Monday’s Public Meeting recommended the new voting system

On Monday, September 23, 2019, the Fayette County Board of Elections (Angela Zimmerlink, Mark Mehalov, Matthew Jaynes) voted unanimously to recommend to the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to purchase new voting equipment from Dominion Voting.

Timeline of events

Throughout 2018 to present  Election Bureau staff and county commissioners attended various conferences at which time vendors displayed and/or demonstrated voting systems

1st quarter 2019  Election Bureau staff invited the certified vendors to their office for demonstrations

June 2019 Election Bureau hosted a 2-day public event (Friday/Saturday) for the certified vendors to demonstrate their voting system

September 23, 2019 Election Board held a public meeting and voted to recommend the Dominion Voting system. Also, the Board of Elections, via memo, requested that the Board of Commissioners to either hold a special meeting soon or at its October meeting enter into an agreement with the company so that the election bureau can prepare for this undertaking which includes staff training, election day worker training, and voter training. Both the resolution & memo will be provided to the BOC on Wed 9/25/19 (to read the resolution and the memo contact the election office).    Sheryl Heid, assistant county solicitor, normally attends the election board meetings and she was present for this one. Jack Purcell, a county solicitor, attended this meeting as well.

What’s next?

The Board of Commissioners, at a public meeting, will either accept the recommendation of the Election Board or will select another vendor/voting system and will need to enter into a contract for purchase either negotiating the price directly or using the CoStars Program. The DOS recommends using the CoStars program, and the BOC will need to determine if this will be an Outright Purchase or a 10-year Managed Service Agreement.

Also, funds will need to be placed in the upcoming 2020 general fund budget. The budget must be adopted by December 31, 2019. The DOS indicated that counties must procure new voting systems by December 31, 2019.

Additional Information 

Both newspapers were aware of this public meeting but neither attended. Accordingly, there was nothing in either newspaper.

Vendors were Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting, ES&S, Hart, Unisyn. For more information https://www.votespa.com/About-Elections/Pages/New-Voting-Systems.aspx

Members of the Election Board  The 3 county commissioners are the 3 election board members EXCEPT when commissioners are on the ballot. In this case 2 of the 3 are on the ballot (Vicites and Lohr). Accordingly, Mark Mehalov is serving in Vicites place and Matthew Jaynes is serving in Lohr’s place.

As per CCAP, pursuant to the DOS, counties must replace equipment by April 2020, but many are moving more quickly (or have moved already) to have equipment in place by November 2019 to enable a roll-out in a municipal election rather than a Presidential primary

Funding As per CCAP, counties seek funding from the state and federal government for equipment replacement – any dollars counties spend that does not come from state or federal funds will be property tax dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

94 year old WWII veteran “hand wrote” this letter to the editor

Whether you agree with Mr. Rostich or not you have to give him credit for handwriting a letter to the editor at his age. Why does he do it? Because he cares.  He has a history of writing letters but given his declining health he has not written as much as he would like.

Here it is taken from the Herald Standard today : https://www.heraldstandard.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/our-local-politicians-can-to-better-for-fayette-county/article_11cfc604-75e4-11e9-a1d5-cfd6df4e822a.html

In my commentary of July 3, 2018, in this newspaper, I wrote about population decrease, school closings and decline in students, church closings, loss of retail stores, businesses and jobs and the high number of obituaries in the newspaper each day. I was surprised that I never received a response to that commentary. I guess writing about Fayette County’s dilemma has no answer.

In an April 23 article in this newspaper, the Census Bureau released the 2018 report. Again, Fayette County continued to experience decline in population. Fayette County 2010 Census population was 136,606 and the 2018 is estimated at 130,441 a loss of 6165 people in 8 years. Where is the end?
In the Progress Section of the April 26 edition, it talked about expansion, which is good. Fayette County makes one step forward and one step backward. How long can the Uniontown Mall exist with the main retail store gone? Is this county making any progress?

Where is the Chamber of Commerce with its 600 membership? They could be the striking force to move this county forward. Years ago, they were behind the push to bring industry to this county. They called it 5-4 meaning five industries in four years. Sad to say, all those industries once located across from Penn State Fayette are gone. With the right leadership this chamber could move this county forward. They are powerful. Use your talent.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in this county has been politics. Our elected officials’ biggest concern is getting reelected. Moving this county forward was not their priority although some of our elected officials had reached top positions in government. It is with sadness that Angela Zimmerlink has decided not to seek reelection to the commissioners office. I guess after 16 years, she had enough. Commissioner Zimmerlink to me was a decent, honest, intelligent person who tried her best to make this a better county, but was voted down most of the time by a 2-1 vote.
What will it take to move this county forward? We know that the toll road was supposed to move the county forward, but it did not happen. This 17-mile toll road cost $886 million is one of the costliest in America, but did not help this county. The location was bad. It was the politicians’ way.

There is a gem in this county that is not being utilized to its fullest extent which is tourism. The people in this county should demand that the money derived from the hotel tax stay in the county and not be given to the Westmoreland visitors center. Over one million dollars a year is collected in hotel tax. Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr can change this. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink is for giving this money back to this county and having a tourism center in our county. Tourism could do wonders where it is set up to tour people showing them historic sights, museums, scenery and events. By promoting this county, we can impress visitors which would have a positive effect and could help bring new businesses to the area.

Not moving this county forward means more decline in population, more school closings, more church closings, more retail stores closings. Business closings will continue until there is more leadership showing more involvement.

I served with the United States Navy Seabees in World War II. Our motto was “We Build, We Fight, Can Do!” That is what is needed from our so-called Fayette County leaders and politicians. A “Can Do We Build” attitude. A “Can Do, We Build” logo should be the county standard bearer for the county.

Bill Rostich is a resident of Footdale.