The State Department of Labor and Industry announces a free online job training program, SkillUp® of PA. The program launched statewide in August and encourages job seekers to gain the new skills they need to join the workforce or advance their career.
Online trainings available include:
Soft skills such as communication, time management, professionalism and more!
Pennsylvanians interested in SkillUp® PA virtual training can find more information at Pennsylvania Pressroom.
Local Matters: What Are The Roles of Local Offices?
By Jacob Pride
By now, most of you know that there is an election just around the bend! In our last edition of Local Matters, we covered how to register to vote and the methods you can use to vote. We also talked about how the offices up for election this year hold a myriad of responsibilities. So, what are those responsibilities?
The Monroe County Coroner (4-year term) is primarily responsible for investigating the deaths of individuals in our County. In addition, the Coroner’s office provides planning resources for the family of the deceased, death certificates, and data to prevent similar deaths.
The Monroe County Treasurer (4-year term) is responsible for receiving all funds due to the County, including from local Tax Collectors. The office also serves as an agent of the Commonwealth via the issuance of licenses for fishing, antlerless deer, small games of chance, dogs, and other licensure. On a related note, a Township Tax Collector collects real property taxes due to the municipality. Typically, they also collect the same for school districts. Other taxes, like the Earned Income Tax or Local Services Tax, are collected by third parties.
A Township Supervisor (6-year term) is a member of a board of three to five Supervisors that exercise executive, legislative, and quasi-judicial duties in their Townships. These duties include zoning and land development matters, parks and recreation, declarations of emergency or disaster, and the implementation of state/federal programs delegated to municipalities, among others.
A Township Auditor (6-year term) is a member of a board of three Auditors. In some municipalities, the Board performs the annual Township Audit. In Townships like Smithfield, Supervisors opt for a third party to conduct the audit. In those and other municipalities, the Auditors set the compensation for Supervisors employed by the Township.
Now loaded with more information, you may consider visiting these offices or attending their meetings. County and municipal offices are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Township meetings are held in-person and via Zoom, with archives posted on YouTube. Guests are always welcome. You may even consider running for office yourself or joining a commission/committee after attending meetings or visiting.
As long as I’ve lived in Smithfield, I’ve always craved one store that seems elusive: a bakery. In my wife’s hometown (Barcelona, Spain), there are bakeries on every corner. At breakfast hours they sell bread, rolls, and small sandwiches. In the evening they sell hot loaves that people take home for dinner. Here in Smithfield, we have a lot of bread eaters but no bread bakers.
While we do have one store that makes excellent bagels, there is no baguette, loaf of country white, or stone-ground rye. Where is the little bakery with fresh bread, rolls, and a line out the door of people wanting to take home a still-warm loaf and slather it with butter? A bakery is the kind of local business we need. If you look at the many stands selling fresh bread at the weekly farmer’s market in Stroudsburg, people are willing to pay top prices for good, homemade bread.
Try making your own sourdough bread! I’ve been doing it for at least 20 years. Start by making the sourdough starter. Mix water and flour to the consistency of oozing concrete and set it in a bowl on your counter for three days to a week until it bubbles and foams. Then mix in more flour (about 3-4 cups), and a tablespoon of salt, to make a loaf. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out and let it rise for 4-5 hours. Heat the oven to 450°, put the dough on a cookie sheet lined with oven paper, and bake until golden brown. Why are these instructions so vague? Simply because it is hard NOT to come out with something that tastes good.
What you take out of the oven may not look like the greatest professionally made loaf, but I guarantee – when it’s just cool enough to break apart and spread with butter – you’ll experience a profound moment of joy that bakers have known for thousands of years, or at least back to the time when man invented butter. If you get hooked on making your own bread and want some pointers, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! Bakers brag about their breads like they were their children.
Fire Insurance Escrow
If you’ve recently experienced a fire loss on your property, a portion of the insurance claim may temporarily be directed to Smithfield Township. The Township automatically becomes a third party in the insurance claim if the claim equals or exceeds 60% of the total amount the insurer will pay for claims during a specified period (also known as the aggregate limit of liability). When this condition is met, the Township receives $2,000 for every $15,000 of the claim, and those funds are deposited into an escrow account.
To retrieve the funds from the Township, the first step is to acquire the proper permits for the repair or demolition of the structure, which can be obtained by submitting a Zoning/Building application to the Township; call our Zoning Officer, Ken Wolfe at (570) 223-5082 ext. 2 for more information. Once the work is complete and the property has been inspected, the property owner can apply to the Township and have the escrowed money released.
This procedure was adopted by ordinance in 2005 to discourage property abandonment after a fire. If a property owner chooses to sell or abandon a property without securing it first, the Township has the authority to use the escrowed funds to secure the property and pursue the property owner to recover costs not covered by the escrow.
If you do experience a fire loss, take the proper steps to secure your property and get the escrow funds returned to you. To view the ordinance, click here. If you have questions about the process or need assistance with the Township’s process regarding an open fire loss claim, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Marshalls Creek Fire Company
28th Annual Fall Classic Golf Tournament
MCFC will host their annual golf tournament at the Country Club of the Poconos Municipal Golf Course September 25th. The Fire Company is committed to your safety and in order to maintain being there during snowstorms, flooding, brushfires, and much more, their volunteers need our community’s support. Donations and contributions like yours can help cover costs to safely equip and train our firefighters and EMTs and maintain equipment along with necessary emergency vehicles. There are many ways to get involved, any donation is greatly appreciated!
Play in the tournament:
Register your team for a fun day of golf. $85 per person includes carts, snacks, and beverages while playing and a delicious meal to finish up the day! This is to benefit our community, therefore there will be proper health health regulations in place as well as social distancing.
Advertise your business:
The tournament has 3 different levels of sponsorship:
Door Prize Sponsorship- A donation of goods or services that will advertise your business.
Tee Sponsorship- Advertise your business on a sign we create to your specifications that will be posted at a tee box at the tournament. Donation: $75
Hold Sponsorship- A sign prominently displayed at one of the 18 holes, advertise your business on a sign we create to your specifications. Donation: $200
If you would like to register your team or donate, please contact Marshalls Creek Fire Company Tournament Chairperson: Chris Mathiesen at (570) 242-8344.
Shawnee Fire Company Community Fundraiser
Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Shawnee Fire Company will host a golf tournament fundraiser which aids in providing professional and efficient emergency services to the community. Register you and your team for a day of fun at Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, Wednesday, September 29th at 11am. (Rain Date: Wednesday, October 6). For more information and to register click here! Register by September 15th. $90.00 per person includes golf, carts, on course refreshments, and a buffet dinner after golf.
Sponsorships and donations for raffle prizes are being accepted and greatly appreciated! Click here to donate or become a tee sponsor.
All golfers must follow the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort COVID policy.
Pick Up The Poconos
Volunteers needed for September 25th region-wide cleanup
The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) is seeking volunteers for its next region-wide litter pick-up day on Saturday, September 25, 2021, from 9:30a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (rain or shine). Volunteers can select to clean one location in Carbon, Monroe, Pike, or Wayne County. Anyone interested in helping the cause should sign up on PickUpThePoconos.com. There you will find resources and tips on how to safely pick up litter. The deadline to register is Monday, September 20, 2021, by 5 p.m.
Thanks to PennDOT and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, the PMVB provides “supply kits” containing gloves, trash bags, safety vests and trash grabbers. This event is just one component of the PMVB’s “Pick Up the Poconos” campaign.