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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Challenges facing PA counties

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 18, 2013 2:30 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Thursday, September 19, 2013:

PA counties 300 x 170.png

Pennsylvania's 67 counties face many challenges and most of them are tied to funding.

For example, at a recent State of the Region event, Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste called 911 emergency dispatch service the number one priority for counties by far.  To illustrate his point, Haste said Dauphin County spent about $600 on 911 service in 2007.  Today, the county is spending closer to $3 million.  How did that happen?  Technology and a formula for funding hasn't kept up.  And Dauphin County is not alone -- 911 is a major concern across the state.

It's one of the issues we'll discuss on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk with Commissioner Haste and Douglas Hill, Executive Director of the County Commissioner Association of Pennsylvania.

Other areas that will be addressed are property taxes, property assessment reform, whether a new method to provide money to counties from the state is working, funding for human services, and infrastructure improvements.

With Pennsylvania's many local governments and news from the state capitol, the needs of counties sometimes get that much attention.

Listen to the show:


Douglas Hill (left) and Commissioner Haste (right)

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-19 08:33

    Michael writes:

    Your guests make no sense. Cell companies locate cell individuals based on feedback from cell towers. As per VOIP users, they dropped their landline to save money and now want their neighbor to pay to cover their backside. Text to 911- again the cell co locates the user. This conversation leads one to believe that a political donor needs some work.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-19 08:33

    An emailer who requests not to be identified writes:

    Your caller from York County mentioned the amount of money she paid in surcharges to Verizon Wireless and she mentioned $20.00 per phone. I checked my bill and I only pay $3.48 for a $91.00 monthly bill. I personally don't see why anyone would complain about paying more for this service. It is so important.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-19 08:34

    Robin emails:

    If you can text you can call.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-19 08:40

    Donna shared this 911 story via email:

    Thought I'd share a cute story regarding 9-11. When I was 9 or 10, living in the Poconos, my mom was dating a volunteer fireman. She was helping him wash trucks one day; I needed to call her for something. I called 9-11 thinking I'd get the fire department--not realizing how it worked and how big the system was! This was in the late 80s. The dispatcher was nice enough to give me a phone number.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-19 08:46

    Michael writes back:

    FYI- I am not the caller.
    Now to my point- instead of spending a couple million on a system they should spend 10 grand to hire someone who is not selling them a system so to enlighten them on the tech side. If there is an area people understand less than medicine it is tech.