West Donegal Township supervisors said goodbye to Township Manager Gene Oldham, who is retiring and moving to Idaho, and to longtime Supervisor J. Clair Hilsher, who did not seek re-election this year.
Oldham praised the work of township staff, saying they made his five years on the job go smoothly.
“They made me look good and you guys didn’t find out you really didn’t need me,” Oldham told township supervisors at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, eliciting laughter.
Supervisors Chairman Roger Snyder noted that Oldham had been instrumental in a number of improvements in the township, including the opening of the Nordstrom distribution center, the relocation of the Star Barn from its original location near Middletown to West Donegal Township and the replacement of the Newville Road bridge over the Amtrak tracks, among other things.
Oldham is being replaced by John O. Yoder III, who stepped down as a township supervisor to take the job. Yoder was on the ballot for re-election and it was too late to remove him from the ballot, so supervisors will need to appoint someone to replace him. Hilsher’s successor is Eric W. Kreider, who is resigning as a member of the township’s planning commission effective on Dec. 31.
Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Kreider as township treasurer, a post formerly held by Oldham. Oldham said he cannot be township manager and treasurer at the same time.
Supervisors took no action on appointing someone as Kreider’s successor on the planning commission. Supervisor Philip Dunn said he wanted more time to study the candidates’ qualifications; supervisors agreed unanimously to postpone action until the reorganizational meeting on Jan. 2. Appointing a replacement for Yoder on the Board of Supervisors was not on the agenda.
Also at the meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, supervisors passed the 2018 budget unanimously and agreed unanimously to a 2018 property tax rate of 1.60 mills, up from a revenue-neutral rate of 1.54 mills, an increase of a little under 3.9 percent.