Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cannon Fodder

Check out the podcast from WCHE Frankly Speaking.

I then call all those officials of the borough that are gossiping and telling untruths to stop it, you are walking a fine line where defamation of character can be called into play and it makes you look incompetent.

You are vilifying individuals to justify your rotten treatment of them and in the meantime making yourselves look more and more ill equipped to handle the offices and positions that you hold.  Either get your story straight or stop with the hearsay.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Airing Dirty Laundry

Up till now I have kept quiet about the treatment that the mayor of Downingtown dishes out on a frequent basis in private, but since he is running for public office, maybe it's time for it to become public.

Mayor Maxwell was arrested for DUI Aug 20, 2011.  The Wednesday before he taunted me stating that I wanted to see him gone from politics.  I told him to be careful what he wished for, but that it wouldn't be at my hand.  The story hit the papers and comments abounded how Mr. Maxwell had made a mistake and that many others as young as he had made mistakes etc.  Admittedly I do not tolerate people who drink and drive at all.  We have all seen and been made aware of the consequences of even one beer or glass of wine being consumed, so no one can plead ignorance.  However, that is exactly what a mistake is.  It is creating or acting in a situation without prior knowledge of the consequences that could follow.  Therefore, Mr. Maxwell did NOT make a mistake he made a choice of which I pointed out to many whom commented that he was a good guy and made a mistake.  Comments also were made that the young man that Maxwell had run against in the prior election probably would have made the same mistake.  My rebuttal was that the opponent was mature, had a stable job, a wife and was living in his own home.  None of which Mr. Maxwell was doing at the time in fact he was living with his mother.  I also stated that there were great people in AA too, but that did not excuse their behavior.

Mr. Maxwell became incensed that his "mistake" was called into question and he felt that he could use his "mistake" to impugn my character.  Mayor Maxwell then used my comments as a way to gain leverage against me insinuating to me on the phone that H&P's budget was conditional on my remarks about his behavior and that council members had questioned why he would want to help me when I said he should be in AA and he was an alcoholic.  I still cannot seem to find that comment of mine anywhere!

Fast forward to January of the next year when Mr. Maxwell decided that he would make a run for the state rep seat against Becky Corbin.  A point to remember here is that Mr. Maxwell had entered the ARD program for "first offenders of DUI".  I happened to see a photograph of Mr. Maxwell on a then friend's wall that showed Mr. Maxwell at his fundraiser at Victory Brewery just 2 months after negotiating to enter the ARD program and I commented that it was a bit ironic his choice for a place to hold his fundraiser.  That most certainly did not sit well with Mr. Maxwell as he then decided to not only try and cast aspersions on me in Facebook messages, but also in a public meeting of the H&P Commission.  This is what he sent me on FB......"I supported you getting on H&P, it would not have happened without my support, and it was incredibly hurtful to see you criticize me for having a fundraiser at Victory, even tho i didn't or don't' drink"  He then proceeded to send the chairperson at that time numerous emails telling her to "do something with me."  When none of those tactics worked he showed up at a public meeting and proceeded to paint me in a light that he thought would get me kicked off the commission.  He lied and stated that MANY people had come to him and said that they wanted to volunteer, but that my presence made it impossible and that I had said things about all of them.  I offered to apologize to them personally face to face if indeed I had said something that hurt them if he would tell me who they were, but he tap danced around it saying that there were "just people"  sound familiar?

Mr. Maxwell was then called on the carpet by a fellow commission member and an apology was requested from him in an open council meeting.  Mr. Maxwell then decided to lie again and state that I had disrespected his mother at a time when there had been a crisis in their family and that he was sorry, BUT.  Mr. Maxwell I NEVER once did that.  I do not know your mother nor do I know your family history, nor do I care to.  I called you out on your DUI period, but since to you it's a mistake and you would rather sweep it under the carpet my comments became about anything, but what I really said.  This is all the tip of the iceberg Mr. Maxwell and there is just not enough blog space to account for your many machinations.

I do have to say congratulations Mr. Maxwell you managed to convince everyone that the H&P Commission members who actually care about the borough and do not like to be bullied by you or anyone else on council that we were evil incarnate and you never overstepped your bounds or lied to get what you wanted and the lies continue to this day, even though no one has said ANYTHING about you or council members that could be considered detrimental.  The residents of D'town may be fooled by your "Aw shucks, I'm just trying to help" attitude, but let's hope that the rest of the residents of the 74th district see right through you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

But We Can't Enforce It

To begin with let's put all feelings aside about race, religion, sexual preference and all other things that a person can be discriminated for.  With that said, moving right along with tonight's council meeting.

Ordinance 2014-05 Borough ofDowningtown Human Relations Commission  was brought before council tonight and before discussion could ensue there had to be a motion made of Advertising with intent to adopt which did happen, then discussion became a focal point and compromise was not.

The ordinance would offer up to the citizens of Downingtown the backing of council where no one in our borough should be discriminated against for any reason.  Most reasonable citizens can agree with that, what no one agreed on is that a commission was included in this ordinance that would have Orwellian power without any way to enforce the power, but will create costs to the borough that need not be accrued.

First of all this is who the commission is comprised of:

B.     The Downingtown Human Relations Commission shall consist of no fewer than three and no more than five voting members, who shall serve overlapping terms of four years each. At all times there shall be an odd number of members. The Commission members shall be appointed by and with the approval of Borough Council. The Commission may elect up to three nonvoting, ex officio members to broaden the diversity that serves on the Commission. Members shall be residents of the Borough or business owners who operate within the Borough or own property that dwells within the Borough limits. No voting member of the Downingtown Human Relations Commission shall hold any office in any political party. Members of the Downingtown Human Relations Commission shall serve without salary but may be paid expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, as approved by Borough Council.

Which sounds good on paper right?  Who would not want their municipality, township or borough to have a recourse for discrimination and mediation if necessary and resources to take any complaint that cannot be mediated to the state level if they so choose?  The one thing that the PA Human Relations Act does not address is the LGBT community.  Keeping personal opinions aside this is just something to remember.  (you can read the PA Act here)  Now in the next portion of the D'town ordinance after election of chair etc is this:

D.    Borough Council hereby grants to the Downingtown Human Relations Commission all of the powers necessary to the execution of its duties (as set forth below), provided that those powers shall not exceed those exercised by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Which means that no matter how much anyone would like to have the something addressed or have legal recourse against the issue, if the state does not have such an avenue then the commission’s findings are not enforceable.  However in tonight's meeting that was the whole issue and the only issue that came up.  Councilor Winkler and Councilor Feldman both were in favor of adopting the ordinance up to section 90-6.  But both Mayor Maxwell and Councilor Rakoff would not bend.  Their argument was that the state of PA does not have any recourse for LGBT people when they are discriminated against, which is true, but adopting an ordinance in D'town with the veneer that they do have recourse UNTIL they get to the state level in my eyes is irresponsible.  If there is no place to take this other than "sending a message to the state" that we in Downingtown don't agree with state law what is the point of having a commission with the potential to cost the residents money that we don't have?  It is also illegal to adopt an ordinance with consequences that do not fall within state guidelines, just because it's a good idea.  What kind of message are we sending the LGBT community if we adopt an ordinance that has no more recourse than the paper that it's written on?  We don't want to help, but we want you to feel good while we are failing you. 

Councilor Winkler tried valiantly to get council to compromise.  Over and over again he stated that we really do want to be a community that does not discriminate and why not create a committee that can mediate contentious issues and can be a resource for issues beyond the scope of what can be done, but both Mayor Maxwell and Councilor Rakoff wanted no compromise. Councilor Winkler wanted a unanimous council to come up with a way to stay within the scope of what can actually be done even as far as the state level so that we as a borough would not be disenfranchising anyone.  Mayor Maxwell's statement was that he did not want an 80% effort. Mr. Mayor you weren't even putting forth that much effort.  For you it was all or nothing and you knew that it would not be a nothing vote.  You also knew that this will be a great talking point for your campaign.  However, I really want you to bring up discrimination while in the company of or in a debate with the Republican endorsed candidate since he happens to be African American.

Councilor Feldman even brought to the table that council send a letter to legislators (you know Mr. Mayor the ones who can actually change the laws) stating that the WHOLE council supports changing the Human Rights Act in PA.  Mr. Mayor you were condescending and glib in your response to Councilor Feldman and I would think that someone who was so adamant about an anti discrimination ordinance would have more respect for ALL people even ones you don't like, but then again we all know what happens to people you don't like or dares to call you on bad behavior.

 I do not understand the immovable stance that was taken by Rakoff and the mayor when a compromise was offered.  It's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  You all can be found to be legally liable for any activity that goes beyond the scope of the state laws and you will be costing the borough money that they don't have.  Our Public Works is stretched thin, the police cannot afford the officers that they do have, the fire companies are operating trucks and materials that are sometimes so old that I wonder how they make it work and yet we can afford a commission that has no real power but that you are willing to give the ability to hear complaints accept hearsay evidence and offer punishment on the say so of one individual against another. 

I can't wait to see who is appointed to this commission because I want to know how you are going to make sure that every race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, renter, landlord etc. is represented on a commission of 5 people


Saturday, February 8, 2014

From Now On

I am all for free speech, but if you wish to post a comment on this blog and you malign my character you better have proof.  I am not small minded enough not to apologize if I am wrong, but everything I say here is my opinion on what I have observed directly.  Not some ill conceived notion of persecution or non attendance at a meeting.  This is my blog and either you play nice or your comment will be deleted.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Whomever accused me of helping the crier for Downingtown DOES write the article about the council meeting needs to re-evaluate whom they accuse of what and make sure that you have your facts correct.  The crier for that site is a capable individual with fantastic writing skills.

I attended that meeting as a citizen and as a waiting to be ousted commissioner.  Let's be perfectly clear on a few things.  Whatever is written on Downingtown DOES has nothing to do with me what so ever.  What is written HERE is what my thoughts and feelings are on the corrupt council that now sits.

I am NOT under anyone's thumb and if you had your facts straight then you would know that for the longest time I was against Ann Feldman and her group and in fact filleted her several times in this blog.  However, my ego does not get in the way when I need to work with someone for the good of everyone like it does with council members.  Do I wish to see Kardon Park developed now.  No not really because we have spent way too much time and effort on something that now would not bring in as much money as was promised has caused several money issues for the borough and is now setting a bad precedent for the parks in the area.

As for Ginny.  While I worked with her she was a dedicated and delightful woman.  However, she did a 180 when she resigned from her position as Vice Chair.  She let many people know about her displeasure (and that is a nice way to say it) over the things that Josh had been doing and she was just as irate when council would blow past us, over us or around us for things done in the borough.  Unless she was an extraordinary actress that is how she conducted herself in our meetings.  Then the Ghost Walk issue with the mayor happened and while we had a major in house issue with several commission members it was resolved and the Ghost Walk went on and was successful despite the mayor.  When Ginny resigned she NEVER informed ANY commission member that she was doing that and even spoke about commission business with me before the meeting.  SHE made it personal and I now wonder what was on the back burner with this council as I look back on what she stated in her resignation letter about being brought back on at another time if the council would have her.  Really?  Sounds to me like some council members and the mayor were not the only ones making plans.  I do not doubt Ginny's dedication to the Log House and she has worked tirelessly for it, but we also deferred to her on many issues when we were apt to spend money on projects such as the Log House walkway (PW needed to do it according to Ginny) or "council wouldn't approve it" therefore many projects did not get off the ground or done.

I am tired of being blamed for downfalls or dissention.  Do I like most of council?  NO.  Do I respect the mayor?  Not in the least.  His reasoning for dissolving the H&P was the same unfounded, unproven accusations that he brought to an H&P meeting in June of 2012.  He hasn't changed his tune one bit.  He has never forgiven me for calling him out on his DUI and the fact that it was completely irresponsible for him to have driven once having a few drinks.  You decide when you see him in town next.  As for the others on council.  Cara DeStefano was friendly with me until I called her on her behavior over the election in which her campaign produced a flyer that basically called her opponent an uneducated dolt.  It was completely wrong on her part and she got into office under false pretenses as far as I am concerned.  She originally told people she was running so that Heather Bruno would not have a chance and get into office.  Ask her how much did Sara Peck donate to the campaign?  Chip Gazzerro just doesn't like anyone who sees through his "good ol' boy" routine and calls him out on his bullying and mean attitude in a council meeting.  He also doesn't like it when he is called on the fact that he will say and do one thing and then conveniently forget it when someone mentions his bad behavior.

I am relieved that I do not have to spend as many hours making sure that we please council and the mayor.  All I wanted to do was to help preserve the historic beauty of this town and to help create and work events in this town that could be attended by everyone for enjoyment and entertainment.  THEY made it the nasty business that it is, not I.  Backroom deals and walking the line of legality is not my idea of a person who wants to serve the residents, but then again maybe I am wrong and if I am then I will certainly be glad if I am not around in 10 years to see the trashy two bit tourist trap that could very well happen if what has been heard occurs.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Listen For Yourself

Many people have asked what the reasons for dissolving the Downingtown Historic and Parks Commission were. None of the ex-commission members could give a clear answer not even the ones who were in attendance at the meeting other than it is political retribution at it's finest.  Since many residents do not attend council meetings you really deserve to hear what went on in the meeting the evening that Council President Gazzerro along with DiStefano, Rakoff and McGlone pulled a fast one on council members Winkler and Feldman, and let it slip that they had meetings outside of council chambers and executive sessions.

Reading the brief recount of council meeting minutes does not reflect half of what is actually said in meetings and it's a true shame that residents don't let themselves be informed of what goes on.  I can read a police report of an accident but it does not give me an idea of the fear and horror that goes with it if I have not been in the accident itself.

Pat McGlone stated in the DLN that listening to the discussions shoe voted to split the commission, but if you truly listen to what is being said that is NOT what is discussed and there were no reasons given to split the commission.  Also in the 5 years that I have attended council meetings I have NEVER seen Ms. McGlone attend a council meeting.  If she did it was a meeting that I missed, but that is something I truly doubt so how would she be privy to any discussions about anything?

Listen to the recording and make up your own mind.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

To Be Perfectly Clear

To be perfectly clear there is a very big difference between holding an elected official to the standards that are set forth by their election to their post as a citizen and keeping quite as a volunteer for the legislative body that both your positions are contained in.

As citizens we are called to keep our elected officials honest and above board.  To accomplish this goal there are many methods to do this; by blogging, speaking at meetings, and asking for documents in a right to know request.

None of the commissioners that were part of the now dissolved Historic and Parks Commission ever bashed council members as commissioners.  The mayor was asked to apologize to a commissioner by another commissioner when he brought his bias and issues to a public meeting of said commission.

Even council members have spoken as citizens and they have that right.  We are guaranteed by the First Amendment the right to free speech.  However, only people who do not have the best interests of the residents and the borough are not able to set personal issues aside to serve those whom they were elected by or volunteer for.

Do not mistake personality conflicts as a refusal to work with others for the benefit of all.  At least not for me personally.