We, the Auditors of Palmyra (W) Township, are responding to the various article and topics that occurred at the February Township Meeting.


To the Editor:
We, the Auditors of Palmyra (W) Township, are responding to the various article and topics that occurred at the February Township Meeting.
We understand that Supervisors Steffen, Kmetz and Hamby are unhappy with the $10 hourly wage, that they are receiving when acting as a Working Supervisor. This wage is in addition to the $50 they each receive for every meeting they attend and $800 towards hospitalization. A Working Supervisor is an added paid position that a Supervisor chooses to take, instead of allowing a resident to apply for or a bid for the position. These positions range from working on the roads as a road master or laborer to answering the township phones periodically.
In Palmyra, there is no one to oversee the Working Supervisor’s job nor cap the amount of hours the individual decides on charging the Township per week. Since January 2008, the Working Supervisors have refused to post in advance where and when they will be working. After many months of asking for accountability and transparency, all other Palmyra Boards (Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing, and Auditor) along with Supervisor Mason formally requested this to be done in writing. To date this reasonable request has been denied.
We understand that we are in a recession, and tightening of the belt is required of all; especially those of us who choose to be public servants. In November 2009, Supervisor Steffen wanted to cut costs at the township level by asking he Planning Commission members to not take their $25 monthly meeting pay though not willing to sacrifice himself when asked. This amount includes all work they perform prior to, during and even after the monthly meeting. It was quite disheartening in February, when Solicitor Treat was instructed to research if the Supervisors could replace the Planning Commission with a Planning Committee. On the surface it sounds meaning less, but the reality is that it serves to get rid of members on the board whose terms have not expired. As a country we would be horrified if this was done at the state or federal level, but locally, where our tax dollars mean the most; it is not even given a passing glance.
The Township provided us with PSATS most current Wage and Salary survey. For a township of our size, the starting salary for a part-time worker or road master begins at $7.50 an hour. To the best of our knowledge, the state sets  only one public servants salary at the township level. This was $10 an hour, though all work after 100 hours per year was deemed free for that position. We felt that with incapable hours, no accountability or transparency, the economic climate, the Planning Commission being asked to receive no compensation, public servant salaries and the added $800 towards hospitalization plus $50 for each meeting that Palmyra’s Supervisors receive; that a $10 per hour rate was very reasonable for part-time workers.
Our final issue at February’s meeting, centered upon the appointment of Supervisor Joe Kmetz as Deputy Tax Collector in January. We felt that these two positions were incompatible. Upon contacting PSATS, their response in writing which was read at the meeting, was “..In response to you r question regarding whether or not a township supervisor can also serve as a deputy tax collector, the answer is no. This is due to the fact that a person serving as tax collector can hold no other elective municipal office and the purpose of a deputy tax collector is to have someone able to collect the taxes if the tax collector cannot, which the supervisor in question could not do.”
Supervisor/Road Master/Acting Sewer Auhority Board Member/Crime Watch Associate/ Deputy Tax Collector/School Bus Driver/ Landscape Contractor Kmetz was not willing to relinquish either position after this was read.
Sincerely,
Jamie Mason-Clark, Hawley
Jim Bader, White Mills
Catherine Fennell- Hawley