(5/1) The current Adams County Board of Commissioners has voted unanimously since taking office. No vote has been registered as two in favor- one opposed. Usually, this is the way it should be. Voting against paying the legitimate bills of the county is absurd. But it is also absurd that not once did a member of the current board have an objection to the course the board
was taking. When the county debt was more than doubled in 2012 from $44.46 million (including interest) to be paid off in 2031 to $98.6 million (including interest) to be paid off in 2037 questions should have been asked.
Questions such as is it good to use a 25-year loan to pay for a radio system that will be obsolete in less than 10 years? Is the contract worded so that costs will not rise unexpectedly? Even though the county spent over $500 thousand on a consultant to prepare for the radio project, the change orders are now costing the county almost $5 million more.
Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but good leaders recognize their mistakes and change course. When this board appointed Brad Rigler to the County Planning Commission, his racist sounding You Tube videos had not "surfaced", but when they did, the Commissioners should have requested his resignation. This is an example of where, if need be, I would have publicly been that one
dissenting vote. I would expect that anyone would find this kind of hate speech repugnant and unacceptable, but I am deeply offended that the Democrat on the board even when asked, did nothing.
The Sunshine Law requires that deliberations and decisions happen in public, but this Board of Commissioners have meetings that often last less than 30 minutes, contain no discussion, and then vote 3-0 on all matters facing Adams County. The people of Adams County deserve and should demand more. The best course is often the one forged by debate, and tempered by the input
of the public. Many citizens of Adams County have knowledge that can be tapped if the Commissioners would only listen to them and ask them questions. This give and take with the public was abolished by the current board saying that they were "restoring decorum". Sure, questioning is sometimes annoying and frivolous- accusations that are sometimes hurled at elected officials always are- but these
annoyances are rare and brief, and by cutting off all discussion much more is lost than gained.
The current board also says that they wish to encourage "smart growth". This is code for wanting to give a developer of a 2,000 home 55+ community a $40 million tax dollar gift. To make the payments on the TIF bond, 200 new homes would have to be sold every year, doubling the number of all homes presently sold in this price range each year in the entire county. Similarly,
no 55+ community in the Mid- Atlantic region has averaged anywhere close to 200 home sales a year ever. "Smart growth" has to be done with a smart business plan, not a pipe dream. The current board touts their "vision" and "common sense" but to advocate for this TIF project (as they have) makes one wonder if they have an ounce of either. This combined with a $2million tax dollar gift to Walmart
so they can "supersize" in Gettysburg. This is not the vision of bringing good jobs to Adams County that I have.
On May 19th, you have a choice embrace a vision that says Adams County is a great place to live and does not need to change much (other than its Board of Commissioners) to continue to be a great place to live, and another much gloomier vision that says to go on, to survive, we call our farms blighted to give tax dollar gifts to developers to pave them into Suburbia. If you
think Adams County is a great place to live, vote Paul Kellett on May 19th.
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