When: Manheim Township commissioners meeting, Oct. 12.
What happened: The board had planned to appoint members to a new Citizens’ Police Advisory Committee but delayed action until Nov. 9 after Commissioner Donna DiMeo said she would abstain from voting because she knew only one of the 11 appointees and was not sure of the role of the committee.
Board discussion: Vice President Tom O’Brien said he felt comfortable with the people, all of whom were interviewed. “You’re never going to get a group that everyone likes,” he said.” If you try, you’re dead from the beginning.” O’Brien said the purpose of the committee is not to defund the police but to have more community involvement with the police. President Sam Mecum pointed out it is an advisory committee, not an oversight committee.
Public comment: Julie Rudisill presented the board with information she found while researching the police advisory committee candidates, pointing out that seven of the 11 are Democrats, while 35% of the district’s residents are Democrats and 48% are Republicans. She said Republicans do not support defunding the police “in any way.” Commissioner Barry Kauffman thanked Rudisill, adding, “We need more people like you.”
Other business: The board took no action on a proposed ambulance purchase. Last month, Manheim Township Fire/Rescue Chief Rick Kane briefed commissioners on possibly purchasing a new basic life support ambulance as a supplement to the primary ambulance. It would offer quicker response time rather than waiting for units from outside the municipality. During the Oct. 12 meeting, Mecum said he needs to be convinced of the need for another ambulance. DiMeo recalled a Manheim Township school athlete who was injured recently and had to wait “way too long” for an ambulance.
Citizens’ Sustainability Advisory Committee: John Brakeall, Jane Druce, Jerry Lee Miller and Chris Steuer have volunteered to serve on the committee. Brenda Kauffman serves as chair, with Stella Sexton as vice chair and Carol Gifford as board liaison. Three more volunteers are needed.
Appointment: The board appointed and swore in Andrew Bolan as a police officer with the Manheim Township Police Department.