Archive for the ‘Upper Makefield Politics’ Category

Board Reorg – Everything Old Stays Old

The Upper Makefield board swore in 2 of the 3 supervisors elected in November.  Rat was elsewhere – he just phones it in.  Maybe he should just keep doing that.  Everyone wins!

Township meetings are going to be on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays.  Apparently not all of the supervisors knew about this proposed change.  What?  And, FYI, the change is to accomodate the newly appointed lawyer.

Part 1 of 3 – Swearing in and board appointments


Part 2 of 3 – liaison assignments and meeting day change discussion

Part 3 of 3 – meeting day change discussion (continued)


Room With a Phew – Clarification Added

I am greatly comforted by these words from Milton Friedman:

I believe that in Upper Makefield’s case, the wrong people were in fact forced to do the right thing regarding taxes, at least this year, an election year.  It’s certainly not clear to me that the sitting board didn’t want to simply raise taxes, or wouldn’t have preferred to take all of the open space mils (and there’s no guarantee they won’t continue to do so.  In fact, even money says that going forward they will take as much as they can get.) Continue reading

County Stays Red, Township Goes Purple

Rat and Ryan pulled it off, so there are 2 Dems on the board of supervisors.  It wasn’t even all that close; results are here.  Larry Breeden is also in, but KC Christian got almost 45% of the votes and she’s not even running.

I feel a little like I did the morning after Obama won, because in a real sense he and all he stands for won again tonight in our township.

Well, we soldier on.  Not everyone wants to see our hard-earned tax money dripped and drabbed away.

But to those of you who voted for KC, I have an appeal: please, stay home on election day next November.  Elections are difficult enough without an army of stupid.

And for your viewing pleasure, a video I think is cool.  Politics aside, we’re lucky to live in a beautiful country.

You can read more about this project here.

Open Space – Open for Business

There was a guest opinion in the October 28th edition of the Courier-Times about the Upper Makefield open space program.

I don’t have a problem with most of the article, until it nears then end, where it says:

While we accessed county and state preservation money whenever we could, it still became imperative that the township stretch its open space dollars. Given the inherent value of reserved building rights, one of the solutions was to allow a limited number of building envelopes while preserving the bulk of the property. A building envelope was never permitted in a manner that compromised the integrity and goals of the Open Space Program.

This takes the volunteer board from evaluating property for its value to the township as preserved land, to potentially making judgments about its market value.  To allow “building envelopes” automatically opens up questions about how such properties were chosen, how many “envelopes” were allowed, the value of the “envelopes”, etc.  No doubt it was seen as a clever way to obtain land when the referendum dollar amount was inadequate, but it is naive to believe that no one will raise their eyebrows or ask a question, especially if even one well-connected person benefits.

This was a volunteer board, not a group of elected officials.  Mr. Duffy and Ms. Hirst may be “disheartened” that their actions would ever be questioned, but I don’t think the original referendum anticipated township monies going into buying and selling real estate.  Simply saying that no deal involved favoritism may – surprise! – not be enough.

When volunteers, or elected people, go beyond their mandate, (especially when millions of dollars are involved), they run a risk, and it shouldn’t be unexpected when people look askance at those actions.  If they don’t like the questions, they should be clearer with the public about the different kinds of deals they want to make, and do so before the ink goes on.

No One’s Asking

Ugh, this one reeks a bit of desperation, courtesy of

Did you know that Philadelphia Magazine has chosen Upper Makefield the Best Place to Raise Kids?

Philadelphia Magazine, noting policies that Dan Rattigan & Mary Ryan have long supported, declares Upper Makefield among the top suburbs in the region.  Rattigan’s & Ryan’s policies which led to this award were open space, tree and stream restoration, top notch police protection, support of our great volunteer fire department, outstanding water quality, enviable parks & recreation areas, and a host of others that touch our core values.  Rattigan & Ryan have fought long and hard to preserve thevalues which we cherish in Upper Makefield.

Sadly, many of these programs have been vigorously criticized and opposed by their opponents Polhemus, Sasso, and Breeden who wish to cheapen our community.

When you vote in November, keep in mind whose core community values are the same as yours.

Continue reading

Polling Places Open for School

Council Rock school openings were all delayed for one day last week because of Irene.  Some school openings were delayed for 2 days.

The one day will have to be made up for all schools, and so there is an extra day of school planned for June.  The other day affects only 4 elementary schools – Sol Feinstone, Hillcrest, Wrightstown, and Rolling Hills.

Because of the limited number of schools affected by the additional make-up day, school superintendent Mark Klein is recommending to the school board that these 4 elementary schools be open for a half day on election day.

I’m not crazy about this idea.  Parking at Sol Feinstone is tight at the best of times.  Buses deliver and pick up students around 9 AM and noon, and the entrance gets crowded with kids and parents.

I understand that the school year has to be a certain number of school hours, and election day is not typically a time for a family trip or long weekend.  And no one knows how many days might be needed for snow days.  But still, isn’t election day at least as important as a holiday break?

Here is the Council Rock calendar.  If you have a suggestion about closing on a different day, or just want to let Mr. Klein know you’re concerned about this, drop him an email at  I know a few people who said they were going to contact him.

Note that today was also a ‘rain day’, and all CR schools were closed.  Presumably this day will have to be made up, either in June or at another time.  If it will be in June, that will already run into a new week.  That might make it easier to piggy-back this half day away from election day.

Otherwise, consider this a heads-up for election day.

90% of elections consists of voters, you know, showing up.  So come out and vote.

Feet of Brick

If you haven’t already seen it, there was a great guest editorial in Sunday’s Courier Times.


Mary Ryan describes herself as a one-year supervisor who has never voted to raise taxes. Unfortunately she fails to mention that she was one of the supervisors who proposed a 22 percent tax increase for 2011 and that she did not oppose the tax increase until hundreds of residents protested. Even then, she failed to take action to roll back the 2010 tax increase, which remains in effect today. When she concluded her recent article by describing herself as a fiscal conservative she stretched the rubber band of credibility about as far as it can go.

Read the whole thing.