CHARLESTOWN TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
BUSINESS MEETING
JANUARY 10, 2000

The second business meeting for January was held January 10, 2000 at the Charlestown Elementary School. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Paul J. Hogan, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Announcements

Mrs. Ewald made the following announcements:

  1. The policy for the Citizenís Forum is as follows. The Citizenís Forum at the beginning of the meeting will be for non-agenda items only. Persons wishing to speak will register on a sign-up sheet and be allotted 3 minutes each. If additional time is needed, it must be requested in advance of the meeting. Citizen comments on agenda items will be encouraged at the time that item is addressed by the Board.
  2. On 1/6/00, the Township filed for reimbursement of permitted costs in the Altemose case recently decided in the Townshipís favor in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
  3. The Board held a field inspection of the Pyle Farm on 1/9/00.
  4. The Board held an executive session at 7:00 P.M. this evening at the Township office to discuss real estate matters.

The Board will hold an executive session on 1/16/00 to discuss the Fisher farm.

Citizensí Forum - Non-Agenda Items

No items were brought forward.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the Reorganization Meeting minutes of 1/3/00 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. All were in favor.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Business Meeting minutes of 1/3/00 and Mr. Hogan seconded. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable - held over from January 3.2000

Mrs. Ewald asked if Mr. Rodgers had reviewed the road-related bills tabled from 1/3/00. Mr. Rodgers responded that although he didnít receive the additional documentation he requested from the road contractor, he suggests paying the road bills and beginning the New Year with additional reporting requirements. Mr. Hogan stated that he reviewed Parks related bills last week and recommended they be paid.

Mrs. Ewald asked for feedback from the Board of Auditors, who held their reorganization meeting at 7:00 P.M. this evening. Chairman Philip Staas said that the Board of Auditors has received the Supervisorsí request that they review the held-over bills and would like the opportunity to do so over the next two weeks prior to their next scheduled meeting.

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the bills held from 1/3/00 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn said the Board announced its intention on 1/3/00 to complete any review of the invoices by this meeting, and that he therefore recommends paying them at this time as they appear to be in order. Mrs. Ewald said she has concerns over paying bills authorized by a prior board that may not reflect proper supervision and accounting procedures. Mr. Sauser stated that it would be inappropriate to withhold payment of bills that are the result of existing contrasts. Mrs. Ewald called the vote, and all were in favor.

Reports

Elected Auditors - Reorganization

Mr. Staas reported that the Auditors met at 7:00 P.M. this evening for their annual Reorganization. Mr. Staas was elected Chairman, and Anita LaBarge was elected Secretary. He said they will schedule a meeting to address some items of business in approximately two weeks.

Old Business

Supervisor Liaison to the Great Valley School District

Mr. Willig nominated Mr. Kuhn as liaison to the School District and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Willig moved to close nominations and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. Mrs. LaBarge asked if the liaison will attend School District meetings, and Mr. Kuhn responded no, since they conflict with the Supervisorsí scheduled meetings. He explained that the liaison is intended to act as a point person and to facilitate communications with the School District. Mrs. Ewald called the vote, and all were in favor.

Appointment: Roadmaster

Mr. Rodgers stated that as a member of the interview committee, he recommended the appointment of Dorando Faggioli as Roadmaster, and so moved. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Faggioli will meet with the road contractor tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. at the township office.

Planning Commission Appointment of 12/20/99

Mrs. Ewald moved to rescind the 12/20/99 appointment of Robert Jones to the Planning Commission, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald asked the Township Solicitor to frame the language for this motion. Mr. Oeste explained that the appointment was made in violation of the Sunshine Act, which requires that an opportunity for public comment be given prior to any vote. Since last yearís meeting format required all comments on agenda items be made at the beginning of the meeting, any item later added to the agenda must be announced at this time, or, finding that, a comment period provided prior to the actual vote. In the Jones appointment, this comment period was not provided. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. Mr. Willig asked how clear the Sunshine Act is on this issue. Mr. Oeste responded that itís fairly clear, although there havenít been any judicial interpretations of this section. Mr. Sauser said he recalled that public comment was made prior to the 12/20/99 vote, specifically, dialog between the Board and Mr. Jones, and the Board and Mrs. Baldwin, and therefore there was an opportunity for an exchange with the public. Mr. Willig disagreed, stating that the exchange with Mr. Jones stemmed from questions asked directly of him by the Board. Mrs. Baldwin said she didnít recall making any comments at this time.

Mr. Rodgers indicated that he verified that an interview process to choose a Planning Commission candidate was in place prior to the 12/20/99 appointment. Mrs. Ewald said no vote was taken prior to the 12/20/99 meeting to withdraw the interview process. Mrs. Ewald called the vote. Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Willig voted nay. Mrs. Ewald, Mr. Rodgers, and Mr. Hogan voted aye. The motion carried

New Business

Fieldstone Partnership Lot Line Change - Lots 4 & 5

Mr. Kohli said he hasnít reviewed the County Planning Commissionís comments, and that minor issues on his review letter of 12/6/99 remain outstanding. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Lot Line Change for Fieldstone Partnership for Lots 4 & 5 subject to compliance with Mr. Kohliís review letter of 12/6/99. Mr. Willig seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. She stated that as a matter of policy, she prefers to vote on complete work products. Mr. Zeigler offered some background on the application, explaining that it relocates a shared driveway point from one side of the lot to the other at the request of a potential buyer. Mrs. Ewald called the vote. All were in favor.

DHR Ltd - Escrow Release #9

Mr. Ewald moved to approve DHR Ltd Escrow Release #9 subject to the reimbursement to the Township of review fees in the amount of $2,133.10. Mr. Kuhn seconded and all were in favor.

Budget Amendments - Year 2000 Budget

Mrs. Ewald asked the Township Treasurer to present all changes made in the proposed amended budget for 2000, revised 1/1/00, as compared to the budget approved on 12/20/99. Mrs. Csete read aloud all proposed changes. Mr. Staas offered the following comments, noting that he was speaking as an individual and not representing the Board of Auditors. Mr. Corcoran and Mrs. LaBarge agreed with this statement. He was concerned that $150,000 for new traffic signalization is listed as an expense and should be a capital item, and that grants listed as revenue should be listed as liabilities. He recommended that the Board seek advise from a financial consultant on how to reorganize the chart of accounts. He was concerned that the general fund carryover figure of $447,000 includes funds that are restricted or otherwise not freely available as they suggest. He believes the source of funding for each of the restricted funds should be clarified for the public.

Mr. Kuhn asked, if the accounts are set up incorrectly, why auditors in the past hadnít pointed them out, particularly the independent auditor who has prepared numerous management reports in the past. Mr. Staas recommended the Board conduct interviews for this appointment for 1999. Mrs. Ewald said the Chart of Accounts has been expanded through the years and now reflects individual line items in sufficient detail, but noted further refinement through professional consultation may be welcome.

Mrs. Ewald asked the solicitor for comments. Mr. Oeste responded that the state requires annual reporting on their standardized forms, and that the Township Budget as prepared in the past adapts to this format and appears to be in order Mr. Willig said that in order to approve an amended budget, the current format is sufficient, and that refinement of budget tracking forms can be done later. Mr. Sauser said the Board is proceeding in an acceptable manner and is entitled to doing what they are proposing.

Mr. Hanscom agreed that the $150,000 for new traffic signalization should not be categorized as an expense item.

Mrs. Ewald suggested that a time frame for examining the layout of the accounts be set, utilizing a financial consultant, and that the review be completed in time to implement recommendations in time for preparing the 2001 Budget. Mr. Kuhn said heíd like to move the process along faster, with a progress report by the end of the first quarter.

Mr. Sauser said he objects to the Boardís relationship with the Auditors as advisors, stating that they are meant to be watchdogs reporting to the taxpayers.

Mrs. Ewald moved to direct the Secretary to advertise the proposed amended budget for 2000 as presented and to make it available in the Township office for a 10 day public review period. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. There being none, she called the vote, and all were in favor.

Adjournment

Mrs. Ewald announced that the next meeting would be held in Room 207 of the classroom building behind main administration at the Valley Forge Christian College on January 17, 2000 at 7:30 P.M.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adjourn the meeting, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,


Linda M. Csete
Township Secretary