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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Randy Phiel

(4/2017) It was no surprise that we could not get through the winter without getting hammered at least once. The bad news was that the March 14 significant storm caused inconvenience and business interruption, the good news was that it was not as bad a possibly predicted. There is no doubt those March Nor’easter’s that come from the south, especially when they collide with a storm coming from the west, do pack a punch. With the residual of the most recent March snowstorm still hanging around, I thought it may be helpful to go over resources for knowing what weather related business decision Adams County Government makes.

Normally county weather related closures and delays are posted on the county website, Channel 8, Channel 27 and broadcast on WGTY/WGET. Your best and first source should be the county website home page. After a decision is made our first call is to our IT department for posting on our website. All the other public postings require electronic equipment, codes and passwords that sometimes do not work and are not fail proof. You cannot talk to a real person at the stations during these storm events as we have found out several times. The status information is now very prominent on the county website home page - so make sure that you look there first at

When we have storms and other natural phenomena the term "essential personnel" becomes very evident. Our hats are off to the prison, DES and maintenance staffs for their professionalism and dedication to their tasks during these difficult weather conditions.

On Monday evening March 20, the Adams County Board of Commissioners held our annual State of the County Commissioners Forum in the historic courtroom from 6:30-8, where we reviewed 2016 and what lies ahead in 2017. Going into our fifth year in office, I am proud to report that we faithfully continue our commitment to the Adams County Commissioners Community Forums held in all corners of the county in the evening. With the exception of the annual State of the County forum, where we look at the previous year and what lies ahead, we chose a timely subject, with subject experts to present and discuss, concluding with a question and answer period at the end. This year we are planning commissioner forums on the Substance Abuse, Economic Development & Modern Tourism. We will have a Human Services Building Open House in May followed by the Economic Development Forum from 630-8:00 in the new HSB multi-purpose room. This would be a great opportunity for residents to see this beautiful and functional new building that will serve Adams County residents for decades. The public is invited to attend all of the commissioner forums. Along with newspaper coverage, Community Television tapes and broadcasts all the forums numerous times on Comcast Channel 12. This assures maximum coverage for residents. You can also access Community TV on the web and view the forums at your convenience.

The Adams County Law Enforcement Firearms Training Range took a giant step forward on Sunday, March 12 when the Gettysburg Eagles Aerie #1562 generously pledged $50,000 toward the approximately $125,000 range construction fundraising goal. When added to existing construction donations of approximately $45,000 we are now within $30,000 of our goal. These amounts do not include previous donations of approximately $25,000 that were utilized for planning, engineering and permitting fees. The Eagles also donated toward that initial phase.

The Gettysburg Eagles provides many generous donations to our community each year. In voting this substantial donation to the law enforcement range, they expressed that the significance and lasting impact of this project deserved special consideration and support. We appreciate their acknowledgement of the significance of this project through their generous support. Over sixty-seven individuals and entities have contributed to the Range Project to date with this being the largest single donation. The range will be strategically located beside the 911 center, will be geared to law enforcement training and will be available to all law enforcement officers and agencies in Adams County. With funding to break ground getting closer, there will be a renewed fundraising initiative to obtain the remainder of the funds needed to begin the project. The land for the range will be leased by the county to the Adams County Law Enforcement Association for $1. The range is being funded by a public/private partnership with no taxpayer’s dollars. For more information regarding the range or range donations please contact Range Fundraising Co-Chairs Commissioner Sheriff Jim Muller at 717-337-9828 or Commissioner Randy Phiel at 717-337-9820.

Phase One of the new Human Services Building is now complete and Phase 2 is well under way. The segment of Probation that was located in the old Herff Jones Administrative Office is settling into their new space at HSB. I happened to look in on their old space recently and it is now gutted as Phase Two moves forward. The rest of Probation that is located in the courthouse will be moving the 2nd week of April. I had the pleasure of meeting with CYS staff in their new location as they got to look at their new home in preparation for their move the first and second week of March. To put it mildly, I heard rave reviews on the building and their work space. Beside a quality work environment, the ability to resource and communicate with one another is greatly enhanced. The IT Department is also relocating to the new building in Phase One. Phase Two is scheduled to be completed in May and includes Mental Health, Court Operations, Staff Lunch Room, Multi-purpose Meeting Room, Domestic Relations, and two District Justice offices. Phase Three due to be completed mid-summer will include a larger courtroom and Sheriff’s satellite office. CYS was opened to the public March 20 and Probation will open to the public April 10.

I wanted to inform ENJ readers that a very public voice and face of Adams County has just recently retired from the Adams County Department of Emergency Services. DES Director John’s Eline retired at the end of February after 10 years. You might say John began his tenure in the Analog Age and is departing in the Digital Age. Beside all of his other extensive responsibilities, John had major involvement in all phases of planning, implementation and completion of the Adams County 911 Digital Emergency Radio System; as well as managing the various layers of the 150TH Gettysburg Anniversary events. These are both legacy projects with lasting impacts. Also, let us not forget all those severe weather reports and forecast John sent across our computer screens and related to local media on a frequently. John’s even tempered, unassuming and professional demeanor are trademarks that will be missed. John tells us he will not be a stranger - and we hope that is the case as John has a lot of knowledge and experience to share. It has been a pleasure John Eline!

Moving forward at the Department of Emergency Services we welcome our new DES Director Warren Bladen. Warren is an attorney and was previously an Adams County Public Defender. Warre began his career in public service as a Baltimore County professional firefighter and Paramedic. Warren continues to utilize his Paramedic skills part-time.

As our thoughts turn to the bloom of spring, and all the activities that means, no matter what you do - get out there and experience all the historical, recreational, agricultural, natural and cultural activities that beautiful Adams County has to offer.

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