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Forks Resident to Supervisors: Act Like Elected Officials

Forks Township resident complains about lack of communication, service during storms.

Forks Township resident Tracie Stump is tired of suffering during storms.

Stump said that when a snowstorm hit in October 2011, she went without power for four days. She didn't have power or water and had to fend for two kids. When she inquired to township officials about getting help, Stump said she was told nothing.

When Hurricane Sandy struck,  she went without power for six days. Again, she asked for help and received nothing.

"Shame on me," Stump told the Board of Supervisors at last Thursday night's meeting in complaining how a lack of communication and services is crippling residents with every storm.

"I don't mean any disrespect. But I elected you. That should mean having services afforded to you as a resident," the nine-year resident stated.

Stump said she heard little communication to residents about what they could do and what services were available. She said she didn't find out that hot showers were available until several days after the storm.

"I went without a shower for four days," she said. "That was nasty."

Stump wondered why township officials didn't alert residents about services such as showers and where to hook up and charge their gadgets.

She said residents deserve information -- like a storm checklist or reference sheet -- since they pay a lot in taxes.

"If I'm electing you, what can you do for me?" she asked. "I'm just sitting on the top of the hill waiting for the lights to go on. What are people going to do?"

"I'm nicely demanding that we need to do something for residents of the township," Stump said. "I'm asking you to fight for my vote the next time the elections come up."

Township officials tried to tell her that they couldn't communicate because of the power outages, which knocked out the township's website and billboards, where information is posted.

Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss said the communications issues were addressed at the supervisors recent work session and that officials know they need to do a better job.

Chuss said a review will take place at the township's December work session.

"It's a learning experience," Supervisor John O'Neil said. "We learn from it and move forward. We take this seriously."

Periscope November 19, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Tracie Stump has it right. Communication should come from the Township Manager and Mr. Cornell has personally failed ever since he came to the township. How you ask? The town home association I belong to tried to contact Mr. Cornell about emergency services during and after the storm. Understandably, his line was busy so you go into his message system. He tells you that he wants to hear from you and he informs the caller of his cell phone number. So far so good. But when you call the cell number, you get no answer as well and worse, you get a message that he has not set up his cell to receive messages. He has been in the township for a year and still he fails to set up basic methods for residents to contact him. This amounts to a personal problem of avoidance. I wonder what his staff thinks when they can't leave him a message also. Too bad he was appointed not elected. Supervisors can hold meetings to discuss this but when your own manager is part of the problem with communication, seems that his office is the place to hold the meeting.

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