Archive for the ‘Upper Makefield Township Meetings’ Category

Township Meeting – September 21

Just one note.

A representative of the Upper Makefield-Newtown soccer club made a presentation regarding the soccer fields at Brownsburg Park.

As I understand it, he said that the turf on the fields is inadequate, and offered the resources of the club to do the work, and bear the expense, of installing and maintaining new turf.  This would be in lieu of the usage fee.  The turf replacement costs would come in at around $12,000, while the usage fee would be only $5,000.

In return, he asked the township to consider upgrading the well system so the lower fields could be adequately irrigated. Continue reading

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Roundup of the September 8 Township Meeting

Last night’s township meeting meeting was… odd.

Three strange things happened, one entirely predictable.  I’m presenting them, not in chronological order.

First, during the manager’s report part of the meeting, Ryan and Rattigan came out and publicly announced their campaign strategy.  The budget workshop meetings will be moved up from October to September; the first one will be next Wednesday evening, I believe.  They want to have a budget finalized and approved by the end of October or early November (certainly before election day, though they didn’t say so!)

And Mary Ryan solemnly charged Stephanie Teoli, the township manager, with making sure the proposed budget would reflect a tax cut.  We know this was rehearsed ahead of time, because the logical question from the township manager would be “how much of a tax cut do you want to see?”  But that question wasn’t asked.  Amateurs!

Ryan said that she and Rattigan had “done some homework”, and believed that a tax cut was feasible.  Huh, why didn’t anyone mention that before?  Like maybe the endorsed Republicans running against Rattigan/Ryan/KC-will she-won’t she?

Oh wait, they’ve been saying that since the 3 mil increase was proposed, the increase that had Ryan and Rattigan on board.

With a budget in deficit since 2007, let’s see how those numbers play.  Budgets vs. actuals have been ludicrous for so long, what kind of expectation could we have that this year will it will make sense?  What can be cut for 2012 that survived the 2010 “scalpel”? Will the budget be conveniently reconfigured so that even if one has all of the documents from prior years, they won’t help when trying to follow the proposed 2012 budget?  In the past no one said things like “if we’ve been spending $15,000 a year on printing, why do we keep budgeting $20,000?”  This year, look for unexpected line item drops.  Challenge and look for justification!  Should be fun!

Second, there was a report about emergency response during and after Irene.  This was given by Robert Kay Sr., the emergency management coordinator.  During his report he dropped something of a bombshell by saying that someone, apparently a female, sent out an email to township residents advising them to call her if they experienced a problem due to Irene.  Mr. Kay said this was a ‘mass email’, and he indicated that it was political.

What made him say it was political?  And why didn’t I get an email?  I didn’t, and neither did anyone I know.  How “mass” was it?  More info on this is needed.  If you’re going to get up and say this stuff in public, be prepared to back it up!

Third, during the early part of the meeting, Bud Baldwin kept staring out into the audience, asking if Dave Christian had gotten there yet.  What??? Why would Dave be there?  Would he be announcing his daughter’s candidacy?  Every time Bud ascertained that no, Dave C. wasn’t there, he would reluctantly move on to the next agenda item, making sure that everyone knew he was just doing that until Dave got there.

It was so weird.  Dave C. wasn’t on the agenda.  Bud kept stopping and looking for him so often it became like an obvious “Waiting for Godot” joke.

And when Christian finally did show up, he came in 4 or 5 other men, whose purpose was uncertain, sat right up front, and Bud didn’t seem to notice.  Hmmm.

So Dave went to the microphone and began to talk about September 11.  He talked for some minutes.  He talked about neighbors, and specifically his neighbor who’d lost her son.  I really can’t recall much about what he said, because there didn’t seem to be a coherent point in there.  It was rambling, and hard to follow.  Dave Christian is not a good public speaker.

It’s difficult, because who wants to be critical when someone is talking about 9/11 and the loss of loved ones?  But I’m certain that I’m not the only one who was puzzled.  When Dave C. finished he shook hands with the supervisors and left (with his coterie), and there was dead silence.  No applause at all, as would be expected if people were stirred or moved or anything.  Just silent.

So that was that.  The supervisors, contrary to the last meeting, were pretty well behaved.  I wish I had made my private prediction public before: that from now until election day Ryan and Rattigan will keep pretty quiet unless they can say something positive.  We can make it a drinking game!  If you want to stay sober, take a drink for every negative thing Ryan or Rattigan says.  Otherwise, do the reverse.

Good times.

One last thing: did anyone else feel gypped that there was no “right to know” report last night?  I was waiting for pie charts, with colors, naming names.  Boo!

Roundup of the August 3 Upper Makefield Township Meeting Public Comments

Sunshine, Go Away Today

This first public comment has a high “ick” factor.  Dan Worden wants to know who is submitting Right to Know requests, and what they cost the township.  (Note that his request will also cost money).

I for one applaud the folks who are engaged enough to ask for information, whether or not they are candidates.  Too bad the notion of the public gaining access to government info irks Worden so badly; it’s people like him that made a Right to Know law necessary.

Thankfully Worden’s not on the board anymore.  Then again, the current crop of supervisors often don’t answer questions at the meetings, they direct people to call or email the office with their question, which results in an RTK request… you see where this goes.

Dan doesn’t get the bum’s rush, though.  The supervisors seem quite excited to fulfill this request.

Exit question: based on the clip below, what does Worden know about the township budget that the supervisors don’t know?

Deli Meats and the First Amendment

Here’s another clip from the public comments, also very creepy:

Bannon spends more than 9 full minutes trying to trash the endorsed Republican candidates for the supervisor seats, while railing against using the podium for political purposes.  The current set of supervisors have no problem with that.  Bud Baldwin seems to be wishing that the first amendment would let him squash speech, instead of the reverse.

Bud Baldwin will tolerate many things, but he will absolutely NOT tolerate using the podium to advertise lunch meat specials.

Whew!  For a while I had been starting to think that government was broken!

There was a rebuttal to this woman’s comment, at the end of the meeting, from Guy Polhemus.  Dave Kulig, mercifully off the board at the end of the year, adopts the tried and true “I’m rubber, you’re glue” stance.

Wait, he not only wants to know about Guy’s candidacy status, he also wants to know how frequently Guy speaks to the other candidates!  What’s up next, Dave?  Are you going to start asking people to state when they last had sex with their SO?  Just wondering!  If I ever get up the nerve to go up to that podium this year, I want to be prepared!

Interesting how the Baldwin and Kulig gangs up on Polhemus.  Well, as I said earlier, Kulig’s out, and Baldwin’s not up for re-election… yet.

Newspaper Report of Township Meeting Contains More Than Abridgement of Already Very Abridged Minutes

Wow, did someone poke Danny Adler with a pencil and wake him up? Most of his prior reports seemed basically phoned in, despite his physical presence at the meetings.  Here he actually seems to have written a bit more, though still managing to leave out a lot.