Posts Tagged ‘Upper Makefield supervisors’

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Board

I can think of at least 4 reasons to be thrilled about Rattigan and Ryan winning the UM supervisor election.  For those silly people out there who might still be unhappy, time to get with the program and start being pleased about what to expect! Continue reading


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

Scorched Earth

Local elections in small townships can get pretty nasty, don’t you think?

Someone’s been spending money on a little research project from a dubious-sounding organization called the Delaware Valley Clean Government Council.  There’s a PO box, no street address, no phone, no website.  Not such a great marketing strategy for a non-profit!

Anyway, this “Clean Government Council” has provided info that Guy Polhemus was sued, along with some 39 other defendants, in May 2000.  All of the defendants counter-sued for malicious prosecution.  Here’s the link if you want to read about it.  Go to the end of the document; the case was dismissed.

Score: Incumbents 0, Polhemus 1

Bonus questions: who paid to mail this letter?  Was tax money used?  If the “Council” is real, they do this for money.  Who paid for that?  If the “Council” is bogus, who took the trip out to Wynnewood PA to set up the PO box?  Was the tax-paid administrative vehicle used?

Just wondering.

Emails have been flying around as well.  Here’s one from “Henry Orin”:

The Team attacks Mary Ryan and Dan Rattigan for not cutting enough from the budget even though they’ve pared away 9% in the last two years. When The Team finally produces its 2012 UMT budget proposal (see attached) it contains no cuts in spending. WE CAN’T AFFORDTHESE “REPUBLICAN ENDORSED CANDIDATES”. Their poorly conceived and ill-informed proposal is dead on arrival. Will they cut our police services, sell off our open space, and/or reduce township staff below critical levels? WE DON’T KNOW AND THEIR NOT TELLING.


(Sic sic sic – as many sics as required).

This person lists concerns, but they don’t mention the half-million dollar deficit Ryan and Rattigan approved.  Poor arithmetic and spelling skills.

Bob North (any relation to Bob West?  Is there an East and a South?) sends this:

Ernie Sasso says he wants to save the Upper Makefield taxpayers money if he’s elected; however, his record says that’s not true.  Attorney Sasso sued UMT over his own obstruction of the township’s right of way at his property.  The attached file documents Mr. Sasso’s filing.  WE CAN’T AFFORD “SUE ‘EM ERNIE.”  His self-declared wish to monitor the township solicitor’s work and his record indicate that “Sue ’em Ernie” will have UMT involved in needless expensive litigation we can’t afford.


“Sue-Em Ernie”?  Heh.  I did better with Cryin’ Ryan and RATtigan.  I wrote about this lawsuit issue earlier.  And again, “Bob North” is supremely unconcerned with the enormous deficit.  Not worth mentioning!

Well, Ryan and Rattigan are running as Democrats.  It’s no surprise they choose to take pages from Obama’s playbook, which is essentially “Don’t look at our records or the issues” because their records stink.

For my part, I know that anyone can be sued.  Might I want to know more?  Sure, but being sued isn’t an indicator of anything.  If you think otherwise, wake up and look around.  But I know you do know this, since you’re smart enough to read this blog!

Next, a letter from Captain William Glyndwr Martin (page 1 and page 2).  I like the letter, but I am doubtful that this is the writer’s real identity.  Clever idea though, I must say – make “mincemeat” out of them!  And the signatories of the “Red Star Group” letter are well-connected people; some of those names connect a grimace right to my face.  (And why didn’t I get that original Red Star letter; am I not worth the price of a stamp?  I’ve got a bone to pick with you Red Star groupies.)

Well, maybe there are 2 Upper Makefields.  And Ryan and Rattigan only know people from the one group, the group that doesn’t care if you raise their taxes 3 or 30 mils.

Lastly, I received this letter from the Breeden/Polhemus/Sasso team.  Note the bullet point near the end about the UM township manager earning more than the Bucks County COO.  I don’t know the latter’s salary, but I did hear Charles Martin make the statement that the COO earns less.  Heck, Teoli’s annual salary & bonus is nearly the price I paid for my house.  Didn’t she help preside over those daffy budgets and killer deficits?  Hmmm… exactly what are we paying her for?

Final note: it’s a small township.  Scorched earth tactics like the ones Ryan and Rattigan are willing to use can leave the ground smoldering for a long time to come.  Too bad they couldn’t have just been decent supervisors in the first place.

All Your Rights Are Belong To Us

The supervisor campaign heats up, and another “player” comes on board.  This one has the name, which sounds like someone related to

Here’s the text of the email: Continue reading

Township Meeting – October 19

No video up yet, and I’m not doing a general round up.  Maybe later.  I didn’t watch the whole thing.  In an entirely predictable manner, the supervisors sat quietly during public comments when people praised them, and interrupted constantly when challenged.  The selective courtesy is a hallmark of the Jekyll and Hyde behavior of these supervisors.

Last night’s big draw was public reaction to the budget, now that it’s had some time to circulate and sink in. Continue reading

You Won’t Feel a Thing

I’ve avoided posting about the budget presented at last night’s meeting because I don’t think the prelim 2012 budget is up on the website yet.

Okay, that’s a half-truth.  The other is that the proposed budget is depressing.

The General Fund shows a deficit of just over half a million dollars.  Like the past, it is always with us.

Depressing as the deficit is, there’s worse.  A mil of tax is being diverted from open space funding to the general fund, and a half-mil is coming back to us.  Technically it’s a matter of cutting the open fund mils by one and a half and raising property tax by 1, but in the end it’s the same.

I always assumed that the open space levies would come back entirely to us, so I certainly made an ass of me.

The thing is, there’s still 9.2525 mils going to open space.  Changing my prior assumption, I guess that could all be up for grabs by the township.  Will we ever get those mils back?  Maybe like this:

In funding open space, we may never see that money again, long after the open space plan has ended.  We’re paying it anyway, right?  Pay for this or pay for that; no harm, no foul.  Just keep saying it.

In a year of yet another significant deficit, even with grabbing another mil (about $230,000) which will likely be permanent, why even talk about giving a half mil back?  Seems like just yesterday Rattigan was talking about how a 1 mil increase would be no big deal to a township of fat cats like ours.  What changed?

Oh yeah, the election.

In this news story, Guy Polhemus calls this move a shell game.  I disagree.  I call it a sucker punch.


A Cat that Barks – Edit

Milton Friedman wasn’t entirely accurate when he compared wanting a government that behaved like you think it should to wanting a cat that barks.  There is a viral video of a cat doing just that.

So let’s say that government can’t always be controlled, but maybe it can be corrected from time to time.  Maybe the cat can bark.

Heaven knows it’s easy to criticize.  But here’s a chance, with the possibility of the UM supervisor board changing majority this November, to reflect on what you would like to see from your local government.

Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order. Continue reading