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Letter to Council

Letter to Council

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Published by Jan Jarrett

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Published by: Jan Jarrett on Sep 27, 2012
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11/29/2012

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09/20/12Dear DCNR Advisory Council,I regret to inform you that I have recently sent my resignationletter to the Honorable, Sam Smith, Speaker of the House. Inthat letter I also requested his assistance to reestablish councilto an effective and efficient advisory level, as legislativelymandated in Act 18, Section 316.This council, due to many events out of our control, can noLonger effectively and efficiently meet the spirit of the law orIts responsibility to the public. The appointing bodies have putin place well qualified and dedicated advisors that volunteer considerable time to ensure that thecitizens of Pennsylvania are well informed and represented in natural resource related policydecisions. The current situation with CNRAC significantly diminishes public input and a checks
and balance system to DCNR’s administration.
 As you well know the degradation of council is a result of multiple actions. They include the:1) loss of councils independence as an advisory body,
2) removal of the executive director’s position,3) reassignment of council’s secretary,
4) extremely disproportionate budget reduction,5) low response time for requested information,6) quality of information that is eventually shared and7) displayed hostile atmosphere created by the administration for public input during acouncil meetingThese concerns have been brought up repeatedly to the administration without a satisfactoryresolution. At the time of writing this letter, the proposal for partial staffing that has been sent tothe Secretary, at least four weeks ago, has not received a response. I urge you to reconsider your
 position and request a full time director. DEP’s sister council currently has a full time
executivedirector plus Susan Wilson (the previous executive director) working part time. DCNR has noless issues of importance to the public interest. The legislation that separated DEP and DCNRwere to be mirror images of each other as it related to advisory councils. I know that, through
sitting on Governor Ridge’s environmental transition team and having the opportunity for 
involvement in the writing of the subsequent pieces of legislation that divided the twodepartments.I do not take this resignation lightly or without considerable thought. At this point I will haveserved19 years of advisement between DER, DEP and CNRAC advisory councils.I have had the privilege to serve on many state and national committees related to resourcemanagement and environmental education. Never have I served with a more dedicated,informed or professional group. DCNR does not recognize the valuable resource it has at itsdisposal.

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