Live from Lebanon: It’s City Council!

Land Bank Update
March 28, 2017

Two young city residents have decided to live stream Lebanon City Council meetings

It’s not exactly ready for prime time, but thanks to the initiative of some young city residents, you can now watch Lebanon City Council meetings live on Facebook.

Monday night, Royal Marti and Chris Hostetter streamed council’s 6:30 p.m. meeting live from council chambers in the Lebanon Municipal Building on their Facebook page, See-ThruCity-LebanonPa.

It was the pairs’ second webcast, the first was at Thursday’s City Council workshop meeting. A recording of that and Monday night’s meeting can now be seen on the Facebook site.

Marti, a 21-year-old HACC student running as a Democrat for City Council, said he got the idea to stream the meetings from Tony Dastra, a 20-year-old who is running for mayor of Lancaster and has been streaming that city’s council meetings for several months,

“I reached out to him and saw how he went about beginning to do this, and he gave us permission to implement the same process here in Lebanon,” Marti said.

His motivation for streaming the council is not to create a problem, Marti said, but to make City Council more accessible and transparent. It also has the added advantage of engaging with others who can comment while watching.

“Part of my platform is to promote community and youth engagement and increase our numbers in attendance at our City Council meetings,” he said after council’s meeting on Thursday. “So the main point in this is to let people see that we are going to be broadcasting it live, to promote and let people know they should come out and get involved in their communities. And allow our youth to become more educated to what is going on here in Lebanon, because I don’t think they know about it.”

Marti and Hostetter did not just show up, clip a smartphone to a tripod and begin streaming. They called Mayor Sherry Capello’s office well in advance to inform her and ask them to tell council Chairman Wiley Parker of their plan.

Capello and Parker said Monday night that they had no problem with having the meetings broadcast live, noting that the media has been recording and broadcasting parts of meetings for years.

The only reference to the streaming was a notice on the meeting agenda that stated:

“Lebanon City Council recognizes that the City of Lebanon has an obligation to permit recording or live streaming of meetings. Council will permit videotaping, live streaming, and audio recording of meetings; however, Council is reserving the right to establish an ongoing policy for purposes of insuring accuracy, fairness and the integrity of the meetings.”

Marti said he plans to continue streaming the meetings, whether he wins or loses a council seat, but would like to see the city take the initiative to do it on its own. Because of bandwidth issues, he has not been able to link into the city’s wifi, which is costing him money from his cellphone carrier.

Neither Parker or Capello dismissed the idea of the city webcasting council meetings, which could be done on a Facebook page the city recently set up, City-of-Lebanon-PA-Government. But expanding the city’s bandwidth must first be resolved.

“We are going to have to get that situation with our internet provider squared away and then once we are there then I think we can make a more rational, reasoned decision about where we go from there,” Parker said.

Capello also said that there were other security issues to be resolved: The existing system filters internet access to prevent employees from linking to Facebook and other social media sites while at work. A new wifi link would have to allow that but also be secure to prevent hacking into the city’s system.

“We would have to run a dedicated static IP address from here down to the basement to the server. So these are all things that cost money and we need to think them out,” she said.

So what important council action did the Facebook Live camera capture? Quite a bit actually.

Council approved a zoning change that will allow day reporting centers as a conditional use in the Office-Industrial Zone.

The action was taken to allow Pennsylvania Counseling Services to open a day reporting center in its headquarters at 200 N. Seventh Street.

The day reporting center would be a place where non-violent offenders would report on a daily basis to receive counseling and other support, as an alternative to incarceration in Lebanon County Correctional Facility.

PCS’ preferred location for the day reporting center is in an office at 624 Cumberland Street in the downtown business district. However, the Lebanon Zoning Hearing Board did not permit the behavioral counseling agency to set up there.

That ruling has been appealed and a hearing will be held in Lebanon County Common Pleas Court next month.

Monday night council also unanimously approved the establishment of a Land Bank that will allow the city to purchase delinquent properties at judicial sales, repair them and then sell them.

“This is just to add another tool in our tool box. It’s an action item from our Grow Lebanon 2020 plan to address properties that have an endless cycle of vacancy, tax delinquency, abandonment and tax foreclosure,” Capello said.

To finance the Land Bank, council agreed to give it 50 percent of city property taxes for the first five years after the improved property is sold.

The city is asking Lebanon School District and the Lebanon County Board of Commissioners to give it the same tax forgiveness.

Capello said she expects the school board to vote on the matter when it convenes in April, but has not heard from the commissioners.

Source: Lebanon Daily News



Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.


Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.



Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington is the new Chief Information Officer for Safeguard Properties LLC. Sean has over 15+ years of experience in Information Services Management with a strong focus on Product and Application Management. Sean is responsible for Safeguard’s technological direction, including planning, implementation and maintaining all operational systems

Sean has a proven record of accomplishment for increasing operational efficiencies, improving customer service levels, and implementing and maintaining IT initiatives to support successful business processes.  He has provided the vision and dedicated leadership for key technologies for Fortune 100 companies, and nationally recognized consulting firms including enterprise system architecture, security, desktop and database management systems. Sean possesses strong functional and system knowledge of information security, systems and software, contracts management, budgeting, human resources and legal and related regulatory compliance.

Sean joined Safeguard Properties LLC from RenPSG Inc. which is a nationally leading Philintropic Software Platform in the Fintech space. He oversaw the organization’s technological direction including planning, implementing and maintaining the best practices that align with all corporate functions. He also provided day-to-day technology operations, enterprise security, information risk and vulnerability management, audit and compliance, security awareness and training.

Prior to RenPSG, Sean worked for DMI Consulting as a Client Success Director where he guided the delivery in a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 enterprise client account. He was responsible for all project deliveries in terms of quality, budget and timeliness and led the team to coordinate development and definition of project scope and limitations. Sean also worked for KPMG Consulting in their Microsoft Practice and Technicolor’s Ebusiness Division where he had responsibility for application development, maintenance, and support.

Sean is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Masters in International Business from Central Michigan University. He was also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force prior to his career in the business world.


General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard and oversees the legal, human resources, training, and compliance departments. Linda’s responsibilities cover regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human resources and training initiatives, compliance, litigation and claims management, and mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans over 20 years, and Linda’s experience covers regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.


Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.


AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance

Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and investor compliance for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients’ conveyance processes, Safeguard’s investor compliance team and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.

Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve’s leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.


AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.


AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.


AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.


AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.


Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.