TECHNOLOGY & AUTOMATION
Telephone system upgrade - In the Capital Reserve Account, some $200,000 has been budgeted for this and other technologies. Why would the Township purchase a new phone system for an existing building that we may have been moving out of? The Manager was waiting on the Supervisor's decision to stay on Antrim Church Road or build and move to another location. A new phone system was already budgeted when the decision was finally made. One position I always had as Manager is that I wanted a real person answering the phones. Voice mail would have been welcomed, however, that immediate help via telephone and in person was always one of my priorities to provide quality, in person, customer services. Other technologies are heavily utilized by the Township that includes On Lot Disposal System tracking, PennDOT highway occupancy permitting, equivalent dwelling units, Chapter 94 information, DEP audit information for utilities; ARCVIEW, smart board technology in the meeting room, plan submissions electronically, excel tracking of land development plans which was to be streamlined in the near future following training already completed by a member of the staff; GASB 34 compliant, WINDOWS based financial management and utility billing software. A quote was just received by the Director of Utilities for a data collector that was to be budgeted in 2009 for GIS / GPS compatibility. Supervisors in the past desired this technology, however, it had to be cut from utility budgets several years in a row due to very tight budgeting.
As for employee time tracking, we do perform job costing when an entity is being billed for work. Daily reports are written for activities performed. Each Supervisor desiring a copy receives one. Several have refused this information. If the Township feels that employees need to spend more time keeping time than doing actual work, then so be it.
Dhillon wrote, "The Township Manager expends a significant amount of time away from Township Building and is often away at seminars, conferences, meetings, etc." This comment is unfounded and sounds like what I've heard time and time again from one Supervisor. For the record, in 2008, I was away at a conference for two and a half work days in Hershey, PA. I returned on Wednesday afternoon and went back to work. In 2007, I was at the same conference for 2 _ work days and in Washington, DC for two days. I was on a statewide committee for larger townships. We would hold meetings one day per year within driving distance of Antrim Township. Over the years, I have completed various grant applications that have brought millions of dollars back to Antrim Township by attending, networking, and learning the process of accurate grant writing.
I do attend a few meetings in the local community. Most are held in our offices that involved economic development. Often times a Supervisor or two, or occasionally three, would be present. I try to attend bi-monthly Franklin County Council of Governments meetings in which a Supervisor or two also attends. I was Vice-Chair of the Franklin County Emergency Services Alliance. The Alliance meets bi-monthly on Saturday mornings.
FUTURE POLICE SERVICES
Dhillon's approach on page 62 is very short sighted. This recommendation would pull officers from the Borough of Greencastle to provide services in Antrim Township which is what Greencastle has said time and time again, they do not want to see happen. Antrim Township now has a population of over 14,000 residents along with three major roadways and dozens of highly traveled secondary roadways. It has illegal drug use issues as many communities in this Country do. What will happen when the economy picks up again? The housing boom will continue to grow. I refer to the August 27, 2008 seminar held in Chambersburg entitled "Growth Pressures from Maryland." Antrim Township will continue to be marketed because of our quality of life, quality public education, and our proximity to major transportation hubs.