W. Manheim sledding ban reconsidered

W. Manheim sledding ban reconsidered

There are 44 comments on the Evening Sun story from Jan 7, 2010, titled W. Manheim sledding ban reconsidered. In it, Evening Sun reports that:

West Manheim Township officials are again considering action to ban sledding on the steep hills that surround the Baltimore Pike municipal building, which had been an elementary school until 2006.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Evening Sun.

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Ghost Right

Middletown, PA

#1 Jan 8, 2010
Watch This:

It is snowing tonight in WMT, this is an absolutely perfect opportunity for any journalist of our local newspaper to create a pertinent follow up article that gets to the facts of this story. There will be sledders, and residents who's properties are contiguous to the municipal building’s property, possibly battling it out on the freshly fallen snow in the morning. Let's hope the paper has the reporting instinct to be there and get the story first thing in the morning...This would be the wrong night to stay out late and miss the REAL story!

The article headline should read: "Sledders battle property owners to be King of the Hill". My opinion is this article misses the actual point, this is a residents vs. residents battle based on complaints to the township (hence why it was on the manager's report), with supervisors ask to sort it out.

The clash is being carried by residents to the Supervisors to decide the outcome of their fray. Both groups of residents have given their reasons why they think the hill should be used for sledding, or banned for the use of gravity induced cruising of the wintry fluff. The Supervisors will have their hands full trying to find a amicable solution for a problem to which residents have been unable to reach an equidistant accord. The residents who's properties border the base of the municipal building property's slope are worried about liabilities and property damage from sledders. The sledders maintain that residents have been sledding the slippery slopes as a tradition in West Manheim. One sledder’s advocate said “our taxes pay for the township building, why can’t we use the property we pay for?”

The Supervisors discussed possible solutions to the sledders vs the downhill property owners debate with the audience in attendance, many ideas were suggested but none brought about agreement. New supervisor and chairman Harold Hartlaub introduced the topic of sledding for discussion when he read the manager’s report in absence of the manager. The chairman suggested that “we have a recreation park for this” and sided with the property owners by suggesting the elimination of sledding on the township building’s hills. Newly sworn in Supervisor Marc Woerner agreed with Supervisor Hartlaub’s assessment and voiced his support for banning sledding at the municipal building.

Some residents ask “why the park would be any different than the municipal building?“ others in attendance offered that the park did not have the issue of private properties at the base of their slope, hence eliminating the main issue of liabilities from sledders being carried into the private property of residents by momentum. Some residents did not like the idea of the park sledding hills because it was further from their homes, and not as conveniently located for them as the municipal building property. Yet another resident offered that “it would be harder to get an ambulance to the park property” to which Hartlaub somewhat agreed. Supervisor Carl Gobrecht found himself on both sides of the slippery argumentation. Ultimately the matter was set to be discussed further at a future meeting, Gobrech reminded the other supervisors that there will most likely be more snow on the way before another meeting takes place and the longer wait for a solution could lead to more complaints or problems.
Ghost Right

Middletown, PA

#2 Jan 8, 2010
The Supervisors discussed possible solutions to the sledders vs the downhill property owners debate with the audience in attendance, many ideas were suggested but none brought about agreement. New supervisor and chairman Harold Hartlaub introduced the topic of sledding for discussion when he read the manager's report in absence of the manager. The chairman suggested that "we have a recreation park for this" and sided with the property owners by suggesting the elimination of sledding on the township building's hills. Newly sworn in Supervisor Marc Woerner agreed with Supervisor Hartlaub's assessment and voiced his support for banning sledding at the municipal building.

Some residents ask "why the park would be any different than the municipal building?" others in attendance offered that the park did not have the issue of private properties at the base of their slope, hence eliminating the main issue of liabilities from sledders being carried into the private property of residents by momentum. Some residents did not like the idea of the park sledding hills because it was further from their homes, and not as conveniently located for them as the municipal building property. Yet another resident offered that "it would be harder to get an ambulance to the park property" to which Hartlaub somewhat agreed. Supervisor Carl Gobrecht found himself on both sides of the slippery argumentation. Ultimately the matter was set to be discussed further at a future meeting, Gobrech reminded the other supervisors that "there will most likely be more snow on the way before another meeting takes place" and the longer wait for a solution could lead to more complaints or problems.
Ghost Right

Middletown, PA

#3 Jan 8, 2010
Watch This.
It is snowing tonight in WMT, this is an absolutely perfect opportunity for any journalist of our local newspaper to create a pertinent follow up article that gets to the facts of this story. There will be sledders, and residents who's properties are contiguous to the municipal building's property, possibly battling it out on the freshly fallen snow in the morning. Let's hope the paper has the reporting instinct to be there and get the story first thing in the morning...This would be the wrong night to stay out late and miss the REAL story!

The article headline should read: "Sledders battle property owners to be King of the Hill". My opinion is this article misses the actual point, this is a residents vs. residents battle based on complaints to the township (hence why it was on the manager's report), with supervisors ask to sort it out.

The clash is being carried by residents to the Supervisors to decide the outcome of their fray. Both groups of residents have given their reasons why they think the hill should be used for sledding, or banned for the use of gravity induced cruising of the wintry fluff. The Supervisors will have their hands full trying to find a amicable solution for a problem to which residents have been unable to reach an equidistant accord. The residents who's properties border the base of the municipal building property's slope are worried about liabilities and property damage from sledders. The sledders maintain that residents have been sledding the slippery slopes as a tradition in West Manheim. One sledder's advocate said "our taxes pay for the township building, why can't we use the property we pay for?"

The Supervisors discussed possible solutions to the sledders vs the downhill property owners debate with the audience in attendance, many ideas were suggested but none brought about agreement. New supervisor and chairman Harold Hartlaub introduced the topic of sledding for discussion when he read the manager's report in absence of the manager. The chairman suggested that "we have a recreation park for this" and sided with the property owners by suggesting the elimination of sledding on the township building's hills. Newly sworn in Supervisor Marc Woerner agreed with Supervisor Hartlaub's assessment and voiced his support for banning sledding at the municipal building.

Some residents ask "why the park would be any different than the municipal building?" others in attendance offered that the park did not have the issue of private properties at the base of their slope, hence eliminating the main issue of liabilities from sledders being carried into the private property of residents by momentum. Some residents did not like the idea of the park sledding hills because it was further from their homes, and not as conveniently located for them as the municipal building property. Yet another resident offered that "it would be harder to get an ambulance to the park property" to which Hartlaub somewhat reluctantly agreed. Supervisor Carl Gobrecht found himself on both sides of the slippery argumentation. Ultimately the matter was set to be discussed further at a future meeting, Gobrech reminded the other supervisors that there will most likely be more snow on the way before another meeting takes place and the longer wait for a solution could lead to more complaints or problems.
Ghost Right

Middletown, PA

#4 Jan 8, 2010
Hurray the formatting worked on the third attempt!

If the paper would like to remove the first two attempts (first two posts) at getting Topix to not go nutty because of word processor formatting, I have no issue with a forum cleanup of my first two posts.
Love Sledding

Chillicothe, OH

#5 Jan 8, 2010
How about a sign that reads,
"SNOW SLEDDING/TUBING ONLY
ALOUD DURING JUNE, JULY
and AUGUST MONTHS,
ALL ELSE PROHIBITED"
west manhiem twshp.
Sled Head

Shippensburg, PA

#6 Jan 8, 2010
Love Sledding wrote:
How about a sign that reads,
"SNOW SLEDDING/TUBING ONLY
ALOUD DURING JUNE, JULY
and AUGUST MONTHS,
ALL ELSE PROHIBITED"
west manhiem twshp.
What is wrong with this sign? Answer correctly and you will win a free pass to sled on the hill.
one more thing

Carlisle, PA

#7 Jan 8, 2010
Supervisor Marc Woerner had also suggested that they go to the residents on both sides of the WMT building and speak to them to see what their stance is on the situation. They were at first against it, but then decided to contact the residents living there. Supervisor Gobrech said that he did talk with the residents last year, but never really said what the response was from the residents. There is liability on both sides. That's why it was to be tabled...for the supervisor to speak to the residents that live there and get their side of the story. I believe on resident came forward last year about a boy getting hurt on his property and that is what may have started this whole thing
Ace

Newville, PA

#8 Jan 8, 2010
I used to go sledding there with my family. We knew the risks, and so does anyone with half a brain. I think these supervisors need to take a chill pill.
An average guy

Pittston, PA

#9 Jan 8, 2010
Ace wrote:
I used to go sledding there with my family. We knew the risks, and so does anyone with half a brain. I think these supervisors need to take a chill pill.
The bad thing is that in todays world everyone want to sue. It doens't matter if you should have known the risk. People really want to sue townships and such because they have deep pockets and big insurance policies.

I think the real fix is to only allow sledding in the summer months. I love that one.
wow

Middletown, PA

#10 Jan 8, 2010
Why does this have to be an issue EVERY year??
Township--Purchase snow fencing (make township/house owners and sledders happy) and have residents put up a sign on each property that this affects saing "Sled at your own risk, Not responsible for accident or injury".

August West

Hollywood, FL

#11 Jan 8, 2010
Unless the township is willing to erect a fence to keep all sledders on township property, and therefore, absorb all possible liability, then it should ban sledding at the municipal building. The township has no right to impose potential and unwarranted legal and/or homeowners insurance obligations on its residents. In fact, it is downright criminal when you think about it. There is a park for this activity - whether it is convenient or not for residents and the ambulances is inconsequential. In fact, even if there was not a community park for this activity, it would have no bearing on the legal and ethical constructs of this situation.

Residents, as taxpayers, certainly have a right to use the township building and property, as long as that activity remains in the building or on the property. However, once that activity leaves the property, it no longer becomes the township's concern.

Despite the potential increase in homeowners insurance imposed on these residents, we all know that having homeowners insurance does not completely absolve the homeowner of liability and financial damage. If a child dies on a neighboring resident's property as a result of sledding down the township's hill, guess what? Homeowners insurance is not going to cover all the legal and financial liability, which could run into millions of dollars. Ask yourself, is that fair? Even for non-fatal claims, the homeowner's insurance rate increases or the policy is canceled as a result of a claim. Is that fair? Furthermore, we know from our overly-litigious society and case history, simply putting up "sled at your own risk" or "no trespassing" signs does not always absolve the homeowner of liability and, more importantly, the time, effort, and cost of fighting litigation, regardless of how frivolous it may be.

Put yourself in those residents' shoes. Would you want a sledding ban on the township property? If so, you're not thinking properly or are not being honest with yourself!!

In the end, it is about the government imposing its will unfairly on its citizens, not whether to allow children to have a little fun. Either erect a fence to place all potential liability on the township, or ban sledding, period! Also, anyone who has skied or even watched it on TV knows that those orange snow fences are not sufficient. Then, we have the issue of whether we want our township spending valuable taxpayer money on erecting a fence sufficient to retain sledders on its property and the resulting liability insurance increases to the township?

It's good to see that at least the two new supervisors are thinking properly! What a breath of fresh air in this banana republic! Have a nice day!
Renee W

Carlisle, PA

#12 Jan 8, 2010
Post your signs but let the kids have fun... Maybe add something about must have parental supervision. In this politically correct, over the top rules world our kids are missing out on so many basic gfun things... No wonder they are strapped in front of the tv, isn't that much easier!
OBJECTSINMIRROR

Towson, MD

#13 Jan 8, 2010
How dare those kids have fun on my hill! I bet if you impose a township tax or their butts that will pay for any damage and liability issue.
Larry

Baltimore, MD

#14 Jan 8, 2010
Does newby, Hartlaub, think that these kids can drive themselves over to the park? I'm sure the park will be pretty nice, but I doubt there will be many users that walk much further than a half-mile or so.
concerned

Harrisburg, PA

#15 Jan 8, 2010
Sled Head in response to your question, it should be "allowed" not "aloud" on the sign. Do I get my free pass now?
a place for every thing

Philadelphia, PA

#16 Jan 8, 2010
I was introduced to Harold Hartlaub by a mutual friend. Unfortunately I had one of his campaign signs in my yard for this I will probably burn in in hell. This man is just a high fluting bureaucrat with a big city agenda (mostly for his own good) in a small town go back to being a retired old hermit. Let kids be kids and spend time on more important matters in the twp.
Cell Phony

Middletown, PA

#17 Jan 8, 2010
Ace wrote:
I used to go sledding there with my family. We knew the risks, and so does anyone with half a brain. I think these supervisors need to take a chill pill.
The Supervisors are not pushing this issue, the residents are, the article mischaracterized what is taking place. The Supervisors are trying to make the most fair decision they can, but it's a catch 22 for them and will not be able to make everyone happy, but will produce "feel bad" fodder for the paper. The article makes it sound like new supervisors Harold and Marc, got this issue rolling because they "want to prohibit sledding". The article says " officials are again considering action to ban sledding", when if you were there and marginally lucid, it was residents who want the Supervisors to ban sledding and had called in complaints to the manager. I don't remember any sober individual who left the meeting thinking that they had witnessed a supervisor's vote on the sledding ban, but the paper's article claimed they had witnessed a vote and gave an outcome, really? I guess the paper thought after you vote you table it too?...good grief.
sad

Philadelphia, PA

#18 Jan 8, 2010
Has anyone considered the fact that the building and the hill were there long before any of the houses on either side. If the residents are concerned about damage and liability, it is, unfortunately, their responsibility to protect their property. After a year or two of living there, all owners should certainly be aware of the long-standing practice of sledding on the hill. Just a thought...
Pork Pie Hat

Middletown, PA

#19 Jan 8, 2010
Larry wrote:
Does newby, Hartlaub, think that these kids can drive themselves over to the park? I'm sure the park will be pretty nice, but I doubt there will be many users that walk much further than a half-mile or so.
What about all the thousands of kids in WMT who don't live close to the municipal building, do we need to have a "bad guy supervisor shuttle" to bring all them to the township building, or are the only kids and parents who have entitlement issues really close to the municipal building, but not actually bordering it?

If everybody now sleds at the park, then the families that live close to the park get to have a chance at entitlement issues! All I'm sayin is, hurray for entitlement issues!!
what

New York, NY

#20 Jan 8, 2010
are you kidding me? We have so many more issues facing this township and this is the biggest issue to address?? Please come to the meetings to see where and how your money is being spent and see the people who are making those decisions.

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