state law to hold public office.

Rambler, who is an ordained minister and now serves as pastor of Heritage Cathedral in York, welcomed the decision although it doesn't mean he can return to office as mayor. Rambler told "The York Dispatch" : "I love people, I love seving people. We'll see where it will go from this point.

Steve Rambler is now eligible to run for public office again, but new York County District Attorney Tom Kearney is planning an appeal of the Superior Court ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

JANUARY 11-17, 2010.......

READ HER LIPS: MORE NEW TAXES

YORK MAYOR CALLS FOR REVENUE FROM COUNTY RESIDENTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 16TH, UPDATED JANUARY 17TH)

Testifying before a committee of Democrat party leaders from the State House of Representatives, Mayor Kim Bracey said that cities like York need new ways to raise revenue.

Bracey suggested that the legislature give cities options like sales taxes, alcohol taxes and an earned income tax that would be split between where a person lives and where they work.

She also called for tax exempt properties like county government and churches to be forced to make payments in lieu of taxes to the city.

According to the "York Daily Record" Bracey said: "the real estate taxpayers of the city subsidize every non-city resident who uses county government services, medical facilities, religious, higher education or social services facilities."

The split income tax would definitely mean county residents paying the cost of city government and forcing the county to pay the city for its properties there would also help to raise county taxes. Her whole agenda would pass on de-facto taxes to non-city residents by forcing payments from all tax-exmept institutons in the city.

The State House Majority Policy Committee held its hearing at Yorks Soverign Bank Stadium and heard from other mayors of third class cities besides York. Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson and Reading Mayor Thomas McMahon were among others who appeared before the committee.

Mayor Kim Bracey also continued to spread the York Counts line that separate municipal governments in one area are bad. Bracey claimed that development of the city is hampered by the existence of separate governments in surrounding communities. Investors and developers who choose to operate in the city of York only have one government to deal with. Of course, the city often gives these people special tax breaks. Is Bracey trying to tell us that with county taxpayers picking up the tab in a consolidated city-suburban government, it will be easier for developers-investors to get "sweetheart deals" from the taxpayers?

912 PATRIOTS EMERGE IN YORK COUNTY WITH SCARY CONNECTIONS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 17TH)

The York 912 Patriots Group that formed up last year participated in a Grassroots Camapign School in Spring Grove this weekend.

Their partners for the event were the GOP insider connected York County ACTION group that is a subsidiary of Lancaster County ACTION.

The campaign school was aimed at training potential candidates for the primary election this spring. Guest speaker for the campaign school was Michael Geer of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Both ACTION and the Pennsylvania Family Institute have wealthy donors and sponsors connected to the moderate leadership of the Republican Party in the state. One could argue that ACTION and PFI are tied to the insider GOP 'political machine.'

It is my hope that sincere conservatives and patriots are not being infiltrated and undermined by political insiders who will stop at nothing to protect their re-election and or incumbency.

It appears that the 912 Patriots in York are onto the increasingly liberal voting record of Congressman Todd Platts, who may face a challenge from local business leader Mike Smeltzer in May's Republican primary.

I have my doubts about the sincerity of the Smeltzer candidacy and hope it is not tied to the powerful and influential people who want to see Todd Platts re-elected. Two possible manipulation scenarios are a weak Smeltzer candidacy to re-elect Platts or a Smeltzer campaign dividing votes of another anti-Platts candidate who may be an authentic conservative.

JANUARY 4-10, 2009.......

DEAL REACHED FOR STIMULUS MONEY PLAN FOR CITY SCHOOLS

FAILING SCHOOLS TARGETED WITH PROTECTION FOR FAILING PRINCIPALS, TEACHERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 10TH)

The 'stimulus plan' from Washington, paid for by the tax dollars and debt of Americans, includes over 4 billion dollars in spending for Race To The Top, a program designed to improve academic acheivement in failing schools. The York City School District wants some of the money and is applying for it in conjunction with other school districts in Pennsylvania.

School districts applying for the money need a memorandum of agreement involving the district, school board and union to apply.

The York City Education Association teachers union, part of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, has agreed to participate in the memorandum. Union agreement was needed because removal of failing teachers from failing schools is part of the Race To The Top program.

Union agreement may mean "removal" of failing teachers and principals but note the word "firing" is not used. The school district says there are worker protections in the plan so don't be misled into believing that Race To The Top is going to terminate bad teachers or principals.

They will be "reassigned" or given opportunity to find a job in some other school without the new school knowing they were "removed" for "failure."

The Pennsylvania State Education Association union that supported Barack Obama for president is not getting an education spending plan from him that hurts their members.

HALL MONITOR INJURED AT WILLIAM PENN HIGH SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 7TH)

A HALL MONITOR WAS INJURED MONDAY AT WILLIAM PENN HIGH SCHOOL TRYING TO BREAK UP A FIGHT. TWO FRESHMAN GIRLS WERE FIGHTING AND AS THE MONITOR INTERVENED ONE OF THE GIRLS SLIPPED, STEPPED ON THE MONITOR'S FOOT AND FELL ON HER. THE HALL MONITOR SUSTAINED A BROKEN ANKLE.

THE REFUSAL OF THE RACIAL LEFT WING SCHOOL BOARD TO TAKE STRONGER SECURITY MEASURES (see story below) IS FLIRTING WITH DANGER. THE YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS A STRONGER SECURITY PLAN THAT DOESN'T FORCE HALL MONITORS TO GET INTO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS THAT CAN CAUSE INJURY.

YORK CITY SCHOOLS SECURITY CHIEF RESIGNS

WILLIAM FENTON CITES MICROMANAGEMENT OF SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 4TH)

Word has come out of York City Schools security director William Fenton's resignation. Fenton left his post two weeks ago (Monday December 21st).

Fenton's departure came a few weeks after the school board's refusal to allow security officers to have pepper spray, tasers and handcuffs to subdue unruly students.

Fenton had also clashed with the school board over police providing security at football games earlier last year.

Mr. Fenton told "The York Daily Record":..."it just feels like the board had nowhere near the objectives I had."

With a more radical and racially motivated school board, the concerns of parents about security in York City schools will remain high. Removing their children from public schools in the city may be the only action that will give them peace of mind.

Acts of violence may get worse, particularly at William Penn High School, with the potential for injury to students and or staff.

DECEMBER 28, 2009-JANUARY 2, 2010.........

MORE HIDDEN NEWS LEADING TO THE NEW YEAR

YORK CITY LOSES CREDIT RATING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 31ST)

On Christmas Eve, Moody's Investors Service pulled its credit rating on the City of York. Moody's said it lacked current financial information on the city government.

The previous Moody's credit rating for York was low or Baa2. That rating was issued in January of 2006. Its the second lowest of the ten ratings Moody's gives out. Moody's does its ratings to give lenders and investors in municipal bonds an idea of the local government's ability to pay them back.

The lack of a bond rating could mean serious consequences like an inability to raise capital or trigger bond holders to demand early payments or increase bond interest rates.

Outgoing York Mayor John Brenner says an audit of city finances is not complete because the audit for the year 2008 is not complete yet.

Brenner tells the "York Daily Record": "Our hope is that it will not affect the city's bond rating in any way, shape or form."

But the truth is that York City has no bond rating right now and one wonders what this means as the new administration of Kim Bracey moves in next week.

SPRING GARDEN TAX COLLECTOR UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION OVER HANDLING OF TAX DOLLARS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 31ST)

Back in October, Spring Garden Township's tax collector/treasurer Melissa Arnold appointed township manager Gregory Maust as deputy treasurer. Maust then took over her duties as tax collector. It was a mystery as to why this happened.

Now the "York Dispatch" has reported that Pennsylvania State Police searched her home and office after bank officials became suspicious about deposits by Arnold of township checks into personal accounts. Search warrant-related documents revealed a 'substantial' amount of money was withdrawn from at least one personal account after the deposits.

The investigation started in October by state police has now been turned over to the FBI. A state police spokesman says "the nature of the allegation meets the jurisdictional requirements that the FBI investigates."

This story deserves more attention but all we get right now is this limited information plus speculation including comments posted online about a 'gambling problem' being related to the case.

DECEMBER 20-27, 2009.......

THE 'HIDDEN NEWS' OF CHRISTMAS WEEK

THE DAYS LEADING UP TO A HOLIDAY ARE THE ONES WHEN POLITICAL LEADERS SNEAK IN THINGS THAT MAY UPSET THE PUBLIC OR CAUSE QUESTIONS. THE STORIES FEATURED THIS WEEK ARE ONES THAT COULD FIT THOSE CATEGORIES.

THE FIELD TO REPLACE TODD PLATTS IN CONGRESS

(NEWS COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 27TH)

Early in the week before Christmas, there was news of the possible candidacy of Mike Smeltzer for the 19th District House seat currently held by Representative Todd Platts.

Platts has applied for a job in Washington as comptroller general of the General Accounting Office. But even if he doesn't get the job one must consider the possibility that some primary challenge may occur in 2010. Mike Smeltzer is executive director of the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania. This group has a tradition of political involvement and ties to the Republican Party.

One wonders if the potential Smeltzer candidacy is a ploy to tie down a potential conservative candidate in a GOP primary. Smeltzer could split outsider votes to enable the incumbent Platts to win or Smeltzer could split outsider votes to enable another insider to win a primary to replace Platts.

One political insider who's considering replacing Todd Platts in Congress is 92nd District State Representative Scott Perry. Perry is a longtime GOP moderate leader in northern York County who got himself elected in 2006 to the state house running as a "Patriot" candidate.

I'm still waiting for an authentic conservative candidate to emerge as a replacement for Todd Platts in Congress.

NEW TEACHER CONTRACT ANNOUNCED IN WEST YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 27TH)

The West York School District has announced a new three year contract with the West York Area Education Association teachers union. There are pay increases totalling 9.5 percent in the contract that expires in June of 2012.

A news release from the school district says teachers are taking this year's 2.5 percent pay hike in December. For the next two years of the contract, pay hikes will be 3.5 percent.

The school district says the new contract will include additional teacher obligations after school and increased contributions to the medical benefit plan.

The news release from the school district spoke of the contract talks being "particularly challenging this time in light of the current economy." Needless to say, any pay increase in these tough economic times is bad news for taxpayers. Pay and benefits make up the bulk of school district expenses paid for by taxpayers.

While some 40-thousand dollars more in teacher contributions to health benefits are expected, that's only around 6 percent more than before. And when its all said and done, it appears that each West York teacher will only pay several hundred dollars per year in the next three years towards their medical benefits which may cost 10-thousand or more dollars per teacher per year.

Governor Ed Rendell is promising strong support with state taxpayer dollars for public schools and property taxes will still rise in the coming years to cover the pay hikes.

NEW YORK COUNTY BUDGET APPROVED WITH PAY RAISES FOR SOME SUPERVISORS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 26TH)

The York County Commissioners approved the 2010 budget that will cut spending by 10 percent, keep property taxes at the same rate and raise fines and fees. Some 59 jobs in the county government are eliminated for next year.

When talk of the new budget began earlier this year, there were suggestions from commissioners of a pay freeze in county government, but unions representing employees rebuffed the idea.

When the final budget was approved, there were pay raises of two percent for 51 supervisors in the county government. Democrat Commissioner Doug Hoke expressed his disagreement with the raises in tough economic times. Is this a sign of political campaigning for 2011?

Meanwhile, Republican President Commissioner Steve Chronister defended the raises on the basis of 'wage compression.' That's about the non-union supervisors needing to be paid more than the unionized employees who are getting their contracted increases next year.

WITH THE MILLIONS COMING IN FROM THE NEW FINES AND FEES LEVIED IN ADDITION TO SPENDING CUTS, IT APPEARS THAT THE 2010 YORK COUNTY BUDGET IS TRYING TO MAKE UP FOR A 10 PERCENT PLUS SHORTFALL IN PROPERTY TAX REVENUE RESULTING FROM THE SLUMPING ECONOMY.

NEW DIRECTOR AT COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH SELECTED AFTER SUDDEN SHAKEUP EARLIER THIS YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 26TH)

There's a new director to tackle the difficult and sometimes controversial work at York County Children and Youth Services.

Deb Chronister, not related to Commissioner Steve Chronister and former head of ACCESS York, has been named the director after serving as interim director for much of this year.

That followed the sudden and unexpected departure of the agency's former director Jerry Anderson in July. It was an event that went unreported at the time.

CYS has had many shakeups over the years and controversies over the quality and nature of its work.

DECEMBER 14-20, 2009.........

STETLER INDICTED IN HARRISBURG CORRUPTION PROBE

MAYOR JOHN BRENNER AND COUNCILMAN CAMERON TEXTER MENTIONED IN CHARGES

(NEWS,COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 16TH, UPDATED DECEMBER 20TH)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has announced charges against former Democrat State Representative Steve Stetler. Stetler is charged on six counts involving the use of public employees and resources for political campaigns.

The charges are the result of a grand jury investigation. Stetler resigned as Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary hours before the charges were announced.

One legislative staffer who worked for Stetler says he spent time helping the 2005 election campaign of York City Mayor John Brenner. Brenner faced a primary challenge from Jeff Kirkland.

John Paul Jones testified to the grand jury that he came to Stetler's York offfice to do the campaign work. The indictment also mentions legislative staffer Cameron Texter, who will soon be leaving office as a member of York City Council.

Both Texter and Brenner decided against running for re-election this year and one can draw a connection between their decisions and the ongoing Bonusgate corruption investigation.

John Paul Jones also has been working on the campaign of Kim Bracey, now mayor-elect. Jones did work for Bracey's campaign this year as an employee of the Harrisburg-based WS Group.

Democrats have attacked Attorney General Corbett's Bonusgate investigation as politically motivated. That's because Corbett is a Republican candidate for governor next year. Corbett's work so far has produced indictments of both Republicans and Democrats.

TWO CHARTER SCHOOL PLANS PRESENTED TO CITY BOARD INCLUDING YORK COUNTS SCHEME

NEW SCHOOL BOARD DELAYS MOST MAJOR DECISIONS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 20TH)

Two charter school plans are before the new York City School Board.

York Counts international baccalaureate school idea was presented to the board by Dennis Baughman and Sue Krebs. The school would be located on a tract of land next to the railroad tracks west of Sovereign Bank Stadium.

Joel Sears of the York County Taxpayers group spoke against the York Counts plan saying students not participating in the school would be shortchanged by the diversion of funds away from existing public schools.

Another proposal for a charter school came from Aiko Malynda Maurer of Altoona. She represents the HOPE For All Charter School.

The HOPE program is designed to make troubled students independent learners and give those students practical job skills using a student run cafe.

The York City School Board has until February 27th to make a decision about the two charter school proposals.

Meanwhile, the board is delaying action on plans to renovate schools and close the Phineas Davis Elementary School. It was felt that newly elected board members need time to study the proposal before a decision is made.

The board is also delaying a vote on the district's preliminary budget for the 2010-2011 year. That's because it wants to know more about the city government's desire to take part of the tax revenue from the real estate transfer tax.

The new board voted 6-3 to approve the hiring of a new hall monitor to work at William Penn High School, where there are security concerns. Racial faction members were in the majority with board president Sam Beard saying the vote would enable quick hiring if a new monitor is needed. Four existing William Penn monitors have been joined by two elementary school monitors to help deal with the security situation.

The York City School District is also trying to bring together the administration, teachers union and school board on seeking special federal funding that's supposed to improve failing test scores.

York City is seeking the money that comes with strings attached to help the McKinley Elementary School and William Penn High School.

DECEMBER 7-13, 2009.............

'INTERNATIONAL' CHARTER SCHOOL FACES NEW CITY SCHOOL BOARD WITH MUTED OPPOSITION

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 13TH)

A school board dominated by pro-charter school members will hear the pitch from the York Counts group Monday night for an International Baccalaureate charter school that would draw students from the Central, York City and York Suburban school districts.

The Central and York Suburban school boards held separate hearings last Monday with members of both boards expressing support for the idea, but planning to visit the issue again for final decisions next year.

York City officials have expressed concern that York Counts is leaving them out of the loop and committing the district to the IB charter school without their consent.

In other parts of the country, IB curriculum proposals have been opposed on grounds that IB is part of a left wing agenda that some say is a promotion of One World Government or a "New World Order."

But the only visible opposition to IB as reported in the local newspapers so far comes from the York County Taxpayers group. Their leader, Joel Sears, notes that charter schools take hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars away from existing public schools.

Sears has been very active in expressing concern over property taxation and promoting other methods of taxation to fund public schools. But Sears has been less critical of spending in public education.

I get the sense that Sears and his group front for the Republican Party and or the real estate industry which is directly affected by property taxes.

If we could focus our attention on cutting spending in public schools by dealing with employee pay and benefits that consume some two-thirds of public school budgets, property tax relief would happen in Pennsylvania.

One final note, the new radical racial York City School Board is a wild card. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the York Counts charter school plan that comes from primarily leftist-liberal white people.

NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD TAKES POWER, LIMITS SECURITY OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH STUDENT VIOLENCE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 13TH)

The new school board majority officialy took power this last week in the City of York.

Samuel Beard is the new board president and Beverly Atwater is the new board vice-president. Beard and Atwater come from the radical racial faction.

Beard said "changes" are coming to "improve education" in the district and that a "new spirit of cooperation" is needed to implement them.

The board sent a message about its new direction by rebuffing a request from the school district's security chief, William Fenton.

Fenton wanted district security officers to have the options of using handcuffs, pepper spray and tasers to deal with unruly students.

Beard says he does not want those methods used for security in city schools. The "York Daily Record" quoted new board president Beard as saying: "I refuse to allow chemical spray to be used on our children."

The reasons for using tasers, pepper spray and handcuffs include the prevention of injury to students, staff and or security officers by violent students. This action to prevent those methods can only send a chilling message to those who see an increasingly unsafe environment in city schools.

Any violence related injuries in the months ahead should be linked to the action of Mr. Beard and the new school board majority to ban the security measures.

SCHOOL CRIME AND ARREST REPORTS RAISE MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 7TH)

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is investigating two dozen school districts to see if they undereported violent incidents according to the "Harrisburg Patriot News."

The move comes after the latest statistics showed declines for the 2008-09 school year in arrests at York County schools, with only one arrest being reported in the York City School District.

Incidents reported increased in York County schools but again in York City there was a decline reported.

State Senator Jeffrey Piccola, who chairs the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee, told the "York Daily Record" that "the activities in our schools must be tranparent."

Those declines in incidents and arrests in York City schools come as parents there continue to express deep concern about safety. Radical racial members of the school board have been highly critical of police presence in the city schools and want security handled "internally." They are accused by opponents of pressuring administration to go easy on punishing disruptive students.

NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 6, 2009......

ITS A DEAL AT HARLEY BUT WHEN WILL GOVERNMENT 'RESTRUCTURE'

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 6TH)

The unionized taxpaying workers at York's Harley-Davidson plant overwhelmingly approved a new seven-year contract Wednesday.

The number of union employees at the plant will be cut from nearly two thousand to some seven to eight hundred.

There's a pay freeze in the contract and higher costs for medical insurance coverage.

Harley says the new contract means it will keep the York operation going under a "restructuring" instead of moving the factory to a new location.

The company is getting a partial bailout for its restructuring costs to the tune of 15 million dollars from Pennsylvania's taxpayers. Governor Ed Rendell was hailed by the company for his "support."

Also expressing support for the taxpayer bailout of the company was Republican State Represenative Keith Gillespie of the 47th District where the plant is located.

I sure hope Gillespie doesn't want to go to Washington to replace Todd Platts. Businesses were not meant to be bailed out by taxpayers after labor union demands and government regulations crushed their ability to survive.

The government policies of spending wildly and backing unsustainable loans including home mortgages have led to our economic difficulties.

Above all it should be government that cuts back in the present circumstances.

Declining tax revenues are obvious here in York County with next year's county budget spending more than 10 percent less with the same property tax rate and increases in fees.

The economic mess that has engulfed Harley-Davidson and the nation is a wake up call for government to cut back and spend less.

When will the state workforce in Harrisburg be cut in half?

When will public school districts in York County have employee pay freezes instead of the existing contracts that give everyone from superintendents on down pay increases that average around four percent a year?

Taxpayers, there are plenty of tea parties to be held here in Pennsylvania from Harrisburg to the hundreds of local school districts.

STETLER 'INVITED' TO TESTIFY IN CORRUPTION PROBE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 5TH)

Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue and former State Representative Steve Stetler has received a letter that 'invites' him to testify before a grand jury.

The grand jury is part of the Bonusgate probe by Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett. The letter Stetler received is similar to those sent to people who have been charged with corruption in the scandal involving illegal use of taxpayer money for political campaigns.

Earlier this year as Stetler's name came up in the investigation, it was shrugged off as meaning nothing.

The announcement of Stetler's 'invitation' was made by a spokesman for Governor Ed Rendell. Stetler would not comment when asked by the media about testifying before the grand jury.

Corbett's probe has led to charges against both Republicans and Democrats for spending taxpayer dollars to fund legislative political campaigns.

Democrat Steve Stetler suddenly resigned from the legislature in 2006 in the mddle of his re-election campaign. He was serving as state representative for York County's 95th District which includes the City of York and some surrounding areas.

Stetler voted for the controversial legislative pay raise in 2005 and did not return the pay raise after it was rescinded by the legislature.

Since Stetler left the legislature, it appears that political insiders have been "taking care" of him with jobs. Stetler started out working for the Pennsylvania Economy League before Governor Rendell appointed him to the Secretary of Revenue post.

NOVEMBER 23-29, 2009.......

YORK COUNTY BUDGET HAS NO PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 27TH)

A declining economy means declining tax revenue and York County's budget for next year is proposed to be 361.7 million dollars instead of this year's 405 million dollars. The property tax rate remains the same while court, document and inspection fees have been raised with a combined cost in the millions of dollars to help raise revenue.

The York County commissioners announced the 2010 budget on Wednesday. The new budget cuts 44 county government jobs, most of them positions that weren't filled this year when they became vacant.

Commissioners Steve Chronister, Chris Reilly and Doug Hoke will not take a cost of living pay raise in 2010.

Spending will be reduced in county departments including the sheriff's office, district attorney's office and the courts as well. A retiring common pleas court judge will not be replaced next year.

The commissioners will take final action on the budget around Christmas.

It appears that the current board of commissioners have responded in a decisive way to the serious tax revenue shortfalls caused by the deep economic recession. This is something that could not have been expected of the previous commissioner board controlled by Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore.

TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR PLUS BUDGET IN SPRINGETTSBURY FUELED BY MASSIVE TAX HIKE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 29TH)

The 2010 budget for Springettsbury Township is on the table with no property tax hike but a big jack up in the local services tax (occupational privilege tax) from 10 to 52 dollars.

The 12.4 million dollar spending plan keeps property taxes at .87 mill (87 dollars per 100,000 in real estate value) but the 520 percent hike in the tax for having a job in the township is expected to bring in 500-thousand more dollars next year.

The township's four million dollar plus surplus is expected to go down by two million dollars next year.

The supervisors voted 4-1 to advertise the budget with Supervisor George Dvoryak being the only NO vote. Dvoryak ran for state representative in 2002 and is believed to have political ambitions.

Township manager John Holman says its likely that a new police station will be built attached to the municipal building. Cost is expected to be in the millions of dollars.

The budget is set for a vote at the supervisors meeting on Thursday December 10th.

YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS SET FOR CONFERENCE TRIP NEXT YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 26th)

Word came out this week that four York City School Board members will travel to a national school boards conference in Chicago next year. The cost for taxpayers will be in the thousands of dollars.

A trip by board members to this year's conference led to a controversy over reimbursement for the board members meals and other expenses at the event.

The four members going next year are part of the board's racial radical faction including new member Margie Orr, along with Beverly Atwater, Samuel Beard and James Morgan.

The release of the information about the trip just ahead of the changeover to a new school board next month may be a salvo in an emerging political war over control of the York City School District.

With the recent discussion about closing the Phineas Davis Elementary School to avoid a tax increase next year, it looks like the new controlling faction is being put on the spot over spending and taxes right away by the insider faction.

The news of the trip to the conference next year at taxpayer expense makes one wonder what the priorities of these board members are. No word yet on school board members from other York County school districts who may be attending the national school board conference.

NOVEMBER 16-22, 2009......

SPRINGETTSBURY SUPERVISORS APPROVE 520 PERCENT TAX HIKE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 21ST)

Supervisors in Springettsbury Township have approved a big increase in the Occupational Privilege Tax that's now called the Local Services Tax.

The tax will rise from 10 to 52 dollars next year.

The 3-2 margin at Wednesday's supervisors meeting reflected the same margin as the first vote on the issue last month. Supervisors Nick Guerreri and George Dvoryak voted no.

Supervisors Don Bishop, Mike Bowman and Bill Schenck voted for the tax hike then.

Township Manager John Holman speaks of 500-thousand dollars in new revenue that will be used for "captial projects" with the police station being mentioned as one.

When the township decided to participate in the York Area United Fire and Rescue scheme and get rid of its own fire department, part of the consolidation plan that was supposed to 'save money' involved the construction of a new 3 million dollar fire station in Spring Garden Township.

Taxpayers in Springettsbury Township could face more heartbreak in the future if the police consolidation study leads to the township participating in a consolidated Metro York Police Department. That would mean Springettsbury Township taxpayers being saddled with York City's budget burden for its police pensions.

THE STATE OF THE CITY: A NEW BUDGET AND A NEW SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED NOVEMBER 22ND)

BRENNER PROPOSES FEE AND FINE HIKES TO BALANCE NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET

When Mayor John Brenner rolled out York City's 2010 budget plan it was pointed out there will be no property tax hike. But to finance the budget which totals over 97 million dollars, there will be borrowing from reserve funds for sewer improvements, plus fee increases for sewer and trash collection.

There will also be a doubling of fines for some parking violations.

Ten positions are cut in the budget, six for police, two for fire and two in public works. All but one public works job are currently vacant.

The costs of salaries and benefits are driving the police budget up by almost 1 million dollars next year to 16.4 million dollars. "Public safety" is the biggest drain on the city budget right now involving 68.5 percent of the general fund budget.

As I've noted before, all this talk of needing a consolidated police force involving the city and suburbs is all about the suburbs picking up the tab for city police costs. Suburban residents should get on their commissioners and supervisors to have nothing to do with such a scheme.

Meanwhile, both Mayor Brenner and the city's business manager Michael O'Rourke acknowledge the city is showing signs of financial distress. O'Rourke would like to see one part of the state's Act 47 law for distressed cities implemented permanently.

O'Rourke would like to see people who live in the city and those who work in the city subjected to a permanent income tax immediately.

Watch out taxpayers!!!!!!

SCHOOL CLOSING ISSUE BEING DUMPED ON NEW SCHOOL BOARD AMID GRIM VIEWS ABOUT CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT'S FUTURE

There's going to be a new York City School Board next month. They will face a declining enrollment driven by the creation of new charter schools. The district is being forced to make decisions about use of its existing buildings.

At this last week's school board meeting, the current board vice-president Tom Foust said closure of the Phineas Davis Elementary school would be needed to prevent a property tax hike next year.

The board voted 6-3 to put off a decision to close the school. One reason behind the closure is fewer students are attending the public school system, opting for the numerous public charter schools that have emerged in recent years. The board did vote, however, to relocate fifth grade students to the middle school buildings to use more of the empty space there.

Some parents who spoke at the board meeting are sending their children to charter schools because of the unsafe environment in the city schools.

A new application was filed on November 13th for the HOPE for All Charter School to involve 180 students grades 10-12 in the city.

The racial faction that is expected to have sway over the school board starting next month is opposed to using police or Guardian Angels to provide security in schools and is skeptical about disclipine of unruly students.

The "York Daily Record" published comments from an e-mail by interim board member Gerry Turner. "There is no question that York City schools are looked upon as failures by parents....even our own elected board members appear to mistrust the current administration and staff to (educate students) adequately......If charter schools continue to pop up, the district's established schools will suffer...."

.....

Perhaps the comments by Foust and Turner are really a way for political insiders to stake their claim for retaking the school board from the racial radicals. The new school board could lose politically when they decide on closing existing schools or supporting charter schools.

But amidst the lack of security and dysfunctional behavior involving everyone from students to radical school board members, the city schools are falling into a more desperate situation with every new year.

The bottom line is that test scores are low in reading and math and have no propsects of improving. That is very sad, indeed.

MAYOR-ELECT CREATES ADVISORY BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 22ND)

York's Mayor-elect Kim Bracey has created a community advisory review team that she says will fulfill the public's desire to have more input into the city government.

Chairman of the effort is loyal Democrat and York City Controller Robert Lambert. The vice-chair is Joanne Borders.

There are three parts to the advisory board, one for budget and operations, one for public safety and one for community revitalization.

Among the individual members are community activists with racial agendas like Mary Tribue and Diane Brown and known Democrat activists like Joe Stein.

Also on the board is Bryan Tate, who's been chief of staff to Congressman Todd Platts and his campaign manager. Tate is the vice-president for community investment with the York County Community Foundation.

When one looks over this list of advisors to Kim Bracey, one sees political operatives and representatives of "groups" based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Its what you would expect from a Democrat business as usual politician.

NOVEMBER 9-15, 2009........

SUPERINTENDENT MAKES PRE-SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION PITCH IN DALLASTOWN

WEINBERG PROMOTES QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF CANDIDATES TO 'AD-HOC GROUP OF PARENTS'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 14th)

There's word that Dallastown School District Superintendent Stewart Weinberg used the district's phone message system to talk to parents about the school board election.

In a call said to have been made on October 20th, Weinberg is heard speaking of an "ad hoc group of parents" hving developed a questionaire for school board candidates. The call directed parents to the district website to see the candidates response and said that elementary school children were bringing copies of the candidates responses home.

Weinberg said in the call "it is extremely important for everyone to vote on November 3rd in order to maintain our excellent educational programs."

An additional call mentioning this was reportedly made by the superintendent on the district's phone message system on November 2nd, the day before the election.

There can be no doubt from this recording that Weinberg was butting into the election and trying to influence its outcome by helping to elect business as usual tax and spend candidates like Lauren Rock in Region 1 and Brian Larson in Region 3. School board candidate Don Jasmann, who was elected in Region 2, noted that the school district tries to play parents against taxpayers in promoting more spending and higher taxes.

Lets hope that Mr. Jasmann and Margaret Ibex, who will now sit on the board, go right to work and publicly rebuke Weinberg about his working with the "ad-hoc group of parents" to create fear in the school board election and influence its outcome.

Larry Wolfe, who lost to Lauren Rock by 36 votes in Region 1, should continue his efforts to control school district spending by attending board meetings and speaking out.

To hear the Weinberg call of October 20th as posted online, try this address.... http://c3.mine.nu/t/Dtown102009.wav

CATHOLIC BISHOP REASSIGNED TO TROUBLED DIOCESE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 15th)

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Harrisburg, Kevin Rhoades, is being reassigned starting January 13th next year.

On Saturday, the Vatican announced that Rhoades is moving to the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in Indiana.

That's the diocese where Notre Dame University is located. There was a major controversy there this year when President Barack Obama appeared as a commencement speaker. Pro-Life activists within the Roman Catholic Church, along with dozens of bishops including Bishop Rhoades, protested the honor being given to a Pro-Abortion president.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades has been upfront with the Pro-Life view of the church. He has led special Pro-Life masses and processions for prayer at abortion clinics. At least twice, Rhoades has led prayer outside of York's Planned Parenthood on South Beaver Street where abortions are performed.

REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER CLAIMS ALIENATION FROM INDICTED FORMER LEADER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 15th)

State Representative Stan Saylor (R-94th District) says he's had a strained relationship with former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House John Perzel.

Perzel was indicted along with nine others Friday for using taxpayer dollars to support political campaigns.

Saylor says he once supported a candidate for Republican leadership in opposition to Perzel. Saylor says that meant they weren't friends and he told the "York Daily Record" that Perzel kept secrets and that "a lot of members didn't know what was going on."

Perzel is said to have taken taxpayer dollars to the tune of some ten million dollars to fund a computer program to help Republcan legislative candidates from 2000 to 2007.

Attorney General Tom Corbett has gotten indictments against Democrats on similar charges and faced criticism for not going after Republicans in the legislature for corruption.

Also charged among the ten is Elmer "Al" Bowman of Red Lion. Bowman is a former Republican aide in the legislature. Representative Saylor claims not to have known Bowman well.

No doubt all politicians are running for the high grass and trying to distance themselves from business as usual politics. But when it comes to York County's Republicans, they are far from "tea party" activists. Their political careers are filled with attempts to call themsleves things like "mainstream conservatives" and efforts to placate both sides of the political spectrum to win big majorities come election time.

York County's legislative delegation is in need of cleaning, starting with State Senator Mike Waugh (R-28th District). Waugh, who voted for the new state budget that raises taxes, is not conservative fiscally and has told the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation that he believes abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy. Most abortions occur in the first three months and the federation has consistently listed Waugh as "Pro-Abortion" in its voter guides.

Waugh is up for re-election next year....

NOVEMBER 2-8, 2009........

ELECTION NEWS HEADLINED IN RED

CONGRESSMAN TODD PLATTS APPLIES FOR NEW JOB

(NEWS, COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED NOVEMBER 7th)

Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District) is one of 17 candidates for the position of Comptroller General in the General Accounting Office.

The GAO is an arm of Congress that does oversight of spending.

Platts has support from over 100 members of Congress including Democrats like Barney Frank of Massachusetts and John Murtha of Pennsylvania.

Congressman Platts is coming under increasing conservative scrutiny after almost 10 years in Washington and being perceived more and more as a Republican In Name Only.

That may be one reason that he is seeking another job.

A commission of members of Congress will evaluate Platts and other candidates making recommendation of at least three final candidates for the comptroller general post to the President. The President selects a candidate who will then be subject to Senate approval.

COUNTY TO IMPOSE NEW WEIGHTS AND MEASURES 'FEES' TO HELP BALANCE BUDGET

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 8th)

In the face of declining tax revenue and a poor economy, York County commissioners are struggling to balance next year's budget without a property tax increase.

A few months ago, the Recorder of Deeds office announced a 500 percent increase in fees to raise 800-thousand dollars.

Now there's word from the commissioners that inspection fees will be imposed on weights and measures in York County. That includes everything from scales in grocery stores to gasoline pumps.

The county inspects the devices annually at a cost of around 90-thousand dollars. The fees are designed to pay for the cost of the inspections.

Inspection costs may range from 10 dollars for scales to 45 or more dollars for gasoline pumps depending on how many grades of gas they dispense.

Business owners say cost of the inspection fees will be passed onto consumers, so one will have to call this a hidden tax increase.

ONE NOTE HERE, THE FORMER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MITRICK AND KILGORE ARE HOPING TO MAKE A COMEBACK IN 2011 BUT THEIR RECORD OF MISMANAGEMENT DOES NOT GIVE THEM OR THEIR SUPPORTERS THE RIGHT TO BLAST THE CURRENT COMMISSIONERS WHO CAME IN TO FIX UP THE MESS LEFT BEHIND BY THEM.

PUBLIC SCHOOL INSIDERS TAKE OUT TAXPAYER CANDIDATE IN DALLASTOWN BOARD RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 7th)

Pro-Taxpayer candidate Larry Wolfe had the advantage of being on both Republican and Democrat lines in the general election after he won both primaries in Region 1 of the Dallastown School Board.

But he lost by 36 votes to public school employee Lauren Rock running as an Independent. Rock was backed by the tax and spend business as usual public school forces including Dallastown's teachers union.

Rock says she shares the values of the other candidate elected in Region 1, Kenneth Potter. If that's true, expect Potter also to be on the side of taxes and spending in Dallastown. And if Potter votes to keep on raising taxes, us taxpayers from every school district can send him a message by not buying Martin's Potato Chips. Kenneth Potter is the president of that business.

In other Dallastown school board races, Republican primary winner Don Jasmann defeated Democrat primary winner Sue Hiestand in Region 2. Jasmann wanted new school board members to have a say in the teacher contract suddenly announced a few months ago. The current board members and the union apparently acted to preempt pro-taxpayer candidates joining the board from having a say.

In Region 3 Margaret Ibex, the Republican candidate who spoke out against the new 60 million dollar school being constructed in Springfield Township, won. She defeated Libertarian candidate Brian Larson in a close race that suggests Larson may have been backed by the liberal tax and spend forces.

GOP JUDGE CANDIDATES SWEEP TO VICTORY IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 7th)

Republicans Harry Ness and Chuck Patterson were big winners over Democrats Kathleen Prendergast and Sandra Thompson in the General Election for two Common Pleas Court judicial seats..

The margins of victory gave top Republican vote getter Ness a more than 2 to 1 margin over Prendergast. Patterson came in second with a more than 2 to 1 advantage in votes over Thompson.

The Democrats tried to attack Harry Ness over his 1983 drug arrest and Chuck Patterson over his work as a deputy prosecutor but there was dirt on the Democrats. Word came out in the week before the election that Kathleen Prendergast owed 24-thousand dollars in federal income taxes and that Sandra Thompson had missed mortgage payments on her home.

The media took note that Patterson will be the first black judge in York County.

OCTOBER 26-NOVEMBER 1, 2009.......

SPRINGETTSBURY SUPERVISORS GOING FORWARD WITH TAX INCREASE FOR NEXT YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 28TH)

Springettsbury Township supervisors have voted 3-2 to impose a 52 dollar municipal service tax on all people who work in the township and make more than 12-thousand dollars a year. The tax will replace the current 10 dollar per year occupational privilege tax. Township manager John Holman told "The York Dispatch" the new tax could fund improvements to township buildings including police and fire facilities and fund future pension costs.

In opposing the new tax, Supervisor Nick Guerreri said the township has a four million dollar surplus and that should be used first. Supervisor George Dvyorak agreed and also voted against. He says "this is a bad time for any additional tax burden."

Supervisors Don Bowman, William Schenck and Mike Bowman supported the tax hike.

Springettsbury Township has moved in recent years to combine its fire department with Spring Garden Township in a move to supposedly save money. Supervisors have also moved to support a study pushed by YorkCounts that will be favorable to consolidating police protection.

The political direction appears to be bad in Springettsbury Township these days with 3 of 5 Republican supervisors on the bad side.

Final action on the tax hike to take effect next year is set for November 18th.

SPRINGETTSBURY VOTERS CHOSE TWO SUPERVISORS IN ELECTION

Supervisor George Dvoryak who voted against the tax hike is up for re-election. Another seat is open because a supervisor who voted for the tax increase is retiring from the board.

In the primary election, newcomer candidate Julie Landis won spots on both the Democrat and Republican ballots for supervisor. Michael Papa is also on the ballot as a Democrat while Dvoryak is on the ballot as a Republican.

THE DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD RACES

(NEWS, COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)

Taxpayers are waking up in the Dallastown Area School District amid controversy over a new intermediate school being built in Springfield Township.

Two years ago Caroll Tignall Jr. was elected to the school board on a platform of supporting taxpayer concerns.

This year, new candidates who support taxpayer concerns have emerged and the business as usual crowd is on the defensive. The teacher contract set to expire in 2013 was extended for three years in anticipation of a new more fiscally responsible school board being in place after the election.

In Dallastown Region 1 two school board members are being elected. In the primary this spring Larry Wolfe and Kenneth Potter emerged as the winners on both parties tickets. Wolfe ran a pro-taxpayer campaign calling for cutting expenses in the district including consideration of having students pay part of the cost of their extra curricular activities like sports. Meanwhile Potter appears to be a business as usual tax and spend school board member.

But fear of Larry Wolfe being elected triggered an independent candidate to emerge in the fall election.

Lauren Rock works in the Dallastown Area School District and speaks of herself as sharing the same ideas as Potter. Rock is clearly sending a message she is a liberal business as usual school board candidate. She works in a Dallastown school as a teachers aide officially employed by Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 that provides special education services. She is also active in a PTO in the district. Public school employees should not be members of school boards because it is a conflict of interest.

In Dallastown Region 2 one school board member will be elected. Sue Hiestand is the Democrat candidate and Don Jasmann is the Republican candidate. Jasmann wanted the incoming school board members to have a say on the new teacher contract extension that was suddenly approved a few months ago.

In Dallastown Region 3 pro-taxpayer candiate Margaret Ibex won both the Democrat and Republican primaries. She faces Libertarian Brian Larson in the general election.

TWO CANDIDATES FACE OFF IN CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL BOARD CONTEST

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)

Three incumbent business as usual school board members were re-elected in a contested primary election this spring for Central York's school board. Robert Weikert, Michael Wagner and Michael Snyder. All three won slots on both parties ballots. That leaves incumbent Karl Peckmann on the Republican side facing Janice Liao-Tabatabai on the Democrat side for the general election.

Liao-Tabatabai entered the school board race because of the district policy against valedictorians and salutatorians in graduating classes. District policy was changed quickly when the controversy became a national news story this summer.

Incumbent Peckmann also claims he is in favor of valedictorians and salutatorians at graduation. Meanwhile, Peckmann has a conflict of interest situation. His wife is a teacher and union member in the Central York School District.

YORK CITY CONTESTS DOMINATED BY INSIDER DEMOCRATS WITH RACE AND RADICALISM IN SCHOOL BOARD CONTEST

(NEWS, ANALYSIS, COMMENT)

The City of York has a powerful Democrat political machine led by City Councilwoman Toni Smith with an assist from the Pittsburgh-bred State Representative Eugene DePasquale. They are the insiders that control City Hall, City Council and the 95th District State House seat.

Its a machine that raises tens of thousand of dollars from fundraising that involves gifts from inside York and outside York. The Wolf, Appell and Kinsley names figure in the giving to York's Democrat candidate for mayor Kim Bracey. She also had a fundraiser in Harrisburg earlier this year where people from outside York County made contributions. What do they expect in return?????

Bracey is expected to be elected as the city's first black mayor on Tuesday.

There is token opposition from Republican Wendell Banks and write-in candidate Stephen Young.

For York City Council, Democrats Renee Nelson and Henry Nixon have the upper hand in the contest for two seats over Republicans Nina Aimable and Jay Andrzejczyk. But then there's the explosive contest for six seats on the York City School Board where the Democrat political machine is falling to pieces in the face of black activism that began some years ago with a group called the "African-American Political Roundtable." The racist radcials who call for improving education while limiting security measures in schools are expected to take control of the school board.

First, there's the contest for four seats this year that normally are elected. In the Democrat primary election this year incumbents not associated with the racial faction were swept out.

The four Democrat candidates for the school board seats are Gary Calhoun, Margie Orr, Sandie Walker and Beverly Atwater.

Incumbent Barbara Krier of the non racial faction stands alone as the only alternative on the Republican side of the ballot.

There's a special election to fill out the remaining two years of two other York City School Board member's terms. One member resigned (Elmira Sexton) and the other (Hiawatha Powell) was removed from the board.

Both political parties were given the opportunity to pick candidates for the seats but only Democrats picked candidates. Incumbent member Tom Foust, defeated in the spring primary, was picked along with York College political science professor Julio Aguayo.

Angry that she was not picked by Democats while Foust was, a write-in candidate apparently aligned with the racial faction is also in the contest. Diane Brown has entered the contest as a write-in candidate.

THE RACE FOR JUDGES IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS, COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)

On November 3rd, York County voters will choose two new judges on the Court Of Common Pleas. The four candidates are Republicans Harry Ness and Chuck Patterson and Democrats Kathleen Prendergast and Sandra Thompson.

With a well-known family name in York County and political connections, Harry Ness was a strong candidate from the beginning for Common Pleas Court judge in York County. He had the potential to win on both parties tickets in the cross filed primary election.

In addition, Chuck Patterson, an assistant to York County's DA Stan Rebert was running again after coming close to winning the last time. Patterson had the support of York County Republican insiders and he was drawing some support on the Democrat side as well because of his race.

In order to blunt Democrat efforts behind female candidates, some Republican women had entered the primary race and appeared to be dividing female votes giving Republican men a chance to win both parties tickets.

The Democrat Party put out word just before the primary that they were endorsing Prendergast and Thompson. They won the Democrat primary to face Ness and Patterson in the fall. While Democrats trash Ness for his drug conviction over 30 years ago and associate Patterson with problems at the DA's office, there are questions about Prendergast and Thompson.

The "York Sunday News" is reporting that Prendergast owes 24-thousand dollars in federal income taxes. She has been in negotiation with the Internal Revenue Service for those unpaid taxes from 2003 and 2004. Prendergast says she will pay when the negotiations end.

As I reported this spring, Kathleen Prendergast is a longtime committed York County Democrat who has run for office before including state representative. At that time she revealed her Pro-Abortion position. Prendergast is a former teacher and member of the liberal Pennsylvania State Education Association union. The PSEA has endorsed her election as a judge this year.

Meanwhile, Sandra Thompson, the other Democrat judicial candidate is facing a foreclosure action against her home in Springettsbury Township. She has failed to make mortgage payments since May according to the complaint filed by Wells Fargo Bank.

Thompson told the newspaper she is now current with her payments after falling behind earlier this year and is shocked at the filing against her.

There is also a York County Tax Claim that Thompson has failed to pay county, city and school property taxes of 3,500 dollars on her East Princess Street law office as of October 2nd.

Thompson also claims to have paid those bills as well.

Thompson gained notoriety for promoting a gun buyback program in York City some year ago and I suspect the presence of Chuck Patterson in the race for judicial posts this year helped Democrats to decide to throw their support behind her. The Democrats needed a black candidate to counter the black Republican candidate.

In a political climate in York where many cry "racism" what better way to quiet the critics?

WIDOW OF CONSERVATIVE HOPES TO COMPLETE TERM ON MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP BOARD

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)

When conservative Republican John D'Ottavio died, his seat on the Manchester Township Board of Supervisors was filled by a vote of the other supervisors, all Republicans.

They chose Democrat Edward Dankanich over the Rita D'Ottavio, John's widow.

This year voters are getting to decide who will serve out the remainder of his six-year term. In the primary this spring, Rita D'Ottavio won the Republican nomination and Edward Dankanich won the Democrat nomination.

D'Ottavio says many support her and her husband urged her to join the board before he passed away. Dankanich says he is a better fit for the board because of his business services position at Penn State Harrisburg.

Rita D'Ottavio served as the township's tax collector for four years.

John D'Ottavio was a principled conservative and pro-lifer. When he ran for state representative in 2000 and lost to Keith Gillespie in the GOP primary, D'Ottavo was targeted by the left-leaning Pennsylvania State Education Association teacher union.

I hope voters in Manchester Township do the right thing and elect Rita to fill his seat on the board.

OCTOBER 19-25, 2009.......

RACE, POLITICS, EDUCATION AND A DEADLY ACCIDENT IN YORK CITY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 25TH)

"They wanted to get him......they wanted to get a n***er." Those were comments from a black woman I heard in the aftermath of the arrest of 19-year old Joshua Minor following a fatal accident on Parkway Boulevard in York on October 7th. She was of the opinion that the police should not have been chasing Minor for driving a stolen car.

Minor's car collided broadside with one driven by Angel Blanco-Hernandez. Blanco-Hernandez, 35, was killed. Minor was arrested for receiving stolen property.

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the accident and say a York City police officer was in "active pursuit" of Minor before the crash. The officer matched the license plate of the car Minor was driving with a reported stolen vehicle.

At the York City Council meeting this week Councilwoman Toni Smith presented Ramona Lopez, widow of the man killed, with a check saying she has been raising money for the family. This isn't the first time that York's leading political manipulator has raised money on the back of a tragedy and promoted herself. But Smith also took time to criticize police by saying "A chase is not worth it for a stolen car." It looks like Smith may be trying to appease the radical racial opinion on the street I quoted above.

The fact that radical racial candidates dominated the Democrat school board primary this year may have her fearing for her own political future.

In the York City School Board contest, not only are four regular seats being contested, but two vacant seats will be filled for the final two years of their terms.

The racial faction believes that black students are being shortchanged in the city and they often promote charter schools because they say the York City School District is failing students.

A meeting was held in the last week at Crispus Attucks where parents said their children were being shortchanged. Low test scores were blasted and attendees wanted teachers to challenge students.

Many of the critics don't want police in schools to make the learning environment safer for students. Their perception of police is the one of police being "racist" as expressed in the comment at the top of this story. The racial faction supporters and school board members have wanted to keep police presence down in the schools and at school events.

Some students and parents are of the opinion that increased security is needed in schools to promote learning even as the critics who see "racism" everywhere oppose it.

The meeting at Crispus Attucks also included criticism of the Democrat Party for picking school board incumbent Tom Foust as a candidate for one of the two year vacated seats.

Foust attended the meeting but did not speak. He told a reporter for the "York Daily Record" he didn't realize that a meeting to discuss school district issues would become a "political campaign."

The anti-police and anti-security attitude of the racial faction in York City is something to be concerned about.

Attacking police and Guardian Angel presence in city schools along with the police pursuit of a stolen car makes one wonder how much more crime plagued York City will become if the racial politicians come to dominate the city.

ANOTHER RED LION TEAM VIOLATES RULES, FORFEITS GAMES

COMPUTER BLAMED, BUT PARENTS SEE HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY AFTER FIRING FOR SIMILAR OFFENSE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 24TH)

The field hockey team at Red Lion High School was found to have played an ineligible player, causing the team to forfeit seven games and lose a chance at post-season play.

Earlier this year Red Lion Athletic Director Katy Grenewalt was fired in part because of an ineligible basketball player being used during the last season leading to the forfeiting of games and loss of post season play.

The school district's superintendent, Frank Herron, says a computer programming error is behind the failure to notice the student was not taking enough credits to be eligible to play in a sport.

But concerned parents see a principal, who has to review eligibility for athletes, as being the person responsible in this situation.

The mother of one of the field hockey players, Jody Taylor, told the "York Dispatch that "Ultimately somebody needs to take responsibility."

The father of another player, Jim Dennes, told the "Dispatch": "That's the oldest trick in the book. They didn't double check. They know the rules."

There's a lot of hiding and protecting of people in public education with some getting away from wrongdoing and others being scapegoats like many believe Katy Grenewalt was. Are there any write-in alternatives for voters in the school board elections coming up on November 3rd?

85 CONFIRMED 'SWINE FLU' CASES IN YORK COUNTY WITH SCHOOL ASBENTEES UP AND DELAY IN VACCINE DELIVERY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 24TH)

The vaccine for H1N1 flu has already arrived in places like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, said by government officials to have needed it first because of flu cases, but there are plenty of cases in York County right now.

Local health officials and those from school districts that will be distributing the vaccine when it gets here met Thursday.

Officials think recent spikes in doctor's office visits and school absenteeism like the 20 percent plus rates in the Central York School District last week are because of flu.

There's limited testing going on and it takes time for test results to come back, but according to health officials, there were 85 confirmed cases of swine flu in York County as of Wednesday.

'TEMPORARY DEAL' CUT IN SHIRT BAN AT SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 23RD)

On Monday, word came out that a temporary understanding was reached between the West Shore School District and a student over the wearing of clothing with pro-life and religious messages. (SEE STORY FROM OCTOBER 18TH DIRECTLY BELOW THIS ONE)

The understanding came with lawyers for both sides involved and approval of US District Judge Christopher Conner. It followed the filing of a First Amendment lawsuit against the school district.

The student will be allowed to wear such clothing pending a permanent agreeement to be negotiated later. The child's father says its a victory while the school district can still ban clothing if it causes "disruption" or "distraction" in the school.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the long run. The desire by the school district to back down (at least temporarily) could be linked to the fact that school board election day is less than two weeks away.

Both sides have until January 15th of next year to come to a permanent agreement. If one is not reached, the lawsuit could go to trial.

OCTOBER 12-18, 2009......

STUDENT SHIRT BANNED AT LEWISBERRY SCHOOL ON OBAMA SPEECH DAY

LAWSUIT FILED FOLLOWING INCIDENT LAST MONTH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 18TH)

A male student at the West Shore School District's Crossroads Middle School was ordered to not wear a t-shirt stating "Abortion Is Not Healthcare" on September 8th, the day President Obama spoke to students in a nationwide address. Principal Robert Savidge told the student the shirt was "inappropriate." A teacher sent the student to the principal's office to see if the shirt was "appropriate." The student ended up turning the shirt inside out.

The Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against the West Shore School District on October 5th, saying that the school district allows a wide variety of views to be displayed on clothing. ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman says: "Pro-life students shouldn't be censored for their views.

The lawsuit says that school district policies on expression are unconstitutional. According to Cortman the policies demonstrate a "widepread need for schools to be educated about the First Amendment."

The 14 year old students father, William Boyer, is a plantiff in the lawsuit. Boyer says the school discriminated against his son because of his pro-life views.

The school was supposedly banning the shirt because of the potential for someone to be offended by it, not someone actually being offended.

It does appear that there is selective enforcment of school rules here. I feel bad that it has to come a lawsuit, but taxpayers should make shure that they elect school boards who will tell superintendents to bug off from harrassing students and staff who have politically incorrect views.

We have too many school boards that are basically rubber stamps for many bad policies particularly those that increase taxes and spending.

HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS AND DOZENS OF STAFF OUT SICK AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 14TH,CORRECTED UPDATED OCTOBER 15TH)

That's the story at Central York High School amid concerns and fears about the H1N1 "Swine Flu." The school district put out spin Tuesday concerning a student Facebook posting and students plotting to stay out of school.

But, by the end of Tuesday it was being said among school district employees that well over 500 students (one-third of the student body) were out sick. Dozens of them showed up the school nurse's office Tuesday prompting extra chairs to be placed outside the door. Dozens of teachers and other staff at the Central York High School have called off sick.

One parent put it this way: "My son came to me on Monday asking about school being closed if a lot of students were sick. That must have had something to do about the Facebook posting. But he was not feeling well with fever and a sore throat. A friend had texted him about a trip to the emergency room because he was sick. Its really disgusting how the school district is trying to cover up what's really going on here."

Amid criticism from students and parents, the district changed its message late Wednesday with spokesperson Julie Randall Romig continuing to insist there was no way of knowing if students were out because of the flu or the posting about staying home from school.

Romig is now saying that the district believes that "most" of the students out at the middle and high schools were sick. Romig also acknowleged that more teachers than usual were absent in the school district.

Health officials are urging that sick children be kept home from school, but I suspect that all this hubub over a "conspiracy" to skip school on Tuesday may have prompted some parents to send sick children to school anyway, where they could have spread the illness.

An official with with Wellspan Health in York, Dr. Charles Chodoroff (CORRECTED NAME), says there was a marked increase in the number of patients with flu-like symptoms showing up at medical facilities last week.

There's also talk coming from the Lemoyne Middle School in Cumberland County where five H1N1 flu cases were reported last week. The story there is that there are now 45 such flu cases at that school.

PITCH FOR YORK COUNTS CHARTER SCHOOL RUNS INTO SCHOOL BOARD CONCERNS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 17TH)

York Counts is selling its proposed charter school as a multi-school district effort involving the Central York, York Suburban and York City school districts.

But while the first two school districts are coming on board for the York Area Regional Charter School idea, the York City School Board has its reservations.

When York Counts representative Dennis Baughman, the former Northeastern School District superintendent, made his pitch at Wednesday night's school board meeting, there were questions and criticism.

The most financially conscious members of the board, interim member Gerry Turner and board vice-president Tom Foust, both expressed their concern that the school would drain money from York City's schools.

Turner asked how could proponents of the International Baccalaureate curriculum for the new school say it would produce better students than existing city schools. Foust said he liked the schools plan to bring different "cultures" (read races here) together but that would come at a price that could bankrupt city schools.

York Counts has pushed the idea of school consolidation but that issue is out of its hands and all our hands at this point. Governor Ed Rendell has ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Education to come up with a plan to consolidate the more than 500 school districts in the state.

The legislature will be getting a plan for consideration as Rendell leaves office in the next few years. The idea is to consolidate existing school districts into some 200 or so new ones.

Ironically, this connection of the Central York, York Suburban and York City school districts for a charter school may turn out to be the actual plan coming out of Harrisburg for big new school districts in the future.

WRITE-IN CANDIDATE JOINS RACE FOR TWO VACANT YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD SEATS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 17TH)

When two vacancies came up on the York City School Board this year, the law about electing people to serve out the remainder of the members terms came into play.

Both the major political parties were given the opportunity to name candidates for the General Election in November to fill out the last two years of the board members terms.

While the Republicans declined to name candidates, Democrats named Julio Aguayo and Tom Foust as their candidates. Aguayo is a political science professor at York College, while Foust is an incumbent member who serves as the board's vice-president. Foust was defeated for re-election in this spring's primary.

When the Democrats asked for prospective candidates to apply for the jobs, Diane Brown stepped forward. She wasn't selected, but now says she is a write-in candidate for one of the seats.

Brown says it is wrong for the Democrat Party to have selected Foust to be a candidate since he was rejected by Democrat voters in the primary. She is co-president of the group called Parent Advocates for Children that coordinates school district events in the community.

Four other York City School Board seats are on the ballot in the November 3rd General Election.

The school board election this year has been marked by conflict between insider board members and more radical black elements that see racism underlying many issues in the school district.

OCTOBER 5-11, 2009.........

RINO SIGHTED: REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE WAUGH VOTES FOR TAX INCREASES IN NEW STATE BUDGET

DEMOCRAT STATE REPRESENATIVE EUGENE DEPASQUALE ALSO VOTES FOR MORE TAXES

YORK COUNTY GOP STATE REPS SAY THEY WOULD HAVE WANTED A NO TAX INCREASE BUDGET BUT.....

(NEWS AND SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 11TH)

The new 27.8 billion dollar budget for Pennsylvania has been signed by Governor Rendell after tax increases were approved as part of the budget plan.

The Pennsylvania State Senate voted 35-14 for the higher taxes with most Republican senators actually supporting the tax increases. Among them was State Senator Mike Waugh, a Republican senate leader who represents most of York County.

The tax plan will impose a stock and franchise tax on business that was supposed to end this year, a 5.9 percent tax on managed care plans, 25 cents more tax on a pack of cigarettes plus tax small cigars at the rate cigarettes are.

Also voting for the tax hikes was Republican State Senator Jeff Piccola, whose 15th District also includes the Goldsboro area of York County and Republican State Senator Pat Vance whose district includes portions of northern York County.

Newly elected Republican state senators Rich Alloway of the 33rd District that includes the Dover area and Lloyd Smucker of the 13th District that runs through eastern York County including Hellam, Wrightsville and Springettsbury Township voted against the new taxes.

The political pattern in Harrisburg that has marked past tax increases and the double digit pay increase of 2005 was in full view here. Longtime legislators were voting for taxes and spending while newly elected ones or those from the most conservative districts put themselves in the no column.

Senator Mike Waugh has now certainly come "out of the closet" to show himself as a liberal RINO Republican on fiscal matters. This goes along with his stated belief that abortion should be legal during the first three months of pregnancy. His answer to that question on a questionaire has always meant him being labeled Pro-Abortion by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Senator Waugh is up for re-election next year. Will a real conservative step up to the plate to oppose him in the GOP primary? Will a fake candidate to cover his re-election appear in the primary? Will there be three primary candidates with the third candidate deliberately inserted so opposition to the liberal Waugh will be split?

Will the political insiders at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation come to Waugh's defense claiming he is pro-life like they did with the pro-abortion state senators who designed the pay raise of 2005?

95th District Democrat State Representative Eugene DePasquale was also upfront for more taxes and spending in his voting in Harrisburg last week.

DePasquale has often portrayed himself as a reformer and put on media shows promoting ideas like putting legislation online or leasing his car from the state fleet of cars instead of private car dealers.

His liberal tax and spend record plus liberal advocacy that includes the suggestion that lawmakers vote in secret on issues like abortion tells a much different story.

A camera hogging politician who follows in the tradition of a Pittsburgh political family is the true picture of Eugene DePasquale. His massive campaign piggy bank needs a thorough investigation for connections between political contributions and his actions as a legislator.

Republican State Representatives from the York County area have issued a joint statement saying they are happy that programs for human services will be funded now that there is a budget.

The statement by Representatives Keith Gillespie (47th District), Ron Miller (93rd District), Stan Saylor (94th District), Will Tallman (193rd District) and Seth Grove (196th District) expressed their concerns about taxes and spending in the budget. A weak economy means less taxes are being collected and even with new taxes of 800 million dollars and a billion and a half dollars of reserve funds, the legislators fear a large defecit by the middle of next year.

Saylor said he would have preferred a new budget with no tax increases.

But in my heart, I really wonder about the sincerity of the Republicans. They were pressured to approve the budget by local governments including the school districts. Many of the GOP legislators are supported by pro tax and spend interests like the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

I think that in the end politics prevailed with GOP state senators stepping up for higher taxes while the House members voted No to appease the conservatives. Like all slick politicians, Republicans are trying to keep both sides happy.

In the end there can be no doubt that Republicans enabled Pennsylvania's tax and spend budget for the 2009-2010 year. If the York area GOP State House members have any real convictions for lower taxes or less spending, they would denounce the Republican senators who voted tax and spend. They would also oppose Mike Waugh's re-election next year.

But their silence speaks volumes about how politics as usual works in Harrisburg and many other places....

SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 4, 2009......

BISHOP LEADS PRAYER OUTSIDE YORK ABORTION CLINIC

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 4TH)

Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg came to York Friday to celebrate a pro-life mass at a church and pray the Rosary outside of Planned Parenthood. Bishop Rhoades also led prayer for the protection of innocent human life and a change from the current culture of death.

The "York Daily Record" reported that about 100 people participated in the prayer outside of the abortion clinic. The prayer came after mass at Immaculate Conception BVM Church and a procession to the South Beaver Street clinic.

A dozen pro-abortionist "escorts" stood guard at the doors of Planned Parenthood. A policeman was also at the scene.

Earlier some 20 members of the the St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Mission stood outside Planned Parenthood for their regular Friday witness there. They are there to show women there are alternatives to abortion.

Planned Parenthood's Abby Sherwood accused pro-life protestors of using racial slurs and harrassing patients and staff members.

It was a peaceful scene outside the abortion clinic on Friday, but in the last year abortionist Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at a Wichita Kansas church and just last month pro-life protestor Jim Poullion was shot and killed outside a high school in Owosso, Michigan.

The man who shot Poullion, Harlan Drake, was declared incompetent to stand trial by a Michigan judge last Wednesday. Drake will undergo treatment at a mental health facility where he is expected to become competent to face charges.

October is Respect Life Month and many pro-life events are scheduled for this month.

A 40 day campaign of prayer is underway to end abortion in countries around the world.

WHERE DOES THE YORK COUNTS CHARTER SCHOOL PLAN STAND?

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED OCTOBER 3RD)

The Central York School Board now says it will consider the application for an International Baccalaureate regional charter school. The York Academy Charter School would be located in York City.

The application comes from the education committee of YorkCounts, the group seeking to create bigger government structures in York County.

The York Suburban School Board has also agreed to consider the application, but York City School Board members feel they are out of the loop.

YorkCounts spoke as if city participation was a foregone conclusion. The city school board gets to hear YorkCounts pitch on September 14th.

It will be interesting to see what reaction will come from the York board, which has approved a number of charter schools in the city.

The radical outsider elements that will certainly control the board after the election may not be conducive to the YorkCounts pitch from political insiders.

Based on an op-ed piece written by David Rusk, who's report launched the YorkCounts bigger government movement in York County, the need to mix students of different racial backgrounds to improve their education drives the charter school plan.

The concept may have a racist smell to it in the minds of the radical elements as it certainly does to me.

RADIO PERSONALITIES OUT AT WARM 103.3 AMID ECONOMIC DOLDRUMS AND MEDIA CHANGES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 3RD)

Longtime morning host Kelly West and her current co-host Bobby Quinn did their last show for WARM 103.3 radio on Friday September 11th. Their contracts were not renewed.

News of their disapperance from the station's website appeared on Monday September 14th on a media newsblog, but now the "York Daily Record" has put out details.

General Manager Todd Toerper said the station will play more music in the morning with a new host, Traci Taylor, who was hosting mid-day's on the station.

Cumulus Media, which owns WARM and three other York radio stations, is having tough times with a bad economy driving down advertising revenue. There are also new media out there like internet radio offering more music and more music variety for listeners.

Letting personalities like West and Quinn go will probably save Cumulus over a hundred thousand dollars a year.

Large media companies are thinning out the ranks of live local radio hosts all over the country and often replacing them with satellite delivered shows and "voice-tracking" from hosts at other company owned stations.

Kelly West says she leaves the station amicably and invites listeners to keep up with her on Facebook.

SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2009......

PUBLIC OUTRAGE OVER SPRING GROVE TEACHER CONTRACT SHOULDN'T END WITH COMMENTS AT BOARD MEETING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 27TH)

In this day of town hall meetings and tea parties the "trickle down" effect appears to have reached York County's Spring Grove School District.

Last Monday night some taxpayers were on hand at Spring Grove's school board meeting. Among other things, they asked how the board could have approved a five year contract with teachers that guarantees nearly 4 percent a year in pay increases every year.

Ray Lawson reminded board members that they are "spending other people's money" according to the "York Dispatch."

Taxpayers cited economic troubles in the area and the reality that people who don't work for public school districts like Spring Grove can't expect those kind of pay raises.

In defense, school board member Eric Cable said board membeers are taxpayers and according to the "York Dispatch" defended school district spending this way: "You are penalizing our number one natural resource if they do without. They (the students) are our future."

Mr. Cable is entitled to his opinion, but I an certainly fed up with children being used as excuses for higher taxes and spending that mostly go to give teachers and administration generous pay raises and benefits. That spending does not directly benefit the students.

Taxpayers who protested the new contract noted they were speaking late (after the fact) but maybe it isn't too late to send this school board a message.

Concerned citizens can have a Spring Grove Tea Party by putting up four of their number as pro-taxpayer write-in candidates for school board this November.

Outside of Dallastown, I'm not aware of any pro-taxpayer candidates on the ballot in York County's school districts. So maybe we should get some write-in pro-taxpayer candidates running everywhere else for school board.

'SECURITY' AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS ON FULL DISPLAY IN YORK CITY SCHOOLS

(NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 27TH)

A knife found at William Penn High School last Tuesday and a gun found at Hannah Penn Middle School the week before. These are the stories of what's happening in York City's schools.

The news is released going into the weekends and appears in small print in York's newspapers.

Amid all the hostility to police and or Guardian Angels having a presence in the school come these real stories of threats to students and staff of the schools.

And then there's the false alarm story, too.

At around 8:15 last Tuesday morning a man was observed by a passerby walking several hundred feet away from the Goode Elementary School near the old York County Prison. Timothy Dean Henderson was carrying a BB gun to shoot at cats that were attacking his pet pigeons.

A lockdown of the school resulted and there was a full scale law enforcement response with dozens of officers converging on the scene. Frightened parents by the dozens also rushed to the school.

Henderson, who is the caretaker of the old prison, was charged under a city ordinance banning air rifles. Police took his rifle as they searched his apartment in a way Henderson thought was excessive.

He told the "York Daily Record" he was hunting on the side of the prison away from the school and that he "made no threats" and didn't point the BB gun at anyone. Henderson also described the whole matter as a waste of time and taxpayer money.

City police defended their actions as being in the interests of the children's safety.

York City Police Captain Ron Camacho said the incident is "all the more reason to have more police officers in school."

The bitter racially motivated citizens and school board members in York City should be thinking about what Camacho had to say. Their continued anti-police attitude could end up hurting students and they need to get their heads out of the sand.

SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2009........

DALLASTOWN INSIDERS GO NUCLEAR

NEW SCHOOL BOARD PRE-EMPTED BY EARLY TEACHER CONTRACT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 18TH, UPDATED SEPTEMBER 19TH, 20TH)

In a surprise move, the Dallastown School Board and the union representing teachers have agreed to a new contract for three years starting on July 1st, 2010.

The early and unexpected agreement between the school district and the Dallastown Education Association prevents new school board members who favor less spending from voting up or down on a contract.

After the November election, four new members will take seats on the Dallastown board.

The vote to approve the contract was 6-2 with one abstension. Board member Fred Botterbusch did not vote because his wife works for the school district and is covered by the contract.

Before the vote was taken board member Carroll Tignall Jr. said four current board members will not be serving next year and the contract vote should have been postponed until new members were seated after the November election.

Board candidate Don Jasmann agreed with Tignall and another candidate, Larry Wolfe, said the four departing members should have abstained from voting on the contract.

DETAILS OF THE CONTRACT AS RELEASED TO THE MEDIA POINT TO THE OLD MEDICAL PLAN BEING REPLACED BY A TWO-OPTION (LOW AND HIGH DEDUCTIBLE) PPO PLAN THAT WOULD IN THEORY SAVE MONEY. PAY INCREASES ARE SAID TO AVERAGE 2.67 PERCENT A YEAR UNDER THIS CONTRACT.

A spirit of fear and anxiety appears to be sweeping the liberal teachers union, liberal school superintendent and their liberal allies on the Dallastown School Board. Not only did they settle early on the contract, they also appeared to be finding ways to make cost increases to taxpayers a little smaller.

This isn't the first time that public school insiders have moved to prevent anti tax and spend candidates from having a say on teacher contracts.

Back in 2001 five outsider candidates swept the primary election for the Central York School Board amid controversy over tens of millions of dollars being spent to build a new high school.

Before the general election in November, a three year extension to a teacher contract set to expire in 2003 was approved by the Central York Education Association and the Central York School Board.

POLICE FIGHT IN YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOILS OVER

FIVE COPS PATROL YORK HIGH GAME AFTER SCHOOL BOARD VOTES IDEA DOWN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 19TH)

In the end, five York City police officers patrolled at York High's home football game Friday night.

But the path there was filled with conflict as the political battle over control of York City's school board heated up.

The school board decided at Wednesday night's meeting that only three officers would be allowed to patrol the game. Objections were raised that five officers would be an intimidating show of force. The board members objecting said district security people would also be at the game.

The vote to only allow three police officers was supported not just by radical racial members of the board, but members of the "insider" group like Barbara Krier and board vice-president Tom Foust.

The police said five officers were needed and if they couldn't have five officers at the game, there would be none there.

Foust was recently picked by the Democrat Party for an open seat on the board after he lost the Democrat primary in the spring. Krier is still on the ballot for the general election as a Republican candidate even though she lost on the Democrat side in the primary. Their anti-police votes are probably explained by the election campaign where radical racial candidates who are anti-police in schools have the upper hand.

The decision angered York Mayor John Brenner, who told the "York Daily Record" the decision was "appalling." Brenner blasted the school board as "dysfunctional" and the "number one issue" affecting the city's future according to the newspaper. Brenner felt the "experts" should decide on security and not the elected school board.

On Friday morning an emergency meeting was called in the wake of a York High student being shot on Thursday afternoon. The student was not at school when shot but on Wednesday he was detained as part of a lockdown at York High involving a search for a gun.

With the knowledge that two student factions fighting led to the shooting, a decision was made by vice-president of the board Tom Foust and the superintendent Sharon Miller to have five police officers at the game. Foust acted as board president in the absence of Jeanette Torres.

We get the idea here that elected board members can be overruled by school board presidents and superintendents. That is way many school districts are run with the rest of the members left out of the loop in decision making.

But this whole mess has really brought out into the open the kind of conflict that awaits the York City School District if the radicals win control as expected after the November election.

SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2009........

YORK COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS 'FEE' RAISED 500 PERCENT

'NON-TAX' WAY TO RAISE REVENUE TAPPED INTO

(SPECIAL COMMENT, ANALYSIS)

It only rated a few lines in the "York Daily Record" this week, but there's a lot behind the decision by York County's Recorder of Deeds Randi Reisinger to raise a fee from 2 to 10 dollars.

Reisinger said a 1999 law allowed for the 500 percent fee hike, but that the increase was only taking effect now. The hike is expected to generate 800-thousand dollars for York County's government.

All across Pennsylvania and in Harrisburg, governments are looking for ways to bring in more money and or spend less of it.

Commissioners Steve Chronister, Chris Reilly and Doug Hoke have to look forward to the year 2011, when they face re-election.

Any property tax increases between now and then could be used against them in an election.

Ousted commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore seem to want to have another shot at taking back their old seats. In spite of their controversial tenure that included a more than 50 percent rise in property tax bills and the Lauxmont Farms land seizure fiasco, they seem to think they can come back.

YORK DEMOCRATS PICK LOSING CANDIDATE TO RUN AS SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE IN NOVEMBER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 13TH)

York City School Board vice-president Tom Foust lost his Democrat primary bid for re-election this spring to a dominant group of radical-racial candidates.

Now Democrat Party insiders (committee members) have chosen Foust to run in the general election this November to fill the slot vacated by the resignation of Elmira Sexton.

They also chose York College political science professor Julio Aguayo as the candidate for the school board position of Hiawatha Powell, who was ousted earlier this year by other board members.

There are cries of foul over the process with supporters of another candidate who applied to the Democrat Party for a candidate slot suggesting a write-in candidacy. Diane Glover-Brown's supporters are suggesting that possibility.

The Democrat political insiders also passed over former Republican, now Democrat Gerry Turner. Turner had applied to be a school board candidate and was appointed by the board as a temporary member to replace Powell.

The recent resignation of Elmira Sexton raised my eyebrows and the pick of Foust startles me as well. Is something going on here????

The political insiders appear to be developing a strategy to oppose racial radicalism on the school board by trying to put people they see as the strongest candidates onto the board.

A Democrat Party nomination is seen as tantamount to winning a York City election.

RED LION ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FIRED AT SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 10TH, UPDATED SEPTEMBER 13TH)

At a special Wednesday September 9th meeting, the Red Lion School Board formally fired Athletic Director Katy Grenewalt in a 6-3 vote.

The "finding of fact" document released by the district notes the decision to play a freshman team player on the varsity boys team last year as one of four reasons for her firing.

Grenewalt's supporters say others were also involved in the rule violating decision , but have not been disciplined.

It is believed that the real reason for her firing was indeed that basketball player decision that caused the boys basketball team to forfeit games and lose a chance at post-season play. Her supporters say that she is being made a scapegoat for that decision.

It is noted by the district in its release of information that no disciplinary record existed for Grenewalt until the last school year.

In my opinion, the disciplinary record was quickly created in the aftermath of the disappointing boys basketball season to deliberately target Katy Grenewalt for firing. Sadly, this is the way public school districts operate. Grenewalt's lawyer will be reviewing the "finding of fact" document and consider any future action that may include a lawsuit against the district.

Red Lion School District lawyer Michael King says he is speaking for the school board and has instructed them not to talk with reporters about the decision to fire Grenewalt.

Her attorney, Rick Poulson, says he is considering what the next step is and that may be a lawsuit against the Red Lion School District

.........

AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 6, 2009..........

YORK CITY SCHOOLS FAILING MATH AND READING STANDARDS WITH SOME SUBURBAN SCHOOLS FALLING SHORT

(NEWS-COMMENT-ANALYSIS)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 6TH)

All of the schools in the York City School District failed to made "Adequate Yearly Progress" this year in the state tests that measure reading and math skills.

The PSSA test results showed both the public schools and charter schools in the city failing.

The York County School of Technology also failed to meet the standards and individual schools in more than half of York County's school districts failed to meet the standards of 56 percent proficiency in math and 63 percent proficiency in reading.

The test results showed seven York County school districts had all of their schools meeting the federal No Child Left Behind standards (Eastern, York Suburban, Red Lion, Southern, Spring Grove, West York and Hanover). If one is concerned about math and reading proficiency, this year's results may be cause for alarm because there may be distortion.

That's because way the test results can be measured was liberalized this year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This made it easier for schools to to show they had actually made progress this year. Failure was easier to hide using the new measuring methods this year.

While the No Child Left Behind Law standard of 100 percent proficiency by 2014 is still in place, Pennsylvania is moving towards a new system of testing to replace the math and reading oriented PSSA's.

In a few years, Pennsylvania students in 11th Grade will be taking "Keystone Exams" involving other various subjects. Students will take ten tests, be able to fail four, and still graduate from high school.

SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE APPOINTED TO YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 6TH)

Margie Orr is on the ballot as a Democrat candidate for York City School Board and expected to win the election this fall. But she's now a member of that board.

Orr was appointed to temporarily fill the seat of Elmira Sexton, who resigned from the school board recently.

She was appointed by a unanimous vote, but members Barbara Krier and Sam Beard said the process to appoint a replacement was unfair.

The political parties will have to nominate candidates for the fall ballot for the seat that Sexton resigned, but only Democrats are expected to make a pick.

How this situation plays out in the coming months should be watched closely as a struggle between insider and outsider board members is underway. Are there any tricks in this recent resignation and the appointment of Orr to the seat?

There clearly was some sort of political motivation behind the removal of outsider board member Hiawatha Powell earlier this year.

CITY SCHOOL OFFICIALS OUT OF THE LOOP ON YORK COUNTS CHARTER SCHOOL PLAN

YORK COUNTS OFFICIAL SPEAKS OF "HELPING" THE CITY WITH NEW SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 6TH)

Officials of the York City School District have been reading in the newspapers about the York Counts plan for an "international bacculaureate" charter school. York Counts has been stating that York City has signed on to participate in the school. But York City officials say they haven't been in touch with York Counts about the plan. Dennis Baughman is the former Northeastern School District Superintendent and head of the York Counts effort for the school. He says that York City "will be helped" by the planned school.

This appears to support the view that the York Counts agenda is to "bail out" the city of York with all its various schemes including consolidation of police departments and other government functions.

An op-ed piece in the "York Sunday News" recently by David Rusk, the out of town consultant brought in to develop the York Counts agenda, talked about racial disparities between students in the York City and York Suburban school districts.

His comment read like the old liberal arguments that non-white children will be helped if they are mixed together with white children in a school. This mentality was behind court orders forty years ago to bus school students between cities and suburbs to achieve a "racial balance."

Mr. Rusk's comments could also be characterized by "racist" since they clearly suggest that black students in the city need to be around white students if their education is to be improved.

AUGUST 23-30, 2009..........

STAGE SET TO FIRE RED LION ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT OPPORTUNE MOMENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 30TH)

Red Lion School District Athletic Director Katy Grenewalt has been suspended since May in a move that appears to be leading to her firing. The school board held hearings earlier this month before making its final decision. The board meeting this last week failed to make a decision about her future with word that some members still needed documents related to Grenewalt's case.

That leaves the board meeting this Thursday September 3rd as the next opportunity to act on her case.

A decision at that time to fire her would bury the news at the time that high school football season kicks off Friday night and the Labor Day weekend begins.

I smell adminstration creating the scenario to fire her at that meeting.

The suspension of Grenewalt in May came after a freshman boys basketball player played varsity basketball leading to Red Lion forfeiting games and losing a shot at postseason play. Grenewalt contends she was not the only one involved in that decision while her detractors place all the blame on her.

INSIDER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS AND DEMOCRATS MOVE TO KEEP GERRY TURNER OUT AS A SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 30TH)

York City School Board member Elmira Sexton has resigned.

Sexton was a reliable vote for the insider faction of the York City School Board and an important one. She was the only black member to vote in opposition to the racially based minority faction.

Now the city board will meet to appoint a temporary member while the seat will be on the ballot in the fall election.

Both Democrat and Republican parties will have the opportunity to submit candidates names for the ballot, but its expected that only Democrats will put up a name.

The Democrat Party is again soliciting for applicants to be the candidate, but this time they want all new applicants.

The party is set to name its candidate for the seat formerly held by racial faction member Hiawatha Powell, who was ousted from the board in a 5-4 vote earlier this year.

The two contenders for that Democrat slot involving Powell's seat are York City Business Manager Michael O'Rourke and former Republican Gerry Turner, who was appointed to the seat by the board a few months ago.

It looks like the party intends to name O'Rourke after its first choice, attorney Stanley Silver, backed out when his criminal record involving driving without a license and a hit and run accident surfaced.

It looks like the Democrat Party wants reliable Democrat political figures on the school board to carry the fight against the radical racial faction that's expected to be dominating the board after this fall's election. That leaves Gerry Turner out in the cold as a school board candidate this fall.

SOUTHERN SCHOOL DISTRICT MOVES TO COVER CRITICISM OF GROUP LEARNING IN MATH CLASSES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 30TH)

After parent criticism of group study in college prep math for high school students, the Southern York School District has responded.

The district says it will set up a committee of parents, teachers and administration to look into the math program.

This kind of set-up translates into continued use of the controversial CPM program.

At the recent school board meeting where this was announced, a number of people just happened to show up to heap praise on the program.

The arrogant school district administration is sandbagging parent concern that group learning is slowing exceptional students down.

The liberal controlled public education system continues dragging America's students down in math and reading.

AUGUST 17-23, 2009.........

DEMOCRAT PICK FOR SCHOOL BOARD SEAT PULLS OUT AFTER CRIMINAL RECORD SURFACES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 22ND)

York County Democrats touted the man they picked as candidate for an open seat on the York City School Board.

Lawyer Stanley Silver looked like a sure winner since Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city and it wasn't even certain the Republican Party would pick a candidate.

Silver was praised for his background in public education as a teacher and administrator and his later legal experience.

But then the "York Daily Record" starting asking about the suspension of Silver's law license last year. Then Silver decided to drop out as the party's school board candidate.

Silver served 60 days in prison in 2006 after he was involved in a hit and run accident. That accident was the tenth time in a row that he had been cited for driving without a license. This led to a legal disciplinary board suspending Silver's law license for six months.

The Democrat executive committee is expected to pick a new choice in the next few weeks. The two other candidates who applied to the party for consideration as candidate are expected to be considered. They are York City Business Manager Michael O'Rourke and Gerry Turner, who was appointed to the vacant seat earlier this year.

Besides the fact that Stanley Silver has some deep personal issues that I could only speculate about at this point, it constantly frustrates me that people with public education backgrounds end up as school board candidates and school board members.

People with non-education backgrounds should be exercising oversight as school board members. People who are current public school employees should be legally barred from serving on school boards. Sadly, we have far too many public school employees currently serving on school boards in York County.

NEW CANDIDATE ENTERS YORK MAYOR RACE WITH "PERFECT TIMING"?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 18TH)

With independent candidate Joe Musso reeling from being thrown off the ballot by Judge Richard Renn last Thursday, a new candidate has emerged.

Musso hasn't decided on whether to be a write-in candidate yet, but now a York businessman says he will be a write-in candidate for mayor.

Steven Young has lived in the city for four years and he says crime is the major problem. Young wants to improve communications and relations between police and the public.

Crime is a major focus of Joe Musso's campaign as well.

Is this new candidate a serious one or another move by Democrat candidate Kim Bracey's campaign to divide any possible opposition to her candidacy?

AUGUST 10-16, 2009.......

PUBLIC EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT TRIES TO STOP DALLASTOWN 'TEA PARTY'

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEE WILL CHALLENGE PRO-TAXPAYER CANDIDATE AS INDEPENDENT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 13TH)

Lauren Rock is a teacher's aide who wants to be a member of the Dallastown School Board. She's running as an indpendent candidate for one of two Region 1 seats on the Dallastown School Board.

In the primary election, Kenneth Potter and Larry Wolfe took both the Republican and Democrat Party nominations in Region 1. Wolfe ran on a platform of being a watchdog for taxpayers and wanting to cut costs of after school activities like sports by having students pay half the expenses.

Another taxpayer oriented candidate, Margaret Ibex, won both parties nominations for the school board seat in Region 3.

The trend toward taxpayer oriented candidates for the Dallastown School Board began two years ago when Carroll Tignall Jr. won election in Region 3. Tignall ran in opposition to the new 60 million dollar plus intermediate school under construction in Springfield Township.

Rock says she will campaign with Potter because they share the same ideas. Potter and Rock may not be totally honest with voters, but those ideas no doubt include more spending and higher taxes.

Rock's involvement, if any, with the left leaning Pennsylvania State Education Association labor union should also be looked into.

Most of school district spending is about salaries and benefits for school employees like Lauren Rock. It is a total conflict of interest for public school employees to serve on school boards. It should be illegal.

In Region 3 meanwhile, a Libertarian candidate is challenging Margaret Ibex in the general election. Brian Larson will be on the ballot.

MUSSO NOMINATING PETITIONS CHALLENGED:

SMELLS LIKE POLITICS AS USUAL

JUDGE REMOVES MUSSO FROM BALLOT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 12TH,UPDATED AUGUST 14TH,16th

The nominating petitions for political candidates in Pennsylvania involve a lot of "dotted I's" and "crossed T's." In practical terms, it means that legal challenges are easy to mount and that established political forces with deep pockets to spend on legal challenges are at an advantage.

Independent candidate for Mayor of York, Joe Musso, filed petitions with 130 signatures on them. He needed at least a hundred to get on the ballot.

Now three people have stepped forward to challenge his petitions. They are Halman Benson Smith II, a Democrat, Lisa M. Kennedy, a Republican and Jamiel Alexander, an independent.

Supporters of Musso say the three are all friends of Democrat candidate for mayor, Kim Bracey. Bracey's well financed campaign supported by Democrat elected officials and business community leaders can certainly deal with the legal costs of a challenge.

69 of the 130 signatures are being challenged.

In addition the challengers argued that Musso signed petition papers as "Joe Musso" in one case and "Joseph Musso" in another.

In light of the law and the legal challenge, it should come as no surpise that York County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Renn removed Musso from the ballot after a hearing on Thursday. Renn removed 63 of Musso's 130 signatures.

Musso can appeal the decision to Commonwealth Court or he can run a write-in campaign for mayor this fall.

This whole situation smells like another political insider operation directed against someone running against the political establishment.

When one runs for office one must get the signature thing right and do everything they can to get the signatures the right way. But the process should also be reformed and simplified to make it more difficult for insider politicians to take out opposition with legal challenges.

AUGUST 3-9, 2009.........

PLEA DEAL REACHED IN CHILD SEX ABUSE CASE:

WHAT'S GOING ON WITH EDWARD FULLUM AND JOYCE ROYSTER?

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 9TH)

It was announced Friday that charges of sexually molesting a seven year old girl are being dropped against former Hannah Penn Middle School gym teacher Edward Fullum.

Instead, Fullum plead no contest to charges of intimidating a witness in the case. He was sentenced to five years probation. Fullum has been in the York County Prison for three years.

Prosecutor Christopher Moore says that's the minimum sentence in a child sex abuse case.

Moore says he was concerned about evidence in prosecuting Fullum, not expecting cooperation from witnesses.

There's no doubt in my mind that close family members were involved in this horrible abuse case. And sad to say, they were unwilling to testify.

Fullum's wife, Dr. Joyce Royster-Fullum, who served as an administrator in the Central York and York City School District's in recent years, was also accused of obstruction, intimidation and hindering in the child sex abuse case. Moore says that those charges have been dropped because she was willing to testify if the case had gone to trial.

In July of 2006, Mr. Fullum was acquitted of indecent assault charges coming from former physical education students who said he touched them inappropriately in gym classes.

Dr. Joyce Royster, as she has been known, has a jaded record of her own with controversy accompanying her every position as an administrator in York-area schools.

After Fullum's acquittal in 2006, Royster spoke of racism in York. She has also spoken of writing a book about her experiences.

My thoughts as I try to suppress my anger and emotions are simply this.

Mr. Fullum, who has been convicted of DUI in the past, has some problems and they revolve around alcohol and lust in my humble opinion. Edward Fullum needs to face those issues and treat them like addictions with appropriate involvement in programs to deal with them.

As for Dr. Royster, she needs to get off the "racism" thing and face the "co-dependency" thing. She has lived with a man who appears to be an addict in two areas. Maybe she needs to write a book about that.

Forget racism when it comes to Royster and Fullum.

The addiction issues are the real issues that people of all races need to deal with in their lives.

DEPASQUALE PACKS MEETING TO PROMOTE OBAMA 'HEALTHCARE REFORM', BUT OPPOSITION STILL SHOWS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 6TH)

With opposition coming out in droves to town hall meetings in opposition to the Obama 'health care reform' plan, the president's supporters are mobilizing to pack meetings with their supporters.

One such mobilization materialized at York's Jewish Community Center Wednesday night. News reports said that hundreds showed for two meetings that were supposed to be for people to ask questions.

Organizing the event was State Representative Eugene DePasqaule (D-95th District). There to answer "questions" was a point man for Obama's push in Pennsylvania, State Representative Josh Shapiro of suburban Philadelphia.

Opposition raised its voice at the event and supporters of Obama were present.

A show of hands after the meeting appeared to show those who attended the meetings evenly divided over Obama's agenda.

This event was probably designed to try to create momentum for the Obama plan, but I suspect if Congressman Todd Platts chooses to hold town hall meetings in York County the grassroots opposition will materialize in larger numbers.

I think its safe to say that DePasquale's efforts fell short of showing overwhelming support for the Obama "health care" agenda.

YORK CITY SCHOOLS HIRE OWN SECURITY OFFICERS AFTER POLICE PLAN FALLS THROUGH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 6TH)

There was a lot of hope and optimism from York City Police and the York City School District administration about hiring more police officers to provide security in city schools.

But the most recent announcement from Washington did not include any money for York to hire more police meaning the plan is dead.

A special York City School Board meeting Wednesday resulted in a vote to hire three security officers immediately and two more later, along with using the two existing police officers who work in city schools.

The lack of funding from Washington is certainly welcome news to the racial faction of the school board which is expected to gain more power after the fall election. That's when more radical members are expected to win election to the school board. The racial faction was adamantly opposed to more police officers in schools.

A speculative question here. Did the radicals influence the decision in Washington not to provide federal police funding for York?

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TALK PAY FREEZE FOR EMPLOYEES NEXT YEAR

UNION REBUFF ON ANY CHANGE IN CONTRACT RAISES ALREADY PLANNED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 5TH)

York County Commissioner Chris Reilly is talking about a pay freeze for county employees next year so property taxes will not have to be raised.

President Commissioner Steve Chronister is echoing Reilly, but also talking about other contingencies if pay can't be frozen.

The commissioners will likely have to resort to other options because a key union is already giving a thumbs down to their employees losing a pay raise next year.

Officials of Teamsters Local 776 say there is no way a wage freeze would be OK for their members who work at the county nursing home, prison and other facilities.

Various departments of county government have been told to cut their budgets by five percent for next year.

This pay freeze idea should also be broached in our school districts with taxpayers challenging the school boards and the Pennsylvania State Education Association directly to "give the taxpayers a break."

Costly teacher contracts featuring four percent plus pay raises per year have led to property tax increases generally between two and four percent in York County school districts this year.

Tax revenues for all governments are expected to decline in line with the economic slowdown.

JULY 27-AUGUST 2, 2009.....

RED LION ATHLETIC DIRECTOR REFUSED OPEN DISCIPLINARY HEARING, SUSPENDED FOR OVER TWO MONTHS

COPS REMOVE DOZENS OF SUPPORTERS, MEDIA FROM ADMINISTRATION PARKING LOT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 30TH)

When a freshman student was played on the varsity boys basketball team last season, a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rule was broken.

Red Lion was forced to forfeit nine games and post season play.

What followed on May 21st was the suspension without pay of Red Lion School District's Athletic Director Katy Grenewalt. That suspension is now over two months long.

This week Grenewalt faced a disciplinary hearing that she asked be open to the public. The school district administration refused.

Dozens of supporters showed up in the parking lot at the Red Lion administration building Wednesday. They say Grenewalt is unfairly being singled out and that others are responsible for the rule breaking as well.

Tom Sinibaldi, a retired teacher and wrestling coach at Red Lion, told "The York Dispatch" that eligibility decisions for players are made not just by athletic directors, but by coaches, the principal and others.

York Area Regional Police showed up Wednesday to remove protestors from the parking lot outside the disciplinary hearing.

This whole story smells bad like the long term suspension of the custodian in the Central York School District earlier this year.

Its obvious that the Red Lion School District superintendent Frank Herron has imposed this perpetual suspension because he wants to get rid of Katy Grenewalt as the district's athletic director. Here we have more arrogance from a public school administration that deserves to be confronted by the public.

The hearing for Grenewalt is set to continue next Wednesday and she says the district is considering firing her.

After Grenewalt and her lawyer make their case, the school board will vote on whether or not to fire her.

The ruling that the hearing would not be public came from lawyer Michael King of the Stock and Leader law firm. King is solicitor for the Red Lion School District and does legal work for other public school districts in York County.

In June, King acted to cut off citizen questioning of Central York School Board members at a public meeting. He said the board members did not have to respond to questions about the district policy against a valedictorian and salutatorian for the graduating class.

According to the "York Daily Record", a legal advisor to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association says Grenewalt should be able to open her hearing to the media and public under Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act.

YORK SUBURBAN SIGNS UP FOR YORK COUNTS CHARTER SCHOOL SCHEME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 29TH)

The agenda of YorkCounts is based on the work of a "consultant" named David Rusk. Behind the formality of his work is the reality that YorkCounts proposes a very left of center political agenda. An agenda that seems designed to rescue the City of York from its various problems.

One aspect of Rusk's report on education is that new educational opportunities are needed to bring children out of poverty.

YorkCounts is proposing a regional charter school involving York County's public school districts. The York City School District signed on first and now the York Suburban School Board has voted unanimously to join the proposed York Charter Academy.

The school would teach an "International Baccalaureate" program that involves students learning "what role they play in the community, in the school, in the world."

The IB program has been criticized in other communities where it has been proposed as "leftist", "one world" and "anti-American."

JULY 20-26, 2009.......

SPRING GROVE TO USE 'CITIZENS' TO PROMOTE POLITICALLY CORRECT 'CULTURAL DIVERSITY'

OBAMA COMMENTS ABOUT COPS AND BLACK PROFESSOR IN SPIRIT OF 'CULTURAL DIVERSITY' AGENDA

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 25TH)

Elected officials love to create "committees" to deal with controversial issues as a way to cover themselves.

It happens in Washington and Harrisburg and now its happening in the Spring Grove School District. That's where a "Citizens Advisory Council" is being formed to deal with a multi-million dollar project to convert a school and to develop "cultural proficiency action plans."

That's code for "diversity" and "diversity" is a code word for political indoctrination about race. We got a taste of that political indoctrination a few days ago when President Barack Obama called police in Massachusetts "stupid" for arresting a black professor friend who became angry at the cops.

The "citizens" picked for the committee will likely be friends of school board members and those committed to a politically biased agenda dealing with "proficiency" in "cultural diversity."

In the Central York School Distict, such an agenda has become official policy in recent years leading to politically charged "diversity training." Its also resulted in a controversial student assembly at Central York High School where the "N" word was used onstage enraging students in the audience. "Diversity" has also meant that teachers are being told to treat students differently because of their different "culture." This could lead to students falling behind in reading and math.

Taxpayers and parents in the Spring Grove School District should be deeply concerned about both issues and not allow "citizens advisory councils" to be used to promote one sided agendas on buildings or "diversity."

STATS SHOW YORK CITY CRIME RATES TRIPLE THAT OF SUBURBS

(ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 25TH)

York, Lancaster and Harrisburg have the top three per capita rates of crime in Pennsylvania. The crime stats show York third in most serious crimes like murder, rape and robbery and second in less serious crimes.

The rate of crime for both serious and less serious crime was around one-third of the city's rate in the suburbs. This contradicts the story given by the YorkCounts campaign to create a super police department combining city and suburbs. They have claimed "crime is everywhere."

The statistics were described as the past by York's police commissionr Mark Whitman. Whitman pointed to a 14 percent drop in the most serious crimes reported in the first six months of 2009. This drop in crime story was also released to the public just before the primary election in the spring citing stats from the first three months of this year.

The crime statistics for 2008 were released in the middle of the summer when fewer people are paying attention to the news.

Candidates painting a good picture of the city like political insider Kim Bracey, who wants to be York's next mayor, want the statistics to be forgotten and Whitman's spin to be remembered.

But critics are pointing out that crime is a dangerous and deadly problem for city residents who don't live in what are called the "protected areas." Those are places the city police seem to focus special attention on like the stadium and downtown areas.

The issue of crime looms large in the campaign for mayor in York this year.

TONI SMITH BACKS AWAY FROM CITY ORDINANCE TO CRIMINALIZE GUN OWNERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 22ND)

York City Councilwoman Toni Smith says she won't introduce an ordinance that would punish gunowners if stolen firearms were not reported to police within 72 hours.

Instead, Smith says she will push a resolution and thinks that will send a message to the legislature to pass new gun laws.

Longtime city council president and now independent candidate for Mayor, Joe Musso, was opposed to the ordinance. Democrat candidate for mayor Kim Bracey, whom Smith backs, came out in support of the proposed ordinance earlier this year.

If an ordinance had passed in York like it has in other Pennsylvania cities, a lawsuit from Second Amendment supporters was expected. The suit would have been lost in court, because Pennsylvania law does not allow local communities to pass their own gun laws.

The years of John Brenner as mayor have already produced many costly lawsuits that the city has lost. Another lawsuit in an election year was an idea that York's political insiders decided against by dropping the gun ordinance plan.

JULY 13-19, 2009...........

DEPASQUALE CAMPAIGN WORK DONE BY LEGISLATIVE STAFF ON TAXPAYER DIME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 18TH)

Legislative staff in Harrisburg exchanged e-mails with then candidate Eugene DePasquale as they planned a funraiser for him in 2006. That's the year that DePasquale was elected as a state representative in York County's 95th District.

The evidence of illegal activity by the staffers figures in Pennsylvaia Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigation of Bonusgate.

It is alleged that legislative staff were paid illegal bonuses in exchange for doing political campaign work for Democrat candidates during the 2006 campaign when Democrats took control of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives.

DePasquale spoke with WHTM television, which obtained the e-mails and reported on the story. He says he was a "private citizen" as the time..."It was tough for me to know what other people were doing at the time."

Eugene DePasquale had resigned a state job to run for office. DePasquale has portrayed himself as a "reformer."

WHTM got liberal activist Tim Potts of the group Democracy Rising to defend DePasquale. I have my doubts about Potts, a former Democrat party committeeman and "education reform" lobbyist, who emerged as a "reformer" after the pay raise controversy in 2005.

The attorney general's office says DePasquale is not being investigated for wrongdoing in Bonusgate, just that his name came up in the e-mails.

I wonder if this whole story isn't just one planted by DePasquale himself to cover up any suspicion about his "reformer" credentials.

MEANWHILE A STORY ABOUT DEPASQUALE IS UNDER THE RADAR AND NOT GETTING THE INVESTIGATION IT DESERVES. THAT'S THE 250 DOLLAR A PERSON FUNDRAISER HELD IN HARRISBURG ON MONDAY JUNE 29TH. POLITICAL OPERATIVE MIKE MUSSER, WHO DEALS WITH DAUPHIN COUNTY GOVERNMENT, WAS INVOLVED IN THIS EVENT.

WHAT GIVES WITH 'REFORMER' DEPASQUALE AND THIS OUT OF YORK COUNTY FUNDRAISING EVENT. WHAT SPECIAL INTEREST OR INTERESTS ARE 'BUYING' THE REFORMER 'DEPASQUALE" THROUGH THIS EVENT?????????

FOUR PERCENT PLUS PAY HIKES FOR SPRING GROVE TEACHERS CALLED "A GOOD COMPROMISE" BY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 18TH)

There's a new 5-year contract for teachers in the Spring Grove Area School District. It was approved in a 6-2 vote by the school board.

In these tough economic times when job losses and pay cuts are common for taxpayers, the teachers are getting an average 4.3 percent pay raise in the first two years and an average 4.25 percent pay raise in the last three years.

Spring Grove teachers agreed to a 12 credit a year cap on college courses that taxpayers pay for them to take. Also included is a switch to a PPO medical program that will cut medical expenses by 3.6 percent.

The new teacher contract will likely require 3.8 percent annual increases in the school district's budget. When asked about the new contract with the big pay increases by the "York Daily Record," school board member Mary Dolheimer said: "It was a good compromise."

Some years ago a conservative faction had a majority on the Spring Grove' board, but it was ousted in a dispute over use of school fields on Sundays for soccer games.

One of the leaders of the faction that ousted the conservatives and brought tax and spend as usual leadership to the Spring Grove School Board was Skip Clancy, who proposed himself as a Republican candidate for state representative in the 196th District last year.

POLICE PLAN FOR YORK CITY SCHOOLS IS BACK

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 18TH)

When the idea of adding more police officers to patrol York City schools was discussed earlier this year at a school board meeting, there was plenty of negative comment from the public.

School board members and political candidates in the city all expressed disagreement with the idea in the pre-primary election atmosphere.

But now the newly appointed head of security for the York City's public schools, William Fenton, says the district is drafting a plan to use four city police officers in schools. Its the same plan discussed before the election in that federal funds will be used to pay the officer's salaries for three years.

Fenton says the officers will have more of an "educational" role in schools and not just a security one.

A special school board meeting is planned for next month to consider the plan for additional city police officers in city schools.

It looks like the School District of the City of York is ignoring public oppposition and using the summer months to ram the unpopular plan through.

DEMOCRAT PARTY LOOKS FOR CITY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 18TH)

When Hiawatha Powell was kicked off the York City School Board last month, it set the state for a special election this fall to pick his successor.

Under the system to replace resigned or removed board members, the Democrat and Republican parties have the opportunity to nominate candidates for their seats.

The Democrats are asking for applicants for the Powell school board seat and the precinct committee members for York City will pick a Democrat candidate for the fall election.

Because of the Democrat registration edge, the candidate picked by Democrats is likely to win the special election this fall.

The scenario now playing out allows political insiders to take Powell's seat away from the radical faction he represented. However, the results of the spring primary show that the Democrat candidates picked for the other four seats lean towards racial radicalism. Their expected election this fall will create a shift in power on the school board.

CENTRAL LEADERSHIP CUTS OFF DEBATE WITH RETREAT ON HONORS ISSUE

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 14TH,UPDATED JULY 15TH)

The sudden move last week by Central York School District to say yes to valedictorian and salutatorian honors at graduation came in the face of a strong negative reaction.

The reaction grew louder when Central's Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell spoke of the honors creating competition that wasn't good. And it got louder when school board president Eric Wolfgang refused comment when asked about the issue by parents at last month's board meeting and got the school district's lawyer to say other board members did not have to comment.

In what appeared to be a move to again cut off the debate and comment about the issue, the district grudgingly announced the honors would return late last week in advance of Monday's board meeting.

The statement was authored by Snell and Wolfgang and filled with praise for the district and the comment that only "a few parents" were concerned about the issue.

The meeting featured praise for the school district from the audience and Dr. Snell having the opportunity to say it was time to put the issue behind and move forward.

But one parent expressed a sentiment shared by many observers in saying he wasn't happy with the statement that dismissed supporters of the honors, saying a whole segment of the community shared those views.

Central's leadership clearly wants to keep away from controversy, but have they really changed their attitude.

I can say they haven't changed because not only did the public statement put down supporters of graduation honors, but Central insiders like its leading school board members were out gossiping a nasty picture of those parents as well in recent days.

The whole exercise from the statement last week to the backbiting comments from Central insiders reminds one of the kind of hardball politics you would expect in Washington D.C.

It has all the stench of a "spin machine" from the White House.

Parents and taxpayers need to start showing up at board meetings and asking questions. Questions like why aren't more detailed minutes provided promptly after board meetings on the district's website?

The meetings of the Central York board need to be recorded and televised on community access television. The district should put the video on their website as well.

Beyond that, mark my words. The arrogance of Dr. Snell and Mr. Wolfgang is becoming clear. This controversy has allowed the public to see the real situation in the Central York School District.

JULY 6-12, 2009......

CENTRAL ACTS TO SHUT DOWN CONTROVERSY WITH STATEMENT ANNOUNCING THAT VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN WILL BE RECOGNIZED

(NEWS-ANALYSIS-COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 10TH,UPDATED JULY 12TH)

With the prospect of a highly contentious school board meeting Monday night in the middle of a school board election year, the Central York School District has acted to shut down the debate over naming valedictorians and salutatorians for graduating classes.

A short written statement was issued by Central York School District Superintenent Dr. Michael Snell and Central York's school board president Eric Wolfgang Thursday that includes a sentence saying that from now on a valedictorian and salutatorian will be named for graduating classes.

The statement was thick with language claiming Central supports academic excellence and mentioned criticism coming from "local news media and a handful of vocal parents."

The statement placed on the district's website is clearly designed to keep district parents supporting business as usual in the school district.

Concerned parents expressed their pleasure with the school district's decision.

The Central York School District still has plenty of questions to answer.

Why on two occasions this year has Mr. Wolfgang shut down discussion of issues at school board meetings with the district's laywer (solicitor) backing him up? First, in the wrestling coach controversy earlier this year and last month in the valedictorian-salutatorian controversy? Is the school district also committed in its "change in recognition philosophy" mentioned in the statement to the eventual elimination of traditional grading methods for students?

Are taxpayers and parents going to pay more attention at board meetings and ask questions like this?

Parents have questions about the whole direction of the district with math score declines in recent years. They wonder about "group learning" going on in their children's classes. Are "career academies" the right direction to take? Students being directed into careers at high school level is downright Soviet. And they wonder about a very liberal honor roll system?

Its up to Central's parents and taxpayers to carry the ball and ask how their money is being spent?

People are waking up in this nation to demand "common sense."

Central York Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell broke this valedictorian-salutatorian debate wide open with his assertion that the titles would promote too much competition.

What does Snell believe in if he doesn't like the idea of competition?

Snell deserves to be questioned and the board's decision to have someone with such a philosophy as superintendent deserves to be questioned as well.

But the sudden pre-school board meeting announcement that Central would bring the titles back indicates how desperately Dr. Snell and school board president Eric Wolfgang don't want these matters discussed Monday night.

All the more reason for people to show up and ask questions and demand answers from their school board at a public meeting.

YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ASKS STATE SENATOR TO SUPPORT HIGHER PENNSYLVANIA TAXES AND SPENDING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 10TH)

State Senator Mike Waugh (R-28th District) says he's not going to change his mind and support Governor Ed Rendell's budget plan for the new fiscal year that includes a 16 percent income tax increase.

The York City School District wrote to Senator Waugh asking him to support Governor Rendell's budget plan that pumps four million dollars more into the district than the Republican version supported by Waugh.

City school officials spoke of the Republican version of school funding as a cut, but Waugh says the GOP plan raises York City school funding by 5.5 million dollars, an 11.5 percent increase.

A budget deal could come in the next few weeks as state workers face loss of their paychecks after July 17th if a new budget plan is not agreed to by Governor Rendell and the legislature.

TURNER APPOINTED TO REPLACE CONTROVERSIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 10TH)

Gerry Turner has been a candidate for mayor and he regularly attends public meetings including those of the York City School Board.

Now Turner will serve as a school board member. Five members of the board voted to appoint him to replace Hiawatha Powell, who was removed from the school board last month.

Three other members of the racial faction that included Powell abstained from voting. They said Turner should not have been appointed until Powell's legal challenge to his removal was heard.

For now, six less radical members will serve on the board, but after the fall election the balance of power is expected to shift to the more radical racial faction.

WEST MANCHESTER POLICE AND OFFICIALS OPPOSE YORK COUNTS POLICE CONSOLIDATION SCHEME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 7TH)

Police officers from York City and West Manchester Township mingled together Saturday evening during the concert and fireworks display at the York Expo Center (York Fairgrounds). They had friendly conversation together and perhaps some of York's bigwigs who were at the event dreamed of all the officers being part of some super police department.

But West Manchester Township's police have sent a very clear message they will have nothing to do with the York Counts scheme to consolidate suburban police departments with York City Police.

West Manchester officers are negotiating a labor contract with the township that includes a no-consolidation clause. And township officials support the idea.

Both believe maintaining local police service is best for the township, its officers and its taxpayers.

The "York Sunday News" outlined reasons given for not consolidating by West Manchester Township manager Kelly Keach.

1) Violent crime is at a lower level in West Manchester, meaning regional officers would spend less time in the township

2) A regional force will hire officers to work in other areas that need more officers with West Manchester taxpayers paying the bill

3) A regional department could absorb costs of underfunded police pension plans in other areas (Special Note: York City's police pension fund is a serious financial drain on the city)

4) A regional police force will create a larger bargaining unit with higher salaries and benefits creating higher taxes in West Manchester Township

YorkCounts continues to defend its push for regionalization claiming it will save money and create a better police department.

But for now, the YorkCounts movement appears in many ways to be just a scheme to bail out the financially troubled City of York by creating merged services that will increase taxes in the suburbs to "redistribute wealth" to the city.

JUNE 29-JULY 5, 2009........

REFLECTIONS ON CONGRESSMAN TODD PLATTS TROUBLING RECORD

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 5TH)

Todd Platts came from working class roots and had to fight his way up as a "reformer" and "common man" against Republican boss John Thompson's insider and rich guy club of political leadership.

Now Platts enjoys the "rank" and "privileges" of being a member of the House of Representatives.

That includes wheeling and dealing for 132 million dollars in "earmarks" for his district. Since Democrats control Congress, Platts has to get his pork from committee chairmen like the infammous John Murtha from Johnstown.

On at least one occasion this year, Platts and some other Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania supported Murtha on a floor vote.

When he was first elected to Congress in 2000, Todd Platts worked hard to convince pro-life leaders in his district that he would be a pro-life member of Congress. Now Platts is slipping in that area with his support of taxpayer dollars for embryonic stem cell research, among other things.

Platts has aligned himself with liberals in the Republican Party in the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Platts also enjoys the support of the leftist National Education Association teachers union.

Then, most recently, Congressman Todd Platts came out in support of "hate crimes" legislation seen as a direct threat to free speech in the United States.

When constituents protested it, Todd Platts sent a letter claiming that clergy would be protected, something that opponents said was not true.

What's interesting is that by omission, Platts admits that everyone other than clergy could be prosecuted for the words they use under the "hate crimes" bill passed by the House.

Todd Platts is obviously too liberal to be serving in Congress. He is not always casting liberal votes and is watching his back right now.

The question is will a real conservative alternative be allowed to emerge or will insider forces (especially those aligned with the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation-National Right To Life) protect him from a real conservative challenger.

When Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey (a darling of National Right To Life, the insider political organization whose general counsel is now a Deputy Republican National Committee Chairman) voted for the "cap and trade" bill recently, conservative activists vowed to defeat him in the next primary.

I think they will find that tough and I think conservatives here in the 19th District of Pennsylvania will find it tough to take on Todd Platts in a primary.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STETLER STORY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 3RD)

News reports say that State Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler's name is coming up in the Bonusgate investigation of Pennsylvania's Attorney General because of defense lawyers. Specifically, defense lawyers for former State House Democrat Whip Mike Veon are interested in implicating Stetler and others in the illegal bonuses given to Democrat staffers of the State House of Representatives.

This way Veon can argue that he is being singled out for prosecution when others were involved, too.

Steve Stetler is a former Democrat State Representative from York County's 95th District. Stetler was involved in leading Democrat campaign activities for the 2006 elections. That's when staff members did campaign work researching Republican opponents and then got bonuses. Its illegal for staffers to be paid for political campaign work.

Subpoenas from defense lawyers for Veon and other Bonusgate defendants have been reportedly sent to some 100 House members and or staff. Its all part of the defense strategy to implicate others in the illegal activity as a means of exonerating Veon and other defendants from wrongdoing.

JUNE 22-28, 2009.......

CENTRAL PARENT WANTS SCHOOL BOARD TO ACT LIKE ADULTS
(See story below)

THE REDISTRIBUTION OF GRADES IN SOUTHERN YORK SCHOOLS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 25TH)

"Group learning is difficult for him. Math was his strength and he had A's and B's and now is barely getting a C." The words of parent Jennifer Duffy as quoted by the "York Daily Record" on Everyday Math being taught in the Southern York School District. The program involves students working in groups with minimal teacher involvement.

Judging people in groups should be familar to us who look at how things are working in the world we live in. The "progrssives" and "liberals" thrive on grouping people ("people of color", "Latinos", "LGBT" etc.) and President Barack Obama told us about the need to "redistribute the wealth" during the campaign last year. It looks like these political concepts are showing up more and more in classrooms everywhere and this Southern York math story is an example.

A number of parents and graduates of Southern York spoke about the College Prep Math program that involves group study at this month's school board meeting.

One graduate, Anthony Bongiovano is quoted by the "Daily Record" as saying: "With CPM you're only as strong as your weakest link. You can only do as well as your weakest link and there is not incentive to do better."

And there you have the problem. Instead of promoting individual improvement, group learning drags down everyone to a lower level.

Can the Southern York School Board do something about this????

ANOTHER YORK POLITICIAN GETS A HARRISBURG FUNDRAISER

WHY IS EUGENE DEPASQUALE HAVING ONE AND WHY DID KIM BRACEY HAVE ONE?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 27TH)

Harrisburg area Republican activist Lowman Henry has published an online commentary about a Harrisburg fundraiser for York area State Representative Eugene DePasquale (D-95th District).

Henry was disturbed because Dauphin County Republican commissioner Nick DiFrancesco was listed as host for the Monday event that costs 250 dollars per person. Political operative Mike Musser (who has contracts with the Dauphin County goverment) was described as the organizer of the event. DiFrancesco denies any involvement with the fundraiser saying Democrat Commissioner George Hartwick is host, not him. Why is a Harrisburg political operative (Mike Musser) who has government contracts organizing a fundraiser for Mr. DePasquale? DePasquale, who comes from a Pittsburgh political family, tries to portray himself as some kind of "reformer."

By the way this Dauphin County commissioner Hartwick hosted a fundraiser a few months ago for Kim Bracey, the Democrat candidate for mayor in York. Is Mr. Musser involved in that one, too? What will Kim Bracey do if she is elected as mayor to pay back for the fundraising?

PARENT AND STUDENT PRESENT CENTRAL HONORS ISSUE ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 27TH)

Central York School District parent Anne Kahlbaugh appeared on the "Fox and Friends" morning news program last Wednesday to talk about the district's refusal to name a valedictorian and salutatorian for this year's graduating class. Kahlbaugh said the pressure is on the school board to take a position after the recent "no comment" meeting. That's where board president Eric Wolfgang refused to respond when asked to take a stand on the issue by a parent. Then the school district's lawyer Mike King stepped in to say board members did not have to respond to the question.

Kahlbaugh said that the Central York School Board "does not want to discuss it in an adult to adult manner."

Also appearing on Fox News was her daughter Caroline Klidonas. Klidonas, who will be a senior in the coming school year, said the district was reluctant to tell her class ranking when she needed it to participate in the York County Junior Miss program. She also said it is unfair that class rankings are not disclosed. "Why can't we know?" she asked.

Best indications I have is that this student and parent are already under attack by the Central insider crowd, who have resorted to calling them and the Fox News program names.

They deserve the full support of Central parents and taxpayers who must now unite against the Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell, who said that naming valedictorians and salutatorians creates unhealthy competition.

There should be a large contingent of people at the next board meeting determined to confront the arrogance of a board that refuses to respond to those who elected them.

Its been posted in other places, but I also like the idea of showing up with as much video recording gear as possible at the meeting to record whatever the board has to say or doesn't have to say on this issue.

I hope the video is distributed widely online as well.

Its time for the public to see Central's board meetings just like they can see other public meetings in York County on community access television.

The Central York School District should post more information online about its school board meetings including records of how board members vote on issues naming each member and how they voted.

JUNE 15-21, 2009.......

STETLER BEING INVESTIGATED IN HARRISBURG CORRUPTION PROBE

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED JUNE 19TH,UPDATED JUNE 20TH)

The investigation launched by Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett into bonuses given to legislative staff members for political campaign work involves Pennsylvania's Secretary of Revenue Steve Stetler.

Stetler, who used to be a State Representative from York County's 95th District, was helping to lead House Democrats campaign efforts. It is believed that thousands of dollars in bonus payments to staffers of the legislature were illegal payments given for their campaign work.

The "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" newspaper reported yesterday that a grand jury witness said Stetler vetoed the idea of contracting campaign work out to private firms. The witness, aide Dan Wiedemer, quoted Stetler as saying "we have a perfectly good system in place already."

The use of legislative staff for researching the opponents of Democrat candidates for State House seats is being probed because its believed their work is linked to the thousands of dollars in illegal bonus money they received.

The Pittsburgh newspaper reports that investigators have been discussing whether they have a case against Steve Stetler.

It is illegal for the legislative staff to be paid for political campaign work.

Responding to the news story, Stetler spoke of selective confidential information being leaked to the press and expressed his confidence that the legal process "will eventually reveal the facts."

It is possible that the legal defense of Stetler has aready begun and that Democrats may be behind this leak as was the case in the Clinton scandals of the 1990's when defense lawyers leaked and blamed then special posecutor Kenneth Starr.

The strategy would be to leak incriminating info early so its shock value is taken away from a potential jury.

We'll wait and see if this leads to any charges against Stetler.

EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NO TAX INCREASE BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 20TH)

The Eastern School District has a 37 million dollar budget in place for next year that involves no tax increase.

The Eastern School Board voted 9-0 to keep taxes at the same rate for the 2009-2010 budget year that starts July 1st.

Reserve funds were tapped into and a decision was made not to fill a vacant teaching position in the district.

Well, they did what public opinion is demanding at this point. If they did it by borrowing too much from reserve funds, we will find out later. But in this election year for school board members, the Eastern board decided not to raise taxes for whatever reasons, noble or political.

CENTRAL SCHOOL BOARD GOES SILENT OVER VALEDICTORIAN CONTROVERSY

BOARD APPROVES NEW BUDGET WITH SMALLER TAX HIKE BUT NEW HIRES

APPARENT SPIN FROM FOOTBALL PLAYER SIGNING TO HIDE CONTROVERSY

(SPECIAL COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED JUNE 16TH,UPDATED JUNE 18TH,19TH,20TH)

It had the appearance of a Washington D.C. political spin operation. News of a Central High School football standout's signing with Penn State gets front page treatment the day after a controversial school board meeting where parents and taxpayers wanted answers about the valedictorian-salutatorian controversy.

What they got was "no comment" from the school board when one resident asked if they had a position on the issue. School board president Eric Wolfgang was quoted by the "Daily Record" as saying "I don't think we're prepared to do that." The school district's lawyer spoke and said board members did not have to respond to the comments and questions of residents.

Earlier this year Wolfgang told concerned parents at a school board meeting they could not comment on misconduct by wrestling coaches because it was a "personnel matter."

My view of Wolfgang's move at both meetings is that he wants to avoid anything negative being said that will be reported in the media.

I've read a suggestion that its time to videotape Central York School Board meetings. It sounds like a good one.

The people who showed up at the school board meeting thought the best and brightest minds should be celebrated at graduation.

Parent Mark Swomley, whose sons will be seniors this fall at Central, said he is considering a run for school board as a write-in candidate because the school board is tight lipped about the policy of refusing to honor a valedictorian and salutatorian at graduation.

Parents should keep up the heat on the school board and continue to raise this issue and especially the comment of Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell. Snell said that having a valedictorian and salutatorian would be creating "too much competition" among students for the honors.

That outrageous comment smacks of political correctness. It must leave all the sports parents who have elected Eric Wolfgang and the other school board members who hired Dr. Snell scratching their heads. The whole sports program at Central is centered around very competitive teams and coaches of both boys and girls sports.

Parents who are concerned about academics must be confused as well since there is all this emphasis on competition in sports at Central, yet it can't be allowed for academics.

Meanwhile, the school board decided on a final budget plan that raises taxes 2.7 percent, but hires six new people. They are two language arts teachers, a physical education teacher for the new pool, a reading specialist and two math coaches.

Those six positions are probably costing taxpayers well over a quarter of a million dollars.

A few months ago, we heard at board meetings that student population growth in Central was tapering off and the district had "breathing space" and no need for new building projects. Much hoopla had been made at board meetings of efforts that removed dozens of students from Central's rolls through residency checks.

These moves would seem to negate any need for more employees, but the new budget includes them anyway. The plan also takes over 300-thousand dollars away from a contingency fund to deal with the expected increase in employee pension costs in coming years. The state school employees retirement system is expected to need a lot more money to keep itself solvent, espcially with setbacks in investments in the last year.

There are budget hurdles ahead for Central including paying the cost of a labor contract with support employees who are now union represented and in negotiations with the school district.

Much is going on at Central right now, more than can be presented at this time. In the future, the full story of this week's events and what's going on underneath the surface will be revealed.

For now, we read about concerned parents and taxpayers, along with some board members claiming they want a vote on the issue. In particular, there's Karl Peckmann, up for re-election this year.

Peckmann won a Republican slot in the primary election and will face Janice Liao-Tabatabai, who won a spot on the Democrat ballot in the primary. Liao-Tabatabai based her candidacy in large part on the district's refusal to honor valedictorians and salutatorians in its graduating classes.

This makes Peckmann very eager to get on the record in support as well. Will board president Eric Wolfgang and other members help Peckmann with his re-election effort by granting such a vote?

TEACHER CONTRACT TALKS BREAK DOWN IN YORK CITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 20TH)

The talks for a new teacher contract in the York City School District have broken down with the district's lawyer saying the teacher's union does not want to negotiate with the current board and is waiting until the new board takes over in December.

Attorney Mike Levin spoke at Wednesday night's school board meeting. President of the school board, Jeanette Torres, said the district is trying to avoid a tax increase.

The union is reportedly seeking a 5.5 percent pay hike. The current contract expires at the end of the month.

Pennsylvania State Education Association representative Clinton Gibbs says that the union is not waiting for a new board and said it was a "flat out lie" for the district lawyer to say that.

Gibbs says the district is not making an offer in talks and he has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Resident Gerry Turner said at Wednesday's school board meeting that a 5.5 percent pay hike for teachers would cost homeowners hundreds of dollars more and "drive them out of the city."

Right now the city district flush with "stimulus" money is poised to not raise taxes at all in the coming year, but a teacher contract with a big pay increase could indeed change that picture. A property tax hike in the city would be a harsh blow to homeowners in these tougher economic times.

GROUP THAT WAS BEHIND LAND GRAB AT LAUXMONT FARMS CHANGES ITS NAME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 20TH)

The Lancaster-York Heritage Region, the group that pushed the eminent domain takeover of the Kohr family land at Lauxmont Farms for a park, is getting a new look and name. The group's president, Mark Platts (brother of Congressman Todd Platts), says the organization will now call the area the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area and will reorganize its management as the Susquehanna Heritage Corporation.

Platts says this will help the region gain national designation as a heritage area.

The meaning of that designation would appear to involve more government money and power aimed at "preservation" along the Susquehanna River at the expense of taxpayers and private development of land.

Image means nothing when scheming to increase government power and lessen personal freedom is involved. Beware of heritage region designation and the Susquehanna Heritage Corporation........

JUNE 8-14, 2009........

RETHINKING THE RACE FOR MAYOR IN YORK:

JOE MUSSO HAS DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE THAT PUTS HIM WAY AHEAD OF THE 'ANNOINTED' KIM BRACEY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 8TH,UPDATED JUNE 10TH)

Its time to take a look at the field in the race for mayor. In fact its time for a fresh perspective on the sudden decision of York City Council President Joe Musso to run as an independent candidate. I was worried that this was an establishment attempt to blunt Matthew Mann's candidacy as an independent. But a Musso supporter has convinced me that Mann is not the issue for Musso, but the Democrat mayoral candidate and political establishment supported Kim Bracey is.

I'm told that Musso knows from his years on council working with Bracey in her job as head of Community Development, that she is not ready to be mayor. Musso expects bad policy from Bracey and incompetent people to be appointed to city government positions.

I've never met Kim Bracey, but someone who has tells me she is a big talker who is promising to change things. Haven't we seen those kind of politicians before?

Musso has been involved in city government since the days of the city's last Republican mayor, Bill Althaus. Musso has served on planning and zoning boards, before joining city council. Musso was a Republican, then became a Democrat and now will run as an Independent.

One thing you can't deny about Musso. He has much deeper experience with the city government than Kim Bracey.

Candidates in the Democrat primary for mayor like Bracey were quick to back down in the face of the racial radicals by opposing six police officers for city schools. This shows the potential for Bracey as mayor to cave to the political radicalism that has entered the York City School Board. And if Bracey doesn't do that, she will certainly be beholden to the various interests that have already pumped over 40-thousand dollars into her campaign.

That makes Joe Musso a very attractive alternative for a more reasonable and independent mayor than Kim Bracey could ever be.

INSIDERS OUST POWELL FROM CITY SCHOOL BOARD TO GAIN ONE SEAT IN FIGHT AGAINST RACIAL FACTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 11TH)

After a three hour hearing, there was a faction line 5-4 vote by the York City School Board to oust racial faction member Hiawatha Powell. The move to oust Powell came after he missed a number of meetings and came amid questions about his residency in the city.

Powell said a family medical emergency kept him from meetings and he does live in York. Powell intents to appeal his ouster in Commonwealth Court.

The majority insider faction can now appoint a new board member and a special election this fall with candidates picked by committee people of the Democrat and Republican parties facing off will be held.

The action to oust Powell should allow for one new insider faction member to be elected this fall, but the radicals already have the upper hand following the primary election for the four other school board seats and should hold a firm majority after the November election.

YORK COUNTS SCHEME FOR CHARTER SCHOOL WITH LEFT-WING AGENDA UNDERWAY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 13TH)

What is the International Bacculareate program? When its been presented to local school boards for consideration its been a source of controversy. Now the York Counts group wants to make the program into an inter-school district countywide charter school.

York Counts says its already raised 75-thousand dollars to help move the process forward to create a new charter school that will involve York City and surrounding school districts. The money is coming from the York County Community Foundation (60-thousand) and the Women's Giving Circle (15-thousand).

The school would be based in York City but draw students in from around the county for what is a worldwide standardized curriculum used all over the world. The school would emphasize learning foreign languages, understanding other cultures and group problem solving.

It has the look of a socialist-leftist political agenda in disguise. No wonder its controversial. And no wonder York Counts would promote such a scheme.

It is being claimed that such a charter school would revitalize York City's economic condition. Socialistic ideas always improves economies, right...

York Counts says that the West York, York Suburban and Dallastown districts among others have joined York City to develop the idea. Former Northeastern School District Superintendent Dennis Baughman has been among those leading the "Metro York Educational Opportunities Committee."

This left-wing charter school is something you can definitely bring up with your school board members.

York Counts is pointing out that a state board can overrule decisions made by local school districts against the charter school and maybe that's why the left wingers are using this route to create such a school.

Why is it that suburban political leaders are supporting York Counts on matters like the police consolidation "study"?

JUNE 1-7, 2009.............

FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR WHAT????????

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 3RD, UPDATED JUNE 6TH)

When I heard the tourism commercial for York County on the radio a few weeks ago and the tag at the end about "York County Government" paying for it, there was a bit of anger.

To me it smacked of something you would expect from a liberal Democrat goverment, not the Republican led Board of Commissioners in York County.

Now the "York Dispatch" is out with details about the ad campaign that's costing 40-thousand dollars. President Commissioner Steve Chronister acknowledges that he and Commissioner Chris Reilly signed an agreement with the Pennsylvania Assocation of Broadcasters for the radio and television advertising.

Chronister is saying he made a mistake by not having the agreement put to a public vote by the commissioners.

Defending the advertising campaign, slated to eventually cost 125-thousand dollars after more spots ran next year, Chronister said the spending was planned for next year's budget. He added that the hotel room tax, slated to increase to 5 percent from the current 3 percent, would fund the commercials.

This year's run of commercials valued at 50-thousand dollars is to be paid for mainly by the county (40-thousand dollars). Also paying for them is the York County Economic Development Coporation (8-thousand dollars) and marketing consultant John Riggle (2-thousand dollars). Riggle, former general manager of WPMT Television, originally proposed the advertising campaign.

Some anger was caused because a toll-free hotline number in the ad directed inquiries about lodging in York County to the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center. Other hotel and motel owners in York County feel that was wrong. Heritage Hills general partner Matt DeRose said his company has taken calls free of charge. DeRose is also involved in the same business as Commissioner Chronister, real estate. Chronister has held election events at Heritage Hills and the York County Republican Club has used it as a meeting place.

The "York Dispatch" first brought this story to light. Its something to think about in terms of the dots connected between Commissioners Chronister, Reilly, Hertiage Hills, Mr. Riggle etc.

I noticed Mr. Riggle chipping in 2-thousand dollars for the ad campaign. My question is when the ads get paid for by the hotel tax, will Mr. Riggle collect a commission? When I sold broadcast advertising the commission was 20 percent of the total.

A 125-thousand dollar deal would translate into a 25-thousand dollar commission at that rate. Riggle acknowledged to the "Dispatch" that he would "in theory" get a commission for the ads.

I wonder if supporters of the ex-commissioners Mitrick and Kilgore have something to do with this story coming out in York's newspapers????????

BEHIND THE 'NO PLACE FOR HATE' CAMPAIGN AT NORTHEASTERN SCHOOLS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 31ST)

On May 18th a picture was taken of eight students from the Northeastern School District's schools holding up "No Place For Hate" signs. The signs are part of a campaign by the Anti-Defamation League, a national organization with its roots in opposing anti-Semitism in the United States. Those signs will be displayed at the eight schools in the Northeastern distict.

The ADL involvement is illustration of how left and liberal leaning Jewish organizations are playing a role in "diversity" programs in York County schools. The Jewish Community Center, with board members who's names are Wolf and Appell among others, have been playing a role in promoting diversity programs in York County's schools.

ADL has sent letters to York County schools in the past, warning against coaches announcing any "religious events" to students, an obvious slam at any announcements for evangelical Christian groups that involve public school students.

When one thinks of "hate" aimed at Jewish people througout history, one always thinks of Adolf Hitler.

Some of Hitler's early lieutenants were homosexual men and or men who abused children like Ernst Rohm and Julius Streicher. Its ironic that efforts to fight "hate" today by left-wing and liberal Jewish groups mean efforts to protect people who are just like some of Hitler's most ruthless storm troopers.

The people to be protected from "hate" are gay and some of them are being caught abusing children.

It is this irony that leads observers like myself to see efforts to promote "multiculturalism" and "diversity" in opposition to "hate" as efforts to destroy freedom and create a fascistic society.

CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL BOARD PRIMARY RESULTS SHOW INCUMBENT DOMINANCE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 31ST)

The administration and incumbent school board members in the Central York School District worked hand in hand and virtually succeeded in protecting the seats of the incumbents.

Michael Snyder, Michael Wagner and Robert Weikert all won top spots on both parties ballots for the fall election. Only Karl Peckmann came up short. He won a Republican spot and will face newcomer candidate Janice Liao-Tabatabai on the Democrat side this fall.

Candidates William Wagner and Howard Myers ran on both parties ballots in the aftermath of the controversy involving the school district's wrestling program. The administration met with parents to hear their concerns and the controversial head wrestling coach at the high school is leaving his post and will be replaced next year. These moves were designed to undercut support for Wagner and Myers.

Then there's the story of candidate Gregory Lewis, who ran as a Republican school board candidate in the primary. Lewis told the school board at an April meeting that they needed to cut spending. In May, there were a rash of pre-election announcements that involved saving 30-thousand dollars here and 40-thousand there. School board members have begun to make comments about the need to cut spending.

Its as if Gregory Lewis orchestrated the board's pre-election rash of small "spending cut" gestures. Lewis described himself as a friend and supporter of current Central school board member James Zito. Zito was named treasurer of the school board at its Monday May 18th meeting on the eve of the election.

Lewis fell short coming in 6th place out of 8 candidates on the Republican side of the ballot.

The school district was able to show parents it was concerned about "safety" by having a drug dog sweep of the high school in April. Parents were told about the search but not taxpayers and the public. The administration was getting its "safety" message out to the parents and making them amenable to voting the incumbents back in on May 19th.

It appears that Central taxpayers and residents without children were kept in the dark because they might draw negative conclusions about drugs and crime in the school and vote the other way.

That's a good political strategy when combined with the appeasing of the sports parents in the wrestling controversy to defuse their issues and prevent candidates William Wagner and Howard Myers from getting elected.

The union that represents Central's teachers also rated the candidates and made recommendations on who to vote for with Robert Weikert at the top of their list. Weikert's wife is a Central York teacher. Michael Wagner also got a little nudge of support because his wife is a teacher in another school district. It was noted that Karl Peckmann's wife is also a union member. She teaches in the Central York School District.

No thoughts are given to the potential conflicts of interest involving three school board members married to teachers, two of whom teach at Central York.

For the fall, the contest on the ballot is between Karl Peckmann on the GOP side and Janice Liao-Tabatabai on the Democrat side. Liao-Tabatabai got into the race because of the refusal of the school district's administration to have a valedictorian and salutatorian at graduation. Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell expressed his concern that things would become too "competitive" for students if such recognitions were handed out to the graduating class.

This politically correct attitude is ripe for ridicule in the coming election and I hope Janice Liao-Tabatabai plays it to the hilt. Meanwhile incumbent member Karl Peckmann is beating his chest to proclaim his support for a valedictorian and salutatorian for graduating classes.

Peckmann is a conflict of interest incumbent who should be replaced.

Central York's diversity program and other politically correct policies are beginning to impact the education of district students in a negative direction as indicated by the "competition" comments of Dr. Snell.

This district's school board deserves more change than can be accomplished through voting for the choice of candidates on the ballot in the fall election.

Write-in reform candidates might be a good idea.

INSIDERS DOMINATE DEMOCRAT PRIMARY IN YORK CITY

(ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 26TH)

With just 10 days to go before the primary election, Kim Bracey already had 42-thousand dollars raised. Tom Wolf and Louis Appell Jr. among the big contirbutors. Bracey has also done a fundraiser in Harrisburg that raised money from various contributors.

Bracey easily beat her three opponents for mayor in the Democrat primary on May 19th. Insider status and racial pride probably all contribued to the win. The radicals weren't as invested in this contest as the one for school board, but all mayoral candidates on the Democrat side pandered to the radicals opposing six more police officers in city schools.

Now Bracey faces the token opposition of Republican mayoral candidate Wendell Banks, plus left wing radical Matthew Mann and York City Council President Joe Musso, both running as independents. It appears that the race for mayor is being managed to split up opposition votes and ensure a Bracey victory. Musso's entry into race looks like a direct attempt to interdict Matthew Mann.

In the race for city council, Joe Stein came up short in the three-way Democrat race for two seats. Henry Nixon and school board member Renee Nelson took the two slots. Nixon and Nelson look like insiders all the way. They face two GOP candidates, Nina Aimable and Jay Andrzejczyk, in November.

RACIAL FACTION DOMINATES YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION

(ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 25TH)

When York City School Board president Jeanette Torres joined in to support the racial faction of the city school board in a commendable effort to set up a charter middle school, perhaps she was seeing the handwriting on the wall.

The election of Barack Obama has energized racially motivated radicals within the Democrat Party and increased their power and confidence.

In the primary last Tuesday, the usual "moderate" liberals who dominate school boards were pushed out of power. Voters in the Democrat school board primary elected candidates Sandie Walker, Margie Orr and Gary Calhoun, along with incumbent Beverly Atwater.

The four victorious Democrat school board primary candidates do not officially take power until December, but they are almost certainly assured election this November.

Only one of the insider candidates, Barbara Krier, chose to seek a Republican ballot spot. She has one, but her chances of election this fall are dim.

Incumbent Tom Foust also lost in the Democrat school board primary with incumbent Renee Nelson choosing to run for York City Council this year.

This will change the way the York City School District does business with discipline likely to fail within schools. The racial faction has been resistant to the use of police in schools even though some admit a discipline problem exists.

The racial board members are more obsessed with "racism" than bad conduct by students in schools. Student misconduct will go unpunished because of their "leadership."

It probably is a good idea for them to support charter schools because public schools in the city are likely to sink further because of their attitude. Parents fed up with their children being victimized by unruly students will be looking for alternatives.

Addiction to drugs and alcohol must be combatted but the racially motivated school board members either don't have a clue that those problems are the ultimate ones or don't want to do what it takes themselves to beat their own addictive behavior.

Keep fighting "racism" while the state of education declines in the City of York.

MAY 18-24, 2009.......

DALLASTOWN VOTERS TOSS OUT INCUMBENT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 24TH)

Two of Dallastown's four incumbnent school board members, Bonnie Lepson and Michael Hady, decided not to run for re-election this year. Two others, David Inkrote and James Morton, were on the ballot last Tuesday and were swept out of office in both parties primaries.

In Dallstown Region 1, candidate Larry Wolfe, who spoke out about wasteful spending, was victorious on both the Republican and Democrat ballots. Wolfe was elected along with Kenneth Potter, leaving incumbent Morton as the loser.

In Region 3, anti tax and spend candidate Margaret Ibex defeated Inkrote on both parties ballots.

The results for the school board seat in District 2 have Sue Hiestand winning the Democrat side and Don Jasmann winning the Republican ballot. Hiestand and Jasmann will face each other in November for the District 2 seat.

Congratualations to Larry Wolfe and Margaret Ibex. Thank you to my special correspondent for speaking with Mr. Wolfe.

The anger of taxpayers in Dallastown is hot, but the taxpayers need to watch out for the pro tax and spend forces. The school districts parent teachers organizations are hotbeds of such sentiments. The Dallastown Education Association teachers union also fights against opponents of taxes and spending.

Try your best pro-taxpayer forces to stay on the good side of sports enthusiasts, but get them to understand there is no bottomless well of taxpayer support. I don't know if Larry Wolfe will get his way and have parents chip in on sports costs, but its an idea that will start the debate on where our taxes are being spent.

The big monsters in public education spending, even bigger than a supersize buildngs, are the pay and benefits. They must be brought under control by every school board or else. That will be the hardest challenge and it will take tough people to make tough decisions to control the spending.

REFLECTION ON THE JUDGES RACE

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 23RD)

The Republican Party has had problems with female candidates and name recognition hurting them in judicial elections in York County. Penny Blackwell and Mike Bortner are now Common Pleas Court judges because of those factors.

This year the GOP got its act together to try to take out the liberal female candidates in the primary by winning both parties nominations for one or both of its leading candidates. Harry Ness and Chuck Patterson had the potential to push through a field of five female candidates to one or both of the top Democrat slots in a cross filed field.

Candidates Susan Emmons and Erin Thompson helped to split votes from Andrea Marceca Strong, Kathleen Prendergast and Sandra Thompson.

Then, in the last week the Democratic Party of York County intervened with a mailing to "supervoters" endorsing Sandra Thompson and Kathleen Prendergast. Thompson had first Democrat ballot position and Prendergast has been a longtime Democrat candidate.

The mailing succeeded giving them the top two slots in the primary for Democrats.

Meanwhile, Harry Ness and Chuck Patterson took the top two Republican spots.

Democrats hope their female lineup that will portrayed as "moderates" even though they are liberal will win this fall. Republicans have two "moderate" candidates for sure and will emphasize the liberal side of the two Democrat judicial candidates to cut them down.

ON THE WIN OF TOM KEARNEY FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

(ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 23RD)

The Tom Kearney win in the Republican primary for District Attorney reflects a new "Republican establishment" in York County that isn't old boss John Thompson's GOP.

Most committee people and row officers were behind Kearney and he beat the incumbent Stan Rebert handily. These Republican insiders are ostensibly under the leadership of Carville "Peck" Foster, the party chairman. But they are really the supporters of Congressman Todd Platts, the new leading force in Republican politics in York County.

Tom Kearney emphasized Republican themes of integrity and fiscal responsibility, but he had liberal Democrat supporters with yard signs up for him. It appears that gay activists were among Kearney's supporters.

Kearney speaks of "few" changes as District Attorney. Lets hope nothing liberal or radical happens.

RACES FOR JUDGES AND DA, YORK MAYOR, SCHOOL BOARDS BELOW

MAY 11-17, 2009........

CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL BOARD RACE FEATURES OPPONENTS TO INCUMBENTS AND CONTROVERSY

(NEWS,COMMENT,ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 17TH,UPDATED MAY 18TH)

Parents of wrestlers in the Central York School District and some wrestling coaches were concerned about the behavior of the high school wrestling coach and the use of a volunteer coach with a criminal record.

They went to the school board about it earlier this year.... This controversy provided the spark for two candidates to step forward to challenge the incumbent school board members in the primary election.

William Wagner and Howard Myers are on the ballot this Tuesday.

The school district's administration has been working since their candidacies became known to put the controversy behind. They have been nice to an extreme with wrestling parents and the high school wrestling coach position is going to be filled by a new person next year.

Meanwhile the Central York Education Association, the union representing teachers in the district surveyed candidates for school board and gave Wagner and Myers black marks for being concerned about taxes and spending.

While William Wagner and Howard Myers are getting bad marks from the teachers union the worst bad marks were reserved for school board candidate Gregory Lewis. Lewis spoke of the need for a teacher salary freeze in response to their questionaire.

Lewis came to a school board meeting last month and called for cuts in spending to close a three million dollar gap between a 3.9 percent tax increase and no tax increase. In the last week, there have been widely publicized announcements coming from school administration about minor cuts of 30-thousand here and 40-thousand there.

Greg Lewis only appears on the Republican ballot in the primary but he is urging Democrats to write his name in. Lewis says he doesn't understand why the district needs to have an assistant to the superintendent position that pays over 100-thousand dollars a year.

The other outsider non-incumbent school board candidate in the district is Janice Liao-Tabatabai. She is concerned about the fact that Central York dropped honors at graduation for a valedictorian and salutatorian (recognitions given to students with the highest grade point average). The four incumbent Central York school board candidates are Robert Weikert, Michael Wagner, Karl Peckmann and Michael Snyder.

Frustrated Central taxpayers wonder about the incumbent members who are dubbed the "Linda Estep crew" for supporting all the spending and building during her tenure as superintendent.

Why do they support higher taxes and more spending without very many questions?

In supporting incumbent Robert Weikert, the Central York Education Association teachers union notes that his wife is a CYEA member (she teaches at Central). The union supports Michael Wagner a little more tepidly, but again notes his wife teaches (at another school district). Among the other members who are not explicitly endorsed, incumbent Karl Peckmann's wife also is a union member and teaches in the Central York School District.

In addition, Michael Wagner and other school board members like board president Eric Wolfgang, members Daniel Elby and Timothy Bieber ( those three not on the ballot Tuesday) have family members who have worked for or are working for the school district.

Perhaps that gives us insight into how the administration gets what it wants in the Central York School District.

It looks like there is a convegence of union, administration and school board members that work together to keep the taxes and spending going at Central York.

This commonality of interest in preserving public education at the expense of taxpayers can also mean working together against the interests of employees.

It shows in the case of Central York High School's head custodian Anthony Santiago. Santiago has been suspended continuously for 39 work days by the Superintendent, Dr. Michael Snell. And the Pennsylvania State Education Association that reprsents Santiago has been slow to file a grievance on his behalf, appearing to delay it until after the election on Tuesday, if at all.

There are clouds hanging over the Central York School district from the possible closing of the Harley Davidson plant in Springettsbury Township. It would mean the loss of property tax revenue for the district from the plant. It could also lead to the possible loss of property taxes from unemployed workers unable to pay their property taxes to the district.

All of the small talk about cutting spending in the Central York School District is not enough in the present economic climate.

If the district backed away from hiring a Human Resources Director, eliminated the Director Of Communications position and got rid of the Assistant To The Superintendent position, savings to taxpayers of around 250-thousand dollars could be realized.

THE JUDICIAL RACE IN YORK COUNTY:

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES

(NEWS,ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 17TH)

There are nine cross-filed candidates in the race for two posts on the York County Court of Common Pleas. The cross-filing creates confusion among voters as to who's who and what do they stand for? I will try to clear up some of the mystery and confusion.

Lets review the candidates as they appear in ballot order on the Republican side in the Tuesday May 19th primary election. I will also mention each candidate's Democrat ballot position.

HARRY NESS-Ness has been a defense attorney in York County for many years. His family has been involved in York County politics as Republicans like former District Attorney J. Christian Ness.

In the early 1980's Harry Ness was arrested on drug charges. Ness says he has put that behind him with a life of service to the community that he would like to complete as a judge. Ness is first on the Republican ballot and ninth on the Democrat ballot.

The White Rose Lodge 15 of the Fraternal Order of Police representing York City Police officers has endorsed Harry Ness.

ANDREA MARCECA STRONG-Strong was a candidate with youth and momentum. She started early to get her name out and did a special mailing to GOP voters. But her signs were in those yards associated with Obama ones last fall.

Democrats in York County decided to ditch her in favor of Sandra Thompson and Kathleen Prendergast as their favored liberal female candidates in the last week of the campaign.

Strong is second on the Republican ballot and fourth on the Democrat ballot.

SANDRA THOMPSON-This liberal female candidate gained herself a reputation for pushing a gun buyback program.

Thompson is first on the Democrat ballot and was picked by them in the last week as one of two party endorsed candidates for judge.

Sandra Thompson is third on the Republican ballot.

CHUCK PATTERSON-Patterson is a longtime deputy prosecutor in the York County District Attorney's office who has run for common pleas court judge before. Patterson enjoys the support of much of the Republican leadership in York County. Patterson would be York County's first black judge if he is elected. His backers are hopeful that after so many tries, this will be his year for a breakthrough.

The White Rose Lodge 15 of the Fraternal Order of Police representing York City police officers has endorsed Chuck Patterson. Liberal insider and York's richest man Louis Appell has contributed 500 dollars to Patterson's campaign committee.

Patterson is fourth on the Republican ballot and seventh on the Democrat ballot.

KATHLEEN PRENDERGAST-Prendergast started out as a teacher, then went into law and began running for office. She challenged former State Representative (now Congressman) Todd Platts for state representative, then continued her legal career and began running for judicial office and failing her first time out. Prendergast is back and its believed that continuously running for office is a way to build up name recognition and get elected. Democrats are counting on Prendergast to be one of their candidates because the Democratic Party of York County has endorsed her along with Sandra Thompson in the May 19th primary.

Prendergast has established a liberal record over the years and was considered Pro-Abortion by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation when she ran for state representative.

She is also supported by her former union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has contributed 1-thousand dollars to her People for Prendergast Committee. Former York County Commissioner Doug Kilgore's campaign committee has given 12-hundred dollars.

SUSAN EMMONS-Emmons is a newcomer to York County politics and judicial races. She is a lawyer and ordained minister in the mainline liberal United Church of Christ.

A trend in judicial contests in York County has been for liberals and Democrats to put up female candidates who will often draw more female votes and beat male candidates. Their tactic was successful with the election of Judge Penny Blackwell to the Court of Common Pleas.

With that in mind, one has to consider whether Republicans have decided to drop in liberal female candidates of their own to split votes and help male candidates win the primary.

I suspect Emmons is such a candidate. Her campaign manager, attorney Larry Young, was involved in the release of bankruptcy information involving a Democrat running against incumbent GOP State Representative Ron Miller in the 93rd District last year.

Susan Emmons is sixth on the Republican ballot and fifth on the Democrat ballot.

MIKE FLANNELLY-Flannelly has served and is currently serving as York County solictitor working for the county commissioners. He has the praise of current President Commissioner Steve Chronister.

But Flannelly is remembered for his legal work on behalf of the former commissioners board dominated by Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore.

Flannelly did their bidding in the eminent domain case involving the Kohr family land at Lauxmont Farms. That included threats against people who were distributing flyers criticizing Mitrick and Kilgore over the land grab.

I have heard that Mike Flannelly actually opposed the land seizure but there is no evidence of that from his public role as the county's solicitor under Mitrick and Kilgore.

Flannelly is seventh on the Republican ballot and sixth on the Democrat ballot.

ERIN THOMPSON-Erin is not to be confused with Sandra Thompson mentioned above as a Democrat Party endorsed candidate. In some ways we may think that Erin Thompson should be a Republican Party endorsed candidate.

Thompson's father is York County Common Pleas Court Judge John Thompson Jr. and her late grandfather, John Thompson Sr. was the longtime chairman of the York County Republican Committee.

But she's not apparently an endorsed GOP candidate. Erin Thompson, who is a public defender, has put thousands of her own dollars into campaign efforts. She describes herself as a "moderate Republican."

Is it possible that Erin Thompson is just another of those candidates who is designed to split liberal and female votes to help Republican male candidates win?

Erin Thompson is eighth on the Republican ballot and third on the Democrat ballot.

JOHN OGDEN-John Ogden built a reputation for himself by providing legal support to opponents of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Windsor Township. Ogden's legal work seems to have delayed Wal-Mart's plans in for now.

Ogden has been working hard to get Democrat support. He is second on the Democrat ballot. York City Council President Joe Musso endorsed Ogden in a radio spot that aired before Musso became an independent candidate for mayor.

Ogden seems to have been left in the cold by the Democratic Party endorsement of Sandra Thompson and Kathleen Prendergast for the judicial seats. Ogden is ninth on the Republican ballot and second on the Democrat ballot.

KEARNEY VS. REBERT: WHAT'S THE STORY?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 16TH)

It was 1985 when Stan Rebert was first elected Disrict Attorney in York County. The candidate Rebert defeated was Tom Kearney. Kearney went to work as an assistant in Rebert's office and later became a defense attorney.

Kearney also developed his relationships in the Republican Party around York over the years and now thinks its time for a change at the DA's office.

With local GOP leaders led by State Representative Stan Saylor of the 94th Distict behind him, Kearney is enjoying strong support for a challenger in a primary.

Kearney sees unethical activity and irresponsible spending of money by Reberrt's office. He says the first time offenders are having records erased through the ARD program in an inconsistent way and that seized drug money is being improperly spent on drug treatment programs.

Rebert counters he has the discretion to spend the money the way he wants.

There have been clouds over Rebert's office in recent years including a lawsuit by the former York County Chief Detective Becky Dowling that was settled out of court and the resignation a few months ago of Rebert's chief deputy and lead drug prosecutor Bill Graff. An anti-Rebert website claims that there is a federal investigation because Graff was tipping off someone about drug raids. The feds moved in because Rebert friend Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett could not investigate.

Rebert has sent out a mailing with the endorsement of Corbett and he also enjoys the endorsement of the White Rose Fraternal Order of Police lodge that represents York City police officers.

Rebert is proud of his decision to convene a grand jury and bring to trial suspects in the two murders during racial rioting in York back in 1969. Most of those charged were convicted.

From my perspective though, Rebert's finest hour was in May of 1994 when the York County Republican political boss John Thompson Sr. was angry over a radio commercial.

The commercial promoted five conservative pro-life candidates for Republican State Committee in York County and Thompson was demanding that the candidates be prosecuted for failing to include a disclaimer in the commercial. WSBA Radio added the disclaimer, but Rebert declined to prosecute. As the commerical's producer pointed out, party political office candidates were not required to put disclaimers in advertising like candidates for public office.

A lot of those GOP insiders who were loyal to liberal boss Thompson now like Tom Kearney. Kearney even places his signs in Democrat yards that featured Obama signs last fall.

It makes me inclined to stick with Stan Rebert as District Attorney in York County.

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE LARRY WOLFE TAKES A STAND FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

(BY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT FOR 'THE YORK REPORT')

EDITORS NOTE: A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT OTHER THAN MYSELF SPOKE WITH LARRY WOLFE, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE IN REGION 1 OF THE DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT WHO CALLED FOR STUDENTS TO PAY HALF THE COST OF THEIR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. WOLFE ALSO OFFERED TO GIVE SOME OF HIS OWN MONEY INTO A FUND TO HELP PAY FOR STUDENTS WHO COULDN'T AFFORD THE COST.)

Correspondent: How would you save money?

Larry Wolfe: When it comes to re-negotiating the contract have a better handle on the spending in salary and health benefits. The superintendent should come to the board on how to spend the budget. The board should be more firm on the spending.

Correspondent: How would you save money on sports?

Larry Wolfe: In the next three years gradually have the students pay 50 percent and the school pay 50 percent on extra-curricular activities. The superintendent is to identify how the budget on extra curriculum is being spent.

Correspondent: What made you run for the board?

Larry Wolfe: I was involved in the 2006 Tax Commission.

I have attended school board meetings and was frustrated because you are only allowed 2 minutes to make comment and maybe 2 minutes after the board responds to your comments. That is not enough time to make an impact. So in order to have an impact on the matter of the budget I decided I would run for the board.

The superintendent basically attends the meeting on how he is going to spend the budget and just wants the board rubber stamp of approval without having a say in the matter. I feel that has to change.

(MORE NEWS ON THE DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD RACE BELOW)

SIGNS OF TAXPAYER FRUSTRATION IN DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 16TH)

We may be reaching a critical mass in the continuing conflict between concerned taxpayers and the Dallastown School Board. Individuals have stood up to speak their peace and in the last election cycle of 2007, pro-taxpayer candidate Carroll Tignall Jr. was elected to the board.

There are four seats up this year and it appears that three candidates have something to say that puts them on the taxpayer's side. The continuous pace of spending, especially on new buildings, has been a source of increasing tension.

In Region 1 of the Dallastown School District in many York Township voting districts, three candidates are running for the two seats. Incumbent James Morton is facing Kenneth Potter Jr. and Larry Wolfe, who are newcomers. Wolfe stands out as the pro-taxpayer candidate in this race. He has gone to school board meetings to challenge wasteful spending. Wolfe attracted attention and attacks when he called for 50 percent of the cost of extracurricular activities to be paid by students. Wolfe offered to contribute to a fund to pay for those students who could not afford the cost.

Larry Wolfe has also said the present board serves as nothing more than a rubber stamp for whatever spending the superintendent wants without any real oversight.

In the story above this one, Wolfe spoke with our special correspondent. (SEE ABOVE)

Meanwhile in Region 2 covering other portions of York Township, there are three candidates for one seat on the board. They are Don Jasmann, Thomas Nicholson and Sue Hiestand.

Jasmann and Nicholson gave pretty standard type answers and politically correct ones as well in the "York Daily Record" Voters Guide online. They seem to play all sides talking about excellence in education and considering spending options or cuts. No doubt the teachers union (Dallastown Education Association) has been tracking these two to figure out which one they would recommend their members vote for.

Then, there's Sue Hiestand. Hiestand's answers seem more taxpayer friendly but this could be a song and dance routine. Hiestand said that sometimes taxes don't need to go up and that the board needs to make sure programs are really needed before they go into a budget and raise taxes.

Over in Region 3 which includes Dallastown Borough and Springfield Township, there are two candidates who seem to be on opposite sides vying for the one seat.

Springfield Township is where the new 60 million dollar school is under construction and residents have been up in arms.

David Inkrote comes off as the business as usual incumbent, while challenger Margaret Ibex goes right to the heart of the matter. Ibex gave these kinds of answers to the "Daily Record" Voters Guide online. "Spending in the school district is out of control.....I believe the school board members should direct the operation of the school district.....The biggest mistake made by the Dallastown Area School District, School Board, in my opinion, was the planning, design and development of the new intermediate school proposal......"

Margaret Ibex looks like a pro-taxpayer outsider candidate in Dallastown School District Region 3.

BRACEY DOES HARRISBURG FUND RAISER AND ARTIS CRIMINAL RECORD COMES OUT IN LAST WEEK

SPECIAL UPDATE MAY 16TH: Crime is front and center as the main issue in the last week of the campaign with a Bracey mailing attacking Ray on crime after Ray got the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement. The murder of the nine year old girl last Sunday is driving the campaign with the Bracey-Ray fight taking all attention away from outsider candidate Gerry Turner.

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 14TH)

In the last week of the four way race for mayor among York City Democrats, the favored insider candidate, Kim Bracey, went to Harrisburg for a fundraiser.

Among those at the event was Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick.

Heck, Bracey isn't just being bought by York's own elite, people from outside the city are buying her too.

Campaign finance reports showed Bracey raising the most money, some 42-thousand dollars and Genevieve Ray 27-thousand dollars. Ray and Bracey got contibutions from York's richest man, Louis Appell Jr.

My theory is that Ray is a spoiler candidate to split votes so Bracey can win. It would make sense for Appell to help her split the vote so his candidate, Bracey, can win.

Genevieve Ray also picked up the endorsement of the York City Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

Gerry Turner, the outsider candidate, lagged way behind with only a little more than four thousand dollars in contributions. Turner did get a 500 dollar contribution from "C.H. Robertson." That is apparently former York Mayor Charlie Robertson.

Roderick Artis was even further behind in fundraising. But Artis was smeared in the last week of the campaign with word coming out of his 48 hour prison sentence served a few years ago. Artis was convicted of DUI charges. Dirty York City politics at its best.

ELECTION ALERT:

YORK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES THOMPSON AND PRENDERGAST FOR COMMON PLEAS JUDGE SPOTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 13TH)

IN A DIRECT MAILING TO DEMOCRAT SUPERVOTERS, THE YORK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS ENDORSED SANDRA THOMPSON AND KATHLEEN PRENDERGAST IN NEXT TUESDAY'S PRIMARY ELECTION.

SANDRA THOMPSON IS FIRST ON THE DEMOCRAT BALLOT AND KATHLEEN PRENDERGAST IS A LONGTIME DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE WHO ENJOYS SUPPORT FROM A KEY GROUP, THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATON.

THE DEMOCRATS APPARENTLY FIGURE THAT THESE TWO FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE THEIR STRONGEST ONES AND WILL PROVIDE CONTRAST TO THE TWO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES SELECTED FROM THE NINE CROSS FILED CANDIDATES NEXT TUESDAY. IT WOULD BE A GOOD BET THAT TWO MEN WILL EMERGE AS WINNERS ON THE GOP SIDE NEXT WEEK.

RACIAL FACTION MEMBER TARGETED FOR REMOVAL FROM SCHOOL BOARD AT ELECTION TIME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 13TH)

Word has curiously leaked out in the week before a contested school board election that York City School Board member Hiawatha Powell is facing a hearing next Wednesday. The hearing will determine whether Powell should be removed from the board for absences from meetings.

York City School Board President Jeanette Torres says there are doubts that Powell has residency in the City of York but Powell says he lives in York and works in Harrisburg, while the rest of his family is in Washington, D.C. Powell says he has legitimate reasons related to a family health problem for missing many school board meetings.

It appears that the radical and outspoken Powell is being taken out by the political insiders on the school board. Is York City Councilwoman Toni Smith providing technical assistance for this pre-election smear campaign?

While Powell is not up for election next week, the two school board factions are fighting over who will win in the contest for the four seats.

MURDER RATE IN YORK CITY JUMPS 100 PERCENT WITH SHOOTING OF NINE-YEAR OLD GIRL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 11TH)

Recently, York City crime stats were released in apparent anticipation of the primary election next week. They showed a 15 percent drop in crime for the first three months of this year, with a 100 percent drop in murders from 3 to 0.

York Mayor John Brenner is working to elect the annointed insider candidate Kim Bracey in the Democratic Primary and push the idea that York doesn't have a big crime problem as York Counts seeks to dump the cost of the city's police protection onto suburban taxpayers.

In the spirit of those unusual crime stats suddenly released before the election, lets take note eight days before that election that there has been a sudden 100 percent jump in the city's murder rate.

Nine year old Ciara Savage of Lancaster was shot in the back in the 500 block of South Duke Street at 235 pm yesterday afternoon. She died a short time later at York Hopsital.

The investigation continues with a suspect car found abandoned nearby.

Behind most of the crime we have are the addictions that plague humanity including drugs. Its not about racism or guns, its about addiction. People need to change their addictive habits. That's it. End of conversation.

MAY 4-10, 2009.........

CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT CUSTODIAN REMAINS SUSPENDED AFTER 34 WORK DAYS, FRUSTRATED WITH UNION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 10TH)

Since Monday March 23rd, Anthony Santiago, the head custodian of Central York High School, has been suspended without pay by Central York School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Snell.

The initial suspension was for three days with Snell calling Santiago three days later to say the suspension was continued. On April 14th union representative Clinton Gibbs joined him for a meeting with Dr. Snell after which the suspension continued.

Issues brought up as reasons for discipline include Santiago leaving work early and his unwillingness to disclose the name of another custodian observed on a security camera leaving the Central York High School early. Santiago says that as a union member he is not required to disclose information to management about other employees unless it is a health or safety matter.

Snell is said to have been angry and intimidating at the March 23rd meeting with Santiago.

He is frustrated by the lack of action by the Pennsylvania State Education Association and its representative, Clinton Gibbs, on his behalf. There is some talk of a grievance being filed, but that process takes more time.

Due to the length of his suspension, Santiago has filed for unemployment compensation and the Central York School District is under a deadline to respond to the request.

One reason I suspect for all the delay is the fact that a school board election with eight candidates vying for four seats on the board is underway. This whole situation may prove embarrassing.

Snell's anger towards Santiago at their meetings came in part from a conversation that Santiago had about his concerns with Central York School Board vice-president Michael Wagner on March 13th. Wagner passed what was said by Santiago onto Snell. Michael Wagner is not to be confused with another candidate, William Wagner, who appears on the May 19th Central York School Board ballot.

I've always been of the opinion that school board members need to lead superintendents and not be their puppets like is alleged in this case.

Normally school district disciplinary situations are kept quiet in the name of "privacy," but the information about this situation is out in the open.

That's because Anthony Santiago feels he has done nothing to warrant the treatment given to him by Dr. Michael Snell and wants the public to know about his situation.

I am deeply saddened by this whole matter and the many other details surrounding it that I know. When it comes to the Central York School District, there is much knowledge I have that makes me very, very sad.

I would urge those individuals I mentioned in this article and others involved with the Central York School District who view my reports on a regular basis to rapidly resolve this matter that makes them look very bad.

Further updates may come.

EDITORIAL NOTE: THE INFORMATION IN THIS STORY IS THE DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS BY ANTHONY SANTIAGO. I DON'T EXPECT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RESPOND, BUT I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THIS IS THE VERSION OF EVENTS AS GIVEN BY SANTIAGO.

'TAX REFORM' CANDIDATES EMERGE IN RACE FOR SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 10TH)

Its no surprise that many candidates have emerged for school board in the South Eastern School District this year. The debate over the 97-thousand dollar piano and the "fair compromise" teacher contract featuring 4.4 to 4.7 percent pay increases per year would certainly raise eyebrows in our tough economic times.

A few years ago a 20 percent plus property tax increase was imposed in the district.

In the last days of the campaign there has been the sudden emergence of candidates under the banner of the South Eastern Tax Reform Coalition.

The four candidates being touted are Anna Parlett Bickford in Region 1, Mary Hyson and Sherry Neale in Region 2 and a recent write-in candidate Rob Taylor in Region 3.

Democrat Bickford in Region 1 opposes incumbent Richard Wilson who is a Republican in this cross-filed election. Bickford works for Lincoln Intermediate Unit and is a former principal and assistant principal in the district. Public education employees on school boards raise red flags for me. I smell a trick "tax reformer" here.

The field is wide in Region 2 with eight candidates for two seats. Rebecca Reynolds who is a school bus driver and Republican is the only incumbent. I see conflict of interest again. Other candidates are Scott Espensen, Joseph Leyhe, Deb Tillman and Traci Stauffer. Candidate Jane Mueller is a teacher and Democrat. Mueller is a clear conflict of interest candidate.

That brings us to Mary Hyson and Sherry Neale, the tax reform candidates. Both are Republicans with Hyson being a cheerleading coach and volunteer in the district. I see some conflict of interest here that concerns me.

Then in Region 3 its incumbent Sue Glenn, a Republican and school bus driver. The challenger promoted as a tax reformer is write-in candidate Rob Taylor.

This contest is something for voters in the South Eastern School District to soberly consider in the coming days. Are there real reform school board candidates out there or just business as usual ones disguised by reform ones?

The group (SETRC) has a website and lists Joseph Leyhe (District 2 candidate) as a board member. Why didn't he end up with endorsement in that region? Is this tax reform group perhaps one penetrated by the tax and spend crowd?

I've got questions and I hope South Eastern taxpayers are finding answers.

MANN AND MUSSO ENTER RACE FOR YORK CITY MAYOR......IS IT A COINCIDENCE?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 10TH)

As word spread that leftist Matthew Mann was gathering signatures for an independent run for York City Mayor, City Council President Joe Musso had an announcement to make.

Musso said he would be an independent candidate for mayor. Musso had decided not to run for re-election this year and said he was leaving politics. But now this sudden announcement.

In spite of the embarrassing domestic incident a few years ago when charges were dropped against Musso when his wife would not testify, Joe Musso has a long record of involvement in York City government. It would be a good resume for any candidate for York Mayor.

But his "insider" status makes him suspect here as a candidate designed to split off votes from Mann and protect the likely Democrat insider candidate, Kim Bracey. Is this Musso's mission for 2009?????? Mann ran as a Democrat and was elected York City Treasurer in 2007. Then he was unable to take office because he could not be bonded for a large amount of money. Prior to that Mann ran numerous campaigns as an independent or third party candidate.

Matthew Mann says that if he is elected mayor, he will push for a new land valuation system that will reduce property taxes for poorer residents and increase taxes for wealthy land owners in the city.

Mann's plan is a direct threat to Louis Appell Jr., Tom Wolf and other elite people who are involved in York City properties. It would be in their interests to keep Mann contained and Musso appears to serve their interests with his candidacy.

SUPERVISOR CONTESTS WORTH THINKING ABOUT IN THIS ELECTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 9TH)

With the York Counts push for police consolidation involving York City and surrounding communities, its important to think about township supervisor candidates and or their positions on this idea. The big new police department will be more expensive and the York City Police pension bubble hangs over the cost of that new department.

Supervisors in Springettsbury and Manchester Townships are among local officials who have voted to approve participation in a so-called "study" of police consolidation. That's the first step towards a major and costly decision for suburban taxpayers in the next few years.

I have some insight on these candidates positions on the super police department and their loyalty to York Counts, but perhaps you should check their views out before you vote.

WIDOW OF MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR SEEKS HIS SEAT

When conservative Manchester Township supervisor John D'Ottavio died in office, his wife, Rita D' Ottavio sought his position. Fellow Republicans on the board of supervisors chose Democrat Edward Dankanich instead.

Now on May 19th a special election is being held for the seat to fill out the remainder of John D'Ottavio's term. Rita D'Ottavio is the Republican candidate and Dankanich is the Democrat candidate. D' Ottavio served as the township's tax collector from 2002 to 2006.

Dankanich has expressed the need to watch the York Counts study closely. The "study" results are already preset. It will be a piece of propaganda claiming the new department will cost less. Dankanich appears to be a threat to taxpayers in Manchester Township who would end up paying dearly for a super police department combined with York City.

In the Republican primary, supervisors chairwoman Lisa Wingert is being challenged by Deb Myers for a six year term. Wingert and her husband Ken are longtime fixtures in the GOP political establishment of Manchester Township.

Myers works as a deputy controller for York County. I would like to know more about their views of York Counts before I would make a choice here.

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP GOP SUPERVIORS RACE FEATURES THREE CANDIDATES FOR TWO SEATS

There are no Democrats on the ballot, but three Republicans are seeking the nomination for two supervisor seats in Springettsbury Township.

Springettsbury Township appears to becoming a more regimented locality with zoning regs against animal owners and zoning officers who yank signs off of grass at will.

And then there's the determined effort of its zoning board and supervisors to regulate a charity Christmas tree sale right out of the township. Big government in a little bite with someone "paying" these supervisors to do their bidding seems a possibility.

Into this picture come the three candidates.

First there is incumbent supervisor George Dvoryak. Dvoryak is the Secretary/Treasurer of the board. He is the stepson of York County's Republican Party chairman, Carville "Peck" Foster. Dvoryak is Vice President of Finance and Operations for the York County Community Foundation. Dvoryak seems like a very 'inside' man.

Then the challengers. First, there is Michael Papa. Papa touts his longtime involvement in township boards. But what fascinates me the most is that Papa challenged incumbent State Representative Keith Gillespie of the 47th District in the 2006 primary. That was when incumbents were feeling the heat from the pay raise fiasco in Harrisburg.

Was Papa doing a setup candidacy to protect incumbent Gillsepie like was apparently done to protect State Representative Steve Nickol in the 193rd District? Papa's involvement in township boards says "insider" to me and it doesn't rhyme with a challenge to an incumbent "insider" for an election.

The next challenger is Julie Landis. Landis served on the Central York School Board for four years. She ran as a candidate opposed to the new high school that has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and was dubbed "the Taj Mahal." Landis may be a fiscally responsible person and she also may be an anti-development type like former Springettsbury supervisor and York County Commissioner Lori Mitrick.

She may the candidate to vote for in this contest for those concerned about financial responsibility in light of York Counts scheming. But more questions need to be asked.

WHAT'S BEHIND THE DEBATE ABOUT POLICE AT YORK HIGH?

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 9TH)

There was plenty of negative comment at a meeting called by the York City School District for comment on stationing six police officers at William Penn High School.

Some attacked the idea as contributing to a bad reputation for the high school, others saw racism in the move and others said it just wasn't necessary. And some hit the idea because funding under the "stimulus plan" being sought for the police officers would eventually run out.

Meanwhile, the four Democrats running for mayor in the May 19th primary all gave varying degrees of a thumbs down for the idea.

At the meeting, Police Commissioner Mark Whitman made the argument that the officers would be professional and that they would help students learn and develop skills.

Also critical of the idea was York City School Board member Sam Beard, a member of the racial faction of the board.

Well, funding may indeed run out for the six officers in a few years. Perhaps Whitman and other officials see that consolidated police force in place by then meaning suburban taxpayers will pick up the bill for the officers.

What about the "racism" rap? Well, perhaps all the fuss is about the fact that York City Police stationed in the city schools helped arrange a "warrant sweep" a few years ago that resulted in many staff members being arrested while at work.

There was a lot of anger about that. Many support employees in the district from hall monitors to cafeteria workers, etc. are a bit militant about race and have been supporters of the racial faction members of the school board.

As I've said before, people who have drug and alcohol problems and legal conseuqences from those problems often want to find excuses for their trouble. "Racism" is a very convenient one.

Also, the district's plans to hire its own security staff for the school gives some people jobs they don't want to see police doing. That may also drive some of this opposition to the police plan for William Penn.

James Morgan, a racial faction school board member, used to be involved in security for the school district before the position was cut due to budget problems. Morgan hopes to be back in a security position with the school district again.

In short, I think there's more to the opposition to police officers at William Penn High School than you've been reading in the newspaper this last week.

YORK COUNTY PENSION FUND WILL NEED BOOST

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 8TH)

York County Controller Robb Green says the economic slowdown is affecting the pension fund for retired county employees.

Green says that 3 million dollars may be needed to boost the fund this year. He also said that unless the economy improves, up to 10 million dollars more may be needed next year.

York County's pension fund is more responsible in its level of benefits than other government employee pension funds like those for state and school employees. But even it is facing the consequences of the decline of stocks that began last fall.

APRIL 27-MAY 3, 2009.....

HOT COUNTYWIDE POLITICAL RACES IN THE MAY 19TH PRIMARY......

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

There are nine candidates running on both parties ballots for two seats on the Court of Common Pleas.

Liberal candidate Andrea Marceca Strong, whose signs adorn the same front lawns where Obama signs rested last fall, appears second on the Republican ballot, giving her a good chance to win on the Republican side. Strong sent out a direct mailing to Republican voters last week.

John Ogden is running a radio commercial featuring an endorsement from Democrat and York City Council president Joe Musso. Ogden's Democrat ballot position is second giving him a shot at winning that primary. Democrat insiders are rallying around Ogden and Strong, who has fourth ballot position of the nine on the Democrat side.

Republican insider support is centered around defense attorney Harry Ness, who is first on the GOP ballot and prosecutor Chuck Patterson, who has the fourth Republican ballot position of the nine candidates.

In the Republican primary fight for District Attorney, challenger Tom Kearney's signs are appearing in yards where Obama signs were last fall. This raises questions as to which liberals or liberal interest groups (pot smokers, gay etc.) are throwing support behind Kearney, who is trying to unseat incumbent District Attorney Stan Rebert.

Kearney has been active in GOP circles for many years and is picking up some insider support. Whether he will unseat Rebert remains to be seen. There may be some sparks in this race in the last few weeks.

TAXPAYER-SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE STANDS UP TO CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

Greg Lewis stood up to have his voice heard at the April meeting of the Central York School Board. He wanted the school district to justify the 3.9 percent tax increase in the midst of the economic slowdown. Lewis said that the tax hike 'is going to drive people out of their homes.' Lewis is running for school board as well in the May 19th primary.

The board was going through the ususal motions of paring down its original plan to increase property taxes by 4.8 percent.

Board member Karl Peckmann, who is up for re-election on May 19th, said he had asked the administration for a budget plan with no property tax increase for the coming school year.

Peckmann said he could not support the 3.9 percent tax hike because he believes there should be no tax hike this year. Peckmann and another incumbent board member, Michael Snyder, voted no on the 3.9 percent hike. Another board member, Joseph Reed, also voted no.

Incumbent school board members Robert Weikert and Michael Wagner voted in favor of the tax hike.

Greg Lewis is running on the Republican ballot only for one of four seats on the Central York School Board.

There are three other challengers running for Central School Board seats besides Lewis. They are William Wagner, Howard Myers and Janice Liao-Tabatabai. Those three candidates appear on both party ballots along with the incumbents.

SPECIAL NOTE: INSIDERS IN THE CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT APPEAR TO BE MOST WORRIED ABOUT CANDIDATES WILLIAM WAGNER AND HOWARD MYERS, WHO ARE ACTIVE IN WRESTLING ACTIVITES AND RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONDUCT AND BACKGROUND OF COACHES IN THE DISTRICT'S WRESTLING PROGRAM EARLIER THIS YEAR.

CASINO MONEY FIGURES ANNOUNCED FOR PROPERTY TAX GIVEBACKS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

With just three weeks to go before incumbent school board members face voters, the figures are out from Harrisburg on how casino money will lower property taxes.

York City gets the big bucks again this year-506 dollars. West Shore School District in the northern end of York County is at the bottom with 80 dollars. Central York's figure is 110 dollars, York Suburban figure 114 dollars. In the Dallastown School District, the amount is 128 dollars.

Flat figures mean that property owners of more expensive homes will pay higher property taxes this year. Also note how urban areas that vote for Democrats are also favored.

The casino money giveback on property taxes is "redistribution of wealth" and very political in how it works.

CRIME IS DOWN IN YORK FOR THREE MONTHS THREE WEEKS BEFORE AN ELECTION

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

The real story about these partial crime stats for the first three months of 2009 is that they are designed to create an impression right before the primary election for mayor in York.

Mayor Brenner was saying nice things about them and hoping people will support his handpicked choice in the Democrat primary, Kim Bracey.

Outsiders and reformers who are grouped around Gerry Turner, want to fight crime in the city and the release of this info is designed to undercut any charges about a crime problem in the city.

The first three months stats don't tell the story of an entire year and it seems absurd to release them until one realizes an election is right around the corner.

The report's uneveness shows in the murder stat cited. O for the first three months of 2009 as opposed to three in the first three months of 2008. That comes out as a 100 percent drop statistic. Overall the report said crime is down about 15 percent in the first three months of 2009.

CITY POLICE CAPTAIN APPARENTLY OBSERVED WITH PASSENGER IN OFFICIAL CAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

A reliable source says they've observed a York City Police Captain driving with a passenger in an official vehicle.

The source says they think that Captain Ron Camacho has been travelling in a white car with municipal government license plates and a female passenger on Sunday mornings.

Whatever is going on it it is certain that the white car with MG license plates has been going around the city Sunday mornings with a male driver and female passenger.

Whether this violates any city or city police policy is unknown. But use of police vehicles by officers or government officials is often strictly regulated with official use only, no personal use etc.

This situation that was observed regardless of who the driver is does raise questions??????????

PRO-LIFERS LAWSUITS AGAINST YORK CITY WILL BE HEARD IN FEDERAL COURT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 3RD)

A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling allowing federal lawsuits by two pro-life demonstrators against the City of York to go forward.

Edward Snell and John McTernan allege that York City Police violated their First Amendment rights.

Snell says he was wrongfully arrested in 2004 when handing out literature in the alley near the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. District Justice Ronald Haskell found him not guilty.

McTernan says he was threatened with arrest by a police officer for holding a pro-life sign in the alley near Planned Parenthood in 2005. McTernan also said that in 2005 a desk sergeant called him a "troublemaker" and refused to take his complaint about a fast moving car that almost hit pro-life demonstrators.

Mayor John Brenner's administration has a track record of losing in court twice and having to pay out taxpayers money because of their harrassment of Reverend Jim Grove's pro-life protests at the Halloween parades.

Brenner is leaving office next year but will his handpicked successor Kim Bracey repeat the mistakes of aggressively using police against pro-life protest? Both Brenner and Bracey are supported by the rich men of York who also support Planned Parenthood.

SOUTHERN SCHOOL BOARD PARES DOWN TAX HIKE IN USUAL PATTERN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 28TH)

The pattern is always the same. A government entity announces a 6 percent tax hike, then cuts it back to 5 and ends up with a 4 percent one in the final budget plan.

The objective of this political exercise by public officials is to make taxpayers feel more comfortable with higher taxes by reducing the amount in the final version.

Now the Southern York School District has checked in with its plan to raise property taxes by only 2.98 percent for the 2009-2010 school year. The district is counting on some surplus money from this year and some "stimulus" money from Washington.

The .47 mill hike means 47 more dollars in taxes for properties valued at 100-thousand dollars.

The announcement of the "smaller" tax hike comes before the school board primary election on May 19th.

A final budget vote is set for May 21st.

APRIL 20-26, 2009.........

YORK COUNTS GETS MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP SUPPORT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 26TH)

The Manchester Township Board of Supervisors have put their support behind the York Counts study to promote consolidation of police forces in and around York City.

Like Spring Garden and Springettsbury Townships, Manchester's supervisors support is based on the proposition that the township pays nothing for the study.

York Counts plans to apply for a 50-thousand dollar grant from state taxpayers money to do the study. The group that will be used to do the study recently completed one calling for a consolidated police department in Berks County.

A little bit of your tax dollars that go to Harrisburg will promote a scheme that will cost suburban York taxpayers a lot more if we ever get that super police department.

The York City government is strained by the cost of police protection inlcuding a massive police pension obligation. This York Counts "public safety" study is a disguised bailout plan for the City of York paid for with suburban tax dollars.

The Republican supervisors in Manchester Township must be influenced by something or someone with money like those behind the York Counts organization.

ONE SUPERVISOR TO WATCH VERY CLOSELY IN MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 26TH)

Watch your supervisors, Manchester Township. The most politically aspiring of them is Lawrence Young. This lawyer is doing the work of the Republican Party in York County and ingratiating himself for future political activity.

Last year, Young put out dirt about a bankruptcy involving the Democrat opposing State Representative Ron Miller in the 93rd District. Now, Young is managing the campaign of York County judicial candidate Susan Emmons. Her presence in the race will chip liberal and female votes away from leading liberal female candidate Andrea Marceca Strong. That will help GOP candidates Chuck Patterson and Harry Ness win on May 19th.

YORK CITY POLICE UNION ENDORSES JUDGE AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY CANDIDATES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 25TH)

The White Rose Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police is out with its endorsements for the May 19th primary.

Its looks like an endorsement of the Republican Party's official candidates for judge. The group representing York City Police officers picked Chuck Patterson and Harry Ness as their candidates for Judge Of The Common Pleas Court.

There was also an endorsment for incumbent York County District Attorney Stan Rebert. Law enforcement support can be crucial as Rebert fends off the challenge of Tom Kearney in the GOP Primary.

More comment and analysis on the judicial race, the district attorney contest, and other races to come in the weeks ahead.

OFFICIAL VERSION OF DRUG DOG SEARCH IS SPARSE BUT DID YOU HEAR ABOUT SEX IN THE BATHROOMS AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 25TH)

The "York Daily Record" was up online with news of the April 16th drug search at Central York High School two and a half hours after my posting Thursday. The short news story was online but not printed in the newspaper.

Five arrests were reported after drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in a car in the parking lot. Police said charges were pending.

The school district said parents were informed in a letter about "the situation."

Public education has a way of keeping the public out of the loop and getting away with the letter being sent home to parents rationalization.

Its time that more of what's going on in public schools was told to the public and publicized more widely. Don't the people who pay for the schools have a right to know? Instead the taxpayers see glowing glossy newsletters that paint a nicer looking picture of what's going on in public schools.

One parent recently told me that students at Central York High School are "having sex in the bathrooms." I can add that the school's custodians have occasionally found condoms in the bathrooms.

Those schools and bathrooms were built with your taxes and I report in the interest of your knowledge and reflection on that.

DRUG DOG SEARCH AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL: ARRESTS MADE

(NEXTRUSH EXCLUSIVE: APRIL 23RD)

A WEEK AGO TODAY ON APRIL 16TH A DRUG DOG SEARCH WAS MADE OF LOCKERS AND CLASSROOMS AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL. THE SEARCH TURNED UP DRUGS AND ARRESTS WERE MADE. PARENT AND STAFF SOURCES GAVE CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS OF HOW MANY, BUT IT IS SAID THAT EITHER THREE OR FIVE WERE ARRESTED. IT APPEARS THAT THE NEW CENTRAL YORK SUPERINTENDENT, DR. MICHAEL SNELL, IS TAKING A HARD LINE APPROACH BY ALLOWING A DRUG DOG SEARCH. SNELL IS SAID TO HAVE A TOUGH ATTITUDE AND IN ALLOWING THE SEARCH HE IS BREAKING NEW GROUND THAT HIS PREDECESSOR, DR. LINDA ESTEP, WOULD NOT.

IN THE RACE FOR MAYOR....

(NEWS ANALYSIS-COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 20TH)

There are some hot contests in York County like the judicial race and the Republican primary fight over the District Attorney's post. But before I talk about those races and others in the days ahead, I want to take time to consider the political playing field in the Democrat primary for York City Mayor.

First, lets note that the insider candidate is Kim Bracey. Bracey is supported by current Mayor John Brenner, City Councilwoman Toni Smith and York's political money elite.

Her main challenge comes from Gerry Turner, who was the Republican candidate for mayor in 2005. He's now a Democrat and enjoys support from outsiders who see bad policy coming from the political insiders of city government.

But here's where things get fuzzy and one has to ask questions. Why is the recently elected (2007) member of York City Council, Genevieve Ray, running for mayor? Ray was supported by those same political insiders who now back Bracey.

Ray should be supporting Bracey and it looks like she is as another candidate in the race.

Perhaps that's because the political elite worries that the fourth candidate in this race, Roderick Artis, will split black votes away from Bracey enabling a unified white vote to put Turner over the top in the primary. To counter Artis's splitting of the black vote, Ray will split white votes to help Bracey pull ahead of the other candidates. Why is Artis running? Because he sincerely wants to be mayor or because Turner ran him to split black votes away from Bracey? Right now I don't know the answer to that question.

But that's how I expain the field in the Democrat primary for Mayor of York in the May 19th election.

The winner of this contest faces Republican candidate Wendell Banks in the general election this November.

COUNCIL CANDIDATE'S FACEBOOK PAGE COMES UNDER FIRE OVER 'RACIST IMAGES'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 20TH)

The campaign manager for Republican York City Council candidate Jay Andrzejczyk, Adrienne McNeil, says that Democrat candidate Joe Stein was displaying offensive bumper stickers on his Facebook page.

Pictures of black people and watermelons with jokes are on the bumper stickers and its alleged that other jokes about Helen Keller and Asian people were on the page.

Stein says he's sorry if he's offended anyone and will remove the material, saying its in "bad taste."

This whole thing has me spinning in confusion. Adrienne McNeil resigned from the executive director post of the York County Community Against Racism group several months ago and now she is helping a Republican political candidate.

Two possible explanations. The first one is that Adrienne McNeil was sent over by the Democrats to disrupt the Republican effort. The second is that the racially obsessed McNeil was drummed out of the YCCAR group by its Democrat Party backers and she is bitter over the matter.

McNeil's association with the Andrzejczyk campaign makes this GOP candidate appear to be very liberal to say the least.

APRIL 13-19, 2009.......

LIBERAL EFFORTS TO ELECT YORK COUNTY JUDGE NEXT MONTH HANG ON A 'STRONG' CANDIDATE

(SPECIAL COMMENT-ANALYSIS)(POSTED APRIL 19TH)

In recent elections for judges in York County. liberal forces have used name recognition and female candidates to elect their kind of judges in York County. The female candidates are packaged to conservative voters as more conservative than they really are.

Candidates like Kathleen Prendergast and Barbara Stump failed. But Penny Blackwell was successfully elected as a Common Pleas Court Judge.

Another liberal Democrat success story was ex-state senator Mike Bortner. Bortner's name recognition allowed him instant election in the primary as he came in the top slots on both Democrat and Republican ballots.

Now the liberals have their sights set on electing another judge in York County through the candidacy of Andrea Marceca Strong. The image of a "strong judge" is what her campaign wants to create in your mind. But her support base is clearly liberal and Democrat. One way to notice it is the location of her campaign signs. They are in the same yards that had Barack Obama signs last fall.

Some of Strong's signs are also paired with those of another liberal candidate, John Ogden. It appears Democrats have their favored candidates in this race for the two judicial seats.

I think the Republicans are on to this use of female candidates to win elections and they have some of their own in the race. Susan Emmons is running a campaign managed by Republican attorney Lawrence (Larry) Young. Erin Thompson is also in the race. Her father is currently a York County Common Pleas Judge and her grandfather was the longtime Republican chairman in York County.

Five of the nine candidates for the two judicial seats are female and their presence may help split female votes to help male candiates win. But Andrea Marceca Strong is trying to Obama her way to a win on May 19th. Beware of her, learn more about her, and warn others.

Among the male candidates, Harry Ness has the strongest name recognition at this point and a good shot at winning a Republican slot. A male candidate supported by Republican insiders is Chuck Patterson, chief deputy prosecutor at the DA's office.

All 9 candidates are on both parties ballots and have a chance to win automatic election May 19th with a win on both party's ballots.

DISTRICTS FACING CONTESTED SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS 'CUT' BUDGETS

(SPECIAL COMMENT-ANALYSIS)(POSTED APRIL 19TH)

With incumbent school board members facing opposition and voters concerned about higher taxes and spending, it should come as no surpise that school district's are putting out revised budgets for next year that reduce projected tax increases.

The Dallastown School District now says the 2009-2010 budget will only increase 3.3 percent instead of 4.8 percent. That translates into a 69 dollar property tax hike for a home valued at 100-thousand dollars.

Dallastown is planning on spending over 85.7 million dollars next year with the new revised budget delaying plans to buy new band uniforms, among other things.

Meanwhile, the Central York School District has revised its budget increase for the 2009-2010 year down to 3.9 percent from 4.8 percent. That was done by eliminating plans to create 11.5 new jobs in the district next year.

The 73.8 million dollar budget will draw on 2.7 million dollars in surplus funds to keep the tax hike down.

That will mean a 97 dollar property tax hike for a home valued at 150-thousand dollars.

It is worth noting here that four candidates are on the ballot in the May 19th primary challenging the four incumbent school board members. I think this is a major factor in the move by the district to cut spending plans.

I will also note that while no new positions are supposed to be created next year, the district has been hiring for new positions this year, including some related to the new pool at the high school. The most expensive new position (likely costing taxpayers well over 60-thousand dollars) is that of a Human Resources Director for the Central York School District. Applications for the position were being accepted last month.

APRIL 6-11, 2009...............

TEACHER RESIGNS IN MIDST OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 11TH)

South Western School District elementary school teacher Matthew Krapf resigned suddenly last Wednesday a week after state police seized a computer in his home.

The police are conducting an investigation into child pornography.

The school district said Krapf was removed from his teaching position when police seized the computer on April 1st.

The school district said it acted in response to the police investigation of Krapf, who was a math teacher for 75 fifth-grade students at the Baresville Elementary School. Krapf was also an assistant track coach at the Markle Intermediate School. He had been teaching for 10 years.

District officials met with the parents of Krapf's students and sent a letter to those who did not meet with them. They made those parents only aware of the pornography investigation.

Other parents of children in the school were kept in the dark and found out about the investigation from their children or media reports. The school district said that "legal advice" led them to limit distribution of information.

The school says guidance counselors are available to speak with students.

The investigation of Matthew Krapf is continuing with no charges filed yet.

Its worth noting in this case that teachers accused of wrongdoing or under a cloud of suspicion will resign ahead of any possible firing to keep pension benefits and the possibility of teaching again some day, possibly in another state.

The district says the investigation is about activities "outside the school" but we will have to wait and see if anything develops from the investigation that may be linked to the ex-teacher and his former students.

If I were a parent I would question my child about this teacher and if they have been harmed in any way by him. If I got a "Yes" to that I would go to the police immediately and bypass the school district in case they try to cover anything up.

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE CALLS FOR COST CUTTING ON EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 6TH)

Larry Wolfe is a candidate for school board in the Dallastown School District this year and he has an idea about saving taxpayers some money.

Speaking at a school board meeting recently, Wolfe called for half the cost of extracurricular activites like band and sports to be paid for by students. Some parents showed up at a board meeting last week to protest the idea.

In making his proposal Wolfe said that students who are poor could have their way paid for out of a fund that he would personally be willing to contribute to. Wolfe wants to find out exactly how much the activities cost including the maintenance of fields and stadiums where sports are played.

The district has given a cost estimate of more than 1.3 million dollars for extracurricular activites. Wolfe thinks that's low and the district is checking to find out more information and will present a new estimate.

Larry Wolfe is one of three candidates for Dallastown School Board in District 1. He's facing incumbent member Jim Morton and another candidate, Butch Potter, in the May 19th primary.

Well, Wolfe is thinking about cutting costs to taxpayers. That's a good idea. He's stirred up a hornets nest by bring up band and sports activities to make his point.

The biggest item in school budgets (over 50 percent) remains the pay and benefits for school employees. It is here where money can be saved and the taxpayers offered relief. I hope Mr. Wolfe will talk about these costs as well in his school board campaign.

NORTHEASTERN BOARD SETS 70 PERCENT BAR FOR AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 11TH)

There's a 70 percent grade requirement now in place for extra curricular activities in the Northeastern School District. The school board has approved the higher standard.

This would put Northeastern in line with the neighboring Eastern School District where there's a 70 percent requirement for students to be involved in after school things like sports. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has a 60 percent requirement.

Student performance will be reported every Friday and if its below the 70 percent standard in any classes, the student will be out of sports and other extra-curricular activities for one week.

The higher standard in the Eastern district has become a matter of controversy.

(SEE STORY BELOW)

PARENTS AT EASTERN UPSET OVER ACADEMIC RULE FOR STUDENT ATHLETES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 6TH)

Parents in the Eastern York School District want the school board to loosen an academic standard for student athletes in the district.

Eastern requires its student athletes to maintain a 70 percent average in classes to play in games. The protesting parents say Eastern should adhere to the standard of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. The PIAA requires a 60 percent average for student athletes to play.

This story shows us the priorities of some parents and what will make them go to a school board meeting. Sports has become the center of some people's lives and the only thing that will motivate them to raise objections at school board meetings.

Whenever sports is in dispute, large crowds show up at school board meetings. Maybe the parents should care about academic standards more and the political agendas that pass for education in many school districts ranging from "diversity" to "climate change."

And what about wasteful spending and the need to cap gold plated salaries and benefits for school employees from the 140-thousand dollar a year superintendents on down. These issues should drive people to school board meetings, but more often than not they don't.

MARCH 30-APRIL 5, 2009...........

CRIME STATS HIGHLIGHT YORK CITY AS CENTER OF CRIME IN COUNTY

(NEWS COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED APRIL 5TH)

"The York Dispatch" printed crime statistics last week that showed York City leading cities of comparable size in Pennsylvania in property crime and fourth in violent crime. The crime stats come from a five year average (2002-2007) involving cities like Lancaster, Harrisburg and Chester in comparison with York.

Both current York mayor John Brenner and the candidates running to replace him next year were speaking about the city's crime problem. Brenner thinks a solution lies in the people of the city's neighborhoods. Their involvement will help to stop crime.

"The York Dispatch" also reported about poverty as a cause of crime and also reported about "rising crime" in York County. The countywide statistics cited by the newspaper indicate the crime rate is much lower outside of the city. The violent crime rate in the county is around 1/5 of the city's and the property crime rate in the county is around 30 percent of the city's.

Perhaps Mayor Brenner has a point, but crime will go down when people in the city's neighborhoods decide to change the direction of their lives. Addictive behavior including the abuse of drugs can be seen behind the criminal activity in York and everywhere else.

Meanwhile, the York Counts scheme to create a consolidated police force was discussed at a closed meeting on Wednesday night. York Counts claim that crime is everywhere was undermined by the high crime rates reported in York City. Those high crime rates reinforce the idea that this consolidated police concept is really a way to tax county residents to provide police protection to the crime ridden city.

York Counts said that its people and those from the local governments involved in the consolidated police study could not speak freely at a public meeting.

Beware of York Counts and its police consolidation study which will come out promoting the concept of one police department in York City and surrounding suburbs.

NEW CENTRAL YORK POOL IS DRAINED FOR REPAIR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 4TH)

The Central York High School's new multimillion dollar pool is being drained this weekend for repair. Caulking of the new pool was not done properly and the construction company (ECI Construction) has to fix it. The school district has been quick to point out that the construction company is paying for fixing its mistake.

Longtime editor of "The York Sunday News" Gordon Freirich noted in an opinion piece last fall that pools are expensive to operate. Central has had to hire special maintenance staff to run its "natatorium" and a staff of lifeguards as well. All those thousands of gallons of water to refill the pool will cost money as well.

Central is offering memberships for those who want to use its pool. Taxpayers need to ask if the pool fees are covering the cost of the facility.

FUND FOR SWIMMING CLASSES ESTABLISHED IN FORMER SUPERINTENDENT'S NAME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 4TH)

A Linda Estep Aquatics Program Fund has been established to pay for swimming classes at the new Central York High School pool. The fund will pay for children who can't afford the classes.

It seems appopriate that money should be raised to pay for operating this pool in Dr. Estep's name. Estep was militantly committed to building the pool and once claimed that a state law required the school to add more physical education space. When "The York Dispatch" found out that no such law existed she claimed that she had "misspoke" about the matter.

Word is that 2500 hundred dollars raised at the opening of the pool last year is now in the fund.

MARCH 23-29, 2009........

'REDISTRIBUTING WEALTH': THE REAL STORY OF YORK COUNTS

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED MARCH 29TH)

When Barack Obama made his crack to Joe The Plumber about redistribution of wealth, a lot of red lights went off. Now that Obama is president and money from the "stimulus" is flowing heavily into areas that voted for him in the last election, we can see what that comment means.

In York County, school districts like Central or Red Lion will see 1.6 or 2.4 million dollars in 'stimulus.' But in the Obama supporting York City School District, there's 8.1 million dollars plus in 'stimulus.'

Imagine a locally based group doing the same thing Obama is with a shell game about "saving money" to "consolidate services." York County has such a group embracing numerous political and business "leaders" under the banner of York Counts.

York Counts continues to push forward with a police consoldiation scheme. Its leaders like executive director James DeBoard, have access to York's newspapers, WSBA Radio and community access televison to claim York Counts is about saving money through consolidation of services.

When York Mayor John Brenner made his "State of the City" address several days ago he laid out the major financial burden city government faces. Brenner cited the cost of public safety for city residents. He was talking about the cost of police and fire protection. That includes a massive police pension burden in the millions of dollars.

Right now that burden falls on city taxpayers.

York Counts, with its various schemes to consolidate school districts, create a countywide health department, a countywide human relations commission and above all the consolidated police department, takes the burden of city spending and hands it over to residents of the suburbs. The part of York County that votes for Democrats will have the wealth of areas that vote for Republicans transfered through higher property taxation.

Don't be fooled by the hype.

York Counts is a tax increase aimed at the suburbs of York County that will take Republican voting suburbs wealth and transfer it to provide government services to the Democrat voting City Of York.

Maybe York Counts should just call itself "York Obama." It is 'redistribution of wealth' disguised as a cost-saving consolidation.

Nine local governments, including Spring Garden and Springettsbury Townships, are already on board for the "study" that will be done to promote consolidation.

James DeBoard has revealed that a group called the Police Executve Research Forum will conduct the study. The PERF group completed a study recently in Berks County, Pennsylvania that promoted the idea of consolidating the county's police departments with the Reading City Police Department.

'ANTI-RACISM' GROUP CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR 'DIVERSITY' TRIBUNAL IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 28TH)

The York County Community Against Racism group continues its "reorganization" after the departure of its controversial executive director Adrienne McNeil.

A meeting last Saturday discussed the effort that will be relaunched next year to establish a "human relations commission" for York County. Besides offering a financial bailout for York City's existing "human relations commission," this would also mean "jurisdiction" being extended to all of York County.

YCCAR is partnering with the "York Counts" group that is pushing various government consolidation schemes that would have York County taxpayers bearing the burden of York City services.

YCCAR wants to sell the idea of such a commission using the example of one created for all of Lancaster County. Its also citing research about people being discriminated against in York County.

Quoted in the "York Sunday News" report on the meeting was YCCAR leader Ryan Satter. Satter was quoted last fall as a Catholic who supported pro-abortion Barack Obama for president. This again makes one suspicious as to whether YCCAR is some sort of political front for York County's Democrat Party. Also serving as YCCAR board chairman is active York County Democrat Don Hake.

Bottom line is that such a "human relations commission" like the York City one that is stocked with politically biased people, could become like those that exist in Canada.

Canadian "human rights commissions" routinely drag letter to the editor writers, internet bloggers, and publishers into costly legal proceedings based on the content of their speech.

Even the Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, Alberta faced a "human rights tribunal" for writing a pastoral letter opposing gay marriage. And an expensive "human rights" case in Canada was directed against a columnist for the nations leading newsmagazine "Macleans." That was because Mark Steyn allegedly offended Muslims by writing a column about "Islamic terrorism."

YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT DENIES ANYTHING NASTY IN SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 28TH)

The York City School District has spoken to the "York Dispatch" about its new sex education program chosen because the city has a high "teen pregancy" rate.

Four cities in the state including York were designated for new sex education curriculum aimed at middle school students. The Pennsylvania Department of Education calls it the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Pilot.

Word is that York's curriculum was chosen from 25 different possibilities and is different from that being used in Lancaster and Reading. There is no condom use lesson in the York middle school sex education program, according to district official Cheryl Shaffer.

A teacher union president spoke out at a Reading School Board meeting saying teachers did not want to use a model penis to demonstrate the idea that using condoms was "fun and pleasurable."

The York City curriculum is called "Draw The Line, Respect The Line" and is said to involve educating students about making decisions that could postpone sex.

Since our schools are public schools, it would be a good idea to have this curriculum released to the public online so parents and taxpayers could see it at their convenience.

MARCH 16-22, 2009......

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS FROM SHAKE UP AT DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 21ST)

The sudden departure of First Assistant District Attorney Bill Graff came at a most unusual time. The GOP primary campaign for York County District Attorney is underway with incumbent Stan Rebert facing lawyer Tom Kearney.

Pressure from York County police chiefs appears to be behind the sudden announcement that Graff will be on leave immediately and is retiring on May 15th.

They were said to be upset with the way he was running the York County Drug Task Force. The local police were said to have wanted more input into the task force.

DA Stan Rebert said it was his decision to deal with Graff. Rebert told the "York Dispatch" that it was the "most difficult decision" he has ever made. His political challenger, Tom Kearney, said he would like to know why Graff was asked to retire.

Why does something like this happen now? Back in the 1990's law enforcement in York County showed its political muscle by electing retired York City Police Chief Bill Hose as Sheriff. They overcame the Republican Party endorsed Ken Markel in a GOP Primary.

Is this another display of such muscle to create controversy during a political campaign?

Kearney is a very political savvy and active person. He knows how tough defeating an incumbent is. Kearney is fully aware that pulling out the stops to defeat Rebert is the only way he can win.

I'm wondering if the police attack on Graff is somehow linked to Kearney.

ADDING POLICE FOR YORK CITY SCHOOLS SPARKS DEBATE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 22ND)

The "stimulus" money is set to pour out of Washington into areas that voted for Barack Obama and other Democrats in the 2008 election.

For the City of York this means all kinds of money for all kinds of things, including additional police officers in schools. The York City Police Department is looking at obtaining grant money to add six new police officers at William Penn High School.

York City Police Commissioner Mark Whitman says the officers will increase security and establish positive relationships with students.

When the idea was presented to the York City School Board, there was a predictable mixed reaction. Members of the racial faction of the board, who acknowledge discipline problems at the school, oppose additional police.

Member Sam Beard thought that so many armed officers in an educational environment sends a wrong message.

The racial faction members seem very confused when it comes to discipline problems. They appear to be concerned on one hand and willing to excuse or downplay any problems on the other.

Meanwhile, insider school board President Jeanette Torres expressed support for the additional police, saying they could prevent a future tragedy.

Curently there are two "resource officers" in the York City School District from the police department.

The "stimulus" money to fund the police will only last for three years. What will happen then?

ONE OTHER NOTE, A CONTESTED SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION IS COMING UP IN PRIMARY VOTING ON MAY 19TH WITH SEVEN CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR FOUR SEATS ON THE YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD. MORE NEWS AND ANALYSIS ON THAT AT A LATER DATE....

MARCH 10-16, 2009............

STIMULUS MONEY POURS INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN YORK COUNTY WITH YORK CITY GETTING THE MOST

(NEWS ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 14TH,UPDATED MARCH 15TH)

Before the Obama "stimulus" plan was approved in Washington, Governor Ed Rendell's budget proposed a "basic education subsidy" to the York City School District of 1.7 million dollars for the 2009-2010 school year. But now there's 2.4 million coming. The extra 700-thousand is "stimulus" money being sent to Pennsylvania for education.

THE 'YORK SUNDAY NEWS' PUBLISHED A PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ESTIMATE OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF 'STIMULUS' MONEY GOING TO EACH YORK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND YORK CITY LEADS THE PACK BY FAR WITH OVER 8.1 MILLION DOLLARS.

Additional money is also set to pour into school districts outside the city. The Red Lion School District is reported to be getting 421-thousand dollars more, the Central York School District and the Spring Grove School District are said to be getting 300-thousand more dollars each.

There's a lot to see about politics and money in this story.

Unions that represent people who work in public schools like teachers (American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association) backed Barrack Obama. Now he pays them off with big money. KEEP IN MIND MOST OF THE MONEY PUBLIC EDUCATION SPENDS IS ON SALARIES. THIS MONEY WILL BENEFIT THE UNION EMPLOYEES WHOSE UNIONS SUPPORTED OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT. THEY ARE BEING BOUGHT FOR THE LAST ELECTION AND FUTURE ELECTIONS.

And consider the areas where the money is directed. The largest chunks go to the most urbanized areas that voted the most for Barack Obama and other Democrats.

The York City School District will not have to raise property taxes for the next school year because of all this money. THE PEOPLE OF YORK CITY AND OTHER URBAN AREAS ARE BEING BOUGHT FOR THE LAST ELECTION AND FUTURE ELECTIONS.

And it looks very much like Barack Obama's "committment" to Joe The Plumber is being carried out in the 'stimulus' plan.

People in areas that vote for Democrats will not have to pay higher property taxes next school year while areas that vote for Republicans will have to pay higher property taxes next school year.

THIS 'STIMULUS' PLAN'S DISTRIBUTION OF MONEY TO THE OBAMA-DEMOCRAT SUPPORTING PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IS 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.'

CONGRESSMAN PLATTS ENDORSES OBAMA'S ANTI-LIFE MOVE

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 14TH)

U.S. Representative Todd Platts (R-19th District) has issued a statement supporting President Barack Obama's executive order issued last Monday. The Obama order means taxpayers money will be used to do research on stem cells from aborted babies.

Responding to the president's decision, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix says: "This means that American taxpayers will now be paying for the killing of human beings at a very early stage (as embryos) so that scientific research can make use of them for experiments that may or may not yield positive results.......What President Obama is doing is forcing all American taxpayers to pay for this homicidal research."

It was some ten years ago when he was still a state representative, but planning a run for Congress, that Todd Platts went public saying he had changed from a pro-abortion to a pro-life position. His news release to the press included the announcement that his wife Leslie was leaving her then position with Planned Parenthood.

Platts spent a long time talking for various pro-life leaders in the York area saying he was sincerely pro-life and would be willing to sponsor pro-life legislation in Washington.

In the years since then, the now Congressman Platts appears to be shifting his position slowly away from a pro-life one.

Other observers are disturbed by the Congressman's support for earmarks that add billions of dollars in spending to an already bloated federal budget. Platts is also cited for supporting the big spending children's health insurance program and adding "sexual orientation" to anti-discrimination and hate crime laws.

Can the increasingly liberal Platts be successfully challenged in next spring's GOP Primary? Tricks are probably laid in the way for any potential challenger.

MARCH 2-8, 2009..............

FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE GOES TO WORK FOR TEACHERS UNION

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 8TH)

Where do retired state legislators go with their big pension benefits in the bag?

How about a job with a big lobbying organization in Harrisburg that pays more than your 76-thousand dollar plus legislators salary did.

Former "moderate" Republican State Rperesentative Steve Nickol of the 193rd District in the Hanover area now is an "assistant director" with PSEA-Retired. PSEA stands for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's leading union organization that many believe has a stranglehold on the legislature and governors office in Pennsylvania.

When he was in the State House, Nickol served on the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System board. Now he will work on giving advice to school employees who retire and form "public policy" positions on retirement issues.

Interviewed by the "York Daily Record," Nickol admits his job will eventually take him back into the State Capitol building. Isn't that just a roundabout way of saying he will be lobbying for more goodies for PSEA members retirement at the expense of Pennsylvania's taxpayers. Its a glaring example of how the system works in Pennsylvania. At least we can give credit to the "York Daily Record" and "Harrisburg Patriot" for mentioning it.

YORK CITY GYM TEACHER CHARGED WITH MOLESTATION OF STUDENT AT FORMER SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 7TH)

Authorities in Lycoming County have arrested and imprisoned a gym teacher employed by the York City School District in connection with the alleged molestation of an 11-year old boy at a private school he used to work at.

James R. Jamison is accused of sexual offenses and other charges, including intimidation of a witness and terroristic threats.

The alleged victim says he had inappropriate contact with Jamison when he was in first, second and fifth grade at the St.Boniface Elementary School. Jamison also threatened him with a pocket knife, according to the boy.

Jamison came to the York City School District from St. Boniface last August and was a floating gym and health teacher, who worked at two elementary schools.

York City School District officials say Jamison was removed from teaching responsibilities when they were made aware of allegations against him on February 12th. Jamison was arrested in Lycoming County on February 26th.

Jamison is still employed by the school district at this time and remains in Lycoming County Prison on 500-thousand dollars bail.

Several years ago York City School District was cited and fined for failing to report allegations of inappropriate contact involving then Hannah Penn Middle School teacher Edward Fullum and students.

The district appears to have moved quickly in this case instead of sitting on its hands in the previous case in spite of numerous parent complaints. Hopefully, Jamison did not harm any York City students.

The district has spoken of making guidance counselors available for Jamison's former students. We should keep an eye on this to see if Jamison faces any charges for what he may have done to a student or students in York.

MEDIA OUTBURST OVER MEXICAN MAFIA E-MAIL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 2ND)

At almost the same time that BBC World News was reporting on Mexican drug trafficking's "tentacles" that reach into "sleepy Pennsylvania towns" there were local newspaper stories about a "false" e-mail concerning "Mexican Mafia" activity in York City.

The e-mail started a few weeks ago originating with a York County probation officer and then had extra information tacked on by a York County sheriff's deputy.

Phone calls poured into York City Police about whether it was safe to drive in the 300 and 400 blocks of South Queen Street. The sheriff's deputy had said in his portion of e-mail that it was unsafe to do so.

This led York City Police to describe the e-mail saying that Mexican Mafia gangs had started operating in York City as "false." But Captain Wes Kahley was acknowleding at the same time that people who say they are affiliated with the Mexican Mafia have been active in the York area for a decade or more. Kahley also says that info about Mexican Mafia activity was discussed at a recent law enforcment meeting. City police want people to know that criminals have not just arrived in York and that its not unsafe to travel on South Queen Street.

Mexican drug gangs are waging a war of terror in northern Mexico right now with fears that violence could spill across the border into southern Texas. News of that probably drives some of concerned phone calls to York City Police.

But York's newspapers upped the temperature on this story more over the weekend describing the e-mail as "viral" and talking to residents of the neighborhood in question. I'm surprised they didn't just come out and call the e-mail "racist."

In the days of the "original Mafia" and its leaders like Johnny Torio, Al Capone and Sam Giancanna, much was said about "prejudice" against Italian-Americans with use of the "Mafia" name to describe their criminal activities. The crooks even helped set up and finance "anti-discrimination" groups.

Of course, the official line from York City is that crime is a countywide problem and that we need a consolidated police department. That would mean suburban taxpayers paying more to finance the city's costly police department under a consolidated organization.

But the propaganda line in the months to come will be that it will "save money." And that's a bold faced lie no matter who says it or how its presented in some "study" that will be done.

FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 1, 2009......

SURPRISE VOTE APPROVES CHARTER SCHOOL IN YORK CITY

(NEWS ANALYSIS, COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 28TH)

In a 6-3 decision, the York City School Board voted to approve the Helen Thackston Middle School's second application. An earlier attempt to gain approval failed 5-4.

The four members of the school board's "racial faction" voted for the charter school, but this time they were joined by "insider faction" members Renee Nelson and School Board President Jeanette Torres.

Why the change?

Nelson spoke of the need to comply with state law. That is a good reason. When Lincoln Edison set up the charter elementary school in the city before this latest middle school move, they were treated harshly by the York City School District and its school board.

Torres spoke of her son attending a charter school and herself as a supporter of public schools and charter schools.

As has been noted previously, the pressure from the racial faction was likely to cause the insiders to break at some point. This may have been a breaking point, although Torres and Nelson happened to pick a school board election year for their change of heart.

It appears money always played a major role in all the hostility of York City School District toward Lincoln Edison's elementary charter school. They were upset about losing part of their money to the charter school operation.

Now money for public schools in cities that vote for Democrats like York is flowing freely. Both Governor Ed Rendell's budget plan and President Barack Obama's "stimulus" plan are giving the York City School District a big boost in money. Perhaps a big enough boost for school board members to change their minds about the new charter middle school.

VOTE OBAMA, GET 'STIMULUS'?

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 1ST)

There's a lot of excitement in the York City School District where Barack Obama got lots of votes last fall. Millions of dollars in stimulus money is expected to do repair work on buildings.

Meanwhile, it was reported recently that the York Suburban School District, considered one of the "richest" in York County, is getting 190-thousand dollars in "stimulus" money.

Obama got a lot of votes in that district, even a majority in some precincts.

Politics and handing out money go together, but today's taxpayers and the future ones attending school today get to pay the bill tomorrow for the trillions of dollars in debt now being created.

THOMPSON ENTERS JUDICIAL RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 28TH)

Attorney Erin Thompson is running in the race for two open seats on York County Common Pleas Court. Thompson is the youngest candidate in the race so far. She is only 32 years old and works as a public defender.

Erin Thompson is the daughter of York County Common Pleas Court Judge John Thompson Jr.

Her grandfather, the late John Thompson Sr., was the longtime chairman of the Republican Party in York County.

It will be interesting to see if she draws the support of political insiders in York County because of her name. Thompson is now one of nine candidates, five of whom are female. The more female candidates there are in the race, the more likely it is to help the male candidates.

FEBRUARY 16-22, 2009.........

SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT SILENCES PARENTS IN CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 22ND)

Rumors about wrestling parents in the Central York School District have come out into the open. The parents and their lawyer came to last Monday's school board meeting.

Parents have hired a lawyer to ask the district to remove the coach and assistant coach of the varsity wrestling team.

Volunteer wrestling coach Joe Musti told the school board that Central's wrestling program needs change and that they shouldn't sweep things "under the rug."

But it appears the board was trying to do just that.

Allegations include using a volunteer in the wrestling program with a criminal record and that the head wrestling coach Steve Grove had used "lewd" language in front of players.

School board president Eric Wolfgang prevented parents from talking about the allegations at the meeting, saying personnel matters are private matters.

I guess the First Amendment doesn't apply to school board meetings.

Attorney Vincent Spadafora says that he met with Central York High School Principal Ryan Caufman, Central Athletic Director Marty Trimmer and the school district's lawyer. Spadafora told newspaper reporters "they had an excuse for every issue."

School officials appear to have told the parent's lawyer that only a few allegations had any merit and they only merited a reprimand.

Attorney Spadafora said the parents believe the district is not acting "in the best interests of the children."

Parents invest a lot of time and energy in their children's athletic activities hoping that some financial gain may result like scholarships or some sort of athletic career.

Sports issues always seem draw a crowd to a school board meeting like they did last Monday night.

This is a school board election year and there are rumors of candidates running in connection with this issue.

My knowledge of misconduct issues in education and the Central York School District in general leave me with many concerns about what's going on here.

In this case and other insiders move to cover up misconduct in public schools. In one York County school district in recent years, a middle school band director-teacher was caught a second time using his computer to view child pornography. His first offense resulted in a five day suspension and it appeared the second offense would cost him nothing more.

This situation led to a heated meeting between a school district superintendent and a concerned parent, who was also a teacher in that school district. A promise to speak out at the school board meeting drew an angry response from the superintendent. She angrily told him that talking about the teacher using his computer to view child pornography violated "privacy."

The controversy was "resolved" when the offending band director resigned from that school district. But this meant the matter was covered up and the individual involved was free to move onto another school district with his personnel record kept confidential to protect his "privacy." For all the stories of teacher sexual misconduct alone that you have read about in recent years in York County, there are numerous others that you don't read about like the one I mentioned above.

They are kept quiet and school districts get to cover up other kinds of misconduct going on among teachers and staff. You would think that in public education, the public would have a right to know what's happening with the public's money that is spent there.

MORE MONEY FROM HARRISBURG AND WASHINGTON PUMPED INTO SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS LIKE YORK CITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 21ST)

The 2009-2010 Pennsylvania budget proposed by Governor Ed Rendell increases spending over 5 percent in spite of the economic downturn. New taxes are part of the budget proposal. The budget plan is heavily weighted towards jacking up public education spending by even more than that percentage while freezing and cutting other services.

The funding formula favors school districts in urban areas like York City that vote for Democrats. Seven million more dollars are slated for the city school district starting July 1st.

The York City School Board decided during the last week to spend some 800-thousand dollars on hiring a security director and five guards to increase security at William Penn High School. The district will move hall monitors currently at the high school to other schools in the district.

Money to repair and renovate school buildings in York City is expected with the "stimulus" package coming out of Washington. A city school official speaks of 8.9 million dollars of work that needs to be done on buildings.

Evidence again of a targeted "redistribution of wealth" aimed at areas that vote for Democrats. President Obama is expected to announce tax increases in the coming years to help pay for the program when he speaks before Congress this coming Tuesday.

TIGHT SPENDING TALK IN YORK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 21ST)

The school districts in York County are getting increased funding from Harrisburg in the Rendell budget plan for 2009-2010. This will help them as they seek to handle the "inflation index" targets for property tax hikes.

But the bottom line for every property tax owner in these tough economic times is a property tax hike generally in the 3-5 percent range depending on the school district involved.

This is a year for school board elections and that plays a role in the words coming out of school districts about spending plans.

Here's a roundup of the public relations games being played by some districts as they seek to convey an image of financial responsibilty at a time when taxpayers are getting pay cuts and losing their jobs.

"NEEDS NOT WANTS" SLOGAN FROM SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT

In the school district where the administration was pushing the purchase of a 97-thousand dollar piano last year and where teachers are averaging pay increases of around four and half percent in their current contract, officials speak of the new budget and tax increase as reflecting the district's "needs, not wants." The district is also working to create a private fundraising campaign to raise some six million dollars. Its a neat scheme that the Central York School District has been using to fund a lot of athletic related activities and even the districts "diversity" program.

If South Eastern gets this campaign going good, that 97-thousand dollar piano could be right around the corner.

HIT BY FINANCIAL DECLINE, DALLASTOWN JUGGLES PLANS

The heavy borrowing by the Dallastown School District got caught up in the financial troubles of Wall Street last fall. A bond rating decline led to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in extra cost to taxpayers.

Dallastown is moving forward with building a new 60 million dollar plus school in Springfield Township. The district scrambled to find a bank loan so it could stabilize the financial losses.

Now the district is speaking of 1.8 million dollars in spending to be "cut" so the budget will only have a 4.8 percent tax hike in it. In these times, its dsigusting that taxpayers have to pay nearly 5 percent more in property taxes in Dallastown.

The standard game from school districts and board members is to talk higher tax rises then cut back the figure for the final vote to make people feel better.

CENTRAL YORK PUTS OFF OVER 40 MILLION DOLLARS IN NEW BUILDING PLANS FOR ONE YEAR

The directive last Monday from the Central York School Board to focus on "short term solutions" to growth was great showmanship.

The Schrader Group recommendations for a second middle school to be built along with other expansions and renovations estimated to cost over 40 million dollars did not require an immediate decision to build.

The Central board can continue the "tradition" of spending tens of millions on building with a decision after this year's school board elections.

The Schrader Group plan did not envision any construction until sometime late next year (2010).

Meanwhile, in private fundraising news Central's Panther Foundation will get 75-thousand dollars from People's Bank. In exchange, the school board's meeting room will be named for the bank.

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE EMERGES FOR YORK MAYOR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 21ST)

A fifth candidate has announced in the race for York City Mayor.

Wendell Banks is a Republican candidate. Banks is an independent minister who has run for office before. He is reported saying that finding a way to lower taxes is his first priority.

Four Democrat candidates are already in the race led including insider candidate Kim Bracey. The three other candidates are Roderick Artis, Genevieve Ray and Gerry Turner.

FEBRUARY 9-15, 2009.................

PUSH FOR COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND WHOLE YORK COUNTS AGENDA IS A BAILOUT PLAN FOR YORK CITY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 15TH)

The promoters of a countywide health department are making a push to get county commissioners to vote on the idea in April.

The Health York County Coalition is carrying out the promotion of the department first proposed by the York Counts group in 2004. They've conducted a business study saying that after other funding sources are tapped, the new department will cost county taxpayers over 400-thousand dollars a year.

What's really missing from this debate and the debate about other ideas proposed under the York Counts banner, like a countywide human relations commission, consolidated police department and consolidated school district is the hidden reality

The hidden reality is that functions of the York City government, like its health department and human relations commission would now be paid for by county taxpayers through these ideas promoted by York Counts.

The costly police department of York City, with its massive pension obligation, would become the burden of suburban taxpayers under consolidation. The study to promote police consolidation is planned for later this year with Springettsbury Township and Spring Garden Townships opening the door to higher taxes by participating in the study.

The consoldiated school district, which Governor Rendell may force on us without any local decisions involved, would burden suburban taxpayers with the cost of York City schools as well.

There are many politically connected people with York City ties in York Counts. Eric Menzer, a former city official, has been a big promoter.

York's leading money men like Tom Wolf and Louis Appell, not to mention Robert Kinsley and others, have done business with the city involving buildings and property and have an interest in the city government's financial future.

They are the natural beneficiaries of a York City government that doesn't go bankrupt and have to be taken over by the state.

For now it looks like Commissioners Steve Chronister and Chris Reilly are opposed to the idea, with Commissioner Doug Hoke saying he's undecided. The opposition of Reilly appears focused on the tight state of county finances right now and he suggests the new department may be viable in the future.

So York Counts may lose this year, but its leaders vow to keep pushing for the new health department.

The pressure of York Counts will build in coming years with repeated sales pitches about the "needs" of the community and "efficiency" in the new police department and school district.

And in the end it will all add up to a York County taxpayer bailout of York City if it isn't stopped. More than a bailout, it will be the creation of new supergovernment entities that will be anything but "efficient" as they develop in coming years.

Soon, York County taxpayers will be as burdened as Maryland taxpayers are in covering the costs of their big size county governments.

PORNOGRAPHIC CURRICULUM PLANNED FOR YORK CITY SCHOOLS DEBATED IN LANCASTER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 15TH)

"Making Proud Choices" is the name of a program that's stirred up controversy in Reading. That's where the head of the teachers union, Dan Grim, told school board members that the program is not appropriate for middle school students. He added that teachers felt uncomfortable with the program. A school board member denied the program designed to "prevent teen pregnancy" is pornographic.

Three other cities have been targeted because of their "high teen pregnancy rates" for the program aimed at 6th, 7th and 8th Grade students. Lancaster, Harrisburg and York are the cities involved.

The new curriculum was endorsed at a Lancaster school board education committee meeting on Thursday. The message given to any who objected to the new curriculum is that condom usage will be discussed after abstinence is mentioned in earlier presentations. Lancaster officials say the new curriculum scheduled to be taught starting next month will not include the "penis model". This issue was brought up in Reading where the union president said the model would be used to demonstrate condom use to students as part of a "How To Make Condoms Fun And Pleasurable" teaching segment.

One teacher said students as young as second and third grade are having oral sex to justify the new middle school curriculum.

Lancaster officials speak of offering parents access to view the curriculum at the school district office. Why not post it online so all parents and taxpayers can see it?

Some special thoughts here. In Nazi Germany, the boys and girls of Hitler Youth were given "factual information" about sex. No condoms entered into the discussion because the purpose of the "factual information" was to promote pregnancy. Girls were told by Nazi officials pregnancy with or without marriage was acceptable to produce more soldliers for "the Fatherland."

We can talk about sex and sex with condoms until our faces turn blue. I think it all adds up to a discussion that only promotes more sex and more calls for "comprehensive sex edcuation" etc. to combat the increased sex and pregnancy. What is needed is a fundamental change in our thinking about sex and the way sex is dealt with in our society from media to our own personal relationships. This curriculum just diggs a deeper hole for us to go into.

At the rate we are going the former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders call for masturbation to be taught in kindergarten will become a reality.

And that brings us to these questions. What's happening with this curriculum in York City Schools? What's the story and is anyone looking into it? Full public disclosue about this program is in order.

HEAD OF 'ANTI- RACISM' GROUP RESIGNS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 15TH)

The executive director of the York County Community Against Racism, Adrienne McNeil, says she is resigning effective February 27th to pursue educational opportunities.

The leftist bent of her organization became a source of controversy with allegations of racial profiling by local police, the promotion of a countywide "human relations commission" and even McNeil's allegation that she was a "victim" of "racism" during a luncheon at a local country club.

YCCAR has been working with area police departments to find new recruits and prepare them for the upcoming York Metropolitian Police Consortium tests.

YCCAR Board chairman Don Hake says YCCAR will still have an employee to answer phones and that YCCAR will develop a speakers bureau to promote the organization. Hake adds that the group will continue to promote the countywide "human relations commission."

Mr. Hake is active politically with Democrats in York County, many of whom are pushing countywide government like police and school consolidation under the "York Counts" and "Metro York" banners. The push appears to a way of bailing out the Democrat-run City of York by having county taxpayers pick up the tab of its government.

The news ended up in Saturday's newspaper on a long weekend. This only arouses suspicion that it's news released to be forgotten and seen by as few people as possible.

RACIAL BOARD FACTION SPARS WITH INSIDER FACTION OVER HIGH SCHOOL SECURITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 14TH)

The lack of control at the metal detectors for students entering William Penn High School was discussed among York City School Board members at two meetings this last week.

At a Monday meeting, Hiawatha Powell and Beverly Atwater of the four member outsider-racial faction said students were finding their way around the metal detectors. Powell said he's personally seen students going around the detectors and entering the building. Powell and Atwater said it was like a "zoo."

In response, School Board President Jeanette Torres told Powell the matter would be discussed at a special Wednesday meeting.

Powell did show up Wednesday at that meeting. Powell called on school officials to do something about the students avoiding the metal detectors. He said he visited the school again that morning and noticed students getting around detectors and some school staff not having metal detector wands.

The school district's director of students, school and community services, Brandon Hufnagel, told Powell the matters would be taken care of immediately.

The Wednesday meeting also included recommendations for improving security at the high school including hiring of security guards to replace or augment police, training for school staff on student discipline and behavior and requiring district employees to wear security badges by March 1st.

Powell noted the absence of many school officials from the security meeting. Superintendent Sharon Miller, Board President Torres and Vice-President Tom Foust were all absent.

The "zoo" comment from Monday's meeting triggered a video response from a school employee to disagree with the characterization. This may have been an organized attack from the five member insider school board faction.

Outsider board member Hiawatha Powell looked responsible this past week discussing the serious issue of school security. His performance is an improvment over past instances of hurling unfounded accusations including some involving "racism."

FEBRUARY 2-8, 2009..........

A SPECIAL COMMENT ON LOCAL REACTION TO THE STATE BUDGET PLAN BELOW BUT FIRST....

'HOW TO MAKE CONDOMS FUN AND PLEASURABLE' LESSONS FOR YORK CITY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 7TH)

A program that's drawn concern from teachers in Reading who say its 'too graphic' is being used in York City schools. The "Reading Eagle" reported just over a week ago that a program on how to make sex more pleasurable with condoms is starting in Reading's four middle schools this year. The program is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition To Prevent Teen Pregnancy and funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Reading newspaper says the Pennsylvania Department of Education also chose York as one of four cities to introduce the program.

At a recent school board meeting, teacher union president Daniel Grim urged members to look at the material. Grim said the material is not appropriate for middle school(6th, 7th and 8th Grades). He added that teachers feel uncomfortable presenting the program. Suggested lessons include how to work a condom into foreplay and tips on making sex with condoms more pleasing.

A Reading School Board member defended the program. Member Karen McCree said it was about "safety" and not "pornographic."

The sex obssessed "teen pregnancy" crowd has targeted York because of a high rate of "teen pregnancies."

I challenge York's newspapers to look into this story. I also challenge them to publish specific texts from this program and if they can't because they are "pornographic," "obscene" etc. to admit it in print.

The former Surgeon General of the United States in the 1990's, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, said with a straight face that kindergarten age children should be taught about masturbation. I guess this is a step in that direction.

THE RENDELL BUDGET PLAN:SPECIAL COMMENT

THE REVIEWS ARE COMING IN ON GOVERNOR RENDELL'S BUDGET PLAN FOR 2009-2010. TAXES AND SPENDING ARE SET TO INCREASE IN THE PLAN WITH DEMOCRATS PRAISING IT AND REPUBLICANS SEEING DECEPTION IN THE PLAN.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE STAN SAYLOR OF YORK COUNTY'S 94TH DISTRICT, A REPUBLICAN HOUSE LEADER IN HARRISBURG, THINKS THE 29 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET PLAN HIDES A DEFECIT THAT COULD BALLOON TO 5 BILLION DOLLARS NEXT YEAR.

DEMOCRAT EUGENE DEPASQUALE (OF THE 95TH DISTRICT IN AND AROUND YORK CITY) SAYS RENDELL IS DOING HIS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY AND SUBMITTING A BUDGET THAT IS BALANCED. HE ALSO SAYS THE BUDGET PLAN INVOLVES "PAIN" AND THAT THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD TRY TO "MINIMIZE" IT.

SAYLOR IS CALLING FOR CUTS IN STATE SPENDING TO BRING THE BUDGET INTO A MORE REALISTIC BALANCE.

ONE ASPECT OF RENDELL'S BUDGET MESSAGE THAT IS DRAWING COMMENT FROM LEGISLATORS IS THE IDEA OF CONSOLIDATING 503 SCHOOL DISTRICTS INTO 100. RENDELL IS CREATING A COMMISSION TO PRESENT PLANS FOR CONSOLIDATION TO THE LEGISLATURE.

REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE RON MILLER SAYS CONSOLIDATION WILL MEAN RENEGOTIATED TEACHER CONTRACTS THAT WILL HIT TAXPAYERS HARD. I THINK MILLER IS GETTING THE MESSAGE THAT WHEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH LOWER SALARIES COMBINE WITH THOSE THAT HAVE HIGHER SALARIES, THE HIGHER ONES WILL PREVAIL.

THE RAW POLITICS OF RENDELL'S SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION PLAN IS SOMETHING TO BEHOLD. DEMOCRATS LIKE MAYOR JOHN BRENNER AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE EUGENE DEPASQUALE HAVE BEEN SINGING A MANTRA OF 'PROPERTY TAX RELIEF' TO THEIR YORK CITY CONSTITUENTS. THIS SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION PLAN HAS THE SMELL OF A DEMOCRAT SCHEME TO HAVE THE SUBURBS PAY FOR THE COSTS OF CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS LIKE THOSE IN YORK, HARRISBURG AND OTHER CITIES. SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION EQUALS A SHIFT OF TAX BURDEN AWAY FROM AREAS THAT VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS TO AREAS THAT VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS.

GETTING BACK TO TAX INCREASES AND THE NEW BUDGET. ITS TRADITIONAL PRACTICE TO PUSH THROUGH TAX INCREASES ON HOLIDAY WEEKENDS. WITH THE NEW BUDGET YEAR SET TO BEGIN JULY 1ST IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY THE JULY 4TH WEEKEND WILL BE 'TAX INCREASE WEEKEND' IN PENNSYLVANIA AS LEGISLATORS USE THE COVER OF THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND TO DO THE DIRTY WORK OF RAISING TAXES.

LEGISLATORS LIKE STATE REPRESENTATIVE STAN SAYLOR AND STATE SENATOR MIKE WAUGH, WHO HAVE SERVED FOR A LONG TIME AND ARE PARTY LEADERS, WILL BE EXPECTED BY THEIR FELLOW LEADERS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND VOTE FOR HIGHER TAXES. THE LEADERS OF BOTH PARTIES GIVE NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS THE ABILITY TO VOTE AGAINST HIGHER TAXES SO THEY CAN GET RE-ELECTED. PRESSURE SHOULD BE APPLIED TO SAYLOR, WAUGH AND OTHER LEGISLATORS IMMEDIATELY AND MAINTAINED BY YORK COUNTY TAXPAYERS FOR NO NEW TAXES.

THE FIGHT AGAINST HIGHER TAXES THAT THE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS WILL PUSH THROUGH WITH OR WITHOUT YORK COUNTY LEGISLATORS SUPPORT MAY REQUIRE AN 'INVASION' OF HARRISBURG ON THE VERY APPROPRATE OCCASION OF JULY 4TH. THE BARBECUE AND FIREWORKS FOR EVERY CONCERNED TAXPAYER SHOULD BE IN HARRISBURG THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY.

TOM WOLF BOWS OUT OF RUNNING FOR GOVERNROR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 7TH)

York County Democrat Tom Wolf has decided to drop out of the contest to be elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010.

Wolf has been offered the opportunity to resume leadership of the Wolf Organization, the family business he left a few years ago when he became Pennsylvania's Revenue Secretary. Wolf wants to lead the company through the tough economic times that have already forced cutbacks.

Tom Wolf seemed to have some good talents and abilities including the mother's milk of politics, money. His business experience also seemed a plus for a political candidate to present the image of being able to help improve the sagging economy of Pennsylania.

Democrats of late have been seeking candidates for statewide office in Pennsylvania who are not considered liberal and profess to be pro-life like Senator Bob Casey Jr. Those criteria would have put Wolf out of the running because he is a strong supporter of the pro-abortion Planned Parenthood organizarion and other liberal causes.

BRACEY ANNOUNCEMENT GETS FREQUENT PLAY ON COMMUNITY ACCESS CHANNEL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 7TH)

One candidate for York City mayor is speaking out against the repeated airing of his opponents event announcing her candidacy. And another of the four candidates agrees.

Gerry Turner told York City Council that the city owned WRCT community access channel should not be used by candidates for political purposes. Councilwoman Genevieve Ray, who is also a candidate for mayor, agreed.

When Kim Bracey held her announcement January 29th, Mayor John Brenner, Councilwoman Toni Smith and other city officials were present. Turner said that left the impression of city endorsement of Bracy's candidacy for mayor.

Mayor John Brenner said the station was not being used to promote Bracey's candidacy after a station volunteer submitted the video. He said the station is obliged to air content submitted by the public.

Well, needless to say with Brenner, Smith, Cameron Texter etc. behind Kim Bracey's candidacy, it does look like she is the insider candidate for York Mayor in 2009.

JANUARY 26-FEBRUARY 1, 2009....

POLITICAL INSIDERS ANNOINT KIM BRACEY AS NEXT YORK MAYOR

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 31ST)

Over the years the Bracey family has been in with York's elite including the very influential Louis Appell, so my eyes popped when I read that Kim Bracey was entering the race for mayor in York.

I smelled an insider candidate coming at us. And I was not disappointed. Present at her announcement Thursday were Councilwoman Toni Smith and Mayor John Brenner.

Bracey resigned her position at community development director for the city on Wednesday.

Right now there are four candidates announced for York mayor, all Democrats.

Genevieve Ray, Roderick Artis and Gerry Turner are the other candidates.

But it looks like they are up against an insider candidate who will have Toni Smith's organization and Louis Appell's money behind her. Kim Bracey now assumes "front runner" status in the race for mayor in York.

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT HOPES TO DEAL WITH DEBT MESS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 31ST)

The Dallastown School District is moving to get a one-year bank loan so its debt payments can be reduced.

A change in bond ratings last year drove up interest rates to 12 percent and monthly payments up hundreds of thousands of dollars on an 83 million dollar loan.

A one year bank loan could reduce monthly payment on the district's debt to 230-thousand dollars.

Last year's mess created over a million dollars in new costs for taxpayers to cover. The district says it will stick to the state's "inflation index" of 4.8 percent for a tax hike next year.

But this bond problem could be used as a loophole in the state law to raise property taxes above the limit. The even higher property tax threat still hangs over Dallastown taxpayers.

We don't know yet if a bank will agree to the loan or if the state will allow a short-term loan as opposed to long term ones. Taxpayers had better hope that the school district's hope becomes reality.

All this comes as the Dallastown School District moves forward on building a new 60 million dollar supersize school in Springfield Township.

TEACHER CONTRACT DETAILS FROM SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 31ST)

Teachers in York County's South Eastern School district will have starting pay of over $40,700. That's just one of the many details of the new four year contract between the Pennsylvania State Education Association's South Eastern teachers and the district.

Teachers had accepted a fact-finder's report giving them 19.6 percent in pay increases over a four year period. After the school board rejected that, a final deal was reached with 18.8 percent in pay increases over the length of the contract.

There will be increased co-pays for medical benefits and a lower tuition reimbursement rate for teachers that is still over 350 dollars per credit.

Teachers will have to be working towards a master's degree to get pay raises.

PSEA rep Clinton Gibbs described the new contract, retroactive to July 1st last year as a "fair compromise." But at a time when people are losing jobs, losing hours and in some cases taking pay cuts, those words again seem hollower than ever.

Public education is insulated from the economic pain facing the taxpayers who have to bear the burden of its cost.

JANUARY 19-25, 2009.......

POLICE CONSOLIDATION SCHEME MOVES FORWARD

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 25TH)

The plan to create a super police department that will have suburban taxpayers bearing the burden of York City's police protection is moving forward. The supervisors of Springettsbury Township and the commissioners of Spring Garden Township have agreed to participate in a "study" of police consolidation.

The two townships gave conditions some about the cost to taxpayers of those townships. East Manchester Township, York City, West York, Mount Wolf and Manchester have also agreed to participate.

The York Counts group now needs to find money to pay for the study, which will as most "studies' go just be showcase propaganda to promote the scheme. The cost is estimated at 50-thousand dollars.

The YorkCounts group hopes to get the money from all the taxpayers of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development.

A committee will be formed with one representative from each of the places that have agreed to be in the study. YorkCounts is pushing to get other communities to support the consolidation scheme.

The burden of York City police costs including the police pension fund is driving the York City government towards bankruptcy.

Its an election year in local government and I am not surprised that Springettsbury and Spring Garden elected officials want to keep their options open if this consolidation scheme gets unopular. But I am suspicious that the big governmnent bug has bitten them both and suburban taxpayers may be doomed to higher taxes when this scheme goes through.

A "study" will make claims of "cost savings" but the truth is that the city policing and police pension cost burdens will be socialistically redistributed to the suburbs of York County.

Taxpayers in Spring Garden and Springettsbury should be on full alert and demand their elected officials pull out of this scheme. They have already consolidated fire services, so I think we know the direction they are leaning right now. Alternative candidates for commissioner and supervisor should also get themselves on the ballot.

One other thing. Call your state representatives to say that your tax money from Harrisburg would be a wasted right now with a "study." The Pennsylvania budget shortfall is now over 2 billion dollars. Governor Rendell should put any spending on this kind of a study on hold for now just for that reason alone.

GUN CONTROL ORDINANCE PUT ON HOLD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

Even though a majority of York City Council members said they opposed the proposal to criminalize gun owners in the city, the ordinance was put on hold for possible consideration at a later date.

Councilwoman Toni Smith was the only one publicly saying she supported the plan to punish gun owners who don't report lost or stolen weapons within 72 hours. She ended up calling for the tabling of the plan and got the support of Councilman Cameron Texter and Councilwoman Carol Hill-Evans.

Voting against tabling and speaking in opposition to the proposal were Councilman Joe Musso and Councilwoman Genevieve Ray, who is running for mayor.

A solicitor's opinion said the city should wait until courts have decided whether York has the right to make its own gun laws. Currently Pennsylvania does not allow local communities to make their own gun laws.

I can only say that the vote on city council is very suspicious with claims that members opposed the bill yet the vote to keep it alive. The politicians must have gotten some heat on this idea to cause them to play both sides with their voting.

And lets not forget Councilwoman Ray's election year claim she is against the proposed law as she runs for mayor. It's highly suspicious and very suspect.

CHUCK PATTERSON JOINS JUDICIAL RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

For the second time, York County chief deputy prosecutor Chuck Patterson is trying to win a seat on York County Common Pleas Court. Patterson is the eighth announced candidate for the two seats being elected this year.

Patterson's campaign effort is being co-chaired by Republican insiders Theresa Craley and Chris Reed. No doubt in my mind that Patterson will have a lot of political push behind his campaign.

TWO NEW CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

There are now three Democrats and one Republican seeking the two open seats on York City Council.

York City School Board member Renee Nelson is the third Democrat to announce. She believes her school board experience will help her on city council and that there's a need to focus on young people.

Nelson claims in comments to the York Daily Record that the city school board is "moving in the right direction." Nelson is part of a five member majority of the nine member board that has experienced contentious meetings marked by accusations of racism.

Meanwhile, a Republican candidate has emerged for York City Council.

Jay Andzejczyk cites his involvement with the York City General Authority Board and the York City Weed and Seed steering committee in announcing his candidacy.

JANUARY 12-18, 2009......

DESTROYING THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK ONE BRICK AT A TIME

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 18TH)

The guarantees of the Bill Of Rights (The Original Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution) have stood strong in the past 220 or so years but that doesn't stop people and groups from rising up to tear them down and abrogate them from time to time.

Recently new cases have arose in cities across the country governed by mostly Democrat mayors and councils. Various ordinances dealing with firearms have been passed in the face of the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to "keep and bear arms."

Court battles have resulted leading to court victories for citizens and a legal bill for taxpayers of those cities.

Now the fight is coming to Pennsylvania with plans being put forward in cities across the state. York Mayor John Brenner pledged to be part of the effort to pass ordinances mandating that firearms owners report stolen guns within 72 hours. The ordinance would punish firearms owners if their weapons are used to commit a crime with fines or impsionment.

In Pittsburgh, city officials said such an ordinance would be unenforcable.

But when the issue came before York City Council last Tuesday, officials praised the idea. York City Police Commissioner Mark Whitman calling it one more way to fight crime. Opponents were on hand to note that legal costs are something the financially troubled City of York cannot afford. Such an ordinance is almost cetrain to be challenged in court.

Punishing criminals remains the sure fire way to deal with crime but liberal minds cannot see holding human beings accountable for their actions as a real solution. Something else other than criminals have to be the cause of crime.

They dwell in the mental ghettoes of Karl Marx who blamed capitalism and societal conditions for crime. When perps end up being from racial minority groups then law enforcement is accused of "racism" or "racial profiling."

Is this all an exercise in faulty thinking or a subtle attempt to take away freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution? Many Americans in the coming "Age of Obama" see it as a sign of the latter. Those against guns should consider the anger they are stirring up by pushing this nonsene. Or maybe they just want to ignite some sort of conflict. That would be very sad indeed.

TWO NEW CANDIDATES FOR JUDGE IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 18TH)

Kathleen Prendergast has been a persistent liberal Democrat candidate for public office who came close to winning in her last run for a seat on York County Common Pleas Court.

This time she'll try again for the two seats up for election this year. Prendergast became the seventh announced candidate for the two judicial seats.

Also announcing her candidacy was attorney Sandra Thompson, described in news reports as an organizer of a "gun buyback program."

HAS THE RACE CANDIDATE EMERGED FOR MAYOR IN YORK?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 17TH)

Roderick Artis has become the third Democrat candidate for mayor of York. Artis joins Genevieve Ray and Gerry Turner as announced candidates. He's 33 years old and teaches at the Manito Youth Leadership Center. Artis served eight years in the US Navy and is a naval reservist.

Arousing the most interest to me, but not mentioned in the news reports is that Artis is black. He speaks of younger people needing someone to look up to. Is this a York version of someone named Obama?

Artis wants young people to have recreation so they don't find themselves in trouble. The school he teaches at, Manito Academy, is filled with public school students who have become discipline problems and offers what is called "alternative education" to teenagers. Beyond the race thing, which I think will serve this candidate well in the contest for mayor is another question. Is Roderick Artis some sort of left-wing racial radical in the mold of the four "racial faction" members of the Yrk City School Board? We shall see......

TWO DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL LOOK LIKE INSIDERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 17TH)

With two city council seats in York opened by the retirements of Democrats Joe Musso and Cameron Texter you'd expect candidates to line up.

Two candidates have come forward among the Democrats with the look of political insiders. First, there's Joe Stein. Stein is 27 years old and serves on the city planning commission. That seems to be a stepping stone to city council and I smell a political insider here.

And then there's Henry Nixon, who until recently was a Republican. Nixon gave a politically charged story about "the Republican Party leaving him" explaining his party switch.

The more likely and probably true story is that this Henry Nixon is related to District Justice Barbara Nixon. District Justice candidates run in both parties as cross-filed candidates. Henry Nixon helped Barbara Nixon over the years to obtain Republican signatures for her election efforts. That makes sense to me and I see a political insider in Henry Nixon.

JANUARY 5-11, 2009........

PUBLIC SCHOOL ARROGANCE AND POLITICAL SHOWBOATING:

THE CHARTER SCHOOL FIGHT IN YORK CITY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 11TH)

The Lincoln Edison Charter School's first application to establish a middle school in York failed, but the school's parents are now back with a new proposal for a school based on the concept of homeland security.

They have a name and location for the new school. The Helen Thackston Middle School will use the former state police facility on Roosevelt Avenue in York. Helen Thackston is remembered as an historic figure in the education of black ("African-American") children in York City.

But there remains the opposition of the five majority York City School Board members who were thumbs down on the first application. The hearing on the second application Thursday featured tough questioning of the charter school applicants from board vice-president Tom Foust and member Barbara Krier.

Public education insiders are fiercely resisting efforts to set up alternative schools. Under the Pennsylvania law, charter schools will take money that the public schools would use away.

The York City Education Association, the union representing teachers in the city school district, was on hand at the hearing to oppose the charter school.

The original Lincoln Edison elementary school was involved in a lengthy and protracted legal battle with the York City School District over lease payments for a school building.

Just this last week in northeastern Pennsylvania, four Carbondale School Board members voted against a charter school in defiance of an order from Commonwealth Court to allow the school to open. The 4-4 board tie meant a NO vote to authorize the school.

And that brings us to the politics of the new school.

Both outgoing York Mayor John Brenner and State Representative Eugene DePasquale (D-95th District) are expressing support for the proposed charter school.

Brenner may have future political ambitions and DePasquale as well. DePasquale faces re-election this year and in the past has been supported by the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Is the teachers union really supporting someone who is ultimately against their interests in supporting charter schools?

Is Eugene DePasquale saying something in support of the school, knowing .the board will turn the plan down, but getting credit for supporting the school?

I see political grandstanding from a business as usual politician here.

HERE COME THE JUDGE CANDIDATES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 11TH)

There will be two new judges elected in York County this year. York County Common Pleas Judge John Uhler is retiring and a new judicial seat has been created by the legislature for the county.

Five candidates have lined up so far. Andrea Marceca Strong was the first candidate to announce. Over the years the far left in York has attempted to elect a number of female candidates to judicial seats with one notable success, Common Pleas Court Judge Penny Blackwell. Andrea Marceca Strong's candidacy should be viewed with great suspicion because of this.

John Ogden is also running. Ogden is a defense attorney. He also helped residents in Windsor Township oppose the opening of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Attorney Harry Ness is in the race. Ness has a legal career and also is known for his involvement in the accounting firm now known as Stambaugh and Ness. Ness has been a supporter of GOP causes and may be an insider Republican candidate for the judicial seats.

Lawyer Mike Flannelly is also running. He has served as the county solicitor in recent years. Flannelly did legal bidding for the controversial board of commissioners led by Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore. Flannelly may be an insider GOP candidate as well.

The most recent candidate to announce is attorney Susan Emmons. She has served as a legal aid attorney, was also a prosecutor and is an ordained minister in the liberal United Church of Christ denomination. Her campaign manager is attorney Larry Young, who has been active in political circles of the Republican Party in recent years. Is Emmons another left of center candidate in this race????????

It comes as no surprise that all these lawyers are lining up for a shot at being elected. More will probably join the race. The candidates will cross file in both parties for the chance to maybe win both parties primaries and be automatically elected in May.

INCUMBENT DA FACES PRIMARY CHALLENGE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 10TH)

York County District Attorney Stan Rebert is running for a seventh term, but he will face a challenger in the Republican primary.

York attorney Thomas Kearney, who ran against Rebert in the 1985 GOP primary, is running in this year's primary. Kearney has been active in legal and political circles in York County for over two decades.

Rebert has a record of more than 20 years as the county's chief prosecutor. Rebert made headlines following his decision nearly 10 years ago to pursue prosecution of the two murder cases in the 1969 York race riot. Rebert used grand juries to make indictments in the murders.

In another case, a murder conviction that Rebert won was thrown out on apppeal. The court said Rebert should not have quoted from the Bible when he addressed the jury in the case.

DECEMBER 29, 2008-JANUARY 4, 2009........

YORK CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT WILL NOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 4TH)

Within the last year longtime Democrat political activist Cameron Texter said he was pulling back from politics, relinquishing his post as York City Council president and not running for re-election this year.

Then York Mayor John Brenner said he would not run for re-election this year.

Now there's word that the man who replaced Texter as City Council president, Democrat Joe Musso, will not run for re-election this year.

That means the two city council seats up for election this year are open.

No word yet on any possible candidates.

Cameron Texter was in an estranged relationship with his wife in the past few years and under scrutiny as a witness in the investigation of illegal bonuses given to Democrat members of the State House of Representatives staff in Harrisburg. Texter serves as a member of the Democrat staff in the legislature.

Police were also called to Joe Musso's home in recent years because of a domestic dispute involvng Musso and his wife. No charges were filed after an incident where Musso was said to have pushed his wife.

What's going on in the financially troubled City of York with all these political leaders leaving??????

RUNNING FOR YORK MAYOR IN 2009: THE EARLY FIELD

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED JANUARY 2ND)

She was just elected to York City Council in 2007, but Genevieve Ray thinks she has the experience to be the next mayor of York.

Ray announced her candidacy for Mayor this week. Before serving on council, Ray served on the City Planning Commission. In announcing her candidacy, she also cited her participation on the board of Planned Parenthood. It does seem based on some recent legal challenges that York City devotes a lot of police time and resources to intimidating protests outside Planned Parenthood's abortion clinic on South Beaver Street.

Genevieve Ray is a Democrat and will be joined on the Democrat primary ballot in May by Gerry Turner. Turner ran as the Republican candidate for mayor in 2005 and has been politically active for a number of years.

The big question marks in the Democrat primary that will most likely determine who York's next mayor will be (since Democrats dominate the city) is what other candidates will emerge and will there be a racial factor.

Race-based politics has been hot on the York City School Board in the last year and been a factor on the national scene with the Obama campaign. A black candidate for mayor in York would stand a good chance of being the Democrat primary winner for Mayor.

Last year Mayor John Brenner announced he would not be seeking re-election this year.

DECEMBER 22-28, 2008......

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE BUDGET WITH 3.75 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 28TH)

The politics played out according to plan.

In the end, the tax hike approved by the York County Commissioners was lower than originally proposed. The tax hike was also approved Christmas Eve to create the dual effect of hiding the news along with creating the good feeling of the increase being lower.

Positions in county government are being cut under the new budget for 2009, which was fueled by the legal settlement in the Lauxmont Farms eminent domain controversy. The costly battle over a potentially hundred million dollar scheme to build a "heritage park" on the Kohr family land began during the term of the former board of commissioners.

The present board of commissioners led by President Commissioner Steve Chronister and Commissioner Chris Reilly, Republicans along with Democrat Commissioner Doug Hoke had to deal with the damage done to the Kohr family.

The former commissioners (Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore), along with other political and civic leaders in York County, bear a great responsibility for the legal war that resulted in the multi-million dollar settlement.

Another point worth noting, county commissioners oversee the administration of big government programs mandated from the federal and state governments. This forces them to tax us to bear that burden regardless of which political party is in power.

CHRISTMAS WEEK NEWS LEAK:

DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND DEBT IN TROUBLE

FINGER POINTED AT BOND RATING AGENCIES WITH DEMAND FOR MONEY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 22ND)

The Dallastown School District's controversial plans to build a 60 million dollar plus new intermediate school will have to be paid for as the construction work is done in the next few years.

School districts issue bonds to pay the construction costs with taxpayers paying back the value of the bonds over a period of years.

Dallastown worked with companies to issue bonds that ended up having their ratings lowered during the year forcing the district's costs up. This left taxpayers in the position of having to pay losses linked to the financial collapse of recent months.

Dallastown School District's business manager Donna Devlin is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to require the three main bond rating agencies (Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings) to pay the district for its losses. Devlin is blaming the rating agencies for the bond losses to the school district.

This would have worked out better if the Dallastown School District hadn't pushed the big new school. Then the bonds would not be needed in the first place.

The current economic problems should be a red light warning to tax and spend government at all levels especially the wild spending public school districts.

Instead, its pass the buck and blame other people time.

The news of the bond problem was the lead front page story in the "York Sunday News."

The week before Christmas brings the most interesting news stories from government that are usually ones government hopes the public is ignoring or will forget about.

DECEMBER 15-21, 2008......

YORK CITY COUNCIL APPROVES NEW BUDGET WITH TAX AND FEE HIKES

CITY PROPERTY TAX BURDEN DWARFS SUBURBS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 20TH)

They didn't even wait until the week between Christmas and New Years Day. York City Council unanimously passed next year's record 94 million dollar budget Tuesday complete with a 6.5 percent property tax hike, increases in sewer and trash fees, along with a hike in parking ticket fines.

The budget features a 1.6 million increase in health care costs for city employees along with over 5 million dollars being spent on city employee pensions.

Four new police officers are included in the budget.

Councilman Cameron Texter expressed regret that the legislature doesn't give cities like York more ways to tax people such as an alcohol tax.

It makes my blood boil when I realize how big and bloated York City government is in relation to the suburban communities.

Springettsbury Township is taxing its residents at a rate of 87 dollars for a property valued at 100-thousand dollars, while the City of York imposes a burden of 1563 dollars on a similar property. That means York City property owners are hit 18 times harder than people in Springettsbury Township.

The current economic problems and the knowledge that less money is coming in should be a big incentive for big government at all levels to get smaller. And let the "smaller" begin with cutting pension benefits and requiring employees to pay a fair share of health care costs like 20 percent.

CONTROVERSIAL GUN ORDINANCE PUT OFF BY YORK CITY COUNCIL

COUNCILWOMAN WHO TRIED TO GET GUNS OFF STREET OWNS ONE HERSELF

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 21ST)

York City Council President Joe Musso said he didn't want to get it mixed up in the budget process, so he's put off to next year consideration of a new gun law in the city.

The proposal is similar to ones being pushed in other Pennsylvania cities that would make it a crime to not report stolen firearms to police within 72 hours. Punishment includes a thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.

The proposed laws are seen as anti-Second Amendment and likely to trigger costly lawsuits if York and other cities pass them. Its comes as no surprise that Musso would not want to discuss a lawsuit triggering proposal at budget time.

Officials in Pittsburgh, including Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, have said the proposed ordinance is "unenforceable."

The decision by city mayors in the state to push the gun law came because they can't get the legislature to give them authority to pass gun control laws.

This push to criminalize private ownership of firearms has led to an interesting revelation about hypocrisy and one of York's leading liberal Democrat politicians.

Back in the 1990's, when many were being shot and killed on the streets of York as they still are today, York City Councilwoman Toni Smith became a vocal supporter of gun buyback programs. She even went out and collected money for the cause. Now we find out she missed a gun she could have turned in.

It was her own.

WGAL-TV interviewed Smith, who is to propose the gun law in council, and she said she supports it as a "gun owner." I hope Smith, who married a now retired York City Police officer, has her paperwork for the firearm in order.

I'm still scratching my head and asking why she didn't turn the gun in when she was trying to get guns off the street with her gun buyback efforts in the past.

DECEMBER 8-14, 2008......

COMMISSIONERS VOTE DOWN PENSION HIKE IN THE FACE OF TAX INCREASE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 13TH)

York County's three commissioners all voted no when the York County Pension Board met to decide on an increase in benefits for retired York County government employees. Proposals for a 4.8 percent hike and an increase of 95 percent of that amount were rejected.

Republicans Steve Chronister and Chris Reilly were joined by Democrat Doug Hoke in outvoting York County Controller Robb Green and York County Treasurer Barbara Bair 3-2. The five sit as the pension board.

The board ended up voting 3-2 to not increase pension benefits at all next year. An increase next year would have meant increased costs to taxpayers beginning in 2010.

With a Christmas Eve vote on a new county budget and the expected tax increase, it looks like the commissioners need to find ways to hold the line on spending. Increasing taxes again next year may harm any plans they have for re-election in 2011.

As a result, we have a unified board of commissioners taking an opportunity to show the public they are holding the line on spending.

TEACHER UNION MEMBER NOW SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT

(NEWS COMMENT, ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 14TH)

Of all the members of the liberal Dover CARES faction, none has probably been more controversial than teacher union member Bryan Rehm.

Rehm teaches in the New Oxford School District and is a Pennsylvania State Education Association member. PSEA pumped over 5-thousand dollars into the Dover CARES campaign to seize control of the Dover School Board in 2005.

Rehm was elected to the Dover School Board in 2005 and will be up for re-election next year if he chooses to run.

Now he will serve as president of the Dover School Board. Rehm was selected to replace Bernadette Reinking at this month's meeting to reorganize the school board for the coming year.

As a school board member, Rehm gets to decide on teacher pay, benefits and employment. He is not alone. There are numerous teacher union members who serve on school boards in York County and other parts of Pennsylvania.

But here's the clincher. The biggest impact on spending and tax increases is pay and benefits. That includes the liberal deals that routinely give teachers 4 percent or more pay hikes every year. And then there's all the new buildings that keep going up to help drive up taxes.

Rehm told "The York Dispatch": "We need to keep improving our facilities and our curriculum with the least amount of impact to our taxpayers as possible" That's political BS for "Hold on to your wallets Dover taxpayers."

.

RACIAL FACTION MEMBERS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL BOARD BUDGET HEARING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 13TH)

When the York City School Board met Thursday night for a budget hearing, four of the nine members were absent. The four absent members, James Morgan, Hiawatha Powell, Beverly Atwater and Sam Beard are members of the racially oriented faction of the school board.

One member of the public who attended the meeting, longtime York City political activist Gerry Turner, said he thought the meeting was an important one for board members to attend. The school district is working on a plan to limit a tax increase in the next budget year by cutting eight teaching positions and buying 250-thousand dollars less in textbooks.

What's going on with the outspoken racial faction board members is unclear. For now, they seem to have backed off accusations of racism. Their most recent criticism came over the spending of too much money in the search for a new superintendent for the school district.

TOM WOLF ON THE PROWL IN PHILLY

(SPECIAL UPDATE-ANALYSIS)(POSTED DECEMBER 9TH)

The "Philadelphia Daily News" reports that Tom and Frances Wolf are renting an apartment in Philadelphia. That's because the recently resigned Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary and former head of The Wolf Organization in York is working on a campaign for governor in 2010. Tom Wolf will need Philly votes to win a primary for governor whose "front runner" is believed by some observers to be Auditor General Jack Wagner, who's from western Pennsylvania.

There are other prospective candidates for governor in 2010, but Wolf could make the argument that his business experience will give him an edge. Wolf can also point to being from the central part of the state which normally goes for Republicans. Wolf could draw York County area votes away from the GOP as the Democrat candidate.

Interesting points to make at this point inlcude the fact that he did serve in Rendell's cabinet and was a financial supporter. Will Governor Rendell support Wolf? Its also important to note that Wolf is rich and has money which will be of immense help to his political ambitions.

Another important point to make is that Tom and Frances Wolf are lifelong Planned Parenthood supporters. Will Planned Parenthood supporters push Wolf as the Pro-Abortion candidate in the Democrat primary for governor in 2010. Jack Wagner is considered Pro-Life by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

This is a story to watch in the months ahead.

DECEMBER 1-7, 2008.......

TWEAKING THE TAJ MAHAL:

CENTRAL YORK POOL OPENS AS COSTS PILE UP

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED DECEMBER 7TH)

The add ons and renovations to the new Central York High School that was finished just a little more than three years ago have now been completed.

Special events this weekend marked the opening of the new parts of the school with the most prominent feature being the pool. But the school district doesn't call it a "pool." The fancy euphemistic name for it is "natatorium." Its as hot and humid as a jungle ("tropical rain forest") according to someone who's been in there.

All the work was said to have come in under budget according to the construction company, but the final cost of the project is still to be determined. The latest version of the cost given was 18 million dollars for this project but last year we were told it was going to be limited to 17 and a half million dollars. The "cost" seems to be constantly changing.

Enough opponents of wasteful spending were on Central's school board in 2003 to prevent a pool from being built, but the issue came back in 2006 after pro-taxpayer members were ousted from the board. At that time Central Superintendent Dr. Linda Estep spoke as if there was a state law or regulation requiring a pool to be built. It was later reported that she "misspoke" about the matter after state officials told the "York Dispatch" no such law or rule existed.

Today's "York Sunday News" features comments from the soon to be retired Dr. Estep. Estep says: "I think we are going to come under the amount that was set aside."

These "finishing touches" on York County's most unusually designed high school, dubbed the "Taj Mahal" for its massive cost, may cause the final price tag to exceed a hundred million dollars. We really don't know the final drain on the taxpayers as storm pipe repair work is now underway outside the school to tack onto the bill. That doesn't include more work being done on the inside of the building.

Perhaps it is with the cost in mind along with declining tax revenues because of the ecomony that fees will be charged to use the new pool. The district will be putting out word to residents about those fees in the future.

Of course there are rules when you use a pool like this one. No urinating, defecating etc. is allowed in the pool. But the continuing construction of this massive school, plus the fixing of errors in the original construction that total who knows how much seem to add up to a government institution urinating and defecating on the taxpayers.

The school district does a big job of using the media to promote its agenda including the new "community natatorium." But your tax dollars are being used again.

The district employs a full time "Director of Public Information" who's pay and benefits cost the taxpayers more than 50-thousand dollars a year.

And what does the future hold? More spending of your tax dollars on a big new building is likely.

Central York purchased a 50 plus acre tract in Manchester Township near the existing Sinking Springs and Roundtown Elementary schools. The land was purchased for the construction of a new school. Its cost.....30....40....50 million dollars???????????

THE MITRICK-KILGORE LEGACY:

HIGHER YORK COUNTY PROPERTY TAXES IN 2009

(NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 6TH)

There's a preliminary budget for York County next year with a 4.25 percent property tax increase included. That means a property assessed at 150-thousand dollars will be taxed $25.50 more next year.

The final budget will be approved at the politically convenient time of Christmas Eve. Its possible that another political maneuver, the lessening of the tax hike, will also occur in the final budget version adopted at that time.

There are plans to cut some 20 or more positions in county government under the budget plan. There are cuts in the crime fighting plans of the new board of commissioners led by President Commissioner Steve Chronister and Commissioner Chris Reilly.

The cost of paying the Kohr family for their land, plus the pain and suffering caused by the eminent domain proceedings of the former board of commissioners is a big burden for York County taxpayers to bear. However, if Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore were still in power, the cost would have exploded to well over 50 million dollars making the situation even worse.

EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD PUNTS ON ARTIFICIAL TURF

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 6TH)

The much anticipated decision of the Eastern York School Board about artificial turf at the high school came with a thumbs down for now.

All bids for turf construction at Eastern York High School were rejected with the consenus of school district officials and board members being that the money isn't there for the project now. The lowest bid was 920-thousand dollars which was more than anticipated for the project. Todd Hoover, the district's director of plant and facilities sees the turf price coming down in the future.

The board did decide to move forward with renovations of the district's maintenance building at a cost of 1.1 million dollars.

This turf pressure on York County high schools was started by the decision of Central York to include artificial turf on its field when the new "Taj Mahal" high school was constructed between 2003 and 2005.

SOUTH EASTERN TEACHER CONTRACT APPROVED WITH OVER FOUR PERCENT A YEAR PAY HIKES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 6TH)

After rejection of a fact-finder's report and public pressure on the school board, a final deal has been reached between the teachers union and the South Eastern School District on a new four-year contract. The four-year contract is retroactive to July 1st of this year and lasts until the end of June 2012. Pay raises will range from 4.4 to 4.7 percent a year during the contract. Pennsylvania State Education Association represntative Clinton Gibbs spoke of the deal as being a "fair compromise."

The previous contract gave teachers three percent a year pay hikes and when one considers the economic downturn the idea of this contract being a "fair compromise" rings hollow.

NOVEMBER 24-30, 2008.......

ALL KINDS OF TAXES ARE RISING IN JANUARY FOR MANY YORK COUNTIANS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 30TH)

While Mayor John Brenner is pushing property tax and fee increases for York City residents in next year's budget, other communities are finding ways around raising the property tax by jacking up the old occupational privilege tax.

The tax has a new name, its called the "Emergency Services Tax" and it means anyone who is employed in a particular community can be charged up to 52 dollars per year (if they make more than 12-thousand dollars a year). The taxation was packaged by the legislature as a way to pay for police, fire, ambulance services etc. It makes the tax sound more acceptable to those who pay it.

In early budget making, at least two townships have decided to either create an EST or increase an existing one. Manchester will increase its 10 dollar tax to 52 dollars on January 1st. East Manchester Township will create a 52 dollar tax. Supervisors there say its to pay for the increased costs of the Northeastern Regional Police Department. Of course, consolidated police departments are supposed to save money, right??????????

CHARTER SCHOOL TRIES AGAIN WITH CITY SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 29TH)

The Lincoln-Edison Charter School is applying again to the York City School Board for permission to open a charter middle school. The school board and a state appeals board turned down an earlier application. Lincoln-Edison already operates a charter elementary school in the city.

The new proposal envisions using the former Pennsylvania State Police facility on Roosevelt Avenue. One objection to the original application was the lack of a unique curriculum for the school. The new application says the school will have a homeland security curriculum with instruction in safety and security.

The original application was rejected by the York City School Board on a 5-4 vote with the racial faction being in the minority. It will be interesting to see what the liberal insider majority will do with the new proposal. Will they approve it as a means of making peace with the radicals? Its possible that the majority is only concerned about having another charter school in the city. They just don't want to lose the tax revenue for public education and see it go into Lincoln-Edison.

The new proposal and where it goes will be an interesting story to watch in the coming months.

WAUGH RE-ELECTED TO SENATE LEADERSHIP IN HARRISBURG

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 29TH)

State Senator Mike Waugh (R-28th District) was re-elected to his post at Caucus Chairman for the majority Republicans. That makes him fifth in the leadership lineup in Harrisburg for the GOP.

Waugh was first elected to the State Senate in 1998 after six years in the State House. He defeated liberal Democrat Jackie Kramer in the general election.

In the 1998 Republican primary, Waugh defeated conservative businessman Tom Skehan with a "common man" campaign theme. The "common man" was also portrayed in firefighting gear (Waugh was a volunteer firefighter).

When it comes to abortion, Waugh has a track record of lying to voters. He called himself "pro-life" back then even though the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation rated him "pro-abortion" because he said abortion should be legal during the first three months of pregnancy (that's when most abortions occur). Waugh is still considered Pro-Abortion today.

NOVEMBER 17-23, 2008.....

SAYLOR ELECTED TO LEADERSHIP IN STATE HOUSE, TALKS 'BIG TENT'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 22ND)

State Representative Stan Saylor (R-94th District) emerged from a field of four candidates and won election as policy chairman for the minority Republicans in the Pennsylvania House Of Representatives. It's considered the fifth highest post in the GOP leadership.

Saylor said he will work with rank and file members to find out issues of concern and will pay special attention to the Philadelphia region where the GOP has lost seats.

Saylor is quoted by the "York Daily Record" as saying: "You don't get back in the majority if you don't have a big tent."

The "big tent" phrase is seen as a codeword for liberalism in the Republican Party and there may be evidence to show that Stan Saylor is indeed a closet liberal. The 16-year veteran of the legislature ran as a candidate for delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1996. At that time, a local pro-abortion political action group sent a letter to its supporters saying Saylor supported taking the pro-life plank out of the GOP platform.

Over his years in the legislature, Saylor has described himself as "pro-life" in response to questionaires from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Stan Saylor will probably have to vote for some sort of tax increase in the legislature next year, an expected duty of those who are leaders and have served in the legislature a long time. Its figured they are safe from any electoral challenge.

One other thing. The "big tent" phrase used by Republican political consultant Lee Atwater back in the 1980's was a reference to the huge support built up by a conservative Republican president named Ronald Reagan. Reagan drew massive support to the GOP and built that "big tent" on a conservative agenda.

NOVEMBER 10-16, 2008.......

ONE OF YORK'S RICHEST LIBERALS HOPES HE CAN WIN ELECTION IN 2010:

TOM WOLF LEAVES STATE CABINET POST AND IS REPLACED BY STEVE STETLER

(POSTED NOVEMBER 16TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Tom Wolf led a multi hundred million dollar business in York County, contributed to liberal causes and politicians, then got a job as Pennsylvania's Revenue Secretary in Democrat Ed Rendell's administration. Yes, Wolf gave campaign money to Rendell.

Last week, Wolf left his job to pursue something he wouldn't disclose, but which everyone in the know knows is a political campaign in the 2010 elections. Rumors in the past have centered around a Wolf run for Lieutenant Governor in Pennsylvania but with the economy as a top issue businessman Wolf appears to be aiming for the top and wants to replace Ed Rendell as governor.

Wolf's liberal reputation extends from the lifetime finanacial support that he and his wife Frances have given to pro-abortion Planned Parenthood, support for politically correct "diversity" programs and thousands in campaign contributions to a host of liberal Democrat politicians, not to mention the increasingly liberal Republican Congressman Todd Platts of the 19th District.

Wolf also served on the board of the Lancaster-York Heritage Region, that was pushing the 'heritage park' project along the Susquehanna River. The project was linked to the scheme to seize the Kohr family land (Lauxmont Farms) by eminent domain.

When Rendell announced Wolf's departure, standing in the room was the man named to replace him as revenue secretary, ex-state representative Steve Stetler of York's 95th District. Stetler had to resign in the middle of the 2006 election campaign as his support for and taking of the infamous 16 percent legislative pay raise created controversy. Stetler was also embroiled in controversy over extravagent expenses that came from his serving on the state's higher education assistance agency board.

Two big and startling stories here. The move by Wolf who hopes voters will ignore his extreme liberalism and see him as just a "businessman." And the appointment of the pay raise tainted Steve Stetler as revenue secretary. "Business as usual" in the Edward G. Rendell Administration. A pretty smelly business, indeed.

SAYLOR SEEKS GOP LEADERSHIP POST WITH STRINGS ATTACHED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 15TH)

State Representative Stan Saylor (R-94th District) hopes for a leadership position among Republicans in the State House. Saylor is one of four candidates for policy chairman. Leadership elections will be held next Tuesday.

If Saylor, who has served for 16 years in Harrisburg, is elected to this high leadership post it would make him more likely to vote for unpopular legislation as is expected of "leadership."

This would include tax increases. Saylor told a town hall meeting earlier this year that he expects a tax increase to come because this year's state budget is deep in debt.

TURF WAR IN YORK COUNTY SPEADS TO EASTERN

(POSTED NOVEMBER 15TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

When the Eastern York School Board meets next month, a vote on artificial turf for the high school football field is expected.

Schools across York County have been scrambling to turf their football fields since the opening of the new Central York High School just over 3 years ago. Central installed artificial turf on the field there.

The costs of building the turf fields and maintaining them are always on the minds of concerned taxpayers.

At Eastern, even parents of athletes have spoken out saying now is not the time to burden taxpayers with an artificial turf field. The cost of the field is estimated to be 625-thousand dollars.

The Eastern school board is looking for bids and will vote on whether to proceed with building a snynthetic turf field at the December 4th meeting. I'm surprisd at how low the cost estimate is in this case. Other York County school districts have spent more on such projects. Watch out for the kind of bids that come in and what the cost estimates are.

These new and costly turf projects are the direct result of the Central York School District's decision to build an artificial turf field. Other school districts feel like they have to keep up. And the bills to taxpayers can be huge.

NOVEMBER 3-9, 2008........

ELECTION REFLECTIONS: ECONOMIC COLLAPSE AND NEW VOTERS, PLATTS PLAYS MIDDLE FOR VOTES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 9TH)

The were two major factors that made a difference in last Tuesday's election here in York County.

One was the economic downturn that depressed voters into not voting or into voting for Democrats led by Barack Obama. Voters who may have showed up to vote McCain were disillusioned by the economy and Obama's negative ads to link McCain with President Bush. Negative ads are designed to depress turnout for the opponent.

Obama's voter registration drive probably gained him 10-thousand or more votes last Tuesday. The vote totals for Obama were 17-thousand votes more than John Kerry got in York County in 2004. Obama volunteers knocked on doors in and around York City including Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships. Calls were made by the Obama campaign including ones on election day to make sure the Obama supporters showed up to vote.

Voter turnout percentages were generally 60 to 70 percent in York County and I think the lower percentages outisde of the urban areas which had higher turnout are linked to disillusionment. People felt they could not vote for either candidate and so they didn't show up.

Meanwhile Congressman Todd Platts, a master of playing the middle, came out on top with two-thirds of the vote. He did well against Democrat Phil Avillo beating him by a bigger margin than he did two years ago. Platts voted against the bailout in Congress this fall. Platts also had support from all kinds of special interest groups including the Pennsyvlania State Education Associaton, the National Rifle Association and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Does this mean Platts will continue as a congressman or consider using his middle of the road popularity and special interest group support in a run for higher office? We shall see........

TEACHERS UNION SHOWS UP TO DEMAND CONTRACT FROM SCHOOL BOARD IN SOUTH EASTERN DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 9TH)

Dozens of teacher union members (South Eastern Education Association) showed up at the South Eastern School Board meeting last week to pressure the board into giving in to their demands.

While the union voted to go along with a state fact finders report that gives teachers a 5.35 percent pay hike in the first year, the school board rejected it.

The board responded to the teacher union pressure by saying it will be presenting an offer to them in the coming week.

Is it reasonable to push for pay raises over 5 percent in an economy like we are in now and get them? I say to the South Eastern Education Association "No way."

Isn't having their candidate for president (Barack Obama) winning the election enough? But even more pertinent why aren't they willing to show the "spirit of sacrifice" that Obama spoke of in his acceptance speech last Tuesday night?

OCTOBER 26-NOVEMBER 2, 2008.....

ELECTION HEADLINED IN RED

400 MILLION DOLLAR BOND ISSUE CAUSED BY GREEN POLICY BEFORE VOTERS

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED NOVEMBER 1ST)

The federal government through the Enivornmental Protection Agency is mandating control of runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. That means sewer plants in a large part of Pennsylvania have to spend tens of millions of dollars to increase filtering of sediment.

Paying the bill falls to property owners everywhere with small communities literally facing the possibility of thousands of dollars in cost per property owner. Sewer rates are already rising sharply in some places locally to pay for compliance with the green regulations to "clean up" the Chesapeake Bay.

So the legislature moved to put a 400 million dollar bond issue before the voters this Tuesday. Its the first thing you will vote on at the polls and the choice is either YES or NO.

The 400 million dollars will be used to pay for various projects at sewer plants in York County and other parts of the state affected by the EPA's Chesapeake Bay regulations.

Maybe the real questions on the ballot should be: Are green rules about the Chesapeake Bay really needed in the first place? Are we being hustled into expensive and costly decisions that will hurt the economy in the name of "saving the bay"?

THE BATTLE TO REPLACE A RETIRING LIBERAL REPUBLICAN IN THE 193RD DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 1ST)

When Will Tallman challenged State Representative Steve Nickol in the 2004 GOP Primary for the 193rd State House District seat, it was a strong pro-life and conservative challenge to Nickol. Tallman, a former missionary, focused his campaign effort on churches challenging Nickol for being Pro-Abortion and voting to raise the state income tax in 2003. Nickol beat Tallman by a 2-1 margin.

But this year when the longtime "moderate" Nickol decided to retire, Tallman got back into politics. He ran a more conventional campaign based on support from the Adams County portion of the district. The candidate backed by Steve Nickol, Mike Rishel, ran well in the York County side of the district in and around Hanover, but lost.

Tallman faces Democrat Neil Clifford in the general election this Tuesday. Nickol has declined to endorse either candidate. Meanwhile, the 'York Daily Record" has editorialized that neither candidate is qualified like the retiring liberal Republican Nickol is.

Both Republican Tallman and Democrat Clifford are described as Pro-Life in the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation's voting guide. It looks like Will Tallman's election would bring a more conservative voice to the legislature in Harrisburg. Whether Tallman will "get along" with the corrupt political leadership there or challenge it remains to be seen.

STATE SENATE RACES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 1ST)

Four odd numbered State Senate districts include small portions of York County.

13TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT: In the 13th State Senate District that includes Springettsbury Township, Hellam, Wrightsville and southeastern areas along the Susquehanna River its Republican Lloyd Smucker versus Democrat Jose Urdaneta.

Republican insider Smucker won the primary this spring and has challenged Urdaneta for a liberal record of raising property taxes on Lancaster City Council.

Smucker is rated as Pro-Life by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation while Urdaneta has given no indication publicly as to his position on the sanctity of life. Urdaneta may be lying to individual voters saying he is "Pro-Life" when its really a "personal position" that means nothing if he were elected as a legislator, but that's pure speculation on my part.

Urdaneta comes out more liberal than Smucker, hands down.

15TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT: This Dauphin County district also takes in the Goldsboro-York Haven area of York County. Republican incumbent Jeff Piccola is facing challenger Judy Hirsh.

Hirsh is alleging that Piccola is business as usual and she will change things.

Piccola counters that he has called for reform including a Constitutional Convention to change the way the legislature does business. Among "insiders" Piccola has been vocal in criticizing State Senate leadership and it appears they retaliated against him last year by cutting funding for special education in the Harrisburg School District.

There have been some hard-hitting commercials in the race as both candidates challenge each other's positions.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation cites Piccola as Pro-Life and Hirsh as Pro-Abortion.

31ST STATE SENATE DISTICT: This district is mostly Cumberland County but takes in a part of northern York County.

Incumbent State Senator Pat Vance is a longtime liberal GOP insider from Cumberland County. Her Democrat challenger is art shop owner Susan Kiskis. Kiskis speaks of change and a concern for the environment.

Vance is rated as Pro-Abortion by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation while no information is available to them from Kiskis.

33RD STATE SENATE DISTRICT: This district includes Franklin and Adams counties, but also includes a slice of northwestern York County (Dover Area).

After a contentious GOP primary, Franklin County insider Richard Alloway won. Alloway faces Democrat Bruce Tushingham.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation rates Alloway as Pro-Life and has no information on Tushingham.

SOME STATE HOUSE RACES IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 2ND)

93RD STATE HOUSE DISTRICT DIRTY TRICK AIMED AT DEMOCRAT: This district in the southern end of York County is being contested by incumbent Republican State Representative Ron Miller and Democrat challenger Darrell Raubenstine.

Miller is seen as a GOP insider and "moderate." He is rated as Pro-Abortion by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Raubenstine is rated Pro-Life by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and is endorsed by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO as well.

A controversy was raised about Raubenstine when word came out in this last week of the election campaign that Raubenstine's company Global AG Associates was taken over by a management firm. Raubenstine said financial problems linked to the Lehman Brothers collapse caused the takeover to occur which also resulted in him being fired as president.

The controversy comes from a letter that former West Manheim Township Supervisor Stan Wysocki, an employee of Republican State Rep. Steve Nickol, gave to the "Hanover Sun." The letter detailing the financial problems of Raubenstine's company originates with York bankruptcy attorney Larry Young. Young is also a Republican and serves as a supervisor in Manchester Township.

Looks like Republicans teamed up to help Miller and take out Raubenstine.

94TH STATE HOUSE DISTRICT: This southeastern York County district is represented by incumbent Stan Saylor, who is advancing up Republican leadership ranks in Harrisburg. He will likely be a supporter of tax increases and other controversial laws in that position. His Democrat challenger is Deb Tillman.

Saylor is rated Pro-Life by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Tillman's position is unknown by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

196TH STATE HOUSE DISTRICT: Republican insider and aide to Congressman Todd Platts and State Representative Keith Gillespie, Seth Grove, is the candidate in the 196th District. Grove is replacing the retiring "moderate" Republican Bev Mackereth.

Grove is considered Pro-Life by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Grove is unopposed on the ballot, but Democrat and liberal Dover School Board member Rob McIlvaine of the Dover CARES faction is running as a Democrat write-in candidate.

OCTOBER 20-26, 2008.......

ELECTION NEWS IN RED BELOW

SPENDING TAX MONEY TO 'SAVE' TAX MONEY

'COMMON CENTS' PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS CALLED A 'DOG AND PONY SHOW'

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED OCTOBER 24TH)

School districts all over Pennsylvania including Red Lion and others in York County have applied to be part of a state program called "Common Cents" that is supposed to save taxpayer's money. Of course being a state program means that it spends taxpayers money, too.

The million dollar program involves having people from Deloitte Consulting come into local school districts to find cost-savings. District employees will have to spend time the taxpayers pay them for to fill out paperwork.

There was some pretty frank talk about the program recently from the South Eastern School Board, which has been in hot water with taxpayers recently over the 97-thousand dollar piano and other issues.

The South Eastern board voted unanimously to reject the program. Board member Dick Wilson was quoted by the "York Dispatch" on Common Cents: "This is the state's effort to try to capitalize on what the school districts already do on their own." In other words, Harrisburg (Governor Ed Rendell and other politicians) want to use "Common Cents" as a way to create an image of saving taxpayers money.

The "Dispatch" quoted board member Ralph Marston as calling "Common Cents" a "dog and pony show." In other words, a phony sham for the taxpayers who are fed up with all the money being taken from them every year in the name of "education." The South Eastern business manager, Paula Denton, noted that the district already carries out most of the recommendations on the list like bulk purchasing of supplies. The only cost-saving idea on the list the district isn't doing is bulk purchasing of textbooks but that is becoming a moot point at the district moves away from using books.

Here is some other news about "Common Cents" from across Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh "Post-Gazette" reported this week that the Deloitte consultants presented possible savings of 85 to nearly 150 thousand dollars a year to the Brentwood School District that has a 15 million dollar annual budget.

From Northumberland County there is a recent report in the Sunbury "Daily Item" newspaper about Common Cents and a school district. Milton School District Superintendent William A. Clark told the school board recently the program would only find 7 to 10-thousand dollars of savings in that district. The Milton board voted 7-2 against applying for the program. Based on the comments of Paula Denton from South Eastern and Superintendent William Clark from Milton, Northumberland County, it looks like the school districts already know what recommendations will be made before the consultants come in.

That means the Deloitte consultants paid with our tax dollars aren't needed in the first place to "find savings."

Besides the "Common Cents" program being a waste of taxpayer money to "save money" it looks like a way for politicians to claim they are "doing something" to save taxpayers money when they are not.

Deloitte Consulting gets a million dollars in business and what I want to know is how much money Deloitte or its officials gave to Governor Ed Rendell and other state elected officials. Is there a political contribution connection to the "Common Cents" program?

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL POOL AND EXPANSION PROJECT WILL ACTUALLY COST 18 MILLION

BUT MORE WORK NEEDED AT NEW HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE OF 'SURFACE DISTRESS'

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 26TH)

With grand opening ceremonies scheduled for December 5th, the new pool and classrooms at the new Central York High School are now said to cost 18 million dollars.

Last year, word from the Central York School District was that costs for the project would not exceed 17.5 million dollars.

But taxpayers will have to pay more to fix a problem that's developed on the southeast side of the new high school campus. The problem is being called a "surface disturbance" but "sinkole" seems to be the correct term. Some 450 feet of storm drain is said to be affected and work will begin in the next few months to fix the pipe.

Until the repair work is done it will not be known how much the cost is.

People who know the area said the new high school was being built "on a swamp" and I guess we have costly confirmation of that.

This new high school dubbed "The Taj Mahal" appears to be costing taxpayers a hundred million dollars, but the figures are all hidden in the budgetary mumbo jumbo of the last eight years or so. Add this latest project to the tab.

And the beat goes on......Coming up next for Central taxpayers.....how about a new middle school worth 60 million dollars or more??????

PLATTS VERSUS AVILLO IN THE 19TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 26TH)

Incumbent Republican Congressman Todd Platts is facing York College professor Phil Avillo for a rematch. In 2006, Platts easily defeated Avillo with over 60 percent of the vote. This year Avillo continues to hammer Platts on issues like Iraq and joins in the Democrats anti-Bush, anti-war campaign.

Platts stresses his support for American troops in Iraq and their mission.

Congressman Platts voted against the 700 billion dollar bailout package for financial markets, banks etc. and Avillo says he would have voted against it.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation rates Todd Platts as being Pro-Life and Phil Avillo as being Pro-Abortion.

The liabilities for Congressman Platts come from the fact that he is becoming increasingly liberal in his views including supporting stem-cell research involving aborted babies.

His brother Mark Platts of the Lancaster York Heritage Region was a prime mover behind the "heritage park" project that led to the Lauxmont Farms eminent domain fiasco involving the Kohr family land. Congressman Platts was involved with his brother in supporting the project from its beginning.

And then there's the even more personal internet rumor that is said to be true by sources closer to the family than me. The congressman's daughter has become the congressman's son after a sex change operation. The congressman has appeared at a gay political forum in York where discrimination against "transgendered" people was discussed.

My own understanding of the Congressman and his wife Leslie is that they are very liberal people trapped in a conservative political party and environment. For conservatives, the only consolation is that he votes right about 60 percent of the time.

Of course, if liberal college professor Phil Avillo were elected we would have a pretty whole hog liberal congressman who will help to "change" things in ways many conservatives would not like.

OCTOBER 13-19, 2008......

ELECTION NEWS HEADLINED IN RED

95TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE RACE AN INSIDER VERSUS OUTSIDER RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 19TH)

The story of the contest this year in the 95th State House District began over two years ago when incumbent Democrat Steve Stetler suddenly resigned in the middle of the election campaign. It was reported that his Republican challenger, Karen Emenheiser, was well ahead in polling after Stetler voted for and took the controversial 2005 legislative pay raise.

Democrats had to pick a successor and they found one in Eugene DePasquale, a state environmental official who had served in York City government and was a former Democrat Party chairman in York County. DePasquale's family had a track record of deep involvement in Pittsburgh politics as well.

DePasquale came in and was able to defeat Karen Emenheiser with a barrage of financial support from local bigwigs and the state Democrat campaign funds.

After his election, DePasquale began putting out news releases and touting "reforms" he had made, like leasing a car from the state government fleet instead of a private car dealer and putting his expenses online.

This year, DePasquale's challenger is Lon Emenheiser, husband of the 2006 GOP candidate in the district.

Emenheiser says its time for real change to occur, not just symbolic things. He's challenging DePasquale to give up all perks given to legislators from pensions to the car lease. Emenheiser says he'll use his own car if he's elected. He also is talking about cutting the size of the legislature by 50 members and cutting out state taxpayers funding of convention centers and sports stadiums.

While DePasquale has projected an image of being a reformer he spoke of "secret ballots" in the legislature when he addressed a Planned Parenthood dinner last year. DePasquale said lawmakers would vote differently on abortion if they could vote in secret without the public knowing how they voted.

Republican Lon Emenheiser has been endorsed by the Pennsylvana Pro-Life Federation while DePasquale is listed as Pro-Abortion. DePasquale has repeated the standard Democrat mantras of defending the "right to choose" and claiming he wants abortion to be "safe, legal and minimal."

MCCAIN SUPPORTERS REPORT THEFT AND VANDALISM TO POLICE

OBAMA SUPPORTERS CALL NEWSPAPER IN RESPONSE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 18TH)

Some details have emerged of an extensive sign stealing and vandalism campaign directed at supporters of Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the York area.

The "York Dispatch" reported Wednesday that police have received reports of 17 signs stolen in Spring Garden, Springettsbury and York townships. In some incidents homes were egged and Obama signs were planted in front yards to replace the McCain signs.

Nine of the thefts were in Spring Garden Township near the Penn State-York Campus. I've been told college students who support Obama seem eager to want to go steal signs.

Then on Thursday the "Dispatch" published a story based on calls they just happened to get from Democrats claiming Obama signs had been stolen. The Obama supporters say they didn't report the alleged incidents to police because they didn't think it was important.

There's a lot that smells fishy in all this. If these sign thefts did occur why not call police or would to have done that been making a false report? It looks like a deliberate Democrat campaign to counter the negative story about the stealing of the McCain signs and vandalism.

The "Dispatch" even quoted York City Council member Toni Smith who pressed charges years ago over the stealing of a sign for Charlie Robertson when he ran for mayor.

Of course longtime Republicans in York County have some choice stories to tell you about Toni including ones about her own night time forays to steal Republican signs.

One missing link in the reports are the thefts of McCain signs that may have occurred in York City. That's where police are under the control of the Democrat administration there. I've been shown a torn and damaged "McCain-Palin" sign that was picked up from the sidewalk in the 500 block of East Market Street.

YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT CONFRONTS RACIAL FACTION: "MAYBE THE REAL RACISTS ARE YOU GUYS"

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 16TH)

At this week's school board meeting, board president Jeanette Torres confronted members of the board's racial faction. Torres responded after a long speech by racial faction member Sam Beard who is continuting to complain that the school board did not meet to discuss an incident at the York County School of Technology over a year ago that involved students of different races.

Saying she had waited a long time to speak her mind, Torres confronted the four member faction that constantly complains about racism. She said they only are concerned about the needs of black students and ignore those of English-language learning students and special education students.

Torres noted: "Maybe the real racists are you guys." Members of the racial faction have called white board members "racist" repeatedly at previous meetings. The "York Daily Record" headlined this as "School board members quarrel" but there is much more to this story. We now have official comment that the racial bias on the school board comes from the four member faction.

I've proudly called the four "racist" and think its time they were fully confronted as such.

I hope Jeanette Torres and her colleagues of the five member majority sit back and look at the four more closely. One thing they need to do is carefully choose how to oppose them since I think the four are radicals who want confrontation to advance themselves politically. But there is something else the five member majority should look at for the moment.

One important question to ask: Who do these people support for President of the United States? These five Democrat liberals who form the majority of the York City School Board may want to contemplate which presidential candidate the four racially biased members who are black support. Then of course, the five majority members should come out and support the other major party candidate.

I didn't answer the question although I think we all know what it is.

FACT FINDER REPORT FOR TEACHER CONTRACT REJECTED BY SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 14TH)

A state fact finder recommended that teachers in the South Eastern School district get a 5.35 percent pay increase in the first year of a new contract and the teachers union voted to accept it.

But the school board was offering a pay increase one percent lower in the first year of a new contract and that is said to have caused the board to reject the report.

South Eastern board president Tonia Wright said the report was "fair and reasonable." One wonders if increased taxpayer concern in the district and the recent 97-thousand dollar piano controversy, not to mention the stock market problems all play a role in saying "No" at this time.

Is it possible that the mood could change in the future?

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Education Association representative for the South Eastern Education Association teachers union, Clinton Gibbs, told the "York Dispatch": "We voted to accept it-not because we liked anything about it, but we realize these are challenging times."

In these "challenging times" or any other times for that matter are pay raises of over 5 percent really reasonable or fair for taxpayers to bear the burden of?

REMEMBERING AN HISTORIC FIGURE IN BROADCASTING

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 13TH)

Funeral services were held last week for John H. Norris, owner of radio and television stations in Red Lion. Norris died after complications following a stroke. He was 88 years old.

His father, Reverend John Norris, started WGCB Radio in 1950 and brought in his son to manage the station. The younger John Norris managed the Red Lion station through much controversy as radio preachers and other hosts maintained a steady stream of opposition to religious and political liberalism. Eventually Red Lion Broadcasting became a group of broadcasting stations (AM,FM, TV and Shortwave Broadcasting). Satellite television programming also originated from Red Lion.

In 1964 Democrat political operatives helping the Lyndon Johnson presidential campaign got a man attacked by a radio preacher supporting Johnson's opponent Barry Goldwater to demand free air time. When Reverend Norris refused to give free time on WGCB, a legal case resulting in the historic "Red Lion" decision from the Supreme Court ensued. The anti-free speech court decision held up until President Ronald Reagan rescinded the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" in the 1980's.

John H. Norris served as manager of WGCB through this historic period and also served as manager of radio station WXUR in Media, Pennsylvania. WXUR was closed down by the Federal Communications Commission in 1973 after a Fairness Doctrine complaint lodged by liberal groups.

Later John H. Norris would become owner of Red Lion Broadcasting following the death of his father. He brought in as an assistant, Reverend Jim Nicholls, whose radio station in Puyallup, Washington, was also closed down by the FCC over a Fairness Doctrine complaint.

Norris put Nicholls on the air as host of a program called "The Voice of Freedom" devoted to First Amendment issues.

John H. Norris sold his AM and FM radio stations in the late 1990's, but still owned WGCB-TV and WINB shortwave radio at the time of his death.

I will also note that John H. Norris was a very gracious and generous man in regards to his staff, in some ways more generous than comparable religious and independent broadcasters were when it came to pay.

And I will also mention that the personal life of John H. Norris was in some ways a reflection of the personal lives of some of the radio and television preachers who were broadcast on his stations. Quite a number of young and attractive women came through the stations during his years there.

And that's the way it was for a man who was a prominent figure in York County history as well as the history of freedom of speech in broadcasting.

OCTOBER 6-12, 2008.......

THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 11TH)

Republicans in York got to hear John McCain's brother, Joe, at their dinner this last week while Democrats got a visit from Barack Obama surrogate Governor Kathleen Sebelius last Saturday.

Sebelius has been known for her association with late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller of Wichita. "Killer Tiller," as he is known has been a big fundraiser for Sebelius's election efforts in Kansas.

There are plenty of signs along highways in York County with McCain and McCain-Palin signs in larger numbers than Obama signs outside the city. In York City Obama supporters have stolen McCain signs.

What secret tactics Obama's supporters are using in York County and if they resemble those reported in other Pennsylvania counties like fake voter registrations isn't fully known yet.

One tip I did pick up is that people from the Obama supporting Service Employees International Union had a table in the Central York High School cafeteria recently during school to register students to vote.

ANOTHER NOTE, THE 'YORK DAILY RECORD' REPORTED ON CATHOLIC REACTION TO 'RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY' AND THE CALL OF CHURCH LEADERS FOR A VOTE OF 'CONSCIENCE' ON ELECTION DAY WITH LIFE ISSUES TAKING PRIMACY OVER OTHER MATTERS.

AMONG THOSE WHO REACTED WAS CATHOLIC AND BARACK OBAMA SUPPORTER RYAN SATTLER, WHO IS A LEADER OF THE RACIALLY ORIENTIED GROUP 'YORK COUNTY COMMUNITY AGAINST RACISM.' SATTLER TOLD THE 'DAILY RECORD': "If our church leaders really want to be the voice for the voiceless, the voice for the poor and for those who really aren't getting a fair shake in today's society, then it has to be broader than the pro-life movement in regards to how you pick a candidate."

SATTLER'S COMMENT IS TELLING AS TO HOW THE RADICAL LEFT IS REACTING TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHING ON VOTING IN THE ELECTION AND HOW THE LEFTISTS WHO SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA WILL STIR THE POT OF RACE IN THE COMING WEEKS TO CREATE ANGER, RESENTMENT AND HIGHER VOTER TURNOUT FOR THEIR CANDIDATE AMONG NON-WHITE AND YOUNG VOTERS.

KEEP AN EYE ON THIS GUY IN THE COMING WEEKS, BUT ALSO BE ALERT FOR MESSAGES THAT CLAIM OBAMA IS NOT PRO-ABORTION IN CONTRAST TO HIS ACTUAL STATEMENTS AND VOTING RECORD. THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS WILL USE MEDIA AND MAYBE EVEN KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR TO SPREAD THE FALSEHOODS.

LAND GRAB DISPUTE OVER KOHR FAMILY LAND IS SETTLED

PART OF PROPERTY WILL BE PURCHASED

FAMILY WILL BE COMPENSATED FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY COUNTY ATTEMPT TO TAKE LAND

(POSTED OCTOBER 9TH,UPDATED OCTOBER 11TH)

FORMER COMMISSIONER LORI MITRICK BLASTS COST OF SETTLEMENT. RON KOHR POINTS TO LOCAL LEADERS AS BEING MORE RESPONSIBLE THAN MITRICK AND KILGORE FOR TRYING TO SEIZE LAUXMONT FARMS LAND BY EMINENT DOMAIN

23 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLMENT INVOLVES PURCHASING PART OF LAUXMONT FARMS FOR 16.6 MILLION AND SETTLING KOHR LAWSUIT AGAINST COUNTY FOR 6.4 MILLION DOLLARS

While much has been made of the 60 plus million dollars that is involved when all the loan interest is taken into account for buying the land tracts (Highpoint, part of Lauxmont Farms) if all the land had been bought and a park built on the site, the cost would have surely exceeded 100 million dollars.

And if anyone wants to complain about the money taxpayers will pay, perhaps those in the community who pushed the eminent domain takeover of Lauxmont Farms from the Kohr family should chip in to help.

Among those who caused this mess and should pay out of their pockets are Mark Platts of the Lancaster York Heritage Region, the various political and community leaders of both parties ranging from Tom Wolf (PA Secretary of Revenue) to ex-commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore etc. etc.

NUISANCE ABATEMENT LAW LOOKS LIKE AN EXERCISE IN LIBERAL THINKING

(NEWS ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 8TH.UPDATED OCTOBER 9TH)

It passed York City Council by a 4-1 vote. The proposal of Councilman Cameron Texter sets up a point system for properties in the city that will be closed down if they accumulate too many points in a certain period of time.

The points accumulate on the basis of code violations or crimes committed at a property. The decision maker on closing down properties will be York City Police Commissioner Mark Whitman.

Real estate companies that are landlords of many city properties feel threatned by the law and may sue over it. The realtors argue that they cannot control the way tenants choose to behave. One landlord, Phil DeRosa, noted that if a stranger is committing a violation, it will count against landlords as well.

Residents have complained about illegal activity on properties in the city, but why blame landlords for crime? Aren't the people who live there the criminals, not the landlords. Is York City government being tough enough on criminals or more worried about "racial profiling" than punishing criminals?

ITS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE ARE BEHIND MUCH OF THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN RENTAL PROPERTIES AND AGAIN CAN WE REALLY BLAME LANDLORDS FOR THAT. LIBERAL MINDS CAN. AND WHEN TENANTS GET PUT OUT ON THE STREET BECAUSE PROPERTIES ARE SHUT DOWN, THE LIBERALS CAN TALK ABOUT THE 'HOMELESSNESS' PROBLEM WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING THEY CREATED IT WITH POLICIES LIKE THIS NUSIANCE PROPERTY LAW.

SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 5, 2008.......

TAX INCREASE WARNING:

STATE REP. SAYLOR SAYS TAXES WILL INCREASE IN PENNSYLVANIA

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED OCTOBER 5TH)

"There will be an increase in taxes....there's no doubt in my mind...."

The words of State Representative Stan Saylor (R-94th District) quoted by the "York Daily Record." Saylor spoke at a town-hall style meeting in Airville.

Saylor is high up in legislative leadership and his comments can be added to others coming from legislative leaders and the Rendell Administration. The governor cut executive branch expenses recently and the legislature has made similar moves.

They are sure signs of budget trouble. The idea of a gas tax hike has been floated by Governor Ed Rendell amid suggestions that a billion dollar shortfall already written into this year's budget when it was approved last summer, will balloon into the 2 to 3 billion dollar range during the months to come.

It appears that Rendell and legislative leaders knew the budget was short, but they couldn't raise taxes before an election. So now, expect moves to raise your taxes from Harrisburg after the election. In theory the legislature could do a lame duck session right after the election.

Although Republican State Senate leaders say they won't have such sessions, Governor Rendell could say its an "emergency" and call one to raise taxes.

One advantage of a lame duck session is that lawmakers who are retiring and leaving don't need to worry about the voters at all. That would include Republican State Senator Gib Armstrong of the 13th District, along with State Representatives Steve Nickol of the 193rd District and Bev Mackereth of the 196th District. For other legislators, an early tax raising decision after the election would give a year or two for voter anger to go down.

A QUICK NOTE HERE....THEY PLAN TO RAISE YOUR TAXES WOULD BE A GOOD THEME FOR ANY STATE HOUSE OR SENATE CANDIDATE RUNNING NOW. INCUMBENTS AND CHALLENGERS NEED TO BE TIED DOWN TO SUPPORTING OR OPPOSING A TAX INCREASE.

Higher taxes would also likely get the support of many Democrats in the legislature like incumbent Democrat Eugene DePasquale of the 95th District.

One final note, the power of the Pennsylvania State Education Association is also on display in how money is being spent in Harrisburg. The union of teachers and school employees is getting a dedicated stream of revenue for its members in public education.

The tax proceeeds from the new casinos in Pennsylvania are flowing into public school districts to provide some offset of local property taxes, but the declining economy is probably a sure sign that this "relief" will be very limited in the next few years.

TEXTER ON WITNESS LIST IN ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PROBE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 4TH)

York City Councilman and Democrat State House staff member Cameron Texter is one of 27 witnesses called to testify in the criminal case against Democrats accused of using taxpayers money to fund political campaigns.

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett is looking into whether House legislative staff members in Harrisburg were doing political work and getting paid for it, which would be illegal.

While Corbett continues to probe Republicans, charges have been filed against a group of Democrats that include a current State Representative, one former State Representative and eight other Democrat staff members.

Cameron Texter received bonus payments after he had done campaign work that Texter maintains was done while on leave from his job. Corbett has not charged Texter with any wrongdoing.

Texter has lowered his political profile as the investigation has developed in Harrisburg and he has been involved in a divorce case. Texter left his post as York City Council president earlier this year and says he will not run for re-election next year.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Cameron Texter has to say when and if he testifies at a preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday in the case.

97 THOUSAND DOLLAR PIANO OUT FOR NOW IN SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT, BUT AN ALTERNATE SCHEME IS ON THE DRAWING BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED OCTOBER 4TH)

In the face of lots of attention and publicity, the South Eastern School Board has formally voted 8-1 to reject plans to buy a Steinway piano valued at 97-thousand dollars.

But the school district superintendent broached a way to get the piano through a series of maneuvers that include buying a 45-thousand dollar Boston piano, then raising money from the public to trade up to the Steinway piano.

South Eastern superintendent Tracy Shank has proposed accepting donations in a "Keys For Success" campaign that will be noted on a plaque.

It appears this scheme will soon be up for board consideration.

Why does the school district need such an expensive piano in the first place? It looks like a back door move to cut the difference in half and still use the kind of money that could pay a teacher's salary to ultimately get the 97-thousand dollar piano.

School superintentents just don't give up on their schemes that soak taxpayers pockets for pet projects. Superintendent Shank is moving forward on a plan to give taxpayers a half-shank instead of full-shank.

Lets watch this.

SEPTEMBER 22-28, 2007......

THERE'S A COST TO GOING GREEN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 28TH)

Fears about "climate change" are driving calls for higher taxes, less use of energy and more recycling. One York City resident has joined in by asking for more recycling bins around the city.

When Charlotte Bergdoll went to York City Council to talk about the need for more recycling, she was praised by Councilman Joe Musso. Meanwhile the city's superintendent of parks, recreation and sanitation, Tom Landis, noted that special recycling containers cost more money. He said that large ones would cost from 800 to a thousand dollars. When regular bins have been placed out in the past, garbarge gets mixed in with them. He added that the special containers used at a recent city event were actually filled with recyclable items.

Will the cash strapped City of York be able to afford this and other schemes that are pushed in the name of "saving the planet?"

WSBA RADIO IN DECLINE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 27TH)

The move of WSBA-AM 910 talk show host Gary Sutton to the morning time slot comes after two news staffers who hosted the morning show lost their jobs in a staff cutback.

Times are tough for "old media" like radio and AM radio in particular. Only national programs that cost local stations less money will keep them in business.

Sutton joins remaining local staff to be part of the morning program, while syndicated host Glenn Beck takes over the 9 am to 12 noon part of the schedule. Sutton is also hosting a talk segment from 8 to 9 in the morning with guests and calls from listeners.

While "The York Dispatch" described Sutton as "conservative" his style is not that of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or top rated local host Bob Durgin of WHP Radio. Sutton's "Main Street of America" program reflects his willingness to bring in local moderate Republican politicians and liberals as well to promote their ideas about what to do nationally and here in York County.

Those ideas aren't always the populist ideas of Durgin or the conservative ones of Hannity and Limbaugh. Maybe what WSBA should have done is gone out and hired a hard hitting host who would have attracted higher ratings and more revenue like Bob Durgin, but that costs a lot more money than plugging into national programs.

And with a lack of ad revenue forcing two people out the door, the station once dubbed "The Mighty 910" is now a shadow of its former self.

NORTHEASTERN SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT ATTACKS TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS OVER ROAD IMPROVEMENT COSTS FOR NEW SCHOOL

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 25TH)

When new schools get built, road improvements need to be made along with the school.

School districts pick up road construction costs just like developers do when they build new houses.

Dallastown School District is paying 1.8 million dollars in road costs associated with a new intermediate school in Springfield Township. Several years ago, when the new Central York High School was constructed, the school district paid half the cost of road improvements in the area.

Speaking at the end of a recent school board meeting and saying that he was speaking only for himself, Northeastern School Board President Timothy Santiago said the school district should not have to pay road costs for a new school in East Manchester Township that will cost 34 million dollars.

Santiago contends that since the school district is a non-profit organizaton, it shouldn't have to pay. He said one township supervisor spoke of the school district having a larger pool of taxpayers to share the cost of the improvements.

Santiago said the school district is tight on money and will need money to buy classroom supplies for the new school. He also blamed private developers for building houses in the district causing a need for the new school.

Earlier this year, Mr. Santiago became angry when a school board member objected to Martin Luther King Day being a day off from school on this year's school calendar while President's Day was a snow make up day. The calendar was changed after the objection became a public issue.

It appears that Northeastern School Board President Timothy Santiago bears closer scrutiny from concerned citizens and taxpayers in the district. Santiago seems to be pursuing liberal agendas of attacking development and having a greater reverence for Martin Luther King than America's presidents.

SEPTEMBER 15-21, 2008.....

THOSE DALLASTOWN SCHOOL TAXES ARE HEADED UP

(POSTED SEPTEMBER 21ST)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Officials in the Dallastown School District are putting out the word that big tax increases are on the way in the years to come.

That's no surpise considering that a new 60 million dollar plus school will be built after a long struggle with Springfield Township officials.

The early talk must be designed to soften the public up.

The spin is that the district is trying to keep property tax hikes within the "inflation index" that the state assigns to each school district. That meant an increase of 5.2 percent this year with the target being 4.8 percent for the next school year.

Dallastown School District and other school districts can apply to the state and get an exemption to raise property taxes above the index. Dallastown School Superintendent Stewart Weinberg speaks of new hires needed to staff the new school causing budget troubles two years down the road.

So hold onto your wallets, Dallastown School District taxpayers.

RACIAL FACTION TEES OFF ON ADMINISTRATION RESIGNATIONS IN YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 18TH,UPDATED SEPTEMBER 21ST)

People may have been marching in York City this weekend in the name of "Education First" but the reality is that many there are putting something else first. The four member faction of the city school board and its supporters are either passing the buck for "dysfunctional" behavior or flat out using "racism" and "diversity" as a springboard to political power.

The racial-racist faction of the York City School Board was on the attack over the resignations of three administrators who are black. The recent resignation of William Penn High School Principal Jesse Rawls Jr. has been followed by the resignation of the district's alternative school principal and director of information technology.

This led to demands for "diversity" when it came to picking replacements for the three plus accusations that white administration was hostile to the departing black administrators. The accusations were reflected in comments coming from from board members James Morgan, Hiawatha Powell and Beverly Atwater.

Members of the racist faction were never big supporters of Mr. Rawls to begin with, particularly when it came to security measures. After Rawls proposed the new metal detectors which are now used at the high school, they protested what they saw as a "prison like" atmosphere in the school.

These new accusations come with a sense that a racial atmosphere already exists in the district favoring black students and that discipline has become lax as seen in crime statistics reported last week for the 2006-2007 school year showing fewer arrests for more incidents in the York City School District.

I suspect Mr. Rawls and the other administrators are just trying to get away from the racially charged atmosphere created by the four racist board members who are making discipline and education impossible in the York City School District.

The nasty atmosphere reflected in the four racially oriented board members is dooming education for thousands of students who will continue to fail in reading and math.

If a faction came along saying more "Christians" were needed in the York City School District administration, our York newspapers would be beside themselves.

These racists are murdering education for children in York City. They must be opposed and condemned instead of being coddled and appeased by the liberal board majority and the community as a whole.

ITS TIME TO DEMAND DISCIPLINE, MATH AND READING FOR YORK CITY SCHOOL STUDENTS INSTEAD OF RACIAL RECRIMINATIONS.

THE CYCLE OF DRUG ADDICTION, ALCOHOL ADDICTION, OTHER ADDICTIONS AND THE CRIME COMING FROM THEM MUST STOP. THAT'S NOT AN EASY TASK AND IT INVOLVES A LOT MORE THAN GOVERNMENT AND OR POLICE.

ITS GOOD THAT CRIME FIGHTING IS A PRIORITY IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT WITH A PROGRAM AIMED AT THE CRIME CENTERED IN THE CITY, BUT THE WAY ALL PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES MUST DRAMATICALLY CHANGE FOR PROGRESS TO BE MADE IN ENDING CRIME AND IMPROVING EDUCATION.

THE RACIAL EXCUSES FOR BAD HABITS AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR MUST END.

SEPTEMBER 8-14, 2008.....

CRIME REPORT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN YORK COUNTY:
YORK CITY SCHOOLS LAG BEHIND IN ARRESTS WHILE BEING NEAR THE TOP IN INCIDENTS REPORTED

(POSTED SEPTEMBER 14TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

School districts in York County have reported crime statistics for the 2006-2007 school year and now the state has released those figures.

The reporting covers everything from thefts to fights to drug possession in public school districts. Arrests made in the school district are also reported.

York City School District came in 2nd on the list with 141 incidents reported and 53 arrests. The most incidents reported were from the West Shore School District that includes Northern York County and parts of Cumberland County. The suburban Harrisburg district had 228 incidents in the 2006-2007 school year with 69 arrests.

High numbers also came in from the Dallastown School District with 97 incidents. Dallastown is seeing an influx of new students from the Baltimore area.

But what stands out is that the Dallastown School District reported 54 arrests, that's one more than the York City School District that had more reported incidents.

It is claimed that discipline has become lax in the York City School District in recent years and that a racially based attitude is causing the district to take it easy on punishment of students. These stats give credence to the idea that there may indeed be lax discipline in York City Schools. Only 12 arrests were made at William Penn High School in the 2006-2007 school year, while 31 were made at Central York High School.

At the low end of the crime reports, Southern School District with 24 incidents and 8 arrests and the York Suburban School District with 27 incidents and 7 arrests.

The truancy rate of the York City School District for 2006-2007 was an astounding 39 percent. That was well ahead of other York County public school districts.

WRIGHTSVILLE COUNCIL VOTES TO KEEP LOCAL POLICE FOR NOW

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 13TH)

The vote of Wrightsville Borough Council was unanimous, with member Larry Kirkessner Jr. absent. The decision was welcomed by many in the community who had been waging a campaign to maintain the local police department set up during the administration of former Mayor Stephen Rambler.

The anti-Rambler faction that had taken over the council voted earlier this year to ask other police departments in the area to provide coverage, but the vote last Monday formally put an end any enquiries to other police departments.

Keeping a local department sounds like a good idea, unlike the schemes to create super police departments being pushed by York County's liberal elites under the York Counts-Metro York banner. Those super departments will have less accountability and become a financial drain on taxpayers in spite of the promises made by proponents.

SEPTEMBER 1-7, 2008......

OBAMA VISITS YORK PLANT AND TALKS TO GROUP OF SUPPORTERS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 7TH)

Democrat presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama toured the Voith Siemens plant in York on Thursday, then spoke to a group of 50 invitees including local Democrat officials. Among those listening to Obama speak were Commissioner Doug Hoke, State Representative Eugene DePasquale of the 95th District and York County Democrat chairman Mike Johnson.

Obama learned about hydro power as an alternative energy source according to the president and CEO of the plant, Mark Garner. Garner said that Governor Ed Rendell called to ask about the tour on Wednesday.

A conference room at the plant was used for an interview with Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly.

This visit has something to do with connections involving the Governor and the plant in my opinion. The facts about campaign contributions, political connections are waiting to be dug out.

Ed Rendell has been pushing new sources of energy that are probably related to individuals who donate to his campaign and who expect their businesses to receive taxpayer money to promote "alternative energy." The financial supporters of Rendell will profit from their campaign contributions.

GOP HEADQUARTERS ON EAST MARKET STREET SHOWS DEEP COMMITTMENT TO PENNSYLVANIA BY MCCAIN CAMPAIGN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 7TH)

If you go down East Market Street in Springettsbury Township you'll see evidence that Pennsylvania is indeed a "battleground state" in the presidential election campaign.

There's a headquarters building with signs on the lawn for various GOP candidates plus a large motor home converted into a McCain "Straight Talk Express" vehicle.

Of course watching television is enough to realize that the candidates are spending millions right here in Pennsylvania.

HYPE FROM DALLASTOWN OVER BIDS FOR NEW SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED SEPTEMBER 7TH)

The Superintnendent of the Dallastown Area School District is all excited about the "low bids" coming in for a controversial new intermediate school in Springfield Township.

Stewart Weinberg is pointing to bids four million dollars less than earlier estimates for the actual new school building. However the total project that involves road changes in the area is slated to cost 61.5 million dollars which puts it right around the amount of 60 million dollars discussed in previous estimates of the cost of the new school.

There are at least two things you can count on. Once construction begins, there will be delays and additional costs that pile up. That's the standard for new school construction in York County.

So hold onto you wallets taxpayers.

AUGUST 25-31, 2008.......

STATE BOARD GIVES THUMBS DOWN TO YORK CITY CHARTER SCHOOL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 27TH)

The state's charter school appeal board voted unanimously to turn down a proposal from Lincoln Charter School to establish a middle school on East Philadelphia Street. The board said the facility proposed was too small and that its curriculum was not unique compared to the city's other public schools.

The school will prepare a new proposal and seek approval from the York City School Board, which rejected its initial proposal in a 5-4 vote, triggering the appeal to the state board.

Supporters of the school include the four racially oriented members of the city's school board.

This rejection does not surprise me because political insiders like the five member city school board majority, the Rendell Adminstration in Harrisburg, not to mention the state's leading teacher union that supports Governor Rendell (the Pennsylvania State Education Association) are all thumbs down on educational alternatives.

Lincoln Charter School supporters should bring pressure to bear on elected Democrats like 95th District State Representative Eugene DePasquale. The state rep is up for re-election with a Republican opponent. Demand his support for the charter school or else.

YORK HIGH PRINCIPAL LEAVES UNEXPECTEDLY RIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL YEAR STARTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 26TH.UPDATED AUGUST 27TH)

In a sudden and unexpected move, William Penn High School principal Jesse Rawls Jr. is taking a new position as principal of the Central Dauphin East High School near Harrisburg.

The information comes from the Central Dauphin School District. Rawls refuses comment and the York City School District said yesterday it has not received a resignation from him yet.

UPDATE: JESSE RAWLS INFORMED THE SCHOOL DISTRICT MONDAY NIGHT OF HIS RESIGNATION. THE DISTRICT HAS MOVED QUICKLY, TRANSFERRING RONA KAUFFMAN FROM HER JOB AS PRINCIPAL OF THE HANNAH PENN MIDDLE SCHOOL TO REPLACE RAWLS. SHE WILL BE AT THE HIGH SCHOOL SEPTEMBER 4TH.

RAWLS TOLD THE 'YORK DAILY RECORD' HE FELT THERE WAS A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF SUPPORT WHEN JEFFREY KIRKLAND WAS SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT. KIRKLAND DID NOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION AND HAS BEEN REPLACED BY JEANETTE TORRES. WHAT RAWLS IS TRYING TO SAY IS NOT CLEAR? BUT HE HAS TAKEN FLAK FROM THE RACIAL-RACIST MINORITY (4 MEMBER) FACTION OF THE BOARD FOR INCREASING SECURITY AT THE SCHOOL. THEY CLAIM IT CREATES A PRISON ATMOSPHERE THAT ISN'T HELPFUL TO EDUCATION.

During the last school year Rawls was attacked by a parent in his office.

Jesse Rawls Jr. came to the York City School District from the Harrisburg School District in 2005.

More indication of serious problems in the York City School District with poor test scores, student violence, a frustrated administration and divided school board.

When will the racist faction of the school board and its supporters in the district stop preaching racial ideology and start focusing on math and reading?

Of course the official line is that test scores are "improving", but the truth is that all schools in the York City School District failed to meet the 56 percent proficiency standard for math and 63 percent standard for reading last year.

That is the bottom line that matters.

A HIDDEN CHANGE AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL AMID TEST SCORE DECLINE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 26TH)

Math test scores for 11th Grade students took a big dive at Central York High School during the last school year. The proficiency standard was 56 percent but the results were 55.8 percent on the PSSA tests. That compares with over 80 percent proficiency in Central's other schools.

The school district message is that free and reduced lunch students are the category responsible for the decline.

Meanwhile, there's a new principal at Central York High School this year. Ryan Caufman is taking over from Dr. Jay Butterfield, whose resignation was announced during an August 11th school board meeting. There was no formal announcement to the media of the change of principals.

When Caufman's name was announced as the new principal at a school year opening meeting yesterday, there were loud cheers from the crowd of teachers and staff.

Butterfield had reportedly upset parents and staff with his arrogant style.

The story of Butterfield's four year tenure includes his obtaining of a doctorate degree and the spirited promotion of the district's "cultural diversity" program.

Both Butterfield and the retiring Superintendent of the Central York School District, Dr. Linda Estep, have been honored by the radically led York City Human Relations Commission for their involvement in promoting "diversity."

In response to the test score results, the high school is changing its schedule this year to increase academic time.

BUT HERE ARE SOME DEAD SERIOUS QUESTIONS: HAS THE RACIAL OBSSESSION OF 'DIVERSITY ' DRIVEN DOWN TEST SCORES AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL? IS THE RACIAL POISON THAT HAS HURT THE YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BEING INJECTED INTO CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL WITH THESE POOR ACADEMIC RESULTS?

AUGUST 18-24, 2008.......

BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK.....MORE STORIES COMING.......

RACIAL FACTION KEEPS POT BOILING AT YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 23RD)

Racial faction members of the York City School Board are voicing their views at board meetings and they are stinging.

The mostly white liberal insider faction that controls the board 5 votes to 4 has been concerned about security after the arguments at recent meetings and now a police officer has been present for board meetings.

The use of police known as "resource officers" was a recent topic of discussion as the board worked out a plan to pay the city 160-thousand dollars to finance two officers for city schools in the coming year.

Racial board members Beverly Atwater and Sam Beard complained about a "prison" atmosphere as William Penn Senior High School. That's where students swipe ID cards and go through metal detectors as they enter the school and police stand guard.

Police have made numerous arrests at the school in the last year including one involving a parent who attacked Principal Jesse Rawls in his office. Liberal controlling faction member Barb Krier said she'd rather have a police officer dealing with any weapons than a teacher in a classroom.

Atwater and Beard seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the violence in the school. Racial faction members with the assistance of an outside "agitator" seem to want to say that the real problem in their mind is "race" as they continue to raise the issue of a fight that occurred in May of 2007 on a parking lot at the York County School of Technology.

The York City Human Relations Commission executive director Stephanie Seaton says the city school board should have been fully informed about the fight and the U.S. Justice Department got involved forcing the school to take actions following the fight. Seaton is the parent of a student involved in the fight. Her attack is aimed at school board vice-president Tom Foust, who sits on the board of the technical school.

Foust says he has been fully involved and very concerned about the fight and its aftermath, but racial faction members say the fight may be cause for the city school district to consider pulling students out of the technical school.

Board member Sam Beard is quoted by "The York Dispatch" as saying: "Should we be sending our children there" Another racial faction member Hiawatha Powell is also quoted by the "Dispatch": "There is no excuse. There was nothing done...Something needs to be done. They are our kids."

My next comment is simple enough. Are Beard and Powell's references to "our children" and "our kids" references to children of the city school district or children of a particular race. Were they making the "racist comments" they always like to accuse other school board members of?

AUGUST 11-17, 2008.....

TEST SCORES SHOW YORK CITY SCHOOLS FAILING ACROSS THE BOARD

SOME HIGH SCHOOLS AND OTHER SCHOOLS ALSO FAILING IN YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 17TH)

The schools of the York City School District and two public charter schools of York City (New Hope and Lincoln) failed to meet standards for reading and math proficiency in the last school year. Results from the PSSA tests released by the state showed that all those schools failed to meet the standards of 63 percent of their students being proficient in reading and 56 percent in math.

Individual schools thoughout the county were cited for not meeting the goals and making progress. They included the York County School of Technology, West York High School and Central York High School. Central York's failure is because high school students in the federal school lunch program for free and reduced price lunches are failing to meet the proficiency goals in reading and math. AN ADDITIONAL NOTE: PSSA TEST RESULTS FOR ALL OF CENTRAL YORK'S 11TH GRADE STUDENTS SHOWED 55.8 PERCENT OF STUDENTS PROFICIENT OR ADVANCED IN MATH...THAT .2 PERCENT BELOW THE 56 PERCENT GOAL.

ALSO....AT THE CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL BOARD MEETING LAST MONDAY, THE RESIGNATION OF HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DR. JAY BUTTERFIELD WAS ANNOUNCED.

By 2014 the goals under the federal No Child Left Behind law are for 100 proficiency in both reading and math in all schools. Education officials like the state's Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak, say more money is being directed into school districts this year. Zahorchak is confident the goals will be met.

IN THE REAL WORLD MEANWHILE, I DOUBT THIS WILL HAPPEN, ESPECIALLY IN THE URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS LIKE YORK CITY. FOR MANY OF ITS SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS, RACE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN READING OR MATH. WHY???????????

THE PAYOUT FOR HIGHPOINT POINTS TO FORMER COMMISSIONERS, OTHER POLITICAL AND BUSINESS LEADERS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 14TH)

When former York County Commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore decided to go ahead with the "heritage park" project in Lower Windsor Township, the expensive legal fight with developer Peter Alecxih over Highpoint began.

Now the county is paying more than 20 million dollars including interest owed every day it didn't pay Alecxih for the fair value of his land as determined by a jury.

The "York Daily Record" has this nasty habit of pointing out that York County and its current board of commissioners are having to pay up the millions for purchasing the Highpoint property without putting the case in perspective.

Let there be no mistake, the former commissioners (Mitrick and Kilgore) ignited this costly conflict.

And they were prodded into their action by the Lancaster York Heritage Region, its executive director (Mark Platts) and the numerous local elected officials from his brother Congressman Todd Platts on down who took an interest in the "heritage park" plan. The LYHR board also included at the time of the controversy numerous local business leaders who are among the wealthiest people in York County.

If there are going to be complaints about paying this bill from the "York Daily Record", then send a bill to Mark and Todd Platts, other current and former elected officials like Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore, Louis Appell, Art Glatfelter, Tom Wolf, Robert Kinsley, etc.

Let them put up the 20 million dollars from their own pockets instead of the taxpayers since they ultimately share the responsibility for this mess.

MCCAIN COMES TO YORK AND DRAWS A CROWD OF FANS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 13TH)

The Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain attracted a crowd of more than four thousand for a townhall-style meeting at the York Fairgrounds Toyota Arena Tuesday.

On hand were Republican leaders like York County GOP chairman Carville "Peck" Foster. Foster says McCain is drawing support from Republicans, Independents and some Democrats.

Also at the arena was McCain's York County coordinator Dick Evans. Evans was a longtime member of the York Suburban School Board and a McCain backer in 2000 when he challenged George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination.

The appearance in a Republican stronghold before the convention in St. Paul, Minnesota early next month shows how McCain is trying to shore up support in Republican leaning areas like Central Pennsylvania. McCain will become a more moderate sounding candidate next month after the convention.

The appearance here also sends the message that Senator McCain is seriously contesting Pennsylvania which Senator Barack Obama lost to Hillary Clinton in the Democrat primary earlier this year. McCain is aiming to win the Keystone State this November.

AUGUST 4-10, 2008........

GAS PRICES FALL AROUND YORK

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 10TH)

There's been a lot of hype lately about rising gas prices and talk of five dollar a gallon gas..,..Well the media gets egg-faced again by reality.

The evidence goes beyond the price of oil itself as prices drop at pumps around the York area.

On Saturday the unleaded regular price of 359.9 became a common sight, with the Rutters on North Hills Road at 357.9. There's a gas price war on Route 30 with the price 351.9 at the new Rutter's at Pennsylvania Avenue. Down the road at Fairlane Drive the Universal station that sells Citgo was also offering a 351.9 price. How low can it go? We'll watch....

RENDELL DOES 'BUS TOUR' IN YORK COUNTY:

TOUTS BUSINESSES GETTING TAXPAYER MONEY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 9TH,UPDATED AUGUST 10TH)

Governor Ed Rendell came to York County Friday to talk about area businesses picking up taxpayer money to help provide "jobs."

York County Democrat State Representative Eugene Depasquale (95th District) also came along for the show.

Rendell appeared before workers at Komax Systems in Loganville. Komax makes solar panels and will get 600-thousand dollars to help build a new facility in Springettsbury Township. Rendell also announced 2.5 million dollars in taxpayer support (with loans and grants) for a new Service Truck Tire Center facility in Springettsbury Township.

Rendell touted that the money will create 194 jobs and help retain another 480.

Also announced, taxpayer support of Crispus Attacks in York, York College and money for the repair of 16 bridges in York County.

Of course, the "tour" concept is nothing new for governors. Twenty years ago Bob Casey Sr. came to York as he "toured" the state. What interests those interested in seeing reform and change in Pennsylvania poitics is this? Are there campaign contributions to politicians like Rendell, Depasquale and others linked to this taxpayer money being handed out to businesses for "jobs"????????

And not to be left out of this story. Local Republican politicians were in evidence during Rendell's visit like State Senator Mike Waugh (28th District). What do they have to do with any campaign contributions and the use of taxpayers money for these businesses?

SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD TREADS CAREFULLY ON SPENDING, CONTROVERSIAL PIANO BUY COULD BE PUSHED THROUGH THIS MONTH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 6TH)

Amid increasing public scrutiny from concerned taxpayers, the South Eastern School Board has backed away from agreeing to any bid submitted for work on athletic fields.

An engineering study had estimated the cost of building fields on the northwest part of the school property at 190-thousand dollars. But the bids received were 317-thousand dollars or higher.

Board member Dick Wilson said the project is on hold until the Building and Grounds Committee can examine the discrepancy. School Board president Tonia Wright said the project to build the fields including those for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer will go forward.

And one has to wonder if the controversial plan to purchase a 97-thousand dollar Steinway piano is going through after it was sent to the Finance Committee after a June board meeting. The board heard from taxpayers who objected to the buy seeing it as too wasteful.

The committee was said to be meeting in August to consider the matter of buying the new piano. Is this purchase going through under the noses of the taxpayers through the committeee route this month?

JULY 28-AUGUST 3, 2008......

YORK COUNTS MAKES PITCH TO SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP FOR STUDY TO JUSTIFY METRO POLICE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED AUGUST 3RD)

Representatives of the York Counts group have made their pitch to Springetsbury Township supervisors to support a police study involving the City of York and nearby communities.

York Counts has a goal of trying to create a Greater York Police Department that would have suburban taxpayers picking up the tab for York City's police protection.

York City and West York Borough have already approved participation in the study. West Manchester Township has rejected the study. York Counts hopes to convince Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships to join in.

The group also plans to approach communities in the York Area Regional Police Department and Northern York Regional Police Department to promote a "public safety" study.

This study should be avoided like the plague because it is a baby step towards bigger government in York County that will not deliver the cost efficiencies that are promised by its promoters. Today, a combined police department, next a combined government that will have York County taxpayers picking up the cost of York City government.

Higher taxes will be the ultimate result of York Counts if its goals are achieved.

STATE BOARD POSTPONES MEETING TO CONSIDER CHARTER MIDDLE SCHOOL IN YORK...WHY?

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 31ST)

Pennsylvania's Charter School Appeals Board was set to meet Tuesday to make a decision on Lincoln Charter School's plan for a middle school in York City.

But the meeting has been postponed until August 26th. That means the hundreds of students signed up for the proposed school will not be able to start classes as had been hoped next month and they will have to attend another school.

The new school is opposed by the five member "insider" faction of the York City School Board and supported by the four member "racial" faction of black school board members.

It should be noted that board president Jeanette Torres and vice-president Tom Foust are "in the loop" with Democrat political leaders like Mayor John Brenner, 95th District State Representative Eugene Depasquale and Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf.

Were state officials approached to cause a delay in the new school's plans to open at the beginning of the coming school year? The move of the hundreds of students signed up to go to the planned Lincoln Charter Middle School would have taken over 2 million dollars out of the York City School District budget.

If Lincoln can get approval from the appeals board, it is hoped a new school may be able to open in the middle of the coming school year. This story is worth keeping an eye on because it ties in with the conflict presently raging in the York City School District among school board members.

JULY 21-27, 2008......

CONFRONTING THE RACIAL EXTREMISTS WITH HONESTY AND GUILTLESS TRUTH (SPECIAL COMMENT BELOW)

"YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE"

RACIAL FACTION MEMBERS WALK OUT OF CITY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

FIGHT AT YORK TECHNICAL SCHOOL CITED IN SHOUTING AIMED AT BOARD VICE-PRESIDENT

(NEWS COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED JULY 25TH,UPDATED JULY 27TH)

A group of black parents provided the fuel for an outburst of racial anger at the York City School Board meeting Wednesday night. The parents were asking for improvement in educational quality and said the school district was failing to notify them about their children's unlawful absences from school. After board members said they would work to address the concerns, shouting from the parents was directed at the board claiming they didn't care. One parent wanted the board to do something about racially motivated fighting by students.

The fighting between students of different races didn't even happen in the York City School District. The anger at board vice-president Tom Foust was rooted in a videotaped fight that occurred among students at the York County School of Technology. Foust is the city school board rep on the technical school board. The mother of one of the students involved was Stephanie Seaton, director of the York City Human Relations Commission. The fight led to a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department and some sort of ruling against the school from the Justice Department earlier this year for failing to properly addrsss the "racial issues" of the fight.

Foust said he thought the matter was resolved and that Seaton was satisfied with the resolution of the matter. He also said he was surprised that Seaton wasn't taking her concerns to the technical school board.

Seaton has been involved in some radical activity herself, including a protest in Washington involving Reverend Al Sharpton. The protest outside the Justice Department demanded a federal investigation into alleged racial incidents at a school in Jena, Louisiana.

When board member Beverly Atwater of the racial faction said the problem hasn't been addressed, school board vice-president Tom Foust disagreed saying "that's not true." Continued arguing and shouting led board president Jeanette Torres to close off the public comment period.

That's when another racial faction member Sam Beard argued with Torres about who was "out of order." Atwater attacked Foust saying "you don't represent black people....all you do is cause trouble." Atwater also chimed in with the comment that headlines this story. Three of the racial faction members didn't even bother to rejoin the board meeeting after a recess was called.

The racial faction of the board is concerned about the quality of education and has been supportive of efforts by Lincoln Charter School to expand with a new middle school. I guess I can sympathize with that. But this faction is seeing racism everywhere and anywhere. Tom Foust told the "York Dispatch" he feels the "racism" accusation is a way to demean the school board majority and their opinion.

Foust and Torres do not need to apologize and deny they are racists but that's what white liberals have always done when the radicals attack. When will this crap stop? Only when decent people have the courage to oppose it. The four black school board members are frankly the racists here and one must call them that and demand they show respect for other people and their opinions.

The white liberals of York, who support radicals like the York County Community Against Racism and its radical leader Adrienne McNeil (who's imagined racism at a York country club herself) are no match for this rising chorus of extremists.

In fact, they have spawned the chorus by their guilt ridden calls for "tolerance" and "diversity."

The white liberals will eventually cave into the radicals unless they get something they are not known for, a "backbone." Latest word is that Tom Foust will be sharing a report with the school board on the technical school fighting, a response to appease the extremists.

In the end, the already poor quality of education in the York City School District will likely be worsened by the battle and any concessions made by the board majority to the angry racist members of the board.

TRUTH FOR THE RACISTS: CONFRONTING THE RADICALS (SPECIAL COMMENT)

The poisonous atmosphere of racial politics like those emerging in the York City School District can have serious consequences.

Millions in the African country of Zimbabwe have suffered from hunger and been forced from their homes by the policies of President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has consistently blamed white people and "white nations" like the United States and the United Kingdom for problems in his country.

The starvation of his nation and its economic downturn including a 2000 plus percent inflation rate is linked to the seizure of farmland previously owned by whites.

Underlying the racial politics of Zimbabwe is its leader's desire for power. He's not standing up for Africa against the white colonial powers as he claims.

Under all the blame and looking for racial explanations for educational failure in the York City School District are some very deep problems like poverty, crime and family dysfunction.

But underlying those symptoms are the even more serious problems which come under the banner of "addiction." Drugs, alcohol, etc.

Rodney King, angered by the influence of cocaine, got into a fight with Los Angeles Police officers back in 1991. The videotaped portion that showed police hitting him became the story of that incident which supposedly symbolizes "racism."

The city paid out millions of dollars in damages to King, who's had legal problems since. Rodney King has also admitted that he wasted most of the money on drugs.

What was Rodney King's real problem?

I think I know and I think its time that the angry people who show up at meetings to shout "racism" (and that includes four York City School Board members) should start to know. If they don't want to face the drug and alcohol abuse that devastates families and hurts children's chances of success in education, then they should shut up.

I will go one step further. Perhaps some of the angry people who are riled up about race need to look in mirrors at themselves and their families. ADDICTS ARE ANGRY PEOPLE.

Moral indignation is often a cover for moral indifference. Behind this legalistic moralistic crusading about race is hypocrisy that's waiting to be exposed. And its already exposed in one way, that being that the people who yell about "racism" are the real racists in this situation.

SETH GROVE GETS PICKED IN THE 196TH DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 24TH)

He's active in the Republican Club and he's chief of staff to State Representative Keith Gillespie. He's served as an aide to Congressman Todd Platts. It should come as no surprise that Republican committee people in the 196th State House District met Wednesday night and picked Seth Grove as the GOP candidate in the 196th District.

Grove will replace incumbent Bev Mackereth, who made a middle of the election year decision to retire from the State House later this year to take up a position in York County government.

Reports say that it took five rounds of balloting among the committee people with the candidate getting the least votes being bumped out of the next round of voting. Chuck Richards, Skip Clancy and Grove were still in after the third round, then Clancy and Grove survived the fourth with Grove coming out ahead in the end. Richards was the only clear outsider candidate in the race with Clancy no doubt benefiting from his law enforcement background among the political insiders.

Considering Republican strength in the district and the lack of anything but write-in opposition, Grove is expected to be elected in November. Based on his background one can be assured that Seth Grove will do nothing to change things in Harrisburg other than symbolic acts for political purposes.

JULY 14-20, 2008.......

JURY RULES THAT HIGHPOINT IS WORTH 17.25 MILLION

TAXPAYERS PICK UP BILL FOR MITRICK-KILGORE SCHEME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 16TH,UPDATED JULY 19TH)

A York County jury has ruled that scenic land in Lower Windsor Township taken by eminent domain from a Lancaster County developer is worth a lot more than was contended by the county government.

Developer Peter Alecxih is entitled to 9.75 million dollars more from York County than the 7.5 million dollars he was originally given.

The 79-acre tract known as Highpoint was taken when former commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore were in power. They envisioned seizing hundreds of acres of land from the Kohr family (Lauxmont Farms) in addition to the Highpoint tract as part of a scheme to build a "heritage park."

Current commissioners Steve Chronister and Doug Hoke say they will work to pay Alecxih the additional money without raising taxes.

This is a sad and costly legacy of the now former commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore along with their co-conspirators in and out of government.

News reports speak of a dollar amount to pay the cost of the Highpoint settlement per taxpayer and it does make one think of how high the cost would be if this scenario had played itself out for taking the hundreds of acres of Kohr family land (Lauxmont Farms) by eminent domain.

YORK COUNTS POLICE STUDY SUPPORTED BY YORK CITY COUNCIL

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 19TH)

It comes as no surprise that York City Council endorses a survey that the liberal York Counts group wants to conduct about police services and consolidation in the York area.

West Manchester Township has already rejected the idea but York Counts is hoping that Spring Garden and Springettsbury Townships, along with some other local governments, will get behind the research that will help justify the concept of a unified police department.

While big government consolidation advocates speak of cost savings in the scheme and more "efficient" crime fighting, what is certain is that a new big size department would make suburban communities bear the cost of police protection in the City of York.

It is also in the end going to mean more spending and higher taxes, with local accountability for law enforcement going down the tubes.

The big goverment schemers of York Counts and Metro York are searching means for the suburban taxpayers to pay the cost of city government. This police consolidation boondoggle fits right in with the York City bailout scenario.

STATE REP DEPASQUALE BENEFITED FROM ILLEGAL BONUS CAMPAIGN WORK?

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 15TH)

Democrat State Rperesentative Eugene Depasquale (D-95th District) has been critical of the way the legislature does business in the aftermath of the controversial pay raise of 2005 and been a grandstand performer in calling for reform.

The 2005 pay raise is being blamed for activity exposed in a grand jury investigation of bonuses paid out to Democrat staff members of the State House for political work. 12 indictments were announced in the case by Pennsylvania's Attorney General Tom Corbett last week.

But what's left out of the news stories is the fact that the illegal work was to benefit political campaigns like Depasquale's in 2006.

News reports speak of the legislative staff work for political campaigns moving into high gear after the pay raise. That's when incumbent Democrats faced both primary challengers and Republicans lining up to face them in the general election.

In the middle of the election season in the 95th District, State Rep. Steve Stetler pulled out. Stetler had voted for the raise, taken it and refused to return it after the raise was repealed. Depasquale was picked by the Democrats to fact Republican challenger Karen Emenheiser in the 95th District.

The questions raised here are simple enough for reporters to ask. Did the legislative staff illegally help Stetler and or Depasquale with their 2006 campaigns. Well, are we asking about it and looking for facts?

The public should know about this before they choose between incumbent Democrat Eugene Depasquale and Lon Emenheiser, who's Karen's husband and this years Republican candidate in the 95th District.

LIBERAL MEMBER OF DOVER SCHOOL BOARD WANTS TO BE A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR 196TH DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 16TH,UPDATED JULY 19TH)

Rob McIlvaine made a name for himself by getting elected to the Dover School Board as part of liberal slate called Dover CARES in 2005.

Now with incumbent Republican Bev Mackereth's decision to leave the legislature in the middle of the election year, McIlvaine wants to give voters a chance to pick him as a Democrat candidate in the fall election. So he will run as a write-in candidate to offer an alternative to the candidate Republicans will choose this week at a meeting of precinct committee members in the 196th District.

At a meeting in Dover this Wednesday the GOP committee members will interview five candidates and pick from among them the Republican candidate to replace Bev Mackereth on the ballot for the 196th District House seat. When the dust settles it is still my expectation that political insider Seth Grove will be picked. In a last minute development, radio host-sports analyst Gary Sutton has taken his name out of consideration and will not be a candidate.

WRIGHTSVILLE COUNCILMAN GETS COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR DRUNK AND DISORDERLY CHARGES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 19TH)

Wrightsville Borough Council member Larry Kirkessner Jr. was involved in a late night incident back in April where he argued over a nacho machine not working at the Turkey Hill Market in the borough.

Police cited Kirkessner for public drunkeness and disorderly conduct and Kirkessner said the charges were politically motivated because he was not a supporter of the local police concept.

Now a deal was reached with the district attorney's office that allowed him to plead not guilty to the charges before Senior District Justice Roger Estep, who put Kirkessner into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program for first time offenders.

After completing 50 hours of service by the end of the year under the direction of the mayor of Wrightsville and paying court costs, the charges against Kirkessner will be dropped.

Interesting development here with one wondering whether the conflicts in Wrightsville politics are winding down are just taking a breather until the next round.

JULY 7-13, 2008.....

APPRAISER CONTRADICTS EARLIER VALUATION OF HIGHPOINT LAND

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 12TH)

The trial to determine the true value of a scenic piece of land seized by eminent domain heard startling testimony from an expert hired by York County when former Commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore were in charge.

John Coyle says he gave a wrong estimate and made "a mistake" when he appraised the land for the county. Coyle said the county was pressuring him to come up with an estimate.

Lawyer Herbert Bass got Coyle to make a new estimate for the 79-acre Highpoint tract seized from Lancaster County developer Peter Alecxih. Instead of the original lower estimate around 7 million dollars , Coyle now says the land is really worth 14.85 million dollars.

Peter Alecxih refused to go along with the county's payment of 7 and a half million dollars for Highpoint. That's why he's in court seeking 17 and a half million dollars for the land.

Experts who have testified at the jury trial for Alecxih, say the land is worth around 16.25 to 16.5 million dollars.

This testimony deserves more attention as it provides new evidence of the sordid nature of the effort by ex-Commissioners Mitrick and Kilgore and other public officials, along with the Lancaster-York Heritage Region of Mark Platts and well-known community leaders, to seize land at low ball prices using eminent domain authority.

TEXTER MENTIONED IN GRAND JURY FINDINGS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 12TH)

A prominent York County Democrat is mentioned as part of a scheme that led to 12 indictments in Harrisburg last week.

Former York City Council President and current council member Cameron Texter is on Democrat staff for the State House in Harrisburg. The grand jury report mentions Texter as being on a list of Democrat legislative staff doing political work who would be rewarded with bonuses. Giving the staff money for political work is illegal.

Cameron Texter worked in 2004 on the challenge of voters signatures obtained to put Ralph Nader on the ballot for president in Pennsylvania. Then in 2006, he worked on opposition research of Republicans running against Democrat members of the legislature.

Texter received an $11,648 dollar bonus in 2006.

The grand jury investigation led to the 12 indictments of Democrats by Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett on Thursday. Corbett says the probe is continuing.

Texter, meanwhile, is refusing comment on the case.

FIRST CANDIDATE IN RING FOR YORK MAYOR SWITCHES PARTIES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 9TH)

Gerry Turner has announced that he is a candidate for mayor in York after John Brenner's decision not to run for re-election.

Turner ran for mayor in 2005 as a Republican and was a write-in candidate for city council in 2007, but this time Turner will be a candidate in the 2009 Democrat primary. This is the way it goes. When one party dominates the only way to get yourself elected is to win the dominant party primary. This means people disguise who they really are. In Republican primaries in York County people who are very liberal and Democrat in their hearts have run because that is their only chance to get elected.

NEW NAMES EMERGE IN CONTEST FOR GOP COMMITTEE ENDORSEMENT TO REPLACE MACKERETH

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 8TH)

There's talk of two more candidates seeking endorsement from Republican committeee people in the 196th State House District to replace Bev Mackereth on the fall ballot.

Former Columbia High School basketball coach and current talk show host-sports analyst Gary Sutton says he's interested in the endorsement. Sutton says he would give up his broadcasting jobs to join the legislature. Sutton has no criticism of current House members including Mackereth. He says the process in Harrisburg should be more transparent.

Sutton has pushed property tax shifting ideas on his radio show and the ideas of the York County Taxpayers Council, a group that has shown little interest in confronting the bureaucracy and labor union that drive up the cost of education and rate of property taxes in Pennsylvania.

Sutton has also promoted ideas like consolidating government in York County under the York Counts-Metro York banner.

Former Jackson Township police chief and Spring Grove school board member Skip Clancy also has expressed interest in the endorsment. Clancy helped to defeat conservative pro-taxpayer school board members when he and others were elected to the Spring Grove School Board in the 1990's. Clancy speaks of his support for "property tax reform."

These guys seem to add more confusion to the situation and while they talk reform the truth is they have no criticism of the way current members of the legislature like Bev Mackereth operate.

Are they in this to split votes, defeat Chuck Richards and help Seth Grove, the insider candidate with the inside track.

Is Gary Sutton a new and emerging insider candidate with an outsider image like the infamous Scott Perry who was elected in the 92nd District in 2006?

JUNE 30-JULY 6, 2008....

MACKERETH TO LEAVE STATE HOUSE

REPUBLICAN PARTY INSIDERS HAVE REPLACEMENT PLANNED

(DETAILS BELOW)

NEW STATE BUDGET GETS MIXED SUPPORT FROM YORK COUNTY LEGISLATORS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 5TH)

The Pennsylvanaia budget for 2008-2009 was approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Rendell on the 4th of July.

The 170-32 vote in the State House and 49-1 vote in the State Senate came on a day when the public had its mind elsewhere.

All of the State Senators whose districts are in York County voted in favor of it. Republicans Mike Waugh (28th District), Gibson Armstrong (13th District), Jeff Piccola (15th District), Pat Vance (31st District) and Terry Punt (33rd District).

Among State House members, the only York County representative to vote in favor of the new budget was Democrat Eugene DePasquale (95th District). The Republicans from York County voted No. Keith Gillespie (47th District), Scott Perry (92nd District), Ron Miller (93rd District), Stan Saylor (94th District), Steve Nickol (193rd District) and Bev Mackereth (196th Distict).

Concern was expressed about the lack of public details about the budget agreement that the governor's office described in general terms to the media and public. The controversial budget includes a billion dollars or more of borrowing and it is expected according to legislative sources that a billion dollar defecit will emerge by early next year.

YORK MAYOR WILL NOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 2ND)

More holiday week breaking political news.

This time its York Mayor John Brenner announcing he will not run for re-election next year.

Democrat Brenner said he wanted to give time for qualified candidates to consider running next year.

I'm scratching my head considering that when Brenner leaves office in January of 2010 an election year will be staring him in the face. Does he have plans for higher office? Brenner has many friends including Congressman Todd Platts? Does Platts have plans for even higher office in 2010 that may open up his seat for a Brenner congressional candidacy?

Talk on the street throughout the years has been that former City Council president and current member Cameron Texter has had an interest in being mayor.

Earlier this year Democrat Texter decided to leave his post as city council president amid difficulties in his marriage (a divorce case) and the investigation into bonuses given to State House staff members like Texter allegedly for political work.

Texter appeared to be moving away from the political life but he also drew attention by pushing a plan to term limit city officials earlier this year.

MACKERETH LEAVING STATE HOUSE FOR COUNTY JOB

LEGISLATIVE AIDE SETH GROVE TAPPED BY PARTY INSIDERS TO REPLACE HER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JULY 1ST,UPDATED JULY 5TH)

State Representative Bev Mackereth (R-196th District) will not run for re-election this year and resign her post November 30th to take a job in York County government.

Mackereth will become the Director of Human Services for York County Government on December 1st. She announced her move at a news conference Tuesday.

Later in the week details emerged of two candidates seeking Republican commitee support when her replacement is chosen to appear on the ballot. They are Seth Grove, who serves as chief of staff to State Rep. Keith Gillespie of the 47th District. Grove has been very active in Republican insider circles in York County.

Meanwhile, Chuck Richards, who narrowly missed winning a spot on the ballot for York County Commissioner last year, is also seeking endorsement for the seat. Richards is considered an outsider.

This situation clearly points to Seth Grove being the establishment candidate who will end up getting the endorsement in the end.

York County Republican precinct committee people in her district will be choosing the GOP candidate to replace her on the ballot this fall sometime within the next month.

Mackereth worked in county government before being elected to the State House in 2000. She spent much of her time at the District Attorney's office leading the victim witness program and child abuse unit.

She enjoyed the support of York County's GOP establishment and seemed to be a perfect example of the "moderate" spirit of that establishment. Mackereth publicly claimed to be unsure of her position on abortion, even though the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation questioning of her indicated a Pro-Abortion position. She also adopted no position on an amendment to protect traditional marriage in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, she has tried to skirt some tough issues including co-sponsorship of a 2007 seminar at West York High School by Lance Simmens, an aide to Governor Rendell who pushed the Al Gore position on global warming. Mackereth commented that the information was important to hear and there was a lot she didn't know about the issue.

Bev Mackereth also enjoyed the support of the liberal Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union.

All that in a district that voted for conservative Pat Toomey over liberal Arlen Specter in the 2004 Republican U.S. Senate Primary in Pennsylvania.

JUNE 23-29, 2008......

EASTERN YORK SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES 7 PERCENT PAY RAISES FOR TOP ADMINISTRATION:

ACTION RAISES QUESTION ABOUT SUPERINTENDENT GETTING DOUBLE DIGIT PAY RAISE IN THIS SCHOOL YEAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 28TH)

The three top people in the Eastern York School District are in for big pay raises starting next month.

After a 90-minute private meeting called an "executive session," the board decided that Superintendent Darla Pianowski will get 141,240 dollars instead of the current 132-thousand dollars.

EXCLUSIVE: Superintendent Darla Pianowski was reportedly hired for the 2006-2007 school year with a salary of 117-thousand dollars according to the state education database. If the 132-thousand dollar figure for the now ending 2007-2008 school year is correct, that means she received around a 13 percent pay raise for this just completed school year. How did that happen?

The Assistant Superintendent, Rita Becker, will get 115,560 dollars, instead of 108-thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the school district's Business Manager Teresa Weaver is getting a raise from 84,760 dollars a year to 90,693 dollars a year.

This is something to behold at a time when most people are not seeing such big pay increases, particularly those who pay the taxes in the Eastern York School District.

The new gambling money payouts in Pennsylvania will slow down property tax increases and cut taxes slightly for some taxpayers in Eastern and other school districts.

I guess that gave the liberal, tax and spend Eastern school board members the cover they needed for these big pay raises.

TAXPAYERS RISE UP TO OPPOSE 97-THOUSAND DOLLAR PIANO:

SOUTH EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD BACKS AWAY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 28TH)

When word got out that the South Eastern School District was planning to buy a top of the line piano for music education in the district, taxpayers rose in protest.

Earlier this year specifications for a new piano were listed as the school district sought bids for musical instruments. The specifications matched those of Steinway Model D. The 97-thousand dollar model is used at the nation's top music schools like Yale and Julliard.

The school district moved money from its capital reserve in order to pay for the piano.

In the face of the protest, the school board chose to remove the piano from a list of purchases it approved.

Now the school board has tabled the issue, saying it will be addressed at a finance committee meeting expected in August.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens in the end with this issue. Will it buried and brought back, or will a more reasonably priced piano be purchased.

CHARTER SCHOOL PARENTS HOPEFUL STATE WILL OVERTURN SCHOOL BOARD DECISION

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED JUNE 26TH)

Attorney Daniel Fennick thinks the state's charter school appeal board will rule in favor of York's Lincoln Charter School parents, who want to open a new middle school in the city.

Fennick notes that over 3,000 middle schools in the state perform better than York City's, and 75 are worse. A ruling is expected July 29th.

Lincoln already operates an elementary school in the city which was established amid a blistering fight with the York City School District and its board. The school district has been constantly challenging the charter school. Lincoln had to go to court to force the York City School District to lower the lease fee for Lincoln's elementary school buiulding.

The application to open the new charter middle school in the city was rejected by the York City School Board 5-4. The five insider members of the board including president Jeanette Torres and vice-president Tom Foust voted against the application.

The four members supporting Lincoln were from the outsider racially based faction of the board.

Lincoln plans to make use of the former Ridge Avenue School in the 600 block of East Philadelphia Street, currently being used by Manito Day Treatment Service.

The school plans to open this year and with a favorable July 29th ruling will do just that. Teacher candidates are being interviewed now.

JUNE 16-22, 2008............

CHRONISTER CRIME PLAN MOVES FORWARD WITH QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

MAY BE ALTERNATIVE TO METRO YORK SUPER POLICE DEPARTMENT SCHEME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 20TH,UPDATED JUNE 22ND)

York County President Commissioner Steve Chronister has found over 600-thousand dollars to fund hiring 20 new sheriff's deputies. Commissioners voted along party lines 2-1 with Democrat Doug Hoke dissenting.

Next year its expected that more money will be poured into hiring 30 more deputies. The new sheriff's deputies will form a special unit that will be poured into high crime areas to help local police.

In voting no, Commissioner Hoke was concerned about deputies being used to supplement local police and wanted them put into "prevention programs." That's liberal speak for educational programs that will supposedly convince young people not to commit crime.

The hope of Commissioner Chronister is that court costs will ultimately be reduced because of his program spending millions of dollars that will include "prevention programs" along with the increased visibility of the deputies.

Crime needs to be fought. There's no doubt about that. But when one considers 'high crime' one thinks the City of York. Mayor John Brenner and other advocates of "Metro York" have been itching to create a Metro police department that would give the city police protection supported by county taxpayers.

Now it appears Commissioner Steve Chronister may be giving them that with his crime plan that uses county tax dollars to apparently provide more law enforcement for the cash-strapped City of York. In fact, 100-thousand dollars of aid for York City is in this plan to enable hiring of two officers who will enforce nuisance laws.

However, a closer look at the situation shows that the Metro York scheme moves forward with a study involving the various local municipal governments in and around the city. So far, only West Manchester Township has stood up to say no to the scheme pointing out it will cost more money to create a big new Metro police department. The letter saying no to the study also points to Mr. Chronister's concept of police assistance between law enforcement agencies and not the creation of a new supersize police department.

This crime program is something to think about and question as it moves forward. Is it bigger government, a bailout for the City of York in disguise, an attempt to use liberal methods ("prevention") that won't stop crime instead of enforcement (arrests)?

JUNE 9-15, 2008............

SUPER SIZE SALARIES FOR SUPERINTENDENTS PLUS PERKS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 15TH)

When Dr. Richard Nilsen got booted by the Dover CARES school board over the intelligent design issue, Nilsen found work as superintendent of the Eastern Lebanon County School District. His pay for the new job was over 130-thousand dollars a year.

Should it come as any surprise that when Dr. Michael Snell takes over as Central York School District superintendent next January, he will be paid 138-thousand dollars a year. That's pretty close to what Dr. Linda Estep will be making in her last year (estimated 145-150 thousand a year) at that post.

There are perks in superintendent contracts with school boards, too. Cars, internet service, travel expenses, etc. They are hidden from broad public knoweledge although an Altoona newspaper got hundreds of them from school districts across Pennsylvania last year and put them in a database online.

Cutting costs in education should begin with pay, perks and benefits. This is one of the real roads to authentic tax relief in Pennsylvania. Not the Harrisburg shell game of "eliminating property taxes" and replacing them with new income taxes.

CONTROVERSIAL DALLASTOWN SCHOOL APPROVED BY TOWNSHIP BOARD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 11TH)

The Springfield Township Board of Supervisors has approved the Dallastown School District's plans to build a new intermediate school along Susuquehanna Trail.

Taxpayers have been raising questions about the 60 million dollar plus project from the beginning. Springfield Township residents who live near the planned school were worried about getting out of their driveways with all the traffic. There were also concerns about losing land in front of their homes to improve an intersection.

In the end the township voted to approve a plan that includes some consideration for residents near the new school. Now the school district will move forward with building the a grades 4-6 school for 1,800 students initially and expandable to 2,000 students.

Unfortunately the taxpayers have very little say with their school board in the Dallastown School District with 8 out of 9 members appearing to be tax and spend, rubber stamp, businesss as usual types.

POLITICS DOVER SCHOOL BOARD STYLE

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 10TH)

In Washington and Harrisburg, the House and Senate leaders know in advance how their members want to vote. Then they find the votes to pass the agenda and allow members who feel vulnerable to vote against it while allowing the legislation to pass.

Under this system, legislators can vote No to higher taxes and spending to pretend to the folks back home they are fiscally responsible.

In Pennsylvania it means the members with long term service take the hit for taxes and spending. Long-time State House member Bruce Smith voted for the controversial pay raise of 2005 and long-time member Steve Nickol voted for an income tax increase in 2003.

With the liberal DOVER Cares faction controlling nine seats on the Dover School Board, it came as no surprise that board member Bryan Rehm was able to vote no on the tax increase and higher spending in the new 2008-2009 budget. The budget was approved 8-1 and teachers union member Rehm gets to make people think he's against the taxes and spending. I doubt it.

But this is how politics works in Washington, Harrisburg and Dover.

FEDERAL LAWSUIT OVER SEIZED LAND THROWN OUT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 13TH)

Peter Alecxih bought land from the Kohr family in Lower Windsor Township that offered a perfect view of the Susquehanna River. Alecxih intended to build houses at Highpoint and make millions of dollars.

But York County's political leaders were scheming to build a "heritage park" on Lauxmont Farms land including Highpoint. York County, led by former commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore seized the land using eminent domain. This began a legal dispute over how much the land is worth that's now winding its way through York County Common Pleas Court.

In response to the land seizure, Alecxih sought relief through a 20 million dollar federal civil rights suit alleging among other things that the county gave him a lowball offer for his land.

Federal District Judge John Jones in Harrisburg has thrown Alecxih's lawsuit out saying it would prejudice the case now going on in the county court. A jury trial to determine Highpoint's value will be held next month.

A three member court appointed board has determined the value of Alecxh's land at 10.5 million dollars while the county has only provided 7.5 million dollars for his land.

WRIGHTSVILLE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES AS RESIDENTS DEBATE POLICE FORCE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 11)

Signs supporting the Wrightsville Boro Police have been moved from the front of people's homes and one boro council member says she received a threatening note.

Mel McDonald says she got a note saying the sign grabbing should stop "or else." McDonald says she doesn't want to eliminate the force, but keeping it will mean higher taxes.

The police department has been a source of contention between supporters of recently ousted mayor Steve Rambler and members of the boro council.

JUNE 2-8, 2008........

SMOKING BAN IN HARRISBURG FAILS WITH ALL AREA LEGISLATORS SUPPORTING IT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 8TH)

In the end, opposition from state senators in the Pittsburgh and Scranton area prevented a smoking-ban "compromise" from passing the state legislature last week.

The senators balked at Philadelphia getting exceptions to keep its smoking bans in place while their communities didn't.

A conference committee of legislators that included State Representative Ron Miller (R-93rd District) of York County cut the deal said to ban smoking in 95 percent of public places like workpaces, bars and restaurants.

The dealmaking looked like a charm and all legislators backed the ban from our area, but the fact that stricter laws in Philadelphia were allowed to remain in place upset lawmakers from other parts of the state that have similar ordinances.

Perhaps it should, since it looks like Philly political clout (Governor Ed Rendell, House Speaker Dennis O'Brien among others) is too much. Our legislators apparently showed they march in lockstep with Philadelphia interests and Ed Rendell by supporting this smoking ban legislation.

And we haven't even got to the idea that private owners of businesses should make the final decision about banning a legal product.

Government wants to ban smoking and at the same time collect more tax revenue from cigarettes. Governor Rendell's budget plan includes a ten cent a pack hike in taxes. The hypocrisy of politics and politicians is deafening.

COUNCIL VOTES TO BAN SMOKING AT MOST CITY PARKS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 5TH)

In a 3-2 vote, the York City Council has decided that smoking will be banned at most city parks.

Originally Mayor John Brenner had urged a total ban, but the council amended the ordinance to exclude city parks that are sports sites (Veterans Memorial Park, Allen Park and Noonan Park).

The most recently elected council members, Carol Hill-Evans and Genevieve Ray, voted against the legislation. They said while they supported the legislation, they don't think it can be enforced. Ray said this is another law that will be selectively enforced or not enforced at all.

Under the legislation, the first offense results in a warning and the second in a 25 dollar fine.

Smoking bans are not my major priority for government, but it feels good to pass it. York City's consumate insider politician, Councilwoman Toni Smith, introduced and voted for the amended smoking ban. A cheap political move to attract some support.

RAMBLER OPPONENT PICKED TO REPLACE HIM AS MAYOR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 3RD)

Dawn Lindeman ran against Steve Rambler for mayor of Wrightsville in 2005 as the Democrat candidate.

Now she has been apppointed interim mayor to fill out Rambler's term until the beginning of 2010. The 5-1 vote at a contentious council meeting comes after York County President Judge Richard Renn ruled that Rambler was unable to serve as mayor because of his 1996 federal extortion convicton. Lindeman is saying she wants to keep the police department Rambler supported the creation of. Citizens have circulated petitions to keep the local department, which replaced contracted police service from Hellam Township.

The mayor supervises the police department, which has come under criticism from Rambler opponents for enforcing laws around bars in the borough. Whether the enforcement operations around the bars will continue with Lindeman as mayor remains to be seen.

MAY 26-JUNE 1, 2008.........

"INFLUENTIAL LIST A VERY LIBERAL ONE: LIBERAL LEADER RETIRES AND LEAVES YORK "

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JUNE 1ST)

I just took a look this morning at that list of 25 or 26 as they put it "most influential York Countians that the "York Daily Record/Sunday News" cooked up.

Not all are registered as Democrats, many are in fact Republicans by voter registration. But all are generally liberal in their attitudes or actions on public issues and far from the William F. Buckley or Phyllis Schalfly tradition of conservative thought.

In my estimation, the newspaper people have this fancy for a liberal point of view themselves and naturally pay attention to it and publicize the actions of liberal people. That brings me to the recent coverage of a man who is retiring and leaving York after 35 years among us.

Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg has been remembered for 35 years of leadership at Temple Beth Israel in York. His presentation of Jewish religion and culture to the greater York area provided a valuable service. As a member of the media during those years I can honestly say he worked hard to provide this presentation to the media.

But there's more to this story. That's the rabbi's dedication to liberal and left leaning causes in our area. Rabbi Goldenberg even joined the ACLU. His leadership in Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania stands out along with a group calling itself the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg can truly be described as promoting a "culture of death" in our community.

Rabbi Goldenberg was clearly seeing to it that a lot of young people like those who would sit while he told them stories would never be born. He also was glad to see explicit sex education presented to the young people of his congregation complete with all those methods of birth control (contraception).

Can we be proud that the Rabbi did a great job in cutting Jewish population as well as promoting population decline in general? That is an issue in the United States and other western nations right now.

I haven't had a lot of experience with Orthodox Jewish communties but the one thing I have noticed when I've come into contact with them is the presence of children and larger families. They choose tradition that can make the world a much better place than the liberal ideas presented by Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg during his 35 years among us.

GOVERNOR GETS PHOTO OPPORTUNITY IN NORTH YORK: BEWARE OF RENDELL AND REPRESENTATIVE EUGENE DEPASQUALE'S "ENERGY PLANS"

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 29TH)

Governor Ed Rendell appeared in front of a North York home on Tuesday to push his "energy plan." State Representative Eugene DePasquale (Democrat-95th District) arranged for the event.

Rendell wanted to get the point across that his plan would help when electric rates jump as much as 50 percent next year. That's when rate caps are taken off. He faces opposition from Republicans in the legislature. His ideas need to get past the GOP controlled state senate.

What are Rendell's plans?

First there's the 850 million dollar bond plan for energy alternatives like wind and solar power. Money is also to be handed out to buy "energy efficient appliances." Some ask who will get a big chunk of the money. Wind and solar power interests who may have a campaign finance link to Ed Rendell? Mr. DePasquale proposed this idea in the legislature. Is Eugene DePasquale financially linked by campaign contributions to such interests?

Then there's the "smart meters" plan giving you the "right" to have the meters installed. This is considered to be the first step to Big Brother having the power to shut off power to your home if you "use too much."

Then there's the bill to require biofuels to be produced and used in Pennsylvania? There must be agricultural interests lining someones pockets here? Biofuels have become a hot issue because its being alleged that higher food prices are the result of food being turned into fuel around the world. Ed Rendell and Eugene DePasquale apparently want to make your food prices higher.

The fourth part of the Rendell plan involves forcing utilities to buy electricity in ways that are said to reduce costs to consumers.

Republicans in the State Senate would seem to be wise to oppose Rendell's plans. Rendell is claiming that the GOP doesn't want to give him a "victory" in the legislature standing alongside an elderly resident of North York who the governor claims would benefit from his plan. Not if he has to pay higher food prices from the biofuels plan on top of his higher electric bill.

Rendell claimed he wasn't trying to push a program to make himself "look good" because he isn't running for anything again. That statement comes as political rumors have spread around that Rendell could be picked as the vice-presidential candidate of the Democrat Party this year. Also, its being rumored that Rendell may run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Arlen Specter in two years.

This show was very much about promoting Rendell, DePasquale and other liberal Democrat political figures in York. People are already upset about higher gasoline prices and the higher electric rates next year will create more anger.

SCHOOL BUDGETS FINALIZE RIGHT BEFORE JULY 4TH AND HARRISBURG POLITICIANS GET FINAL SAY ON GAMBLING MONEY GIVEBACKS

(SPECIAL NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED MAY 28TH)

In recent weeks we've gotten a barrage of school board votes on 2008-2009 school year budgets. You may think that's the final word on how much will get spent next year and what you're tax bill will be. But think again.

A key component is missing from next year's budget plans. The final amount of money coming from Harrisburg to fund local school districts will be determined in the budget tug of war between the legislature and Governor Rendell.

Rendell's administration thinks its got a final plan for distributing money from the slot machines. Its a plan that dumps large amounts of money on places that vote for Democrats. York City School District is getting over 500 dollars in gambling money per homeowner meaning no tax increase for city homeowners if the figure Rendell wants is approved.

But lawmakers could have a plan of their own in the end.

At the other end of the scale in York County is Central York School District where a 3 percent property tax hike is reportedly planned. That comes with a 113 dollar per homeowner giveback which is the lowest in York County. This figure means homeowners who have homes assessed over 226-thousand dollars a year will face a tax increase.

But politics in Harrisburg could change the figure and Central York School Board could make a surprise decision to change the tax increase in the days right before the July 4th holiday or maybe afterwards if there is a budget fight that drags on in Harrisburg.

Stay alert for final word on who gets a school property tax increase and who doesn't in the next month or two.

MAY 19-25, 2008........

JUDGE RULES AGAINST WRIGHTSVILLE MAYOR RAMBLER: HE VOWS TO STAY AND FIGHT:DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARNS OF ARREST

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 22ND,UPDATED MAY 25TH)

York County President Judge Richard Renn has ruled that Wrightsville Mayor Steve Rambler cannot hold office because of his 1996 federal extortion conviction.

Rambler says he will stay in office and fight the ruling in court.

York County District Attorney Stan Rebert says the ruling means Rambler should leave office immediately.

Wrightsville Borough Council has consulted with the borough's solicitor about the ruling and what it means. Word from the solicitor is that the mayor is not to perform his duties and if he is seen doing so, the District Attorney's office is to be contacted.

District Attorney Stan Rebert says that Rambler could be arrested if he continues to perform his duties. Wrightsville Police Chief Wayne Pearson passed the word from Rebert to Rambler on Friday.

The borough council plans to appoint an interim mayor at its Monday June 2nd meeting.

It took two years for this ruling to happen and it happened a few weeks after I took note of this matter being stalled. The controversy continues and I expect the conflict to continue in Wrightsville regardless of whether Rambler will continue to be mayor.

APPROVAL FOR NEW DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DELAYED

(POSTED MAY 25TH)

The paperwork isn't ready yet so there will be no special meeting in Springfield Township Tuesday night to approve building of a new intermediate school.

The supervisors next chance to take up the issue will be when they meet on Monday June 9th.

The Dallastown School District's plans to build the new school have aroused controversy over the 60 million dollar cost as well as to the taking of land to change intersections in the area. People in the area are also worried about how the new school will disrupt traffic.

MAY 12-18, 2008......

DALLASTOWN VIRTUALLY RUBBER STAMPS TAX AND SPENDING INCREASES:

LONE PRO-TAXPAYER BOARD MEMBER DISSENTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 18TH)

There were petitions for lacrosse and against lacrosse, but in the end a new Dallastown School District budget was approved for the next school year. The budget adds nearly 100-thousand dollars for a lacrosse program.

Eight members of the board supported the new budget, with newly elected pro-taxpayer member Carroll Tignall Jr. casting the only "No" vote.

At least one district resident attending the school board meeting asked how there could be such increased spending in tough economic times.

The Dallastown School District budget for the 2008-2009 school year will be some 82.5 million dollars. Property taxes are rising 5.2 percent.

That's a hundred dollars of so more for homes assessed around 100,000 dollars and just over 200 dollars for homes assessed around 200,000 dollars.

With gambling money giving a 133 dollar break to qualifying homeowners this means generally that all homeowners who homes are assessed above 130-thousand dollars will get a property tax increase in the Dallastown School District this summer.

Another note, a special meeting is being planned for May 27th (the day after the Memorial Day holiday) in Springfield Township where supervisors may give final approval for the Dallastown School District to build a controversial 60 million dollar intermediate school.

DIVIDED YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD TALKS ABOUT READING AND MATH SCORES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 16TH)

The differences between the two factions of the York City School Board over reading and math in the district came out at a committee meeting this week.

The five member majority and the school administration want the word out that things are "getting better" in the district regarding test scores, but the people in the four member minority see things differently.

Officials from the school district administration point to a several percentage point increase in proficiency over a three year period ending in the 2006-2007 school year. Statistics were also cited for special education students in the district (they are 21 percent of the student population in York City) pointing to nearly 40 percent proficiency in math and nearly 30 percent proficiency in reading.

But the bottom line remains that York City School District is still around 50 percent in math and reading proficiency while other York County school districts are in the 80 percent range.

Parents are trying to establish new charter schools in the city but in one case the school board has turned down an effort to establish a charter middle school. That will lead to a costly court fight.

This show we've seen this week from the school board president Jeanette Torres, vice-president Tom Foust and the administration is part of their efforts to keep education competition out and create an image of city public schools that are "improving." School board leaders are buddy buddy with administration in promoting a false image of success in public school districts everywhere in York County and Pennsylvania.

Board member Sam Beard, who is part of the radical racially oriented faction of the school board, said he stands by his position that was criticized by the other faction.

Beard told the "York Dispatch." "We need to acknoweledge how bad our test scores are......Where is the accountability?....."

I don't agree very much with the racial faction, but on that point I can say Amen.

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RACIAL SLURS AND HARRASSMENT ALLEGED BY CENTRAL YORK MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS:POLICE FILE CHARGES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 13TH,UPDATED MAY 14TH,15TH)

Springettsbury Township Police say four white students used racial slurs and harrassed a black student Friday while riding home from the Central York Middle School.

The Central York School District called police to investigate Monday. The district says the students will be disciplined for using the words and harrassing the other student in accordance with the district's code of student conduct.

The police filed charges of harrassment, disorderly conduct and ethinic intimidation against the four students Wendesday. In addition, one student is charged with terroristic threats and open lewdness for making a gesture involving his genitals. The question on the table still remains are words a crime?

The school district is on more solid legal ground with less First Amendment protection for any student speech deemed to disrupt school.

I will take note that when students were angered by a "tolerance troupe" performance filled with racial slurs at Central York High School in the fall of 2006, the police were not called. Would what happened at that event qualify as harrassment and bullying because there's no doubt racial slurs were used? This was reported by the school newspaper at the time and the use of the racial language pretty much acknowledged by Central York High School principal Dr. Jay Butterfield.

Some comments have been posted with the news story of this incident in the "York Daily Record" claiming that black students who use slurs against whites are not punished.

The Central York School District's "cultural diversity" program involves training that tells school staff to see some things people do as not being wrong, but "cultural differences."

Its sad this incident happened, but its even sadder that words are a crime in this country. Today its these words over race tomorrow it may be words we use to defend Second Amendment rights for the right to life.

IF YOU CAN'T FIND A BURNING CROSS.....

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 12TH)

I have never hidden my view that those who speak loudest about "racism" and "hate" have a political agenda that uses race or other differences to create conflict. Those individuals are modern-day Marxists who have replaced economic differences with racial and ethinic ones to drive the world to the left.

The York County Community Against Racism group at first tried to stir up controversy about alleged racial profiling by area police. The police sat down with YCCAR and tried to placate them. One result was a joint effort by both the police chiefs and YCCAR to find new police recruits (obviously non-white ones who wouldn't "racially profile" people).

This defused the chance for a conflict, but may result in some lowering of standards for new police officers in York County, but that is not clear yet to me.

People whose real agenda is political (Marxist) need a fight to keep the "movement" going and try to extract more concessions that advance a society leftward.

Now we learn that Adrienne McNeil, executive director of YCCAR, has been protesting her treatment when she entered the Country Club of York last May for a meeting. She alleges that a "doorman" asked her "Ma'am, I think you're lost....Are you sure you belong here?"

The country club says no incident as described by McNeil occurred after they conducted an investigation into the matter and that her only encounter would have been with a female greeter.

McNeil contends she was degraded, demeaned and humiliated that night and as for the club, its in a state of "denial."

McNeil made this charge in an op-ed piece in the "York Daily Record" in February and in a news story that appeared in the "Baltimore Sun" last month. Her allegations were again dredged up in a detailed story in the "York Sunday News" yesterday.

The country club apologized to the Junior League about McNeil's expectations not being met after the league asked them to investigate the matter.

And on the night of the alleged incident a member of the management apologized to McNeil when she told her story.

And yet Adrienne McNeil is still upset with the country club saying she "would never support that organization again" and she doesn't want what she alleges happen ever "happen again to anyone of color."

Is this some sort of show to "keep the movement" going and keep the conflict going? It seems to me that Adrienne McNeil needs to get a better attitude instead of trying to play the "victim." If that's her agenda, I can only assume that she is indeed a modern day Marxist bent on creating conflict and "revolution."

York County Community Against Racism could use a name change to York County Community of Agitated Radicals in my humble opinion.

MAY 5-11, 2008........

ANALYZING WRIGHTSVILLE'S GOVERNMENT CONFLICT

(ANALYSIS,COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 11TH)

(NEWS STORY FOLLOWS THIS ONE BELOW)

Ever since Stephen Rambler became Wrighsville's mayor after the 2005 election, there's been a conflict rising to the surface in the small borough along the Susquehanna River.

Wrightsville's political powers seemed in alignment after the election of Rambler with the powerful council president Walt Dixon and Rambler pushing through the re-establishment of borough's disbanded police department.

But opposition to Rambler was brewing and a complaint was filed with York County DA Stan Rebert to remove him from office. That's because Rambler pled quilty to federal charges involving using explicit pictures to coerce money from people.

There's a Pennsylvania law saying those convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors cannot hold public office. But the case is now tied up in court with no action to remove Rambler from office after he has served more than half of his term as mayor. Is this an indication that Pennsylvania's law to remove convicted criminals from public office is a symbolic law that has no teeth?

The new police department became a contentious issue with some saying it would drive up taxes and others objecting to early efforts to enforce laws around bars in the borough.

Last year's election led to ouster of Walt Dixon and the emergence of a new anti-Mayor Rambler majority on the borough council. The new council voted to remove Rambler from an office in the borough building and padlock its door.

Now the most recent move by council to ask for outside police departments to provide estimates on the cost of police protection. Its probably a prelude to a debate about how much taxpayers in Wrightsville want to pay for police protection.

The vote came after one council member was cited by police for his behavior at a convenience store in the borough last month. Larry Kirkessner Jr. believes he was targeted for political reasons. I have expressed concern that the department is a tool for Mayor Rambler and some unknown agenda that is unclear to me at this time.

What the future holds in Wrightsville remains to be seen, but expect a conflict of some sort to play out in the months and maybe even years ahead.

WRIGHTSVILLE COUNCIL MAKES LATE NIGHT DECISION TO MOVE TOWARDS DISBANDING POLICE DEPARTMENT

(POSTED MAY 7TH,UPDATED MAY 8TH.10TH,11TH)

Late Monday night a motion was made by Wrightsville Borough council member Mel McDonald to write letters to the Columbia Borough and Hellam Township police chiefs to discuss police coverage in the borough.

The motion that passed 4-1 with one abstention was made after 11pm and after many residents had left the meeting. The people figured business was over since the council went into executive session after conducting earlier business. That's when the motion was made and the vote taken. Among those voting in favor of the measure was council vice-president Larry Kirkessner Jr. Kirkessner received citations in the mail last Friday from the borough police for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. The incident occurred April 12th at the Turkey Hill Market when he argued with a clerk over a nacho machine.

Police asked him if he had been drinking and Kirkessner acknowledged that had, but was not drunk. Kirkessner thinks the department has a vendetta against him because he opposes it.

The borough police department is just two years old, but was opposed by newly elected council members. If they can find a deal from the other departments, the borough police will be disbanded.

The borough council in Wrightsville has a new majority that has been in conflict with the borough's controversial Mayor Stephen Rambler.

Rambler says he thinks the new council is "out of control."

Rambler is also saying Kirkessner should not vote on police department matters because of the citations he has received.

At a Thursday night meeting council members heard from residents and some expressed the opinion afterward that the police department should stay, for now.

But a letter will go out from the council president to the neighboring police chiefs regarding service for the borough and its cost. This could lead to some sort of conflict with the Mayor who supports the police department.

GAS PRICES FLUCTUATE IN YORK

(POSTED MAY 7TH,UPDATED MAY 8TH,10TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

The price of gasoline in the York area moved up to around 3.65 to 3.70 a gallon during the last weekend in April, then there was a drop off last weekend to around 3.55 a gallon.

Now the price is back up again early in this week to around 3.60 a gallon.

Watch out for later in the week. It seems that on payday Thursday, when a lot of people fill up their tanks, is the day when gas prices spike around York. Then they drop a few cents by Saturday.

By late Wednesday the prices had spiked up to around 3.70 a gallon. A sign of even higher prices on Thursday and Friday?

It turns out that prices dropped back on Friday May 9th to the 3.65 range.

APRIL 28-MAY 4, 2008.......

NEW GAMBLING MONEY FIGURES SHOW A GRADUATED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE SYSTEM

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED MAY 4TH)

We've all heard about our graduated federal income tax system that takes more money as your income goes up.

Now when it comes to property tax "relief" here in Pennsylvania people who live in more expensive homes and don't live in areas that vote for Democrats will get the short end of the stick.

The latest figures are out with the most money landing in the City of York where slots machine money will give a 522 dollar break in school property taxes for homeowers.

On the other hand, only 113 dollars goes to Central York School District homeowners and 117 dollars to York Suburban School District homeowners. That's because those two school districts are considered "rich."

Other figures include a 170 dollar break in the West York School District and 187 dollars in the Dover School District. The gambling money break in the Dallastown School District is 133 dollars, the Eastern York School District 141 dollars and the Northeastern School District 222 dollars.

The various school districts are planning to raise taxes in their budgets. If one looks at the situation in York County in general this will mean if you own a home assessed over 150-thousand dollars you are not getting any real kind of break on property taxes this year.

Statewide the average gambling money payout to school districts is 169 dollars, but the average in the Philadelphia suburbs that support Governor Ed Rendell and Democrats is 254 dollars.

DOVER CARES....NOT

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED APRIL 30TH)

When conservatives ran the Dover School Board, the annual budget was under 40 million dollars a year.

The third Dover budget proposed under the control of the liberal Dover CARES faction calls for spending 47.67 million dollars in the 2008-2009 school year.

That's a 20 percent jump in spending in three years.

The first reason cited by the school district's business manager for the increased spending and higher taxes is higher salaries.

Unlike the former conservative school board, the new Dover CARES board was willing to jack up teacher salaries by well over 5 percent per year and give generous hikes to other school employees.

There may be changes later for political effect as is often the case and money from Harrisburg could yet show up to adjust the taxes, but for now a 5.9 percent property tax increase is in store for Dover School District taxpayers this summer.

The Dover School Board of liberals doesn't care a bit about taxpayers.

APRIL 21-27, 2008.......

ELECTION NEWS IN RED HEADLINES:SEE BELOW

TAXES MOVING HIGHER IN YORK SUBURBAN:

GAMBLING 'TAX CUT' MORE THAN WIPED OUT

(POSTED APRIL 27TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

For homes assessed at 150-thousand dollars a year there's a 157+ dollar tax hike next school year in the York Suburban School District.

That's the upshot of the 44 million dollar plus budget approved for the school district by the school board.

In the week before the primary election, there was fanfare from Harrisburg about "property tax cuts" coming from the slot machine money. But the system is aimed at "poor" school districts meaning areas that happen to vote for Democrats more than Republicans.

This Karl Marx type system of distributing gambling money means only 69 dollars for York Suburban property owners and 77 dollars for Central York property owners in "property tax cuts."

News reports say there is a .5 percent income tax in the budget for York Suburban residents. Many school district residents in York County are now paying a one percent school income tax.

INSIDER CANDIDATES WIN STATE SENATE GOP PRIMARIES:

SMUCKER IN 13TH, ALLOWAY IN 33RD

(NEWS, ANALYSIS, COMMENT)

The political insiders were able to win two Republican primaries for the State Senate in seats that included York County.

The 13th District GOP race ended with a win for Lloyd Smucker. Smucker ran strongest in Lancaster County and only picked up 43 percent of York County votes. Paul Thibault, who launched last minute negative attacks, ran a distant third. Reform conservative Steve McDonald came in third place in York County. McDonald ran second overall with 22 percent of the vote.

Running in second place in York County was York County resident Bill Neff, who used newspaper stickers on election day editions of York newspapers to call for York to be represented. Neff also ran ads on York radio. Interestingly enough, Mr. Neff was out of town on election day, he left on a church trip. Neff certainly did a "good job" of draining off York anti-political establishment votes that were evident in last years political primaries for commissioner.

In the 33rd State Senate District GOP primary, Rich Alloway, backed with massive liberal union contributions and the support of retiring pay raise Senator Terry Punt and other insider politicians, squeaked out a 34.1-32.8 percent win over conservative Jim Taylor. Taylor was some 300 votes behind Alloway. Taylor ran second in Franklin and Adams counties. He was third in the York County portion of the district won by Catherine Cresswell. Cresswell ran very strong in Adams County. She took over half the vote in her home county.

TALLMAN WINS IN 193RD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 23RD,UPDATED APRIL 24TH)

Retiring liberal Republican Steve Nickol had asked Mike Rishel to run to replace him in the 193rd State House District. Rishel ran well in the York County portion of the district (Hanover and Penn Township), but Will Tallman took a big majority in the Adams County part of the district. That translated into a win for Tallman.

This was Tallman's second run for the seat. Nickol beat him easily in the 2004 primary. In victory, Tallman praised Nickol, calling him a "fiscal conservative." Nickol voted to raise the state's income tax 10 percent in 2003.

MORE ELECTION NEWS BELOW HEADLINED IN RED

ESTEP WILL RETIRE AS CENTRAL SUPERINTENDENT

(POSTED APRIL 23RD,UPDATED APRIL 25TH)

Dr. Linda Estep is resigning as Central York School District superintendent effective December 31st and will retire after 37 years in education including 25 with Central. She will leave in the middle of a contract extension that ends in June of 2010.

In the 2006-2007 school year (last year) Dr. Estep's salary was over 142-thousand dollars per year. The process of finding her successor will begin later this year.

(COMMENT) What is triggering this decision to resign and retire is not totally clear to me. Dr. Estep is in the middle of a contract that still has more than two years on it. Her resignation will come as the renovation and expansion project of the new high school winds down with promises that costs will be contained. Is there more here than what we are seeing?

Based on her years of service Dr. Estep will receive a generous pension but there are indications that she has some future plans currently unknown to me. Estep has shown an obsession with the controversial topic of "diversity" and the notion of "white privilege" that she believes in the existence of. She has pursued a vigorous "diversity" policy as superintendent. Is there a news story in her future plans?

WHAT WILL HER PENSION BE? I ESTIMATE THAT IN THE NEXT YEAR OF HER CONTRACT SHE COULD BE PAID AROUND 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR. WITH THE PENSION FORUMULA BASED ON 37 YEARS OF SERVICE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IN PENNSYLVANIA AMOUNTING TO 2.5 PERCENT TIMES YEARS OF SERVICE, HER ESTIMATED PENSION IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 135-THOUSAND AND 140-THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR.

THE GOP DELEGATE WINNERS ARE...

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 24TH)

Republican voters in York County were part of the process to select four delegates to the Republican National Convention. The four delegates represent the 19th Congressional District of York, Adams and Cumberland Counties.

Since 1994, Marilyn Gillispie, a pro-life activist within the GOP, has worked tirelessly getting herself elected to the GOP State Committee from York County and as a delegate to the GOP convention every four years.

Gillispie came out a winner again, picking up nearly 22,000 votes to lead the pack.

Gillispie finished first in York County, second in Adams County and fourth in Cumberland County.

The second place candidate, Dick Stewart, is from Cumberland County. He got over 18,700 votes. Stewart claims to be a conservative but is not considered anything other than a political insider by this observer. Stewart has been a close supporter of current "moderate" Congressman Todd Platts and his "moderate" predecessor Bill Goodling. Stewart ran a "conservative" candidacy for Congress that took out conservative votes from Charlie Gerow to help Platts win the 2000 primary.

Finishing third with just over 17,000 votes was Nancy Otstot of Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Getting the fourth slot was Muriel Anne Crabbs of Hanover in York County with over 15,600 votes.

Those four will serve as 19th Congressional District delegates to the Republican National Convention.

BALANCE OF POWER AMONG GOP STATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS STAYS THE SAME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 24TH)

The primary election featured contests to elect Republican State Committee members from all over the state. In York County 17 candidates faced off for 12 seats.

In the end, eight of the 12 elected were members of the party establishment like Seth Grove, aide to Congressman Todd Platts, Dover's GOP insider Wayne Spangler, liberal Republican Nancy Blake and York County Treasurer Barbara Bair, among others.

Four of the 12 who were elected are part of a pro-life, non-establishment faction aligned with groups like York County Action and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. These groups have been supported by insider political money and the four will not always challenge the political establishment at state committee meetings.

GOP CLASH BETWEEN CONSERVATIVE REFORMER AND INSIDER CANDIDATES FOR STATE SENATE IN 13TH DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 21ST)

Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald hopes Republican voters will respond to his reform message in the 13th State Senate District tomorrow. He is telling voters that he is for Real Reform, a Real Conservative and a real Republican.

The 13th District extends from the City of Lancaster west into York County (including Wrighsville, Hellam, Yorkana, East Prospect along with Chanceford, Lower Chanceford, Lower Windsor, Hellam and Springettsbury Townships).

McDonald faces a York County resident Bill Neff, whose candidacy will not succeed other than maybe taking York County votes away from the other three candidates.

This Republican contest started because incumbent State Senator Gibson Armstrong, who supported the controversial pay raise of 2005, decided not to run again.

Armstrong and other elected officials have endorsed Lancaster County businessman Lloyd Smucker, who is seen as an insider business as usual political candidate by reform minded conservatives. Smucker raised taxes as a West Lampeter Township supervisor. He is spending a quarter of a million dollars or more on his primary campaign.

Also expected to spend over 200-thousand dollars is Paul Thibault, a former Lancaster County commissioner who portrays himself as a conservative, but who voted for a 28 percent property tax increase while in office. Thibault is supported by "moderates" in the Lancaster County GOP who have opposed Christian involvement in the party.

Meanwhile, McDonald is saying that as a state senator, he will not being taking perks, a pension or a pay raise.

THE SMUCKER CAMPAIGN IS WORKING HARD WITH MEDIA AND MAILINGS TO COUNTER THIBAULT. ONE MAILING IS AN ENDORSMENT FROM YORK COUNTY REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE MEMBER SETH GROVE, WHO IS ALSO AN AIDE TO CONGRESSMAN TODD PLATTS. ANOTHER INDICATION OF LLOYD SMUCKER'S STATUS AS AN INSIDER POLITICAL CANDIDATE.

APRIL 14-20, 2008....

UNTANGLING THE GOP DELEGATE TANGLE ON TUESDAY

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 20TH)

There are 14 candidates for GOP voters to choose from on Tuesday to fill four delegate slots to the Republican National Convention.

The system was designed by political insiders to confuse people because it makes all candidates run uncommitted giving the insiders the opportunity to quietly push their candidates on the voters.

In this contest, longtime GOP state committeeman and so-called conservative Dick Stewart, is pushing three candidates including himself with a direct mailing. Stewart has been close to current Congressman Todd Platts and former Congresman Bill Goodling. Stewart ran in the 2000 congressional primary apparently as a means of taking conservative votes away from Charlie Gerow to help Todd Platts win.

Stewart, who introduced the state committee resolution for an early endorsement of John McCain before the early primary contests were over, wants Republicans to vote for him, Greg Rothman and Dave Buell as delegates to the convention. All three are from Cumberland County. A direct mail effort has been made on behalf of the three.

Meanwhile, longtime pro-life conservative GOP activist Marilyn Gillispie is on the ballot in sixth position. She is aligned with the York County-Lancaster County ACTION groups which espouse a pro-life position but usually align themselves with the political establishment in the end.

Gillispie is one of three York County residents on the delegate ballot, the rest come from Cumberand County where a strong anti-establishment GOP opposition exists.

One of the 14 candidates is recently resigned Cumberland County Commissioner Bruce Barclay, caught in the video sex scandal involving himself and other men.

And longtime conservative congressional candidate, now a political consultant, Charlie Gerow is on the delegate ballot. Gerow has been active in recent years in promoting the cause of the not-so-conservative William Scranton as a candidate for governor in Pennsylvania.

Ron Paul is still actively campaigning and his supporters are fighting the politcal establishment hard to win delegate spots. In Pennsylvania the Paul campaign says it has 63 candidates for delegate with 20 of them in leading ballot positions.

That means among the 14 there are four Ron Paul supporters. You may see his people at the polls promoting their slate of delegate candidates on Tuesday.

Also, you get to pick from 11 choices for four alternative delegate slots to the convention.

GOP STATE COMMITTEE CANDIDATES IN YORK COUNTY INCLUDING A WRITE-IN

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 20TH)

There are 17 names listed on the ballot for 12 spots on the Repulican State Committee from York County. In the end the six men and six women who get the most votes are elected. Four of the 17 candidates are running as pro-life, conservative ones. They are Marliyn Gillispie (6th ballot position), Daniel C. Bradley (9th ballot position), Bryan Sellers (11th ballot position), and Nancy Kilgore (13th ballot position).

These candidates are aligned with the insider conncected York County and Lancaster County ACTION groups. They are also linked to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, which has supported insider candidates who are not pro-life in some recent GOP electoral contests in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, a longtime pro-life supporter in York County and previous state commitee candidate, Clark Focht, is urging voters to write-in his name for Republican State Committee on Tuesday. Focht says the GOP needs to clean up its act in Pennsylvania from politics as usual.

Clark Focht says he hopes pro-lifers and conservatives will come out and write-in his name for GOP state committee in York County on Tuesday.

33RD STATE SENATE GOP RACE HEATS UP WITH ALLOWAY ATTACKING CONSERVATIVES AS EXTREMISTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 20TH)

Voters in Paradise, Heidelberg, and Dover Townships as well as Dover Borough in York County will have choices on the ballot for the 33rd State Senate District GOP primary this Tuesday. Retiring pay raise Senator Terry Punt is backing Rich Alloway as his successor. GOP senators from across the state are also pumping money into Alloway's campaign (SEVERAL 10-THOUSAND DOLLAR CONTRIBUTIONS) along with labor unions like the AFL-CIO and the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

The Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania group sent out a direct mailing last week to let GOP voters know about Alloway's liberal and insider political connections.

Alloway angrily responded calling the YCOP a "fringe group" that wants to "privatize Social Security." For the record, YCOP has no position on that issue but is committed to electing conservatives to office. Jim Taylor, Franklin County Republican Chairman is running as the conservative candidate in this race. He's being way outspent by Rich Alloway but is hopeful that his radio ads, direct mailings and door-to-door efforts will pay off on Tuesday.

State Senate staffer Catherine Cresswell is also running in this race on the Republican primary ballot. Pro-Abortion State Senator Jane Earll of Erie pumped 10-thousand dollars into Cresswell's campaign.

DAYTIME CURFEWS DISCUSSED IN YORK COUNTY: ARE HOMESCHOOLERS BEING TARGETED?

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED APRIL 15TH)

There's a big push on to fight crime in York County with the York Counts agenda seeking a unified police department and the York County Commissioners looking at a countywide anti-crime policy. One idea that's making the rounds in the city and surrounding municipalities is the idea of a uniform curfew law for those under the age of 18.

While the idea of an 11pm curfew seems to have wide support, objections come when the idea of a daytime curfew is brought. In West York, Mayor Samuel Firestone spoke in opposition to a daytime curfew saying truancy is a matter for school districts to handle.

Meanwhile when word came out that the idea was being considered in Manchester Township, a homeschooling mother appeared before the supervisors.

Anna Krout said that are legitimate reasons for children to be out in public during daytime hours.

The township's solicitor, David Keiter, noted that such a daytime curfew law may be unconstitutional and trigger a civil rights lawsuit.

Are the "brains" behind this "daytime curfew" idea in York County listening to that statement or do they have some other agenda besides preventing crime by "keeping kids in school." Or is the only kind of school they are interested in keeping kids in one that is not in the home.

ELECTION NEWS HEADLNED IN RED

ARLEN SPECTER IS CAMPAIGNING ALREADY FOR 2010 AND TALKING CONSERVATIVE

(POSTED APRIL 16TH)(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)

Talk on the street is that Pat Toomey of the conservative economic action group Club for Growth and a former congressman is coming back in two years to face off against Senator Arlen Specter. The Republican US Senate primary in 2010 looks to be a rematch of the photofinish contest Specter won in 2004

With that in mind, Specter was been out hobnobing with conservatives like talking NFL football issues with Rush Limbaugh on the radio.

And this week Specter came to York to talk about a flat tax plan with conservative tax reform advocate Grover Norquist.

No need to worry about the details, its details enough to know that Pat Toomey and the agenda of Club for Growth are enough incentive to make Arlen Specter talk a conservative tune.

But I know Arlen will swing left again when general election time comes but first he must get past the primary. So (two years before the election) Specter uses another conservative (Grover Norquist) like he has used and co-opted people like Reverend Jim Nicholls and Ed Martino, among others here in Pennsylvania.

I'm not biting Senator Specter. I've seen this show before and I'm not fooled.

RISHEL AND TALLMAN BATTLE IT OUT IN THE 193RD DISTRICT

(NEWS-COMMENT-ANALYSIS)(POSTED APRIL 14TH)

There's a contest to replace retiring longtime State Representative Steve Nickol in the 193rd District that includes Penn Township and Hanover Borough in York County, along with a portion of Adams County.

Candidates Mike Rishel and Will Tallman are facing off.

Mike Rishel has served as a Penn Township commissioner and appears to be the insider political candidate in this race.

Rishel says that liberal Republican Nickol, who voted to increase the state's income tax in 2003 and has a pro-abortion record as a legislator, suggested that he run for the seat in Harrisburg.

Rishel is campaigning on reforming property taxes, but is also supporting reform of the school funding system. He also has cited the "costing out" study that claims billions more need to be spent on schools in Pennsylvania. That would almost certainly require some sort of new tax structure to pay for it that would take even more out of our pockets. Will Tallman stresses the need to cut spending in education and elsewhere in state government along with any reform of property taxes.

Tallman ran against Steve Nickol in the 2004 primary as a pro-life candidate and stressed his Christian background.

For this campaign he's said to be working with political insiders. Tallman has taken the conservative edge off his campaign and this may prevent him from fully exploiting Rishel's obvious annointing by the political establishment.

I suspect the insiders who support Rishel have infiltrated Tallman's campaign and sabotaged it to enable a Rishel win.

APRIL 7-13, 2008.....

ELECTION NEWS HEADLINED IN RED: PAY RAISERS HAVE FAVORITES IN GOP STATE SENATE PRIMARIES: ARMSTRONG FOR SMUCKER IN 13TH, PUNT FOR ALLOWAY IN 33RD

NORTHEASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT BACKS DOWN: PRESIDENTS DAY GETS SAME TREATMENT AS KING HOLIDAY ON CALENDAR

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 9TH)

When the Northeastern School District administration came up with a school calendar for the next school year (2008-2009) they made the President's Day holiday a snow make-up day. Martin Luther King Day was made a day off from school.

When school board member Joseph Griffith asked why the calendar was set up that way he was attacked by Northeastern School Board President Timothy Santiago. Santiago accused Griffith of being "insensitive." Griffith responsed that he wanted all holidays treated the same.

Now the school board has voted to do that unanimously and both Martin Luther King Day and President's Day will be days off from school.

MOUNT WOLF BOROUGH COUNCIL REAFFIRMS OPPOSITION TO MERGER SCHEME

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 10TH)

The Mount Wolf Borough Council has voted 4-3 to tell the Pennsylvania Economy League its services are no longer needed.

The Harrisburg-based political insider group was giving the borough research promoting the idea of consolidation with East Manchester Township. Borough council rejected the idea by a 4-3 vote before and an effort was launched to try to change their minds, but it apparently has failed.

The consolidation scheme was orignally being sold to include Manchester Borough too but Manchester stayed out of the scheme. The bigger government crowd will not give up, they will come back again to try to do this, you can be sure of that.

ELECTION UPDATE: 13TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 9TH,UPDATED APRIL 13TH)

Pay raising incumbent State Senator Gibson Armstrong has endorsed Lloyd Smucker as his successor in the 13th State Senate District GOP Primary.

Smucker's campaign spending report came out before the deadline last week with Smucker reporting some 246-thousand dollars raised, 121-thousand coming from his own pocket. Opponent Paul Thibault said Smucker was giving figures that contrasted with his early claims of 185-thousand raised. Details of who gave Smucker money aren't available right now.

Thibault told the media he has raised around 159-thousand dollars for his campaign, including a 38-thousand dollar loan from himself.

Former Lancaster County Commissioner Paul Thibault has been showing his reputation of feisty campaigning by attacking Lloyd Smucker, who is the insider candidate with the most money in the GOP Primary.

Thibault says Smucker cannot claim he's never raised taxes because of his record of voting for tax increases as a West Lampeter Township supervisor.

Thibault makes claims of being a conservative, but has a reputation as a GOP moderate who himself voted to raise taxes (in one case 28 percent) as a commissioner.

Smucker and Thibault both are running big television advertising campaigns.

Smucker is known to have raised at least 185-thousand dollars, giving him the reputation as the biggest insider candidate in the GOP Primary.

Thibault has also enlisted some insider support from former State Senator Noah Wenger and former State Representative John Barley.

Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald is running at a real conservative candidate committed to reform. McDonald says that both Smucker and Thibualt supported more spending and higher taxes as elected officials.

McDonald has also pledged not to take perks like a car lease or a pension as a state senator.

Bill Neff of Lower Windsor Township in York County, who owns a locksmith business in Lancaster, is the fourth candidate in the Republican primary in the 13th District.

While being a mostly Lancaster County district, the 13th includes Wrightsville, Hellam, Lower Windsor Township, Springettsbury Township and other parts of eastern York County.

33RD DISTRICT STATE SENATE GOP PRIMARY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 10TH)

Candidate Rich Alloway has picked up an endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Alloway used to work for retiring pay raise supporter incumbent Terry Punt. Punt and two other state senators have each kicked in 10-thousand dollars apiece for his campaign. Alloway is endorsed by numerous elected officials and is seen as an insider candidate.

Meanwhile candidate Catherine Cresswell is upset over a letter sent to some Republican committee members in Adams County claiming she is a lifelong Democrat, a lobbyist and someone who gets money unethically from the State Senate.

Cresswell says she's actually a lifelong Republican and on leave from work for State Senate staff. Her husband, David Washburn, is on Democrat State Senate staff in Harrisburg and received a bonus.

Franklin County Republcan Party Chairman Jim Taylor is in the race running as a conservative reform candidate.

A fourth candidate, Robert Curley, pulled out of the race to run as a write-in for the Democrat nomination for the seat.

The 33rd State Senate District extends from Franklin and Adams counties into northwestern portions of York County including Dover.

MARCH 31-APRIL 6, 2008......

RENDELL BUDGET PLAN BAILS OUT YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH OVER 5 MILLION DOLLARS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 6TH)

There's been plenty of talk about how to distribute gambling money for schools with all those new slots parlors going up across the state.

The formula seems to be aimed at achieving a liberal agenda of throwing money at failing school districts in hopes of improving them.

That means the York City School District would get bombarded with lots of money from Harrisburg while districts outside the city would get less.

Now comes word from Harrisburg that Governor Rendell's budget plan is for 5.6 million dollars to be put into the York City School District. This is being touted as enough money to avoid a tax increase.

That sounds like good politics in an election year for a Democrat governor to throw money at an area that votes for Democrats. If Republicans fight them, the Democrats like Governor Ed Renedell and incumbent State Representative Eugene Depasquale of the 95th District can blast Republicans for higher property taxes.

The problems of education are more than money problems. All the money and hiring of additional unionized employees by school districts will not hit the mark unless parents and students are committed to education.

And even if parents and students are committed, education that is poliitical indoctrination and or incompetent given by school staff will also miss the mark of graduating students who can read and do math.

COUNTY OFFICIAL FIRED, NO DETAILS GIVEN

(POSTED APRIL 5TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Word came out yesterday about the firing of York County facilities manager George Meshew. This kind of news usually comes out on a Friday in hopes the public doesn't pay much attention to it.

The commissioners decided to fire him a week before the news came out and won't comment because of privacy laws.

I don't know what to say but I will venture that reporters looking for answers may want to check if there has been anything going on in court that has Meshew's name on it and that would include federal court in Harrisburg.

I am vaguely aware that a former county employee has had a dispute with an ex-supervisor in the area of Mr. Meshew's responsibilities, but I am not certain it is Mr. Meshew who was the target of that complaint.

GOP CONVENTION DELEGATE CANDIDATE RESIGNS ELECTED OFFICE

(POSTED APRIL 3RD)(UPDATED APRIL 5TH)

Cumberland County Commissioner Bruce Barclay resigned yesterday.

Barclay is a candidate for Republican Convention Delegate in the 19th Congressional District that includes York County. He is on the ballot for the April 22nd Primary.

Barclay's resignation is apparently because of a rape allegation by another man. His letter of resignation speaks of him being unable to continue in his position.

Barclay's resignation means that Cumberland County's five judges will pick a replacement and there is concern that a liberal Republican will be appointed to replace him.

One of the candidates being considered is Karen Gunnison. The GOP leadership backed Gunnison last year for commissioner with Barclay against another incumbent, Gary Eichelberger, in the primary. Eichelberger defeated her with the backing of Barclay.

That campaign was marked by controversy over Gunnison's backing for a multi-million dollar light-rail project for the Harrisburg-area.

SCHOOL BOARD DIVISION EVIDENT IN DELAY ON NEW SUPERINTENDENT FOR YORK CITY SCHOOLS

(POSTED APRIL 2ND)(SPECIAL COMMENT)

York City School Board Vice-President Tom Foust spoke of the need for a "broad consensus" as he explained why the board is starting all over again in its search for a new superintendent.

Three candidates were under consideration, one dropped out. The two left from the first round now say they will participate in a new round with new candidates on the table.

What's obvious is that the 5-4 division of the school board extends to the search for a new superintendent. The five multiracial members being challenged by a racial faction of four black members.

One member of that faction made a spurious accusation about tainted peaches a few months ago and then more recently he accused another member of making a racist statement. Hiawatha Powell then called for Barbara Krier to resign from the school board.

An interim superintendent will likely be appointed since a new one will be selected by July 1st. I wonder if the board will be able to agree on even that.

THE INSIDERS AND OUTSIDERS BECOME OBVIOUS IN 33RD DISTRICT GOP PRIMARY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED APRIL 2ND)

After incumbent GOP State Senator Terry Punt apparently decided his pay raise vote would not allow him to be re-elected, the question on the table in the 33rd District was who would the political establishment push as Punt's successor.

It appeared the candidate was Punt's ex-legislative aide Rich Alloway and that hunch is confirmed by Punt's 10-thousand dollar contribution to Alloway's campaign. Alloway also has the endorsement of numerous elected officials plus additional 10-thousand dollar contibutions from the campaign committees of State Senators Jake Corman and Bob Regola.

Meanwhile, another candidate, Catherine Cresswell, who is on leave from her legislative staff job in Harrisburg, picked up a 10-thousand dollar contribution from the campaign committee of Republican State Senator Jane Earll of Erie. Earll is pro-abortion and voted against a traditional marriage amendment in a senate committee last month.

Running as an outsider candidate emphasizing term limits and reform is Jim Taylor. Taylor, chairman of the Republican Party in Franklin County, is running radio ads emphasizing that he is a conservative.

Robert Curley is also running an outsider type campaign with less money than the other three candidates.

The 33rd District includes northwestern portions of York County.

MARCH 17-23, 2008..........

RACE CARD PLAYED AT YORK CITY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

BOARD MEMBER CLAIMS OTHER MEMBER MADE 'RACIST' REMARK

(POSTED MARCH 21ST)(SPECIAL COMMENT)

I often criticize York County school boards for being rubber stamps for administration dictates that often approve everything with virtually unanimous votes.

That hasn't been the case in York City lately with numerous 5-4 votes on issues, but its not a cause for celebration.

The conflict going on is one between typical liberal advocates of public education and a faction of racially motivated leftists who hold 4 of the 9 school board seats.

A few months ago, city school board member Hiawatha Powell produced containers of peaches used in school cafeterias that he claimed were old. He showed them to other board members claiming they had passed an expiration date. Truth was the date stamped on the packages was a manufacturing date, not an expiration date.

Now Powell has gone even more wild, with he and another member, Beverly Atwater,. claiming another board member made a racist comment and should resign.

The fellow member attacked was Barbara Krier, who used the term "you people" to criticize the four members who often disagree with the majority of five. The comment was made in a private executive session of the board.

York City School Board President Jeanette Torres defended Krier when asked by a reporter about the incident. She also spoke of "race problems" on the board with the need to meet needs of all students in the district, not just black students.

Powell told the reporter for the "York Dispatch" that Torres is biased towards Hispanic students.

Either Hiawatha Powell is again showing himself to be a not fully informed person or he is deliberately trying to intimidate Krier off the board so the left-leaning racist radicals can take over the York City School Board.

The solution to this dispute is not any kind of racial sensitivity training, but a firm assertion that real education must happen in York City Schools. Over half the students are failing to meet the standards for math and reading right now.

That must change and the radical racist leftists like Hiawatha Powell need to clear the deck and liberals need to change their prioities to focus on reading and math.

PRE-EASTER NEWS LEAKS OUT:

NO-BID CONTRACT TO FENCE SEIZED LAND WITH EX-COMMISSIONER LINK

(POSTED MARCH 19TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Former York County Commissioner Democrat Doug Kilgore says Sunnyburn Fencing based in his southeastern York home community did work for a neighbor of his and they did good work when several thousand feet of fencing was installed around 80 acres of Lauxmont Farms land seized by eminent domain.

But according to state law, the work valued at over 26-thousand dollars and done over a seven month period last year should have been put up for bid. All county work over 10-thousand dollars is supposed to be publicly put up for bid. But instead, 10 small payments were made for the work.

A memo from York County solicitor Michael Flannely says the way the fencing work was done raises the question of whether it was done to evade the public bidding process.

Current Republican Commissioner Chris Reilly says what happened "doesn't look good and it even smells worse" as quoted by the "York Dispatch." Reilly adds that it appears former commissioners Mitrick and Kilgore (eminent domain supporters at Lauxmont Farms) were determined to push the fencing through before they left office.

The county solicitor adds that criminal charges are would be difficult to file against Mitrick and Kilgore because they didn't vote to do the fence work. The dealing with the fence company was done by the county parks department.

York County District Attorney Stan Rebert says he will look into the spending if asked.

Stories like this one always come out right before a holiday to be buried and forgotten. Don't forget and do remember.

"EFFICIENT" SCHOOL DISTRICTS SPEND A LOT ON NEW BUILDINGS

(POSTED MARCH 18TH)(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)

There's been a lot of "research" thrown around lately in the style of a manure speader.

The studies are designed to promote various agendas ranging from the shifting of school taxes to the York Counts agenda of eventually creating a super school district in York County.

The most amusing research I've seen describes the Central and Northeastern School Districts as the most "efficient" in York County.

This study is based on how much money they spend and test score results, but not on what kind of money they are spending and how they are taxing their residents.

Northeastern School District has been on a building frenzy in recent years and its property tax rates are notoriously high.

And then there's the Central York School District, where well over 200 million dollars of construction will have taken place over a ten year period that will end early next decade (2011-2012).

The big ticket items for all school districts remain the pay and benefits system, with the extravagent building costs being a secondary, but also expensive item.

More to come.......

FULLUM AND ROYSTER WILL FACE OBSTRUCTION CHARGES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED MARCH 17TH)

A district justice has ruled there is enough evidence for a controversial former school principal and her ex-husband to face obstruction of justice charges involving a child sexual abuse case.

Joyce Royster and Edward Fullum will face the charges in connection with a case where Fullum was accused of fondling a seven-year old girl.

Authorities have recordings of phone calls between Royster and Fullum, who remains in the York County Prison.

At last week's hearing a Spring Garden Township detective testified that Royster told the mother of the alleged victim to "shut up" in his presence.

Joyce Royster served as a principal with the Central York School District for one year starting in 2000, then served in the York City School District until her retirement last year. Royster has made accusations of "racism" in York and now lives in western Pennsylvaia.

Fullum was initially charged in December of 2006 with molesting the child.

MARCH 10-16,2008......

COMMISSIONER REILLY EXCLUDED FROM ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

(POSTED MARCH 15TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

York County Commissioner Chris Reilly hoped to march in York's St. Patrick's Day Parade today with a group of 30 people who would hand out candy along the route.

But Reilly was told Wednesday he had missed a late February deadline for entering the parade. Reilly says he made plans to enter the parade in January and notified his staff by e-mail.

Its worth noting that recently retired York City Treasurer and Democrat Don Murphy is co-chairman of the parade. Murphy claims there was just no more room with 116 groups participating in the parade.

And so Republican Chris Reilly ends up being given the cold shoulder by the parade. Is this becoming a pattern where parades in the City of York have a political criteria for including or excluding people. The other example being Rev. Jim Grove who's excluded from the feminist-liberal organized Halloween parade.

The City of York keeps going from sad to worse with an apparently political agenda for parades that excludes people who have the wrong message or belong to the wrong political party.

OBAMA ADS URGE PARTY SWITCH BEFORE DEADLINE

(POSTED MARCH 15)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Radio ads have sprung up on numerous stations in the area reminding voters they have to registered as Democrats to vote for Barack Obama.

Pennsylvania has a closed primary system and the deadline to switch party registration is March 24th.

So far this primary season Obama has done well in states that tend to vote Republican for president. Is it possible that he will do well in York County where Republicans usually win elections?

My instincts say the party establishment and York's dominant white Democrat population will prevail in giving Hillary Clinton most York County votes in the Pennsylvania Primary on April 22nd.

FIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN YORK COUNTY WILL RAISE TAXES OVER 'INFLATION INDEX'

(POSTED MARCH 12TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Under Pennsylvania's Act 1 law, an inflation index is set for every school district in the state and the districts are prohibited from increasing their spending over the inflation index.

But, the districts can apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education using a long list of exceptions and get permission to raise spending over the index.

Many school districts in York County have done just that with five of them getting permission to hike spending in their 2008-2009 budgets over the limit.

The districts that will go over the limit with spending increases starting July 1st are Dallastown, Red Lion, Spring Grove, York City and York Suburban school districts.

So much for controlling public education spending.

MARCH 3-9, 2008...........

SMOKE 'NANNIES' TARGET YORK COUNTY LEGISLATOR WHO SAYS HE'S ON THEIR SIDE

(POSTED MARCH 9TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

If one is to believe the group that calls itself the "Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund" (where do they get their money?) York County State Representative Ron Miller (R-93rd District) is "waffling" on banning smoking.

This group has run print and radio ads urging Miller to push a total smoking ban when he and other legislators meet this week to come with new smoking ban legislation.

Miller says he's laughing at the ads because they are "factually inaccurate."

A smoke ban bill is expected to come out of the conference committee of state house and senate members this Tuesday, its just that Miller and his colleagues want to put in some exceptions to the ban. Miller says he's as concerned about the health effects of smoking and "second-hand smoke" as the group sponsoring the ads is.

The group running the ads wants a total ban everywhere that would take private business owners rights to decide about smoking away.

And I keep on asking who is paying for these ads and this "Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund?" Is it left-wing control types or insurance industry people looking at their bottom line?

A thorough investigation into who funds the "Fund" is in order. That includes who gives this group money and who gives the groups that give the fund money their money.

YORK DEMOCRAT INSIDERS SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON

(POSTED MARCH 9TH)(NEWS ANALYSIS,COMMENT)

News reports claim that York County's Democrat Party is neutral in the presidential contest, but take it from my political experiences as an outsider that the deck is stacked against Barrack Obama's supporters locally.

York County Democrat Chairman Michael Johnson speaks of party neutrality but he is listed as a Hillary Clinton delegate on the ballot April 22nd.

Longtime York City Councilwoman Toni Smith is also a longtime Clinton supporter. She even took to the streets to support Hillary's controversial "health care" plan in 1994. And Smith knows how to use bareknuckled tactics against her opponents.

One of York County's few elected Democrats, State Representative Eugene DePasquale of the 95th District, also counts himself as a Hillary Clinton supporter.

No doubt these people will smile and make nice with Obama supporters, they want their support after its all over, but the Democrat inisders of York County will do everything they can to minimize the Obama campaign in York County and stifle its efforts.

The Hillary insiders have no doubt already infiltrated the Obama camp so they will know what his supporters in York County are doing. Perhaps you Obama people should do the same.

PARENTS FIGHT TO CREATE NEW CHARTER SCHOOL

(POSTED MARCH 6TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

The Lincoln Charter School has been providing an elementary education alternative for students in York City, now the school wants to expand with a new middle school.

But the York City School Board voted 5-4 against their application for the school.

Now parents are starting a petition campaign to get the city school board to change their mind.

After the elementary school opened, the York City School District demanded a hefty lease payment for the district building being used by Lincoln. That led to a lengthy legal fight that the charter school won.

Its sad to see the arrogance of public education trying to block educational alternatives for children in the City of York. Failure is endemic in the York City School District with more than half of students failing to meet math and reading standards.

THE YORK REPORT

FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 2, 2008........

'YORK COUNTS' STUDY CALLS FOR MORE SPENDING ON EDUCATION AND GUESS WHO PAYS?

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED FEBRUARY 28TH)

We've been hearing a lot about the York Counts organization and its desire to consolidate government in York County to supposedly save money.

But when it comes to education, a study done for York Counts puts new items on the table that will cost taxpayers more money.

The study involving interiews with local "leaders" came up with six "high priority" recommendations. They include creation of a countywide cyber school and expansion of preschool. Both those items will obviously cost more money and where do schools get their money from? You, of course. You pay taxes.

But there is some slicky tricky commentary accompanying release of the study. Dallastown Superintendent Stewart Weinberg spoke to the "York Daily Record" about getting "state funding" from legislators for the cyber school. But where does "state funding" come from? You, of course. You pay taxes.

School superintendents and their spin machines specialize in talking about "state grants," "federal grants," "state funding," etc. But its all your tax money in the end.

So York Counts fails again in the smell test when it comes to making government less expensive through having local school districts "cooperate."

This study is part of a fallback strategy by the York Counts elitists who know they can't push total consolidation now, but will pursue it in steps like the cyber school scheme and consolidating school calendars.

Synchronizing the calendars ought to be an interesting scheme in light of the story below.

BRAVE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SPEAKS UP AGAINST KING HOLIDAY POLICY AT NORTHEASTERN

YORK NEWSPAPER COMES UP WITH SOVIET 'SOLUTION'

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 26TH)(UPDATED MARCH 2ND)

Joseph Griffith is an Army veteran and Northeastern school board member who spoke out against the district's calendar for next year that make Presidents Day a snow make-up day and Martin Luther King Day a day off from school.

Griffith asked which holiday the school board members considered more important. He got no answer, but apparently the "York Daily Record" reporter covering the school board meeting wanted to suggest that Griffith showed "disrespect" by asking the question.

School board president Timothy Santiago disagreed with Griffith: "As long as I am president of this board, we will never consider having school on Martin Luther King Day."

Joseph Griffith was right to speak out against this school calendar and its up to Northeastern School District taxpayers and parents to let the board know exactly what they think.

Back him up and don't be intimidated. A holiday honoring America's presidents is certainly as worthy to be a day off from school as Martin Luther King Day.

But then comes the "York Daily Record" into the picture with an editorial calling for the holidays to be honored with "community service" by students.

That idea is in the news lately because Barrack Obama has actually suggested it as "payment" for higher education.

"Community service" by uniformed children was a staple of the Soviet Union and still is a reality for the communist nations of today (Cuba, North Korea). And lets not forget the Hitler Youth "community service" of the 1930's-40's in Germany.

Good is done in any community by the voluntary efforts of its people and not the coerced efforts of government to get anyone, especially children involved in "service."

13TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT GOP FIELD IS SET,GUN RIGHTS RECORDS OF TWO CANDIDATES CHALLENGED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 26TH)(UPDATED MARCH 2ND)

The four Republican candidates in the open 13th State Senate District seat are off and running. Bill Neff from York County joins the three Lancaster County candidates Lloyd Smucker, Paul Thibault and Steve McDonald in the quest to win the primary on April 22nd.

Early news in the race included McDonald's announcement of raising 66-thousand dollars followed closely by Smucker's announcement of raising an astounding 185-thousand dollars for the race.

It appears that Smucker is the preferred candidate of political insiders in Lancaster County, although they are reluctant to openly endorse him, perhaps out of fear of making him appear to be the "incumbent politicians candidate."

One has to wonder what Smucker will owe all those people who gave him all that money.

Smucker, Thibault and McDonald all appeared at a Friends of the National Rifle Association banquet last Saturday in Lancaster, but Steve McDonald says the other two candidates have come out against Second Amendment rights.

McDonald says that Paul Thibault enacted a park ordinance as a Lancaster County commissioner that prevented citizens from defending themselves and their families on park land.

He also says that Lloyd Smucker, as a West Lampeter Township supervisor, has refused to repeal a township gun ban that prevents citizens from protecting themselves and families on public land.

McDonald says that both laws violate the US and Pennsylvania Constitutions.

Meanwhile, candidate Paul Thibault has called for immediate tax cuts in a mailing using "Conservative Leadership" to describe his candidacy. As a Lancaster County Commissioner, Thibault voted for a 28 percent property tax increase.

The 13th State Senate District includes Wrightsville, Hellam Township, Springettsbury Township and other parts of eastern York County.

FEBRUARY 18-24, 2008.....

A STUDENTS 'HIT LIST' CASE HUSHED UP IN SOUTHEASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT

(POSTED FEBRUARY 23RD)

Ten parents had questions for the Southeastern School Board on Thursday night about a student who was discovered having a "hit list." The list contained the first names of fellow students at South Eastern Middle School East and was discovered some weeks ago.

Parents are wondering why they weren't told about the threat and what the school is doing about it. The school district's lawyer, Brooke Say, spoke claiming that privacy laws limit what can be said.

She says the student found with the list is not attending classes. In addition, the district lawyer says the school system is cooperating with police "to the extent they can."

Stewartstown Police Chief George Cunningham says he is unable after consulting with various prosecutors and law enforcement, including the FBI, to find any law to prosecute the student under.

The school district says it took several weeks for a letter to go out to parents because lawyers and law enforcement had to be consulted.

(COMMENT) Public education showing its cumbersome, bureaucratic structure again and an apparent desire to keep quiet about potential security threats to students.

A few weeks ago the almost instant reporting on this page apparently triggered a quicker response from the Central York School District in regards to security measures taken following two fights at Central York High School.

Perhaps it takes quick and aggressive online reporting to get something out of public school officials determined to create a phony image of peace and quiet in their institutions called "schools."

For everything we read about in a local newspaper, there are a dozen or more things going on in public schools. Doesn't the public in general and parents in particular have a right to know the safety situation in "public schools."

MOUNT WOLF-EAST MANCHESTER MERGER PLAN SHOT DOWN FOR NOW

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 22ND)

In a close 4-3 vote, the Mount Wolf Borough Council has put on hold plans for a merger with East Manchester Township.

Council members don't think the time is right and see the merger plan as a loss for the borough of the ability to control their own affairs.

The combined borough and township would reduce borough tax rates but still keep them higher than the township's property taxes. The council members also noted that supposed cost savings of a merger are not as great as claimed by proponents.

The York liberal media establishment constantly touts the creation of bigger governments through the gradual merger of services.

A common mantra is that consolidation will save money.

I'm still scratching my head over the merger of fire and rescue services involving Springettsbury and Spring Garden Townships.

What gets me is that the merger plan includes three million dollars of spending to build a new fire station in Spring Garden Township's Tri-Hill area. Why not use existing stations? How does this "save money?

MAYOR'S SON 'RESIGNS' FROM JOB IN WRIGHTSVILLE AS COUNCIL-MAYOR CONFLICT CONTINUES

(POSTED FEBRUARY 24TH)

The special meeting of borough council in Wrightsville last Tuesday night was billed in a newspaper ad to be for discussing hiring a borough secretary and other business.

What came down was the council's acceptance of the resignation of police department clerk Bryan Rambler. Rambler is the son of Mayor Steve Rambler. Bryan Rambler was involved in a controversy last fall when State Police put Wrightsville police on probation because he had access to a confidential database used by police.

Council members and the borough solicitor said Rambler had been absent from his job for a long time and that allowed them to accept his resignation, even though he never gave them one.

Mayor Rambler said that his son has been paid this year, contradicting council's statement that his last paycheck was in September of 2007.

The council also agreed to pay over 1-thousand dollars in legal expenses for Mayor Rambler, who is fighting the council over their action locking him out of an office in the borough building.

Wrightsville Mayor Steve Rambler remains entangled in a legal dispute to remove him from office with York County DA Stan Rebert. The attempt to remove Rambler is based on his guilty plea to federal charges in the mid 1990's involving extortion and sexually explicit pictures.

TEXTER TERM LIMIT PLAN GOES DOWN, YORK CITY MAYOR WILL GET PAY RAISES

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 22ND)

York City Council shot down the proposal from outgoing councilman and former council president Cameron Texter to term limit city officials.

The vote was 4-1 with only Texter supporting his plan.

A common argument given by the likes of Councilwoman Toni Smith is that the voters would have their choice taken away from them.

My view is that incumbent politicians like Smith have the power to crush opponents insuring their continuous re-election.

They use city ordinances and laws against people who oppose them like former Councilwoman Vickie Washington.

People are even too intimidated to show up and raise questions at council meetings.

Meanwhile, as for Texter, we'll see what happens with him.

Is he leaving local politics to return later, or to face new challenges in his life?

One example being the continuing investigation into the bonuses that Harrisburg staffers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives like Texter received during election years. It is suspected the "bonuses" were given illegally in exchange for political campaign work.

Meanwhile, York City Council has approved pay raises for the mayor. The raises begin in 2010 with the mayor's salary moving from $60,000 a year to $67,500. By 2013 the Mayor of York will be paid $75,000 year.

FEBRUARY 11-17, 2008.....

SEWER SUIT MISSES BIG POINTS ABOUT CHESAPEAKE BAY 'CLEANUP'

(POSTED FEBRUARY 17TH)(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)

Sewer rate shock is hitting York County with a vengeance.

While large localities with their own sewage treatment plants (York City, Springettsbury Township) are seeing less than 10 percent hikes, the rates are doubling for many people in West Manchester Township.

Dover Borough just approved a 34.7 percent sewer rate hike.

Some small towns north of here face having to impose thousands of dollars in charges to upgrade local sewer systems.

A federal environmental mandate is forcing "cleanup" of the Chesapeake Bay. Its said that unless local sewage treatment plants increase their filtration, harm will be done to the bay and its underwater life.

The massive costs facing local governments in Pennsylvania have triggered a cooperative lawsuit seeking money from the state to pay for upgrading sewage treatment plants. Hanover Borough Council approved spending 2-thousand dollars to help fund the suit.

But of course, when one asks the "state" to pay for the costs, what is one really doing? I would say local politicians are passing the buck by passing the bill onto taxpayers statewide instead of local ones.

Its sad but true that local politicos are trying to take the heat off themselves by looking to a bigger pool of taxpayers to pay the bill.

This shell game doesn't get to even bigger ideas. Should taxpayers have to pay this bill at all? Is there really a need to have a 'cleanup' of Chesapeake Bay?

Many are willing to question the envionmentalist mantras about "climate change." We should question their "wisdom" about sediment and the Chesapeake Bay.

Let your federal officials take the heat over this, because its a "federal mandate" that is causing your sewer rates to jump through the roof.

Its an election year and it couldn't hurt. Don't ask for money from the federal government. Demand a change in this extreme enviornmentalist mentality that threatens our wallets, our jobs and ultimately the economy with its outrageous financial burdens.

WIDOW OF MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR PASSED OVER AS REPLACEMENT

(POSTED FEBRUARY 16TH)

Dozens of people attended the supervisors meeting in Manchester Township where a sucessor was chosen for the late chairman of the board, John D'Ottavio.

They came in support of the appointment of his widow, Rita D'Ottavio, to replace him on the board.

But when a motion was made by Michele Schanbacher to appoint her, no other member seconded it. Instead, board member Lisa Wingert moved to appoint Edward Dankanich to serve the reaminder of D'Ottavio's term until January 2010.

The board will now be headed by Wingert who will chair the board, with Schanbacher as the vice-chair.

(OOMMENT) The political insiders of Manchester Township have their way.

GOP RACE SET IN 193RD DISTRICT WITH DEMOCRAT JUMPING IN

(POSTED FEBRUARY 17TH)(NEWS AND ANALYSIS)

Will Tallman and Mike Rishel will face off in the GOP Primary for the 193rd State House District of York and Adams County around Hanover. The seat is open with retirement of liberal Republican Steve Nickol.

Tallman, who challenged Nickol as a more conservative candidate before, stressing his pro-life credentials among other things, is now running a more subdued campaign. Tallman says he has consulted with party insiders for this campaign (liberal ones I should say) and is praising Nickol now. Is this something that the party insiders have done deliberately to sabotage his campaign?

In my analysis Mike Rishel, who served as a Penn Township commissioner for 15 years and built a family business, is the insider candidate.

It appears the GOP establishment has infiltrated Tallman's campaign and will cause its failure on April 22nd.

The extension for filing that Governor Ed Rendell signed by executive order Tuesday enabled a Democrat to enter the race in the 193rd District with Neil Clifford. Clifford will face either Tallman or Rishel in the fall.

EMENHEISER CHALLENGES DEPASQUALE IN 95TH

(POSTED FEBRUARY 14TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Two years ago, Republican Karen Emenheiser faced Eugene DePasquale. DePasquale was put in as Democrat candidate in the 95th State House District after the resignation of the payjack scandal tainted incumbent, Steve Stetler.

DePasquale, who was a York City official and a state official in Harrisburg as well as coming from a veteran Pittsburgh political family, defeated Emenheiser 59-41 percent.

Now DePasquale will face Emenheiser again this year. But the Emenheiser he's facing is Lon Emenheiser, Karen's husband. Lon Emenheiser filed as the only GOP candidate in the 95th District.

Emenheiser, who is a U.S. Air Force veteran, says the legislature has come up short on reform and needs to cut wasteful spending.

And I should note, that Mr. DePasquale has been good at publicity and grandstanding for proposals that go nowhere. Talking about them gets him attention and good feelings from people who pick up on his talking in the media.

Its the mark of a good, slick politician.

FEBRUARY 4-10, 2008.......

EXCLUSIVE: FEAR OF VIOLENCE SHUTS OFF LIGHTS AT CENTRAL YORK HIGH SCHOOL

(POSTED FEBRUARY 8TH,UPDATED FEBRUARY 10TH)

Places where students congregate before school were darkened Thursday morning at Central York High School. Students were sent directly to their classrooms when they arrived, there was no school breakfast and extra police were on hand.

The actions were triggered by a rumor that violence could break out at the school following two serious fights recently involving students and administrators.

School principal Dr. Jay Butterfield announced a power outage in the morning but later acknowledged that he ordered the lights turned off as a security measure.

Letters and e-mails were sent to parents on Friday by the principal, hours after this post first appeared online. The communications speak of precautions being taken and also of "rumors" of gang activity.

There's word that students are being dismissed in a staggered way, a few buses at a time picking up students in front of the school.

Talk on the street points to two groups of students who could be described as "gangs" being in conflict with each other in the school. One group of students who live in North York are fighting those who live in the Village East apartment complex.

(COMMENT) Public schools tend to deceive when something bad happens or they are afraid of something bad happening. Parents and students alike felt let down by the deception Thursday morning.

Standing behind the principal and apparently authorizing his actions is Central York School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Estep. Dr. Estep herself was implicated in deception a few years ago when she claimed a state law required the school district to construct a pool at the high school.

Things are calm now after yesterday's excitement and lets hope it stays that way.

But there is a sad "prevention" attitude playing itself out here driven by matters other than maintaining order. The days of corporal punishment and parental authority are over. Imagine the "lawsuits" or maybe arrests ("child abuse") if any troublemakers got a well deserved hit by school officials or even their parents.

As traditional values and structures are broken down by humanistic, liberal government power, you have anarchy. What comes after anarchy? Some sort of dictatorship.

Police have to be called when there's a fight at school nowadays because of the "child abuse" legalities involved. Many schools like Central York High School have a police officer permanently stationed there.

Families and schools can't deal with problems anymore, the liberal mentality leaves only police in the end to maintain order (a police state).

NEW SPRING GROVE HIGH SCHOOL COSTING MORE

(POSTED FEBRUARY 10TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

The original plans called for the new Spring Grove High School to cost 50 million dollars but, as often is the case, it will actually cost more.

That's the latest word from Spring Grove School District where's its said that 1.3 million dollars more than planned could be spent. The actual "extra cost" is said to be 500-thousand dollars for now since 800-thousand was planned for cost overruns.

When taxpayers money is involved, the costs always seem to go up and up and up.

Spring Grove taxpayers should stay tuned for more "costs" to be tacked onto the bill for their new high school just like other taxpayers in other districts have had to endure theirs.

TEXTER WON'T RUN FOR RE-ELECTION, SAYS HE'S TERM-LIMITING HIMSELF

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 7TH,UPDATED FEBRUARY 10TH)

Earlier this month, York City Council picked a new president to replace Cameron Texter. Now Texter says he won't run for re-election next year.

Texter's estrangement from his wife has been in the news during the last year, as well as an investigaton into whether bonuses given to Texter and other House staff members in Harrisburg were for campaign-related work.

The decision was announced by Texter as council members debated term-limits for city officials. Texter wanted a two-term, eight-year limit for all elected officials, with four years off before they could run again.

In the end, the council approved 3-2 an amendment making the mayor and city council members subject to a 3-term, 12-year limit with two years off before running again. Council President Joe Musso and City Councilwoman Toni Smith voting in opposition to that version of the term limit plan.

These developments are startling and unusual. It may be that Mayor Brenner will veto the idea giving Texter some fuel for political attack on the mayor. There are rumors of Texter wanting to be mayor someday. But a more likely scenario is that Texter is taking stock in the midst of his personal and professional difficulties.

By saying he is not running again, Texter also appears free to promote a salary increase for Mayor John Brenner from his current 60-thousand dollars a year.

The story of Cameron Texter will continue.....

JANUARY 28-FEBRAURY 3, 2008......

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP STANDS GROUND ON 60 MILLION DOLLAR SCHOOL PLAN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 3RD)

The Dallastown School District keeps pushing for approval from Springfield Township of a controversial new 60 million school.

Taxpayers in general are blasting the waste of money and Springfield Township residents see a big dispution to their neighborhood from the proposed school.

Debate at a special meeting last Thursday night called by the township supervisors centered on highway changes associated with the new school. The school district is asking the township to pay 200-thousand dollars for a 'highway occupancy permit.' The school district claims its road construction plans will reduce traffic congestion in the area. The supervisors are skeptical about any "benefits" resulting from the road construction work and want the school district to pick up the tab.

That's something Dallastown School District says its unwilling to do.

Appearing at the meeting to push the new school was Ore Valley Elementary School PTO member Kim Linthicum. Linthicum spoke of overcrowding in the district's schools and is quoted by the "York Daily Record" as saying: "Take a step back and remember why we're doing this. This is about the kids." If ever there was a standard liberal tag line, its that one about doing things "for the kids." Sadly, our PTO groups in school district's are filled with such liberals.

Beyond that I want to note that Linthicum ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for York Township commissioner last year. Her campaign was in opposition to a new housing development in the township. That's the problem with opponents of "sprawl" like Linthicum. They will oppose private development on open space but always support government development on open space ranging from the Lauxmont Farms eminent domain to new palatial school buildings.

And the old line about things being "for the kids" is wearing a little thin with taxpayers hearts, minds and wallets in York County.

DALLSTOWN SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT APPROVED BY NARROW MARGIN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED FEBRUARY 3RD)

The final vote to approve a controversial new contract for Dallastown School Superintendent Stewart Weinberg was a narrow 5-4 one.

The contract guarantees Weinberg 139-thousand dollars a year, with incentives to get 19-thousand more.

The "incentives" center around Weinberg reaching goals. The goals involve Weinberg's management-style and his ability to get along with parents and teachers. He's been criticized for a harsh style of management. A consultant has been hired at taxpayer expense to help Weinberg reach the "goals."

The four "No" votes include the new taxpayer-oriented member Carroll Tignall and two members that I rate as liberal tax and spend members, Michael Hady and Bonnie Lepson. The vote of Tignall is obvious, the vote of those I consider liberal is not. It may simply involve all the complaints they've received about Weinberg and their desire to please the apparently liberal critics. It may also involve the fact that on this page, I have tagged them as "liberal" and they want to try to beat that label by voting this way.

The situation in Dallastown is interesting and worth monitoring more closely in the months ahead.

SAHD DROPS OUT OF RACE FOR 13TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT

(POSTED JANUARY 29TH)

Former Lancaster County Treasurer Greg Sahd says he won't be running in the Republican primary for the 13th State Senate District.

Sahd came up short of getting endorsement from the Lancaster County Republican Committee when he and businessman Lloyd Smucker deadlocked in a vote among precinct committee people.

For the moment that leaves four candidates in the GOP primary race: Smucker, Bill Neff. Paul Thibault and Steve McDonald.

The 13th District includes eastern portions of York County.

JANUARY 21-27, 2007.....

NEW COMMISSIONERS TRIM TAX INCREASE IN REVISED BUDGET

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH)

In what was a shock to the pirahnas (York's newspapers) circling for a kill, the new set of York County Commissioners decided not to fund a crime fighting program that would cost 2.5 million dollars.

Recent news reports painted a negative picture of the plan to hire 40 new sheriff's deputies to increase law enforcement in crime-plagued areas of York City.

The commissioners unanimous vote revised the budget from the previous board reducing a proposed tax increase from 3.1 percent to 2.3 percent.

President Commissioner Steve Chronister noted the lower tax increase will be helpful to older taxpayers on fixed incomes. Chronister said the county will seek state and federal funding for the crime program, which will not be included in the 2008 budget.

The ultimate reason for this surprise move could be the bad ecomomic signs nationally which are prompting a federal tax rebate plan and Governor Ed Rendell's statement that there will be no tax increases coming from Harrisburg this year.

MEDIA ATTACK FOLLOWS MEDIATION ANNOUNCEMENT IN CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT OVER LAUXMONT FARMS LAND GRAB

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 24TH,UPDATED JANUARY 26TH)

The "York Daily Record" took aim at the planned mediation in the Lauxmont Farms land grab controversy.

The attack was about the use of Harrisburg attorney David Zambito to set up mediation in the dispute. Zambito served as campaign chairman for Commissioner Steve Chronister's re-election last year.

The decision to use Zambito was unanimous from all commissioners and Commissioners Hoke and Reilly expressed their belief that Zambito was qualified to do the job.

Zambito said he's organizing mediation, not making decisions.

A federal judge has approved mediation in the civil rights lawsuit filed on Christmas Eve by the Kohr family against the former county board of commissioners.

The Kohr's are suing over the previous board's eminent domain push involving their land (Lauxmont Farms). They allege that former Commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore, among others, were part of a conspiracy to take their land at a low-ball price.

Attorneys for the Kohr family and the county are now involved in a 90-day delay of action in the lawsuit while a mediator will try to resolve their differences without the case going to trial.

Lets hope this whole mess can be settled as soon as possible with all parties satisfied. The eminent domain dispute hurt the people of York County in general and the Kohr family in particular.

It was caused not just by Commissioners Mitrick and Kilgore, but a whole generation of political leadership in York County.

Also responsible for this mess were many of the county's "civic leaders" who put their support behind the "heritage park" idea.

Its sad, but not unexpected to see the sorry sore losers (Mitrick, Kilgore) along with their ally, the "York Daily Record" taking potshots at the new commissioners. The "York Daily Record" has blasted almost everything the new commissioners have done.

SPRINGETTSBURY MAKES ROOM FOR GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, CHRISTMAS TREE SALE STILL OUT IN THE COLD

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 26TH)

Springettsbury Township supervisors say they are working towards a solution, but their Thursday night 4-1 vote to revise a township ordinance still fails to allow the York Food Bank's Christmas tree sale.

The prohbition on selling items at a business not related to the business was revised to be a little less strict so that Girl Scouts will be able to sell cookies in the months ahead.

But the revised rules still block the charity tree sale.

I guess the pressure still needs to be on until some common sense prevails.

Claims were made that state rules required these kinds of restrictions but as you can see the Girl Scouts were accomodated. And considering that the trees were sold in another township with no problem because of the Springettsbury ban the smell of why these restrictions were imposed in the first place is rich.

Did someone want the township to help them by imposing this restrictive ordinance in the first place?

GOP RACE IN 13TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT CONTINUES TO DEVELOP WITH FIVE CANDIDATES KNOWN

(NEWS ANALYSIS)(POSTED JANUARY 27TH)

Former Lancaster County Treasurer Greg Sahd and Lancaster County businessman Lloyd Smucker fought to a draw when they sought endorsment from the Lancaster County Republican Committee.

Each candidate drew equal support with neither one winning a majority from precinct committee people.

Former Commissioner Paul Thibault and businessman Bill Neff, who live in York County, fell short in early rounds and were eliminated.

Running as an outsider reform candidate, Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald stayed out of the process.

As of now there are five candidates in the GOP primary race, but the insider political leaders may have to decide among themselves if they wish to unite around either Smucker or Sahd in the face of spirited campaigns that will certainly come from maverick Thibault and the reform movement backed McDonald.

Smucker, by the way, is the brother of a well-known pastor in Lancaster County and could be called the Lancaster County ACTION (Americans for Christian Traditions In Our Nation) candidate. ACTION has been criticized in recent years as being too closely linked to the political insiders who pushed the pay raises and higher taxes in Harrisburg.

The 13th State Senate District stretches from Lancaster City to eastern portions of York County including Wrighsville and Hellam along Springettsbury and Lower Windsor Townships, among other places.

JANUARY 14-20, 2007.........

'SECRET BALLOTS' IN HARRISBURG:
YORK DEMOCRAT STATE REP. SUGGESTS THEM FOR CONTENTIOUS ISSUE

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED JANUARY 20TH)

Speaking at a Planned Parenthood event honoring the Supreme Court's pro-abortion decision of 35 years ago, York County Democrat State Representative Eugene DePasquale (95th District) suggested secret votes in the legislature might help the abortion cause.

The "York Daily Record' reported Friday that DePasquale spoke of legislators being "pressured" to vote against forcing doctors and hospitals to dispense abortion causing drugs in cases of rape. That issue has been on the table in Harrisburg in recent months.

But then DePasquale as the "Daily Record" summarized it: "said that if secret ballots were used, the results would have been different."

The problem in Harrisburg in recent years has been the virtual secret votes in the middle of the night to raise taxes, raise pay etc.

Now DePasquale, who has called himself a "reformer" talks of "secret ballots" on a contentious issue.

Maybe now we know his real heart when it comes to "open government" and "reform" in Harrisburg.

Would he like that on other issues too or just abortion?

There are endless questions to ask Mr. DePasquale about this one to be sure.

He could be facing opposition from the GOP this year so lets keep our heads up because someone that thinks like this is not going to change things in Harrisburg.

Speaking the politics of the abortion issue meanwhile, many care about the abortion in York County to the extent they will more often vote for a pro-life candidate than an anti-life one.

That combined with other controversies in Harrisburg recently leave the mostly pro-abortion in their hearts members of York County's legislative delegation (many Republican) very fearful of supporting abortion in any way right now.

And that's fine with me.

PROPERTY TAX-ELECTION YEAR 'REBATE' GAME:

YOU PAY A DOLLAR IN TO GET A FEW PENNIES BACK

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED JANUARY 17TH)

In this election year officials in Harrisburg are loudly putting out the word that 400 million dollars is available to give back to homeowners for their school property taxes.

The money is coming from the new slot machine operations (casinos) in the state.

But considering that Pennsylvania spends well over 20 billion dollars on public education, the "rebate" is a drop in the bucket.

In fact after the school districts jack up their property taxes in July, your "rebate" will mean little or nothing. So don't get excited because this "rebate" program leaves you with property taxes still frozen at painful rates for your budget.

But this is an election year and the politicians see the 'rebate' as a way to buy your vote for their re-election. Are you taking the bait?

PAY RAISE IMPLICATED STATE SENATOR TERRY PUNT DECIDES TO RETIRE

(POSTED JANUARY 18TH)

After the GOP chairman in Franklin County, Jim Taylor, threw his hat in the ring for the 33rd State Senate District race, the incumbent, Terry Punt announced he will retire.

Punt was implicated in the infamous pay raise of 2005 and was paying back the 16 percent raise he took.

Its not known if any other candidates will enter the GOP primary race for the senate district which includes Franklin County, Adams County and northwestern parts of York County.

WILL TALLMAN IN 193RD DISTRICT RACE

(POSTED JANUARY 20TH)

Will Tallman ran against 193rd District State Represenative Steve Nickol in the 2004 primary losing almost 2 to 1, but now he's back in the race following Nickol's retirment.

Tallman said he wants to reform things in Harrisburg, including freezing property taxes and reducing the power of the Speaker of the House to control members.

Tallman says he won't take a payraise and notes that he is pro-life as well as supporting a traditional marriage amendment to the state's constitution.

Former Penn Township commissioner Mike Rishel is the other announced GOP candidate in the 193rd District.

REMEMBERING A PRINCIPLED MAN:
JOHN D'OTTAVIO

(POSTED JANUARY 20TH)

John D'Ottavio, the chairman of the Manchester Township Board of Superivors was remembered by his family and colleagues this week. D'Ottavio died of a rare form of cancer at the age of 60.

I remember meeting John when he was first expressing interest in running for political office some 16 years ago. John did not make the move at that time but several years later he got involved in his township. He ran and was elected a supervisor.

And by all accounts he did a very good job there. I read a comment this week speaking of John as a "compromiser" who wanted everyone to be in a "win-win" situation.

That makes him sound a little too weak and liberal in my mind. Really John was very pro-business and against government overregulation. That's one of the issues that drove him to consider running for office. In 2002 John D'Ottavio came close to winning the GOP primary for the 47th State House District. D'Ottavio was pro-life and pro school choice. He wanted all kids to have the chance to get the kind of education he did at York Catholic High School.

A very powerful political force was against John then. The Pennsylvania State Education Association began to get a Democrat candidate into the race, then pulled him out after John narrowly lost the GOP primary.

A candidate that PSEA endorsed, Keith Gillespie, won the primary and is now the State Representative for the 47th District.

John D'Ottavio is someone many will miss because of his conservative convictions and the potential that he had to do even more than he was doing as a supervisor in Manchester Township.

YORK CATHOLIC GETS MOVED IN LEAGUE TO HELP BIG PUBLIC SCHOOLS WIN MORE BASKETBALL GAMES

(NEWS AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED JANUARY 16TH)

The high school principals of the York Area Interscholastic Athlethic Association have voted to create new divisions for the next two years in a number of sports based on school enrollment. The new divisions will come into being during the next school year.

Their decision will move York Catholic High School into a different division pairing it will small enrollment public schools mainly in Hanover and eastern Adams County.

This will reduce the number of games big schools like Dallastown, Central, York Suburban and Eastern play against York Catholic.

In basketball they have often been games the big schools lost to the strong girls and boys basketball teams from York Catholic.

York Catholic principal George Andrews was the sole NO vote at the league's winter meeting at York Suburban High School Monday.

My observations include noting that York Catholic has loyal fans who fill high school gyms. Their new schedule will mean less money for the athletic programs of the large high schools. And who will pay for those losses?

And there's no doubt about it that this plan is an attempt by the big high schools to try to win more games particularly in basketball by moving York Catholic into a newly created fourth division. That fact was noted by York Catholic's principal, Mr. Andrews, commenting on the decisions.

(SPECIAL COMMENT) Is there any religous prejudice involved? That's a hard question but I'm fairly certain that among the principals who voted to make these moves are some pretty well committed humanists. But don't expect them to admit that to you, me or the news media.

SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS NEW DALLASTOWN SCHOOL LATER THIS MONTH

(POSTED JANUARY 15TH)

The controversial plan for a new 60 million dollar school in Springfield Township will be on the table later this month.

The Springfield Township Board of Supervisors are holding a special meeting on January 31st to discuss the Dallastown School District's push for a new school to be constructed along Susquehanna Trail.

There has been public opposition to the plan with long discussions and demands by the township for more information from the school district to enable their approval.

Traffic concerns and other issues are expected to come up in public discussion at the meeting.

JANUARY 7-12, 2008..........

THE RACE TO REPLACE POLITICAL INSIDER STEVE NICKOL

TWO CANDIDATES EMERGING IN THE 193RD HOUSE DISTRICT

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)(POSTED JANUARY 13TH)

State Representative Steve Nickol raised income taxes in 2003 and has been working with Governor Ed Rendell on a scheme to "fund" health insurance for school employees across the state.

Nickol attacked Lynn Swann, the GOP candidate for governor in 2006. His pro-abortion voting record stands out like a sore thumb. He even showed up at a gay rights forum in York a few months ago.

Nickol has decided to retire and now the contest for his successor is underway. My speculation centered around the suspicious candidate who challenged Nickol in the 2006 primary, Hanover Borough council member Debra Hoff.

Now at least two candidates appear to be in the GOP primary for the 193rd State House District, that includes the Hanover area and a large chunk of Adams County. Pro-life conservative candidate Will Tallman, who challenged Nickol in 2004, formed an exlporatory committee last fall. Now businessman and former Penn Township commissioner Mike Rishel says he's in the race.

Rishel was defeated in 2005 after serving some 16 years on the board of commissioners.

Rishel is speaking of the need for tax reform and campaign reform in Harrisburg, but also decrying what he calls "partisanship" and speaking of the need for "consensus."

He also praised the work of Steve Nickol in the legislature.

Well, what am I expected to say here? The analysis of this situation based on what I have read would seem to indicate the political insiders have picked Mr. Rishel as their candidate to replace Steve Nickol.

I don't want to raise my ego any but its very possible Mike Rishel's apparent selection as the insider candidate in the 193rd District is linked to my exposure of Debra Hoff as a pro-Nickol "challenger" to him in 2006.

There's even more than that to indicate his selection is aimed in my direction, but I won't talk about it right now.

PAY RAISING STATE SENATOR TERRY PUNT WILL FACE PRIMARY CHALLENGER

33RD STATE SENATE DISTRICT INCLUDES NORTHWEST YORK COUNTY

A challenger has emerged to pay-raising Republican State Senator Terry Punt in the 33rd District that includes northwestern parts of York County.

Incumbent Punt will be challenged by Franklin County Republican Party Chairman Jim Taylor in the April 22nd primary.

In the face of the unpopular pay-raise that he took, Punt has started to pay it back as this election year approached.

Taylor lists membership in the National Rifle Association, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Rotary International.

He is the founder and chairman of America's Political Action Committee, a group that helps conservative candidates.

We'll see how this shakes out with a party chairman putting himself forward as a challenger. He doesn't give off the impression of a political outsider, although he talks of reform. I'll keep an eye on this one and see if anything gives us a better indication of the true situation.

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 13TH)

NEW LEADERSHIP TAKES OFFICE AND NEW COMMENT POLICY RAISES QUESTIONS AT YORK CITY COUNCIL

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 9TH)

There are new leaders at York City Council.

Councilman Joe Musso is now Council President replacing Cameron Texter.

Newly elected Councilwoman Carol Hill-Evans is the Vice-President.

The talk from council is of change from the "conflicts" of the past.

But a new policy about public comment raises questions.

Public comment will now occur 30 minutes before council meetings begin and if the President of council decides, it can occur after meetings.

Is this a new attempt to censor dissent over city policy? As you might remember the live broadcasts of televised council meetings were being cut off when public comments not liked by former council president Texter were being made.

Will these public comments be televised or not since they will occur "before the meeting?"

CORONER'S DEATH STATS SHOW MOST MURDERS IN CITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 8TH)

York County Coroner Barry Bloss has issued his annual report on deaths in York County for last year.

There were 12 murders in York County in 2007. Ten of them were in the City of York.

These figures illustrate that the assertion that "crime is everywhere" being made by the Metro York-York Counts crowd is inaccurate.

They make that false pitch to create a super police department with county taxpayers picking up the bill for city policing.

As with all its schemes, Metro York is trying to get York County taxpayers into the trap of bailing out the city's finances.

SOUTHERN SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT BUSTED FOR DUI AND ASSAULTING POLICE OFFICERS

(POSTED JANUARY 7)

Southern York School Board President Robert John "Bobby" Schefter of Glen Rock got pulled over early Sunday morning December 30th in Ocean City, Maryland.

Police wanted to do a field sobriety test on him and he refused. Schefter says the test is unreliable and "bogus".

Then police say Schefter fought with two officers before they arrested him.

Schefter said he intends to fight the charges in court which he vigorously denies.

His trial is scheduled for January 28th and even though he is a lawyer, Schefter intends to hire the best defense attorney he can for the case.

Schefter apologized for any "inconvenience" the charges may cause the school board and the district as a whole. He added that he would respect any recommendations of board members and the school administration.

(COMMENT) We've had everyone from football coaches to school superintendents, assistant superintendents, etc. involved in DUI cases in recent years in York County. Another case that will be resolved in a Maryland court later this month.

DECEMBER 31, 2007-JANUARY 6, 2008....

STEVE CHRONISTER AND NEW COMMISSIONERS TARGETED FROM THE START:

POISON PILL BUDGET LEFT BY MITRICK AND KILGORE

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 6TH)

As Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore finally left office they still may have been under the delusion that they had popular support for their unpopular policies as county commissioners.

It also appears they had visions of coming back and deliberately tried to sabotage the work of those replacing them to use against them later.

Their budget plan that includes a hiring freeze in all county departments provides for a 3.1 percent property tax increase.

Even though they asked for Commissioner Steve Chronister's input on the budget, they objected to his anti-crime plans being funded in the budget.

The new board of Chronister, Chris Reilly and Doug Hoke, will now have to deal with this budget and make their own marks on it. Most likely they would have to increase taxes even more to deal with fighting crime and adding new positions to county government.

Two departments in need of more people are the Prothonotary's office, which handles passport applications among other things. New federal security requirments mean more travelers need passports and this increases the workload.

The Clerk of Court's office has an increasing load dealing with more court cases than ever.

Sadly, county commissioners have to oversee big government mandated to them from above, forcing them to hire more people and spend more money at our expense.

There's certainly no more money for schemes like "heritage parks" at Lauxmont Farms and Highpoint like Mitrick and Kilgore insisted upon.

There's also no money to bail out the City of York by creating a county health department and human relations commission.

Criticism is already being leveled against the new board from the editorial page of the pro Mitrick-Kilgore "York Daily Record." Mitrick will soon write columns for that newspaper.

Whatever happens, lets not forget that our county property tax bills rose more than 50 percent in the Mitrick-Kilgore years.

Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore have no right to criticize any tax increase from the new board after their abysmal record of taxes, spending and visions of even more spending by county government.

POLITICAL POLICING: YORK CITY POLICE GO AFTER A PARKING TICKET ON CHRISTMANS EVE

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 6TH)

The arrest of outgoing councilwoman Vickie Washington on Christmas Eve highlights the reality of how political insiders like Council President Cameron Texter, Councilwoman Toni Smith and Mayor John Brenner deal with their political opponents.

A city police officer hauled her down to court at 10:45 PM on December 24th (Christmas Eve) over what we all thought was a resolved matter.

Washington has parked near the building where council meets because of concern for her safety. She uses a placard to park there and was told the matter was resolved by a city parking official.

These Cuban-style tactics show the depth of the one-party control of city government (The Insider Party) that stops at nothing to harrass and intimidate outsiders. The insiders also use all means to keep outsiders from power.

That includes the suspicious case of Matthew Mann being unable to get bonded for the city treasurer's job. (See story below)

This corrupted city should not be bailed out or helped in any circumstances with the schemes of York Counts-Metro York.

Maybe we need an Attorney General's investigation of the City of York for starters focusing on Councilwoman Toni Smith among others?

A final note, Mr. Texter appears to be part of on ongoing investigation by Pennsylvania's attorney general over bonuses for campaign work given to Democrat staff members of the State House.

Mr. Texter was the recipient of more than 11-thousand dollars of those bonuses.

MURPHY WILL STAY ON WHILE CITY COUNCIL FINDS A NEW TREASURER

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 4TH)

Current York City Treasurer Don Murphy will stay on after he was scheduled to leave office next week.

That's because York City Council will be going through a process of picking a new treasurer to replace Matthew Mann, who resigned before he was to take office on Monday.

Mann, a left-leaning political outsider who won last November's election as the Democrat candidate, resigned after he was unable to obtain bonding of 12 million dollars said to be required for the job.

Mann says he's still trying to get bonded and will apply for the job if he is bonded. He notes that powerful people in the York area have opposed his becoming city treasurer.

Let me note, Mann may have "friends" or people who are "helping him" that could be operatives of the political establishment. They may have taken advantage of him to create the situation where he ended up being unable to get bonded for the job he was elected to.

City council plans to take applications and publicly inteview candidates later this month.

They hope to have a new city treasurer in place by February 1st.

CITY MAKES PAYOUT AFTER LOSING REV. GROVE CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT:

MEDIA DOUBLE STANDARD IN OUTRAGE OVER LAWSUITS COSTING TAXPAYERS

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 4TH)

The legal costs for Rev. Jim Grove and other plantiffs was paid for by the City of York last month.

The city lost a civil rights case over the pro-life float that Grove put into the Halloween parade, but the city put at the end of the parade in 2004 and 2005.

The payout was $37,500.

The city had to pay $50,000 when they lost another civil rights case brought after city police confiscated pictures of aborted babies during the 2002 Halloween parade.

The taxpayers pay when the city violates rights because of the political beliefs ("pro-choice") of its leaders.

The former Dover school board took a beating from York newspaper editorial writers over the "intelligent design" case lost in federal court with a million dollar payout.

Those board members were one could say letting their personal beliefs influence decision making.

Sad to say that Mayor John Brenner will not pay a price in these cases and the Nationalist Movement case where 90-thousand dollars had to be paid out. There the city decided to make demands designed to prevent the racist group from holding a rally in the city.

Again no doubt because of the Mayor's personal beliefs.

There's a double standard when it comes to media outrage over personal beliefs driving government policy, resulting in lawsuits and financial loss to the taxpayers.

Liberal York Mayor John Brenner gets a pass with barely a tap, while the conservative Dover school board members got demonized by the York newspapers.

MORE CANDIDATES IN 13TH DISTRICT STATE SENATE RACE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 6TH)

Greg Sahd, a banking official and former Lancaster County Treasurer, is an announced candidate for the Republican primary in the 13th State Senate District.

Also announcing, Lloyd Smucker, a West Lampeter Township supervisor.

York County resident Bill Neff has also entered the race. Neff, from Lower Windsor Township owns a locksmith business based in the Lancaster-area.

The first two candidates out of the gate include former Lancaster County Commissioner Paul Thibault and Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald.

So far, Thibault is considered a tax and spend Republican who raised property taxes 28 percent one year as a commissioner. McDonald is talking reform in the sprit of current State Senator Mike Folmer from Lebanon who defeated pay-raise leader Chip Brightbill in a 2006 GOP primary.

In this atmosphere, the entry of so many candidates may include those who call themselves "reformers" to split votes so an insider can win the race.

Candidate Neff may be trying to sheer off both York County and reform votes away from McDonald.

The 13th State Senate District includes eastern parts of York County.

A CORRECTION AND A PROMISE

(SPECIAL UPDATE) (POSTED JANUARY 1ST)

Regarding the Central York School District news stories I want to correct information previously presented.

It had been stated that school board president Eric Wolfgang was a teacher in the York City School District and union president (York City Education Assocation).

The correct information is that Mr. Wolfgang's brother is the teacher and former union president in question.

We continue to report that a relationship is said to exist between union representative (Pennsylvania State Education Association) Clinton Gibbs and Eric Wolfgang (they have socialized).

"The York Report" promises to continue reporting about the Central York School District and other governments in York County with news and comment that is fearless and challenging to the liberal and politically correct status quo wherever it exists.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM 'THE YORK REPORT.'

THE HIDDEN NEWS OF THE CHRISTMAS-NEW YEAR WEEK

A WEEK WHEN NEWS GETS LOST AND IGNORED

MITRICK-KILGORE CAMPAIGN GOT MONEY FROM THE USUAL SUSPECTS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 31ST)

The "York Daily Record" chose the last week to report on the money raised by the group that pushed a write-in campaign for Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore after they were ousted in their parties primaries last spring.

The Citizens for Responsible Government group raised over 21-thousand dollars from late October through November.

Some contributions of note include 5-thousand dollars from Anne Kinsley, wife of Robert Kinsley of Kinsley Construction.

Mr. Kinsley was on the board of the Lancaster York Heritage Region that pushed the land seizure at Lauxmont Farms and Highpoint.

Kinsley Construction did some initial work on the Highpoint property seized by eminent domain in conjunction with the project to build a "heritage park."

Louis Appell Jr. contributed 2-thousand dollars to the group. Mr. Appell serves on the board of Lancaster York Heritage Region at last word.

George Hodges, co-owner of the Wolf Organization gave a thousand dollars to the Citizens for Responsible Government also. Hodges said he did it because he admired the work of Mitrick and Kilgore, not as a representative of the his company.

Tom Wolf, now state revenue secretary and former head of the Wolf Organization, served on the board of LYHR.

YORK CITY PAYS UP AFTER VIOLATING FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF RACIST GROUP

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED JANUARY 1ST)

This news came out around Christmas very deliberately I think.

The City of York had lost a federal lawsuit brought by the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group.

The city's payment of 90-thousand dollars to the group was delayed until this time.

Nationalist Movement leader Richard Barrett says the payment delay means the city owes four thousand dollars in interest on top of the 90-thousand. Barrett will seek the money by going to the judge in the case.

The city that says its financially strapped doesn't like the embarrassment of having to pay out this money.

The City of York has a pattern of suppressing the right to assemble and protest of those it doesn't like.

The city has also lost two lawsuits brought by the Rev. Jim Grove over city attempts to suppress a pro-life float at the city's Halloween parade.

Payment has been ordered in one case and is pending in another.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE YORK REPORT

DECEMBER 24-30, 2007.......

MANN RESIGNS BEFORE TAKING OFFICE AS CITY TREASURER: SAYS HE CANNOT GET BONDED

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 28TH)

Matthew Mann is resigning from the post he was elected to serve in last month.

Mann was elected City Treasurer as the Democrat candidate defeating the York City Democrat political insiders attempt to elect a Republican challenger.

Mann became the only candidate on the Democrat ballot last spring after a city political establishment candidate and a political outsider got each other thrown off the ballot in court.

The stumbling block according to Mann was getting bonded. Its a requirement for a city treasurer to be bonded for 12 million dollars.

Mann says he worked with an insurance agent who was unable to get him bonded. Mann also says he contacted insurance companies and failed.

My question is: Can the insurance agent or the companies contacted be trusted in the matter totally? That is, insurance people have political connections from Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Robert Gleason to York County Democrat contributor and insurance millionaire Art Glatfelter.

Was he targeted by people with insider poltical connections?

The only other thing I know about bonding off the top of my head is talk from bonded people of a requirement for a clean criminal record.

Mann says he is disappointed that after being elected by the people, this bonding requirement stands in the way of him serving.

Now the political establishment will get to pick the new city treasurer when they appoint someone at their January 7th meeting.

This will give them total control over all elected offices in the city.

KOHR FAMILY SUES GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OVER LAND GRAB AT LAUXMONT FARMS

SAY MOTHER COMMITTED SUICIDE FROM PRESSURE OF EMINENT DOMAIN CONFLICT

(POSTED DECEMBER 25TH)(UPDATED DECEMBER 26TH)

(NEWS, COMMENT, ANALYSIS)

When Lauxmont Farms owner Laura Kohr died on May 20th, 2005, York County Coroner Barry Bloss described the cause of death as heart failure.

Later a local conservative activist, Dean Graham, put out flyers saying Kohr committed suicide over the eminent domain dispute causing anger from its supporters like Commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore. Bloss even spoke of contacting a lawyer.

Yesterday, a federal lawsuit was filed by the Kohr family, saying Laura Kohr killed herself because she was disraught over the eminent domain dispute in a way not inconsistent with heart failure as a cause of death.

The suit names York County as defendant with the current board of commissioners named. But Congressman Todd Platts and other officials are named as helping with efforts to seize the Lauxmont Farms land to build a "heritage park."

Congressman Platts brother, Mark Platts, was the prime mover behind the effort to take the Lauxmont Farms land as revealed by e-mails on a website called landgrab.org.

Those e-mails also detail the complete involvement of the numerous federal, state and local officials in the Lauxmont Farms land grab.

The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy against the Kohr family and the e-mails provide evidence to support that charge.

Those e-mails show the involvement of a whole generation of political leadership in York County. Many of the people named were friends and grew up together being involved in political activites.

In addition, it can be argued that York's wealthy elite that associated themselves with the Lancaster York Heritage Region and the land grab scheme ("heritage park") with the appearance that some of them would benefit financially are also culpable here.

Perhaps they should pay some of the damages the Kohr's are asking for in this case?

The entire board of commissioners is named in the suit, including Commissioner Steve Chronister, who opposed the land grab.

Outgoing Commissioner Lori Mitrick says she is not surpised by the suit.

Outgoing Commissioner Doug Kilgore called it more "legal antics" to avoid "paying taxes" as described by the "York Daily Record."

Throughout the conflict over the land grab, the cash strapped Kohr's (they were in bankruptcy) were put under pressure to pay the low-ball offer from the county with harangues about them "not paying their taxes."

Incoming commissioner Chris Reilly told the "Daily Record": "It just underscores what a debacle this has been."

Reilly hopes that some accomodation can be reached with the Kohr family.

Kohr family attorney John Snyder has consistently said the family was hurt financially by the conflict, being unable to sell land to pay back taxes and are entitled to damages.

The City of York felt compelled to settle with the family of Lille Belle Allen over allegations that included former mayor (then a police officer) Charlie Robertson handing out bullets to gang members that shot and killed her in 1969.

The County of York now has a burden on it (us the taxpayers) thanks to the actions of our political and business leaders in pushing eminent domain at Lauxmont Farms.

WELL WISHES FROM COMMISSIONER CHRONISTER

(POSTED DECEMBER 26TH)

Commissioner Steve Chronister left his seat alongside outgoing commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore last week. Chronister stepped down to the speaker's podium in the meeting room to wish Mitrick and Kilgore well in their new endeavors. Both were defeated in last spring's primary election.

He spoke of his respect for them and acknowledged his differences with them over the last four years.

Chronister hesitated slighly when noting that Mitrick, in addition to teaching at York College, will also be writing columns for the "York Daily Record."

CITY COUNCIL REJECTS TAX IDEAS

(POSTED DECEMBER 28TH)

York City Council has rejected on 2-2 split votes a 10 dollar occupation tax and a proposal to take a half of the real estate transfer tax now kept by the York City School District.

The votes were 2-2 with outgoing Councilwoman Vickie Washington absent.

City Council President Cameron Texter and Councilwoman Toni Smith voting yes.

Outgoing Councilman William Lee Smallwood and Councilman Joe Musso voting no.

DECEMBER 17-23, 2007.........

SPECIAL SCROOGE POSTING ABOUT POLICY OF YORK AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION BANNING 'RELIGIOUS' DISPLAYS AND CAROLS IN THEIR HOUSING:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1943467/posts

HOW POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT WORKS: THE NEW WHITMAN TRIAL ORDER

(POSTED DECEMBER 23RD)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Its no surprise that a decision to overturn a controversial murder conviction from an elected official (Common Pleas Court Judge John Uhler) would come down on a Friday, especially a Friday before Christmas.

This is stuff they hope the public doesn't notice or talk about.

Judge Uhler, who presided over the 2003 murder trial of Zachary Whitman (accused of killing his 13 year old brother Gregory when Zachary was 15 in 1998), ruled that his defense lawyer was ineffective.

That's because defense lawyer David McGlaughlin allowed Zachary's bloody socks to be entered as evidence, according to Uhler.

The parents have been seeking a new trial in the case.

YORK CITY BUDGET WITH TAX AND FEE HIKES APPROVED

WASHINGTON CONCERNED ABOUT SEWER FUNDS BEING USED FOR NON-SEWER PURPOSES

(NEWS AND COMMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 21ST)(UPDATED DECEMBER 23RD)

In a late Tuesday night vote, York City Council approved an 86 million dollar budget for 2008 that increases property taxes by 7 percent (1 mill), trash fees one dollar a month and sewer fees 40 cents per thousand gallons.

(SPECIAL NOTE: ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS RELATED TO THE CHESAPEAKE BAY ARE FORCING SEWER FEES EVERYWHERE IN YORK COUNTY UP NEXT YEAR)

The vote was 4-1 with outgoing Councilwoman Vickie Washington voting no.

Councilwoman Washington has sent an electronic message saying that every year some two million dollars of sewer fund money gets transferred into the general fund to pay for non-sewer purposes.

Washington says state law allows only for a sewer fee based on the costs of the service.

She sees no reason to raise sewer rates because the money would be in the fund if it wasn't taken out every year.

The council rejected by a 3-2 vote (only Council President Cameron Texter and Councilwoman Toni Smith yes, Vickie Washington, outgoing council member William Lee Smallwood and Councilman Joe Musso no) the reduction of the property tax increase to include revenue from a 10 dollar occupation tax.

This idea proposed by Council President Texter will be formally voted on next week at a city council meeting called for Thursday at 1PM.

Also on the agenda then, Texter's controversial plan to take the half of the real estate transfer tax now kept by the York City School district. Texter is backtracking on the plan, talking about phasing it in over 5 years taking 10 percent more each year.

FINAL MITRICK-KILGORE BUDGET PUTS IN HIRING FREEZE TO LIMIT TAX INCREASE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 20TH)

The property tax increase is set at 3.1 percent in the final budget plan from outgoing Commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore.

Commissioner Steve Chronister also approved the plan for a unanimous vote, but it is expected the budget will be reopened when new commissioners Chris Reilly and Doug Hoke come in next month.

The new board will have until February 15th to finalize a budget.

No money is included in the budget for Commissioner Chronister's anti-crime plan.

The hiring freeze means that positions open as of January 1st cannot be filled for 90 days and all vacancies after that cannot be filled for 60 days.

This is expected to save over 700-thousand dollars in a spending plan of around 380 million dollars.

Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell and Prothonotary Pam Lee say the freeze will hurt the ability of their departments to do their work.

Lets see what happens with the new board in January. Meanwhile, it does seem that Mitrick and Kilgore blasted Steve Chronister over his anti-crime plan as the budget was developed.

It also appears that Mitrick and Kilgore wanted to make sure the tax increase was as small as possible to blunt their reputation as taxers and spenders.

Property tax bills have risen 50 percent or more for many York Countians during the Mitrick-Kilgore years.

NEGATIVE COVERAGE OF REFORM CANDIDATE IN STATE SENATE RACE THAT INCLUDES PART OF YORK COUNTY

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 20TH)

Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald has been touting his record in cutting costs as he runs for the 13th District State Seante seat being vacated by the pay raise tainted Gibson Armstrong. McDonald is seen as the reform anti-establishment candidate and has picked up the endorsement of former congressman Pat Toomey.

After the recent announcement by former Lancaster County Commissioner Paul Thibault that he will be in the Republican primary for the 13th District seat on April 22nd, a newspaper story attacking McDonald's credibility has been published by the "Lancaster New Era." The news story challenges McDonald's contention that he cut the size and costs of his department by 50 percent. The amount of money spent by his office actually increased during his tenure, although he cut staff from 18 to 9.

The news report says the cost of running his office has increased 46 percent since he took over in 1998 to 805-thousand dollars this year. McDonald has introduced technology to his office to make it more efficient.

A McDonald supporter notes that he has requested six percent less spending for his department in 2008 than was spent this year.

Meanwhile, former commissioner Thibault is seen as a tax and spend Republican who one year voted for a property tax increase of over 28 percent.

The 13th District is mostly in Lancaster County, but includes a chunk of eastern and southeastern York County.

DECEMBER 10-16, 2007.......

'PEACHES' DISPUTE REFLECTS RACIAL-LABOR CONFLICT WITHIN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT UNDERLYING ACADEMIC FAILURE

(POSTED DECEMBER 16TH)(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)

They were talking about peaches that appeared brown at a York City School Board working session this last week.

From my perspective there's a backround to this story.

Last month, the now ex-president of the York City School Board, Jeffrey Kirkland, acknowledged that nearly half the freshmen who enter William Penn Senior High School don't graduate.

We already know that students fail to meet current standards (fewer than 46 percent proficient in math at grade level, fewer than 54 percent proficient in reading at grade level).

The liberals and elitists like "Metro York" and "York Counts" scramble to find "solutions" that look like warmed over racial integration schemes from the 1960's and 70's.

The very thought of these couched in terms like bringing students of different "economic" backgrounds together should be repulsive to people of any racial or ethinic background because they are the old racial quotas in "drag".

There is racial hostility in the York City School District where a former white administrator has actually sued saying she was discriminated against because she was white.

People who work in the district have a "race consciousness" that is also evident in the anecdotal story of a cafeteria worker who says things like "we have to stick together" to people of non-white backgrounds.

The service workers of the city school district (cafeteria, custodians, maintenance) are unionized members of the Pennsylvania State Education Association who've had a tough fight to acheive their most recent contract.

In the final haggling that led to final school board approval of their contract it was alleged that white members of the board didn't want to give the workers a fair deal because most of the service workers were non-white.

The service workers are militant and determined to fight anything that gets in their way. Many are also relatives to some of the people who serve or have served on the school board.

Management of service functions in the city school district (custodial, maintenance, cafeteria) is in the hands of Aramark, a private company that contracts with the school district.

Aramark is feared as a possible outsource contractor if the city decides to get rid of its unionized service employees to cut costs.

Enter newly elected school board member, Hiawatha Powell. Powell came to the meeting last Wendesday with brown looking peaches. He handed packages out of the peaches served in school cafeterias to the board members.

Powell alleged that the peaches were rotten, noting a "September 2007" date stamped on them.

Aramark said it's the way the peaches are processed that causes the color change and that "September 2007" was a maufacturing date, not an expiration date.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture representative confirmed that information to the "York Daily Record."

This racial-political conflict in the city is reflected in the school board and the deteriorating state of city schools.

Parents seek alternatives like expanded charter schools, but the city school board resists them at every turn.

Education does need to be fixed in York, but it will take parents and students who want to learn plus schools that work. Public education started out as a vitrually religious profession with service more important than salary.

The unionized overpaid system is broke down and must be cleaned up, but the insiders won't let the people do it.

"Leaders" in York should stop trying to work within the public education model, keep individuals with public education backgrounds out of the picture, and boldly create a new system of education based on faith, values and sacrifice.

Take a billion dollars and create a trust to run a new kind (the old kind) of school system in the City of York.

Build real education buildings, not sports complexes and don't follow public school rules (mandates, regulations) in any instance.

The school system would be led by people who take smaller salaries and believe in freedom of ideas, even politically incorrect ones, in education.

They would be servants, not petty dictators like current public school administrators in general. Teachers would have strong moral values and be able to communicate them in the classroom.

Parents expecting those high moral standards would send their children to these schools and be encouraged to practice high standards in their homes.

"If I Had A Billion Dollars."

CHRONISTER GETS SHREDDED IN FINAL MITRICK-KILGORE BUDGET

AFTER ASKING FOR CHRONISTER'S 'INPUT' HIS ANTI-CRIME PLAN GETS CRITICIZED

(SPECIAL COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 13TH)

Proving that sore losers never give up, defeated outgoing commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore have said they won't vote to approve the anti-crime plans of Commissioner Steve Chronister.

The scenario that's played out in recent weeks involves Mitrick and Kilgore first asking for Chronister's input in the budget plan since he will stay on when the new board of commissioners starts work next month.

Then they tell the media they won't vote to put in funds for Chronister's anti-crime plans.

At the same time stories appear in the media saying his plan would make a planned tax increase even higher.

It all smells so "coincidental" as not to be.

When will they give up, move on and let Mr. Chronister alone so he can plan future policy.

As far as I can figure out there's still a lot of work to be done before any decisions are made and programs implemented regarding Chronister's anti-crime plan.

And regardless of what Kilgore and Mitrick dump on York County with plans that will probably involve spending 380 million dollars or more next year, the new board of Steve Chronister, Chris Reilly and Doug Hoke will re-open the budget when they take office next month.

Its sad to see the smearing continuing right up to the last minute. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

NEW JOBS FOR MITRICK AND KILGORE

(POSTED DECEMBER 16TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

They will have new jobs come next month after York County voters fired them.

Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore worked inside the system and have found what might be aptly described as "inside the system" jobs when they leave office as York County commissioners.

Mitrick will teach political science at York College and write columns for the "York Daily Record." You might not have Lori Mitrick to "kick around" anymore but she will no doubt use her mainstream media platform to kick Steve Chronister and the rest of us "outsiders" around.

Loyal Democrat Kilgore will have a job with the Rendell Administration as a regional representative for the Department of Agriculture. He can count on that job until at least January of 2011 when Governor Rendell leaves Harrisburg.

YORK CITY'S EMINENT DOMAIN RISK TO BE GUARANTEED BY TAXPAYERS WITH BOND

ONGOING DISPUTE OVER OHIO BLENDERS PROPERTY NOW IN COUNTY COURT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 12TH)

The owners of the 3-acre Ohio Blenders property at North George Street and the Codorus Creek have been resisting city attempts to take their property for "redevelopment" for many years.

The dispute is now in county court with Ohio Blenders having an appraisal for their property of three million dollars.

The York City Redevlopment Authority has $1.2 million dollars in state taxpayers money (a "grant"). But in case they end up having to pay more for the property, York County Common Pleas Court Judge John Ulher ordered that a $1.8 million surety bond be obtained.

The bond was approved in a 4-1 vote last night by York City Council with Councilwoman Vickie Washington the sole no vote.

Washington says the risk is too great if private insurers were unwilling to back the bond.

If work on redeveloping the site costs more money than the total 3 million set aside anyway, it has been said that city taxpayers would pick up the bill.

The Ohio Blenders site is one third of the land that's part of a 50 million dollar project involving Kinsley Companies and Enterprise Homes Inc. to build 85 to 125 townhouses.

There's eminent domain and the Kinsley name again in the same story.

Its our tax money going to benefit the Kinsley business interests just as has been going on with the Highpoint property that's part of the county eminent domain dispute at Lauxmont Farms.

DECEMBER 3-9, 2007.........

GIBSON ARMSTRONG RETIRING MEANS A WIDE OPEN REPUBLICAN STATE SENATE RACE IN EASTERN YORK COUNTY

(POSTED DECEMBER 9TH)

There's word from Lancaster's newspapers that incumbent Republican State Senator Gib Armstrong of the 13th District is retiring.

The 13th District includes eastern York County areas like Wrightsville, Hellam Township and Springettsbury Township.

Armstrong supported the infamous 2005 pay raise and was already facing opposition from Lancaster County's Recorder of Deeds, Steve McDonald. McDonald is running as a reformer.

Former Republican Lancsaster County commissioner Paul Thibault, a "moderate" and political insider, is considering a run.

Also mentioned as a candidate, former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall, a Republican who supported Arlen Specter for US Senate during his primary battle with Pat Toomey in 2004.

FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS: SCHOOL BOARD CLASHING WITH TEXTER PLAN TO TAKE REAL ESTATE TAX MONEY: ANGER AND FRUSTRATION IN CITY

(POSTED DECEMBER 9TH)(NEWS AND COMMENT)

Between them, York City government and the York City School District spend over 150 million dollars of our money every year.

But now there's a debate about how 450-thousand of those dollars are spent.

York City Council President Cameron Texter (see story below) wants the city to take the half of the real estate transfer tax its entitled to so city property taxes won't have to rise as much as planned. Traditionally, the city let the school district keep that money.

The issue was vigorously debated at a city school board meeting last week. Speaking in opposition to the Texter plan was outgoing York City Councilwoman Vickie Washington.

Councilwoman Toni Smith would not commit on the issue.

The school board is concerned about having to raise taxes because of losing the money.

Defending the plan, Texter says the district wouldn't have to deal with the issue until July 1, 2008. But that pretty much says they have to raise taxes in next year's budget to deal with the shortfall.

One thing is for sure. Both government institutions (York City and York City Schools) consume big amounts of our money and this 450-thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to overall drain they are on taxpayers like us.

But also evident at the meeting was the frustration of residents, who spoke of paying in all this money and "getting nothing." Former mayoral candidate and write-in candidate this year for city council, Gerry Turner, spoke of how city residents are too frustrated to show up at meetings and oppose policy because they are berated by elected officials.

The arrogance of power in the City of York.

Now that city council has five apparent rubber stamps on it or pretty close to that things aren't going to get any better soon.

TEXTER PUSHES NEW TAX PLANS FOR CITY
TEXTER'S LEGAL PROBLEMS REMAIN ON THE TABLE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED DECEMBER 3RD)

York City Council President Cameron Texter is pushing two new tax proposals.

One imposes a 10 dollar occupational tax for people who work in the city.

People who work in the city already pay a 52 dollar tax every year.

Another is for the city to take half the real estate transfer tax that now goes exclusively to the York City School District.

Texter speaks of 250-thousand dollars in new revenue from the plans and a smaller property tax increase for next year.

Meanwhile there's still no word on the case of the questionable notarizing of Texter's campaign finance report from earlier this year.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office is supposed to be handling that case.

Meanwhile the Attorney General is working on a grand jury investigation involving illegal bonus payments to Democrat State House staff members that appear to have been given in exchange for election campaign work.

The "York Sunday News" has reported that Texter did 25 days of campaign work last year and received over 11-thousand dollars in bonuses.

Texter is also in the process of divorcing his wife, Kyomi, it is said because of his affair with a newspaper reporter's wife.

RACIAL DISPARITY ALLEGED IN YORK COUNTY DRUG SENTENCING, BUT LIBERAL SAN FRANCISCO LEADS THE LIST?

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED DECEMBER 4TH)

It comes off as an indictment of York County for being "racist" in how it imprisons drug offenders, but a study from a national group puts liberal San Francisco as the most "racist" city on the list.

The study by the Justice Policy Institute claims blacks in York County are imprisoned at 24 times the rate of white offenders for drug charges.

It is based on the concept of how many offenders get a "state prison" sentence.

The research speaks of whites and blacks using and selling drugs at "similar rates."

Does that mean those arrested and charged were in possession or selling similar amounts of drugs?

The relevant question in my mind is how much of a percentage of whites are drug users-dealers in York County and how much of a percentage of non-whites are in those categories.

That should lead us to the truth that is not contained in this "study."

Also I take note that the black population of York County is just under five percent and the 24 to 1 ratio matches inversely the racial ratio of York County's population.

York County's First Assistant DA, Bill Graff, who specializes in drug cases says he sees no racial disparity in the way defendants are treated.

A similar view was given by York County's Chief Public Defender Bruce Blocher.

Unfourtunately, we must be on the alert for the local race baiters (York County Community Against Racism) who may pounce on this issue and try to weaken law enforcement in York County.

This study speaks of 19.5 million illicit drug users and a 13 percent "African-American" population in the United States. Does that mean that 2.535 million "African-Americans" are illicit drug users (13 pecent) or is the number higher?

One other thought here, the study spoke of over 50 percent of those admitted to prison in 2002 being black, while 13 percent of the nation's population is black.

A reminder, its all about perps and victims. The perps are more often black than white and so are the victims. This is the sad truth of crime in America today. There's nothing racist about it.

And if you've been looking at the pictures I've urged York's newspapers to publish in murder cases of both perps and victims, you can see the trend yourself.

YORK FAIR INCIDENT SETTLED BEFORE TRIAL WITH GUILTY PLEA, PROBATION

(POSTED DECEMBER 6TH)

The woman accused of asking a 13-year girl to become a stripper in a restroom at the York Fair a few months ago is going to get probation.

Last week Kathy Lynne Hartman of Mechanicsburg pled guilty to corruption of minors.

Her attorney and the Distict Attorney's office reached a deal that puts her on three years sex offender probation.

Senior prosecutor Christopher Moore says the probation involves tests to see if she is a threat to children and if she needs rehabilitation.

Originally Hartman was charged with attempted sexual exploitation of children, solicitation of sexual exploitation of children, unlawful contact with minors and corruption of minors.

NOVEMBER 24-DECEMBER 2, 2007.........

MITRICK-KILGORE BUDGET PLAN SEES ALMOST SIX PERCENT TAX HIKE
BATON PASSED TO CHRONISTER FOR FINAL VERSION WITH LOWER INCREASE EXPECTED

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)(POSTED NOVEMBER 30TH)

The final budget plan to be proposed by outgoing York County commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore is now on the table.

The 381.7 million dollar plan envisions a 5.8 percent property tax hike.

47 new employees are proposed for the county government.

Many property taxpayers in York County saw their tax bills jump 50 percent or more in the first three Mitrick-Kilgore budget plans. The main cause was a reassessment that provided a 40 percent plus boost in tax bills.

The outgoing commissioners called on Commissioner Steve Chronister, who will remain when they leave in January, to take the lead in finalizing the budget.

Chronister says he expects a smaller tax increase in the area of 3 percent.

He does not want to trim the budget too much to cause a lack of funding for criminal justice in the county.

Incoming former commissioner Chris Reilly says the budget plan definitely needs trimming.

The budget may be reopened after the new commissioners, Reilly and Doug Hoke, take office in January.

The final version of the budget with a smaller tax increase is expected on December 19th.

Mitrick and Kilgore will vote on the finalized plan.

Lets see if they can get along with Steve Chronister and the change coming to the board or if they find a reason to complain about his input on a budget for next year.

POLITICAL PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR GOP STATE COMMITTEE NEXT YEAR

(POSTED NOVEMBER 30TH)(UPDATED DECEMBER 2ND)

Word came out Wednesday morning that a least two York County conservatives will be on the ballot for Republican State Committee next year.

Marilyn Gillispie, longtime activist for conservative and pro-life Republicans in York County and GOP State Committee member, will run next year.

Also running, Clark Focht, who first ran for GOP State Committee from York County in 1994. That was the first year that a conservative slate of candidates ran for the state committee in York County. The founder of the York Lifechain in 1992, he also ran for State Committee in 2002.

Marilyn Gillispie, not to be confused with State Representative Keith Gillespie, will also run for delegate to the Republican National Convention from the 19th Congressional District. She has served as a delegate before at national conventions.

And Will Tallman, who challenged Steve Nickol in the GOP primary for State Representative in the 193rd District in 2004, says he'll be a candidate again.

Tallman, a pro-life conservative, will be a Republican candidate for the 193rd District in the primary next spring.

Steve Nickol recently announced his retirement from the legislature.

DALLASTOWN SUPERINTENDENT RETAINED IN SPLIT 6-3 VOTE

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 27TH)

The Dallastown School Board has voted 6-3 in favor of a new contract for its superintendent, Dr. Stewart Weinberg.

The new four-year contract will start next July.

School board president, Don Yoder Jr. says the board has set goals for Dr. Weinberg to meet under the new contract.

A news report suggests Dr. Weinberg has lost his temper with people.

The three board members who voted "No" on the new contract included two considered liberal (Michael Hady and Bonnie Lepson).

Hady has been involved in the "Healthy York" coalition and Lepson is one of the owners of the Polk-Lepson research firm. Polk-Lepson produced a "sex survey" for York County school students that was rejected by the Dallastown School Board in the early 1990's.

WEST SHORE SUPERINTENDENT WILL RETIRE

BOARD WILL NOT RENEW CONTRACT

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 26TH)

The West Shore School District, which includes the northern end of York County, will be looking for a new superintendent.

The school board has decided in a 7-1 vote to accept the retirement of Dr. Richard Domencic when his contract expires at the end of next June.

Earlier this year the board decided not to renew Dr. Domencic's contract.

No reasons have been publicly given for the decision.

This year Domencic's salary is $135,450 a year with a cell phone, laptop computer and home internet service provided by the school district.

Take note of the high salary and perks provided to this superintendent.

NOVEMBER 19-25, 2007.......

CENTRAL YORK COULD SPEND 100 MILLION DOLLARS ON NEW CONSTRUCTION AFTER LATEST LAND BUY

TENANTS BEING FORCED OFF LAND

LIBERAL THEORIES APPEAR TO DRIVE NEW BUILDINGS AND THREATEN READING AND MATH SKILLS

(NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENT)

The Sinking Springs Farm land owned previously by the Pfaltzgraff Company of the Appell interests will now come under the control of the Central York School District.

The school board has voted to condemn the land so it will save on property taxes but the land's purchase actually points to tens of millions of dollars in new construction costs for Central York taxpayers.

The tenants of the 51-acre tract of land being purchased by the Central York School district are said to have been told they will have to move out next year.

What happens after that will probably happen in 2009 when the school district moves forward with new construction plans.

The new construction will follow completion of the work at the new high school that is said to be costing no more than 17.5 million dollars.

The board is considering the building of a new middle school or a new elementary school. Previously talk was of building the middle school on the 130 acre tract of land where the new high school is located.

Now there are two tracts of land in play and two projects on the table.

A likely scenario is the construction of both schools in the 2009-2013 period with a total cost of 100 million dollars or more.

School districts do expand in student size but in previous times the building pace was not as frantic or was limited to renovations and additions to existing buildings. In the York Suburban School District, where the first new school to be constructed in some 30 years is being planned, the excuse given is the need for "smaller class sizes."

This liberal theory has been around for many years but for those of us in the 25-30 student classes of the 1960's and 70's here in York County, the argument doesn't hold much water.

We're OK and in fact are better educated than the more politically indoctrinated students in York County schools today.

The evidence I've seen from Central York and other districts point to new priorities that detract from providing students the needed reading and math skills to meet standards.

20 percent of students still fall short of these standards in Central York schools and its worse in other districts.

Does one believe as has become the mantra of Dr. Linda Estep, that understanding other cultures is the key to overcoming that gap or does the answer lie somewhere else?

Throwing money at new buildings and politically correct theories are both a bad combination pointing to trouble ahead at Central and other York County public schools.

FEES,TAXES TO GO UP IN YORK CITY

(NEWS AND COMMENT) (POSTED NOVEMBER 24TH)

As is the custom, Mayor John Brenner used the Thanksgiving holiday week to talk about tax and fee increase plans for next year.

In 2008 York City residents will pay more for garbage collection and sewer service. (BY THE WAY FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS ARE DRIVING EVERYONE'S SEWER RATES UP).

The mayor is also speaking of a 7.3 percent property tax hike that would see properties valued at 100-thousand dollars paying over 170 dollars more a year in property taxes.

That according to my math means that residents in homes with a 50-thousand dollar assessed value now pay around 1-thousand dollars in city property taxes.

The 86 million dollar budget plan includes hiring five new police officers with indications they are to replace ones who will retire, plus 60-thousand dollars to put up "shot-spotter" spy cameras that will turn towards the sound of gunshots at locations where they are set up.

The deal here is that budget cuts are usually made. The public is being psychologically prepared with an initial announcement of a bigger tax increase than the one that will be finally approved. The idea is that you will breath a sigh of relief at a 5 percent increase instead of a 7 percent one, etc.

Another political trick is that final approval of the city budget with the fee and tax increases comes around Christmas (usually the week betweeen Christmas and New Year's Day). They do it when you aren't paying attention.

More spending and higher taxes that exceeed the rate of inflation. Can anyone really get used to that?

DOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET BLOATING UP 20 PERCENT + SINCE 'DOVER CARES' TAKEOVER

(NEWS AND COMMENT) (POSTED NOVEMBER 25TH)

The new budgeting process in Pennsylvania requires school districts to put out early figures the fall before the new budgets begin (July 1st).

The figures before the Dover School Board at this month's meeting speak of a 47 million dollar plus budget for the 2008-2009 school year.

This third budget with the school board under the control of the liberal 'Dover Cares' faction point to increases of well over five percent for each year (over the official rate of inflation). Dover schools were costing taxpayers under 40 million dollars when the former conservative school board was in control.

Now spending will bloat up over 20 percent in three years.

The big teacher contract no doubt contributes to this big budget increase providing over half the burden of it.

Liberal rubber stamp school boards like the one Dover has now become feature members rhetoric about "fiscal responsibility" but the reality is out of control spending and taxes every year.

NOVEMBER 12-18, 2007........

NEWSPAPER DETAILS TEXTER CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES FOR STATE HOUSE DEMOCRATS

(NEWS AND COMMENT)(POSTED NOVEMBER 18TH)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett is conducting a grand jury investigation into whether Pennsylvania House of Representatives staff members got paid "bonuses" to do campaign work. Such payments are illegal.

York City Council President Cameron Texter works on staff for House Democrats and picked up over 11-thousand dollars in bonus payments.

The "York Sunday News" is reporting today that Texter was involved in campaign work on behalf of House Democrats for 25 business days in 2006.

Texter says he used leave time for all of his work which took him from one end of the state to the other. Much of Texter's time was spend researching information about Republican opponents of House Democrats according to the newspaper.

Its also reported that Texter was reimbursed more than 3-thousand dollars for expenses in 2006 by the campaign committee for House Democrats.

Although there are some funny GOP bonuses in the mix, the House Democrats in Harrisburg poured out an extraordinary amount of these bonuses (nearly 2 million dollars) in the campaign year of 2006. Using taxpayers money to pay for election campaigns is dirty and illegal.

If Mr. Texter is involved in this mess, he may be in serious legal trouble sometime in the not too distant future.

YORK CITY HAS A CRIME PROBLEM
YORK CITY HAS A BUDGET PROBLEM
THE SUBURBS MUST PAY FOR IT

METRO YORK SCHEME ALSO PUSHES MOVING OF PEOPLE AND NEW TAXES

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY) (POSTED NOVEMBER 15TH,UPDATED NOVEMBER 18TH)

That's the real message that's behind this new "study" that pushes the idea of a consolidated police department bringing suburbs like York Township, Springettsbury Township and West Manchester Township together with York City.

The mantra is that crime is everywhere and that's true but frankly its worse inside the city limits. The murder stories alone point to the city as a center of deadly crime.

The city also is reportedly having budget difficulties, especially in the long term. The scary scenarios described by the administration of Mayor John Brenner are disputed, but there can be no doubt that in the police area among other things the cost of pensions are rising steeply. Police Commissioner Mark Whitman has also expressed his desire to hire more officers.

This police consolidation would have the lower crime suburbs picking up the pension tab and policing tab for the city.

The Metro York-York Counts group of influential and well-connected people is trying to take a piecemeal approach to creating a super government combining York City and the suburbs.

One big piece is police protection.

And they hope the suburbs will bite the apple. Metro-York (York Counts) is also pushing a list of agenda items that involve a "safety tax" to pay for the new super police department and other "reform" of taxes in the York area. Higher taxes alert York County

As I've suggested before, consolidation of school districts would never save money but the schemers are trying incremental ideas by pushing the transfer of students between schools in the county so that "low-income" students will go to suburban schools and suburban "high-income" students will go to city schools.

This looks like a slow-drip approach to eventual consolidation of schools like the liberals slow-drip approach to creating the national health care scheme shot down in 1994.

The York Counts group has in the past pushed the idea of moving inner city populations into the county. The school transfers would be a step in that direction.

The "school transfer" idea also smacks of the judicially mandated, unpopular schemes to "bus" students between different schools in cities and suburbs to acheive "racial balance" back in the 1960's and 70's. Those old liberals never give up their dreams, do they.

Suburban residents better let their supervisors, council members and commissioners know how they feel about these schemes soon.

Some local government officials are already part of the liberal York Counts-Metro York organization. You better get an idea of where they stand and ask them if they are involved in either York Counts or Metro York?

If they are ask them why because these organizations promote big government forcing county taxpayers to pay for the city services and organizations? How can they rationalize taking from taxpayers in the suburbs and giving to the city?

It might be good if you like Karl Marx of the 19th Century, but not if you love the United States of America in the 21st Century.

STEVE NICKOL WILL NOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION

(NEWS AND COMMENT)
(POSTED NOVEMBER 15TH,UPDATED NOVEMBER 18TH)

State Representative Steve Nickol (R-193rd District) says he won't be running for re-election next year.

Nickol is a long serving state representative who among other things voted for an income tax increase in 2003, was described as pro-abortion by the PA Pro-Life Federation and recently involved himself in supporting gay rights legislation at a York forum.

Throughout 2006 and into this year, Steve Nickol was working closely with Governor Ed Rendell on consolidating the medical benefits of school employees from nearly 500 school districts into one system.

The plan was ostensibly designed to save money, but reports about the idea speak of state "subsidies" to prop it up. That leaves the impression that this scheme is really about having taxpayers statewide pick up the bill for school employees health care.

When GOP candidate for governor Lynn Swann brought up the idea of consoldiating school employees health plans during his 2006 campaign, fellow Republican Nickol attacked him saying he was stealing Rendell's idea.

Nickol was also involved in some unusual situations in the last few years including the emotion charged primary election campaign of 2006. That's when Debra Hoff of Hanover Borough Council ran against him and listed herself with PA CleanSweep. Hoff came up well short in the election and praised Nickol afterwards. It was revealed that Hoff had served as an intern in Nickol's office.

Last spring, Nickol was absent on a budget related vote in Harrisburg that appeared to be helping the liberal spending plan pass. State Representative Stan Saylor of York County (R-94th District) was also involved in similar absence activity.

No immediate word on who might choose to run in the district.

A ROAD TO REFORM IN PUBLIC EDUCATION MAY BE FULLER FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE BY SUPERINTENDENTS AND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)
(POSTED NOVEMBER 14TH)

Carroll Tignall Jr. of the Dallastown Area Taxpayers Association will now have a seat on the Dallastown School Board.

No doubt Mr. Tignall will get a warm welcome from the existing board members, including the dominant tax and spend majority.

He will also get a warm welcome from Dr. Stewart Weinberg, the unelected superintendent who pulls the strings of the elected board. In most Pennsylvania school districts, it's generally a very easy job as boards are virtual rubber stamps.

Besides watching his back for the backstabbing and undermining of his position, Mr. Tignall needs to move forward to cut waste in the school district.

One avenue he may choose and taxpayers in every school district can choose is to take a look at the financial disclosure forms that are required for every school board member and administrator.

They have to be filed every year by May 1st in the school district's business office. A scandal investigation in the Penn-Delco School District near Philadelphia revealed that some board members broke the law by backdating their forms.

The board members and administrators have to list their employer and financial interests for the previous year on the forms.

The forms in Penn-Delco revealed that one board member held a sales position with a company that did business with the school district.

So under the existing law taxpayers in Dallastown and every other York County School District have the potential to find out this kind of information by finding those forms at their school district business office.

In my view, the law should go beyond this to include the family members of school board members-administrators. I believe that husbands, wives and children of some board members-administrators may have interesting sources of income that appear to be nepotistic or unethical.

You will probably find a number of the family members of school board members-administrators working for school districts or maybe even businesses that contract with the school district.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY PUSHES FOR WRIGHTSVILLE MAYOR'S REMOVAL

(POSTED NOVEMBER 13TH)

York County D.A. Stan Rebert filed paperwork with Common Pleas Court Judge John Thompson Jr. last Wednesday that calls for removal of Wrightsville mayor Steven Rambler from office.

Rebert says paperwork he filed previously provides the evidence that Rambler is a convicted felon and worthy of removal.

Rambler was elected two years ago this month and the D.A. has been seeking Rambler's removal for more than a year. Rambler was convicted on federal charges of extortion in 1996 when he pled guilty.

Rebert says that conviction qualifies under Pennsylvania's Constitution as an "infamous crime" rendering someone unable to hold public office.

(COMMENT) This filing comes one day after the election in which Judge Thompson (son of former York County GOP chairman John Thompson) was retained. It also comes a day after election results in Wrighsville appear to have led to the ouster of council president Walt Dixon and the election of other new members that will change the balance of power in the borough.

Is this filing timed to the election returns and or is it a sign that Thompson Jr. is somehow unwilling to oust Rambler, a Republican? That's something to think about.

NOVEMBER 5-11, 2007.........

ELECTION STORIES BELOW

EASTERN SCHOOL BOARD MAKES AN EASY 'PLEDGE'

(POSTED NOVEMBER 11TH)
(NEWS AND COMMENT)

It never ceases to amaze me how public officials put up an image of financial responsibility while they push up spending at the same time. The other week, the Eastern York School Board "pledged" to keep next years spending increase under the liberal 5.6 percent "inflation index" set for the school district by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. At the same time, the board announced a new-three year contract with teachers starting next year.

The "pledge" was clearly linked to the new contract, which provides for a 5.19 percent pay increase for teachers next year and smaller increases down to 3.93 percent in the last year. The non-union employees in the district have picked up 4 percent pay raises in recent years.

That "pledge" was so easy to make because the big ticket item in their budget is pay and benefits, with teachers the biggest chunk of that.

The average taxpayer doesn't see 5.19 percent pay raises every year and can't afford to increase their spending by more than 5 percent. But that appears to be the direction of things in the Eastern York School District.

NORTHEASTERN TEACHERS GET FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT

The new four-year deal starts next July 1, 2008 and runs until June 30, 2012.

There are gradual rises in teacher co-pays to the health plan.

Pay increases range from 5.5 percent in July 2008 down to 4 percent in July 2011.

Under the deal, the starting salary for a teacher with a batchelors degree next year will be $39,457 a year.

Dig deeper, taxpayers.

CONGRESSMAN PLATTS ON GAY RIGHTS BANDWAGON WITH STEVE NICKOL AND EUGENE DEPASQUALE

Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District) went on record in Washington last week supporting new gay rights legislation being pushed by the Democrat congessional leadership.

The "ENDA" legislation prohibits employment discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

While churches are exempt, the people who attend those churches are not. They will be forced to compromise their faith in their business lives by law if such legislation passes. Other organizations with moral purpose not connected to "churches" will be forced to compromise beliefs. Groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, which have traditionally not used homosexuals as leaders, will now be forced to do so.

It does not extend into the even more controversial area of the "trangendered" (men who think they are women or women who thing they are men) making gay activists unhappy. Politically speaking transgendered discrimination law has the potential to create anger by forcing access by men to womens restrooms and locker rooms and vice versa.

The proposal passed 235-184, but is expected to be vetoed by President Bush.

Congressman Platts was already answering gay activist questionaires when he was called a "moderate" by York's newspapers and was a state representative in the 1990's.

His wife Leslie has been on the board of the Jewish Community Center in York, which is promoting "diversity" in York County schools including "tolerance" of homosexuality.

STATE REPS NICKOL, DEPASQUALE AT GAY RIGHTS FORUM LAST MONTH

A forum was held at the Unitarian Church in York last month to promote similar legislation in Pennsylvania to make discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals illegal.

In attendance State Representatives Steve Nickol (R-193rd District) and Eugence DePasquale (D-95th District).

Both Steve Nickol and Eugene DePasquale are reportedly supporting the gay rights legislation that threatens religious freedom in Pennsylvania.

A few more reasons to oppose incumbent politicians in these parts next year.....

All four party candidates were endorsed by the Citizens Against Eminent Domain Abuse.

Commissioner Chronister expressed his hope that the land dispute at Lauxmont Farms can be resolved by the new board.

COMMENT.....It will interesting to see how the new board shakes out regarding the Metro York-York Counts agenda of consoldiating and expanding government in York County. Ideas like the new countywide Health Department, the countywide "human relations commission," and police consolidation involving York city and suburban communities are all still being pushed.

Has Doug Hoke been co-opted by the liberals? Is Chris Reilly under their spell of the York Counts elite in spite of his professed "fiscal conservatism?" How does Steve Chronister fit in this picture? Keep watching.

Incumbent Republican Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell beat back a challenge from Democrat Yvonne Slonaker. She picked up over 44 percent of the vote after problems in O'Shell's office were heavily publicized in the last year. Slonaker was endorsed by the Citizens Against Eminent Domain Abuse. That is apparently because O'Shell used to be on the staff of State Representative Keith Gillespie and was involved in the land grab scheme at Lauxmont Farms. Numerous politically active Republicans in York like O'Shell are mentioned in e-mails discussing the plan.

O'Shell, other elected officials and numerous government employees in the e-mails are friends and acquaintances of the brainchild of the "heritage park" plan at Lauxmont Farms, Mark Platts.

UPDATE......York County Republican chairman Peck Foster is asking DA Stan Rebert to look into those anonymous phone calls attacking Don O'Shell. We'll see if anything comes of it.

The six judges of the York County Court of Common Pleas up for retention in Tuesday's election were all winners. They received just over 60 percent YES votes with President Judge Richard Renn (who called the NO movement "un-American") and Judge Sheryl Dorney (who got a low bar association rating) receiving the fewest YES votes.

DORNEY SENDS STRIP CLUB OWNER TO JAIL.....Donald Klunk appeared in Judge Sheryl Dorney's courtroom Friday for a hearing on his violation of her injunction barring stripping, nude dancing and lap dances at his "social club" in Lower Windsor Township. The township and Klunk are battling in court over whether the club should be open under zoning laws. The township used a private investigator with a hidden camera and video showing "adult entertainment" going on at Klunk's club recently. Judge Dorney ordered Klunk jailed for 15 days for contempt of court. A sheriff's deputy took him away. She also ordered the sheriff to padlock the building so it cannot be used again.

In the City of York, many political partisans like incumbent City Councilwoman Toni Smith (re-elected Tuesday) have spent years demonizing the Republican Party.

But this election they needed a Republican to win because he was their candidate.

Jonathan Williams figured it was the Republican label that led him to be defeated by Democrat Matthew Mann in the race for City Treasurer.

Unofficial results gave Mann 1,487 votes and Williams 1,322 votes.

The left-leaning Mann, who's been a Green Party candidate in the past, picked up the Democrat nomination for the post when two other candidates got each other thrown off the ballot before the primary election.

Now Toni Smith and company will have to work with Mann in his new post or maybe try to discredit him and remove him somehow. We shall see.

TAXPAYER CANDIDATE WINS IN DALLASTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT

Carroll Tignall Jr. led the pack of three candidates for two Dallastown School Board seats in Region 3 (Jacobus, Loganville, Dallastown and Springfield Township). Tignall opposed the controversial new Middle School which was still awaiting final approval from Springfield Township Superviors (You can probably expect it now that the election is over).

Tignall also brought up the issue of the school district spending 14-thousand dollars on a Florida trip for school board members next year. The trip was to attend a national school board group meeting.

Incumbent Earl Miller came in second place meanwhile incumbent Peggy Dell ran third and was defeated.

Dell lists her occupation as school administrator (apparent another example of many involving people who work in schools serving on school boards).

CONFLICT OF INTEREST CANDIDATE WINS IN YORK SUBURBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT......Lois Ann Schroeder, who teaches in the Central York School District, was elected to the York Suburban School Board.

Schroeder, who is said to be an anti-President Bush liberal ran a campaign where she talked both sides of the issues.

On the one hand, she spoke of fiscal responsibility and on the other she spoke of the need to support the school district's programs. Talking both sides of the coin has always been good politics.

Now taxpayers and parents need to watch their new school board member, Lois Ann Schroeder. For starters, should someone who is a teacher and union member be involved in decisions about any future teacher contracts?

TOWNSHIP RACES IN THE MIX

Republican Russell Blew, an anti-eminent domain candidate, was defeated in Lower Windsor Township for supervisor. He was in a three-way race with Democrat Joseph Streett and Independent Mary Caldwell.

Caldwell, who got a lot of publicity from a dog attack during her campaigning, won the election. Caldwell had served on the township's planning commission. Her win appears to mean that pro-eminent domain forces will still have a seat on the three-member board of supervisors.

Paul Knepper, incumbent York Township Commissioner and supporter of the Bridgewater development, survived a write-in attempt involving an anti-development candidate Kim Linthicum.

The opponents of Bridgewater forced a commission vote of 3-2 in favor of it earlier this year, then they took it to court. Knepper was attacked as "racist" for comments he made about the development earlier this year.

COMMENT......It appears those anti-development liberal-left people will stop at nothing to get their way including forcing votes to trigger lawsuits, accusations of "racism" and write-in campaigns.

OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 4, 2007........

THE JUDGES CONFIDENTIAL:SCROLL BELOW FOR SPECIAL COMMENT ON YORK COUNTY JUDICIAL RETENTION

SCROLL BELOW FOR OTHER ELECTION NEWS

THE LAST MINUTE PUSH TO RE-ELECT MITRICK AND KILGORE

(COMMENT AND ANALYSIS)
(POSTED OCTOBER 31ST)(UPDATED NOVEMBER 1ST,2ND)

The last-minute campaign to re-elect the tax and spend liberal land grabbing incumbents who lost the spring primary is fully underway.

SPECIAL UPDATE: THERE'S BEEN A DIRECT MAIL EFFORT TO PROMOTE THE WRITE-IN VOTE FOR MITRICK AND KILGORE. DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE DOUG HOKE SPOKE OF HIS DIRECT MAIL EFFORT COSTING OVER 30-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

THAT MAKES IT PRETTY CLEAR THAT SOME BIG MONEY IS BEHIND THIS CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE COUNTY GOVERNMENT GROUP, NOT JUST THE ALMOST 17-HUNDRED THEY REPORTED LAST WEEK. THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW ALLOWS FOR HIDDEN LAST MINUTE BIG SPENDING IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS WITHOUT PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.

York Newspaper Company's head Fred Uffelman is part of the insider group of "leaders" linked with the Lancaster York Heritage Region. LYHR was behind the land grab (eminent domain) at Lauxmont Farms. Many of those "leaders" have removed themselves from the board of that organization since the publicity about their involvement.

Therefore it comes as no surprise here that the "York Daily Record" has endorsed Commissioners Lori Mitrick (Republican) and Doug Kilgore (Democrat) for re-election. They also blasted eminent domain opponent Steve Chronister joining in what no doubt will be some sort of last minute nasty smear campaign.

Also of note, Democrat Doug Hoke got an endorsement from the newspaper. Hoke seems to be blowing the right liberal notes after running an anti-eminent domain campaign in the primary. He's talking about "sprawl" and consolidating local governments. His over 38-thousand dollars in fundraising must include those political insiders of the York Counts-Lauxmont Farms land grab type.

Those old Mitrick and Kilgore campaign signs from the spring primary have resurfaced along York County roads. This time they have an orange paper attached to them with the words "WRITE IN" on.

That's a tactic first used in York County by Congressman Todd Platts in his many campaigns for office. Platts would attach "THANK YOU" signs to his election signs after election day.

This tactic reminds us of the powerful political forces that support Mitrick and Kilgore including silently no doubt our congressman, Todd Platts. He won't go public because it would them make him out to be a disloyal Republican for refusing to support the ticket of Chronister and Reilly.

Peter Alecxih, the Lancaster county developer who lost his 79-acre tract of Laumont Farms to eminent domain is suing in federal court.

He alleges that the county and commissioners Lori Mitrick and Doug Kilgore low-balled the value of his land causing damage to his business. He's seeking 20 million dollars in damages.

(POSTED NOVEMBER 2ND)

The judicial retention controversy in Pennsylvania all began with the outrageous pay raises given by the legislature to themselves two years ago.

But it just wasn't the legislature that got the raises, judges did too.

The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruled it was OK for judges to take the raise. Now here we are with calls for a "NO" vote on retention of all judges in Pennsylvania unless they return the raise.

Activists like Gene Stilp and Russ Diamond (PA Clean Sweep) have toured the state in a pink pig bus to promote the campaign.

Last week they came to York for a special visit because York County President Judge Richard Renn, up for retention next Tuesday, called their effort "un-American." Renn also described PA Clean Sweep as a partisan organization interfering in an impartial judiciary.

There are six judges up for retention this year. In addition to Renn, Judges John Chronister, Sheryl Dorney, Stephen Linebaugh, Gregory Snyder and John Thompson Jr. face a "YES" or "NO" retention vote.

Lets get right to the point. There are no signs of reform or change other than showpiece legislation that shifts taxation but does not cut wasteful spending, especially in public education.

The pay raise mess is bad enough involving judges, but how can we send a message without pushing some NO buttons next Tuesday.

Governor Rendell will pack the courts so lets be careful not to throw good judges out. I will vote YES on some of the six because of that concern.

When first elected, Judge Renn gave his wink and nod to indicate he was "on our side" when approached by those who are pro-life. The law at that time said you couldn't talk about controversial issues as a judicial candidate.

But this arrogant attitude and pretense that being elected doesn't link his position to politics is getting at me. I see a NO vote for Judge Richard Renn likely to succeed and will send my message with a NO vote.

Judge John Chronister is linked to a Democrat candidate for office this year, Yvonne Slonaker. She is running for Clerk of Courts. Slonaker works on paperwork in cases before the judge. Judge Chronister ruled in a controversy involving the incumbent Republican Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell. O'Shell's office was ordered to pay a man over 500 dollars but the judge suggested that O'Shell pay for the mistake out of his own pocket.

Plenty of political smell here, so I plan a NO vote on Judge John Chronister.

Next is Judge Sheryl Dorney. She hung out at the Christian meetings according to my sources. The GOP political leadership picked her for the judge's job.

Dorney even got the praise of left-wing feminist, lesbian activist Ruthe Craley in a letter to the editor some years ago. But Craley's letter was an attempt to link her to liberal judicial candidate Barbara Stump, who was being pitched to pro-life activists in York County as a 'Christian.'

Dorney seems to rule the right way in cases that involve religious freedom and the freedom to protest and peacably assemble. The local bar association just barely voted to approve of her performance. I think that sends a message that she is a good judge when the lawyers who tend to be liberal disapprove of her in that way.

I am voting YES on Judge Sheryl Dorney.

Well, lets get to Judge Stephen Linebaugh. He's the judge that sentenced former Central York High School English teacher Robin Winkis to jail in July of 2006. Many bloggers on Free Republic called for her to go to jail for having sex with two students. The families of the victims seemed to want it, too.

But my sense of ethics was challenged at the time and it still sticks with me. I didn't reveal this at the time, but I believe Judge Linebaugh should not have participated in the Winkis case.

It appears that Linebaugh is resident in the Central York School District and his children have attended school there. I have suspicions about any conflict of interest and the depth of his involvement with the district, victims, etc.

I don't know everything but I am suspicious of anything related to the Winkis case and the efforts of the district to tamp down publicity and criticism at all turns including back room type stuff.

A recent series done by the Associated Press discussed this cover up mentality in "teacher sex" cases.

It would have been ethical for Judge Linebaugh to have stayed out of this case and I wonder if a lawsuit by Winkis revealing details of the Linebaugh relationship to the Central York School District would bear fruit and or nullify anything in this case.

Well the message must be sent and I vote NO on Linebaugh.

Next, lets talk about Judge Gregory Snyder.

Snyder served in Harrisburg as a state representative. That's not a good resume item these days. But he was there to vote for Bob Casey's pro-life legislation.

He came back to York and worked for a law firm of evangelical Christians led by local attorney Christopher Menges.

Area pro-life leaders signed a letter of support for Snyder when he ran for judge back in the 1990's.

Judge Snyder's son was arrested for shooting a drug dealer around 5 or 6 years ago. A judge from outside York County ruled the shooting was self-defense.

Snyder gets a lower rating from local bar lawyers and I think that's a plus. The four judges I will vote NO on have that distinction.

So I give Judge Gregory Snyder a YES vote.

Last I bring up the judge who owes his job to his father.

The late John Thompson Sr. was a hard-nosed Republican Party leader in York County who picked the candidates he wanted and pushed the others out of the way.

He did it with judicial races in York County in his heyday.

Its with that knowledge that I look at Judge John Thompson Jr.

Thompson Jr. became a York County Common Pleas Court Judge no doubt with the full blessing of his political boss father.

A boss who favored wealth in primary races. Thompson Sr. disdained current congressman ("moderate" but ethical) Todd Platts who came from humble beginnings but he embraced the one-term scandalized former state senator Dan Delp who came from a rich family.

Of course, Thompson Jr. is well liked by the bar lawyers as well.

Thompson Sr. once spoke of his belief in the so-called "right to choose" for abortion and wanted anyone who was pro-life to keep their mouth shut about abortion.

Its a definite NO on John Thompson Jr. in my mind. If one wants to send a message about politics as usual in Pennsylvania they would have to vote NO.

THERE GOES JUDGE JONES AGAIN

(NEWS AND COMMENT)
(POSTED OCTOBER 26TH)

Federal District Judge John Jones, famous-infamous for his ruling against intelligent design in the Dover School District, makes news again with a summary judgement against pro-life protestors in York.

The three protestors had sued over their treatment by York City Police saying their rights of assembly and speech had been violated.

Edward Snell of Harrisburg, John McTernan of Perry County, and John Holman of Ocean City, Maryland were all standing in the area of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on South Beaver when confronted by police.

Lt. Ron Camacho arrested Snell for disorderly conduct on November 3, 2004 because he stood or lingered in Rose Avenue, a narrow alley behind Planned Parenthood. District Judge Ronald Haskell found him not guilty with a warning that he was close to crossing the line.

Sgt. Richard Barth threatened McTernan with arrest for being in the same alley and Officer Michael Koltunovich arrested Holman for tresspassing there with the charge being thrown out by District Judge Ronald Haskell.

In response to a motion Tuesday, Jones issued a summary judgement throwing out the lawsuit. Jones claimed the officers were protecting "public safety" in the narrow alley.

However, the three men plan to appeal his ruling saying their rights to protest and hand out literature were violated.

This Judge Jones again shows his arrogance. He made speeches boasting of his liberal religious background and "liberal arts" education after the Dover ruling.

That in my mind shows he's a biased judge when it comes to ruling on many controversial issues like abortion clinic protests. Maybe he should have recused himself from this matter.

If a Supreme Court justice like Antonin Scalia is blasted for what he says in speeches and his judicial objectivity is brought into question for it, then I say let the same be done for Judge Jones.

RINO SIGHTING: TODD PLATTS VOTING TO OVERRIDE PRESIDENT'S VETO OF SCHIP BILL

(SPECIAL COMMENTARY)
(POSTED OCTOBER 18TH)

Congressman Todd Platts (R-19th District) claims there would be less coverage under the S-CHIP program if President Bush's plan to increase spending by five billion dollars were approved.

So Platts told radio host R.J. Harris from WHP Radio in Harrisburg yesterday morning.

Platts was defending his decision to vote to override the president's veto of a Democrat bill that spends billions more on the program for children's health. The Democrat plan provides coverage to families making over 80-thousand dollars a year.

I'm amazed that Congressman Platts would talk just like Democrats used to do in the days of Bill Clinton when Republicans would propose smaller spending increases than Democrats wanted.

The Democrats always called them "cuts" and Congressman Platts said as much yesterday without using the acutal word.

Platts support for our tax dollars being used for stem cell research on aborted babies is already known as well as his support for defeated York County Commissioner Lori Mitrick.

Of course Congressman Platts brother Mark, being described as a "conservationist" in the "York Daily Record" this week, was the architect of the land grab disaster at Lauxmont Farms.

Mark Platts came to York County on a mission to create the "heritage park" of hundreds of acres on the Kohr family land.

He set in motion the whole sequence of events that has now led to the fiasco that will cost taxpayers millions to pull out of.

Todd Platts has joined other liberal congressional Republicans in the Republican Main Street Partnership organization.

The writing is on the wall. The only question is: "What will we do about it?"

CAMERON TEXTER'S ESTRANGED WIFE BACKS AWAY FROM ABUSE ORDER:
KYOMI TEXTER TRASHED FOR 'RUINING' HIS POLITICAL CAREER

(POSTED AUGUST 22ND)

(NEWS AND COMMENT)

The estranged wife of York City Council President Cameron Texter has decided not to seek a Protection From Abuse order against Mr. Texter.

Kyomi Texter had made the move after an incident where police discovered marks on her 15-year old son's neck after Cameron Texter grabbed him.

Mr. Texter faces a harrassment charge from police because of the incident that he says was all about keeping his son at home and away from the wrong crowd.

Mrs. Texter told reporters coming out of court Monday she didn't want to "drag" anyone through anything. Mr. Texter said he felt his wife's actions were dragging him "through the mud."

Meanwhile negative street talk is hitting Kyomi Texter for "ruining" his career. Democrat political insiders appear to be smearing her with accusations that she is "ruining" Cameron Texter's chances to be mayor by seeking a divorce and making accusations of abuse against him.

What those political insiders aren't discussing in their smears is Cameron Texter's adultery that led to Kyomi Texter seeking a divorce. It is said that Mr. Texter was carrying on an affair with the wife of a newspaper reporter.

Mr. Texter appears to be emulating that great and most famous of Democrats Bill Clinton right down to the smear job against anyone that does anything to make him "look bad."

But make no mistake, it is Cameron Texter who is the bad guy here regardless of the outcome and in the end divorces involving politicians always end up hurting the non-politician of the couples the worst. The outsider is kicked out of the political inner circle and smeared if they talk against the politician.

And as for that summary harrassment charge maybe Texter can beat it before the District Judge. Councilman Joe Musso beat the charges involving shoving his wife the other year when she wouldn't testify. Maybe the police won't show at the hearing or the district justice will throw it out or find Texter not guilty. Stay tuned.

"THEY HAVE A DOMESTIC SITUATION THERE THAT'S NOT GETTING ANY BETTER"

ESTRANGED WIFE SEEKS EMERGENCY ORDER AGAINST TEXTER

TEXTER CITED FOR HARRASSMENT

(POSTED AUGUST 7TH,UPDATED AUGUST 9TH, 10TH)

Those words were used by York City Police Commissioner Mark Whitman following the police decision to cite City Council President Cameron Texter for harrassment.

The citation was filed in District Judge Richard Martin's office on Thursday naming three witnesses to the Sunday night incident involving Texter's son. Texter was cited and fined 150 dollars plus an additional 127 dollars in cost to a total of 277 dollars.

Whitman spoke to the "York Dispatch" saying that the charge of summary harrassment would be filed against Texter for grabbing his 15 year old son by the neck.

Texter says he was trying to get his son away from the wrong crowd he was hanging out with. Texter says he was not hurting his son. He also told the newspaper he would sue if charged.

The incident happened on Sunday night when Texter said he was called by his estranged wife Kyomi about their missing son. Texter ended up finding him at her home and wanted to take him to his house. Then Texter says the son made it look like he was being hit when his wife showed up at the house.

Whitman says there was "apparently" redness and swelling on the boy's neck and that the decision was made to err on the side of caution and file the charge. Texter said he was not contacted by police about the incident and any decision on charges should be made by the District Attorney's office.

Texter is calling what is said to have happened Sunday night a "false report."

Common Pleas Court Judge Joseph Adams rejected an emergency request from Kyomi Texter for a protection from abuse order against Cameron Texter covering their 15 year old son.

The court filing says Texter abused his son on two occasions.

Kyomi Texter still has the option of seeking a protection order for her son at a hearing later this month, but no decision has been made according to her attorney.

(COMMENT) For the police to act against Texter and Commissioner Whitman to make his comments indicates a very serious situation under the surface. Sadly domestic disputes involving estranged marriages involve the worst kind of manipulation, particularly of children caught in the middle of the disputes. Children themselves manipulate parental conflict to get what they want. This is a sad situation that shows how political careers can destroy personal lives.

Texter is out of control just like the City of York itself and the current crop of "insider" city council candidates offer no prospect of real relief.

What will happen here is anybody's guess. In the Musso case a few years ago the city councilman ended up not facing charges involving shoving his wife in a domestic dispute because she wouldn't testify against him.

SAYLOR MISSES HARRISBURG BUDGET VOTE WEDNESDAY
NICKOL MISSES EARLIER BUDGET RELATED VOTE

SPECIAL BULLETIN: IN THE WEEK BEFORE A HOLIDAY WEEKEND THE STATE HOUSE VOTED 102-97 TO APPROVE A BUDGET FOR THE YEAR THAT BEGINS JULY 1ST WITH FOUR MEMBERS ABSENT. ONE OF THEM WAS STAN SAYLOR OF YORK COUNTY'S 94TH DISTRICT. THIS UNUSUAL SITUATION GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF A FIXED VOTE. THE NOMINALLY REPUBLICAN DENNIS OBRIEN, INSTALLED AS HOUSE SPEAKER BY THE MAJORITY DEMOCRATS PROVIDED THE 102ND MAJORITY VOTE OF THE 203 MEMBER HOUSE, WITH ONE DEMOCRAT VOTE NOT THERE. THE NEW 27.3 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET INCREASES SPENDING BY 3.7 PERCENT BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE TAX INCREASES PROPOSED BY GOVERNOR ED RENDELL. THAT MESSY PART OF THE BUDGET WILL HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT IN THE WEEK LEADING UP TO THE INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY IN JULY. AN ADDITIONAL NOTE, AN EARLIER REPORT SAID THAT STEVE NICKOL OF THE 193RD DISTRICT OF YORK AND ADAMS COUNTY WAS NOT THERE FOR THE WEDNESDAY VOTE. NICKOL SAYS HE WAS THERE AND VOTED NO BUT THE REPORT THAT STAN SAYLOR DID NOT VOTE REMAINS ACCURATE. BUT THERE WAS A BUDGET RELATED TUESDAY VOTE 102-96 WHERE NICKOL WAS ABSENT.

... LEADING ROMAN CATHOLIC CARDINAL CONDEMNS JUDGE JONES RULING IN DOVER CASE (POSTED FEBRUARY 9TH).......Speaking in New York on Wednesday night, Christoph Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna condemned Judge John Jones ruling in the intelligent design lawsuit against the Dover School District.......He said "A truly liberal society would at least allow students to hear of the debate." The ruling that came late in 2005 said that intelligent design was too closely related to creationism, which the US Supreme Court had ruled could not be taught in schools because it was "religion." Some parents joined with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State to sue the school district after a policy was instituted for nine grade biology classes. A disclaimer was read in classes when Darwin's theory of evolution was discussed mentioning that the idea of "intelligent design" existed and that there was debate over evolution. In his lecture, Cardinal Schonborn went on to note that the Catholic Church can accept the idea that evolution exists, but that if it did happen, it happened by the direction of God. He added "every inquiry into the scientific weaknesses of the theory is blocked off at the very outset...To some extent there prevails a type of censoring here of the sort for which one eagerly reproached the church in former times."....More at: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/feb/07020804.html ............ ............................................HYPE FOR DEPASQUALE CONTINUES..IGNORES REAL STORY (COMMENT) (POSTED JANUARY 31ST) (UPDATED FEBRUARY 2ND)..............WHTM-TV's Dennis Owens hyped Demnocrat State Rep. Eugene Depasquale's decision to post expenses on his website during the 5PM newscast last night. Owens rhetorically asked when the other 252 legislators would do the same. But no mention of the fact that Depasquale leases a car unlike other York County legislators who all commute a short distance to Harrisburg. The expenses announcement was designed to bury the car lease story. Wednesday's 'York Dispatch' also did an extensive article on legislation that Depasquale is attaching his name to. I understand that Depasquale's wife has worked in the media and used to work at the Dispatch...... .......... NEWS AND NOTES FROM YORK COUNTY PA JANUARY 22-28..............................RENDELL GIVES WOLF A JOB IN HARRISBURG (POSTED JANUARY 23RD)...............Tom Wolf, head of the Wolf Organization in York and a prominent Democrat-liberal contributor, has been named Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue. Governor Ed Rendell appointed Wolf, who was hoping to replace Bob Casey as State Treasurer. Wolf has contributed to numerous Democrat political campaigns and Republican Congressman Todd Platts. Last year he pumped 20-thousand dollars into the campaign of Eugene DePasquale in the 95th State House District. Wolf is also a longtime supporter of pro-abortion Planned Parenthood, among other liberal causes.............. DEPASQUALE TAKES LEGISLATOR PERK (POSTED JANUARY 24TH)(UPDATED JANUARY 28TH)...................Democrat State Representative Eugene DePasquale is using a leased car at taxpayer expense. That's something that the other York County legislators, all Republicans, don't do. The issue of lawmakers using leased cars as a perk has been a source of public criticism and calls for reform in Harrisburg. DePasquale ran last year claiming he wanted to reform the system in Harrisburg. Now DePasquale has used television interviews to tout what he calls reform legislation, a bill to require lawmakers to lease cars from the state government fleet. Depasquale, who used to work in state government before being elected last year, is using a state government car at a lease rate that is lower than a private car dealer lease. Late in the week DePasquale made headlines again by announcing posting of his expenses online. That won him an interview with substitute hosts Eric Epsetin and Russ Diamond on WHP Radio's Bob Durgin Show Friday. But in a post on the Grassroots PA blog Diamond says he questioned DePasquale on the Constitutionality of his car lease and got an I don't know type of response. Diamond said 'It's clear we have a long way to go'.................... ............................ CENTRAL SCHOOL ADDITION COST BUMPED UP (SPECIAL NEWS COMMENTARY) (POSTED JANUARY 9TH).....................The cost of the addition to the new Central York High School is now 20.6 million dollars. That word came out of a school board meeting last night. The original cost estimate was 17 million dollars. Central school superintendent Dr. Linda Estep claims that the new higher estimate will not increase, but that it will decrease in the future. Her reported comments may not be honest or accurate. The cost of the original new school exceeded its original estimate. Its possible that this jacked up estimate is an attempt to cook the books for public consumption enabling it to be backed down a little but still over the original 17 million. One thing is sure, the original new Central York High School actually cost more than the reported 66 million dollars. It is being said that after the addition is completed the acutal cost of the new high school complex will be 100 million dollars. I honestly doubt anything that Dr. Estep says as being true because she lied about state law requiring the new pool to be built in the high school addition. Also, she claimed in the student newspaper last year that she didn't know where rumours got started about students being told not to talk about the teacher sex scandal involving now ex-teacher Robin Winkis. I have three student and three non-student sources saying that they were told at some point in the scandal "not to talk about it." That makes Dr. Linda Estep a liar. Its up to the taxpayers in the Central York School District to demand some honesty and accountablitily from their leadership which is sorely lacking at this point. P.S. There are school board elections this year and perhaps serious candidates who understand the mess will get in. Warning to any potential candidates. Your campaigns will be infiltrated by board president Eric Wolfgang and the "establishment" who will use any and all means to destroy your campaigns............................. ....... CENTRAL SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SAYS SHE WAS 'MISUNDERSTOOD' (POSTED JULY 21ST)(UPDATED JULY 23).......... When the Central York School Superintendent, Dr. Linda Estep, made comments about a state law requiring the district to build a new pool in a planned addition to its high school, I suggested an investigation as to the truth of that comment. The 'York Dispatch' got an answer from the Pennsylvania Department of Education where deputy press secretary Brian McDonald says there is no such requirement for expanded physical education space when a school expands to meet increased enrollment. Now Dr. Estep is saying that she was "misunderstood" and that she was really trying to say was that the high quality of the schools physical education program would be kept up by such an expansion that would include a pool. However, Central School Board President Eric Wolfgang, Vice-President Carol Zeiders and member Michael Wagner all said previously they were advised that the state required extra physical education space in a school expansion. (COMMENT) Who advised them? Plans for a high school expansion that will cost at least 15 million dollars will be considered at a special meeting, Monday night at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Central York's Educational Service Center at the corner of Marion Road and North Sherman Street. (COMMENT) I have serious questions about Dr. Estep and her ability to tell the truth not only in this matter but also regarding the Robin Winkis story as well which I will pursue later. The recent Dover controversy illustrated a major problem we have, that almost all school board members in York County have a philopspohy that superintendents are infallible and school boards are there to rubber stamp their ideas to spend and tax. Dover members fired their superintendents for not dictating to elected school board members over policy. Supposedly the 'intelligent design' policy was terrible because of a million dollar legal settlement but in other school districts (like Dallastown and Central) elected school boards allow administration to dictate tens of millions of dollars in new spending on buildings with no real questions asked. Which kind of school boards ultimately cost taxpayers more? The Dover 'intelligent design' elected school board that leads administration or the Central-Dallastown typical York County school board where administration dictates policy..............................CENTRAL GROUP DESTROYED FROM WITHIN DURING 2003 SCHOOL BOARD CAMPAIGN (APRIL 2ND) As I've noted before, it mystifies me why a taxpayers group would support the concept of one school district in York County. Higher pay scales for school employees are a major union goal with constant comparisons being made to the highest paying districts in the county. With one district it would almost certainly mean big pay increases for thousands of people, dwarfing any possible saving by eliminating a dozen superintendent positions. How can it happen that liberals who want big spending infiltrate a taxpayers group? Here's a story I observed from without but am certain was a case of infiltration. The opposition became hot in 2001 to the plan to build a new high school in the Central York School District. Candidates appeared on the ballot for school board in opposition to the plan. Fear spread through the school district with insiders like the union speaking of a conservative school board. When four new candidates swept the primaries and almost guaranteed their election in the fall, a panic set in. The teachers contract was set to expire in 2003 but was suddenly extended three more years in the fall of 2001 before a new school board could take office. It appeared to be a deliberate and coordinated move by the outgoing school board and the union to protect the pay and benefits from being modified by the new members. Well, the four new members won in the fall election. Timothy Raio, Linda Spillman, Julie Landis and Kirby Smith joined the board. The nine member board appeared split 4-4 over the new school with Kirby Smith a swing vote. Newcomer Smith was made school board president and the debate was underway over the new school amid constant calls for people to get along and for there to be no conflict on the board. It appeared that Smith was getting a lot of buttering up from school administration, other board members and people who wanted to build the new high school. Eventually the balance of power began to shift after one member opposed to the new high school had to change jobs and leave the area. But there were still the 2003 elections which would decide which side of the new high school debate would control the board. Four members of a taxpayers group opposed to the school organized to run against four supporters of the school. And then something happened during the spring primary campaign which didn't make any sense. The taxpayers group contracted the services of the Polk-Lepson Research Group to poll voters in the school district. The polling data was given to the taxpayers group, but then Polk-Lepson went public with the data and took it to a school board meeting to talk about. They portrayed the taxpayers group in a negative light as using the polling to manipulate voters. This fiasco probably cost the taxpayer candidates the election. Polk-Lepson is a company with two principals, one of which (Polk) teaches at York College, the other (Bonnie Lepson) is a member of the Dallastown School Board. She has served as president of the Dallastown board, which has a reputation as a tax and spend school district with probably the highest salaries for its employees of any district in York County. Polk-Lepson was not the company for a taxpayers group to be involved with and this whole mess proved it. Whoever got the taxpayers group to do business with them appears to have been a plant representing liberal forces in the Central York School District that wanted to defeat the taxpayers group. With the election results of 2003, the project to build a new high school moved forward and the four candidates elected in 2001 exited the school board in 2005 and new members who vote together as a group generally were elected. Now the Central York School Board resembles the boards of other school districts in the county that routinely spend more and tax more every year by unanimous or almost unanimous votes. ......