Pocopson Supervisors move to one formal meeting a month

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Second, public work session can be scheduled as needed

By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

POCOPSON – The  township’s Board of Supervisors held their regular meeting last week commencing at 6:30 p.m.  Previously, bi-monthly meetings were held at 7:30 p.m. The supervisors unanimously approved the time change and once a month meeting to be held on the last Monday of each month at the annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 2.

The board is required to hold a minimum of one business meeting per month for conducting general business.  The township’s treasurer and secretary previously indicated that there would be no negative impact on financial and administrative tasks.  The supervisors agreed that once a month meetings would not interfere with business based on the number of topics before the board, the short duration of the meetings in 2017, and the average number of residents who attend.  All neighboring townships, with the exception of Kennett, have one regular meeting per month.

The board also agreed to hold work sessions on the Tuesday before the public meeting commencing at 6:30 p.m. on an as-needed basis.  It will continue to be a public meeting but not a voting meeting and no official action will be taken by the supervisors until the public meetings.  All meetings, agendas, and meeting minutes will continue to be posted on the township’s website at www.pocopson.org.

One resident voiced his opinion during the public comment portion of the meeting that 6:30 p.m. was too early to get home from work, eat dinner, and get to the meeting – and that once a month was too infrequent.

“If something comes up in this meeting tonight, and somebody can’t make it, they have to wait until the March meeting to raise the issue because they won’t know about it until the minutes are approved and posted in February,” said the resident.

Supervisor Alice Balsama retorted, “I am now in my third year and there has been nothing that has happened that had that sense of urgency or with an informational delay that anyone has reacted to – yet.  We also have the ability to have a work session that would occur the Tuesday before the next board meeting and that is a public meeting and the agenda would be posted.”

Supervisor Elaine DiMonte added, “If the room was packed, then it would be a different story.  We can accomplish what we need to do in one meeting.”

“The board has been thinking about it long and hard before we changed it.  We were really thinking about it for a long time and we are trying it out,” Balsama concluded.

Brad Peiper presented an update on the new Kennett Library to the board.  The new facility’s land was secured and an adjacent parcel will be purchased shortly.  It will provide the architects with more flexibility with the surrounding land.  The estimate of costs will be provided soon but the library board is anticipating $12 – $15 million.  The existing library building will be sold and they have a $100,000 in grant money at this point.  Peiper will be providing an update on Pocopson residents’ usage to the board next month.

The board provided a status on the feasibility study that is underway to address the best possible future home for the township offices.  Possible locations include the historical Barnard House and the current township building.  According to the board, nothing has been decided but the board had it’s third meeting with GKO, the architects, and will be having another meeting in late February.  Balsama reported that a public meeting for input would be held in April.

The board approved several resolutions including disposing of 2.16 cubic feet of non-permanent records that have been electronically scanned, the adoption of the written governance policy for the board, the establishing of public participation policy for all public meetings, and the administrative office’s closure procedures.

The next township meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26.

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