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Liberty "reorganizes," but remains the same

Danielle Ryan

(1/31) Liberty Township voted to re-appoint the same people to a majority of the township positions during the January Board of Supervisors re-organizational meeting. Residents have been asking for change in the township, and this meeting could have provided an opportunity to do so, but Supervisors chose to maintain the same people in their respective positions for the 2018 year.

John Bostek was re-appointed President of the Board and Robert Jackson was re-appointed to the Vice President position. All three Supervisors unanimously voted in support of these appointments. Current Secretary Wendy Peck was re-appointed to the combined position of Secretary and Treasurer while Supervisor Jackson was appointed as the alternate for this position. Residents have been questioning the legitimacy of keeping these duties combined, and have been asking the Board to separate them, after seeing the mayhem created by past Secretary/Treasurer LeeEsta Shafer. Supervisor Jackson said that the township would have to hire an additional employee if they were to split the duties, and the Board felt as though they didn’t have the financial means to do so right now. Peck was also appointed as the Chief Administrative Officer for pension plans.

Brian Arentz was re-appointed as Roadmaster, and Mickey Barlow was re-appointed as the part-time road crew member. Police Chief Brand Briggs was re-appointed to his position as well. The Township chose to continue with the services of Land & Sea for zoning services, KPI Technology for Engineering services, York Adams Tax Bureau for the tax-collecting agency, and Smith Elliot Kearns & Company for auditing services.

The new appointment made during the meeting was Solicitor John Lisko of Waynesboro. Lisko was appointed in replacement of prior Solicitor John Phillips, who resigned from his position in the fall. Lisko was appointed as Solicitor across the different township Committees and the Board of Supervisors, while Zachary Mills was appointed as the alternate Solicitor. The brand new Citizens Advisory Committee also received its first three appointments: Cindy Arentz, Sherri Kipe and Bob McCalhost. There are still two positions open on the committee for anyone who may be interested.

Later in the meeting, residents questioned the new Solicitor about the forensic audit. Residents want to make sure the stolen monies will continue to be pursued. "So much money was misappropriated and the public is disappointed that it’s going to be swept under the rug allowing LeeEsta to get away with it," stated resident Donna Powers. Residents want to be ensured that they will receive updates when they become available. Lisko noted that he wasn’t sure what the Board’s decision was in concern to pursuing the stolen money, however, he wanted the Board to be cautious when speaking about it for fear of potential litigation if they should say too much.

As it currently stands, the township has filed a bond against the bond company, who are in the process of reviewing it. If the bond company doesn’t choose to pursue it, the decision will come back to the township to decide if they wish to file a claim against LeeEsta. Barlow and Jackson both agreed that they wish to get as much of the township’s money back as possible. For now, they have to wait on the bond company’s decision before going forward.

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