Bitterly divided North’d Co. Commissioners vote to sue Coal Township

SUNBURY –Still seeking reimbursement in certain building fees, the Northumberland County Commissioners have officially voted sue Coal Township.  But it continued to show bitter division in a 2-1 vote during Tuesday’s meeting.

The Commissioners have authorized the county solicitor to prepare and file a civil complaint in the Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas. Commissioners Rich Shoch and Sam Schiccatano voted yes. Commissioner Kymberly Best has been against the project and suing Coal Township from the beginning.

Best says everyone will pay for something she doesn’t think is legal, “The letter that was a threat letter…give us some or all of our money back or we’re going to file a class action law suit. What would the class be? Because I also know this about the law. A government cannot sue for the benefit of private business entities.”

Throughout the whole process, Shoch and Schiccatano have heavily criticized Best for not showing up to public meetings other than the monthly commissioner meetings. Best responded to her colleague’s criticisms, saying she doesn’t attend meetings for a project she doesn’t support. She also claims being left out of county business, “Last week I reached out to Mr. Schiccatano to ask to see him about more than this issue, and I was told I had to make an appointment. So I did that. The response was we’ll have to get back to you on Monday. So not only am I being kept out of county business decisions, we are having private conversations about public matters and that really is the root of the problem.”

Schiccatano says Best is still invited to come back in the conversation if she shows more of a presence, “I wish she would, she’s much more intelligent about the law than I am. But she says things she’s mentioning today that I’ve never heard until now, how can I even consider it three or four months ago when I was talking to Coal Township, and I was the only one going to Coal Township.”

The building permit fees add up to more than $200,000.

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