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Coronavirus in Schuylkill County

Schuylkill Commissioners Not Planning on Revoking At Least Part of New Public Comment Rules

well we're waiting meme

A couple weeks ago, Schuylkill County Commissioners Chairman Boots Hetherington addressed a controversial part of the already controversial new Public Comments rules.

He said that if there was a problem with the part of the new rules dealing with recording the meetings held on Zoom, it would be removed.

We’ve clearly stated our objection to that rule. It was directed at The Canary, obviously.

And the Times-News interviewed a source with the Pennsylvania News Media Association that clearly stated this portion of the rules was illegal.

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But a couple weeks later, the board of Schuylkill County Commissioners has failed to address it. And on the public meeting agenda for Thursday, it’s not included once again. (READ: Boots Says County Could Back Off Rule on Recording Public Meetings)

If it’s been done behind closed doors with all the other business of the County, some recognition of it would be nice. Otherwise, put it under “New Business” on the next meeting agenda and get it done.

No one wants to see the County get hit with multiple Pennsylvania Sunshine Act violations and this certainly isn’t an issue to take to court. Both those actions will cost taxpayers more money.

well we're waiting meme

Schuylkill County Commissioners Agenda for November 12, 2020

What’s on the Commissioners agenda for Thursday’s meeting?

We’ve included the full download below. Interesting to note is the presence of two mysterious supplemental budget appropriations. One is for the Office of Senior Services and the other is for the Schuylkill County Transportation Authority.

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There’s no indication or disclosure from the County what details are included in these resolutions. So, the public doesn’t have a chance to weigh in on them at Thursday’s meeting. That won’t come until the following week, after they’ve already been approved by the Commissioners, more than likely.

The County did this little legislative maneuver a couple weeks ago with two other mysterious supplemental budget appropriations. In one, the County hid its disbursement plan for its CARES Act allocation of more than $12.7 million. That’s when we learned that the County was planning to spend less than 10% of its funds on small business grants. (READ: Schuylkill County Small Businesses Only Getting 7.6% of CARES Act Money)

Thursday’s meeting will be the third meeting in which Hetherington reads public comments submitted in writing the day prior to the meeting.

You can listen to that and the rest of the Schuylkill County Commissioners meeting this week by joining the Zoom call.

Listen on the Zoom app by using Meeting ID# 942 6387 7707.

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Or you can tune in using a telephone by dialing 1-301-715-8592. Then, entering the Meeting ID# 942 6387 7707. Hit # (pound) twice and you’ll get into the meeting.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. 11-12-20 Comm Mtg Agenda



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