Archive for September, 2018

Counties Must Replace Outdated Voting Machines

September 26th, 2018 Comments off

County commissioners from across Pennsylvania are investigating their options in response to a state mandate that they replace their voting machines with certified models that create a paper trail. The state legislature has not provided funding and the costs – in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for most counties – will be borne by county taxpayers. Potter County Director of Elections Sandy Lewis has been investigating options. This week, she hosted a demonstration by four representatives of Election Systems & Software (ESS), one of the vendors whose equipment has been certified by the Pa. Dept. of State. Joseph Passarella (shown) provided an overview of the new state mandates, the options for county officials, and the equipment that ESS is offering. Earlier this month, Director Lewis hosted a demonstration from another certified supplier, Dominion Voting Systems.

Potter County Part Of National Agriculture Study

September 14th, 2018 Comments off

Potter and Tioga counties are part of a national “Water for Agriculture” study. It holds the potential to not only help farmers with water management issues – both quantity and quality — but also break down some of the barriers that have isolated agriculturalists from government regulators and communities. Dr. Weston M. Eaton, a Penn State University professor who’s one of the leaders of the four-year research project, shared details during Wednesday’s meeting of the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition. Potter, Tioga and Mifflin counties in Pennsylvania have been chosen for the study, as have counties in Nebraska and Arizona. Funding comes from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Eaton said the study’s formal title is, “Securing Water For and From Agriculture Through Effective Community and Stakeholder Engagement.” His team’s mission to develop local models that can be rolled out across the nation. Dr. Eaton shared some of his early observations based on interviews with farmers in northeastern Potter County:

  • they have varied, and sometimes conflicting, opinions on the threats to the future of local agriculture and on water management issues;
  • they feel left out from the deliberations on regulations that affect their livelihood;
  • they believe they are misunderstood, mischaracterized and unappreciated;
  • they lament the demise of local events (Farm/City Day, Progress Through Communications Agriculture Tours, etc.) that spotlighted farming;
  • they see value in the collaborations that the research team is proposing, but only if the leadership is strong and diverse interests are engaged.

Potential stakeholders identified in the early stages of the project include farmers, producers and related businesses; agricultural organizations; local governments; water authorities; environmental organizations; community and interest organizations; regulatory agencies; service and information providers; researchers; landowners and other residents. Nicole Santangelo, agronomy educator with Penn State Extension, is serving as a local liaison for the study.

Leadership Potter County Focus On Emergency Responders

September 7th, 2018 Comments off

An addition to the Leadership Potter County curriculum focusing on emergency responders and public safety was a success. LPC alumnus Will Hunt, who also serves as Potter County planning director, organized a First Responder Day. He laid the groundwork for class members to travel to multiple sites for demonstrations and an opportunity to meet informally with responders. Personnel from the Pa. State Police, Coudersport Volunteer Fire Dept., Coudersport Ambulance and Advanced Life Support, Mercy Flight and Coudersport Borough police responded to the LPC planning team’s invitation to participate.

“Students learned about basic safety measures as well as potential career and volunteer opportunities, and they gained a deeper appreciation for some of the people who selflessly serve the community,” Hunt said. “The committee hopes to have participation from some of the county’s other emergency responders for the 2019 program.” Leadership Potter County supports the development of future leaders with a focus on developing leadership potential and a greater awareness of local assets, opportunities and issues. More information is available at 274-4877.