Lately I have been in a quandary about the goings on in Downingtown. For a few weeks now I have been considerably concerned about the budget proposal for 2011 and how it started out with a $230,000+ shortfall yet budget proposals for many things were thousands of dollars more than they had been or even what had been actually used in the past year. I do have to say that in the Borough Council meeting last night I felt a bit better when Council President Jamie Bruton stated that he, Councilwoman Ann Feldman and Director of Finance Judith Walters had been scrutinizing the budget and had found $53,000 dollars that could be additionally cut from the budget. In many ways that does not seem like much, but when a resident is faced with a 10% increase in taxes as opposed to maybe 8% it's a lot of money. I felt more confident that with the push from Mr. Bruton there will be a continued effort to look into more cuts if possible.
The large debt load that Downingtown does have was brought up and it was brought up by Ms. Feldman, which I thought was a bit ironic when she has the borough caught up in a court battle that would lessen the debt load if she would back down and let the development of Kardon Park go through. After the meeting Ms. Feldman came up to me and spoke to how she felt that she did not know how it had gotten personal in my ire towards the FOKP and her, but that the photos that I have taken for my business and specifically of Kardon Park were pretty. I tried to answer her as honestly as I possibly could. In my professional life and private life I have a few pet peeves and it really doesn't matter who gets on the bad side of them, they tend to really irk me to no end. One of them is when in a business or professional setting one must conduct themselves in a manner that cannot be misconstrued as whining or a stuttering oratory. The other really big peeve is being at least on time to a commitment and fulfilling the commitment regardless of other interests. Almost three years ago I committed myself to a group and while other things are pulling in my life I WILL finish out the commitment until 2011 and I will not schedule meetings, doctor appointments, family outings and other such things when I know I must be in attendance. My only recourse is that I DO have an alternate to attend the functions if necessary, but if I did not I would make sure that unless something dire was occurring I would be there.
There have been times when I have agreed with Ms. Feldman, but the ire that has been produced by the lawsuits tends to color not only my vision, but I am quite sure those of the others on Council who are on the opposite side of the aisle, but also citizens who feel that FOKP are helping Downingtown to die a slow death. While I am not a fan of how Ms. Feldman has been spoken to nor treated at times, I can understand why....I won't excuse the behavior though, because no matter personal thoughts, it is business.
With that said, I was looking on various sights to see what other municipalities were up to AND also to read more about passive parks and open space. I was perusing the FOKP site when I came across the "dedication picture" of Kardon Park in 1978. I could not tell exactly what part of the area it was taken but when I read the caption it said that it was 12 acres of park. What made me sit up and take a good look was that the FOKP are saying that with that dedication ALL of the "park" had been dedicated. How can that be when it is a parcel of land over 40 acres? I truly do understand that some people feel that developing the area that is contaminated will alter the experience or some other reason, but I ask this.....What good is an overgrown, contaminated parcel of land that is not that pleasing to the eye to a dying town? Can you really and truly say leaving it as is benefits each and every resident and business in Downingtown? You might want to think about that.