Armagh supervisors’ actions don’t match words

To the editor:

In regard to Ms. Gilmore’s recent letter defending the Armagh Township supervisors, the last time I checked we operate under a democracy and it is our constitutional right to be able to disagree and voice our opinions of our local government. Ms. Gilmore’s narrow-minded attitude of civic duty being equated with negativity does nothing more than promote a society of apathetic and disengaged citizens.

Part of the current problem is that we as a community have not held the supervisors accountable in the past and now they are uncomfortable having to answer for their actions. What is going to ruin our small community is the inability of the supervisors to figure out how to work cooperatively when opinions differ from their own and their misconception that they are not there to serve the taxpayers.

The old Armagh Elementary School may be a beautiful piece of property, and so is the White House, but the township has no business owning it either. The township is a local government plain and simple; it is not a property rental business trying to earn a profit. Somewhere along the line Mr. Reed and Mr. Boyer got the lines blurred between the township serving the taxpayers versus operating as a rental business.

No one is saying that the school does not have potential; rather that it is not the township’s responsibility to be developing it and trying to make money from renting it. Why are the supervisors not focused on fixing the roads in the township? That should take priority before the rental business. To date, the public still has not been presented with a comprehensive plan on how much money it will take annually to maintain and operate such a building. Mr. Boyer stated that all renovations are complete at the school but what he did not say is that the township is not done putting money into the school. Boyer and Reed passed a motion to invest another $700 into the phone and wiring that needs to be done yet. There is no air conditioning in the building, is that going to be free to buy and install?

Ms. Gilmore stated that the township is financially stable, but what proof did she offer to back up her claim? Just because I say I have a million dollars in the bank does not make it true. Furthermore, Mr. Boyer announced at the public meeting that the health insurance payments were paid late for the group insurance, and Mr. Boyer’s own insurance was canceled due to late payment because the township did not have the money to pay the premiums on time. Obviously Ms. Gilmore has a different definition of being financially stable than most others in the township.

I guess she must have missed the part at February’s meeting where Mr. Bitner said he would be more than happy to pay a portion of the health insurance premium; however, supervisors Reed and Boyer did not comment or agree that the taxpayers should not foot the entire premium so there was no motion made on alleviating some of the burden from the taxpayers.

At the May meeting, Mr. Bitner also wanted to pass an ordinance that if a supervisor does not attend the public meeting that he does not get paid. Again, neither Boyer nor Reed would support the idea, maybe because in 2013 Mr. Reed missed three regular meetings and one recessed meeting. It seems as though Mr. Bitner is trying to save the taxpayers money but the other two supervisors are not as willing.

The supervisors appoint a sewer authority board for a reason. If Reed and Boyer feel it is more important to attend the sewer meeting being run by their appointed sewer authority rather than to attend a meeting being held by their concerned citizens, I guess it just demonstrates their priorities. But then again, they demonstrated how much they value or respect the taxpayers’ opinions at the public meeting when they made people sit on the floor and stand outside, and when Boyer refused to find an alternate venue for the meeting. I guess exceeding maximum occupancy and risking the safety of the meeting attendees was of no importance either.

The letters that support the current actions of supervisors Boyer and Reed never address the issues; instead they just try to deflect the attention to something else. This seems to be the typical behavior from the supervisors when being held accountable and asked for answers, the response has always been, “instead of the negativity you should be asking how can I help instead,” which is nothing more than trying to deflect the attention from themselves. Again, if the supervisors are acting in the best interest of the taxpayers/residents, why do their actions say otherwise? And maybe they can start backing up their statements with facts to boost their credibility.

Mack Mateer

New Lancaster Valley Road