John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of October 28, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

Summary of October 28, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

2021 Budget Revision, Newtown Ambulance Squad Dire Report, Newtown Fire Association Reorganization, "Latino" v.s. "Hispanic," More...

The following is a brief summary of the October 28, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) Zoom meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. You also can view the video archive here.

2021 Budget Discussion

Mr. Mack asked whether the Township could consider incremental tax increases over time and accept a smaller general fund balance, perhaps by phasing in new hires. He also noted that he would favor hiring of public works personnel to provide more roadway improvements. Mr. Davis said that he would prefer a smaller tax increase as well. He asked a series of questions on proposed capital spending.

Mr. Davis moved to ask the manager to prepare a budget with a 40% tax increase rather than the currently proposed 178% increase. Mr. Davis said that he has no specific recommendations for reductions but asked that Mr. Lewis review the entire budget and look for ways to reduce or eliminate some spending, bringing in a 40% increase over last year, overall, not per any particular fund. It could involve a smaller year end reserve balance or elimination of some spending. Mr. Mack said that an increase of only 40% would not be enough to do anything, particularly road improvements. Mr. Davis's motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Mack and Oxley voting nay.

Mr. Fisher suggested that next year the Township could have a different budget preparation procedure, with the Finance Committee having input into the draft budget.

[Read “Newtown Supervisors Look To Tweak A Taxing Budget Proposal”.]

Public Safety

Newtown Ambulance Squad Report: Chief Evan Resnikoff of the Newtown Ambulance Squad gave a brief overview of the Squad's past year. He noted the leadership changes in the past years as well as the increased support from municipal services. The squad has a response time of 5.55 minutes, below the county wide average. This past year, the squad has had a number of Covid operations, and has seen dramatic increases in cost for and use of PPE. After reviewing a number of cost increases and delays in insurance reimbursements, Chief Resnikoff asked that the dedicated millage be increased to 0.05 mills and suggested that a higher dedicated millage could be sought through a referendum in a future election.

Newtown Emergency Services Dept (NESD) Report: Fire Chief Glenn Forsyth reported that the department responded to 121 calls for service and conducted 57 inspections in the Township and 52 inspections in Newtown Borough. The NESD attended 151 hours of training and the Newtown Fire Association attended 115 hours of training.

Fire Services Agreement with NFA: Chief Forsyth noted that this will be a five year agreement through December 31, 2025. The Township contribution will be reviewed annually. It provides fire service when the NESD is not on duty. Next year's Township contribution will be $161,000 (sic). Mr. Mack said that he did not want to enter into an agreement to pay $160,000 until the budget has been passed. [The motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Mack voting nay.]

Committee Reports

Planning Commission: Mr. Fidler said that the members discussed recommendations in the ESI report and from the Economic Development Committee to revamp the list of permitted uses in our commercial zoning districts [e.g., LI, OLI and OR] and he and Ms. Fountain would like to discuss this further with the EDC at one of their November meetings. Mr. Fisher asked whether the EAC's recommendations had been reviewed by the Planning Commission. Mr. Fidler said that the recommendations had been forwarded to the Jointure for consideration to incorporate these suggestions in the Comp Plan and in each municipality's SALDO. [For more information, read "Bringing New Businesses to Newtown"]

Board Member Reports

Human Relations Commission: Mr. Mack reported that he had attended the Human Relations Committee meeting at which Dr. Leticia Ferri discussed the difference between Latino and Hispanic and being a Latino in the United States.

Mack's Newtown Voice · Latino vs. Hispanic: What's The Difference?

Public Comments

Frank McCarran: Resident Frank McCarran said that he has acted on behalf of his Homeowners Association to keep residents of Delancey Court informed of ongoing budget discussions. He said that he believed that the Econsult five year plan had a discrepancy in its estimate of year end general fund balances which would have an impact on all other predictions in the modeling. Regarding the Township's ESD's failure to get a fire grant this year, he suggested that as Township and Borough share fire protection services, the Borough could apply for the grant.

Mr. McCarran explained that residents of Delancey Court are unhappy with the large proposed tax increase because it was so unexpected whereas school and county increases are expected and anticipated.

Mr. Mack asked that e-mails from residents be appended to the minutes.

[Read more Resident Comments Regarding the Proposed 2021 Budget]

Summary of Votes on Motions

Download the UNOFFICIAL 2020 BOS Voting Record to date.

More Information

Download the Newtown Township Meeting Notes newsletter. Topics include: Arcadia PRD Litigation Decision, Toll Bros Delancey Court Request Denied, Resident Critiques ESI Consultants' Financial Report, 2021 Budget Coming to Town!

My Personal Notes

The following are my personal notes that I used to prepare for this meeting. You can also download the PDF version here.

Posted on 20 Nov 2020, 01:04 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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