New Antrim supervisors left out of authority appointment

PAT FRIDGEN

The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors broke protocol Dec. 19 by appointing someone to a township board. Typically the action occurs at the organizational meeting in January, with new supervisors allowed to cast a vote.

On a Sam Miller/Curtis Myers motion, Fred Young III and James Byers named fellow supervisor Rick Baer to the Antrim Township Municipal Authority. Baer was absent. He was to replace Bob Coladonato, ATMA chair who did not seek a return for a five-year term. He was appointed in 2008 to fill the seat vacant with the death of BJ Roberts. He was in the leadership post the past two years.

Coladonato notified Antrim that he did not desire reappointment, and would not accept if offered.

"I felt it was time for someone else to have the chance," he said.

He was aware of the quick fill to his seat.

"That's not the way they are supposed to do things. It's written that way to prevent lame duck officials from making appointments and not giving upcoming board members the chance to make them."

Miller and Myers are going off the Board of Supervisors, and John Alleman and Pat Heraty will be sworn in Jan. 3. That evening has been set aside for organizational purposes, in which appointments are made to several boards, engineers and solicitors are hired, and other decisions are made for 2012.

Coladonato believed the vote was an honest mistake which could be corrected with the new members at the table. He added that the vacancy could be left intact for a while as the supervisors pondered the direction ATMA should take. Both sides have debated whether the authority should continue as is, with ATMA owning the sewer system and leasing it to the township; Antrim taking over operations; or ATMA standing independently.

During his tenure, Coladonato credited the board, including Bob Schemmerling, Rodney Eberly, Chad Murray and Elwood Myers, with several achievements, including members taking an active role in working out issues. They organized the function of ATMA with documentation and addressed stagnant issues that needed attention. He had a wish list for the board in the new year.

"I hope there is discussion of its role. That still is not settled. It should be a separate authority, taking care of its own business, both for water and sewer," said Coladonato.

If the supervisors did not favor that option, the outgoing chair suggested they take over both utilities. The lease agreement for the sewer system left uncertainty as to the role of Antrim and the authority, and was inefficient, he said.

Candidates

Citizens had through Dec. 2 to submit letters of interest to the township for appointment to vacancies on various boards. ATMA had just one opening. The Planning Commission, for a term of four years, had one seat open with Larry Eberly's stint expiring. He was interested in reappointment. The Zoning Hearing Board had one spot open for five years, and member Ronald Cordell did not indicate an interest in returning. The Park Committee had a three-year term for Mike Montedoro's seat, and he notified the township he wanted to be retained.

Other Antrim residents also offered to serve in the voluntary positions.

Evon Barvinchack, 11142 Williamsport Pike, expressed interest in ATMA. He cited his previous experience as a member of the Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority, including time as chairman.

Rodney Rose, 5798 Tranquil Way, applied for the Planning Commission. He wrote of his masters degrees in Public Administration and in Public Policy, and his employment as a corporate attorney for a non-profit organization.

Eric Plum, 784 East Side Drive, submitted a letter of interest for the Zoning Hearing Board. As a teacher in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, he believed he had insight and understanding into the needs of area families. He was working on a Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies.

The Park Committee was a popular target. Thomas Moore, 11634 Kimberly Drive, cited his involvement with the 717 Flying Disc Club, and his assistance in developing and maintaining the disc golf course at Antrim Township Community Park. Georgia Barvinchack, 11142 Williamsport Pike, had served on the Martin's Mill Bridge Covered Bridge Association, and helped it obtain grant funding to protect the streambed and bridge. Dennis Simmons, 15434 Ridge Road, served on the same bridge association, and had had leadership positions with youth baseball and football associations, and the former G-A Running Club. Rose also applied for this committee.