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Commissioners, sheriff affirm 2nd Amendment

The crowd listens to public comments supporting the 2nd Amendment during the Lycoming County Comissioners meeting on Tuesday. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

“You won’t find this sheriff enforce anything that the federal administration tries to shove down our throats, because we have the right to bear arms,” Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk stated before a group of community members as the county commissioners considered a resolution in support of the Second Amendment.

“We hear the stories of how we need to have gun restrictions, gun restrictions, gun restrictions. It doesn’t change anything,” Lusk said. “Gun restriction changes nothing in the way of violence.”

“That’s not what fixes the problem. What fixes the problem is having laws that we enforce and that we follow through on, and that there’s crime and there’s punishment,” he said.

Lusk noted that the people in law enforcement and the military do not support gun restrictions.

“We’re the thin blue line…we go on gun incidents every single day and handle gun incidents and get involved in shootings,” he said. “We don’t support it because it doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t keep us safe.”

Lusk then went on record in support of the commissioners’ resolution.

Matthew McDermott, director of administration and chief clerk then read the resolution before the crowd, who was eager for its passage.

The resolution stated that the commissioners “wish to express their intent to stand for Second Amendment rights and oppose any effort to unconstitutionally restrict such rights of citizens to keep and bear arms,” McDermott read.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, several members of the public spoke, some quoting the authors of the Constitution — “to disarm people is the most effectual way to enslave them,” reportedly written by George Mason — while others shared that they felt rights were being stripped away by an “overreaching” federal government, equating it with totalitarianism.

By a unanimous vote, the commissioners passed the resolution.

In other business, the commissioners approved a list of real estate tax exemptions, including: Urban Mennonite Ministries, 2100 West Third St.; Omega Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Lycoming Creek Road and 2570 Lycoming Creek Road; Hope Community Church, 528 South Main St., Muncy; Cottage Ministries, Inc., 3111 Route 287; Transitional Living Centers, 900 West Third St., 309 Maynard St., 616 West Edwin St.; Muncy Borough, 211 N. Market St.; Loyalsock Township, 1830 Warrensville Road; Camp Susque, 265 Slacks Run Road; Messiah Lutheran Church, 131 W. Southern Ave.; Citizen Hose Company of Jersey Shore, 108 Locust St.; and Community Options Inc., 1560 Four Mile Drive. A request for tax exemption by George and Linda Whaley, 675-677 Campbell St., was tabled until the next commissioners’ meeting.

Under personnel, the commissioner approved Matthew Welickovitch as a full-time replacement assistant district attorney at a salary of $53,543 and Carmen Feldhusen, full-time replacement Clerk III at $14.09 per hour.

Other action items approved included:

• Contract with Adelphoi for 2021-22.

• Agreement between the county and Robert Hoffa Esq. for professional services, at the rate of $100 per hour, not to exceed $25,000.

• A cooperation agreement with the Lycoming County Industrial Development Authority for a redevelopment assistance capital program for Bald Birds Brewing project for $1,000,000.

• Renewal agreements for Albert Sensor monitoring and Northpointe.

• 2021 PHARE Subrecipient agreements for the American Rescue Workers rental assistance program, $100,000 and the Transitional Living Centers master leasing program, $200,000. Both are budgeted items.

• A resolution to appoint William E. Baney as assistant solicitor at the rate of $100 per hour, effective Aug. 1, 2021.

The next meeting of the commissioners will be at 10 a.m., Oct. 5 in the Commissioner’s Board Room, 1st floor Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.

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