2008-12-20 / News


Cameron County Commissioners moved to comply with a new state law making records and documents open to the public by appointing Chief Clerk Brenda Munz as the county's official open records officer.

They explained at Monday's meeting that Munz will handle information requests for all courthouse departments.

"I don't think it will have a dramatic change with the way we do business," Commissioner Chair JoAnn Smith told Endeavor News. "I think it is going to be a real smooth transition."

Gov. Ed Rendell earlier this year signed a revamped Right to Know Law, granting citizens greater access to records from public agencies. Under the new regulations, a public document or record is considered open unless the agency determines otherwise, based on specific criteria.

Among documents that are exempt are medical, psychiatric or psychological records; social security and telephone numbers; personal financial information and certain employment records.

In other matters Monday, the board:

• passed an ordinance establishing a Unified Property Identifier system to track deed transfers, subdivisions and other property transactions for tax and record-keeping purposes. A $10 recording fee will be required.

• approved switching natural gas providers for the courthouse to Open Flow Energy, effective Feb. 1. Cost will be $8.137 per dekatherm for a year. Munz estimated that the contract will save the county thousands of dollars. Cameron County School District realized similar cost savings by switching to Open Flow. Gas will still be carried through the National Fuel system.

• approved agreements covering provisions of Children and Youth Services in the county. Providers include Adelphoi Village in Potter County, Central Counties Youth Center, Pentz Run Youth Services and Summit School Inc.

• retained P. Joseph Lehman Inc. as the county engineer.

• agreed to pay $6,524 as the county's share of expenses for the Area Transportation Authority of Northcentral Pennsylvania.

• reported that vendors have been contacting the office with proposals for a new county payroll system to replace the contracted service in effect through June 2009.

• discussed expanded use of stateowned land in Cameron County with representatives of the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.

• approved a property subdivision in Grove Township, as recommended by the Cameron County Planning Commission. The Seiders Subdivision in Sinnemahoning creates three lots out of one parcel.

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