Home Rule – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 01:29:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://ballingertx.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Home Rule – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ 32 32 court upholds California law limiting the ability of local governments to deny housing development applications | Perkins Coie https://ballingertx.org/court-upholds-california-law-limiting-the-ability-of-local-governments-to-deny-housing-development-applications-perkins-coie/ https://ballingertx.org/court-upholds-california-law-limiting-the-ability-of-local-governments-to-deny-housing-development-applications-perkins-coie/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 01:11:40 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/court-upholds-california-law-limiting-the-ability-of-local-governments-to-deny-housing-development-applications-perkins-coie/ [co-author: Angela Luh] In a recent landmark decision, the California Court of Appeals rejected a city’s interpretation of what constitutes an “hard” standard under the Housing Liability Act (HAA), Section 65589.5 of the Housing Code. government, and upheld the constitutionality of the law and the amendments that strengthened it.[1] The notice in California Renters Legal […]]]>

[co-author: Angela Luh]

In a recent landmark decision, the California Court of Appeals rejected a city’s interpretation of what constitutes an “hard” standard under the Housing Liability Act (HAA), Section 65589.5 of the Housing Code. government, and upheld the constitutionality of the law and the amendments that strengthened it.[1] The notice in California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund v. City of San Mateo reinforces and maintains the severe limitations imposed by the HAA on the local review of housing development applications.

The HAA tightly restricts the ability of a local government to disapprove a housing development project that “conforms to applicable standards and criteria and general plan, zoning and subdivision objectives, including design review standards. “. In 2017, the California legislature passed the first in a series of bills aimed at increasing the supply of housing, among other approaches, by strengthening the HAA. One of the 2017 bills tightened the restriction on the objective standards of the HAA by adding subdivision (f) (4) to Article 65589.5 of the Government Code. This subsection provides that a residential development project is deemed to comply with an applicable standard if “substantial evidence[…]would allow a reasonable person to conclude ”that this is the case.

In Californian tenants, the city of San Mateo (city) rejected an application to build a multi-family residential building with four floors and ten units. The court initially concluded that the City’s denial of the project was not in accordance with the HAA. The tribunal then considered and rejected arguments that subdivision (f) (4) was unconstitutional and, in the process, ruled that the HAA, as a whole, did not impermissibly infringe the rights of cities. chartered to control their own municipal affairs.

Compliance with “objective” standards

By denying the development application, the City concluded that the project did not comply with the adopted design guidelines. Yet the court determined that the relevant guidelines were not objective standards under the HAA due to their ambiguous language and lack of specificity, and, therefore, could not support disapproval of the draft. lodging.

The guidelines stated that “a transition or a high step is necessary” if the height of adjacent buildings varies by more than one storey. According to the City, a two-storey difference between the proposed structure and the adjacent single-family dwellings required a “setback” in the height of the building to comply with the guidelines.

The court ruled that the objective standards under the HAA do not include those that require “personal interpretation” or “subjective judgment,” and the court ruled that those design guidelines failed that test. Guidelines were unclear, the court determined, as to whether a height setback was necessary or, failing that, whether a height “transition” provided by the tall trees and trellises on the project might be sufficient. In addition, to the extent that the guidelines required a height recoil, they did not specify the extent of this recoil.

Constitutionality of the HAA

The court then upheld the constitutionality of the HAA against three arguments raised by the City. In its most important decision, the court disagreed with the City that the HAA and its amendments infringed the City’s right to “rule of origin” or control of its own municipal affairs by as a charter city. Citing legislative findings and the HAA’s express goal of ameliorating the housing crisis, the court concluded that the HAA “clearly addresses a statewide issue of concern” – the increase in state housing supply. In addition, the court ruled, the HAA is “narrowly designed” to avoid unnecessary interference in local governance. While the HAA limits the ability of local agencies to reject new housing on the basis of subjective criteria, the law leaves them free to establish compliant objective policies and development standards to meet local needs.

The court also rejected the City’s claims that HAA subdivision (f) (4) unconstitutionally delegates municipal functions and violates due process rights of neighboring landowners. The court ruled that the new statutory provision does not cede municipal authority to private individuals, nor prevent neighbors from having a meaningful opportunity to be heard.

Conclusion

For the second time this year, the Court of Appeals both rejected a charter city’s interpretation of a key state housing law and upheld the constitutionality of the law against a challenge to “Home rule”. The Californian tenants The court echoed the reasoning adopted by the court in April when it upheld Senate Bill 35 to streamline it against similar challenges. Taken together, the decisions demonstrate continued recognition by the courts that all local governments must comply with state housing law.

End Notes

[1] California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund v. City of San Mateo, nos A159320, A159658 (1st Dist. 10 Sep 2021).

[View source.]


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NJ Golf Town’s Planned Extinction Set to Start Trend | Editorial https://ballingertx.org/nj-golf-towns-planned-extinction-set-to-start-trend-editorial/ https://ballingertx.org/nj-golf-towns-planned-extinction-set-to-start-trend-editorial/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 11:32:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/nj-golf-towns-planned-extinction-set-to-start-trend-editorial/ In 20th century New Jersey, that would have been an (illegal) bet with odds of 1,000 to 1. But now, two decades after the start of the 21st century, it’s actually going to happen: The leaders of Pine Hill, Camden County (population 11,000) and the leaders of Pine Valley, Camden County (population 11, based on […]]]>

In 20th century New Jersey, that would have been an (illegal) bet with odds of 1,000 to 1. But now, two decades after the start of the 21st century, it’s actually going to happen:

The leaders of Pine Hill, Camden County (population 11,000) and the leaders of Pine Valley, Camden County (population 11, based on a 2019 estimate), have agreed on a plan to to turn their neighboring municipalities into a single city.

Pine Valley is one of those “golf course” towns that are more or less unique to New Jersey. It’s so exclusive that in order to own a home there you have to be a member of its world famous Pine Valley Golf Club renowned for its hefty price tag. Another local example of a golf course is Tavistock (population 19), which straddles Haddonfield and Barrington, also in Camden County.

After asking “What took you so long?” Question, the fact that Pine Hill and Pine Valley exist as separate entities so far is a long-term symptom of our state’s incredible insistence on “home settlement.” This has created far too many municipalities and far too many school districts. This gave New Jersey a reputation for duplicate bureaucracy. This is best demonstrated by tiny school systems that each have their own superintendents and dozens of separate police departments that rival Sheriff Andy in the fictional Mayberry, NC in size.

As in the non-fictional South, part of the history of the New Jersey government stems from racial and social divisions. A separate reason for infinitesimally sized golf towns is where it is legal to buy and drink alcohol in a public place. It is no coincidence that Tavistock and his food club can be found next door to Haddonfield, which remains ‘dry’ – with the exception of 2014 for vineyard retail outlets – to this day.

In recent years, however, more and more taxpayers have realized the benefits of combining small towns and eliminating duplication of services. They have also relaxed local restrictions on alcohol bans, realizing the barrier they pose for thriving restaurants. Voters in Pitman and Moorestown (who just granted their first retail liquor license) rolled back their bans several years ago, but that’s a topic for a separate editorial.

While the upcoming Pine Hill-Pine Valley consolidation deserves applause, understand that these are incremental and slow-moving things. This merger alone will not have a major impact on reversing bureaucratic bloat or the worst theft of residents through property taxes. Why? Because Pine Valley is so small it doesn’t have its own school or police department. There is no fleet of full-time municipal employees.

The bulk of the work remains. Cities the size of Pine Hill (around 10,000) need to join communities of similar size, or those that are a little smaller (say, 2,000 to 7,500 people) to get the most out of wallets and portfolios. scale improvements in service delivery. The merger of Princeton Borough (12,000 inhabitants) and Princeton Township (16,000 inhabitants) in 2013 remains the gold standard. Voters said ‘yes’ and five years later officials said a substantial $ 3.9 million had been saved. This is all the more impressive as the municipalities already had a common school district before the municipal merger in 2013.

More please.

Because Pine Valley is so small, combining with Pine Hill does not require voter approval in either municipality. It is covered by the law of municipal consolidation with a low population density. The Pine Valley board of commissioners is expected to approve the merger tonight, and Pine Hill is expected to begin approval on October 4.

Local consolidation in New Jersey has been on the back burner since the onset of the pandemic. There were too many more urgent things to deal with. No one expects an accelerated surge before the November election. A unified Pine Hill / Pine Valley should serve as a reminder that there is a lot more to do, in much bigger places.

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Biden launches response to health harms of extreme heat https://ballingertx.org/biden-launches-response-to-health-harms-of-extreme-heat/ https://ballingertx.org/biden-launches-response-to-health-harms-of-extreme-heat/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:36:36 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/biden-launches-response-to-health-harms-of-extreme-heat/ WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is working to protect workers and communities from the extreme heat after a dangerously hot summer that sparked a wave of wildfires made worse by drought and left hundreds dead in the north -western Pacific to hurricane-ravaged Louisiana. As part of a plan to be announced on Monday, the […]]]>

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is working to protect workers and communities from the extreme heat after a dangerously hot summer that sparked a wave of wildfires made worse by drought and left hundreds dead in the north -western Pacific to hurricane-ravaged Louisiana.

As part of a plan to be announced on Monday, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services and other federal agencies are launching actions to reduce heat-related illnesses and protect public health .

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy called heat stress a “silent killer” that disproportionately affects the poor, the elderly and minority groups. While not as dramatic as wildfires or hurricanes, “heat stress is a real and significant threat with deadly consequences,” McCarthy said in an interview.

“A lot of people don’t recognize heat stress as a real physical problem until it’s too late for them,” she said.

The effort to tackle heat stress comes as President Joe Biden works with world leaders to define next steps against rapidly worsening climate change.

June heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, exacerbated by climate change, killed hundreds and thousands of emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses. In Louisiana, more than a million people, including the entire city of New Orleans, lost power when Hurricane Ida struck on August 29. At least 12 of 28 Ida-related deaths in Louisiana were caused by the heat, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

As part of the administration’s plan, the Department of Labor is launching a program to protect outside workers, including agriculture, construction and delivery workers, as well as those working on the job. interior in warehouses, factories and kitchens. Farm and construction workers are at the greatest risk of heatstroke and other problems, the White House said, but other workers without air-conditioned environments are also at risk.

“Too often heat-induced injuries and illnesses are misclassified or go unreported, especially in industries that employ vulnerable and undocumented workers,” the White House said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

The Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is set to release a new rule on preventing heat-related illnesses in outdoor and indoor work environments and will focus workplace responses and inspections on the days where the heat index exceeds 80 ° F (26.7 degrees Celsius). The White House called the rule an important step towards a federal heat standard for workplaces in the United States and said officials would expand the scope of scheduled and unscheduled inspections to deal with heat-related risks.

The administration will also expand its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, to add programs to combat extreme heat, the White House said. The program traditionally focuses on providing heat during the winter, but also offers assistance in purchasing air conditioning units or paying utility bills for cooling. These programs will be expanded and officials will conduct targeted outreach activities to ensure at-risk households are in a temperature-safe environment, McCarthy said.

The administration is expanding the use of schools and other public buildings as cooling centers.

“School cooling centers save lives,” said McCarthy. “These are opportunities for people in every community to find relief when they need it most.”

She urged communities to implement programs such as ‘adopt an elderly person’ to perform wellness checks, making sure elderly residents drink fluids and do not overheat. “That kind of personal touch is going to make the difference between an individual living longer and those who die, fundamentally unrecognized in their own home,” McCarthy said.

The Biden administration has taken action since its earliest days to tackle climate change.

Biden announced an engagement on Friday with the European Union to reduce methane leaks that are harmful to the climate. Darker and darker findings by scientists conclude that the world is approaching the point where the level of climate damage from the burning of oil, gas and coal becomes catastrophic and irreversible.

These accounts “represent a code red for humanity,” Biden said on Friday, citing a recent UN report that the Earth is getting so hot that temperatures in a decade or so will likely exceed a level of warming that world leaders sought to prevent.

“We must act, and we must act now,” Biden said, referring to the “damage and destruction” he has seen in the United States, massive flooding in Europe and other global damage from global warming as natural disasters are on the increase. and severity.

In recent weeks, Biden has traveled to California, where firefighters tackle larger, more violent and deadly wildfires most of the year, as well as the northeastern United States and the United States. Gulf coast, where Hurricane Ida and its floods killed dozens of people.

As part of this new effort, the administration is focusing on urban “heat islands” where temperatures in cities with fewer trees and higher pavement concentrations may be higher than in surrounding areas. The problem may be more serious in neighborhoods affected by discriminatory practices that deny services to residents of certain areas because of their race or ethnicity, the White House said, citing a recent Environmental Protection Agency analysis. showing that the serious damage caused by climate change is declining disproportionately. on minorities and underserved communities.

The administration will expand urban forestry programs and other “greening” projects to reduce temperature extremes and heat exposure, the White House said. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, is launching a series of competitions focused on building the country’s resilience to climate change. The first competition will focus on new ways to protect people at risk of heat-related illness or death during extreme heat episodes or in connection with other disasters.


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Remembering the British socialist who supported India’s independence movement https://ballingertx.org/remembering-the-british-socialist-who-supported-indias-independence-movement/ https://ballingertx.org/remembering-the-british-socialist-who-supported-indias-independence-movement/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 00:20:25 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/remembering-the-british-socialist-who-supported-indias-independence-movement/ Annie besant [File photo | Photo courtesy: Youth Congress]| Photo credit: Twitter Highlights Annie Besant started the All India Home Rule League in 1916. Annie Besant chaired the 1917 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. “The British are good settlers, though often brutal, when they come into contact with entirely uncivilized tribes whose past […]]]>

Annie besant [File photo | Photo courtesy: Youth Congress]| Photo credit: Twitter

Highlights

  • Annie Besant started the All India Home Rule League in 1916.
  • Annie Besant chaired the 1917 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.

“The British are good settlers, though often brutal, when they come into contact with entirely uncivilized tribes whose past is so distant that it is forgotten. But they trampled with their heavy boots the sensitive and delicate sensibilities of an ancient nation, highly civilized and cultivated, like India. This is what Annie Besant – a British social reformer, philanthropist and supporter of Indian nationalism – once said, widely reported by the media. Today is his 88e death anniversary.

Annie Wood was born in London on October 1, 1847. At the age of 20, Annie, who was a woman of Irish descent, married Frank Besant, a clergyman, and the couple were fortunate enough to have two children. However, due to Annie’s unconventional religious views, the couple broke up in 1873. This was the start of Annie’s immersion in social issues for nearly two decades. Between 1874 and 1893, Annie worked for women’s suffrage, family planning, unionism, and Irish Home Rule.

Annie first visited India in 1983. She later settled here and became involved in the country’s struggle for independence from British Imperial rule. With Bal Gangadhar Tilak, she started the All India Home Rule League in 1916. She was also a prominent member of the Indian National Congress. She chaired the 1917 Calcutta session of Congress. In June 1917, the British state arrested her, following which Congress and the Muslim League threatened to protest if she was not released.

Annie’s thirst for some sort of global truth does not appear to have been satiated by social and political reforms. She developed an interest in Theosophy, a religious movement established in 1875. Hindu ideas of reincarnation and karma were the basis of the Theosophical movement. Annie, as a member and later president of the Theosophical Society, spread Theosophical beliefs in India and other parts of the world.

With her unique personality and organizational methods, Annie transformed Indian nationalist politics during the years of World War I. Annie, until the end of her life, campaigned for India’s independence from the British state.


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Taliban-ruled Kabul municipality to women workers: stay home https://ballingertx.org/taliban-ruled-kabul-municipality-to-women-workers-stay-home/ https://ballingertx.org/taliban-ruled-kabul-municipality-to-women-workers-stay-home/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 10:31:42 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/taliban-ruled-kabul-municipality-to-women-workers-stay-home/ KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Kabul city government workers have been ordered to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the government said on Sunday. acting mayor of the Afghan capital, detailing the latest restrictions imposed on women by the new Taliban leadership. The decision to prevent most urban […]]]>

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Kabul city government workers have been ordered to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the government said on Sunday. acting mayor of the Afghan capital, detailing the latest restrictions imposed on women by the new Taliban leadership.

The decision to prevent most urban women workers from returning to work is another sign that the Taliban, which invaded Kabul last month, are carrying out their harsh take on Islam despite initial promises from some that they would be tolerant and inclusive. During their previous regime in the 1990s, the Taliban denied girls and women access to school, work and public life.

In recent days, the new Taliban government has issued several decrees canceling the rights of girls and women. He told middle school and high school girls that they can’t go back to school right now, while the boys in those classes resumed their studies over the weekend. University students were told that studies would henceforth be conducted in single-sex environments and that they must adhere to a strict Islamic dress code. Under the government supported by the United States and overthrown by the Taliban, university studies were mostly mixed.

On Friday, the Taliban shut down the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, replacing it with a ministry for “the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” and responsible for upholding Islamic law.

On Sunday, just over a dozen women demonstrated outside the ministry, holding up signs calling for women’s participation in public life. “A society in which women are not active is (sic) a dead society,” read one panel.

The demonstration lasted about 10 minutes. After a brief verbal confrontation with a man, the women got into cars and left, while the Taliban in two cars observed them nearby. In recent months, Taliban fighters have forcibly dispersed several women’s protests.

Elsewhere, around 30 women, many of them young, held a press conference in the basement of a house nestled in a neighborhood of Kabul. Marzia Ahmadi, a rights activist and government worker now forced to sit at home, said they would demand that the Taliban reopen public spaces to women.

“It’s our right,” she said. “We want to talk to them. We want to tell them that we have the same rights as them.

Most participants said they would try to leave the country if given the chance.

Also on Sunday, the acting mayor of Kabul, Hamdullah Namony, gave his first press conference since his appointment by the Taliban.

He said that before the Taliban takeover last month, just under a third of the city’s roughly 3,000 employees were women and had worked in all departments.

Namony said the employees were ordered to stay at home, pending a further decision. He said exceptions were made for women who could not be replaced by men, including some in design and engineering departments and female public restroom attendants. Namony did not say how many employees were forced to stay at home.

“There are areas where men cannot do it, we have to ask our female staff to perform their duties, there is no alternative for that,” he said.

Across Afghanistan, women in many areas have been told not to work, in both the public and private sectors. However, the Taliban have yet to announce a uniform policy. The Kabul mayor’s comments were unusually precise and affected a large female workforce who had been involved in running a sprawling city of over 5 million people.

Namony also said the new government has started removing security barriers in Kabul, a city that has suffered frequent shelling and gunfire over the years. Such barriers – erected near ministries, embassies and the private residences of politicians and warlords – had been commonplace in Kabul for years.

The mayor said private citizens would be charged for the work of removing barriers. While he said most barriers have been removed, reporters touring the city noted that barriers outside most government facilities and embassies have been left in place.

The Taliban have tried to present themselves as the guarantors of security, in the hope that this will earn them the support of a public still largely suspicious of their intentions. Under the previous government, the increase in crime had been a major concern for ordinary Afghans.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge facing the new Taliban leadership is the accelerating economic downturn. Even before the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan was plagued by major problems, including large-scale poverty, drought, and heavy reliance on foreign aid for the state budget.

A sign of growing desperation, street markets have sprung up in Kabul where locals sell their goods. Some of the vendors are Afghans hoping to leave the country, while others are forced to offer their meager possessions in the hope of securing money for the next meal.

“Our people need help, they need jobs, they need immediate help, they are not selling their belongings here,” said Zahid Ismail Khan, a resident of Kabul, who was observing the activity in one of the impromptu markets.

“In the short term, people might try to find a way to live, but they would have no other choice to turn to begging in the longer term,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Istanbul contributed.


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Ole coach Miss Lane Kiffin calls targeting rule “very frustrating” https://ballingertx.org/ole-coach-miss-lane-kiffin-calls-targeting-rule-very-frustrating/ https://ballingertx.org/ole-coach-miss-lane-kiffin-calls-targeting-rule-very-frustrating/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 16:31:56 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/ole-coach-miss-lane-kiffin-calls-targeting-rule-very-frustrating/ Due to Ole Miss’s Week 1 game against Louisville littered with targeting penalties, the targeting rule in college football has been a hot topic. This match also prompted the cast of SEC Nation to ask Ole Miss’s head coach Kiffin Way for his thoughts on the targeting rule. “I mean, that’s what it is. It’s […]]]>

Due to Ole Miss’s Week 1 game against Louisville littered with targeting penalties, the targeting rule in college football has been a hot topic. This match also prompted the cast of SEC Nation to ask Ole Miss’s head coach Kiffin Way for his thoughts on the targeting rule.

“I mean, that’s what it is. It’s very frustrating, ”Kiffin said. “I just don’t like – my problem is, you know, when people come out and say, ‘Okay, well, look, here’s where his head was. “Well, you’re idling, you rewind it five times. Some kind of official sued me on social media about,“ Well, hey, learn how to coach your players. ”Well, we all do some doing. mistakes. They make mistakes and they have an instant replay to correct their mistakes, but yet a player is supposed to do it, in a split second, when that target drops as well. That’s the problem. You’re going to strike here. and their heads drop.

Due to the game being played on a Monday night, all eyes in the country were on the rebels and Cardinals in week 1 of the 2021 season. But four targeting kicks in the first half of the game ended up being this. whose country was buzzing during discussions about the game.

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield was asked about all targeting calls in the game. Satterfield noted that he wanted the game to be as safe as possible, but made it clear how frustrated he was with how the rule changed the sport for him -same.

“It’s unfortunate with all the targeting. I do not like it. It’s not a good look, ”Satterfield said. “We want to keep the game safe. But when you go helmet to helmet or lower your head, the top of your helmet to hit somebody, we don’t teach that, we don’t want to do that. One of our targets was on a block. TP was going to block a guy, and they hit helmet against helmet. I sometimes get it going to happen; we don’t like it. We train against it, and we have to improve with it because these penalties are crucial and they obviously hurt you. “

Download the CBS Sports app for scores, highlights and the SEC game of the week

During that match, Kiffin was forced to stay home after testing positive for COVID-19. But the Rebels still managed to win that game, as well as last week’s game against Austin Peay. Ole Miss takes the field tonight against Tulane in a game that starts at 7pm CT. The game can be seen on television on ESPN2.


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OP-ED: Giving meaning to county government initiatives | Op-Ed https://ballingertx.org/op-ed-giving-meaning-to-county-government-initiatives-op-ed/ https://ballingertx.org/op-ed-giving-meaning-to-county-government-initiatives-op-ed/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:15:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/op-ed-giving-meaning-to-county-government-initiatives-op-ed/ The citizens of Washington County have reason to be overwhelmed by the wave of initiatives launched by the commissioners in recent months. The three big projects are unique but easy to confuse. First, an electoral referendum to adopt a government study commission; second, an expansion of the human services functions in Washington County; and third, […]]]>

The citizens of Washington County have reason to be overwhelmed by the wave of initiatives launched by the commissioners in recent months. The three big projects are unique but easy to confuse. First, an electoral referendum to adopt a government study commission; second, an expansion of the human services functions in Washington County; and third, the approval of an automated case management system for county courts, have all been introduced.

To make matters even more confusing, the disinformation disseminated by some parties to derail the most deserving of these plans. This commentary will attempt to explain each of the above initiatives, how they relate and how they differ.

Government study commission: This summer, the concept of a government study commission went from a good idea (an idea that I have been defending for several years) to a real ordinance placing the referendum to adopt the study commission in front of the voters on November 2. . If Washington County eventually adopts some form of self-government, it would strengthen the ability to make decisions based on local needs. Washington County would no longer be required to follow a single state code that is decided by state lawmakers.

In August, those interested in serving on the commission were given a brief window to collect signatures on a petition supporting their candidacy. On polling day, voters will decide whether to adopt a government study commission and, on the same ballot, select 11 commissioners from 51 candidates. They will only be used if the vote to form the committee is affirmative.

County commissioners’ decision to expedite the establishment of a government study commission was undoubtedly influenced by the deteriorating relationship between the commissioners and the Washington County judiciary on one side and Republican officials. elected to administer the offices of the other clergy. It is true that the study commission could plead for the abolition of these offices. A professional administrator, appointed by the courts and the commissioners, to exercise these clerical functions, would replace the elected partisans. However, it is important to keep in mind that an elected study commission would be responsible for examining all aspects of county government, not just the future of clerical offices.

The process of adopting an Autonomy Charter is deliberately deliberate and involves the participation of the public / voters in all phases of the multistep procedure mandated by state law. Public meetings to solicit ideas will be held, research on other Pennsylvania counties will be conducted, and all options discussed. The study commission may decide to keep the existing government structure, in which case the project is concluded. If the commission drafts a new plan, only Washington County voters can approve the draft autonomy charter.

It is puzzling to me that the Washington County Republican Party has mounted an all-out campaign to convince voters not to appoint a government study commission. In 2019, Republicans campaigned on shortcomings in local administration and theft from the court registry. Now that Republicans are in the majority in Washington County, they have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in developing a government structure that addresses their concerns. Instead, local Republicans elected irresponsible officials to several of the row offices and refused to participate in a democratic process aimed at improving local government.

Expansion of County Social Services: With a bipartisan decision at a recent meeting, Commissioners Diana Irey Vaughn and Larry Maggi delayed any move to reconfigure the county’s social services department. Commissioner Nick Sherman, who proposed the unnecessary and costly expansion, disagreed. The plan for the new social services department would include hiring eight new employees at an additional annual cost of $ 544,000.

In addition to cost, the other well-founded criticism of the plan is that it is unnecessary and would disrupt years of building effective social service organizations outside of county government. These nonprofits (drugs and alcohol, the elderly and aging, and others) thrived under their independent leadership and served the needs of residents of Washington County. In the wise words of the recently deceased District Attorney Gene Vittone, “Service delivery works in the area of ​​drugs and alcohol. An old adage applies here. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “Let our team continue our good work.

Automated Case Management System for County Courts: Commissioners approved the purchase of a comprehensive case management system that will integrate all court and courtroom staff, including office desk functions, into one system. The county can use pandemic relief funds received from the federal government to pay for the facility. Federal courts and several forward-looking Pennsylvania counties have installed similar systems that have proven to significantly reduce costs over time. Fewer clerks will be needed to process paper documents and storage costs will be reduced. Litigants in the court system will save on legal fees as lawyers across the region will be able to file pleadings electronically.

In connection with the county initiatives above, I would like to make two observations. First, the ill-advised attempt to reconfigure social services should be a topic for consideration by the Government’s Study Commission. This would give independent elected citizens the opportunity to make recommendations. Second, the court case management system will have a profound effect on office offices, whether they are replaced or remain in effect as elected offices.

Gary Stout is a Washington lawyer.


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Apple and Google remove ‘Navalny’ voting app in Russia https://ballingertx.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/ https://ballingertx.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 21:55:08 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/ The Russian government has been increasingly blunt in recent days about its willingness to use threats of arrest to prevent use of the app. “With the participation of Apple and Google, specific crimes are committed, the scale of which can only increase in the coming days”, declared Thursday Vladimir Dzhabarov, member of the upper house […]]]>

The Russian government has been increasingly blunt in recent days about its willingness to use threats of arrest to prevent use of the app.

“With the participation of Apple and Google, specific crimes are committed, the scale of which can only increase in the coming days”, declared Thursday Vladimir Dzhabarov, member of the upper house of the Russian Parliament. “Persons contributing to the evasion of liability of their parent companies in the territory of the Russian Federation will be punished. “

It remains to be seen whether Friday’s concession by Apple and Google will turn into a watershed moment as America’s tech giants stand ready to withstand pressure from the Kremlin. Amid Russia’s crackdown on dissent this year, Silicon Valley’s most popular platforms have remained freely accessible, allowing journalists and activists to continue to get their message out. On YouTube, for example, Team Navalny’s investigations into the corruption of the Russian elite regularly garner millions of views.

But Friday’s move could embolden the Kremlin as well as governments around the world to use the threat of suing employees to leverage companies. It presents a test of Silicon Valley ideals around free speech and an open Internet, balanced not only against profit but against the safety of their workers.

Deletions of Facebook and Twitter posts, YouTube videos, and other internet content happen quite regularly as businesses seek to comply with local laws around the world. In China, Apple has removed apps that counter government censors, including software that would allow Chinese users to access the open global Internet. A 2016 court ruling in Russia led Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn from their app stores after LinkedIn failed to comply with a law requiring data about Russian users to be stored within the country’s borders. country.

But Friday’s deletions by Google and Apple have little precedent given election issues and Mr Navalny’s high-profile campaign against the Kremlin, said Natalia Krapiva, legal adviser to Access Now, a civil society group. tracking down internet censorship. “It’s really a new phenomenon to attack app stores,” Ms. Krapiva said.

While companies would prefer to be seen as impartial platforms, Ms. Krapiva said industry leaders should speak out more forcefully to defend free speech and an open internet, especially if employees across the Internet company were threatened with criminal prosecution.


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Heinz: Revision needed on the nine-game minimum rule https://ballingertx.org/heinz-revision-needed-on-the-nine-game-minimum-rule/ https://ballingertx.org/heinz-revision-needed-on-the-nine-game-minimum-rule/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 05:05:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/heinz-revision-needed-on-the-nine-game-minimum-rule/ While not as bad as last season, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on San Diego County football. By the middle of the 2021 season, more than a dozen games were lost to COVID. while other teams have had to withdraw from games due to a lack of players, unrelated to COVID. Several top-tier […]]]>

While not as bad as last season, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on San Diego County football.

By the middle of the 2021 season, more than a dozen games were lost to COVID. while other teams have had to withdraw from games due to a lack of players, unrelated to COVID.

Several top-tier teams – Lincoln, Mater Dei Catholic, El Camino, Scripps Ranch, Torrey Pines, Oceanside – are at risk of missing the CIF-mandated nine-game regular-season minimum to qualify for the playoffs.

“We’ll definitely have to revisit that,” San Diego Chapter Commissioner Joe Heinz said of the nine-game rule. “We need to have discussions on the minimum number of games needed to advance to the playoffs, as that will affect the power standings and the playoff standings.

“We did the same for season 2 in the spring. There was a lot of common sense talk in the spring. Decisions have been made on what is best for our teams. It looks like COVID is on its downward slope, and we won’t lose many games anymore, but we want the best teams in the playoffs. “

This week, the Scripps Ranch-Sweetwater match was called off due to COVID at the Sweetwater campus, while Westview abandoned their match with El Camino due to the lack of healthy players unrelated to COVID.

Heinz explained that games lost to COVID are considered “without competition”.

However, matches not played because a team is running out of healthy players unrelated to COVID will be considered “forfeits”.

This week’s Westview-El Camino game is a forfeit victory for El Camino.

Sunday game

The CIF state office said it was suspending a rule banning Sunday games this fall.

Heinz said state regulation 504.M was being changed to allow schools affected by COVID cancellations or wildfires in northern California the ability to reschedule games.

“But Sunday is for games, no training,” Heinz said. “And that’s only for the fall.”

Championship sites

A decision is coming soon to the venues for the soccer championships.

The Open Division Championship is scheduled for Saturday, November 20. Divisions IV are scheduled for Friday and Saturday November 26-27.

Southwestern College has been hosting the finals since 2014 with Qualcomm Stadium the main venue for years before.

Southwestern and Escondido High are the considered venues for the championships. However, in this COVID era, San Diego community colleges have several seating restrictions.

Devore Stadium in Southwestern has an advertised capacity of 7,275.

The Wilson Stadium at Escondido High has an advertised capacity of 5,500 seats.

The 2012 CIF Championships were held at Wilson Stadium and additional seats in the end area were added.

The new, state-of-the-art San Diego Stadium, when complete, would be a great Finals venue if it is affordable.

Much of the San Diego Chapter’s income comes from its championship events, so rent and attendance are huge factors.

State sites

Cerritos College, which is due to host the state football championships, balks at his commitment.

This leaves the CIF state scrambling for a site. Cal State Fullerton, Santa Ana Bowl, and Saddleback College were discussed.

Go home

Wandering the county in search of a place to play nightly games, Santa Fe Christian had to travel from his home in Solana Beach to Clairemont High and La Costa Canyon for “home” games.

Without lights on its campus grounds, the SFC had played on Friday or Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles, however, hope to join the Friday Night Lights circuit.

“Next year we’re hoping for permanent lights on our land,” Miller said. “We followed all the rules, did what we had to do, so we think it will happen.”

Star selection

Catholic cathedral quarterback Charlie Mirer has been nominated to play in the inaugural MLK All-Star Classic to be played Jan. 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Played in an East-West format, the game will have players from 17 states.


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Luzerne County Council and DA say they have standing to continue electoral calendar trial https://ballingertx.org/luzerne-county-council-and-da-say-they-have-standing-to-continue-electoral-calendar-trial/ https://ballingertx.org/luzerne-county-council-and-da-say-they-have-standing-to-continue-electoral-calendar-trial/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:50:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/luzerne-county-council-and-da-say-they-have-standing-to-continue-electoral-calendar-trial/ In a case filed Thursday, the Luzerne County Council and County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce argued that they had the legal capacity to file a case challenging the county election commission’s decision to hold the elections. from DA on November 2. The five-citizen volunteer electoral council argued earlier this month that the dispute should be […]]]>

In a case filed Thursday, the Luzerne County Council and County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce argued that they had the legal capacity to file a case challenging the county election commission’s decision to hold the elections. from DA on November 2.

The five-citizen volunteer electoral council argued earlier this month that the dispute should be dismissed because the council and Sanguedolce lack that authority.

In separate new documents, the council and the prosecutor explained why they believed the court should dismiss the electoral council’s preliminary objection to the lack of standing.

The electoral council maintained that the council, as a legislative branch, was limited to approving or rejecting the county director’s recommendations on whether to initiate or end a dispute on behalf of the county, and the director did not never recommended bringing an action against the board.

Thursday’s council response said nothing in the county’s self-government charter “limits the county council’s power to otherwise initiate litigation on behalf of Luzerne County or the county council.” He added that the Council of Charter Member States will have all “necessary, inherent, implied and ancillary powers” to carry out its duties and functions under the Charter and other applicable laws.

Regarding Sanguedolce, the electoral committee argued that Sanguedolce could not continue the action in its official capacity, as the prosecutor’s office as an entity will always have a head and “has no interest in whether an election is being organized in November 2021 to fill this post “. He stated that Sanguedolce may have a personal interest but does not testify in a personal capacity.

Sanguedolce’s response on Thursday said he brought the action in his official capacity to ensure that another county government agency does not “encroach upon his independent office, diminish his authority and cut short. unacceptably the length of his constitutional mandate “.

As the current incumbent, Sanguedolce has “an important and palpable interest in ensuring that the powers of his office are not eroded by the Luzerne County Electoral Council and other county officials,” he said. -he declares. Interfering with and “invading” the mandate of the incumbent prosecutor “undoubtedly diminishes” Sanguedolce’s powers as prosecutor and “interrupts the consistency in the succession of office holders” provided for by state law, a- he declared.

The Council and Sanguedolce filed the lawsuit against the board in county court last month, saying the race should not be on the ballot until 2023 with an elected four-year term.

This stems from conflicting interpretations of what must happen now that Sanguedolce occupies the seat vacated by former DA Stefanie Salavantis.

A majority of the electoral board concluded that the state’s new legislation requires the seat to be on the ballot in November for a two-year term. The county’s Democratic and Republican party organizations each had the option of nominating a candidate to appear on the ballot. Republicans chose Sanguedolce and Democrats were unable to nominate a candidate, citing the reluctance of potential candidates to engage in such a short window amid the uncertainty of the still-ongoing legal dispute.

The new state law states that the first DA assistant serves “until the first Monday in January following the next municipal elections taking place at least 90 days after the vacancy occurs.”

The legal position of the electoral office is that the new law requires the race to be on the ballot in November, as it is the next municipal election.

In the contract, the board and DA argue in court that the race cannot be on the ballot until the 2023 primary, as candidates must be selected through a primary within a year municipal election, and the vacancy came too late for candidates to run for the May primary of this year. .

Another joint council / DA file on Thursday again provided legal arguments for a November 2023 election. Whatever date DA’s next election – in November or 2023 – has to be for a four-year term, says the folder.

“At a bare minimum, plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Electoral Council from holding an election for the Luzerne County DA office on November 2, 2021, for a term of only two years,” he said.

The arbitration was assigned to Robert J. Shenkin, a senior judge for Chester County.

The three parties in the county have retained the services of an external legal advisor: Selingo Guagliardo LLC for the electoral council, Stevens & Lee for the council and Kleinbard LLC for Sanguedolce.


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