The Van Wyck News

Volume 3 Number 9 The Web – Based Newspaper of the Van Wyck Community             5 July 2011
New ATV Law
    A new ATV law went into effect on 1 July. In summary children under 6 years of age cannot operate an ATV, children between 6 and 16 years of age must wear a helmet and eye protection and must have completed an approved ATV Safety course and children under 16 years of age cannot have a passenger on an ATV unless the operator has a driver’s license. These restrictions do NOT apply if the ATV is being operated for farming, ranching, or wildlife management.  They also do NOT apply if the ATV is being used for hunting/trapping or is being operated under DIRECT VISUAL SUPERVISION of a parent or guardian on private property. A copy of the new law is available here.
County "Budget"
    On Monday 27 June 2011 County Council passed a "budget" which turned out to be a summary of a budget for the General Fund  with a total of $32,699,523, which was asserted to require no tax increase. Requests by the Sheriff, the Fire Service, USCL and several service organizations were not included in the budget. Some 200 people attended the meeting, about 24 spoke and a petition containing more than 700 signatures was presented to Council, all objecting to any tax increase.  
    Late last week a "Budget" was posted on the county website.  This "Budget" bears little resemblance to the budget passed by County Council. More than 30 modifications with a total impact of more than $500k have been made, including movement of the $99k Victims Assistance Program to another (unspecified) budget category, movement of $120k for a new employee time management system from the current year to next year and implementation of a $50k Special Projects fund in the Roads and Bridges Department.
    A query to Steve Willis, County Administrator, indicated that he had put the budget as passed by County Council through an updating process that resulted in these changes. Mr. Willis asserts that he has the authority to do this without submitting the changes to County Council for approval and that the "Budget" on the county website is the official county budget for FY11-12.
        I have requested that the actual transactions implemented on the budget after passage be made public. This request was made directly to Mr. Willis and members of County Council via email and also orally at the County Council meeting on 11 July 2011. There has been no response to this request; apparently neither Mr. Willis nor County Council feels any need to make this information public.
     County Council needs to make it clear that no one has any authority to modify the final draft of anything passed by County Council. Publication should be a matter of transferring the document that was in County Council's hands at passage to a website without any changes at all. If errors are found in such a document, there is a procedure to correct them; this procedure should be rigorously followed and entirely transparent.  
     The "Budget" as published on the county website may be found here; note that there are two documents marked "Revenue" and Expenditures". A copy of the draft General Fund budget as of 21 May is available here; this draft budget contains the original requests submitted by County Department Heads. Additional information can be found on the LC Blog.

Economic Development Meeting
    There will be a presentation on Economic Development in the County Council Chambers in the County Office Building an Wednesday  13 July at 6:00 PM. This is supposed to be an educational meeting to acquaint the public with the ins and outs of the economic development process as practiced presently in Lancaster County.   

Craig Roof, Clarence Witherspoon, Jim Williams. James Auten
Jim Williams Retires
With 4 July Fireworks

    Firefighter Jim Williams retired from the Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department on 4 July 2011 after 38 years of service. The Fireworks Celebration cosponsored by the Fire Department and the Community Development Club served as the venue for the presentation of a plaque and provided an opportunity for the community to thank a dedicated firefighter and the Fire Department generally for what they do.
    The Second Annual Van Wyck Fireworks Celebration  was mildly hampered by a steady drizzle, but the fireworks were impressive and the community dinner both excellent and well attended. Jim Williams' cake (below) provided a fitting end to the dinner and the fireworks a fitting end to the evening.

Car Show 10 September 2011
See the brochure.

Feeding the Hungry
Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food.  The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster.  If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.
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