To the editor:
If you attended the Armagh Township Supervisors meeting on June 2 at 3:30 p.m., located in the township building, it was clear from the start that it was going to be a very charged meeting. The room was set up with chairs to accommodate approximately 40 people, and just prior to the meeting starting, there were 55 in attendance.
Glenn Boyer, as supervisor chair, was asked by several residents at that time to find another location to hold the meeting because people were standing outside trying to get in and it was violation of fire code to have that many in the room. He denied the request. Those that could not fit in the room could not attend the meeting. This resulted in the residents cramming into all spaces available; sitting on the floor and aisle just to be present (these comments were prior to meeting, so no record).
During public comment time, the room situation and time of meeting was brought up by individual residents four times (see meeting minutes). One resident researched the meeting times of all of the other townships in the county and submitted this to the board for consideration; only one out of 10 townships meets before 5:30 p.m. (see meeting minutes).
A signed petition was presented by Gregg Bitner on behalf of residents and taxpayers requesting the change from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and longer comment times. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act was included, which gives the public the right to be present at all meetings and that a reasonable opportunity should be provided at each advertised regular meeting for public comment on matters of concern (see meeting minutes).
At the end of the meeting, the petition was denied (Boyer no, Reed no, Bitner yes), the verbal motion to move meeting times to 7 p.m. was denied (Boyer no, Reed no, Bitner yes), and the verbal motion to allow more public comment time was denied (Boyer no, Reed no, Bitner yes).
The residents and taxpayers have on record that the majority of our township supervisors do not want to hear us, serve us or respect us at the only venue we have to voice our concerns and questions. This is a right that we have, and if nothing else, all residents and taxpayers of the township should be alarmed and fighting this restriction of our voices.
The next public meeting is June 16 at 3:30 p.m. at the township building and filling this room again will prove we are tired of this treatment. This letter is being submitted to all of the supervisors for the record, to state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff's office and to Gov. Tom Corbett's office.