Pennsylvania Senate Approves Distressed Cities Bill

HARRISBURG — Scranton residents could see their taxes rise under legislation approved unanimously Wednesday by the Senate.

The measure would require that Scranton levy a tax on residents equal to or more than its 0.75 percent commuter earned income tax.

This stipulation is included in a late amendment added to the bill by the sponsor, Sen. John Eichelberger, R-30, Hollidaysburg. The goal here is to treat all Act 47 municipalities — including those like Scranton that have distressed municipal pension plans subject to Act 205 — the same, said Sen. John Blake, D-22, Archbald.

Ten other municipalities levy a pension-related earned income tax, but they levy it on both commuters and resident workers, he added.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/senate-approves-distressed-cities-bill-1.1759951

Pottstown Borough Manager Lured Away By West Norriton Township

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Pottstown‘s loss is West Norriton‘s gain.  And it is Pottstown’s loss!  Good luck finding somebody to replace Jason!  We wish Jason the best of luck in his new position and thank him for leaving Pottstown in better shape than he found it.

POTTSTOWN, Pa.  — Borough Manager Jason Bobst is leaving the post he has held for three years to take a job as the township manager of West Norriton.

With the 90 days’ notice his contract requires, his last day will fall sometime in August.

Bobst said Tuesday he had not been looking for long, “but I saw an opportunity that opened up and it piqued my interest.”

He was helped in what he said was “a difficult decision” by “ongoing issues around here,” but he declined to elaborate.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120522/NEWS01/120529831/pottstown-borough-manager-hired-by-west-norriton

Lansdale Looks To “Beef Up” Economic Development Committee

Location of Lansdale in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Lansdale Borough Council is looking to expand the size of their Economic Development Committee (EDC) in the next two months.  The EDC will expand to seven members, four of whom will be borough residents or borough business owners.  The other three members will be council members, by appointment.  The chair of the EDC will also be a councilor.

The strength of the EDC is that this committee is borough business focused by cutting red tape and being an advocate for business and not government focused.  The idea is not to create another budget item.

Wednesday evening, council gave approval to create an ordinance to formally establish the committee.  This came about by changes in legal requirements when council passed an economic incentive development ordinance last year.  The economic incentive development ordinance gives discounts on electricity purchased from the borough to qualified businesses.  Ordinance language mandates that any business who is interested in this program needs to go before the EDC.  Officially establishing this committee by ordinance was connecting all the dots.

The Lansdale Business Association (LBA) will also continue to stay involved with this committee by hopefully continuing to have an LBA member on the EDC.  The EDC will also be working closely with the Communications Commission.  The newly created Communications Commission is tasked with creating a “marketable brand” for the borough.  Initially the EDC and the Communications Commission will be working together to create an image and branding for Lansdale.

Once these tasks are completed, the EDC will take the newly developed brand image and market Lansdale.  The Communications Commission will be responsible for technology, signage, the website, attracting technology and keeping residents updated.

We give this well thought out effort, with expanded resident involvement, two Roy’s Rants thumbs up!