MANOR – Last night was Paul Rearick’s final meeting at the helm of Manor Township. Following the opening American flag pledge, Supervisor Bob Southworth took a moment to thank him for his six years of service as a Supervisor.
“Since we cancelled the last meeting of the month (for December), this is Paul’s last meeting. Paul, thank you for your service to the Township. Good luck in your future endeavors,” Southworth said, eliciting applause from the residents in the audience.
Rearick was defeated in the November election by fellow supervisor Don Palmer.
Palmer, a member of the Manor Township Fire Department, had the unofficial endorsement of fellow members who turned out on election day to promote him.
However, Rearick was ostracized, often challenging the practices of the fire department.
At the end of the meeting, Rearick took the opportunity to express himself.
“This is on a personal note. I’ve been made out to be the Grinch towards the fire department. I am hearing these things on the street that I don’t want to support them. That is entirely wrong. I never voted not to fund anything that the fire department has come and asked for here. In fact two years in a row, I took money out of my own pocket and purchased hunts at the Promised Land Hunting Preserve for them to raffle off at their gun bash. The first year, everything was great. I was there. The winner was there, and he got his hunt. The second year, I wasn’t able to be there because I think I was actually guiding a hunt at the hunting preserve. I got a hold of (Fire Chief) Chad (Evans) and asked him who won the hunt. He said he didn’t know and would have to find out. So I waited and didn’t hear anything from him. I asked him two other times. To this day, I have no idea who won that hunt. So someone spent money for tickets. If this lady were to come forth today, she’s not going to get a hunt because they no longer do bird hunts.
“When you guys came and wanted the rescue tools, I offered to help you guys with a fund raiser at the hunting preserve. I never heard a word back, and that was over a year ago. Don (Palmer) made a statement in print that I wanted them to fund-raise in lieu of (the township) funding them. I never said that. I said ‘in addition to…’ I am not against the fire hall. I supported them 100%, and I wanted to state my piece here at the meeting. That is all I have to say about that.”
Fire Chief Chad Evans could not recall the name of the woman referenced by Rearick, but assumed responsibility for the mishap.
“The lady was there that won, but she never contacted us. I can’t remember her name, but we did know who it was. I totally blew it on my end,” Evans said.
Nearly a dozen members of the fire department were in attendance at last week’s supervisor meeting protesting the negative publicity. They said their books have been audited and everything is in order. They also offered to sit down with their accusers and review their financial records with them, but warned the meeting would take hours.
Rearick stated that he never voted against funding the fire department when the supervisors were approached for special projects. Most recently, the township supervisors approved more than $17,000 for the purchase of 2,500 feet of five-inch supply line hose. The money was taken from emergency services funds and was in addition to the one-mill of tax, $56,000, that the fire department already receives annually.
Rearick said that although he will not be a supervisor, he will continue to support the township as one of its citizens.