The Real Cost of the Old Gregg School

In July, an article was published in The Valley describing the Old Gregg School as having “proven to be a financial success by not placing any burden on the local taxpayer.”

Here is the article: Solar Solution for Old Gregg School Community Center

I have heard the same statement made by several people involved in the Old Gregg School. I have found this to be 100% false. We are working on a spreadsheet to help determine the real cost of the Old Gregg School to taxpayers.

Here is that spreadsheet: OGS Real Profit & Loss by GTU

The documents used to populate these numbers are available on this website.  The Assistant Secretary wages are included based on Doug Bierly’s statement to me that he is not doing secretarial work for the township; he is instead being paid by the township to manage the Old Gregg School.

There is a board meeting tonight at 6:30. I will update this post as I learn more.

Public Records Missing : Old Gregg School Edition

On December 22nd, Casey Grove submitted a RTK request for the following:

  • Board of Supervisor meeting minutes (not joint meetings) from January 2011, February 2011, and March 2016.
  • Old Gregg School Advisory Board meeting minutes – all, since inception.
  • P&L statements for township (not Old Gregg School) from year 2000-current.

Here is that request:

RTK 2016-12-22

On December 27th, he received the following response, indicating the need for a 30 day extension for the OGS meeting minutes:

RTK Response 2016-12-27

He received General Fund P&L Reports by email that she referenced in Jen’s response.

To date, the website has not been updated with the missing minutes as Jen claimed in her response.

On December 29th, he received the following:

RTK Response 2016-12-29

He also received several emails with an invitation to Google Drive files of Old Gregg School minutes, with universal editing privileges. He emailed Jen to let her know this, and the files were corrected to allow “view only” privileges. Unfortunately, they cannot be printed or downloaded now, even by the township as we’ve come to learn.

He was also sent these two Word files in another email:

11November OGS Advisory Board Minutes
12December OGS Advisory Board Minutes – notice this: “Officers for 2016:  A secretary is needed for the upcoming year.”

He was also sent this PDF in another email:

OGS Feb 2016 Minutes

He emailed Jen again on January 3rd, asking for the record. She responded on January 5th, “I am trying to figure out a way to correct the document but I am in the same situation as you.  I will get to it as soon as I can.” Anyone who has used Google Drive knows that it is as easy as having the creator grant access and downloading the PDF.

Could the reason they can’t access the file either be that the owner of the file is not currently on the Advisory Board? That would mean years of meeting records are out of the possession of the township. Say it ain’t so!

Since he couldn’t download the master file, print it, or even copy/paste it into a new file, he finally filed an appeal and submitted the following document.

Grove AP2017-0018

On January 16th, he received the following from the new solicitor, who apparently did not read the second page of Casey’s appeal where he states the missing BOS meeting minutes have not been added to the website.

Gregg AP2017-0018

On January 16th, Casey added the following:

Grove2 AP2017-0018

UPDATE: Here’s something funny. According to the Solicitor, “The township is unaware of any of any additional meeting minutes for the Advisory board.” Well then explain this shit! I check the Gregg Township website regularly and a new page just appeared. The last time I checked (December 27th), the following page did not exist.

The Old Gregg School tab only provided a link to the OGS website. This is confirmed by the last index from the Wayback Machine on October 15th:

This is also confirmed by Google’s cache from January 2nd:

Here is Jen’s Attestation form, signed TODAY, stating that she has “no knowledge of the existence of such additional meeting minutes. She made the Attestation “subject to the penalties of 18 Pa CS § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.” This is written on the last page, right above her signature.

Attestation-2017-01-16

FYI, here is what 18 Pa CS § 4904 says:

§ 4904.  Unsworn falsification to authorities.

(a)  In general.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, with intent to mislead a public servant in performing his official function, he:

(1)  makes any written false statement which he does not believe to be true;

(2)  submits or invites reliance on any writing which he knows to be forged, altered or otherwise lacking in authenticity; or

(3)  submits or invites reliance on any sample, specimen, map, boundary mark, or other object which he knows to be false.

(b)  Statements “under penalty”.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he makes a written false statement which he does not believe to be true, on or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable.

(c)  Perjury provisions applicable.–Section 4902(c) through (f) of this title (relating to perjury) applies to this section.

(d)  Penalty.–In addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, a person convicted under this section shall be sentenced to pay a fine of at least $1,000.

(Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1481, No.168, eff. 60 days)

Curiouser and curiouser…

Public Records Missing : Penns Cave Edition

On December 11th, Casey Grove submitted a RTK request for any correspondence fitting the following criteria:

  • From 2016, all records & forms of correspondence to/from/regarding PennDot.
  • From 2016 to current, all records and forms of correspondence to/from/regarding the “highway transfer turnback program.”
  • Additionally, all emails from 2016 with subject or discussion on Penns Cave Road to/from Laron Horner, Jennifer Snyder, Doug Bierly, Joel Myers, Charles Stover, Robert Rayman, or Planning Commission.
  • “Correspondence” is to include emails.

Here is that request:

RTK 2016-12-11

On December 13th, he received the following response, indicating the need for a 30 day extension:

RTK Response 2016-12-13

On January 13th, he received the following response with approximately 50 attachments:

RTK Response 2017-01-13

The records sent do not include all of the correspondence records that were granted. We know this because we had obtained some correspondence from other sources that is NOT included in the files we were sent. This is DEFINITIVE PROOF that our township is keeping information from the public while claiming not to.

I spent several hours sorting through the attached files, removing duplicate records, and putting them in chronological order for you to read. Here is what we received, minus comments from citizens:

RTK Emails Penns Cave 1
RTK Emails Penns Cave 2
Penns Cave Meeting Advertisement

How was this Penns Cave deal initiated? That is what we wanted to find out. Unfortunately there are no records available of correspondence prior to October 18th, when our public servant and Gregg Township resident, Michael Lesniak, sent a letter as a resident expressing concern.

Was this deal discussed telepathically? As Mike Arthur pointed out in his email response, “This smacks of secret, backroom deals.” The response to this Right-To-Know request proves that to be an accurate statement.

Here is just one record of correspondence dated December 2nd that was NOT included in the records we were sent:

PennDot Excluded Record 2016-12-02

As you can see, this letter was sent to the Gregg Township Supervisors, Attn: Jennifer Snyder (our Right-To-Know officer).

If your mind isn’t blown yet, read the following correspondence from our file that was also NOT included in the records we received:

Traffic Study Data

This plainly is “correspondence to/from/regarding PennDot.” Why wasn’t it included?

This can’t be tolerated anymore. It’s time to clean house.