A challenge to supporters of Armagh supervisors

To the editor:

Those who were in attendance at the Armagh Township supervisor’s meeting on Monday, Aug. 4, heard Mr. Lacombe speak out against the recent letter in the paper questioning the township’s priority of installing a walking track, or path as he pointed out, but the semantics just detracts from one’s point trying to be made.

It is Mr. Lacombe’s opinion that Milroy needed a walking track. Let me preface my letter by stating I agree to disagree with him. Maybe a drive on Back Mountain Road in Milroy would help him to understand the opposing point of view. If he is so inclined to take that drive, I would advise him to also schedule a front-end alignment for his car.

To the person who used the opinion line (or coward line, depending on your perspective), and stated that the equipment was broken down and that’s why road work could not be done while work was taking place on the walking track, were the shovels and the backs of the road crew employees broken? There were no other jobs that needed to be done within the township and the walking track was the only task they could come up with?

My perception of Ms. Fisher’s letter to the editor was not quite the same as Mr. Lacombe’s. I believe the point Ms. Fisher was trying to make was that for months there have been many concerned citizens attending the meetings with issues and concerns that the supervisors just refuse to address or even start a meaningful dialogue. Ms. Fisher’s point was that the supervisors’ wife mentions in one meeting that a walking track should be installed and within weeks the work was taking place. So you see, this is not about the walking track per se, it is about the lack of cooperation and willingness of two of the supervisors to work with the taxpayers.

In May the supervisors were presented with a petition with almost 350 signatures (gathered in less than two weeks; given a longer amount of time the number of signatures would have been larger), asking the supervisors to sell the school since the people were never presented with a rational plan for developing, managing, or disposing of some or all of the property.

One might think that an elected official who is truly working for the people, when presented with an issue from that many taxpayers and residents at the minimum would pause and say, maybe we should be listening to what the people have to say. In this case Mr. Boyer’s response was that it’s a moot point the renovations have been done. There was no attempt whosoever to start a dialogue with the community or even to try and come up with a compromise. The people disagreed with such a large purchase and the idea behind the school, yet the supervisors reacted with a, “too bad, we’re going to do what we want to do” attitude. The taxpayers did not think it was a moot point, and I can assure you it will not be a moot point at the ballot box next May and November.

Repeatedly at the meetings the attendees have requested that the time of the meetings is moved back to 6 p.m. or later to reasonably accommodate the working community. Month after the month the request is ignored or the motion to change the time dies due to lack of action on Boyer or Reed’s part, again, another example where the two supervisors are not willing to work cooperatively or give any indication that they are willing to begin working with the people instead of against them.

At what point do they plan to show any indication that they are willing to work with the people? Did they enter into office thinking they could do whatever they wanted and not encounter opposition? Someone qualified to be a leader would understand the importance of and know how to effectively deal with opposition.

Mr. Lacombe agreed with Ms. Fisher’s point that restoring the trust is primordial and went on to say that trust is a two-way street. I do not agree that the taxpayer/elected official relationship is a two-way street when it comes to trust. It is the supervisors’ responsibility to prove their trustworthiness to the people that they serve and they achieve that by their actions.

On the other hand, respect is a two-way street. If there is a perception that there is not much respect for Reed and Boyer, then maybe it goes back to the old saying, you get what you give. I too know many people who will not attend the meting but it is due to the behavior of two of the supervisors. Many residents in the township have adopted the attitude why bother because they (the supervisors) are going to do what they want to do. Unfortunately, the actions from the two supervisors have proven time and time again that is exactly the case.

I do have to give Mr. Lacombe credit for having the courage to actually speak up and not hide behind an anonymous opinion/coward line. It is very amusing to the residents of Armagh Township that the only support for Boyer and Reed comes in the form of anonymous phone calls. If someone actually has a logical argument that can be backed up by verifiable facts to defend the actions of the supervisors, why not go on record and sign your name?

Mack Mateer

New Lancaster Valley