The next round of Springettsbury Township supervisor elections isn't until 2013, but one group of residents is already gearing up to oust incumbents.
A group called "Operation Take Back Springettsbury Township -- 2013" launched a website, otbst2013.com, this week that outlines its intentions of fielding candidates to run for two seats on the board of supervisors.
The group is currently seeking candidates to run against long-time supervisors Michael Bowman and Donald Bishop, said David Trott, a member of the group and a retired township police officer.
Trott claims Bowman and Bishop, along with William Schenck, chairman of the board of supervisors, and John Holman, township manager, have formed a "good ol' boy network" over the years.
"They just don't serve the citizens like they should," Trott said.
Election: When reached for comment Wednesday, Bowman said he hadn't seen the website because he had been out of town.
However, he said township residents have a right to run for the board if they so choose.
"If they're not happy with the township, they can try and do a better job," Bowman said. "I'm doing a good job as far as I can tell."
Bishop could not be reached for comment, and Schenck did not return a call seeking comment.
Springettsbury Township supervisors are elected to six-year terms. Schenck was re-elected in 2011 and is serving his fourth term. Bowman has been on the board 10 years, and Bishop has been a supervisor for 19 years.
New chief: One driving issue of the take back group was the hiring process of the township's new police chief, Thomas Hyers. A 25-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, he was hired by Holman in April and started as chief earlier this month.
Trott said he has issue with how Hyers was selected and has been critical of the hiring, saying township police Lt. Dan Stump should have been promoted to chief instead.
Years ago, and before Holman was manager, supervisors passed an ordinance that places personnel matters solely in the hands of the township manager.
Trott says the ordinance is flawed and personnel decisions should be left in the hands of elected officials instead of an appointed manager.
"He (Holman) should be following the guidance of the board," Trott said.
Website: The website was created after a small group of township residents who aren't happy with the way the township is being run got together and decided to take action to change things, Trott said.
The website, which had 123 visitors as of Wednesday night, will be updated weekly and is meant to provide residents with information about township government.
There are now about 200 people involved in the group, Trott said.
Already, Trott said he's been approached by a number of people who have shown an interest in running for the supervisors' seats.
Group members will narrow down the field and decide which two candidates to back. If those two people are elected, they, along with Supervisor Julie Landis, would sway the majority of the board toward the ideals the group supports, Trott said.
"We need to get two good candidates in there to serve," Trott said.
Manager: If the yet-to-be determined candidates are elected, Trott said he hopes their first task would be to change leadership at the administrative level.
"They need to get rid of the township manager," he said. "That should be the first order of business."
Holman said Wednesday he couldn't comment because it's "strictly a political issue."
Bowman, however, was quick to defend Holman's job record, saying he is one of the best township managers in the county.
"We have a very good manager," Bowman said. "Springettsbury is very lucky to have him."
On the web:Find the Operation Take Back Springettsbury Township -- 2013 website at http://www.otbst2013.com.
-- Reach Greg Gross at 505-5434, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/YDcrime.