Pennsylvania appears to have some work to do if it wants to be known as a state that's friendly for business.

The commonwealth this week was ranked near the bottom in WalletHub’s “2019 Best and Worst States to Start a Business” and was ranked third from the bottom for “business environment,” which included the work week, growth in the number of small business and the five-year survival rate for businesses.

The state ranked 22nd for its “access to resources” which included the human capital and the availability of financing. Pennsylvania ranked 37th in “business costs” which included the cost of office space, labor costs, and the cost of living.

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Published in Local News

A few months ago, I filed a right-to-know request asking for an asset inventory of the township maintenance department of any item valued at $500 or above. 

I reached out to York Rake, the manufacturer, asking for information about our town’s 1987 HTR Street Broom.  

One would be forgiven for thinking our town's equipment being too old to get parts for anymore, or that we loaned it to another township.  I learned not only does Barrett Township actually own a street sweeper, but it’s even a current model.  Below is a transcript of my email thread with York Rake.

Published in Local News

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed above are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or its Board of Auditors.

Published in Local News

I attended the supervisor meeting on June 22, 2010 to express my displeasure as a member of the community about the Blue Ridge Communications franchise fee. My concern was with an exclusive franchise agreement in place, our service would suffer, as there is (and was) no other choice of TV / Internet service provider.  What will motivate Blue Ridge to improve their services with no competition?

However, the meeting minutes indicate the exact opposite:

Published in Local News
Monday, 18 February 2019 21:33

Gaming Funds Received since 2016: $0.00?

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

Please note that this article has been updated to include details about the $148,270 grant that was used to renovate the Barrett Firehouse.

Earlier this year, I filed a right to know request with Barrett Township requesting "documentation of all moneys received related to the Mount Airy Casino since 2014."

The response from the township was as follows:

Published in Local News
Thursday, 14 February 2019 13:16

Township Tracker

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

I am making available the files from 1998 onwards that I have in my possession, including meeting minutes, budgets, auditor meetings, reorganization meetings, and more.  

Please note that these records are considered unofficial since they are not coming directly from the Township.  Also note that there may be errors and omissions in the chart below.  If you spot any errors please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.so that I can revise the chart.  And, if you happen to have any of the missing records in your possession, I would be happy to include them.  

Published in Resources

Disclaimer:  The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

Earlier this year I filed a Right-to-Know request as a private citizen to view the township’s pension plan.

 

Why should residents care?

Well, for starters, township residents were taxed $55,000 in 2017 to fund the plan which has around $1 million in assets.  In the same year, the State of Pennsylvania contributed an additional $32,000 to the pension fund.  

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 01:28

This is NOT an audit of Barrett Township

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or its Board of Auditors. 

After I was appointed auditor in November 2018, I requested a copy of the previous year’s CPA audit from Pam Gardsy (Barrett Township Secretary/Treasurer, who replaced Rick Scrudato in 2015).  Pam emailed a copy of the auditor’s report, but it did not include the cover letter.  I wound up filing two Right-To-Know requests to obtain the following information:  

Published in Local News

TAKE NOTICE that on January 7, 2019 at 9 a.m., at the annual reorganization meeting of the Board of Supervisors of Barrett Township at the Barrett Township Municipal Building, 993 Route 390, Cresco, Pennsylvania 18326, the Board intends to appoint a certified or competent public accountant or a firm of certified or competent public accountants, either of which shall be registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to perform the annual audit of all the accounts of Barrett Townshipfor fiscal year 2018. The said public accountant or firm of public accountants shall perform the said audit in lieu of the elected auditors. This appointment shall be in accordance with Section 917 of the Second Class Township Code. WEITZMANN, WEITZMANN & HUFFMAN, LLC By: Todd W. Weitzmann, Esquire 700 Monroe Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Barrett Township Solicitor P - Dec. 6

Published in Local News
Monday, 03 December 2018 14:05

New Township Auditor

I have recently been appointed auditor by the Barrett township board of supervisors.  

What’s going on with the Barrett Township auditors?  

Recent history: 
Note: Revised 12/5/18 to indicate that May Labar was appointed, not elected.

  • May Labar - was an appointed Auditor, resigned in April 2018
  • Dina Rinehart - appointed May, resigned September 2018
  • Nate Covington - appointed October 2018

 

This makes the current list of Township Auditors:

as of December 2018

  • Michelle Sisak, Chair
  • Christine Macaluso
  • Nate Covington

 

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