I was flattered when I found out I garnered seven write-in votes in last Tuesday's election. Half were from Gettysburg and half from Cumberland Township. Obviously, I didn't win anything except the support of those writing me in, but as I have said before, holding a political office has never interested me. I have neither the desire nor temperament to run for anything other than a buffet table or dessert cart. Besides, how could I poke fun at our politicians if I were one of you? There's really no need to do any more of a rehash of last week's election. I think it's time to just sit back and watch how things play out. I do want to mention CNN's outstanding election coverage. John King explained the electric election map like a geography teacher on steroids. From a news perspective, CNN clearly won the battle of election coverage over Fox and MSNBC.
I spoke with State Rep. Dan Moul about Pennsylvania's newly-elected Democratic Governor, Tom Wolf. Dan says the "proof will be in the pudding." Moul says pension reform is a top priority and probably the largest issue looming over the commonwealth. He says the reform must be done without a tax increase, which would need approval by both the House and Senate anyway. Moul says the governor-elect spoke of a progressive tax increase, which would require a constitutional change and a ballot referendum. Moul says he doubts if either of the two Republican-controlled chambers would be in favor of any tax increases. Moul says the governor-elect talks about imposing an extraction tax, but Moul says we already have one called an impact fee which is basically one in the same. The governor-elect is talking about raising the fee from one and a half percent to 5 percent to pay for education. Moul says the increase wouldn't come close to the billions needed to finance education. He says increasing the impact fee coupled with a 9.9 nine corporate income tax would surely drive the gas companies out of the state taking both jobs and revenue elsewhere. We'll see how it plays out.
The superintendent of Gettysburg Area School District, Dr. Larry Redding, tells me the proposal to provide a security officer for the district is moving forward. Cumberland Township, which will provide the officer, is working on memorandums of understanding with Gettysburg Borough, Franklin and Straban townships. The memorandums would outline specific guidelines with regard to powers of arrest and authority in the individual jurisdictions. Redding hopes to have the matter resolved and the officer in place by the first of the year. The proposal would provide a full-time security officer who would travel to the various schools on a daily basis. This would supplement the school's existing enhanced security measures. Dr. Redding tells me there will be a public question and answer session regarding the new security officer position at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17 at the Gettysburg Middle School. Everyone is invited to attend.
Today is Veterans Day. Originally called Armistice Day, marking the day fighting during WWI ended, the name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 and designated to recognize American veterans of all wars. It is a national holiday. Adams County Director of Veterans Affairs Stan Clark says sometimes Veterans day and Memorial Day are confused, with Memorial Day recognizing our American war dead. Stan says there are about 9,000 veterans in Adams County. Stan, who is a Marine, says it's important to acknowledge all veterans including our wounded warriors, and the families who have supported these brave men and women. Stan tells me he is here to serve all veterans who have questions or issues in Adams County. In the job a little more than six months, he and his assistant, William McClain, are both accredited Veterans Service Officers, and ready to assist you. As Stan says, "If I don't have the answer immediately, I will get it for you." Veterans may call Stan at his office 337-9835 Monday through Friday. Thanks, Stan, and Semper Fi!
My sources tell me Adams County Commissioners are now meeting with department heads and crunching numbers on a 2015 budget. Apparently cooperation and commitment from all involved is helping with the process.
Gettysburg Borough Councilman Robert Krummerich called and asked if I would remind residents that leaf pickup will begin in the borough Nov. 17. He says please do not put leaves in the street. Leave them curbside and remember to make sure the leaf piles are free of sticks, branches, and rubbish.
Congratulations are in order for Gettysburg Borough Councilman Kyle Leinbach and his lovely wife Catherine on the birth of their daughter, Betseay Rose, late last week. Mom, baby, and Kyle are all doing well.
On the subject of Gettysburg Borough, I noticed in a Gettysburg Times Letter to the Editor last week, Councilman John Butterfield heaped praise on borough staff for their dedication and hard work. I want to remind John of the work of employees like former Borough Manager Florence Ford who developed a five-year plan to make possible the $69,000 software grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development that you mentioned. The Commonwealth Court's decision regarding the Teamsters Union that saved the borough thousands of dollars was also due, in part, to testimony provided by Ford. It's always great when you can acknowledge outstanding efforts by former team members as well. And lest we forget, that nearly half-million dollar Steinwehr Avenue grant that was secured with the assistance of State Sen. Richard Alloway and our other dedicated and hardworking legislators.
Make plans to attend a special program this Saturday evening at Christ Lutheran Church on Chambersburg Street. "Songs and Stories of a Civil War Hospital" will be presented giving insight into the days following the three-day battle at Gettysburg, and efforts to care for the wounded and dying soldiers. The program is being held in the historic church which served as a hospital beginning on the first day of the battle, and cared for the soldiers for some five weeks. More than 14,000 people have attended the program of stories and music which is free and open to the public. Music begins at 7:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served following the program. For more information, go online to www.candelightatchrist.org.
The Gettysburg Unit of the Salvation Army is about to embark on its 22nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign. Kib Roulette tells me it's not too early to sign up to ring the bell at Gettysburg Walmart beginning Nov. 28. Treasurer Nick Monsour says nearly 100 underprivileged children attended summer camp and some 200 needy elementary school children received school supplies and clothing as a result of the campaign. Nick says all residents of nursing homes in Adams County will receive gift packages this year. The "Red Kettle" is also responsible for helping needy families throughout the year with food, clothing, medical and transportation needs. Jane Scott is chair of the local Salvation Army Unit and says some 300 dedicated bell ringers take part every year. Call Nancy Hill at 420-5929 for a convenient time and date to ring the bell for the Salvation Army. And, a special thank you to all who take time to make a donation to the amazing "Red Kettle."
How about a delicious steak dinner while helping abused children in Adams County? Hoss's Steak and Sea House and the Adams County Children's Advocacy Center will team up to provide you with a great meal while helping to raise money for the wonderful work done by the CAC. On Friday, Nov. 21, Hoss's will donate 20 percent percent of your dinner check to the agency if you present a copy of the discount flyer. You can go online to the CAC's Facebook Page to print it out. Go to Adams County Children's Advocacy Center, print it out, enjoy dinner, and help sexually abused children to be kids again. I will see you there.
Remember, if your club group or organization has an upcoming event; be sure to contact me so I can get it in "Around Town." My contact information is at the end of the column.
A Florida firefighter's skill with a hose has apparently caused his career to go up in flames. The investigation was sparked about a month ago after a video and incriminating email were sent to the chief of the Clearwater, Florida Fire Department. The materials allegedly disclosed a 19-year veteran lieutenant with the department had sex with eight different women at the firehouse while on duty. The firefighter admitted to instances in a workout room, dive truck, and his dorm. He says he is truly sorry and embarrassed for the city, and offered no excuse. The City of Clearwater's Human Resources Department says "There appears to be a greater need for oversight at the fire stations." And then there was the man from Naples, Fla. who called the police 911 dispatcher three times asking her for a date. He also wanted to know if "she was into handcuffs." Well she wasn't, but he was shortly after his calls and deputies arrived at his house. They explained 911 was not a dating or escort service and promptly arrested him for misuse of the emergency number. Must be something in the Florida water!
That does it for this week, stay safe, and I'll be back next Tuesday.
Fred Snyder is a Gettysburg Times columnist. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Contact Fred at email@example.com or 717-334-1131, ext. 2850. "Around Town" is published in the Gettysburg Times every Tuesday.