People Above Politics

Litz brings Local Government, Small Business, and Conservation Experience to the Table.

   Jo Ellen is a 5-term Lebanon County Commissioner who is the Boots on the Ground for local government implementing programs to Protect Children, Serve Families, Secure Justice, Manage Emergencies, and Safeguard Elections.  In short, Commissioner Litz Safeguards the Public Trust.

Whether it was the 2004 Campbelltown Tornado, Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, or the 30" 2016 Snowstorm Jonas,

I've been here for you.

Litz was elected by her peers from across the state of Pennsylvania to serve as the 2012 president and 2013 chairman of the Board for the statewide commissioner's association. 

Litz is about starting a conversation from public structures like roads and bridges, water and sewer, schools, and energy.  A sound infrastructure is the basis of a sound economy.  Litz believes we need these Economy Boosting Jobs to put money into the pockets of people so that they can buy homes, cars, and goods.  Litz supports a transportation plan to make our roads and bridges safe.  In this way, we will create good paying jobs, get people to these jobs, our goods to market, and children to schools. 

Jo Ellen served as the chair of the MPO (2012-15)--Metropolitan Planning Organization for Lebanon County--where she helps to prioritize local road and bridge projects with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. 

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.


As We Ignite our Generation 2015 - Duration- 3 minutes, 59 seconds


County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz speaks to voters- Duration- 78 seconds


Campaign/Rail Trail Map Postcard.pdf

Home Up 2008 2007 2006 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 14 2015

Recipes     People Above Politics

Follow Me on Pinterest  Follow JoEllenLitz on Twitter 

 QR Code for this web.


Elections/Why Vote.pdf


Meeting Highlights

bulletGet Updates: Demand open government and transparency, like her 24/7 access to YouTube videos of meetings Local Government 2 - Playlist... To receive email or text alerts, send your contact information to Jo Ellen at or text 717.644-4698 .

Litz Co Commercial Rentals, 1.386 acre Property Available with established Rt 422 access & curb cuts.  Out of the flood plain.  Shovel ready with public water, sewer, electricity, gas & cable.  Zoned C2 General Commercial in N Lebanon Twp.  Another fast growing municipality, N Cornwall Twp is across Route 422.  Drone tour of subject site:


My Blog on the Lebanon Daily News site:


LINKED IN Jo Ellen Litz


YouTube posts by Commissioner Litz:  



Taking Action, Getting Results.


NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:


Human Services 2015 Directory

bullet "No Wrong Door"-2016 Lebanon County Resource Guide

Community Resource Manual,28MB.pdf


Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department



to Team Litz  using PayPal

Invest in my campaign for commissioner.  As a TEAM, we can overcome Big Money, and make this a People's Campaign.  Are you with me?

Each of us is at a different place in our life.  Some people can volunteer time.  Other people can provide financial support--$5, $50, or $500 a month.  Whatever your situation, your contribution of time and or money is gratefully appreciated.   

Your early and/or monthly donation will help Jo Ellen to get elected by printing literature, reserving media buys, ordering signs….  

Thank you for your help and support during this campaign.  Your unwavering commitment is the wind beneath my wings.

On election day, every vote matters.  You matter!  And I can't win this race without you.


Volunteer  today  Jo Ellen Litz


Thank you for your support and for all that you do.

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

Honorary Chair:     Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll --a woman who broke the glass ceiling and contributed greatly to PA politics; born in 1930, died November 12, 2008.

Jo Ellen Litz Campaign Video

Swatara Watershed Association 


ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women


Woman's Club of Lebanon


Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

December 30, 2004

Commissioners listened to feedback from firemen and several township supervisors who spoke both for and against relying exclusively on the alpha-numeric paging system.  Positive comments ranged from, "nobody is against this system," to "things have improved in this last week," and "I don't want to go back to voice pagers."  Those who were unsure about timing of the change questioned the need to wait for the seven towers, safety, and reliability.  Pictures and logs were provided to document problems.  Once again EMA Director Dan Kaufman answered questions and expressed his confidence in the new digital alpha-numeric paging system.  Thank you to everyone who participated with their comments, concerns, and suggestions to make this system better.  For a more in-depth explanation of the system, please click here.  Please note that, while as of January 1, voice pagers will not be dual dispatched, a radio message will still be broadcast over scanners (channel 3390)--after a digital dispatch; Chief Kaufman will continue to meet with fire companies; and a selection of pagers may be supported in coming months.  Towers should be completed in March.

A $228,527 Juvenile Crime and Justice Commission salary reimbursement grant was approved.

Alicia Arnold, accompanied by Juvenile Probation Chief William Sullivan, received approval to submit a $10,000 application matched by $1112 in County funds for continuation of a Gatekeeper Grant.  Gatekeeper provides accountability and intervention for first-time non-violent juvenile offenders as an alternative to official court involvement by working with community panels.

The 2005 - $83,959,146 County budget, which contains a three-mill court-approved increase, passed. Tim Zimmerman, Ed Rutter, Eric Wolf, Russ Diamond, and Carl Jarboe provided comment on the budget.

Recognizing that we have a Honeywell team of professionals available to provide recommendations for commissioners to make intelligent choices on energy conservation, a motion to rescind heat restrictions at county-owned properties passed on a motion by Litz/Carpenter.  Commissioner Stohler voted no.

Harold Kreider and Gail Smith were appointed to the Conservation District Board.

Phyllis Holtry received approval for a $270,000 Crisis Intervention contract with Philhaven.

Commissioners, joined by Treasurer Sallie Neuin, Controller Robert Mettley, and former commissioners Rose Marie Swanger and Tom Behney, then sat as the Retirement Board.  There are approximately 400 retirees.  Interest at the rate of 5.5% will be paid on employee investments.  The 1/80th retirement class was chosen.  90% of the COLA ($455,420) was awarded. The fund balance is $79,499,000.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss litigation as well as Union contract modifications with both Social Services and Court Appointed Professionals.

December 23, 2004

Russ Diamond and Carl Jarboe asked the commissioners to withdraw their request to the courts for an increase in taxes over 5%.  They also asked for a continuance on the hearing past December 28.  Since the County Code both mandates that the Commissioners balance the budget and are obligated to adopt the budget by December 31, they cannot withdraw the motion.

Firefighters attended the commissioners meeting.  Firefighter Association president Lisa Rudy read a statement requesting that the January 1 start date for 100% alpha numeric paging be postponed until seven tower sites are operable (approximately March 2005).  Duane Trautman, Joe Morgan, Rick Rudy, Andy and Brian Kleinfelter also addressed the commissioners.  Firefighters were concerned about delays in or not receiving messages, gray areas, and unreadable messages.  EMA Director Dan Kaufman was on hand to answer questions.  Dan personally drove over the county to test the pagers, and explained that the three towers using the current radio provide 100% coverage.  Once the new radio is rolled out, the seven towers will be needed.  He firmly believes that human error will be reduced by not having to enter data into two separate computers and remembering who is on voice and who is on alpha numeric pagers.  In addition, a programming error was corrected that should improve dispatch.  Finally, a CAD system is planned that should also help to improve accuracy.  Firefighters agreed to talk to their peers this week to share what they learned, and report back on whether or not there has been an improvement in understanding how the pagers operate and in dispatch.

Commissioners voted unanimously to permit Dan Kaufman to apply for an EMPG grant that would place two more existing employees onto civil service, which would make the positions eligible for 50% reimbursement.   

Michael Pavelek received approval for the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority to continue to act as the County’s primary municipal waste management agent for the disposal of municipal waste generated within Lebanon County.  Mike also explained that the household hazardous waste program should soon restart.  A contract was negotiated with DEP for a new firm to replace a former bankrupt firm to perform this service.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss litigation--Tuesday hearing on the budget.

December 15, 2004

Cedar Haven

¨      The November census stood at 310 with 237 female and 73 male residents.

¨      The Department of Health and Philhaven (who donated 130 doses) provided enough flu vaccine for all residents and Cedar Haven employees who request it.  If vaccine is left, Renova Center, then prison medical staff will be offered the vaccine.

¨      State approved ‘Personal Allowances’ for residents rose from $30 to $40 per month.

¨      Commissioners passed a resolution honoring Warden Raiger for his decades of service to the County.

¨      Commissioners provided a letter for Sheriff De Leo to make purchases at federal surplus auctions.

¨      A Memorandum of Understanding was approved with Berks County for 911 inter-county calls.

¨      A $230,551 Department of Welfare allocation for Medical Assistance Transportation funds and a $141,412 Supportive Work Program allocation were approved.

¨      Commissioners met with the accounting firm of KPMG to review the 2003 Audit of basic financial statements and information of federal awards.


Administrator Wolgemuth presented Commissioners with a copy of Solicitor Snelling's petition requesting a three mill tax increase that was filed with the court of common pleas.


¨      Requests for training for eight correctional officers at the State Correctional Academy in Elizabethtown and ten administrative, treatment, and security personnel by the Department of Corrections was tabled pending the outcome of the budget hearing on December 28.

¨      On November 30, 2004, the inmate population stood at 426.  Of that number, 147 were unsentenced, 85 were on work release, 21 on the detail crew, and 25 were state-sentenced inmates.

December 16, 2004

Carl Jarboe asked about procedure for the budget hearing.  Commissioners explained that procedure in his courtroom is established by the judge.  Perhaps Court Administrator David Wingert could answer further questions on procedure.

Earl Meyer, Planning, presented:

¨      Comprehensive Plan Task Force members who were approved by commissioners:  Timothy Bartholomew, Jon Beers, Betty Conner, Tom Donmoyer, Stephanie Harmon, Robin Hemperly, Rugh Henderson, Randy Hoffman, Joan Losiewicz, George Kaufman, Robert Noll, Ed Rhen, Tisha Walmer, Chuck Wertz, and Fred Wolf.

¨      DEP awarded an $80,000 Growing Greener grant for the Comprehensive Plan.  DEP joins DCNR, Penn DOT, and DCED to provide a total of $423,750 in matching funds for the Plan.  The County will provide labor and money from the 2003 bond issue to cover the remainder of the $1.5 million planning project, which will seek public input to help shape the future of Lebanon County.

¨      A Building Code contract was approved with North Annville Township.

¨      A Comprehensive Plan update:  The Planning Department received and reviewed five bids, and they will return in a few weeks with a recommendation.  With an interim transportation report in June 2006, the Plan will be completed over the next 2.5 years.

¨      Planning is working with Labor and Industry for recognition of Cleona, Myerstown, and Richland’s adoption of the Uniform Construction code.

Purchasing Agent Ken Bachem and architect Joe Crumbling opened bids for a prison addition.  Deputy Warden Karnes and Prison Maintenance Supervisor John Johnson were also present.  Vendors have 48 hours to rescind incorrect bids.  Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC bids for the female cells were also received, but the base bid does not justify the additional expense for three cells.  Of the alternates or options, the roof over the kitchen is needed most.


Base Bid

3 female cells

Trailer for architect

Exercise yard, fencing

Rubber roof over kitchen

Woodland, Lebanon






Lobar, Dillsburg






Bognet, Hazelton






Murry, Lancaster






Raymond Bender presented “the American Dream Down payment Initiative,” which allows up to $10,000 towards a down-payment for qualified first time homebuyers who must provide a 3% down-payment, have good credit, be a resident or employed in Lebanon County, have a stable income, and be at 80% or less of median income.  When their home is sold, 100% of the funds are recovered.  Commissioners approved the $250,000 federal grant application, which compliments the popular first time homebuyer program.  Two lenders provide closing cost assistance.  The program is timed to coincide with income tax refunds.  Participants must also undergo mandatory financial training.

Charles Wertz introduced Lester and Esther Martin who are preserving their 128.26-acre dairy farm.  Commissioners presented the Martins with a $192,390 check from Lebanon County.

Margaret Haak was reappointed to the Renova Center advisory board.

1:30PM Assessment Appeals

Of 43,000 households, 25,000 homestead exemption forms were returned.  2100 were denied.  A second mailing is required by school districts.

Ten commercial properties have filed in the court of common pleas to appeal their assessments.

December 9, 2004

Commissioners voted to fill the following positions:  Planning Officer in EMA to update and maintain emergency plans for twenty-four municipalities and Deputy Warden at the prison—effective January 1, 2005.

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to approve going to court to seek a 3-mill tax increase that would help to cover expenses during the first three months of 2005 when no tax revenue is anticipated.  Supporting a 3.5 mill tax increase, Commissioner Stohler voted noSolicitor Snelling said the hearing will be before Judge Robert Eby in courtroom 1 on December 28 at 9:30AM.  The proposed 2005 County budget is $83,959,146, of which $29,993,255 is for the general fund.  Because some construction was in process, the 2004 budget was higher, $84,321,471. Q&A

Chuck Wertz was present for a farmland preservation hearing on the 128.26 acre Lester and Esther Martin farm, 300 Halfway Dr., Lebanon.  The farm is in the area of Arbor Gate behind Brightbill Bodyworks.  $192,390 in County dollars will be used to purchase this easement, which is worth $409,510.  As always, the property owner retains title to the property, but gives up his right to develop the land.

Commissioners signed letters of appreciation for Marlin Bennetch who served on the Farmland Preservation board since its inception and for Jean Rohrer, a longtime board member of Children and Youth.

Kevin Schrum presented two Health Choices contracts (reviewed by Solicitor Snelling) for pass-through funding for direct care workers employed by MHMR providers to expedite enrollment in programs and mid year rate adjustments.

James Holtry presented $72,510.69 in invoices for approval to reflect Title IV-E funds that Maximus originally indicated were ineligible costs, but have now determined are eligible for reimbursement.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss the Teamster’s Local 429 (court appointed and social services) offer of contract settlement.

At 11AM, Commissioners met with members of the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization to discuss Traffic Improvement Modifications, which included approval of the Clear Spring Road bridge (63’ long x 22’ wide) west of Annville (100% federally funded) and the Grant Street Bridge, Palmyra.  Other projects reviewed included US 422 over Killinger Creek (North Annville, North Londonderry), Middle Creek tributary bridge on Route 897 (100% federally funded), Main Street in Cornwall, resurfacing of the Horseshoe Pike (Route 322) from Forge Rd. to Bachman’s Run bridge in South Annville and South Londonderry Townships, 7th Street (Route 343) from Heffelfinger Rd., to Lebanon City Line in North Lebanon Township, and COLT to purchase a raised roof van and a small transit bus.  Further:

¨      Seven additional planters and trash receptacles were approved for the City of Lebanon.

¨      Curt Kulp presented an approximately three mile long $490,000 South Lebanon Trail project with a $40,000 match from the municipality.

¨      A joint Goods Movement study in all of District 8 (Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York) was approved.

¨      Earl Meyer outlined special safety projects for municipalities.  He will develop a “fast-track” policy for these small projects that do not involve wetlands, eminent domain, rights of way…

¨      An appeal to the court of common pleas upheld the zoning hearing board’s decision on a pedestrian bridge over the Quittapahilla Creek, and a decision on an appeal is forthcoming in January or February.  If a favorable decision is not presented, funds will be allocated for another project.  The Quittie bridge project could resurface in another year.

¨      Lebanon County resident Tom Kotay was hired as a consultant to the Lebanon MPO.  Kotay recently retired from Penn DOT.

December 2, 2005

Commissioners passed a resolution establishing a Cash Reserve Investment Account at Fulton Financial.  The CRI pays a higher interest rate than PLIGIT and is readily accessible.  Current interest is 2.26%.

Commissioners agreed to fill a payroll clerk position.

Later in the day, during a budget session, commissioners met with EMA, and approximately another $360,000 was shaved from the budget deficit.  However, even if all of the reserve account is used to offset next year’s budget, we will still be in a deficit position ($750,000-$800,000).  A final budget will be presented next Thursday, and must go through a second meeting prior to December 31.  Further, because of the unexpected (like the Campbelltown tornado) and maintaining good credit ratings for bonds and insurance, it is not fiscally prudent to try and operate without approximately a 10% reserve of the general fund, which would be about $3,000,000 in 2005.  In addition, there is little revenue the first several months of the year, and payroll must be met.  Therefore, it may be necessary to petition the courts to allow the County to seek millage over the 5% or $500,000 cap set when the ratio change went from 50 to 100% assessmentCurrent millage is 12.5.  Expenditures rose significantly—18.5% for health insurance and an additional 25% for fuel. 

Commissioner Litz requested a phone audit.  Administrator Wolgemuth said that he will ask purchasing agent Ken Bachem to pursue the audit the first of the new year.

November 24, 2004

Kevin Schrum received approval to put $3600 toward CSG and $1718 toward Phoenix Services, both MHMR providers.

Commissioners also approved a contract with Tyler Personal Assistance Associates, Glen Moore PA.  Since his son’s move-in date is scheduled for November 29, parent David Brandt thanked the commissioners for their action.

Prior to a vote, Solicitor Snelling  will review changes in other amended contracts.

A resignation was accepted from Chris Shaak, and commissioners appointed John Sholly as his replacement on the Drug and Alcohol board.

After a successful trial period, at a cost of $3.92 for each of 14,042 center meals and $4.17 for each of 31,500 individual meals, Atland House Catering, York PA, received approval to provide meals for the Area Senior Centers and Meals on Wheels.  The new contract will save $29,701.76 every six months.

Finally, for his 75th birthday, commissioners approved a proclamation honoring barber Ray Dishong.

November 18, 2004

James Holtry presented $557,359.99 in first quarter invoices for approval for Children and Youth.  Holtry noted that the reimbursement rate is increasing (47% to 52% and now 59%) for Placement Maintenance $315,066.08, Adoption Assistance $48,241.96, TANF $190,044.60, and Medicaid $4,007.35.

With their signatures, Commissioners also certified election results for submittal to the State.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss union negotiations with Attorney Scott Feeman concerning  approximately 100 employees in the Court Appointed Professionals and Social Services arena who are represented by the Teamsters.

November 17, 2004

Cedar Haven: 


October Ending Census:  313


500 flu shots will be administered at the end of November


The Christmas Teas is December 8.

November 10, 2004

Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller, Advest, presented the third quarter performance evaluation for the Lebanon County Municipal Employees’ Retirement Plan, which totals $77,850,000.  Our asset allocation is on target.  Oil is the only threat of inflation.

Lea Perrago, Mackin Engineering and Scott Tochtermann, Delta Development, presented information on a proposed Campbelltown connector.  Brownstone Real Estate donated the land worth $408,000 and $439,000 to pay Mackin Engineering to complete the design, which means a 20% match for federal funding is met without contributions from South Londonderry Township, Campbelltown.  Supervisors Rothermel and Henderson were present to request a letter of support from the current board of commissioners.  A letter was approved.  The connector would run parallel to and south of Route 322 between Lingle Avenue and Forge Road.  Total construction costs would run $3.6 million, and a federal earmark is sought.  The connector would also serve as a relief route to 322 where the Campbelltown Fire Company has persistent access problems during emergencies like the tornado.

Three-year appointments were made to the Children and Youth board:  Michelle Kaufman, Christine Eisenhauer, George Zimmerman, Linda Weindel, and Fred Wolf.

Commissioners also approved a probation and parole services agreement to reimburse offender supervision fees.

Since several departments have expressed concern, Commissioner Litz requested that the County complete a request for proposal for the County audit.  Pointing to time constraints, an RFP was not approved to audit the 2004 books, but a motion passed to complete the bid process for audit years 2005-2007.  There has been a huge fluctuation in charges by KPMG:  2000-$91,500; 2001-$175,100; 2002-$94,922; 2003-$187,000; and 2004 to date-$124,000.  Controller Mettley explained that new GASB rules have added costs to the audit process.  Indeed, in 2003 there was a $30,000 charge and in 2004, a $12,000 additional charge for GASB compliance.  Controller Mettley also explained that the Commissioners have an existing executed audit agreement for 2004 with KPMG.  However, the last request for proposal could not be found.  Mettley believes that the last time the audit contract was reviewed was before he took office in 1997. 

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel matters.

November 4, 2004

Marilyn Raiger, Linda Garloff, Stephanie Newswanger, and Joan Marie Norman, were presented with a proclamation recognizing Hospice Month.

Jenny Murphy-Shifflet presented a $15,800 Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center pass-through grant to reach out to the Latino and Hispanic population with Spanish marketing.  SARCC will provide a $10,000 match.  Since 1983, SARCC has served 8,500 clients who were raped

Honeywell representatives Patrick Salmon, Jessica Nee, and Brian Klunk presented a recommendation for replacement of a malfunctioning Kemco Hot Water Heater for Cedar Haven.  The new Direct Fired Hot Water unit is 85% efficient, which makes sense since 13% of combustion is air that does not burn.  The DHW unit, which serves the kitchen and laundry, replaces a unit installed in 1999, but taken out of service for poor performance in 2002.  What sounded good at the time—a 100% efficiency rating—produced acidic water that corroded pipes and could not be shut down over the summer months when a cost savings could be realized.  The new unit is also capable of producing steam for building heating.  The gas-fired unit will be installed by January 2005, have a one year warranty, and save $11,000 per year in electricity.  The old unit will be removed from the site.  The exchange will be at no cost to the County, part of an agreement reached with Honeywell after getting energy audits on track.  Yearly audits were part of a 1999 agreement to place energy efficient lights and boilers in exchange for guaranteed savings on gas and electric bills.

Commissioners executed a final agreement for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) of the Palmyra Hillwood project.

Joe Morales and Ralph Dyer were appointed to the Drug and Alcohol Commission.

Commissioner Litz requested that a request for proposal (RFP) be completed for this year's audit.  1997 was the last competitive bid for this service, which costs in excess of $100,000 per year.  A decision on the request was tabled until next week's meeting.

October 27, 2004

Commissioner Carpenter informed Abigail Jarboe that the distribution of leaflets in County buildings is not prohibited.

Both Earl Kiene’s (Maintenance Supervisor) and maintenance mechanic Bruce Shay’s retirement notices were accepted with commendations for their years of service.  Commissioners approved filling both positions with new hires.

Leroy Adams donated the development rights to his 75.99-acre farm to the farmland preservation program. 

October 20, 2004 –

Cedar Haven


Census 9/30/04, 315 or 97%.


Five nurses volunteered to take and passed a CPR class.


Effective November 1, 2004 commissioners approved Private Pay Rates raising the Medicare Certified Unit rates (skilled care) to $215 per day (formerly $200) and for all other units, $180 per day (formerly $170).


All unpaid reimbursements were received from the State.

BASCO Architects – Prison addition, bid authorization.  Prices for steel and concrete have risen dramatically.  So, the projected base bid and fee may be higher than originally estimated.  Therefore, the female wing expansion and exercise yard will be bid as alternates.  In addition, an on-site project manager from the community may be considered, rather than a representative from Buchart Horn. 


Advertising for bids will appear November 1. 


A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for December 6, 10Am at the prison. 


Bids will be due December 15, 2004 at 4:30,


Then opened December 16 and 10AM. 


Awarding of contracts will take place January 13, 2005. 


Completion is expected by November 15, 2005.

Noon – Prison Board

Census 9/30/04, 400, of which 352 were male and 48 female; unsentenced inmates 124; work release inmates 98; and state-sentenced inmates 19.

An inmate with a staff infection is on antibiotics.

October 21, 2004

Abigail and Carl Jarboe expressed concern over their right to distribute literature in the courthouse, which is restricted by the County manual.  “Solicitation is prohibited within the Municipal Building or other County Properties unless approval is given by the County Commissioners Office….”  Even employees are warned that distribution of material is only allowed if “visitors of the Municipal Building are not disturbed.”  Solicitation is not limited to the exchange of money.  A copy of the policy was provided.

Kevin Schrum presented a $30,521 budget revision for eight providers.  The State will reimburse all but $684, which is the County match.  Further, $13,731 in contract changes for ten providers were approved ($472 MH and $13259 MR).

Commissioners approved the sale of two trailers from the repository of abandoned properties:


18 Lakeside Park in North Lebanon Township for $1 to Ryder Rentals, Elizabethtown


43 Lebanon Valley Court in Bethel  for $10 to Andrew Mattarazi

Budget hearings will be conducted October 25-29.

October 14, 2004

Because she represented Lebanon County at the Assembly Summit at Harrisburg Area Community College, main campus, Commissioner Litz was absent from the commissioner’s meeting.

Kathy Pflueger presented a $10,000 Help America Vote Act grant for reimbursement of overtime and training for staff and poll workers.


$209,924.94 in principal and interest were paid from the 1985 Sinking Fund.


$485,093.75 in principal and interest were paid from the 1999 Sinking Fund.


$844,812.65 in principal and interest were paid from the 1999 Bond and Coupon account.


$53,559.49 in principal and interest were paid from the 1999 Bond and Coupon account.

Robert Gallagher was reappointed to the Workforce Investment Board.

Pam Thierolf was appointed to the Mental Health/Mental Retardation board.

Susan Klarsch, Natalie Wolfe and Lynda Meyers presented a PA Counseling Services contract amendment for $18.90/hour for Drug and Alcohol prevention staff.  In addition they received a proclamation for Red Ribbon Week.

Charles Wertz attend the meeting for a right-to-be-heard hearing on Leroy and Annette Adams’ 75.99-acre farm in Union and East Hanover Townships.  Carmine Petrozziello objected.  An extension of time to comment was granted through October 28, 2004.

October 7, 2004

Kari Winters sought an explanation about assessments, and wondered why a reassessment is not done.  Commissioners explained cost and other factors.  Kari compared her house to a friend’s house and wondered about the difference in both assessment and taxes paid.  Over lunch, commissioners toured the house in question, which was rumored to be worth $250,000.  That was not the case.

James Holtry received approval for Children and Youth Contracts:

¨      Schaffner Detention Facility, a 3.9% increase;

¨      Relief Houseparent Brandi Dunmoyer at $8.50 per hour; and

¨      Home Study Contracts with Clare Ebersole, Karen Hartman, Chris Burrus, and Carmen Portes for $12/hour with a maximum of $84.00 per day.

Because a bond recalled for faulty work on a Jonestown elementary school storm sewer only totaled $43,000, Kenneth Bachem received permission to deny the $138,890 storm water bid from Landis C Deck & Sons.  The project will be rebid in the spring.

Ken, Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lescisko, and Dean Mease reopened Senior Center and Meals on Wheels bids

At $4.60 / bulk meal at senior centers and $4.81/individual meals on wheels lunch, the current Canteen contract totals $216,108.  Two bids came in from:

¨      Atland House Catering, York--$3.92 for each of 14,042 center meals and $4.17 for each of 31,500 meals on wheels for a total of $186,399.64.

¨      Metz & Associates, Bridgeville PA--$4.09 and $4.19 for the same number of meals, which totals $189,416.78.

¨      Beginning October 25, a four-week trial period will begin for the low bidder.  Each week, a different site or meal route will be serviced.  During this period, Atland will be paid for their services and Canteen will not bill for unordered meals.  Then, on November 24, the commissioners will be asked for a final vote to award the contract.

Mike and Joe also received approval for tobacco/bridge grant contracts for older Pennsylvanians who would be eligible for the PDA Waiver Program, but had excess assets.  The goal is to provide services in the home or other community setting by utilizing the excess resources to the point where the consumer will be financially eligible for the PDA Waiver Program.  Funding for benefits counseling, administration and service assist will run $14,751 in 03-04; $15,357 in 04-05; and $15,357 in 05-06.

Earl and Lee Meyer presented County Planning Department project updates:

¨      Sewage Management Program- To comply with PA DEP’s three-year pumping schedule, a pilot project will begin in January with North Lebanon Township.  Costs for the program are inserted in this year’s proposed budget.  An 85% reimbursement from the State will help to cover staff time and related costs.

¨      Comprehensive Plan- Last done in 1987 as an interim plan, Earl credits Bill Kurtz with helping to secure funds from DCED, DCNR, and Penn DOT to complete a new plan.  A decision for funding from DEP is imminent.  In addition, the County set aside $400,000 for matching funds.  Department labor is also used as a match for the grants.  Commissioners voted to post a Request for Proposal (RFP) in November 2004.  Bids will be received by December, then evaluated to choose a consultant.  In addition, County Planning is seeking Commissioner recommendations to fill 15 task force slots with people from varying backgrounds—business, agriculture, recreation, transportation…. 

¨      Transportation Program Assistance- Commissioners approved hiring a consultant to help with transportation issues.  Finally, Larry King (PennDOT) will entertain a proposal, with specifics, to carryover $63,437.81 in funds not spent this year.

Glen Wenger, Myerstown, was appointed to the Industrial Authority Board.

With the City of Lebanon, a $5 per square foot or $300 per month rent was approved for the first 5-years of a lease for central booking.  The following five years of the ten-year lease, rent will increase by 2%.  The lease will not increase the County’s prorata share of building expenses.

Lisa Arnold, supported by the Records Improvement Committee, gave a report to the commissioners by reviewing the Records Improvement Project, which would scan court and other records for computer storage and retrieval.  As occurred in the previous administration and the first nine months of this administration, viewing the Records Improvement Committee as a subcommittee of the Management Information System (MIS) committee, Commissioner Litz served as commissioner liaison at meetings

Because court records created by attorneys, judges, and the public are located in the Prothonotary's office, the basement vault, Eldercare at Cedar Haven, and the old birch beer warehouse down the road at adult probation, lots of time is lost searching for and retrieving records, copying them for clients, then refiling.  In addition, some of the buildings are not heated.  Must and mold accumulate on the records; sometimes the roof leaks or an air conditioner drips on the records; and some of the print disappears.  In court, judges often need instant access to records.  Each row office would also have a terminal (sheriff, treasurer, register of wills, recorder of deeds) for research and over a three-year period, some of their records may be scanned for storage too.  Every time a deed is recorded, a portion of the fee is set aside by state law to improve records management.  There is $226,907.73 in the account.  The committee would like permission to spend up to $15,600 to get a detailed three-year timeline and firm cost for implementation to scan documents and for computers to manage this new system.  A couple of weeks ago, copies of pertinent information were provided to all commissioners and the judges.  Paperless Solutions presented a bid that was the second lowest, but in the opinion of two of our MIS technicians, a superior company for our needs.  There was some resistance at the commissioner level, but these issues will hopefully be resolved.   Commissioner Stohler pointed out that he has an interest and would like to serve on the committee too, and the Act allows more than one Commissioner to serve on the committee.  Commissioner Carpenter would like to address the release of funds during the budget cycle later this month.

"The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has enacted Act No. 8-98, creating a County Records Improvement Fund expressly for the development and improvement of County office records management; and under provisions of Act No. 8-98, this fund shall consist of fees collected by the Recorder of Deeds and shall be administered by a County Records Improvement Committee, consisting of the County Commissioners, Sheriff, Prothonotary, Clerk of Courts, Register of Wills and Treasurer; and, under the provisions of the Act, the County Records Improvement Committee shall assess the relative records management capabilities and records management needs of each County office and develop recommendations for a comprehensive records management plan; and under the provisions of the Act, the County Commissioners shall adopt and provide for administration of a comprehensive records management plan based on recommendations of the County Records Improvement Committee.  In accordance with Act No. 8-98, a County Records Improvement Committee, consisting of those public officials previously identified in this resolution, is hereby authorized to develop and maintain a comprehensive records management plan consistent with the goals established in the Act.  The County Commissioners shall adopt a records management plan based on the recommendations of the County Records Improvement Committee." 

At 1:30, commissioners reconvened as the Assessment Appeals board to hear approximately twenty appeals, mostly commercial.

September 30, 2004

Deirdre Eshleman received approval to submit a $7000 federal grant for use in the war against domestic terror and gun violence, more specifically, for training of our police and firefighters.

Elaine Ludwig presented ballot layout and a sample alternate Spanish ballot for voters in the 6th, 7th, and 9th (St. Benedict’s School on 13th St., the Salvation Army, and St. Matthew’s on Lehman St respectively) wards in the City of Lebanon.  She also explained that she cannot mail out the 1090 absentee ballots that she is holding until the courts rule on Nader.  However, law dictates that the ballots are in the mail by October 19.  Finally, Elaine reminds everyone that the final day to register is October 4.

The following appoints were made:

Women’s Commission:  Elizabeth Cleaver and Margaret Kreiser

COLT:  Barry Heckard

Drug & Alcohol:  Lisa Hershey, student representative from Northern Lebanon High School

Industrial Development Authority:  Bill Kurtz, Howard Neuin, Glenn Wolgemuth, Charles Stoudt, Charles Mellinger, Rich Houser, and Al Murphy.

Fixed Liquid Fuels appropriations were awarded:  Bethel $4861, East Hanover $4717, Heidelberg $4694, Jackson $5112, Millcreek $3695, North Annville $3083, North Cornwall $3335, North Lebanon $6489, North Londonderry $2910, South Annville $2036, South Lebanon $7614, South Londonderry $3527, Swatara $3695, Union $3559, West Cornwall $1363, City of Lebanon $21,000, Cleona $1421, Cornwall $3044, Jonestown $945, Mt. Gretna $346, Myerstown $2438, Palmyra $4862, Richland $939, Annville $3204, and West Lebanon $796.

Further, Special Requests for Liquid Fuels were approved as follows:  Myerstown $9000 for S. Railroad St. Bridge, City of Lebanon $20,000 for Paving 10th St from Mifflin to Lehman, West Cornwall $20,000 for storm water management, North Lebanon $11,000 for paving, Jonestown Borough $50,000 to relocate Mill St., North Cornwall $30,000 for a traffic signal at W Crestview Dr. and paving of Wilshire Dr., South Lebanon $30,000 to widen Fox Rd.

Susan Klarsch presented three HealthChoices Contact Amendments relating to the development of an MCO assessment for approval. 

Further, Sue Klarsh, Drug and Alcohol, presented a request to construct a methadone treatment facility in Lebanon County.  Staff from CRC was present to answer questions.  In short, CRC would provide: a completion bound for construction; liability insurance; a surety bond; after the building is paid, rent based on fair market value; and preferential placement of Lebanon County residents.  Permission to continue negotiations with CRC was granted on a two to one vote (Stohler and Litz aye, Carpenter nay).  This will provide time for public input.

Aerial view of site where inpatient drug treatment is already administered by White Deer Run.  Chart comparing costs to society (narrative).   

Questions and answers.

September 23, 2004

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report.

Jamie Wolgemuth asked for permission to purchase a $1,000,000 certificate of deposit at 2% interest for 120 days.  Commissioners approved the purchase.

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions and conference/seminar requests.  Of note, Jeff Donley was hired as EMA’s new system administrator. 

Michael Kristovensky and Carol Levengood received a proclamation from the Commissioners declaring older worker week, and  presented awards to Murry’s Inc. as the older worker employer of the year.  Murry’s older employees comprise 15% of their workforce.  In addition, Walmart employee Larry Carpenter received an award as the large business employee of the year.   Finally, Lantern Lodge employee Harold Trostle received the small business employee of the year award.

Secretary of the Department of State, Pedro Cortes, attended the Commissioner’s meeting to encourage citizens to follow the example set by Voter Hall of Fame citizens who he believes are ambassadors of democracy.  Ready, set, vote is a $2.3 million dollar ad campaign that is running throughout the State of Pa.  For more information, call 1-877-votePA.  Also, you can now register to vote on-line.  Visit  Secretary Cortes explained how Puerto Rican voters are US citizens.  The first generation speaks 100% Spanish; but in the second generation, about 50% speak Spanish; and in the third generation, only 5% speak Spanish.  Spanish ballots are required based on a check-off on the census that asks if an individual can read and understand English.  When 5% of the population in a precinct can only speak Spanish, law requires the County to print Spanish ballots in those precincts.  Stating that Puerto Rico has a passion for politics, baseball, and religion, he attributes low voter turnout among Hispanics to an adjustment period.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Susan Klarsch presented a Health Choices agreement for approval and signatures.

Commissioners also accepted a $500,000 grant from DCED for the First Time Home Buyer program and Rehabilitation program.  The grant is administered by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for the County of Lebanon.

Advisory board members were appointed to the Area Agency on Aging:  Al Murphy, Kristen, Marlin W, Nancy Miller, Steve Gallarizzo, and Harry Hess.

Commissioners signed a proclamation recognizing Ralph Winters retirement from the district Attorney’s office.

A proclamation was also signed honoring George Barker, who is retiring after 26 years with the North Cornwall Township police force.

After Governor Rendell added Lebanon to the list of declared counties devastated by the recent hurricane, FEMA did declare Lebanon as a federal disaster area, which opens doors for low interest loans and grants to help repair damage where no flood damage occurred in the past and individuals or municipalities did not have flood insurance.

First, if you or a friend or relative are impacted, it is extremely important to document damage with photos.  Then, immediately report any damage to your local municipal disaster coordinator.  For a list, visit the county web site at: .  Don’t wait!  Your municipality must file with the County EMA by Friday.  In turn, the County EMA must file with PEMA who must file with FEMA.

Next, you must file a claim by either calling 1-800-621-FEMA, or file on line at  .


 September 21, 2004

            WHEREAS, On September 17, 2004, I declared a State of Disaster Emergency in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Washington Counties due to widespread and unusually severe storms, heavy rain, high winds and flooding, which struck the counties and caused extensive damage to roads, streets, bridges, private homes, businesses and posed other adverse life safety impacts upon the general population of those counties; and

WHEREAS, on September 18, 2004, said Proclamation was amended to include Beaver, Bedford, Bradford, Centre, Clarion, Clinton, Clearfield, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Westmoreland and Wyoming Counties; and

             WHEREAS, on September 19, 2004, said Proclamation was amended to include Blair, Bucks, Cameron, Carbon, Greene, Lehigh, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties; and

            WHEREAS, additional information provided by local officials finds that additional Pennsylvania counties were also adversely impacted by the same heavy rains, which caused localized flooding to occur in certain creeks and streams and caused extensive road closures, damage to roads, streets, private homes, businesses and continued adverse life safety impacts for the general population of Franklin, Lebanon, Montour, Tioga  and York Counties; and

 WHEREAS, investigations by state agencies of recently developing conditions indicate that additional resources of the Commonwealth may be needed to assist county and municipal efforts to mitigate and contend with the magnitude and severity of this continuing and expanding disaster emergency; and

WHEREAS, the extent of the disaster emergency has necessitated the transfer of an additional $2,000,000 in unused appropriated funds to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to be used for disaster-related expenses incurred by various state agencies and departments which said funds shall be credited to a special account established by the Office of the Budget.

 NOW THEREFORE, Pursuant to the provisions of Subsection 7301(c) of the Emergency Management Services Code (35 Pa. C.S.A. Section 7101 et seq. as amended), I do hereby amend my Proclamation of September 17, 2004, as follows:

            1. The Counties of Franklin, Lebanon, Montour, Tioga and York are now declared to be in a state of disaster emergency and are added to the previously designated disaster emergency area.

2. I hereby transfer  $2,000,000 in unused appropriated funds to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in addition to the $2,000,000 previously transferred in the September 17, 2004 Proclamation.

 2.      This Amendment to Proclamation shall take effect immediately.

 GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this twenty first day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand four and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and twenty-ninth.

                                                                          EDWARD G. RENDELL


September 15

Cedar Haven

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted at this meeting.

The Fall Frolic netted $8500 profit to help pay for items like televisions, ceiling fans, a fire place, Christmas decorations, a dietary tray system, drapes, electric doors and a sixty channel satellite for residents.

Seven surveyors from the State Department of Health found no problems.  Records yielded an error rate of 1.7%, which is phenomenal.

Internal budget hearings were conducted with four departments to date.

Back payments from the State should arrive September 22, then weekly through October 13.  County Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth will notify Treasurer Sallie Neuin to be on the alert for these checks.  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and PA County Administrators deserve credit for pursing these payments.

Occupancy remains at 96.9 percent. 

August 23rd exit interviews with auditors went well.

Cedar Haven Administrator Schlegel along with Assistant Administrator Krause and Personnel Director Mindy will develop a call policy for administrators in Cedar Haven’s fifteen departments.  In the past, no one was allowed to go home during a storm.

Due to a name change, Commissioners approved amending the 1996 firefighter’s 50-year lease agreement at the burn building.  The name change occurred when firefighters merged with the chiefs.

A COLT resignation was accepted.

Prison Board

Voting members present were DA Eshlemen, Controller Mettley, and Commissioners Carpenter and Litz.

430 Inmates; 139 unsentenced inmates; 23 State sentenced inmates; 376 male inmates and 54 female inmates.

Abigail Jarboe requested permission to tour the prison with a questionnaire to interview inmates.  For educational purposes, on occasion, group tours are conducted, but for security reasons, visitors are not allowed to approach inmates.

September 16, 2004

Weekly Meeting

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions and conference and seminar requests for approval:

¨      Received permission to fill a prevention specialist position in the Drug and Alcohol office.  This position is 100% funded from tobacco dollars.

¨      Received permission to pay the Voter Registration staff for extra hours worked due to an increased workload created by the Presidential Election.  Around 200 registrations and absentee ballots are coming in daily, and there’s thirty days to go.

¨      Received permission to create four part-time Telecommunicator positions for utilization during absences of full-time Telecommunicators or disasters.  The rate for a part-time Telecommunicator is $10.90 per hour.  They must be certified to hold the position.  Money to pay the part-time staff will come from the full-time employee budget.

James Holtry presented Children and Youth fourth quarter invoices for approval.  115 children are in foster care.  To run the program, we have five foster care employees, one adoption employee, as well as 17 case workers, four supervisors, and five clerical staff.

¨      IV-E Adoption Assistance $51,547.33

¨      IV-E Placement Maintenance $314,030.17

¨      Medicaid $4,677.58

¨      TANF $134,103.38

¨      Totaling $504,358.46

Overall, expenses came in $488,305 under budget, of which, the County share is $44,384 (20%) under budget.

Ken Bachem opened storm water detention basin bids for the failing Jonestown system, which is leaking, not maintained, and had the wrong grass planted by the original contractor.  At a cost of $138,890, the only bid came from Landis C Deck & Sons, Bernville.  The bond for restoration is $43,000.  Ken will review the bid and seek repairs within our budget.

During the Board of Elections, Elaine Ludwig presented a polling place change request for South Londonderry Township.  Since it is now the third largest precinct, Commissioners approved a change in the Campbelltown voting district from the Township Building to the Campbelltown Fire Company, 2818 Horseshoe Pike (Route 322), Campbelltown

By 2006, Lebanon must have handicap accessible voting machines.  $88,000 per precinct, of which there are 55 precincts, is available from the federal government to assist with this mandate.  The average precinct contains two voting machines.

Commissioners passed and signed a proclamation for CLA Business Person of the Year.

At 1:30PM, hearing 22 residential presentations, commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.

September 9, 2004 

Commissioners approved an alarm connection device agreement with Bayer, W. Stover Ave., Myerstown.

Commissioners signed a proclamation for Lloyd and Mary Fields, the oldest residents in Ebenezer.

To answer questions raised at last week's meeting, administrator Wolgemuth presented his research concerning several inmates.

September 2, 2004 

Bill Dumas addressed the commissioners with concerns at the County prison.

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions.  Due to a criminal investigation, a resignation from Bonita Kirby was not accepted at this time.  If she is found innocent, Bonita is entitled to both her and the County's contribution to her retirement.

For approval, Susan Klarsch, Joy Blankley, Melissa Heisey, and Carol Davies presented a $658,022 Tobacco 'Request for Proposal. As the primary contact for the base prevention cessation program in Lebanon County,  Drug and Alcohol receives a 15% administrative fee.  Contracts and amendments that exceeded their cap, specifically, treatment providers for Drug and Alcohol--Kaleidoscope (+$2001) and PA Renaissance Counseling Services (+$200)--were also approved.  Also, Caron Foundation received a 4.4% and 2.7% adjustment, and due to a two month waiting list, Halfway Home of Lehigh Valley was added as a provider.  Finally, Tobacco amendments were approved--Lebanon Family Health Services (+$1412.5) and South Lebanon Township Police Department (+$135).

Phyllis Holtry received approval for $282,762 in Human Services Development Fund contracts for Homemaker Service, Adult Day Care, Drug and Alcohol programs and social rehabilitation programs, an increase of $4,534 from last year.  Further, 44 clients were referred to the Supported Work Program.  If one-half of the clients are placed in jobs, the program is considered successful.

Beginning at 1:30PM, commissioners heard residential assessment appeals.

August 26, 2004

District Attorney Deirdre Eshelman and Brenda Keefer, Victim Witness coordinator, presented and received approval for a $32,646 PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) continuation grant.  

Likewise, a $50,549 Rights and Services Agreement (RASA) was approved.  Both grants respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; assisting victims of crime to stabilize their lives after victimization; and assisting victims to understand the criminal justice process.

Susan Klarsch and Carol Davies presented and received approval for the $1,438,589 - 4th quarter Commission on Drug and Alcohol abuse expenditure report.  An extensive Methadone Maintenance discussion followed:

bulletSusan said that 52% of admissions for treatment are for heroin (192 heroin addicts are in Lebanon County).
bulletThe average age that a person first uses heroin is 17.6.
bulletIn this grant, ten slots are budgeted for treatment, but only 50% of slots are utilized.   Other programs also use methadone for treatment.
bulletFor a time, these slots were frozen, but when State dollars were restored, there was no spike in the number of people receiving treatment.
bulletSome people are on methadone treatments for life while others are able to taper off of this oral substitute for heroin.
bulletTwo doctors in Lebanon County are certified to detox users using another drug, but one doctor does not plan to add this service to his practice.  One doctor can treat 30 people, but not everyone, pregnant women for instance, can use this drug.
bulletMost clients are working.
bulletTreatment occurs between 5AM and 2PM daily.
bulletCurrently for treatment, clients travel to Discovery House in Harrisburg.
bulletTravel costs run $14,000 to the County for Medical Assistance patients.
bulletLebanon is supposed to offer two treatment choices.

Commissioner Stohler revealed that he is championing a rehab center for Lebanon that would serve 100 clients.  He stated that CRC (Camp Rehab Recovery) Corp., California, who purchased White Deer Run, would build the house and lease from the County.   He believes a local clinic would save the County $15 per patient per week in treatment costs.  He also sights statistics that say there would be a reduction in crime.  Some clients could also come from Lancaster or Schuylkill Counties.

Questions raised included:  What is the break-even point for this facility?  Would a facility of this nature increase our County insurance costs?  How many people from outside of Lebanon County would use this facility?  How do we know how many of the local heroin users are at the point in their lives where they want to participate in this program?

No vote was taken on this matter.  To learn more, on Friday Commissioner Litz will tour the local White Deer Run facility on Chestnut Street.

Ken Bachem and Earl Meyer were present to open bids to improve site development work for a storm water retention basin that was not done correctly at Jonestown Elementary in the North Lebanon School District.  On May 13, 2004, Commissioners originally voted to call in the bond for noncompliance.  No bids were received.  Based on Solicitor Snelling's research, law dictates that before someone can be tapped to do the work without a bid, a second advertising must occur.  Commissioners voted to authorize a second bidding.

Earl also received approval to add Cleona and Myerstown Boroughs to the Building Code Contracts, which would hire the County Planning Department to issue permits and do inspections for these municipalities.

Commissioners authorized two draws on the same day (9/27) for Intergovernmental Transfers for nursing home reimbursement.

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler signed a July 1 resolution appointing the EXPO as the Tourist Promotion Agency for Lebanon County.

An Executive Session on personnel followed.
August 18, 2004

Cedar Haven

With 318 guests, Cedar Haven is at 98% occupancy.  There are five empty beds, and a waiting list of 23.  With so many nursing homes closing, this is a good position to be in.

Further, the last Medical Assistance rate increase was received in July 2003.  At one dollar per day per resident, administrator Schlegel calculates that the County is due $800,000 in increased Medical Assistance dollars.

$4000 in emergency repairs were necessary to repair a cooling tower.

The 2003 audit should be completed in one month, and a UMR survey should begin on September 1.  The Department of Health is expected to inspect Cedar Haven in September or October.

The Fall Frolic is scheduled for September 11 through October 3.

A motion passed to support the Safe Neighborhoods Grant Swat Team.


Population stood at 470 with 133 of the population unsentenced inmates. 103 inmates were on work release, and 22 state-sentenced.

August 19, 2004

Gary Robson requested permission to fill an Intensive Case Management position with Drug and Alcohol. The position, which is 100% funded by the Department of Health, was approved.

Mayor Robert Anspach and Betsy Bowman, from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, requested up to $175,000 from the County’s Affordable Housing funds for the first time homebuyer program in the City of Lebanon.  Five years ago, Mayor Jackie Parker requested and received up to $50,000 in similar funding.  Since some of the tax collected comes from 770 City deeds and 1520 mortgages, and providing the funds are used by the end of 2004, commissioners voted unanimously to grant the Mayor’s request.  The funds will be paid back as the mortgages are repaid.

Phyllis Holtry presented and received approval for a $230,693 Medical Assistance Transportation Program quarterly Report.  The MATP served 497 different clients with 24,875 trips.  The budget was over by $952, which will be reimbursed.

Similarly, Phyllis presented a $278,374 Human Services Development Fund report.  This program served a total of 2,712 clients with Department of Welfare dollars for services like Homemaker services, Adult Day Care, Crisis Intervention (2,615 of the clients), and Personal Care.

Commissioners also passed a motion to withdraw from the Hershey Capital Region Vacation Bureau effective August 13, 2004.  A grant for matching funds was requested to meet the August 16 deadline.

August 12, 2004

Charles Wertz, Angela Foltz, and Tim Sheffey were presented with checks for preservation of the Shoop (80 acres), Smith (140 acres), and Diem (123 acres) farms, which brings the total number of farms preserved to 67 or 7,580.552 acres.  An additional 26 easements representing 2,276.10 acres are pending, which will raise the total to 93 preserved farms totaling 9,856.652 acres, just shy of a 10,000-acre goal.

Archie Battistelli reviewed the retirement fund, and said our investors are performing as expected.

John Wilson, Deputy Director of the Lebanon Emergency Management Agency, presented the Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act $1.25 fee triennial 2004-06  911 Plan for approval.  It is predicted that 911 access lines within Lebanon County will grow by 14% by the end of the period defined by this Plan.  Lebanon County’s 911 Call Taking and/or Dispatching for 26 Municipalities serves 44 fire departments, 8 EMS services, 21 police departments, and the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks for local police coverage and Interstate Patrols. 

Robin Stanley and Heidi Neiswender, both of Palmyra, were appointed to the Women’s Commission replacing Jessica Wright and Donna Moyer.

John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News, asked how much money the County spent on the tornado cleanup.  Approximately $28,000 was spent on refuse removal, porta potties, gas for generators….  Overtime charges and municipality expenses are not included in this figure.  Stating the rainy day fund should be used, Commissioner Carpenter thinks the State should reimburse municipalities for expenses.  Commissioner Litz shared that she wrote a letter to Governor Rendell asking about reimbursement of expenses for municipalities.

Gordie Weiss, WLBR Radio, asked about the prison.  Commissioner Litz suggested a proactive approach in the form of a ‘vulnerability study’ by the State, which would take the inspection process to the next level.  Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler said they would welcome the opportunity.

August 5, 2004  Report on Commissioner's Conference

Abigail Jarboe read a letter from a former prison inmate making numerous allegations about cleanliness and sexual activity.  She could not vouch for the accuracy of the claims made in the letter, and did not reveal the identity of the author.  A lengthy discussion followed.

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report for approval.

All position requests presented by Gary Robson were approved:

bullet2 billable positions in MHMR.  The positions are also 90% funded, and pay about $37,400 annually.
bulletAn accounting clerk “c” in the Treasurer’s office to assist with collecting taxes and issuing licenses.

Of note, Warden Robert Raiger, who honorably served 33 years with the County of Lebanon, submitted his retirement notice.  His last day of work will be Friday, December 17, 2004.

In addition, Ralph P. Winters, a 20-year County employee, will retire from the District Attorney’s office as the ARD Administrator.

Charles Wertz and Angela Foltz, with the Lebanon County Conservation District, were present for a public hearing on the Diem (122.83 acres), Smith (130 acres) and Shoop (79.93 acres) farms.  No objections were raised concerning preservation of these farms.   Examples of legitimate reasons to oppose preservation include:  no clear title, not in an Agricultural Security Area, insufficient County allocations, or coal reserves.  Later this day, Bruce & Laura Heilinger’s 127.77-acre farm along Heffelfinger Road in North Lebanon and Bethel Townships and Troy Moyer’s 95.76-acre farm, 313 Diamond Dr, South Annville, will close in the office of Tim Sheffey. 

James Holtry, Karen Alonzo, and William Sullivan, from Children and Youth and Juvenile Probation respectively, presented an Implementation Plan.  Originally we were approved for $2,945,965 in Act 148 funding, but our allocation was reduced to $2,674,471.  An attempt to maximize revenue by reviewing ineligible cases to look for eligible cases may net two additional funded cases.  A $7,667,916 Needs Based Budget was also submitted for approval and signatures.  Finally, an internal random moment time study to track probation officers in relation to the use of their time may receive federal reimbursement of $100,000.  Our involvement collected raw data for federal analysis.

Kenneth Bachem announced that the lowest bidders for the Central Booking Project were complete, and commissioners voted to award contracts to Woodland Contractors ($59,861 general) and Shannon Smith ($20,108 for electrical, $10,280 for HVAC, and $19,500 for plumbing).  Construction may begin in three-four weeks.

Lillian Morales and Cindy Riss presented a proposal for Lebanon County Christian Ministries to manage the distribution of $118,749 in food, clothing, meals and government surplus programs for the County.  A motion carried to award the funds to LCCM.

July 29, 2004

Today’s meeting was held at the EXPO where the Lebanon Area Fair was going on. 

Commissioners voted to fill an Intensive Case manager position in Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Mark Chegwidden presented an update on the farm preservation program

bulletSo far in 2004, 445 acres of farmland were preserved.
bulletAugust 8 another five farms may be preserved, which would mean an additional 566.83 acres.
bulletTotal preserved acreage to date is 7,011.
bulletWith the additional five farms, a total of 69 Lebanon County farms will be preserved.
bullet47 farms are on the waiting list, and 32 farms are somewhere in the process of being preserved.

In addition, a request is being submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture’s farm and ranch land protection program for fifty percent reimbursement or $1.4 million dollars.

Ken Bachem opened bids for the Central Booking Facility

bulletFor General Construction, Buckwalter & Associates bid $78,300 and Woodland Contactors bid $58,861. 
bulletFor electrical work, General Electrical bid $24,963 and Shannon Smith bid $20,108.
bulletFor HVAC work, GF Bowman bid $10,562 and Shannon Smith bid $10,280. 
bulletFinally, GF Bowman at $25,915 and Shannon Smith at $19,500 bid plumbing.

Earl Meyer received permission to pursue a State mandated Act 537 on-lot Sewage Management program for townships.  If the County administers the program, we qualify for 85% reimbursement verses 50% reimbursement if townships manage the program.  The balance of the costs is obtained by charging a fee to users of the program.

Earl also presented new Building Code contracts for approval with municipalities:  North Londonderry, South Lebanon, Cornwall, and Millcreek.  Currently, the County performs various duties for municipalities like site inspection on new construction, inspection of failed systems, and permits.

A $33,063 sobriety checkpoint grant agreement was approved.

Dennis Grumbine introduced EXPO board members present as well as new promotional representatives Roger Karsnitz and Jessica Prichard. 

Former Commissioner Ed Arnold joined the meeting, and questioned the reason for changing the tourist bureau.  A discussion followed.

A tour of the fairgrounds followed adjournment of the meeting.  Chief Assessor Dan Seaman’s son Cole won ribbons for showing his pigs.  Tanner Dresh won grand champion.

Also on site were PA Agricultural Secretary Wolf and Representative Zug who was taping a show for cable network.

July 22, 2004

To cover for another employee during her absence, Myrna Garcia, secretary in the Public Defender’s office, was approved to work overtime for four weeks.

The following proclamations for eagle scouts were approved:  Jared Stine, troop 25 and Daniel Plumby and Loren Miller, troop 17.

Voter Registration Chief Elaine Ludwig:

·       Received approval to certify a survey on accessibility, which identified ten polling places that are not fully handicap accessible.  Minor modifications like door handles and signage should be completed by the next election.

·       Announced that two polling places will be moved to a new location, one in Millcreek and one in South Londonderry, Campbelltown.

·        Expects a Governor’s Quality Assessment Team to inspect County operations relating to absentee and provisional balloting.

·       Registered for an October 15 training session to learn more about federal grants that can cover $8000 per precinct for new voting machines.  She would like a fiscal person to accompany her.

Bob McNary presented a LERTA request for Valspar, a laytex paint manufacturer for Lowes.  Questions presented:
As I understand it, LERTA is for deteriorated properties, blighted areas, impoverished areas that are unsafe, unsanitary and overcrowded, vacant, overgrown, unsightly, tax delinquent properties with an order requiring the same to be vacated, condemned or demolished by reason of noncompliance with laws, ordinances or regulations.

1.        How does the North Lebanon Business Park meet these criteria? Answer:  Because the property is zoned industrial for many years, it cannot reach its optimal use without infrastructure improvements.

2.        Valspar seems like a first class company, and there are interesting gains for the County, but is a tax exemption for ten years appropriate? Answer:  Need matching funds for State grant.

3.        How many wetlands or other sensitive areas are impacted by the proposed Aspens Boulevard? Answer:  None.  An Environmental Assessment is complete.

4.        Since the entrance is in West Lebanon and the Business Park is in North Lebanon, will West Lebanon be negatively impacted with road maintenance and other costs?
Answer:  We are working on a cost share.

· Removes land from productive agriculture.
· Utilizes more municipal services like fire and police protection.
· Less open space

50% of paid taxes used for infrastructure improvements

Provides 120 jobs averaging $31,404.52 yearly.
· Increases County property taxes to $40,519.61.  
· Other Industrial parcels will pay full taxes.
· Provides for Rails to Trails easement.
· Utilizes existing rail to help minimize truck traffic.

Before passage, Commissioner Litz requested assurances that:
1.        Local Fire Companies (Ebenezer & West Lebanon) are supported financially. Acknowledged, but not assured.
2.        Yearly written itemized reports to commissioners on income and expenses relating to the LERTA, KOZs, and TIFs. Agreed.

Sally Barry, Adult Probation Chief, received approval to submit a $382,748 PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant in aid application to help cover wages to provide probation and parole personnel for pre-sentence investigations and for improved adult probation and parole supervision and programming.

Robert Mettley received approval to establish direct deposit for employee payroll.

July 21, 2004

At Cedar Haven, Ed Schlegel reported:


a 98% occupancy rate.  A full census is 324.


a full evacuation of residents into hallways, away from glass windows, was conducted during the tornado, which will eliminate the need for a mock drill this year.


routine audits will be conducted on-site at the end of August. 

Commissioners reviewed workers compensation claims with Fred Stoever, PMA, and Lois Witmer.

An escrow account was authorized for bonding of storm water work requested by County planning.

Two grants were accepted:


$704,846 for Drug & Alcohol's Renaissance program at the VA;


$60,109 for the Victim Witness Coordinator.

Exoneration from $170 in back taxes for Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services was approved.


Census 474, with 27 State sentenced prisoners.  118 prisoners are on work release.

July 15, 2004

Commissioner Stohler called the meeting to order.  Commissioner Carpenter was on vacation.  All motions were made by Commissioner Litz, seconded by Commissioner Stohler, and passed unanimously.

Gary Robson requested and received permission to fill the following positions:

bulletIntermediate Case Manager in Mental Health Mental Retardation.  The position is 100% funded through a billable service that brings in $46,000 per year.
bulletMental Retardation Case Worker.  The position is 100% funded through a billable service that brings in $37,100 per year.
bulletBuilding Code Administrator in County Planning.  This positions services seventeen municipalities.
bulletZoning Officer in County Planning.  This position services seventeen municipalities issuing 1600 permits and participating in 80 hearings.
bulletFoster Care Case Worker for Children and Youth.

Claire Ludberg received approval to submit a $49,635 Communities That Care grant contract for Lebanon County.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lescisko presented a $3,204,674 agency budget for approval.  To make up for lower reimbursements, donations to COLT for bus rides went from $1 to $1.50 and other similar hikes dotted the budget.  The County share will be discussed at budget time.

Added to approved juvenile service facilities at a cost of $260/day was Lancaster County Detention Center.

Commissioners updated those present on a declared emergency resulting from a tornado in Cambelltown.  In addition to Commissioners Stohler and Litz, Administrator and Public Affairs Officer Jamie Wolgemuth, EMA Coordinator Dan Kauffman and his staff, Planning Department Chief Earl Meyer and his staff of Building Inspectors as well as other county personnel were on the scene to assist South Londonderry Township Supervisors Dave Turner, Rugh Henderson, Phil Rothermel and their staff.  Senator Brightbill visited the site for two and one-half days.  To do site assessments and determine financial assistance eligibility, PEMA Chief David Sanko, Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken, and Department of Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff  visited the site as well as Congressman Tim Holden, Representative Mauree Gingrich, and US Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum.  State Police, Township police, and fire police, under the direction of Lt. Lacey provided security for the area.  Multitudes of volunteers aided victims.  No one lost their life.  What a blessing.  Tornado Coverage

July 8, 2004

Correctional Officer Bonita Kirby was placed on indefinite suspension for alleged criminal activity.

To cover utilities, maintenance, repairs and case management, of three supportive housing contracts with HUD, Phyllis Holtry received approval to submit a $78,704 agreement for a 3-year renewal period covering two houses on South Tenth Street and one on Seventh Street.

Earl Meyer presented five more contracts to administer the Building Code for municipalities:  East Hanover, North Lebanon, South Annville, and West Cornwall, Townships and Palmyra Borough.

County Planning received ‘Third Party Agency Certification’ from Labor and Industry.  This Certification was needed to administer, inspect, and manage services for municipalities.

To inspect commercial construction, Commonwealth Code Inspectors were hired as the consultant by both the County and City.  Commonwealth was chosen for both their nearby location and previous favorable services.

Commissioners approved a proclamation for Lionel Matthew Mathias, son of Peter and Mary Mathias.  Lionel is a new eagle scout in Troop 9.

Commissioners also approved a proclamation for ninety-year-old Mary Sholley of Schaefferstown.

Dan Kauffman received approval and signatures for the Emergency Operation Plan.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization met an 11AM.  The following were adopted:

bulletTIP Modification Procedures
bulletResolution #2 Summary Sheet of Public Comments
bulletResolution #3-2004 Long Range Transportation Plan as it relates to the Clean Air Act
bulletFunding of a Palmyra project that is located in the neighboring Harrisburg MPO

Further, the Monroe Valley Bridge should be complete by September 2004.

In an attempt to reduce deaths in construction zones, the Route 81 improvement will also host a pilot speed violation project, which will not only flash a motorist’s speed at violators, but also generate an automatic ticket.   It may be years out, but there is also talk of I-81 becoming a federal toll road.

July 1, 2004

Commissioners approved two new positions:

  1.  A part time clerk in Lee Lehman’s office where the workload increased as a result of redistricting.
  2. An Information Technology position for EMA and the Detectives at a 70/30 wage split between the two departments.  The individual would be on-call to keep J Net, two new servers, phase II of 911 compliance, operation of the cad system, central booking, and upgrade of mobile data terminal systems running.  This will eliminate outsourcing of services totaling at least $55,000 from EMA and $15,000 from the Detective Bureau.  Further, a total of thirty agencies have 500 personal computers that need maintenance for network capabilities.  As outsourcing costs rise, this is a cost effective solution to staffing.   This is the same position proposed by Commissioner Litz a few weeks ago.

Commissioners also voted to refill three positions:

  1. A general clerk at the prison to keep paperwork current—file court papers, do criminal background checks, coordinate J Net, court lists, networking with the sheriff’s offices and federal agencies like illegal aliens and military personnel.
  2. A house parent position, which is 80% reimbursed with Children and Youth funds.  House parents are needed 24 hours a day.
  3. A caseworker in Children and Youth to handle foster care.

Roman Shahay presented contracts for Project Able, which provides adults with vocational, social, and recreational assistance.  The contract is for $10.36 per hour and $15.92 per hour for transport.

In addition, commissioners approved a $25 per resident group membership with First Aid and Safety Patrol for ambulance service at Renova Center where 25 residents reside. 

Commissioners signed a previously approved South Central Terrorism Task Force agreement.

Two lease agreements were approved:

bulletWith the VA Medical Center for third floor space to run the Renaissance Crossroads drug treatment program.  Monthly rent remains at $7744 per month.  In case assistance money from the State would dry up, an “out clause” was added.
bulletAn additional tower site for EMA, Swatara Mountain, was approved at a cost of $1250 per month with Verizon.  Renting space is more cost effective than building our own tower.

Four potential tourist promotion agencies presented their vision for promoting Lebanon County.

Hershey Capital Region Vacation Bureau concentrated on stretching County Hotel Tax dollars with 36 pages of editorial content in Visitor’s guides, 4,000 room nights in Lebanon County, and a reservation line open until 7PM.
The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce explained how they get many calls for tourist information and provide packets.  They shared how their web site pops up first when people type in Lebanon.  They saw themselves as a conduit to form a board to drive an independent TPA.
The Furnace Hills group outlined a visitors center that they will locate off of the Turnpike exit where 1,519,000 people exit each year.  The Harley Davidson shop will provide billboard advertising, and a representative of the Turnpike Commission was present to acknowledge a land lease for the center, that they would provide signage, and a potential park and ride for the area.  Their vision for Lebanon County included historical, cultural, natural and outdoor recreational promotions, 800 numbers, a web site, search engines, coupons, maps, a magazine, cable TV ads, motor coach, and working with the AAA.  Local merchants talked passionately for the group, and a letter of support was read from Mayor Anspach.
The Lebanon Valley Exposition Center admits to being agrarian by nature.  They want to promote wheel wrights and saddle makers, create a web presence, a Lebanon magazine, and shuttle people to other local destinations in marked vans.  They have experience with national and international events at their site.  They proposed an $80,000 budget, to which they would contribute.

Commissioner Stohler moved, and Commissioner Carpenter seconded a motion to nominate the EXPO as the Lebanon Tourist Promotion Agency.  Commissioner Litz asked to have the motion tabled to provide more  time to study all of the presentations in more detail.  However, a vote was called.  Commissioners Stohler and Carpenter voted to recommend the EXPO to municipalities who must provide letters of support representing 50% of the population.  Acknowledging that all of the presenters had areas of strength and wanting time to make sure that all of the options available to the County were explored, Commissioner Litz voted against the motion.

Commissioners also approved standard distributions of liquid fuels funds to municipalities.

June 24, 2004

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies and Melissa Heisey presented Lebanon County Mental Health/Mental Retardation contracts and the 2004-05 budget for approval. 

bulletEarly Intervention Contracts totaled $634,996, of which $531,418 are federal dollars and $55,097 are from the County budget.  Overall, this is a 19.5% contract increase over 2003—10.1% more in federal dollars, and 13.12% more in County dollars.
bulletIn reality, requesting a 0% increase netted a 3% budget increase when unusual occurrences were considered.  The $13,664,797 budget currently shows a $280,996 deficit, but Kevin assured Commissioners that, as in the past, his team will work on cutting that deficit.

Susan Klarsch presented Drug and Alcohol Provider and tobacco prevention contracts for approval. 

bulletThirty-four agencies were approved, at varying rates, for use as needed to provide rehabilitation services to clients of Lebanon County Drug and Alcohol.
bulletSchools were approved for tobacco contract amendments:  Annville Cleona $3,111; Cornwall Lebanon $10,074; Eastern Lebanon $2,540; Lebanon $4,938; and Palmyra $7,930.
bulletAnother $101,035 in tobacco contracts were approved with Commissioner Carpenter abstaining from two Good Samaritan Hospital contracts totaling $18,336.

James Holtry presented 62 provider contracts for use by Children and Youth at 356 facilities with an overall 1.2% increase.

Since the Area Agency on Aging Center Meals contract expires June 30, Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko, and Dean Mease recommended that the Canteen Vending bid be awarded at a cost of $4.60 each for bulk center meals and $4.81 each for individual meals.  This would give staff time to look internally at the need of those receiving meals, increasing use of volunteers to deliver meals, increasing donations, COLT fair increases, and drop deliveries at housing units.   Should the contract be successfully rebid, the current contract can be canceled with sixty days notice.  Further, Kristovensky explained that we are not committed to purchase all of the 91,084 meals.

Suggested donations for all senior center and meals on wheels meals will rise to $4.00 each effective July 1.

June 17, 2004

Two permanent layoffs for Day Care Aides and Personal Needs Assistant were approved in the Area Agency on Aging.

Commissioners voted to fill an Area Agency on Aging administration case manager for the waiver program.

All conference and seminar requests, both mandated and requested, were approved.

Joseph Pierce, Bond Counsel for Eckert Seamens, Kevin Ertel, and James Tricolli, RBC Dain Rauscher were on hand for refinancing of the $6,765,000 1999 Bond Issue at 3.95%, which will save $295,000 up front  in interest for the fiscal year 2004.  Fulton Financial is the paying agent, and the County received an AAA rating for their payment history.  Two payments of $630,000 will be due in April and October.  We can settle 90 days prior to when the bond becomes refundable, which is October 15, 2004.  Ordinance 6-17-04 passed unanimously.  Settlement will occur July 20.

Basco Architects Stephen Krug and Joe Crumbling were on hand to present proposed drawings for expansion of the County prison and a Central Booking Facility.  Parameters given were to remain within the $1.5 million budget in the 2003 Bond Issue, and not add any new staff.  For that price, the County can add 16 male cells and 5 female cells.  If double bunked, we can accommodate an additional 42 inmates. 

bulletCommissioner Carpenter requested that an alternate vestibule be removed from bidding.
bulletCommissioner Litz requested that a gravity fed sewer line to Walnut Street be investigated.  It costs $10,000 yearly to maintain the current pumping system.
bulletCommissioner Stohler requested an alternate bid for the female wing to include widening by 9’4” to accommodate more cells.

Also included are exercise yard fencing and macadam, which will cost $70,000 and Site Work that will run $70,000.

At a cost of $100,000, the Central Booking facility that falls under the District Attorney will be placed in the old City Jail in the basement of the Municipal Building.  Five cells will accommodate video conferencing.  A rental agreement must be negotiated with the City of Lebanon.

Earl Meyer presented Building Code Agreements for West Lebanon, Jonestown, Annville, and Swatara.  When fully implemented, 19 municipalities will opt into a County inspection program, which will include full enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code.  Permits will cost $50 plus $.25 per square foot.  Planning has the ability to hire independent contractors for electrical and code inspections.  Commissioners were presented with a list of exempt repairs.  An appeal process will include a three-member board with one alternate.  A majority, eleven municipalities would have to approve the board members.  Appeals must be filed within twenty days.  Bethel and Cold Springs are the only two townships to opt out of a County run program.

Housing and Redevelopment Authority executive directors Raymond Bender and Bryan Hoffman were present to request refinancing of Palmyra Interfaith Manor, a 100 unit mid-rise apartment building for the elderly and disabled located at 101 S. Railroad Street.  Built in 1980 at a total cost of $3,502,100, the outstanding HUD balance is $2,588,285.27 at 7.625% interest.  Financing $3,000,000 at a new rate of 3.95%  would also allow for window replacement, roof replacement, brick restoration, and some carpet replacement.

In an afternoon session, commissioners heard two residential assessment appeals.

A parking area owned by Trinity United Methodist Church in Heidleberg was removed from the tax role.  There will be no July Assessment Appeals

June 16, 2004

CEDAR HAVEN is currently at full capacity.

June 14, a new nurses aid class will start at Cedar Haven.  a $5000 donation for the nurse's scholarship fund was received.

Cedar Haven must charge Renova Center $6.39 per meal, and the public pays $6.50 per meal.

Ed Schlegel and Ray Bender provided comments on a $432,000 Simplex Grinnell estimate for a potential new sprinkler system.  Disturbing asbestos would prohibit pursuit of the system.  Ed was instructed to have a certified inspector look at the site and take some samples for testing.  Ray indicated that 9” square tiles would contain asbestos.  All tiles made today are 12” square.  Further, Ed is to find out if the estimate is at prevailing wages as required in the Davis Bacon act if using federal dollars.

Ray also presented a summary of CDBG funds:







Housing Rehab






First time home




































  N Lebanon






  E Hanover


















  E Hanover












Storm Sewer






  W Cornwall












  N Lebanon






Arch Barrier Removal












  Conty Buildng












Legal Services



















If CDBG funding is available for 2005, municipalities will receive notice to submit project applications by January 15.

Ray received approval for $111,860 for Housing & Redevelopment Authority contract administration of CDBG funds and $51,200 for South Lebanon.

A Crossroads Lease with the VA Medical Center is up for renewal.

A Governor Dick open house may not take place until September.  A sidewalk and landscaping have to be completed.  Otherwise, there would be too much mud.

A proclamation was passed for Sterling and Ruth Carpenter congratulating them on 50 years of marriage.

PRISON BOARD:  Of 446 total inmates, 23 are state-sentenced;  401 are male and 45 are female; and 106 inmates are on work release. 

June 10, 2004

Attorney Andy Morrow sat in for Solicitor Penny Snelling.

Ranae Lemke presented the Treasurer’s report for approval.

Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented position requests, personnel transactions, and conference/seminar requests. 

bulletFirst, commissioners voted to fill a building and zoning administrator’s position vacated by Pete Light.  Last year, this position brought in $300,000 overseeing 712 building permits for fifteen municipalities, and two more municipalities are coming on board in 2004.  Further, 1,562 zoning permits for eighteen municipalities brought $128,700 in revenue on $91,000,000 in new construction.
bulletThen, effective July 25, 2004, Kristopher Troup was approved to rejoin County Planning as a subdivision planner. 
bulletIn addition, commissioners signed settlement of two Union grievances #’s 20266 and 20259, which dealt with establishment of a date for reclassification of two care managers in the Area Agency on Aging.
bulletMr. Robson is looking into an MIS position for EMA and the DA.

Proclamations were approved for Small Business Person of the Year Award for Bob Funck and Mike Guerissi who will receive the Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Military ballots were certified.

James Holtry received approval on contracts, a new community reintegration program, and $395,060.91 in IV-E AA, IV-E PM, Medicaid and TANF invoices. 

bulletMary Reedy and Toni Weidman are student interns who will double as relief houseparents at a contract price of $8.75 per hour.  At the same hourly rate, Evelyn Lopez will serve as a houseparent aide.
bulletThe new reintegration program will place youths back into families with an advocate who will assist with everything from tutoring to parenting skills.  County costs will drop from $120 per day in placement to $44.75 per day for an advocate.  Four youth will be targeted to start the program, which is modeled after a Lehigh and Pike county prototype.

Kenneth Bacham, Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko, and Dean Mease were on hand to open noon meal and Meals-on-Wheels bids for Area Agency on Aging programs.  Bids from Canteen Vending came in significantly higher than last year:  $4.60 for each of 28,084 bulk “center” meals, which were $4.35 each last year; and $4.81 each for 63,000 individual meals, which were $3.56 each last year.  Rather than institute a waiting list for meals, the Area Agency on Aging team and commissioners will look for ways to provide nutritious meals to seniors who often don’t see another person in a day’s time.  Meals on Wheels clients must be 60 and over, homebound/needy, and be skilled nursing home eligible for delivery.

Because the number of clients served has increased requiring more staffing, Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley presented a County Mental Retardation plan, which requested additional State funds in the amount of $90,000 for waiver administration and $88,000 for a support coordinator. 

After a lengthy discussion, Deirdre Eshleman received permission for submission of a $61,340 grant from the US Attorney General for global positioning units, education and outreach materials, an HP Designjet 500PS 42” plotter, tactical gear for a 20-person team Emergency Swat Unit (tactical vests, ballistic helmets, belts, an M16 with a flashlight and three 30 round magazines, and holsters), and team equipment (tactical ladders, hallagan tools, rams, shoulder patches, and flex cuffs) The equipment will not only enhance an existing ten-member City team but will either expand the City or create a County team to work hand-in-hand with the City team.  Ten of eleven Chiefs polled said they had interest in the Team.  Municipalities would have to pay for officer’s salaries while they were trained.  In the recent past, the City’s team crossed municipal lines to help at CCHS as well as at incidents in both Annville and Cleona.  The expanded team can assist with crowd control, mobile readiness, and hostage and rescue situations.  Need was established after waiting for a State Police team from Reading to respond.  To take advantage of a window of opportunity for funding, support the City of Lebanon, and ensure safer streets, Commissioner Litz moved to submit the grant application.  Commissioner Stohler seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Daniel Kauffman acquired approval for an Act 35 $37,399.59 PEMA HAZMAT Response grant.  Further, an Act 227 counter terrorism mutual aid agreement was signed.

June 3, 2004

Commissioners signed a $4,435,998 PA Department of Aging Cooperative Grant Agreement and a $435,600 Medicaid Waiver.

Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lecisco also wanted a three-month contract extension during an offer of a 5% increase to the Good Samaritan Hospital for Homemaker’s Service.  If the offer is not accepted, a bid for a new contract will take place.

Further, a Hispanic Outreach effort by AAA included printing of agency brochures in Spanish as well as a seminar on Medicare Discount Cards.  The seminar was advertised through Lebanon’s two Hispanic radio stations, newsletters….

A Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Program was also reviewed.  Persons with income less than $17,224 or couples whose income is less than $23,107 can receive four $5 coupons to purchase Pennsylvania produce.  Checks must be redeemed by November 30, 2004.  751 people in 2002 and 1,068 people in 2003 took advantage of the program.  Checks can be redeemed with participating vendors at the following Lebanon County Farm Markets:

bulletChickadee Acres, Sunset Market, N 7th St., Lebanon
bulletLebanon Farmers Market, 19 N 9th St., Lebanon
bulletPalmyra Farmers Market, 325 S Railroad St., Palmyra
bulletRisser-Marvel Farm, 2425 Horseshoe Pike, Annville
bulletSycamore Springs Orchard & Farm Market, 2501 Heilmandale Rd., Lebanon
bulletSunset Market, 1650 N 7th St., Lebanon

Checks can be obtained between 10AM and 1PM on the dates and at the locations that follow:


June 21, Annville Senior Center;


July 15, Willow Terrace


June 22, South Lebanon Senior Center;


July 19, Poplar Terrace


June 28, Myerstown Senior Center


July 21, Palmyra Senior Center


July 12, Townehouse Apartments, 1111 Reinoehl Street, Lebanon


July 28, Maple Street Senior Center


July 14, N Lebanon Senior Center


July 29, Stevens Towers

Patrick Salmon, Jessica Nee, and Brian Klunk reviewed the Honeywell Audit results for 2000-2003.  Savings totaled $60,871 over the $588,039 cost for equipment replacement and maintenance.  The negative savings in 2003 resulted from a faulty water heater and boiler at Cedar Haven.  Honeywell will replace the boiler at no cost to Lebanon County.

Time Period

Cost Avoidance

Energy Guarantee

Net Results

Installation Period
























Commissioner Litz commented that it is good to be back on track after four years.  Honeywell conducted themselves very professionally by admitting a lapse in communication, then working together with County officials to make corrections.  Further, Commissioner Litz is pleased with both the money and energy saved that surely aided the community in times of drought.  By saving energy, we also saved water that is often used to create energy.  On top of that, we get a free new boiler.

Commissioners signed a $3,117 DARE Grant for administration by the District Attorney at Northern Lebanon High School.  Funds will come from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Commissioner Stohler encouraged everyone to attend the Good Samaritan Hospital Street Fair.

Commissioner Litz requested creation of a position to provide 24 hour coverage for Jnet, CAD and Mobile Data Terminals for the new phone system.  Our current MIS staff was not hired to cover these hours of operation, EMA has two of their own AS400 main frame computers, and our contract to cover the costs of an outside technician are $85 per hour.  We need a dedicated employee to provide a smooth transition for this important emergency system.  Dan Kauffman in EMA and Deirdre Eshleman in the District Attorney’s office would split the cost 70/30 and guarantee to cover the salary for three years.  On a flow chart, I envision that this employee would be at the same level as Barry Hartman, Karl Zimmerman, and James Earnshaw—not over or under any of them.  He could also sit as an advisor on the MIS steering committee.  Commissioner Carpenter questioned procedure, specifically if personnel director Gary Robson should document and present the need, pay scale, and funding source. Commissioner Litz had provided the information to Mr. Robson, but agreed to give Mr. Robson more time and follow whatever procedure is necessary to ensure the safety of employees and the public.

A discussion concerning the Sunshine Law followed. 
May 27, 2004

Requests for mandatory training passed unanimously.  Three non-mandated training sessions were voted upon:

bulletCommissioner Stohler moved not to send a first and second deputy in the Prothonotary’s office for training at a convention.  That motion was voted down, and a new motion by Litz/Carpenter passed to send the two people for training.  Commissioner Litz believes that with two people, twice as many seminars can be covered to acquire information and updates for sharing with other staff.
bulletA Stohler/Carpenter vote not to send a staff person for mental health training was passed.  Believing the individual should be allowed to attend the training session recommended by the Mental Health Association, Commissioner Litz voted against the motion.
bulletThe final request to send Leigh Beamesderfer at the Conservation District for training passed unanimously.

Abigail Jarboe questioned whether an investigation into the Lebanon Court System would take place.  Commissioner Carpenter said no last week.  After looking at the submitted documents, Commissioner Litz explained that she believes the constitutional power for Mrs. Jarboe’s request was not with the commissioners due to a separation of powers between judicial, executive, and legislative branches of government.  She further stated that an appeal process is in place for judicial review, and that would be the avenue recommended.  Commissioner Stohler presented Mrs. Jarboe with the appropriate form to file her complaint.

Rick Rhoade, from the 445 Foundation, received a proclamation for the Children’s Miracle Network on June 5 & 6.  Held at Hershey Medical Center, the telethon benefits pediatric services.

Phyllis Holtry presented three items for consideration:

bulletThe Human Services Development Fund was revised per a MHMR request to move $100,699 out of Crisis Intervention into the Mental Retardation Category of services and adult development training.  MH’MR will then contribute $100,699 to Crisis from another part of their budget, making the move revenue neutral.
bullet$260,262 in Community Services Block Grant funds were amended to fund the same programs as well as HARP, Transportation, Bridges, Employment Development staff, Hispanic Outreach, Child Care, Bridge House case management, and human services.  $20,000 in additional funds were received for technological purchases like computers, a copier, scanner, fax machine, and training for Bridge clients.
bulletThe Medical Assistance Transportation Program would have exhausted funds before the year’s end, but another $20,000 was requested and granted from Pennsylvania.

Kevin Schrum, Shem Heller, and Dave Hartman presented the Mental Health Plan.  Five priorities include the expansion of psychological services, redesigning crisis intervention, a training program for recovery for adults, social rehabilitation services in a natural support system, and the redesign services for outcome measures.

New funds would be used for mobile psychological services, transition for young adults to adult services, respite services to avoid family burnout caring for relatives, psychological rehabilitation, and training for first responders to focus on recovery.

Dan Kauffman, EMA, received approval to apply for $9,293 in Act 147 funds for being in the TMI zone.  Further, the Act 165 HazMat annual report was approved for submission.

A proclamation passed in appreciation of Bill Kurtz’s 37 years of service.

Commissioner Litz pointed out that in May 2004, Lebanon County’s Sealer of Weights and Measures retired. It is her understanding that no money was budgeted to continue this position after our Sealer’s retirement.  Therefore, the State of PA would be responsible to complete inspections of our 363 gas stations, grocery stores, and other businesses to make sure their weight scales and fuel pumps are accurate.  However, with limited staff, Ken Deitzler, from the state, says that our measuring devices may only get checked every second or third year.

Collecting data concerning the number of devices from an annual report, Litz learned that there were 1630 devices examined by our Sealer in 2003.  The State does additional inspections.  Further, she learned that Act 155 of 1996 (Consolidated Weights and Measure Act) gives counties more options for performing weights and measures duties.  More specifically, Lebanon County can impose inspection fees—from $10-$30 per device—which would cover a local inspector’s wages and benefits. 

In addition, there is the issue of consumer protection.  Measuring devices fail, sometimes on the side of the retailer and sometimes on the side of the consumer.  Take a look at these statistics:

Weighing Devices

bulletOf 560 computing scales, 36 (6%) failed the initial inspection.  Six of those 36 failed a reinspection.
bulletOf 49 platform (floor type) scales, nine (18%) were rejected on the initial inspection and two were rejected a second time.

Measuring Devices

bulletOf 778 motor fuel dispensers, 391 failed the initial inspection.  That’s 50%.
bulletOf 114 diesel fuel dispensers, 60 were rejected on the initial inspection.  That’s almost 53%.
bulletOf 34 Kerosene dispensers, 15 failed (44%).
bulletOf 12 vehicle tank meters, 4 failed (33%).

Adams, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware are among counties already charging for inspections.

At a time when gasoline is nearly $2.00 per gallon, it is imperative that we make sure customers get what they pay for.

Therefore, Litz moved that we establish a $25 per device inspection fee and fill Lebanon County’s Sealer of Weights and Measures position.  The motion died for lack of a second.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

May 19, 2004

Cedar Haven – 97.83% occupancy rate (5 empty beds).


Commissioners were informed about a Red Cross survey concerning a permanent nurses aid site.


Ed Schlegel updated commissioners on Qunique’s duties as a consultant for regulations, resident policies, and procedures.


An MX-1 x-ray company is interested in locating a new machine at Cedar Haven that develops film in ninety seconds, scans and sends the x-ray to the doctor.  The report is back in minutes.  Commissioner Carpenter asked Mr. Schlegel to research whether we are obligated to charge rent for machine space.


While sprinklers are not required in the existing facility, Commissioner Stohler requested a bid to determine the cost to sprinkler the rest of Cedar Haven.  About one-third of the building is currently sprinklered.


A motion passed to send a letter from Jim Holtry to Senator Brightbill concerning juvenile placement dollars under Act 148.  While restored, the funds may be restricted, thus unaccessible.


A motion passed to rent County owned land along Route 422 east of Lebanon for $975 per year to Ken Reist who farms ten acres.

Prison Board – 452 inmates (402 male, 50 female), 28 are state sentenced

Commissioner Litz reviewed one result of the United Way Community Needs Survey that said inmates would like parenting books in the library.  Seventy percent of the respondents were male.  Warden Raiger will use canteen funds to purchase books recommended by Chaplain Martin. 

May 20, 2004

Regular Weekly Meeting


Commissioners voted to fill the position of Accounting Clerk C, a payroll assistant and backup to the payroll clerk.


Thomas Ehrgood, Esq. Received approval to refinance a $2,125,000 bond issue for Brentwood Industries in West Lebanon.  The Bethel Industrial Development Authority originally assisted with financing the facility in 1996.


Janet Frick, Carl, and Abigail Jarboe addressed the commissioners.

Assessment Appeals board.  Three requests for tax exemption were approved.  One appeal was heard concerning cellular towers on the Quality Inn.

May 13, 2004

Sitting as the Board of Elections, a tie breaker for a republican committeeperson in the Eighth ward in the City of Lebanon between Laurel Black and Kelly Griffith was decided by the drawing of numbered balls giving Black the position.  Each person had received one valid write-in vote.  Allowing for receipt of fifteen military ballots, May 17 is the official certification date for the election.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko received approval for the Area Agency on Aging four-year plan and budget amendment, which went down by $94,176.  Adult Day Care accommodates 21 clients at each of the County's two facilities (Palmyra and Cedar Haven).  There are eight openings at one site, and eleven openings at the other site. 

Bob McNary and Susan Eberly were present to request a resolution approving a Next Generation Farmer Loan for first time farm owner Jeffrey S. Zimmerman in the amount of $250,000.  This is a low interest (3.98-4.95%), 20-year loan.  This arrangement is the same as a tax exempt bond whereby the loan does not in any way, "pledge or obligate the credit or taxing power of the County, nor shall the County be liable for the payment of the principal of, or interest on, any obligations issued by the Jackson Township Industrial Development Authority."  Union National Bank, of Lancaster is the lender.  There is a parallel Small Business First Loan and an Equipment and Working Capital, Land and Building program available too.  For more information, call the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation.

David Eichler of Sico and Tom Harlan representing the County of Lebanon, were both reappointed to the Governor Dick Board of Directors.

Resolution 5-13-04B was passed giving signatory authority to Commissioner Carpenter for the Union Canal grant.

May 6, 2004


Commissioners received a $241,000 alternative transportation grant from Penn DOT.  The Transportation Equity Act 21st Century (TEA 21) funds will be used for masonry, landscaping, a small pond to turn the boat around, and a foot bridge along 600 feet of tow path at the Union Canal.  Because McCormick and Taylor was working on this project since 2002, this award did not go through the new Metropolitan Planning Organization. 


Upon the retirement of two individuals, the following positions were not filled:  Sealer of Weights and Measures and Clerk Typist with Juvenile probation.


Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller, Advest, met with Commissioners when they reconvened as the retirement board to hear an update on the status of invested funds.

April 28, 2004

Today was Student Government Day in Lebanon County.  Amanda McKinney sat in Commissioner Carpenter’s seat; Brian Dussel sat In Commissioner Stohler’s seat; and Amy Morgan sat in Commissioner Litz’s seat.  Kerry Landis was County administrator.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin and Carlos Velez presented the treasurer’s report for approval.

Gary Robson and Mellisa were assisted by Jenna Larson to present position requests, personnel transactions, and seminar requests.  All requests were approved unanimously.

Jay Fair received a proclamation for thirty-one years of service to the County maintenance department.  Jay was instrumental in keeping our voting machines in operation, and spent all day Tuesday training new mechanics.

Dan Kauffman and David Hurst, his assistant, distributed an introduction to a Continuity of Government Plan.  A PowerPoint presentation by Thomas Arminio, Delta Development Group, talked about line of succession, conducting catastrophe exercises, professional development for individuals in the line of succession, phone trees, and other pertinent data to include in the living document.

James Holtry, assisted by Melissa Sholly, presented a $22,275 independent living grant to teach 16-25 year olds life skills.  Ten people are currently in the program.

Shem Heller received a proclamation for the Great Pa Workout and Healthy Lifestyles, part of the Community Health Council.  Hike guides were distributed.

Susan Klarsch presented a $22,162 increase in Contract #3 for the Department of Health.  The move was necessary to add a new provider after the approved provider closed admissions.  In addition, the cap on outreach went from $5000 to $8112.

Raymond Bender and Betsy Bowman reviewed the First Time Home Buyers program.  They received permission to increase the ceiling from $90,000 to $99,000, which will increase the number of County homes available on the multi-list from 57 to 75 and add town houses (new construction).  In twenty-one years, the program has accommodated 253 new homebuyers.  Because of strict guidelines like owner buy-in with 3% down, only two people ever defaulted on a loan.

Further, increasing a pool of money to $50,000, an additional $25,000 was added to the HARP fund.  650 people were assisted with motel rooms, Hispanic Outreach, employment development, medical transportation, and rent deposits.  The money comes from unobligated Affordable Housing Funds.

April 22, 2004 

Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented personnel transactions and position and conference requests. 

bulletOf note is the retirement of Jay Fair, who was a building and grounds mechanic for 31 years. 
bulletCommissioners approved filling of four positions:  a mechanic at the prison, a mechanic at the municipal building, a GIS specialist in the Assessment office, and an internal auditor in the Controller’s office.
bulletTwo mandated seminars and three seminar requests were approved unanimously.  However, a request for Matt Clements and Mark Miller to attend an OSHA Voluntary Compliance Course passed after a second motion by Litz/Carpenter.  The first motion not to send the pair for training was defeated two to one.

Clyde Flickinger and Cindy Hummel presented commissioners with Bowl for Kids Sake t-shirts that contain the county seal.  The County raised $8100 by department participation, and a total of $9057 when a contribution from Henry Molded Products is included.

Kevin Schrum and employees of MHMR presented an update on MHMR provider contracts, which were reduced by $14,832 overall.  The original $280,000 MHMR deficit should be eliminated by the end of June by a reduction in expenses, a one-time revenue source, and the restoration of State funds.  Kevin has authority to make changes up to $10,000, but these changes exceeded his authority.

Representatives of the Good Samaritan Hospital, VA Medical Center, and Philhaven Hospital were present to receive proclamations for both National Healthcare and Nurses Week.  Events such as banquets, walks, prizes, and awards are planned at each location.

James Earnshaw, head of Management Information Computer Systems, presented commissioners with a proposal for a mainframe computer lease for an IBM iSeries Model 810.  He learned of a $15,000 trade-in offer by giving up the current 400, which we could own for $1.  It was unclear whether, at the end of the term, this three-year lease also had a $1 buyout.  The offer is good until June 30, 2004.  The new computer lease costs $4,627 per month or $55,524 per year.  On a motion by Stohler/Carpenter, the lease was approved.  Stating that since she did not have time to review the IBM offer, and she would prefer to wait a week, Litz voted no.  Litz is liaison to the MIS Department, and together with the staff created a written report, which was presented to commissioners and the MIS Steering committee.  The County budgeted $5463 per month, so the price quoted is approximately $800 per month less than budget.  Another option presented by Mr. Earnshaw would have been to pay $19,647 per year, another $35,866 per year savings, to keep the current AS400 and pay the annual machine and software maintenance.

As a follow-up, Litz moved to allow Kirsten Jones, deputy court administrator, to submit a grant application to the State Justice Institute to fund hiring of a consultant to complete a review of the MIS computing environment, and provide recommendations for a tactical and strategic plan that supports the needs of the MIS and their customers.  Even after offering to amend the motion to allow the application if the value of employee time is allowed for a match, the motion died for lack of a second.  The grant requires that the technical assistance must be completed within 12 months.  Without any glitches, implementation of recommendations could take another year.  Therefore, the three-year lease with IBM could have coincided with consultant recommendations, and the monthly savings could have been used to implement recommendations.  Need/Justification for review:

bulletThree-quarters of the data stored on the AS400 is court-related, and the AOPC system will be converting an unknown quantity of data to be managed by the State, which means space would be “freed up” on the current AS400.
bulletState programs require Microsoft compatible servers, and the AS400 is a different language, which causes some glitches.
bulletWithout bidding the computer, we are assuming that IBM has the best system for the County.  After interviewing department staff and their needs, an objective third party professional may shed some light on a compatible, but less expensive system that is Microsoft compatible.

Commissioners signed the Palmyra TIFF, which was approved in a December 2003 resolution.

April 21, 2004

At Cedar Haven,


Administrator Ed Schlegel reported a 97.4% occupancy rate.


The Spring Fling netted $1250 profit.


At a cost of $82 per month, satellite television will provide programming in each day room.  Residents have long requested this service.  For years, staff tried to negotiate for cable installation, but the cost was prohibitive.  Funds for the satellites will come from the Fall Frolic.


Since ends of floor tiles are curling in some twenty year old portions of the building, a schedule for floor tile replacement will be devised.


Certified Nurse Assistant testing will start up again at Cedar Haven.  A fee for the service will be charged.


On May 5, an employee luncheon will take place during PA Nurses Week.


On May 11, Cedar Haven will host the opening ceremony for the Senior Olympics for ten nursing homes.

Representatives of the American Idea Network met with Litz/Stohler concerning Corridor 2.

 At the Prison Board:


Commissioners learned that there were 434 inmates at the end of March 2004.


Commissioners approved $900 to paint the fence.


Stohler informed staff that even though the County owns the property, prisoners will not need to mow grass at the fire school.  The firemen will pay for care of the grounds.


Litz asked about information on the proposed addition, and asked if a work release building had been considered.  Carpenter directed Litz to Administrator Wolgemuth for an update.


Edward McIntyre, Director of Training at the Prison, received a resolution for thirty years of service.

 April 15, 2004


At today's meeting of the Lebanon County Commissioners, Raymond Fittery's request for retirement was approved with accolades for his seventeen years of service as an auditor in the Controller's Office.


Deborah Harchuska, a fiscal supervisor in Domestic Relations, was also chosen to fill the Benefits Coordinator position.


Jenny Murphy Shifflet and Gary Rusen received a proclamation declaring Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  They also displayed  art work created by survivors of sexual abuse and announced their annual dinner at the Lebanon Country Club on May 6 at 6:30PM.  Guest speaker will be Mr. Mark Serrano.  Cost is $25 per person.  


District Attorney Deirdre Eshleman, Jennifer Linebaugh, and Brenda Keefer received a proclamation declaring National Crime Victims Week in Lebanon County.


Finally, at 1:30PM,  Commissioners heard three assessment appeals.

April 8, 2004

Commissioners voted to change the Assessment Ratio from 50 to 100% of the 1968 fair market value and cut the millage rate in half.

bulletThe State Legislature is considering a reduction in the tax burden placed upon real estate.
bulletWhile the Court can be petitioned for higher taxes, or a Debt payment could be established—3-4 mills--,  because each household is notified by mail, I feel the assessment ratio change is more up front than the court petition or the debt payment.  This is a revenue neutral move for municipalities and schools.  Municipalities have a 5% ceiling and schools a 10% ceiling on tax increases the year following the assessment ratio change.
bulletThis move places Lebanon on an equal field of comparison with surrounding counties.
bulletThis move will probably help the City who is at their tax ceiling.
bulletLaw allows a 15% disparity in assessment.  At a $1,650,000 additional expense, there is no guarantee that we would fall within this allowable range.  Traditionally, school districts, who would benefit most from a reassessment, have not been willing to help pay for the reassessment.
bulletWe regularly look at comparables during assessment hearings, where individuals can represent themselves.
bulletA mill previously represented $500,000, but will now represent $1 million in tax revenue.
bulletWith 50,000 parcels, a reassessment would cost $33 per parcel, and someone would have to walk through your home for an accurate assessment.  Would the majority of people appreciate this?  I don’t think so.
bulletThe common level ratio is .168, and aids in the calculation to find your current resale value.
bulletBob Barr, 21st Century Appraisals, is a salesman who would like the County to do a reassessment.

Commissioners approved an application for recertification of  the Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Commissioners tabled a $10,000 grant request from the Lebanon Valley Exposition Corporation to fund an Economic Impact Study of the Expo Center, Ag Center, and Fairgrounds.  This study would identify things like gasoline, meals, and lodging that are purchased by visitors to these sites.

Twice yearly, commissioners transfer funds to meet requirements that also net the County administrative fees.  To that end, commissioners voted to movie the following amounts from the General Obligation Bond account to the respective bond issues:

bullet$210,000 to the 1985 Bond Issue at Lebanon Valley Farmers;
bullet$177,648.13 to the 1999 Bond Issue at Lebanon Valley Farmers; and
bullet$300,538.62 to the 2003 Bond Issue at Lebanon Valley Farmers.

Commissioner Stohler voted not to allow a deputy Recorder of Deeds to attend a conference, but the motion passed.  Commissioner Litz believes that we need depth with trained employees in our County offices.  Otherwise, an unexpected departure of a department head or row officer--even temporarily for an operation--could leave the County in a bind, and potentially cost us fines and penalties if required paperwork or funds are not submitted to State or federal agencies in a timely manner.  Examples include nonpayment of taxes withheld from employee pay checks, collected inheritance taxes....

At 11AM, the Metropolitan Planning Organization convened.

COLT presented a request for funding for a Park N’ Ride program as wells as for bus bike racks.

A $733,958 Susquehanna Regional Transportation Partnership, which includes Dauphin/Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Perry, and Lebanon, will conduct a Regional Commuter Alternative Project and borrow, then pay back $189,179 in deobligated federal funds to Lebanon County.  There is shared interest in controlling congestions and promoting alternatives (transit, carpooling, biking, waking, and vanpooling) along with employer programs (transit check, rideshare matching, preferred parking, or staggered hours).

Transportation improvement modifications for the PA 72 Lebanon signals, US 422 over Killinger Creek, SR1022 Swatara Creek bridge, and Schaefferstown bypass, were reviewed and approved.

Transportation improvements through 2008 will include:  Inwood Iron bridge replacement, 9th/10th Street bridge in Lebanon City, Chestnut Street bridge T-427, Union Canal Tunnel Park, Quittapahilla pedestrian/bike bridge, Lebanon Valley Rail/Trail, Rail grade crossings, Allentown Boulevard, US 22 Safety Corridor Improvements, Tremont bridge over the railroad, I-81 Overhead bridges, I-81 reconstruction, Schaefferstown Bypass, Union Road bridge, Mount Zion Road bridge, Greble Road bridge, Elizabeth Run bridge replacement, Furnace Road bridge rehabilitation, Mill Street bridges, Grant Street bridge, Lindley Lane bridge, I-81 Overhead bridge group, and Blacks Bridge Road bridge.

Jon Fitzkee sought a request for suggestions for Public Involvement activities.  Unity Day and the Chamber newsletter were recommended.

April 1, 2004

bulletFor the first time in a long time, a higher interest rate was obtained by bidding investment CDs.  Lebanon Valley Farmers Bank paid 2% for a 180 day CD.
bulletCommissioners voted to fill the position of maintenance supervisor at the prison.  John Johnson was promoted to fill this position.
bulletSally Barry presented a $60,280 Electronic Monitoring Sub-Grant.  Electronic monitoring is for non-violent, first-time, and juvenile offenders.  Electronic monitoring is an alternative sentence that helps to reduce costs of housing prisoners at the County jail. In addition, those who qualify for the program pay for the service.  
bulletJanis Schmees and Gloria Schleicher updated commissioners on the Hershey Capital Region Vacation Bureau.  Two residents from Lebanon sit on the 21 member HCRVB board.  HCRVB is looking at eliminating member dues, moving the Myerstown visitor’s center to the Lebanon Valley EXPO grounds, and distributing Heart of PA magazines throughout the region. Approximately $46,000 in hotel tax from Lebanon County supports the HCRVB efforts.
bulletCommissioners signed a three year $224,040 West Nile Virus grant agreement.
bulletMary Weigley was appointed to the Library Board.
bulletLickdale Fire Company received exoneration from taxes for a storage property that they utilize.

March 25, 2004

bulletCommissioners approved filling of a Children and Youth position.  Intakes have increased--32 family cases with 58 children placed.  The position was vacant for two months.
Commissioners also approved filling of a sub division planner position, which will take effect in late May.
bulletUpon the retirement of Bill Kurtz, Earl Meyer will be promoted to Planning Director and Robert Sentz will be promoted to Assistant Director of Planning.
bulletPer Secretary Pedro Cortiz , Voter Registration Director Elaine Ludwig presented an amended Help America Vote Act certification for approval.  Commissioners passed and signed the revision requiring our best effort to accommodate Spanish speaking voters where more than 5% of a precinct is effected.  Lebanon previously identified three City precincts where we have bilingual interpreters present.  
bulletDistrict Attorney Deirdre Eshleman presented both Victims of Crime Act and Stop Violence Against Women grant requests.  the $129,937 VOCA grant is down three percent.  The $111,600 STOP grant, which provides funding for law enforcement, SARCC, and DVI,  is down from $120,000.  Believing that our new census statistics are not being considered, Deirdre is pursuing appeals to raise the grant allotment.
bulletSusan Klarsh, Director of Drug and Alcohol, presented tobacco contracts for approval:  $13,745.01 to Lebanon Family Health Services for stop smoking classes, some bilingual; $12,973.60 to Community Health Council to include additional funds for On Fire, a Myerstown youth service, and the Under 20 Festival; and $16,255 to JLB Advertising to handle placement of stop smoking ads. Contracts were approved.
bulletCommissioners accepted a $21,445 JCJC (Juvenile Court Judicial Com.) and TANF block grant.
bulletCommissioners also accepted an $81,236 EMA performance grant for reimbursement of three EMA positions.
bulletCommissioners certified activities for intermediate punishment to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.  These alternative sentences include alcohol treatment, community service, fines, restitution, supervision, electronic monitoring, house arrest, and Renaissance drug counseling.
bulletA $20,000 Gatekeeper grant was awarded by PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and $47,974 for the Victim Witness Coordinator.
bulletJamie Woglemuth, chair of the safety committee, reported that the only lighting laws enforced by the state of PA relate to emergency signs, exits, and back up lighting.
bulletOnce again, the local public officials workshop on GIS, assessment ratio change, the comprehensive plan, MS4...will take place on  March 31, 6:30PM at the Cedar Haven Recreation Room.
bulletCommissioners Stohler and Litz reported on events at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania's conference held at the Harrisburg Hilton Sunday through Tuesday.

March 18, 2004

After approval of the Treasurer’s report, Commission Litz mentioned that the accounts payable journals are not getting through to her.

Commissioners voted to create a supervisor’s position for Central Booking, which will start in June. Commissioners also voted to fill a vacant benefit coordinator position.

To accommodate a single vote rather than vote on individual requests, Commissioner Litz requested grouping of all mandated conference and seminar requests where employees must earn credit.

Phyllis Holtry reviewed restored funds of $278,228 to the Human Services Development Fund, which is $1601 less than budgeted. Commissioners voted to accept her report to fund the following: $3000 Summer Student Assistance Program in Drug and Alcohol; $221,040 for Crisis Intervention at Philhaven; $15,000 for Adult Day Care; $5000 for Area Agency on Aging Home support as well as $13,188 for personal care; and $11,000 for Human Services.  On the same report, a separate vote for $10,000 for the Good Samaritan Homemakers passed with Commissioner Carpenter abstaining.

Commissioners signed a $288,771 Crisis contract and a $10,000 contract for the GSH Home Health Aid Agency.

Commissioner Litz made a statement:

The safety committee's report states that several people have slipped and fallen in the hallways here in the courthouse because the lights are too dim.
I think we should immediately look into state standards for lighting levels in public buildings and see if we are still in compliance with state law. We've turned off far more lights than recommended by the energy conservation study, and it appears we may have public safety problems as a result.
I move that Jamie find out what the state standards for lumen levels actually are to determine whether we are in compliance with all state lighting standards, and report back to the Commissioners by the next meeting. The motion was not seconded, but Jamie was directed by the Commissioners to look into this matter.

Commissioner Stohler stated that he received designation for the County of Lebanon as a PA Higher Education Assistance Agency off campus community service program site. Students will have the option of applying to the County from PHEAA’s spring catalog. Students will learn by working in County offices along side seasoned employees. Litz pointed out that Commissioners had not previously voted to approve the program. Commissioners then voted to approve/accept PHEAA’s designation.

March 16, 2004

Commissioners met at Cedar Haven.

bulletWork related injuries are down thirty percent at Cedar Haven this year. Even better, lost time is down by 80% in 2004.
bulletOccupancy rate is at 96%.


bulletCommissioners authorized a letter of intent to the County Commissioners Association of PA for bargaining power to negotiate with insurance companies for BestFlex--better medical insurance rates.
bulletA $22,801.65 contract to send assessment ratio change notices to property owners was awarded to Multi-Graphic Company.
bulletTo help qualify for an insurance discount, Commissioners approved employee Pcorp Training in Linglestown.
bulletSix employees (two from Cedar Haven, three from EMA, and one from Domestic Relations) who volunteered to undergo CPR instructor training at a cost of $150 each were approved with appreciation for stepping forward.
bulletDavid Wingert, William Sullivan, and James Holtry presented a budget update. The bottom line is that the Juvenile Probation budget will be over by $247,495, but the Children and Youth budget will be under by $542,002.
bulletEMA’s Engine 50 was offered to the Fire School Association. If accepted, the water tanker will be presented at the County Fireman’s Convention in June.
bulletDan Kauffman requested permission to place Lebanon County on a list to request a free federal surplus Hummer boxed ambulance for emergency response in floods, swamps, snow, and mountains. Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to approve the request.
bulletOn call pay of $1250 per year was approved for two EMA personnel.

Commissioners also met at the Prison.

bulletPastor Martin was presented with a plaque for his many years of dedicated service.
bulletDistrict Attorney Diedre Eshleman said the first Driving Under the Influence offender that falls under the new DUI law came through the door today. The new law increases two-year sentences to a maximum of five years.
bulletWith an average inmate population of 427, the judges are looking at this issue.

March 11, 2004

bulletTwo positions were approved:  the West Nile Virus coordinator and a Natural Resources Program Specialist for the Conservation District.  Duties will include Erosion and Sedimentation control, Farmland Preservation, and the Chesapeake Bay program.
bulletCommissioners presented Cheryl Nelson, a Cornwall Manor employee, with a proclamation for her service to the Community.
bulletThe Tall Cedars, who raise money for Muscular Dystrophy research, also received a proclamation.
bulletElaine Ludwig reviewed HAVA--the Help America Vote Act—for compliance.
· On February 17, 2004, Lebanon County went live on SURE—the Statewide Uniformed Registry of Electors.  Henceforth, PA will store and back up all voter registration information, which will free up space on the County’s AS400 mainframe computer.  Poll books will be printed from a State provided CD.  
· Provisional ballots along with a separate, private booth will be provided for people who insist they are registered, but “are not on the books.”  Provisional ballots are green in color, and not counted at the polls.  Instead, commissioners have three days to verify validity of the vote.  If valid, on computation day, the votes will be tabulated along with all other votes.  Voters receive a bar-coded ticket to follow-up on whether or not their vote was validated.  If votes are not counted, a reason must be provided.
· In order to qualify for and receive federal dollars, Commissioners voted, then signed a certification of compliance with HAVA requirements like accessibility.
· On April 30, computation will take place in the Commissioner’s office.
bulletRuth Davis, PA Counseling Center, and Sally Barry, Adult Probation, presented a $704,000 PCCD grant to run the Renaissance Crossroads Program for approval and signature.  Currently, there are ten in-patients, and 27 participants in different stages of the program.  In-patient capacity is 20 people.  The success rate stands at 60%.
bulletBelieving it is better to do the timely six month preparation and twelve month DEP review process once, Larry Taylor presented an overview of the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority’s landfill permit modification, essentially doubling capacity from 366 to 750 tons per day, which could shorten the life of the landfill from fifteen to ten to twelve years.  Last year, there was a ten percent increase in waste.  With continued growth in Lebanon County, if there was no increase, all of Lebanon County’s waste could not go to the Landfill, which is the intent of our multi-municipal venture.  In the immediate future, one additional truck per day will enter the Landfill.  Over the 10-12 year period, fifteen additional trucks per day could enter the Landfill.  Currently, 90 vehicles, of which about 50 are trucks, use the landfill daily.
bulletPhil Hall reviewed the West Nile Virus Tire Collection Program scheduled for April 7, 8AM-6PM, at the Lebanon EXPO, 2120, Cornwall Road, Lebanon.  Identification for proof of residency is required.  Each person is limited to free disposal of 12 auto or 2 large tires.  Of course, individuals can pay to dispose of additional tires.  A prison work crew will assist, which will help the County save $100 per ton for Mahatentango to haul away collected tires.  Commissioners provided $4000 for the project.  Other municipalities also contributed.  These combined funds will be matched with a grant from DEP.  Last year, 4, 685 tires were collected.

· On a related note, Phil recommends getting horses vaccinated now.  Last year 20 horses were infected with West Nile virus, and about four died.  

March 4, 2004 Commissioner's Meeting:

bulletBill Kurtz presented a $100,000 grant for resubmission to DEP.  Funds are designated for use in completing Lebanon's new comprehensive plan.
bulletElaine Ludwig presented two ballot alternatives for the spring primary election.  In both options, stacking would occur.  Option one stacked presidential candidates, and option two stacked Republican state committee candidates.  Option one was chosen, which will place John Kerry on line two.  Evidenced by voter turnout history in presidential years, of all the offices on the ballot, president is the office about which most people will be informed, and ballot position should play a minor role.  
bulletIn addition, Elaine presented a polling place change for the 9th Ward in the City of Lebanon from the Serbian Social Room to St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 534 E. Lehman St., Lebanon, which is handicap accessible, In fact, this will be the first time that all of Lebanon County's polling places will be handicap accessible.
bulletA resolution was signed for the South Central Employment Corporation designating Jo Ellen Litz as the commissioner representative and Gary Robson as the alternate.
bulletBill Carpenter was appointed as a commissioner representative to the Victim Witness Board.
bulletLarry Stohler was appointed as a commissioner representative to the PA Energy Consortium.
bulletAlletta Schadler and Dr. Merna Slick were appointed to the Library Board.
bulletJonathan Johnson was appointed to the MHMR board.
bulletAfter years of negotiation, Commissioners signed an agreement with the City of Lebanon Authority authorizing the completion of Phase II of the Geographic Information System, a county wide layered mapping system.  The agreement is for a 70/30 split or $334,422 for the County share and $143,326 City share.  Funds were appropriated for Phase II of the GIS in the 1999 Bond issue.  Phase II covers tax parcel conversion (updating  road centerline and railroad coverages, production tools and pilot project)  by BAE Systems.
bulletThe 1999 $9.645 million bond issue was initially taken out at a 5.09% interest rate.  After five years, a bond is callable, and can be refinanced.  Therefore, since the current interest rate is 3.46%, Commissioners voted to refinance the $7.3 million balance, which will save $521,000 in interest.  Dane Rauscher's Joe Pierce is handling the transaction.  In June, a final vote for sale of bonds and debt ordinance will occur for legal notice to the newspaper.
bulletA proclamation for a forty-year veteran of the MHMR board was approved and signed.
bulletA local public officials workshop on GIS, assessment ratio change, the comprehensive plan, MS4...will take place on  March 31, 6:30PM at the Cedar Haven Recreation Room.

February 26, 2004

James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented $362,745.16 in second quarter invoices for approval.

At a cost of $41.91 per day per client, effective March 29 Ken Bachem and Mike Kristovensky requested and received approval to award a fifteen month Adult Day Care contract to low bidders United Cerebral Palsy, Pottsville.

Claire Lundburg requested that $6,385 be moved to the 'programs and supplies category' in their $150,000 Communities That Care grant.

The Lebanon County Historical Society received a letter naming them Lebanon's official historical society, which qualifies them to receive operation support dollars from the PA Historical and Museum Commission.

Commissioners also approved an application to receive $46,560 in Homeland Security PEMA grant funds for EMA to: complete a self assessment, improve initial damage reporting capabilities, purchase equipment, improve communications with elected county and municipal officials, and recruit and train emergency management coordinators.

February 19, 2004

Commissioners voted to raise the thermostats to 72 degrees.  Believing that it is best to use scientific facts to make decisions, Commissioner Litz requested that no more changes take place until after Monday's meeting with Honeywell.

Since one-half of Lebanon municipalities need their plans updated, Commissioners approved a telecommunications planning officer position in EMA.  Commissioners also approved a part-time interpreter position at the prison.  In addition, a part-time clerk position was filled in District Justice Michael Smith's office.

A motion passed unanimously for one nurse to attend the PA Association of Directors of Nursing Administration's Annual Conference.  A second motion to send a second nurse to this conference was approved.  Commissioners Litz and Carpenter voted aye, and Commissioner Stohler voted no. 

Dr. Dan Marcucci requested and received a letter of support for a "Goods Movement (transportation) Study" being conducted by the South Central Assembly for Effective Governance.  While there is no cost to the County, as a match for grant purposes, Lebanon County will provide information and cooperation from our Planning Department.  Rahal Transportation Institute in West Virginia and DCED will help fund the study.  The Assembly hopes to choose a consultant by July 1 and complete the study within two years. 

Archie Battistelli presented the fourth quarter retirement fund report.

Ken Bachem, Mike Kristovensky, and Joe Lescisko opened bids to outsource adult day care services.  Hildebrandt Learning Centers bid $46.77 per individual for 7600 individuals or $355,474.  United Cerebral Palsy bid $41.91 per individual, but used the wrong number of units.  They will be asked to recalculate their math.  Lebanon County was paying $67 per day per unit for direct services.

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority's Raymond Bender and Betsy Bowman received a resolution approving $511,123 for Community Development Block Grant requests for housing rehabilitation, street improvements, sewer improvements, storm  drainage improvements, home-ownership assistance to low and moderate income families, public services, and administration and planning.  In addition, South Lebanon Township will receive $182,345, with the largest portion used for acquisition and demolition of blighted property.

The Assessment Board voted to make both 647 Walnut St. (a non-income producing parking lot), and Light's Fort non-taxable.

Bids for ratio change notices were reviewed, and rather than a piece rate, a final figure was requested from the two lowest bidders.

For the first time, Commissioners listened to cel tower appeals.  The County valued each Company tower at $1800 per month, and land lease income to the property owner at $500 per month.  The County identified 45 Cel towers that are hooked to electric and phone lines (utilities), with a value of $189,000, and 47 Wireless towers with an assessed value of $612,000 for a total value of $801,000.  When taken times 25 mills, after the first year, the County's yearly net income will be $20,025. Municipalities and schools will see a financial gain the first year.

February 18, 2004

At Cedar Haven, Ed Schlegel reported that a UMR audit was completed with no findings.

Roman Shahay received approval for three medical director contracts switching from the Good Samaritan Hospital to Myerstown Family Practice.  HIPPA information was inserted into the contracts.  Rates remained constant.  These agreements are automatically renewable.

Teresa Cordaro, Carmelle Hernely and Gerda Balthaser were reappointed to the Renova Center Board.

At the Prison, the commissioners, sheriff, and controller approved a request by Counselor Susan Jaros for United Way to survey 25 volunteers, half men and half women, whose identity would remain anonymous.

February 12, 2004

Frederick S. Wolfson and David Twaddell presented a resolution on behalf of the Good Samaritan Hospital that would permit the Lebanon County Health Facilities Authority to refinance acquisitions, construction, equipment, furnishings, additions, and improvements made during 1993. So the resolution is not open-ended, Commissioner Litz requested inclusion of the $17.5 million refinancing amount and inclusion of a written guarantee that the refinancing will not effect the County’s bond rates and borrowing capability. Because of a conflict of interest, Commissioner Carpenter abstained from the vote. The resolution passed as amended.

Earl Meyer from Planning and Carl Kerchner from the Conservation District reviewed a mandated MS4 Program. Nineteen other municipalities within the County must also apply for coverage under the National Pollution Discharge for Erosion and Sedimentation Control no later than March 10. Federal regulation mandates six control measures:

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Participation and Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Runoff Control
  5. Post Construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Maintenance.

The County’s program will involve county employees, instead of the general public. Employees will be trained and educated on pollution prevention contributions that they can make at the workplace and at home.

Commissioners signed the 2004 Civil Service Compensation Plan  for Mental Health Mental Retardation, Area Agency on Aging, Drug and Alcohol, and Children and Youth Services.

Ron Heinlen and representatives of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania were on hand to both observe and answer questions concerning the Association.

Susan Klarsh presented Drug and Alcohol contracts for approval.

Henry Funck was appointed to the Health Authority board for a five year term.

February 5, 2004

Commissioner Litz voted against approval of the minutes questioning the intent of motions concerning attendance at the County and State Collaborative GIS Forum in Grantville on February 26. Mrs. Litz suggested that the wording be changed to "deny the request to pay for the following…." She understood that the intent was to save the County money by not paying for unmandated seminars, and that last week, a statement was made that Mr. Stohler ‘would take employees to network, and it wouldn’t cost any more than their salary.’  Therefore, she agrees that it is acceptable if employees pay their own way to accompany a commissioner to an educational event.  Commissioner Carpenter stated that the employee would have to take a day off to go to an unmandated off-site educational seminar.

Commissioner Litz also requested that the wording denying her request to attend the Summit VI: "Into the Woods Out on the Town" as the tourism liaison be corrected to 'deny payment' for attendance to the Summit VI….  She does not feel that the County can tell hear that she 'can not attend' the seminar.

Gary Robson, personnel director, proposed filling of the position of Jonestown Senior Center Manager. Commissioners approved this request.

An agreement was signed designating Attorney Mike Hill to represent clients in Domestic Relations. As a result, the $21,523 salary of Hill becomes 66% reimbursable.

Daniel Seaman recommended denial of an assessment appeal for David Moore. David’s appraisal was in line with the County’s assessment.  Commissioners kept the assessment the same.

Mr. Seaman also presented a disabled veteran exception, which was approved, for Charlotte Smith. 

Norm Allen reviewed his portion of the County’s retirement fund.

A motion passed that prohibits unattended displays in any County Park.

Kathy Andrews, Jim Bates, and Lori Machara received a proclamation declaring February Women’s Heart Awareness Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, higher than the next five causes (cancer related) combined. Women are asked to wear red to raise awareness of this heart fact.

Commissioner Litz shared a letter from Honeywell CEO David Cote, "My apologizes for our being difficult to reach. I am forwarding your note to our Business Leader…for resolution. You should hear from someone shortly. If you don’t, please let me know. Sorry for the inconvenience." A follow-up telephone call informed Commissioner Litz that Honeywell is conducting an internal investigation concerning the status of our yearly energy audits, and Honeywell will get back to us shortly. Litz requested a meeting with a Honeywell representative.

At 11AM, Commissioners met with other members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, including Mayor Anspach, Chamber Chair Harriet Faren, and COLT manager Terry Guirintano as well as representatives from PennDOT and municipalities. Approved were:

bulletA $200,238 Union Township proposal to improve pedestrian safety around the Route 72 and Fisher Avenue intersection.
bulletA $115,000, 1000’, Rails to Trail spur line to Mount Gretna.
bulletTransfer of Supplemental Planning Funds and a one-year extension for GIS to create road center line, railroad, and municipal boundary layers.
bullet$50,000 for transportation land use information in the 2004-05 State Fiscal Year Planning Contract.

Penn DOT’s policy is maintenance first—rather than building new roads.

January 29, 2004

Gary Robson and Melissa presented personnel transactions and seminar requests.

bulletJo Ellen Litz was approved to attend a February 26 GIS-geographic information seminar-conducted by the County Commissioner’s Association of PA at the Grantville Holiday Inn. The City Water Authority will pay for GIS technician Cherie Prentice-Brown to attend the training. However, Assessment, Planning, and EMA representatives were not approved for funding.
bulletIn her role as tourism liaison, Commissioner Litz also requested sponsorship to represent the County of Lebanon at an "Into the Woods, Out on the Town" seminar at Shippensburg University. This request was turned down.

Jeff Geesaman, Scout Expo Chair, received a proclamation for the Boy Scouts of America. This year’s theme is Tiger to Eagle. Scouts were chartered 94 years ago on February 8, 1910. Commissioner Stohler will present the proclamation at the Lebanon Valley Mall Expo.

PEMA EMA salary reimbursements for 2003 were approved: Dan Kaufman $27,291, Annette $18,855, and Frank Hemler $24,189.

Commissioners certified and committed $1,413,200 to Farmland Preservation for 2004: $829,000 form the bond issue, $548,200 from a federal grant, $15,000 from South Annville, $5000 each from South Lebanon, North Lebanon, South Londonderry, and Bethel Townships. Brett Lentz presented an update on the Farmland Preservation program. With the recent preservation of the Hawyrluk farm, 6,600 acres are preserved in Lebanon County. 1500 acres are waiting on State approval, and another 2000 acres are in the pipeline. We must wait on the State match to know how many of these acres will be preserved in 2004.

Signatory authority for contracts was given to Susan Klarsh, the director of Drug and Alcohol or Jamie Woglemuth.

A resolution for the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization was approved to submit Chairman Commissioner Carpenter as a signatory authority to execute contracts.

Neva Lutman was reappointed to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz was appointed to the Commission for Women.

A property Easement from Joseph and Lorraine Wagner was approved at 2941 Tunnel Hill Road, Lebanon. The generous easement donation will allow the Union Canal boat to turn around after going through the tunnel at Union Canal Tunnel Park.

When it comes to prospective businesses locating in Lebanon County, Ed Rutter commented that he is concerned with the image Lebanon County is portraying by turning off lights and turning down heat.  He further stated that in his former court position, he did not attend training seminars, and views seminars as vacations and a waste of money.

January 21, 2004

bulletCommissioners met in public session at Cedar Haven.
bulletAdministrator Ed Schlegel reported that he filed for a 90% occupancy rate bonus of $510,610.
bulletIn addition, Medical Assistance admittance levels changed at the end of 2003. Before December 31, an applicant had to have less than $2400 in assets. Now, an applicant needs to have less than $8000 in assets when receiving less than $1692 per month in income. If an applicant receives more than $1692 in monthly income, their assets must still total less than $2400. To attain the asset limitation, it is allowable for an applicant to "gift" donations to a charitable organization.
bulletCedar Haven will conduct a survey of residents for input concerning one fifteen minute smoking room break each hour (16 ours per day). Cedar Haven currently has 16 smokers who, upon request, need six supervisors to accompany them to the smoking room. The change would allow each floor to take one shift of supervision, thus using less staff time for this function.
bulletGrievances were reviewed.
bulletCPR training was discussed. Currently, there is no list of certified personnel or training of staff. For the last ten years when HIV became a scare, policy is to call 911. Commissioners requested a survey to develop a list of people who have voluntarily kept their CPR training current, and/or are interested in training on site.
bulletFor certification by the State, the Worker’s Compensation safety committee ‘makeup’ must reshape to a 50/50 mix of administrators and personnel. Jamie is to work on a suggested committee  makeup.
bulletTo acquire a guaranteed maximum subscription price with West Law, a two or three-year contract was suggested. Jamie will approach the judges to see if there is an acceptable, less expensive alternative.
bulletAt a cost of $8250, David Lloyd was approved as a peer consultant for the Recreation Committee. DCNR will reimburse $7500 of the contract.
bulletCost savings using a direct dial telephone system were discussed.
bulletCommissioners Stohler, Carpenter & Litz then met with District Attorney Eshelman and Controller Mettley as the prison board. Staff answered questions concerning their reports.

January 22, 2004

bulletThe First Aid and Safety Patrol volunteered to provide Heart Association CPR training to Renova Center at no cost to the County.  Commissioners were grateful for their generosity.  Other organizations also volunteered their services at reduced or no cost to the County.
bulletIn answer to John Latimer's question concerning executive sessions, Solicitor Snelling ruled that we must discuss positions in public—only names can be discussed in executive session.
bulletMonday, honoring the landowner's property rights, Attorney Tim Sheffy handled a farmland preservation closing on the Tunnel Hill farm--without a recreational easement.
bulletA new caseworker position that is 95% State funded for MHMR was approved. In addition, commissioners approved a supervisor reclassification to program coordinator.
bulletHowever, commissioners turned down a request to move a prison guard to the maintenance staff during sick leave for the supervisor.
bulletFinally, rather than a $100 reimbursement, comprehensive time for two electronics technicians will remain standard policy.
bulletTo date, no contact was made with Honeywell. Commissioner Litz presented the following request, which died for lack of a second. I have observed several things concerning the heat situation in the Municipal Building:

People have shown me their two sets of socks and long-johns under pants, but their hands and feet are still cold. Some have brought in blankets for their laps, and most are wearing sweaters. In short, the vast majority of employees are making every effort to comply with our 68-degree thermostat reading.  However, it seems that after sitting about thirty minutes, extremities feel cold.

bulletIn general, the thermostats are mounted above people’s heads.
bulletWhile the thermostats read 68 degrees, at foot level, the temperature hovers around 60 degrees. If the temperature were 68 degrees at the floor, employees would be happier.
bulletApparently, in rooms with outside walls, cold from windows drops to the floor getting "captured" under desks.
bulletIn addition, heat vents are not at floor level, but several feet up from the floor.
bulletBecause of its age, it is my understanding that the building is not insulated. So, from the inside, even the walls feel cold.
bulletAs a result, some people have apparently brought in space heaters, which could use more electric and pose a fire hazard.
bulletAll things considered, we need to take corrective action. To be at peak performance, employees must be comfortable at work. Because the building is older, and another floor was added, I do not know that it is possible to blow insulation into the walls.
bulletAnother option would involve ceiling fans to circulate the risen heat back to the floor, especially in the courtrooms, where I suspect the ceiling temperature is above 80 degrees. Sorry, but I could not reach there with my thermometer for an accurate reading.
bulletAlternatively, the thermostats could be lowered to desk level.
bulletThe other obvious option is to turn up the heat. Until we are able to explore options, I move that we turn up the heat to a level that meets comfortable working conditions.

To avoid a fire hazard, a memo will go out stating that no space heaters are allowed other than at the security stands.

January 15, 2004

Sallie Neuin and Gary Robson presented the treasurer’s and personnel reports respectively.

The County Liquid Fuels report was approved. The 2003 balance was $222,876. After receiving this year’s State allotment and making payment to municipalities as well as for County bridge inspections by Mark Wilson, the 2004 balance will be $525,476, of which $140,888 is already pledged.

Sitting as the Election Board, Commissioners Carpenter, Stohler, and Litz certified the Democratic and Republican Parties for Lebanon County.

CPR training for six employees at Renova Center was postponed pending a cost quote from First Aid and Safety Patrol. The Good Samaritan Hospital is willing to do the required American Heart Association training for $35 per person. Current certifications run out in March.

Daily News reporter John Latimer asked to have personnel positions discussed in public meetings and only discuss names in Executive Session. Solicitor Snelling was not present to advise commissioners concerning his request. In general, the Sunshine Law allows discussion of personnel, union contracts, and litigation in Executive Sessions.

Essentially amending the January 5, 2004 decision, Commissioner Carpenter conceded that court and court related positions are essential and will be filled. Commissioner Stohler concurred. However, no vote was taken.

Edith Krohn and Evelyn Lane were reappointed to MHMR.

A public right-to-be-heard hearing was held concerning the Alex Hawryluk farm scheduled for preservation. Mark Chegwidden presented details to the Commissioners. Located in North Lebanon and North Annville Townships, 116.3 acres would be preserved. The farm also contains a Union Canal lock. Of the $174,450 that the County would pay for preservation of the farm, $50,000 would be recouped from a Federal grant for Farm and Ranchlands Protection. Comment supporting preservation was made by neighbor David Kuhn. Another neighbor, the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority, raised the possibility of setting aside a forty-foot easement for the proposed trail linking the Union Canal towpath to the Swatara Creek. In fact, prior to preservation, the Meilly and Bombgardner farms as well as the GLRA, already set aside those easements.  Pointing out that there is a vision to relink the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays via the Union Canal tow path and that the water belongs to everyone, Commissioner Litz proposed that the County offer to pay for the survey if the family would consider donating the path. Some of the donation could be recouped in tax write-offs. If money is still an issue, Commissioner Carpenter stated he would be willing to revisit the issue.  However, the final decision of the property owner will be honored.

Reappointments to the Drug & Alcohol Commission included Mike Fry, Jennifer Shay, Lisa Luquis, and Susan Kilinger.

January 8, 2004

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report for approval--subject to review by the commissioners.

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions. Notably, after 37 years of County service, William C. Kurtz submitted his plans for retirement 

Commissioners approved and signed proclamations for disaster emergencies like blizzards and floods. In addition, a Continuity of Government or line of succession was established—chairman commissioner, vice chairman commissioner, secretary commissioner, and then chief administrator. In the event none of these people are available during an emergency, the president judge will appoint someone.

Subgrant award notices were accepted--one for $26,044 for the Elder Crimes Unit and one for $7,391 for Juvenile prosecutions.

Commissioner Litz read a statement concerning newly implemented policies:  In a democracy, I think it is important for government officials to put forward problems and proposed solutions for general discussion before taking drastic sudden actions. We should present these issues to the people and the other parts of the county government for rational, informed decision-making after public discussion.

Job Freeze -

A hiring freeze is an extraordinary measure that should only be as a temporary tool to develop a more permanent realignment. A sudden freeze inevitably creates unintended difficulties for the county's offices. It's a random scattershot action, not a well considered decision based on information and study of the actual situation.

We simply do not have any truly "unnecessary" workers, although some may seem more important than others in some ways. And now, with the freeze, we are called upon to determine which empty jobs are the most critical on a spot basis. This is nearly impossible! Instead, we should do a disciplined and organized review of all county-paid staffing.

What county jobs are now open? We need a specific list of all open jobs before we can possibly decide which are the most important or least important. More importantly, we should review the entire staffing complement and see if it is rational to trim staffing from any of the offices, or reassign staff to meet our budget shortfall.

Which of these jobs are actually funded by the state or by grants? Failing to fill jobs that are already paid for is no saving and makes no sense. Are the court jobs funded by the state Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts? Are there fully funded Conservation District jobs? What other jobs are already funded?

Other questions concerning votes taken on Monday, January 5, 2004:

On December 30, 1999, Commissioners approved Honeywell's satisfactory completion of installed light fixtures and other energy saving devices in county-owned buildings. $10,864.90 per month will be paid for ten years. Savings in electric costs are guaranteed by Honeywell to equal or exceed annual payments. Will tampering with lights void this contract?

I believe Labor & Industry has some architectural standards for lumens. Should we have someone check into our compliance requirements prior to turning off any more lights?





Section 231. Lighting power budget.

A lighting power budget is the upper limit of the power to be available to provide the lighting needs in accordance with a given set of criteria and given calculation procedure.

Section 232. Calculation methods.

The criteria specified below shall be utilized for computation of the lighting power budget. All calculations shall be in accordance with accepted engineering practice. When insufficient information is known about the specific use of the building space (e.g., number of occupants, space function, location of partitions), the budget shall be based on the apparent intended use of the building space.

Section 233. Building interiors.

(a) Procedure. - The allowable electric power for lighting shall be established by using the criteria and the calculation procedures specified in section 236. The value shall be based on the use for which the space within the building is intended and on efficient energy utilization.

(b) Illumination level criteria. - For the purpose of establishing a budget, levels of illumination shall be those listed in fig. 9-80 of the IES Lighting Handbook, and those levels shall be used as follows:

(1) For task lighting, the levels of illumination listed are for specific tasks. These levels are for the task areas defined in the IES Lighting Handbook or, where not defined, at all usable portions of task surfaces. In some cases, the levels of illumination are listed for locations (e.g., auditoriums). These levels are to be considered as average levels.

(2) For general lighting, in areas surrounding task locations, the average level of general lighting, for budget purposes only, shall be one-third the level for the tasks performed in the area but in no case less than 20-foot candles. Where more than one task level occurs in a space, the general level shall be one-third the weighted average of the specific task levels.

(3) For noncritical lighting, in circulation and seating areas, where no specific visual tasks occur, the average level of illumination shall be one-third of the average general lighting in the adjacent task spaces but in no case less than ten-foot candles.

(4) For the purpose of establishing a power budget, only lamp efficacies and coefficients of utilization (CU) specified in Table 11, shall be assumed.

The commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel issues.

January 5, 2004

Reorganization of the Lebanon County Commissioners elected the following people to the corresponding positions:

bulletWilliam Carpenter Chairman of the Board;
bulletLarry Stohler Vice Chairman of the Board;
bulletJo Ellen Litz Secretary of the Board;
bulletJamie Wolgemuth Administrator;
bulletAdrienne Snelling Solicitor;
bulletScot Feeman Labor Attorney.

In addition, all employees were re-appointed to the County payroll in their respective positions.

Further, Commissioners Stohler, Carpenter, and Litz announced that they will hold meetings:

bulletEach Thursday in Room 207 of the Municipal Building beginning at 9:30AM;
bulletThe third Wednesday of each month at Cedar Haven beginning at 10:30; then at
bulletThe prison at noon;
bulletAs well as all other Wednesdays beginning at 9:30 AM in Room 297 of the Municipal Buildings on an as-needed basis through 4:30 PM to deal with county government functions.
bulletFinally, the Salary Board will meet during the regular Thursday meeting in Room 207 of the Municipal Building. All meetings are open to the public. To get on the agenda, call 274-2801 extension 2202.

Depository accounts were approved at First National bank of Fredericksburg, Wachovia Bank, Jonestown Bank and Trust Company, Lebanon Valley Farmers Bank, Northwest Savings Bank, and Commerce Bank.

While all three commissioner and the controller serve on this board, Salary Board officers were appointed: William Carpenter Chair; Larry Stohler Vice Chair; Jamie Wolgemuth secretary, and Adrienne Snelling Solicitor.

Judge Robert Eby moved to set salaries of employees within the Courts.

All three commissioner serve on the Board of Assessment: William Carpenter Chair; Jo Ellen Litz Vice Chair; Jamie Wolgemuth secretary; Adrienne Snelling Solicitor; and Daniel Seaman Chief County Assessor. Commissioners also approved payment of all necessary expenses incurred by the Board from appropriations budgeted for necessary and legal expenditures. Hearings are scheduled for:

January 15, February 19, March 18, April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, August 12 & 19, September 2, 16, & 30, October 7, 14, 21, November 18, and December 16.

While all three commissioner serve on this board, officers of the Board of Elections were appointed: William Carpenter Chair; Larry Stohler Vice Chair; Elaine Ludwig Chief Clerk; Adrienne Snelling Solicitor.  Commissioners also approved payment of all necessary expenses incurred by the Board from appropriations budgeted for necessary and legal expenditures.

While all three commissioner serve on this board, the Registration Commission officers were appointed: William Carpenter Chair; Larry Stohler Vice Chair; Elaine Ludwig Chief Clerk; and Adrienne Snelling Solicitor.

Liaison Assignments:

Stohler Carpenter Litz
Area Agency on Aging Assessment Chair Ag Extension Agency
Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Building & Grounds Conservation District
Children & Youth City of Lebanon COLT buses
Drug & Alcohol Emergency Management Chair Management Information Systems
Housing & Redevelopment Planning Department South-central Employment Corporation
Mental Health/Mental Retardation Veteran's Affairs Tourist Bureau
Renova Center Voter Registration Chair United Way

Commissioner Larry Stohler then presented nine items for consideration:

  1. A hiring freeze of non-essential positions. Essential is defined as direct patient care employees, EMA Telecommunicators, and correctional officers.
  2. No out-service education unless mandated for certification;
  3. No overnight travel;
  4. No out of state travel—except extradition of prisoners by the Sheriff’s department;
  5. No unnecessary use of county vehicles;
  6. County office building temperatures maintained at 68 degrees during heating season and 78 degrees during cooling season;
  7. Reduce energy use for lighting by 25%--except Cedar Haven and Renova Center;
  8. No remodeling or replacing office furniture; and
  9. Grant proposals must be provided ten days prior to a meeting.

While all cost cutting measures passed, Commissioner Litz voted against items 1, 2, 3, & 8.

Commissioner Litz presented a list of ideas for exploration:

  1. Explore whether it is more practical and economical to upgrade the current 400 mainframe or to invest in new equipment.
  2. Explore expanded communication with constituents by putting items for review and public comment, like a budget summary or ordinance, on the county web site.
  3. Explore holding a public hearing on the issue of the established predetermined ratio to be used in the county assessments.
  4. Knowing that we have a hardwood manufacturer in Lebanon County, and we have two county bridges scheduled for replacement, explore incorporating hardwoods that are supposed to be more cost effective, as well as aesthetic, into the design. I have a booklet with samples, and understand that there is grant money for such endeavors.
  5. Explore an educational piece that highlights County services and sites.
  6. Explore amplification of comments of people speaking at commissioner meetings. Having sat in the public section through a year of meetings, I can attest to the fact that because of sirens, air conditioners kicking in and out, and normal noise from the front office, it is very hard, sometimes impossible, to hear what is said.
  7. Explore interest in a countywide surplus property sale for all municipalities.