In a recent letter to the editor Richard Morris took exception to several of our actions as Commissioners. Although we don't feel the need to respond to letters like this on a regular basis, we felt there were some things we would like to address.
First, candidate Jeff Snyder did make the comment Richard states. All of us as challengers have had opinions and made statements about issues prior to holding office. Sometimes those opinions are correct, sometimes not. We've all had to "eat a little crow" as Commissioner Snyder puts it.
There have been seven different commissioners in office during Susquehanna Groups tenure with the county. ALL seven agreed they were very effective and the best way to handle the services they provide the county.
The county's finances are NOT like the private sector. It's much stricter and it should be. There are many more controls and regulations in place to protect your money. Having a firm that knows all the ins and outs of how it works is a great advantage to us. No one locally has that specialized expertise.
Second, the handicap ramp for the Courthouse has been an issue over three different boards of commissioners.
The first board envisioned an elevator on the side of the building at the same entrance it is currently located. When the next board took office and examined it, it didn't resolve the security issues and was cost prohibitive.
The second design took a new ramp to the front of the building but although that handled the security issues it encroached on the historical frontage of the 150-year-old Courthouse which historical entities took exception to.
We now have a design which all entities agree on and are proceeding with it.
Third, Johnson Controls approached the former board with a project to save energy costs and guaranteed those savings or they would pay the difference. They gathered information on our lighting, heating, air conditioning and water use. They made recommendations based on the age and models of the units in question.
They did not open the units in question to determine their condition. That was not in the project they proposed. The recommendations were based on properly maintained equipment. The equipment in question was not properly maintained. We have remedied that situation. It was NOT the fault of Johnson Controls.
Finally, the three of us appreciate the faith you placed in us when electing us to make the decisions and manage the county on your behalf. We welcome any questions and suggestions. We have answered these questions of Richard's and more when asked.
The reactions of the Commissioners described in Richard's letter are the normal reactions when someone repeatedly asks the same questions looking for different answers.