Schuylkill County Commissioner Boots Hetherington deployed a bold strategy at Wednesday’s board meeting. He ridiculed fellow Commissioner George Halcovage for discussing a proposed land deal in which the County is selling public land to another public entity.
Boots called Halcovage unprofessional for daring to further the discussion on this very public deal in a public forum.
The deal in question will have Schuylkill County offload two parcels of land – in Porter and Tremont townships – for $1.375 million. The deal would be facilitated by a non-profit organization working on behalf of Pennsylvania Game Commission.
On the surface, the deal makes little sense for the County to do unless it wanted or needed the money. But Boots has assured the public numerous times – any time he’s confronted with someone mentioning a potential financial crisis – there is no financial problem at the Courthouse.
However, the reason he said this deal was good for the County was because of the money.
Boots and Halcovage Continue Squabble Over Land Deal
Halcovage was the lone opposing vote for this deal when it came up back in March. He insinuated from his line of questioning at the time that it seemed hastily organized and that the County wasn’t getting what it normally would for selling land.
When he questioned it at that time, Boots basically mocked his fellow Commissioner for asking questions.
On Wednesday, the questioning didn’t stop from Halcovage, who said he wanted the matter added to next week’s meeting Agenda.
“As you well know, Chairman, we had other people that were interested in the land that we’re looking at for sale,” Halcovage said.
Halcovage says there are “other people” interested in leasing the land for mineral rights. The Commissioner said he’s also heard from someone representing Tremont Township about the land and its potential sale.
According to Halcovage, the official deal isn’t official just yet. He says Solicitor Glen Roth noted that it was still just a draft agreement. And even if the deal were to go through, Halcovage wanted to be sure the County still had some easement rights on the land in the future.
“The County doesn’t even have to sell it,” Halcovage said.
Boots didn’t appreciate Halcovage’s desire to put this deal back on the Agenda for next week.
“Why are we bringing it back up for a vote,” Boots asked.
Boots also didn’t like Halcovage mentioning in public how he wanted this on the Agenda.
“This is not a very professional way to do this, Mr. Halcovage,” he said.