The January meeting of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors began with the reorganization of the board. There turned out to be little reorganization however, as Darryl Fisher was again named chairman and Woody Hynson vice chairman. There were some raised eyebrows when Supervisor Larry Roberson voted no to both. Roberson noted that his objection was not regarding the capability of the individuals, but rather was due to his sustained belief that those roles should rotate around. The term of office of one year was continued for those two positions, as were the Rules of Procedure. The only change was the addition of January 2nd as an additional day off as New Year’s Day falls on a Thursday this coming year.
Much to their consternation, the board approved a request by Kathryn Knoeller from the Community Policy and Management Team for additional funding for Comprehensive Services in the amount of $450,000 ($136,125 from local funds and $313,875 from state funds). Knoeller noted that the Comprehensive Service Act provides services to children who are at risk and that this number grows every day and that the severity increases every day. She indicated as an example that the number of foster children had grown from 4 last year to 12 this year. She also noted that the act mandates that these children at risk receive the services they offer which include court, education, and health services among others. Knoeller noted that the group planned to meet to try to discuss ways that they could make cuts, but added that, “I can’t promise you we won’t be back” to ask for other increases. Over $1.3 million was spent last year for these services.