Let’s talk the Housing Authority, Quincy Twp, homelessness, and the Republican Committee in Franklin County

August 22 – There seems to be an increase in the number of people sleeping on benches in Chambersburg. Could the homeless numbers be on the rise?

Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery said, “I haven’t heard that we’ve had an uptick. So it’s definitely a concern. It’s something we can look into.”

There is a number to call – 211 – in Franklin County when anyone needs help.

Flannery said, “That directs you to services that are provided throughout Franklin County. So we do have services to help these individuals out. We’ve just got to reach out. Make that call.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I think the trouble is the services are getting taxed and we don’t know where else to put them. I think they were shuffled out of a place that they were relying on. It wasn’t necessarily where they were supposed to be. That’s where they got rustled up last week, and now we’re starting to see more of them on the street here.”

The Franklin County Republican Committee had a meeting last night for the first time in about three months.

Flannery, the vice chair of the committee, said, “One thing I do want to announce is we have the date set aside for our annual pig roast. That will be October 7. We do not have a venue yet for that, but we should have that information relatively soon. I think there were two big things that came out of last night’s meeting, one, we have some vacancies on our ballot come November here that the committee is going to have to appoint individuals to.”

The Republican Committee is definitely considering the fact that Quincy Township lost two of their three supervisors last week.

Flannery said, “Quincy, they can’t operate right now. So that’s a little disturbing, but we need to get someone on the ballot.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “The reason it’s so disturbing is that we’ve had two supervisors resign, one immediately, one effect of the 25th of August. I do not understand the second one. I feel like it’s incredibly irresponsible when they know perfectly well Quincy cannot operate with only one supervisor. You have to have at least two.”

Flannery said, “That’s going to have to go before Judge Meyers, I believe. I haven’t talked to him. I’m not sure how quick that process is. But that will happen relatively soon. He will have to appoint someone, but our responsibility as a committee is to get someone on the ballot for the November election.”

Alan Peck is the only supervisor left on the board in Quincy Township.

Ryan asked, “What kindergarten games are going on out there that they didn’t give him a key to the shop?”

Flannery said, “I personally know Alan, not real well, but he is on the committee. I saw Alan last night. I did not have the opportunity to talk to him, but I think he’s been put in a very bad place and it reminds me of children. It’s ridiculous. It’s pathetic. People should be embarrassed. And why? Because you lost an election? Somebody lost an election so we’re going to cry and pout about it?”

Ryan said, “This whole thing about the keys. This guy was elected. His office is in that building. And he doesn’t have a key to the operation?”

“It’s bad,” Flannery said.

Ryan said, “God bless you for your resignation. Finally, something is moving.”

Flannery said, “Let’s start over and move forward. Let’s bring the adults in.”

The Franklin County Housing Authority also had a shake up recently.

Flannery explained, “They’re overseen by HUD, state. As commissioners, I have no impact. I have no authority. The county doesn’t have any authority over that. They deal directly with the state. So they have two housing complexes. I’m going to call them AMP One and Two here in Chambersburg. AMP Three and Four are in Waynesboro. I would say between the two there are probably between 200 and 300 housing units. They also deal with Section Eight housing. That’s a different department of the Housing Authority, but it’s still part of the Housing Authority in which they work with landlords. However, our complexes, the Housing Authority complexes, obviously, are owned by the state. So there’s a difference there, but there’s quite a few people in the program.”

Jansen said, “I’ve just looked into this myself, because I just heard rumblings or something not really going right with our Housing Authority.”

There are five people on the Franklin County Housing Authority Board of Directors.

Jansen continued, “The problem with Housing Authorities and this is not unique to Franklin County. This is across the country. There are various organ groups that have various authority at different levels. The commissioners are very limited, because they can only appoint to the board for the Housing Authority and that’s it. That’s where their power lies. So I actually went to Joyce’s office. We contacted HUD, everybody said, well, we are responsible for the federal funding or we’re responsible for this part. It’s so scattered and there’s no one authority over the Housing Authorities. So you have to count on having good leaders at the Housing Authority. If it’s going to be ethical and principled and be run efficiently. And that’s where the problem is because there’s really no one source to appeal to if you have a problem at the authority level.”

“That’s correct,” Flannery confirmed.

Ryan said, “Your tax dollars are involved with this. I think they handed out bonuses and all the rest of this from years ago, that’s your money that people were getting a little loosey goosey with, with no accountability as it was explained to me.”

Flannery said, “The board did accept the resignation of the executive director yesterday at our meeting. We have a newly contracted HR firm, the gentleman’s name that we are dealing with, whom I met extensively after our meeting yesterday, really good guy, really good with HR. He’s worked for some big companies, but in business, had his own business in HR for, I believe, the last 15 years. So I’m going to be working with Tony personally, to kind of take the Housing Authority in a new direction with new leadership.”

The Housing Authority board makeup has turned over.

Flannery said, “The board is completely different than it was seven months ago. The board requires that we have one Housing Authority resident on the board. It’s a great board. We work very, very well together and I thank the board for their effort in the last few months because it’s been a little tedious.”

The Housing Authority itself has a little more than 30 employees and there are close to 500 people being housed in the various properties.

The Republican Committee last night also discussed a concept about mail in voting.

Flannery explained, “The mail-in initiative would compete with what the Democrats have been doing so well for about the past, what 10 years now. So they call it ballot chasing, where we get out and start to get mailers in the mail and get those people sitting at home on their you know what, and try and get them to fill out our mail in ballot, those that are Republicans that just don’t get out and vote. So we’re looking at an initiative to start that with this election cycle.”

Jansen reminded, “The problem with mail in voting remember there was a blue ribbon panel done by Jimmy Carter that said one of the biggest threats to democracy or threat to the voting process is mail in voting. So the fact that we’ve expanded it and the Democrat Party and people on the left have been behind a lot of this. They were trying to convince the states to do mail in balloting and unfortunately Pennsylvania fell for that, the legislators, and we have a 55 zero-day window. So now we’re talking about legal ballot harvesting, if you want to use that term, this is legally and that’s what Democrats have been able to do so well and Republicans need to catch up.

Ryan pointed out, “Maybe you all better pay a little harder attention here. All you have to do is see the textbook example of voting early gives you a John Fetterman. That’s what you have for six freaking years. That’s the guy. They made lots of cover for this guy. I don’t care if it’s Republican or Democrat, they don’t deserve an early vote. You need to figure out right to the bitter end, how these people shape up and the stories that they uncover when the media wakes the hell up.”

Flannery said, “I think but the bottom line that we’ve realized or that they’ve realized when I say that Republican leadership is mail-in voting in general, it’s not going away anytime soon. So we can either jump on it or keep losing.”

Jansen said, “The sad fact is we’re getting a lot of uneducated voters voting. Yes, everyone has the right to vote. I get that. But when people don’t know what they’re doing.”

“Then they get the government they deserve,” Ryan suggested.

“Maybe that’s true,” Jansen agreed.