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Supervisor for a day in Damascus; Students learn about governance

By Linda Drollinger
May 28, 2014

DAMASCUS, PA — Exhibiting a professionalism that raises the bar for public officials at all levels of government, four Wayne Highlands eighth-graders learned firsthand about government at the township level, by conducting the May 19 Damascus Board of Supervisors meeting. Leah Jay, Jon Kabonick, Julia Polt and Will Reiger spent part of the day as acting supervisors at the Damascus Community Hall. They left early to participate in mandatory school testing, but returned to direct the evening supervisors’ meeting, with only minimal coaching from the elected supervisors.

Obviously well acquainted with parliamentary procedure, the students recognized speakers, introduced motions, seconded motions and called for votes with the ease of seasoned statesmen. Acting board chairman Jon Kabonick called the meeting to order and opened the floor to Dime Bank branch manager Pam Kerber and Damascus food pantry director Dora F. Henry, who requested board approval for a scrap-metal collection/recycling fundraiser to be held in July. Citing increased need for food pantry services, Kerber stated that this year the pantry has served twice the number of individuals it served last year, and that additional funding is necessary for continued operation of the program. The request was approved unanimously.

In response to Kabonick’s call for public comment, several residents expressed concern over the condition of Chicopee Road, asking operations supervisor Steve Adams when it is scheduled for repair. Adams explained that a recent change in state law now requires Department of Environmental Protection permits for road work that involves water crossings; there are four water crossings on Chicopee. Permit applications are being prepared now, and Adams anticipates that work will begin as soon as the permits have been issued.

Following a lengthy review, thorough research and considerable discussion, the planning board recommended to the board of supervisors that there be no change to current zoning ordinances, including those pertaining to minimum property lot size requirements; the supervisors voted unanimously to accept that recommendation.