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Hamlin Township Pennsylvania!

What did we get with the Corbett Administration? Part 2

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In our first part, we looked at the burden put on the regular folks in the State by the Republican tri-fecta of the House, Senate and the Gov's office. That was the installment of a gas tax, that by 2017 will make us the Second Highest taxed citizens in the US.

This yarn will talk about the debt that this trio has put on the backs of us working folks.

Let's start with this figure. Pennsylvania has only $39 billion to pay the state's bills totaling $101 billion, meaning that each and everyone of us that are paying taxes would have to cough up $14,500 each to get us out of debt as a state, taking in as much that goes out.

Ask Ms. Rapp and Mr. Causer about this the next time you see them. But if you don't care about talking to your representatives at least read what they have to say about it anywhere you can. They both actually have 'clever' ways to respond

Causer on his facebook page "Debt reduction is critical to the effort to restore the state’s fiscal health and credit rating. State and local debt burden now exceeds $10,000 per resident as debt payments have become one of the fastest-growing areas of state spending, exceeding $1 billion per year, which is triple the repayment rate in just 12 years."

Mr. Causer, whose policies led to this debt and the States drop in credit rating 2 years ago.? This legislature and Gov used 'tricks and gimmicks' to plug a nearly 2billion operating deficit to try and keep republicans in power during this last election. Now those gimmicks have expired and we are all going to have to face the music.

Gov.elect Tom Wolf says his transition team's examination of Pennsylvania's fiscal situation has not turned up any surprises as it confirmed a roughly $2 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning in July. This man is in for a fight and I ask all of you to help fight to get us back on even keel.

When he, or anyone else for that matter, talks about leveling the playing field as far as taxes are concerned, Listen to him. Over the last few years, Pennsylvania has become one of the ten worst States with the most regressive tax systems in the country. What this means is simple. The nonpartisan Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy finds that the poorest residents pay nearly three times what the wealthy pay in taxes as a share of income. Middle-income earners pay twice as much as the richest residents.

This is what the Republicans do when they have the power, cut the taxes for the rich and put the burden on the rest of us and it has led to drastic cuts across the board in Government services.

Get involved this year!!!

Trail Meeting in Mt. Jewett

I received some phone calls and emails beginning a couple of weeks before the scheduled meeting at the fire hall there in town on the 6th of this month.

I was asked what I thought would happen at the meeting, if I was going to the meeting, if I knew who was going to the meeting, etc. From those conversations I came away with an overall feeling that it should be supported by all and it would be good for the township and the area in general.

It wasn't 15 minutes after the meeting that I received the first email from one of those folks that attended said meeting that they were dissapointed with the way some residents did nothing but try and shoot down the whole plan. I wasn't awake when that email arrived but when I got up in the morning, I had three more, all stating they were not happy with the way the Chairman of Supervisors and a few others handled themselves. Since then there has been another phone call and a couple more emails from some new folks wanting my take.

So, I ask you, did you attend the meeting and if you did, are you willing to put your feelings down as a response to this post? There is nothing that I have seen, read or heard about this trail that could 'harm' Hamlin Township or any of it's residents all the while bringing people to the area to help any businesses that still have a heart beat in our township or the Burrough of Mt. Jewett.

Even if you didn't attend the meeting I would like to read your comments or concerns expressed here. We have to start making a 'public' stand on some of these issues that we talk about behind the scenes so please, open up here whether you are for it or against it and we can have that conversation.

The next meeting of the Hamlin Township Supervisors will be held on the normal date and time, second Monday of each month making it on Feb. 9th. If nothing else, please plan to attend and let your feelings known.

What did we get with the Corbett Administration? Part 1

The last four years of 'Republican Domination' of the Governor's Mansion along with the Pa. House and Senate is now winding down, at least the Governor's Mansion part.

Let's take a quick look, since we are beginning a new year with a new Governor, what has happened the last four years as far as the taxpayers of this Commonwealth are concerned.

His Pledge, along with that of the legislature's, was 'No New Taxes' and has become a mainstay of the GOP in general. Within 60 days of Corbett being inaugurated they passed a massive mutli-million dollar tax cut for the wealthiest residents and businesses in the State. As a small business owner, I received no tax breaks, did you or your business?

Their first budget took away benefits from sick and elderly residents along with education for our children. How did these cuts and the cuts in his later budgets affect You? Everyone was affected by them.

But what I want to express in this muse is my disdain for Pennsylvania’s New Transportation Funding Law Act 89 passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor on Nov. 25th, 2013. Almost 100% of the Democrats in the minority of the house and senate expressed their displeasure of the way the bill would be funded, mainly on the backs of the working folks in this state and the people that can least afford it.

It started last January 1st,2014. That part of the bill rose the price of a gallon of gas by 9.5 cents per gallon. In April of that year, registration fees for vehicles for the residents went up also. On April 1, the fee for an identification card and for duplicate driver's licenses and ID cards rose from the $13.50 to $27.50. The fee for a certificate of title increased from the $22.50 to $50. Title security interest document fees rose from the $5 to $23. The fee for driver and vehicle information, was $5, but increased to $8.

8 days ago, on the first of January, you might have noticed an additional 10 cents per gallon increase of taxes for our consuming pleasure. This brings Pa. drivers the fouth highest tax on a gallon of gas in the country. So, in the last 366 days, we are paying 19.5 cents more for a gallon of gas while, for the majority of us, we are not the ones destroying our roads. They have been given a pass.

But, and this is a big but, it isn't over yet. Beginning in July of this year the fee's for driver's license and annual vehicle registration will increase as laid out in this bill. Then, on Jan 1st, 2017 another 6 to 8 cents per gallon is tacked on.

If you have voted the last few years, walk into the polling place and vote straight party ticket(GOP) without knowing what the candidate stands for, then you deserve these results. This cost you real money but you are too blind to see it. All I can ask as a registered independent is think what this is doing to your pocket book while the big corporations get off pretty much scott free.


New Supervisor Appointed

Since Supervisors Joni Britton and Jim Trussell couldn't come to a consensus about who should be the third Supervisor a special meeting was held on the 19th.

Two folks had turned in a letter to become the new supervisor, Bonita Causer whom Join Britton supported and David Okerlund whom Mr. Trussell was supporting. By law, when the current Supervisors can't come to an agreement on the vacancy, the Chairman of the vacancy board becomes the deciding vote. In this case, Chairman Dale Howard sided with Mr. Okerlund.

Reading the article in the Bradford Era about the vote, Mrs. Britton after casting a vote for Causer and after the meeting stating that "several residents have voiced their concerns". Concerns about Mr. Okerlund? Care to take a guess?

Here's my take. Mrs. Britton has now been put in a hard place. Now she is the only one left that has let this Township run amuck. By that, there has no action been taken on passing some tougher challenges to the drilling that is about to take over. Water rights were brought up years ago to the past Supervisors. And those folks that 'voiced concern' might now have to start living by the ordinances that are in place to keep this Township a decent place to live for everyone and not ignore the problems of a few of her friends. Anyways, two new supervisors in the last six months has put a new face to the board and we'll see how she handles it.


Benghazi Re-Do

Over the last couple of weeks, the wonderful do nothing Republicans in the House of Representatives(including our own Glenn Thompson) have convened yet another investigation into the untimely death of four Americans. A tragedy it certainly was, but even this new committee is not designed to protect any of our Americans around the world, just hash through the already drug through the mud folks that had to make split second decisions.

Let's put this in a little perspective. For those of you old enough to remember, let's go back for a minute to the 'Glory Days' of the Reagan administration. If you have to, close your eyes and think back hard to 1983 when a suicide bomber(weren't called terrorists then) drove a truck loaded with explosives into a building occupied by the US Marines in Beirut Lebanon . This act killed almost 250 servicemen. Less than a half a year earlier, another looney killed over 60 folks at our Embassy in Beirut.

Remember these? Remember how no one, not even Democrats or the few Independents were calling for Reagan's head. Quite the opposite as the Democrats controlled both the house and the senate at the time and chose to hold one hearing, and the purpose of that hearing was to do what they could to never let this happen again. If they had chosen to do so, there were more than enought 'smoking guns' that led investigators to shabby actions from the folks in charge, including the main man, Mr. Everything to the Republican party.

In other words, congress back then did their jobs and three months or so later developed a bi-partisan report instead of taking political pokes at a less than stellar performance by the Commander in Chief. Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story.

In, I believe September of 1984 another 'terrorist' bombed another outpost in Beirut. In approximately a year and a half over 300 American Soldiers lost their lives. Mr. Reagan admitted on live TV that the recommendations from Congress and the Pentagon had not been implemented yet and went on to say "Anyone who’s ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would." Can you imagine how much of a heyday Fox news would have with that if it were to come from the lips of President Obama?

Folks, if you have a void in the Benghazi tragedy that just can't be filled, talk to Mr. Thompson, our representative to this do nothing but bitch congress and ask him to restore the funding for the protection of our folks in these outposts and let him know that it's time for the witch hunt to be over.

Another Vacancy on the Board of Supervisors

Not knowing for sure when Mr. Raught tendered his resignation, his vacancy should be filled this spring. Joni Britton and Supervisor chairman Jim Trussell are the two remaining supervisors. It will be up to these two folks along with Dale Howard, to nominate and appoint a new supervisor. Mr. Howard is from the Townships vacancy board and is a part of the process so that there is at least three people voting on a new supervisor as all of them have to agree on a nominee. If they can not all agree, then it goes to a Judge in Smethport to be settled.

As many of you know, I was very happy to see that Don Compton was not re-elected. And now I am very pleased that Mr. Raught has chosen to step down even though I hope it is not for any serious health reasons. I lost my respect for him in November of 2012 when I took water samples, photos and a written complaint to him showing a clear violation of the Townships Waste Water Management ordinance that had been enacted in late 2011. Nearly 12,000 sq. feet of land had been disturbed and taken from permiable to non-permiable substance, meaning that the water, with all of its sediment would flow through my property and into Marvin Creek. All of the work had been done without a permit which is required. Those two men had no respect for the law even though the laws are for valid reasons. A supervisor should not get to pick which laws to enforce or not enforce.

Anyways, we'll try and keep up to date with how this all plays out.