May 10, 2007
The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 8:00 a.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors Dave Bracken, Bruce Baker and Guy Ellenberger along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by Bruce Baker.
Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.
Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:
Motion Bracken, second Ellenberger to accept resignation of Scott Zelek as a part-time Police Officer for Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes. Supervisor Baker said, Scott has taken a job with a Security Agency.
Motion Ellenberger, second Bracken to accept resignation of Jeremy Scislowicz as a part-time Police Officer for Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes. Supervisor Baker commented, Jeremy just had too much of a work load with his non-policing job.
Motion Bracken, second Ellenberger to accept the resignation of Lynda Shirk from the Jackson Township Zoning Hearing Board. Vote-3 yes.
Other New Business:
Steve Yurasek said, we had a Zoning Hearing Meeting hear about a week and a half ago. . a young couple. . they wanted to have a small barn and a couple of riding horses back there in Allbaugh Park. Needless to say, when John Letizzia got done, they were denied to have the horses because they only have 3 acres and it calls for 5 acres. This girl is the third generation in this Township. Donít you think that there should have been a little consideration seeing how that there is nothing back there in Allbaugh Park except woods and fields. John Letizziaís field borders that property. I think that lady should have been given at least a decent consideration as to how they could work with her as to flat out turning her down. . . I mean that this might be different if this was somebody who just came from Tim-Buc-Tu just into the Township but like I said. . sheís a third generation. This is what my argumentís been all along with your zoning laws is the fact that most of the time these folks have lived in your Township for generations and there wasnít any consideration at all. I mean. . weíre not Westmont. . .if you want to see what Westmontís trouble is. . . itís over-regulated and over-taxed. . . .you just go up and down any street. The other day I went up Sunnehanna Drive and I couldnít believe my eyes how many houses everywhere is for sale. . now that should tell you something.
Eugene Kist said. . .Mr. Baker, Iíd like to ask you a question. . Mr. Barbin. . whatís he make per meeting?. . . or Iíll ask him. . am I allowed? Chairman Baker replied, this isnít a question and answer session Gene. . but Iíll tell you the Solicitor charges $80 per hour so if heís here 15 minutes. . .or here Ĺ hour. Kist says, he gets paid Ĺ hour? Baker said, thatís what he charges us for. . thatís correct. Kist said, Mr. Barbin. . if youíre here 10 minutes, do you get paid by the hour or not? Solicitor Barbin replied, I get paid by the hour in that if Iím here 10 minutes, I get that percentage of the hour. Kist replied, Iíve never made money that easy in my life. . .all you gentlemen have a third grade education. . I brought this up the last meeting. . . Iíve never made money like that in my life. Youíre elected to do this job. . you donít need a Solicitor. I was on the Road Board for 6 years and I never had a Solicitor. . only when there was vital stuff to do. Now if you have a business. . I donít know if the other gentleman has a business. . do you have to have a Solicitor to answer everything. Itís totally ridiculous. . this is America. Iíll tell you what. . I think itís outrageous. Mr. Barbin and I have had disagreements but I think this has gone to extremes. . . .paying a Solicitor for sitting there when each of you have an education. Do we have this kind of money?. . Iíve never had money to throw away like that.
Ron Shawley said, I have several concerns. The first concern is ferrell cats. I live in Allbaugh Park and in Pennsylvania, cats are considered ferrell meaning thereís no jurisdiction over cats at all. . .theyíre considered wild animals. I had a neighbor of mine who had 30 cats. . .she was down at the hospital and died of cancer, God bless her. She had 30 cats and when she became unable to feed these cats, my wife and I were feeding our cats and the cats got hungry and started coming around then people would say that we have cats. I want to reconstate the fact that. . .our argument is. . how can anybody say who owns a cat unless it has a collar on. I contacted the Commonwealth in Harrisburg and I called every agency I could think of to find out who regulates cats. The Humane Society says. . not our problem. The Commonwealth calls them ferrell and they supercede Townships, States, etc. when it comes to cats. In Allbaugh Park itís a real problem. . . there must be 30 or 40 cats that are now ferrell and theyíre just running all over the place and Iím just bringing that to your attention. I also found out that in Jackson Township in many areas, thereís a lot of cats. The Police came to my house and threatened me. . and I said, prove to me theyíre my cats. . theyíre not. The cats in our neighborhood multiply twice a year and have 5 or more cats. . .the problem is who regulates them? I know the Township doesnít regulate them. I just wanted to bring it to your attention. The other issue we have is the road. I need to find out legally what can the Township do for us. Last week one of the neighbors had a dog who had a history of chasing cars on the highway. . no one seen the dog get hit by a car. The one neighbor complains across the road and now all the neighbors are complaining. . . half of them want the Township to take over the road. . the other half says no. Dave gave me a copy of the Policy of the Township to take over the road. Thereís no way that Allbaugh Park will even qualify with those requirements. . thereís no way. The road is only 19 feet wide. . maybe 20 feet. The problem is, we have houses that are built right along side the road. My one concern is the last one that was built back there a few years ago and when they went to construction, he got a permit to build and after it was built, that kind of upset me. What can we do. . what can we, the landowners do?. . Iíve talked to all the neighbors. . we pay taxes. That means to some degree, the Township can help us out a little bit. Donít plow the road unless you half to but what can the Township do for us? Can you guys give us a speed sign? Can you give us some dirt to fill the holes in? What can you do to stop the people from coming back here? The other argument is the Police have no jurisdiction over the road. There are kids that go back here and party. . do drugs. . by Letizziaís they come here by our lane and park and if we the neighbors take action, they can call the Police on us for harassing them. This is a big issue and a real concern. . thatís why Iím coming to you guys. . what can you do? Chairman Baker said, I donít know what to tell you about the cats. As far as the road goes, if you post that private property then the Police can arrest somebody. . Iím assuming. . . . for trespassing on your property or your private road. We cannot participate or give you anything in any way, shape or form being thatís a private road or we would be fixing everybodyís private lane back to their home. The requirements for the Township to take over the road are what they are. You canít get into bending the rule for one and not the other just like Steveís suggestion was to over the horse thing. . .thereís some standards and those standards are coming from PennDOT too so we can get Liquid Fuels on these roads that we take over. You might be in a difficult situation there. . . maybe try and get some cooperation amongst the neighbors. Shawley asked, do you have any old signs that I could put out? Baker replied, whoís going to enforce the sign? Shawley said, we have a problem in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth. . .is there a set speed limit for a dirt road, period. . do we have any?. . . no. . . so in theory, anybody can fly up that road. Solicitor Barbin said, if theyíre flying too fast, you can ask the police to file a charge of reckless endangering, but somebodyís got to be able to say they were going fast enough that there was a risk they could have gone out of control and hit somebody and itís got to be so bad that itís at the reckless endangering stage. Baker asked, are these people who live back there speeding? Shawley said, the argument is that some neighbors feel if you do 10 miles an hour, youíre speeding. . why?. . because itís a dirt road and people have built right along the road. Baker said, I realize theyíre speeding, but are they people who live there? Shawley replied, yes, people who live there are speeding. . thatís the argument. . itís a private road so the landowner owns part of that road so he has that right to go however fast he wants. Barbin added, short of putting other people at risk. Shawley said, Iíve talked to attorneys about this in court and reckless endangerment is considered 40 mph on an average road. . .40, 50, 60 mph and with God as my witness, thereís no way theyíre going to drive 40 mph on that dirt road. Baker said, you could definitely be reckless going slower than the speed limit. . . even on a State road or Township road. Shawley said, for the most part, the neighbors drive slow and the argument is that itís a private road but half of the neighbors want the Township to do something with it. I told them that weíre dead in the water. . thereís nothing you can do. Would we be able to get fill from the Township. . .to fill the road in. . .fix it up. Baker said, if the Township was working in that neighborhood grading roads. . . we do have a Policy in place where you can receive some of the fill we cut off of the berms. . you could fill out a form. Shawley replied, I already did. Baker said, if weíre in that area and you have a form filled out, weíll consider that and dump it there but you would be responsible for leveling it how ever you needed to. A lot of times that doesnít make good road fill because. . .when itís wet, itís mush. . when itís dry, itís dust. Thereís no happy medium with it, but weíll certainly make an effort if weíre in that area to try to give you some fill though. Shawley asked, can the Township take over our roads if it meets minimal requirements? Baker replied, the minimal requirements are on that application that you received. Shawley asked, is there any leeway at all . . .the width of the road. . .itís never going to be 20 feet and we got two houses built along the edge of the road. Baker said, I would say, if PennDOT would reduce their standards some way that we could reduce ours but I donít see them doing that either.
Will Michaels said, I just want to say what Steve just mentioned about that Zoning Hearing Board. I wasnít there, but I heard enough about it. I feel itís a disgrace that zoning had to go as far as it did. Thereís places a lot more modern than we are that donít even have near the acreage. One place in Virginia, a guy was telling me that two acres. . they can raise pigs or whatever. . and itís a pretty prominent place in Virginia and I disagree with a lot of that. Itís too much regulation.
Eugene Kist said, Mr. Shawley said about cats. . thereís four cats down there. When I went up the road one day there was car from West Virginia. I said, where are you dumping cats at? I got her license number and turned it into the Police. Thereís at least 6 or 7 cats down there now. . itís a shame the way people are dumping animals down there and I canít get rid of them. Once they come, she takes them up and gets them spaid and that. I got one cat thatís worth $700 now and thereís no damn sense in that. I like cats. . .the biggest cross I have in my life is cats. Theyíre dumping these animals. . dogs and that. . and itís a damn shame.
Chairman Baker announced, the next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.
Motion Bracken, second Ellenberger to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 a.m. Vote-3 yes.
David M. Hirko, Secretary