December 30, 2003

 The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Senior Center. Members present were Supervisors David Bracken, Bob Stephens and Bruce Baker along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by David Bracken, Chairman, with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Chairman Bracken announced that there was an Executive Session held on Friday, November 28, 2003 at 7:00 am concerning the Labor Contract for Jackson Township road employees.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the November 20th, November 26th and December 12th meetings. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$      41,833.16

$  114,664.46

$     81,656.22

$     74,841.40


$ 1,203,428.18

$  119,132.31

$     13,918.87

$ 1,308,641.62


$      21,329.52

$          12.28

$              .00

$     21,341.80


$      36,577.26

$     2,396.21

$       2,168.96

$      36,804.51


General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$          81,656.22

$                .00

$          2,168.96

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve the bills for the period of November 21 through December 30, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Police Report:
The police report for November was not available at the time of the meeting.

Letter from Nanty Glo Borough stating that Council Members wanted to thank Jackson Township for their cooperation and the help of their employees on the recent Loraine Road repair. The letter went on to say that it was gratifying to see the two communities working together on a common problem. They added that they wished Jackson continued prosperity and success and looked forward to working together on shared projects in the future.

Old Business:

Motion Baker, second Stephens to approve Resolution 16-03 adopting the proposed budget for Jackson Township for 2004 as follows: General Fund $836,272.00, State Fund $140,000.00, Fire Hydrant Fund $10,000.00, Rescue Fund $9,000.00, Capital Reserve Fund $1,523,140.00, Senior Center Fund $63,500.00; Total of All Funds $2,581,912.00. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve Resolution 17-03 setting the tax structure for 2004 as follows: Real Estate Tax-7 Mills, Fire Hydrant Tax-1 Mill, Rescue Service Tax-1/2 Mill, Earned Income Tax-1/2 Mill, Real Estate Transfer Tax-1/2 %, Per Capita Tax-$5.00 and Occupational Privilege Tax-$5.00. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve three year Labor Agreement between the Laborerís District Council of Western Pennsylvania Ė Local 910 and Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to modify providing of health benefits for full-time police officer, Melanie Kline to Keystone Blue Health Care Plan. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to accept November 25, 2003 letter from Ron Carnevali Jr. Vote-Bracken & Baker-yes, Stephens abstained due to a possible conflict of interest.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to waive any further probationary period based on job performance and hire Daniel Ditchcreek full-time effective December 31, 2003. Supervisor Stephens said that the Labor Agreement Contract currently in effect between the union and the Jackson Township Board of Supervisors states on Page 4, Article IV that all new employees will be considered probationary employees for a period of 60 days worked from date-of-hire. He stated that to waive the 60 day probationary period when Mr. Ditchcreek hasnít worked 60 days could be a violation of the Labor Agreement and might be considered discriminatory by past employees or future employees. A vote was then taken. Vote-Bracken & Baker-yes. Stephens-no.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to waive the fees for zoning variances of properties affected by the
PennDOT property acquisition along Route 22. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to accept bid from Tri-County Motors for purchase of a new Township truck. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $3,743.50 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $2,146.00 to H. A. Thompson for Treasurers Bond and $1,597.50 to Centre Communications for Police Radio & Accessories. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on approving the time sheets from November 9, 2003 through November 22, 2003 and November 23, 2003 through December 6, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to pursue the possibility of purchasing the NAPA property. The motion was open to public comment. Clair Michaels asked why the Supervisors were interested in buying the NAPA property. He said that the Township had 100 some acres down by Loraine Town to build something on. He then questioned the three Supervisors as to why the property was needed. Solicitor Barbin said that this was not a question and answer period. Michaels said he deserved an answer once in awhile and added that Mr. Barbin was not to say a word until Mr. Bracken told him to say something and that he was only the Solicitor and not a Township Supervisor. A vote was taken following public comment. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Joe Baxter
commented that Mr. Stephens has cost Jackson Township in excess of $20,000 in lega
fees from lawsuits thrown out of County & Federal Courts. He then said that Stephens had brought negative attention and embarrassment to our good Township and citizens and tried to get neighboring Townships to take action against us. He added that Mr. Stephens has spread lies and false facts as well as trying to start trouble with landowners who own cemeteries within the Township instead of working with them. He then said that on November 19th when the Township office was flooded with calls for help due to heavy rains that Mr. Stephens elected to go home while the other two Supervisors worked to take care of the problems. Baxter then said that there was more involved with the Township than zoning. He said that it seems that all Government agencies are doing wrong in Mr. Stephens eyes. He then said that instead of helping lead the Township that Stephens looked for faults and petty things to obscure the good being done. He said one example was the two letters Mr. Stephens wrote against him with false allegations while he is serving as a volunteer member of the Recreation Commission. He added that he is one citizen that Stephens and his group do not speak for as he is for good Government and the betterment of the Township. He said using the position of Supervisor for personal satisfaction is not what he was elected for. He ended by saying that the people have spoken at the polls and it was time for Mr. Stephens to do the right thing and resign from his position for not doing his job.

Will Michaels said that Joe Baxter was real good at running at the mouth. He said that if Bob would have had some help for different things or ideas he brought up, there wouldnít be no problems. He said it seemed that anything he ever brought up that Bracken and Baker were against it. He said as far as it comes to zoning that it was a lawyers dream to make money off of it. He said that Mr. Barbin & Mr. Webb wanted zoning as it was their dream so they could make money and bleed the Township. He added that Bracken & Baker are not running the Township properly and they were running it as a dictatorship. He said nobody has a word to say and they donít know whatís going on or have an idea on agenda items as they are voted on. Michaels added that Baxter and his group, Neighbors Who Care helped tell lies too. Solicitor Barbin reminded Michaels that it was public comment and not a debate between citizens the meeting. Chairman Bracken said it was against the rules to attack individual citizens at the meeting. Michaels ended by saying that he definitely wanted to see Bob Stephens stay.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Reorganization Meeting would be held on Monday, January 5, 2004 at 7:00 PM at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 7:22 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary