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Antrim officials refuse to share results of $29,750 study

August 13, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, PA. - The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to keep the results of a $29,750 staffing needs assessment study from the eyes of the public and the eyes of township staff until possibly Aug. 21 at the earliest.

Supervisor Samuel Miller said the 4-1 decision came after Solicitor John Lisko advised the board in executive session that it was in its best interest to keep the study private until consultant Dhillon Management Services of Fullerton, Calif., could present the results in public meeting. Supervisor James Byers voted against shielding the results.

Lisko said the report contained "personnel information" but would entertain "right to know" requests from anyone who wanted to submit one.

Byers said he thought it was imperative that the township department heads be allowed to see the report and ask questions before the public meeting.

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"At minium (Township Manager) Ben (Thomas) should see it," Byers said.

The Request for Proposal commissioned by the board required Dhillon to present 12 copies of the study by Aug. 12 to the township secretary. No copies were presented to the secretary, but rather Supervisor Fred Young said Dhillon e-mailed the supervisors each a copy of the results on Aug. 8.

Young and Miller refused to comment on why the provison of the RFP was not followed, but Miller said on Tuesday that he found out that it would not be followed "a few days ago."

When asked why and when the board made the decision to keep the report out of the hands of staff or the public, Board Chairman Curtis Myers refused to talk to the press and adjourned the meeting as he walked out the door.

The original RFP said the goal was to have a draft of the study presented to the supervisors "no later than Aug. 5 at 5 p.m."

Young declined to say why it was necessary to keep the report private for nine more days, adding that on Aug. 21 it would be clear to the public why.

The board asked Dhillon to assess the staffing, facilities and management needs of the township and provide unbiased recommendations to the board on changes or improvements to all three not long after the board denied multiple bids for a new township municipal building, citing each as being over budget.

Young said the results of the study will benefit the public, but again, refused to say how or why only that "you will find out on Aug. 21."

The Request for Proposal was drafted with the help of Township Manager Ben Thomas.

Antrim Township employs 23 nonelected personnel since Zoning and Code Enforcement Office Angie Garland resigned on Tuesday. Garland left her position of eight years to teach 11th-grade American History at Chambersburg Area Senior High School.

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