Friday, December 3, 2010

Duplicity Is Not Just A Movie Title

I honestly can say that my opinion of a person has never undergone the drastic changes in so few days as mine has of Ann Feldman. On Wednesday night December 1st I attended the Downingtown Borough Council Meeting. I was a bit miffed to begin with as I had reviewed the 2011 budget that was published after the last meeting and I was none too happy and none of the council members were my favorite people that night. But as I sat there and agenda items were brought up I was flabbergasted at the fact that for once Ann Feldman and I were in accord. Ms. Feldman brought up that the Borough Christmas party was not being held in the borough, but at a venue in East Caln and that council members should pay their own way. I almost fell out of my seat because I thought she was right on target. I was also a bit tired of other council members trying to hush her up when she had a very valid point. I left that particular meeting wanting to thump a few heads and surprisingly Ms. Feldman’s was not one of them. Alas though, here we are on Friday and Ms. Feldman, myself and several other residents are again at cross purposes.


Last night I again attended an informational session for the group IDEAL of which Cara DeStephano has spearheaded. I had heard some of the information before, but was enlightened in other areas as well. Intelligent questions abounded after the presentation; however there was one small irritant that appeared at the meeting. Ms. Feldman joined our little group last night. Now on the face of it that would not be a problem, unfortunately her tactics were a bit underhanded. Ms. Feldman did not join us until after the lights had been turned off and the presentation began, slinked in, pulled out a pad of paper, took copious notes and then slunk out again when the meeting was over. I do appreciate that she did not turn this meeting into a free for all and she did show a bit of decorum, but that was blasted all to heck and back this morning when I read Ms. Feldman’s Op Ed piece in the Daily Local.

In her writings Ms. Feldman states that the park “…has been a well-used 50 acre public park in Downingtown Borough for the past 30 years.” Ms. Feldman, I ask, you were you not listening when Ms. Peck stated that the lands west of the trail have been up for sale and development since 1999 when the DEP came out and did a report at the request of the EPA? I know that you were there, but were you listening? If you weren’t let me do the math for you…if any kind of development has been under consideration since 1999 that was 11 years ago which in turn means that the park has not been thought of , maintained nor used as a park for 30 years…see 30-11=19. Also the intent to remediate to site specific standards was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer 2/19/1999 and when the 30 day public period had ended no public comments were received.….where were you then Ms. Feldman?

Ms. Feldman also parses words on what is considered safe and what is not. It has been reported in each and every study that direct contact with the soil will result in contamination; yet it is safe? I am not sure how a park can be considered safe when you cannot venture off trails and have direct contact with the soil. Are we only supposed to walk in the park and not enjoy any other activities? What about our dogs who do have direct contact with the soil? I believe I need to find the dictionary that Ms. Feldman and FOKP are using so that I may glean some insight to what they consider “safe”.

Now for the biggest faux pas of them all. As I said in the beginning, Ms. Feldman brought up a very valid point that borough functions should be kept in the borough regardless of another boroughs support and help and that council members should be ready to pony up a few dollars to help defer costs especially in this economic climate. Then I read this morning in Ms. Feldman’s article that when the petitions that started this whole hullabaloo were circulated there were almost 1,000 signatures which would be impressive for anyone, except for one small thing 209 of them were obtained outside of the borough. Isn’t that a bit disingenuous to want to keep borough business and celebrations within the borough, yet when it helps your cause you go out of the borough to assert your agenda? It begs the question that if you were willing to go outside of Downingtown to garner support for FOKP and the legal wrangling that you have tied the council up in what lengths you would have gone to defeat Anthony Madiro in 2009.

It seems that Ms. Feldman and her group are only for the good of the borough when it suits their purposes, but when the NIMBY syndrome kicks in to heck with the borough and its residents and that my dear councilwoman is called duplicity.

43 comments:

  1. So the "spam filter" de-published another "published" comment?

    Can you fix that blasted thing?

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  2. While I agree and disagree with your post, there is only one think I'd like to set straight:

    The first petition was taken IN Kardon Park.
    Yes, there were more borough residents there, but there were also folks from communities as far away as Parkesburg...actually beyond and from all directions. The people the petitioners approached wanted to sign the petition no matter where they were from. They signed the petition because they didn't want to see a mixed-used development with 300 dwelling units and commercial buildings facing E. Pennsylvania Ave.
    They all come to Kardon Park for the picnic, the stroll with a kid on a little bicycle with training wheels, to start the 5-mile run/walk to Dorlans Mill and back, or just to relax at a picnic table and read a book. They're not all residents of the borough.
    They come here because they like Kardon Park.



    No one went outside of the borough to get signatures. All were received in Kardon Park.
    Come to think of it, my name is on it too, and I don't live in the borough!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Damn, censored again. Who runs this site, the Nazi party of Johnsontown?

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  4. PLEASE NOTE:
    The first 'anonymous' post was NOT written by the second 'anonymous' post.
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  5. anti-censorship leagueDecember 4, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    part 2:

    "Beyond that, the Kim Mfg. lawsuit argued that the 2007 sale was unlawful under the Borough code, because the council did not follow Borough rules for selling of a public asset. No appraisal was sought, and no proper vote was taken.

    So it would be correct that certain people within the Borough government have been considering selling or leasing the land since about 1999. It would not be accurate to say that it has been for sale, since proper steps were never taken, and it is unlawful to sell it in the first place.

    Since the park was formally dedicated in 1978, and there has never been a valid lease or agreement of sale on it the entire time, and it has been used as dedicated parkland since 1978 (the entirety, and other portions before that), and since it has had ACT 2 clearance for passive park use (all 50 acres, technically 47.3) since 1999, it is quite accurate to say the park has been in use since 1978. It has also been ruled safe by DEP for that use for over 10 years now.

    It would also be illogical to think Ms. Feldman could control who would sign a widely circulated petition, (1900 were mailed out) and others placed in public locations. It would be irrational to conclude that Ms. Feldman is being disingenuous in reporting the results of the petition when she has differentiated between the residents and non-residents.

    As for your statement: "It has been reported in each and every study that direct contact with the soil will result in contamination; yet it is safe? I am not sure how a park can be considered safe when you cannot venture off trails and have direct contact with the soil."...this is oft repeated and just as often flat wrong. Since the actual ACT 2 clearance by DEP states the exact opposite, and the Golder Report concludes the exact opposite,once again this is an illogical, irrational conclusion.

    Once again if you have any information to support your assertions, you should post it, otherwise, by default, the conclusions of DEP and Golder take precedence."...posted by Chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. anti-censorship leagueDecember 4, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    "I will not censor"...Elaine B

    "Say what you mean, and mean what you say"

    Otherwise you are being "duplicitous".

    ReplyDelete
  7. And the point Elaine was making; which is both knowledgeable and intelligent is that the borough working to sell Kardon dump has been going on for many years. There is nothing new about it. Years ago Kardon was proposed to be a completely commercial expansion but that never took place due to the economy.

    A borough issued RFP is what led to Progressive being involved today and that means competition which is something you probably have no stomach for but it is the generally accepted way to choose a developer.

    Kardon dump which is now being called a park by a minority hiding under a thin layer of grass is a new but insipid concept considering that Kardon has a very long history as brownfield. It is plainly a former waste site with the best potential being that it be developed under DEP guidelines.

    Take a look at that adjacent area in Caln where the develop was approved legally (which Ms. Feldman is appealing) and what you see is a nasty; trashy unpleasant area that is NOW being used as a dump. You can see the dump parts there and still the fantasy is to pretend it is a "park".

    And as usual, you skip key financial points such as Downingtown losing $1.5M by not taking advantage of a Pennsylvania grant in a bad economic era. If that grant is not used it is lost. Try and tell me that borough council made that up or maybe that it is just another one of their "scare tactics".

    Development brings $9M and not developing means losing $9M. It is not complicated.Some people, like Elaine have excellent common sense while others prefer to pretend things are not what the really are.

    ReplyDelete
  8. anti-censorship leagueDecember 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    part 1 again, posted originally by Chris:

    "If the stated mission of IDEAL is to support the redevelopment and revitalization of Downingtown, and to voice support for Council's efforts in that regard, how exactly is Ms. Feldman's appearance (she is on council after all) at the IDEAL meeting inappropriate?

    This again is illogical. It is irrational to presume that Ms. Feldman showing up late for the meeting (was she required to be there in the first place?) was 'slinking in' and slunking out'. Instead of attacking her for her late appearance, you should be praising her for showing up at all. Perhaps she had another engagement, and could not get there on time. Perhaps she did not want to engage, but rather to see just what the group has in mind. Obviously since IDEAL was conceived as a counter measure to somehow change the direction of the Kardon Park issue (how, remains a mystery) her very appearance there could lead to distractions which would have been counter-productive to the meeting itself. She certainly could have spoken out and rebutted inaccurate commentary when she disagreed, but obviously did not.

    Ms. Feldman's op-ed piece was, in fact, factual. Ms Peck may have claimed the land was for sale since 1999, but that is not factually correct. There has been consideration of developing that land, first for commercial use in 1999, a plan which fell through (a lease, not a sale). Recently the land was offered for sale and an agreement of sale was signed with Ms. Peck in August of 2007. That sale cannot be completed, because it has been ruled to be unlawful, since Kardon Park is a dedicated public park, since 1978 in it's entirety, and it is illegal to sell or develop public parks in the state of Pennsylvania. Almost certainly the lease in 1999 would have been ruled unlawful as well had it not died a natural death. (see the Burholme case, and the attempt to lease a portion of Fairmont Park to a hospital)"

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just looked through your photo stream. Those are beautiful pictures, Elaine. Truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I looked too. WOW! The photos of all of Downingtown are incredible.
    I stopped at one of the photos...Ball o Something. I think it's buttonbush.
    If you're ever interested in the birds that frequent your bird feeders, Cornell Lab of Ornithology does The Great Backyard Bird Count every February.

    http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/whycount.html

    And there's a photo contest too.
    http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/2010photowinners
    Definitely, submit the Great Blue heron!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Chris I went to the spam folder yet again to pull up your messes. Quit crying foul everytime one of your longwinded diatribes gets kicked by the site. I was not even here all day yesterday and this is the first that I have signed on today. I had no computer access yesterday either since I was at a craft fair so don't even try to go there. I have had plenty of posts kicked on the DLN blogs and I don't cry everytime it happens. But you might want to think why the site kicked 8 posts and they were all yours.

    ****Thank you to those who commented on my photo stream. There are some great shots to be had at The Ponds and I love walking the TRAIL that is part of what is a true park. I enjoy watching the geese as they land at second pond and that heron I stalked for days lol. I have never said that I don't like the park, but I would like to see it improved as it would be if the development of the area WEST of the trail would happen. Fresh water would be pumped into the ponds and make it a little more pleasing to the eye and a lot less smelly in the summer. Plantings and landscaping and a much more pleasant experience for all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well it just seems quite curious that only my posts end up in the "spam filter", and end up there long after they are "published". Anyone who agrees with you does not seem to have any trouble.

    My post was published, I left the site and came back later, and it was still there. A friend in a different location went onto your site read my comment, cut and saved it FROM your site and forwarded it to me, so I know very well it was definitely there. It had only been posted once.

    Your blog requires image verification to prevent spam from getting through, or you can't post at all. Since I have posted on other blogs many times, and used to own a blog, I have some experience in this area, and I have never seen a published comment captured by a "spam filter" long after it was published.


    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  13. You still don't get it Chris I WAS NOT HERE ALL DAY YESTERDAY!!! I only logged in at 2:49 today on this blog as shown above. I can't pull a post if I haven't seen it, read it, or know it exists. No one else can do anything with the posts unless they work for the DLN...they are the only other ones who have access to the blog. So who did you tick off at the DL? The only thing I ever pulled off of here was the vapid postings about forming a new group with hats....otherwise I let you have enough rope to hang yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well now there is the problem with censorship. Once you start to exercise it, no one believes you when you say you don't practice it.

    As a matter of principle, on my blog, I never deleted anything. Fortunately there was never an issue of slander or libel posted, nor was there any blatantly vulgar content, so there was never a reason to delete anything. However there were some ridiculous, irrelevent, silly, and downright moronic posts, but they remained on the blog. My belief is that blog readers are used to seeing all sorts of content on blogs, and are intelligent enough to sort through and decide for themselves what has relevance. Otherwise I would have been editing according to my preferences, which is a form of censorship.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  15. By the way, Elaine, as a general rule, when you label posts which disagree with or dissect your posts, as "messes", "tirades", "diatribes",
    "rants", etc., that immediately points the reader back to your post, and generally reflects poorly on you, not the poster, particularly if the posters' comments address issues you have raised yourself.

    It is a mild form of ad hominem attack, albeit subtle, to indicate that you feel the poster has no business rebutting your commentary, and that your commentary is above reproach.

    From a debating standpoint, it is a loser of an approach.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  16. Chris let's face it you are not that important in my life for me to lie in wait for your posts and then send them to the spam folder.

    As far as your blog, it's yours and you may do what you wish with it as I can with mine. As I said you do not take up that much time in my life to worry what you think as far as what I chose to delete. You want to think it's censorship go right ahead...you might even want to contact the ACLU I am sure they will want to take your case right way.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Chris let's face it you are not that important in my life for me to lie in wait for your posts and then send them to the spam folder.

    Elaine 1

    Chris 0

    ReplyDelete
  18. So let me get this straight...you don't practice censorship, but you do delete posts, but only those which do not support your unfounded assertions.

    You have put up a blog (a forum for public comment), claim that there is a known problem with your blog (the "spam filters' are catching posts and even deleting them after they are posted)but don't feel the need to fix it or even to check the spam filter daily to see if it is malfunctioning, and place the post on the forum. Seems a little too convenient to me. Is it really that difficult to pull up the administrator's page when you log in and check those pesky spam filters?

    I have also noticed that you only post those deleted posts when I "make a stink" about it.

    You continuously make assertions and attacks you know are flat-out untrue, and then complain bitterly when someone posts factual rebuttals, claiming those rebuttals are "messes", "tirades", "rants". "diatribes", etc.

    And you really think this makes you look like a capable debater or credible poster?

    Maybe in an 'IDEAL' world, but not to reasonable people who might stumble onto this "blog".

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ok Chris I will speak slowly so you wil understand. The posts that were deleted were posts that had no value to them. The posts were about starting a silly group and wondering if they woud have hats. There was no opinion in them no debatable issue no substance what so ever so they went period. It had nothing to do with whether they agreed with me or not. Do you get it now or do I have to speak even more slowly?

    As for going and looking for the posts that get kicked......explain to me please how I am supposed to know they were even written when they do not show up here? I do have a life and my time should not be spent looking for posts that got kicked. I really don't have the time to wait and see if you are going to post War and Peace again and go look for it if it doesn't show up.

    If you did not get it by now, yes your long winded posts are "messes", "tirades", "rants" whatever when they are; A)longer than a short story B)I have to go look for them and they ar posted verbatim 5 times and C)have been repeated time and again using different verbage hoping we won't notice.

    Do you really believe that the way you cry foul each time THE SITE kicks your posts, the fact that you went on the attack personally with some people early on and that by the time anyone gets part way through your posts they don't recongize it as what you posted over at the DLN makes YOU credible? Really?

    Oh well off to complete my tasks for the day in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So if someone posts a comment that matches your "rants", "diatribes', "tirades", "messes" that are filled with untruths and irrational attacks, and illogical premises, that is unacceptable?

    Are you now giving me permission to label your illogical, irrational, long winded, nonsensical posts in such terms? I will, just so it is a fair playing field. Ordinarily I don't resort to such tactics except as responses in kind....go back and check.

    Why don't you look at your commentary at the start of this thread, and see how long it is. Clearly that qualifies as a tirade, or rant, or heck of an illogical "mess", at a minimum.

    You seem to be "hanging yourself with your own rope".

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  21. WOW Chris I didn't think you would need yet another explanation, but anyway......a blog is a bit like a story...some are short others medium length and others much much longer. So it would stand to reason that the firt postings on the BLOG would be a bit longer. However, your responses are comments notice COMMENTS not COMMENTARY hence the fact that would be shorter in length than the original posting, but as the case is with you so very often they are not. So to paraphrase one of my favorite comedians, "Here's your rope!"

    ReplyDelete
  22. Watching Chris post on here and on the DLN is a lot like watching my 3 year old throw a tantrum because things are not going her way. She went nuts the other day because I would not let her play past her nap time.

    I think Chris needs a nap now too.

    DOWNINGTOWN RESIDENT

    ReplyDelete
  23. Let's be clear about my reasons for being here:

    This is not a message board for public discussion of issues important to the community, as stated. It has devolved into a forum for Elaine to post misleading, innacurate information about Kardon Park, and to take potshots at Ann Feldman in the process.

    If anti-park, anti-Friends, anti-Feldman commentary were not coming fast and furious from the administrator of this blog, there would be no point in me commenting here.

    However, since that is happening, I will continue to post. And if my posts are deleted, I will continue to protest. I will however, cut and save them when they are published from here on.

    BTW, I have been informed that parts of Johnsontown Park were established on top of an old dumpsite. This is news to me, but should make it very interesting if FOKP were to lose in Commonwealth Court, since a decison against FOKP would make it far easier to sell Johnsontown Park, and the dumpsite argument would undoubtedly resurface.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  24. Right from the Blogger site...

    "Blogger now filters comments that are likely spam comments to a Spam Inbox, much like the spam folder in your email. When someone leaves a comment on your blog, it will be reviewed against our spam detector, and comments that are identified as possible spam will be sent to your blog’s Spam Inbox, found at Comments | Spam. "

    As for your other assertion Chris;had you bothered to look elsewhere on the blog you would see that other issues HAVE been discussed. Just lately has the issue of Kardon Park become something that I have chosen to write about. It just so happens that the developers and others found some of the posts I had written and decided to link to them and then C&P them. And honestly if they hadn't it would be fine with me because then I wouldn't have to deal with your tantrums.

    As for Johnsontown Park the residents of Johnsontown are on top of the development and for the most part are FOR IT....yeah go figure we would like to see the area bettered. Our community group has already reached out to the developer and we have a meeting in place. Our president has seen some proposed plans and we know what to expect and what we would like to see done. But see we in Johnsontown are willing to negotiate and even compromise (I know foreign concepts to FOKP...google them)before we would even consider legal wrangling. Johnsontown Park is not so much a dump site, though if you had ever joined us on a clean up day you might think otherwise when silly people feel that it's ok to leave car parts, bottles and other such stuff back in the weeds, as it is a flood plain. Several residents on Viaduct have to have flood insurance which is sometimes costly. Parts of the park are also in the KOZ which we are all well aware of. There's this little thing called research and actually knowing about the area you live in. We formed JCG to better the quality of life in our area and we have done a lot in the year we have been in existance, but we still have a long way to go and we are working day by day. One BIG thing is we choose to use honey instead of vinegar and hey look at that we are making much more headway than FOKP and we certainly don't have a legal bill from the get go.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would suggest you look at Ann Feldman's comment on your blog a while back, about the re-defining the acreage that is Johnsontown Park.

    This is the first step, and is precisely what happened with Kardon Park, years ago. They thought they would get away with it, but obviously did not.

    FOKP did not have any legal bills, until they realized the Borough Council was going to do whatever they wanted whether the community was on board or not. They had no choice but to hire a lawyer to save the park. Had they not done so, it would be gone already, and the part that is to eventually remain (which could have been owned by the homeowners association under the original agreement) would be inaccessible to the public right now, possibly for a couple of years or so as they reconstructed wetlands on it.

    So good luck with dealing with a council that has other plans for your park on the boards, and will most assuredly go through with it if FOKP untimately loses(not likely).

    The ultimate delusion is thinking you have a say, when you do not. At Kardon Park the deal was struck before the residents knew what was happening.

    Possibly the most important result of FOKP's fight is that the Borough Council will never try this approach again, and that may just work in your favor regarding Johnsontown park.

    **You will note, I said your blog has "devolved into"...it does seem to have originated with a more generic mission, but obviously things have changed. That's a shame since you seem to have started out with a good idea, which has gone sour.

    [I find it hard to believe the spam filters are capable of detecting content you are unappreciative of, or that they determine spam based on length of posts. I would love to hear your theory on why posts are detected as 'spam'. I would note that some of my shorter posts have also been deleted.]

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  26. Chris the bloig was actually fine till you showed up so go figure. In fact there were other subjects discussed on a more frequent basis, but now since you continually make it about you well you do the math.

    As for the spam filters...you really amaze me. Throughout all your posts you screamed that someone copy and paste documentation, yet when someone does you STILL don't believe what is in black and white. All I can say is whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Chris ~

    You say “I find it hard to believe the spam filters are capable of detecting content you are unappreciative of, or that they determine spam based on length of posts. I would love to hear your theory on why posts are detected as 'spam'. I would note that some of my shorter posts have also been deleted”

    Do you honestly think Elaine has to come up with a theory on how the DLN blog determines what is spam and what is not spam? Come on get over yourself. Who knows what the definitions are in that determination? I really do not care and do not feel Elaine has to bother. Why is some of my personal email sent to a spam filter? I have no idea what Yahoo’s definitions are and really do not care.

    As for the JCG, You speak and make assumptions on something you are not involved in, and or know little about. I can tell by the statement below.

    You say “So good luck with dealing with a council that has other plans for your park on the boards, and will most assuredly go through with it if FOKP untimately loses(not likely).

    The ultimate delusion is thinking you have a say, when you do not. At Kardon Park the deal was struck before the residents knew what was happening”

    JCG has been actively involved in talking to the council and the developer, to date there have been many plans and meetings that have taken place about the development. You can not compare the 2 as they are not even related. I am sorry you feel you are not getting what you want or a happy compromise. When you have attended the many meetings we have about the plans for Johnsontown park and bridge, you can then speak about it in a lot more informed manner but at this moment you speak about something you know little about at best.

    You say “Possibly the most important result of FOKP's fight is that the Borough Council will never try this approach again, and that may just work in your favor regarding Johnsontown”

    Now that is right on the money!! The most intelligent thing you have stated yet. But to the JCG’s credit they got actively involved right from the get go and there was no FEAR tactics involved in the process. No one ran door to door signing a petition to halt all development. We instead decided to sit down with one another and reason together to come to a common solution, going into it with an open mind.

    You come to this blog in total disagreement with what Elaine is posting, and her beliefs. You have tried many times over to state your points, and you have that right. You come to a blog that is openly against what you believe and expect us to change? It sounds more to me like you’re the one with the problem! You can not even agree to disagree and move on. You insist on doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? From the postings that you have made it seems like the only one you are trying to convince is yourself.

    Tony

    ReplyDelete
  28. Now you are just being ridiculous. This blog has been almost exclusively dedicated for the past two months to posting misleading, inaccurate and derogatory "articles", if we can call them that, about Kardon Park, and attacking people working very hard to save it.

    Look to the right and count the number of articles in December, November and October that you have opened with, dedicated to your agenda to misrepresent the Kardon Park matter or supportive of a group with that agenda.

    Now, you may have started out as a general blog, but cleary you have chosen to use this as a vehicle to promote the development and attack Ann Feldman. As I said, that is a shame, because it taints everything else you intended to do here.

    You of course, have a right to do that. However you cannot cry foul when someone challenges your unfounded or inaccurate information. These unfounded arguments must be responded to or they go unchallenged.

    And when you go down the general path of censorship or preferential editing, if you prefer, it calls into question everything you do here, and leads to suspicion that you do not believe your opinions (masquerading as facts) are open to criticism.

    This blog or topic has absolutely nothing to do with me. It is about YOUR attempts to persuade gullible people by using unsupported misinformation to justify the sale and devlopment of a public park. [which is painfully ironic, since you seem to be interested in saving Johnsontown Park, and the FOKP case will strengthen your position] And to date, you still resuse to post credible evidence that your positions are correct.

    Chris

    [I hope you can remember to fish this out of the "spam" filter]Does this look like spam?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well Tony, you need to get a bit informed about the Kardon Park fight and FOKP. The agreement of sale was signed in August of 2007. It was a done deal. The people who founded FOKP learned about this after the fact, and started attending meetings to find out if there was some sort of compromise to be had. They ran into a stone wall in council, who had a signed agreement in hand turning the entire park over to Sara Peck. When it became obvious that there was no discussion with Peck or Council other than minor variations, FOKP was formed, and a lawyer was hired. Luckily for them, the law is on their side, and the development was stopped before any damage had been done.

    The most accurate thing you have said is that this blog is "openly" against the saving of Kardon Park, which clearly is what I and a lot of other people believe in. And it is what the law specifies. One might reasonably ask why something happening in the East Ward has taken over a blog about Johnsontown, when the saving of Johnsontown Park is at issue as well, and FOKP is fighting to save all parkland by reinforcing case law on these matters.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great !! So we agree to disagree. You are for it, I am against it ... we both have our own reasons for our beliefs. There

    I am informed about Kardon and have made my own conclusions based on my own experience, not yours.

    There is no "saving of Johnsontown Park" as we are doing quite well thank you for the consideration, we don't need saving right now but when we do i will let you know, as you are a spirited fighter.

    Tony

    ReplyDelete
  31. Tony could you check the spam filter?

    It might be appropriate to put something up on this site such as:

    It has come to our attention that our spam filters are malfunctioning and capturing posts intended for publication. In the event that your post does not appear promptly or disappears after being published, we will promptly check the filters and post the comment. We will however delete libelous or vulgar posts from this site.

    That would clear up the censorship issue once and for all.

    Chris (posted from a third location to test the filter)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Chris ~

    This is not my blog i have no control over it at all.

    tony

    ReplyDelete
  33. Chris like I have said I don't have the time to make sure that every comment makes it to the blog exactly when it happens. Now that I know that the spam filter exists I check it when I have a larger block of time. But so far you are the only one griping about it, so I see no need to put any disclaimer on the blog at all. I have set it up to email me when there is a response now so it is a bit easier to see if a comment is gone, but do you seriously think that I do not have a life outside of this blog? I am a part time photographer, crafter, stay at home mom and active in the community both in Johnsontown and the borough at large. This is but a small piece of what I do during the day/week.

    Now as for the sale of Kardon Park did you miss the part where this has been ongoing since 1999? Two sales fell through with two other developers so it's not like Sarah Peck showed up in 2007 and ta daaaaa. In fact the intent to remediate the site was published in February of 1999 and anyone had 30 days to respond. Where was FOKP then? You act like the remediation and sale of the land is something new when it has been going on 11 years.

    You are contantly stating "facts" about the dedication of the park back in 1978, so why aren't the people who were there then make sure no development could happen THEN? Also why is this being brought to court...this is a legislative item not something that should be drug out in court.

    Thing is Chris things change and so do towns, parks, farmland and roads and you either go with the change or you buck it for as long as you can and it still happens, it just takes longer.

    ReplyDelete
  34. BTW Chris....what do you really care about the content of MY blog? As of right now Kardon Park is in the forefront of most of Council's meetings and nothing of urgency has presented itself in Johnsontown. However, with the turn of the year it may as Mr. Bruton mentioned going ahead with the Boot Road Extension which will come right through Johnsontown Park and the fact that we are coming up on an election year not only for some of our officers and block representatives, but also council members, so go figure maybe the spotlight will come off Kardon Park......but gee then whatever will you do all day?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I care about your blog because other people are directing traffic to it as a place to get information about Kardon Park. Clearly if your site is disseminating misinformation, that is not helpful to informing anyone. So I am here to offer balance, and to correct the unfounded claims.

    I have no problem with your opinions on the matter, but there is a difference between stating opinions, and asserting facts which do not hold up to examination.

    It is a fact that Kardon Park was dedicated. There is a photograph from a newspaper showing the Borough Council at the dedication in the park itself, on the parcel people keep claiming has never been a park.(available on Savekardonpark.com) The minutes of Borough meetings, and the document file at Chester County court house, as well as the deeds themselves confirm this.

    The judge reviewed this information and determined that 40.5 acres of Kardon fit the criteria of a "dedicated public park". That is a fact, not my opinion. The judges decision will be reviewed, and I suspect it will be affirmed...we'll just have to wait and see.

    Now since the park was dedicated formally in 1978, the proper steps were taken to insure it could not be sold to a private developer. See case law on the DDPA and the PTD. Beyond the formal dedication, case law specifies that an "intent to dedicate" is sufficient evidence for the DDPA to apply. This means even if there was some technical issue with the dedication itself, the park is still protected.

    The attempts to develop previously were only conceptual, and never got off the ground, and more importantly were never challenged in court. My understanding is that no lease agreements or sale agreements were ever signed. You would have to check the meeting minutes to see if there was opposition, but clearly things did not progress to the point of a sale agreement and LD hearings until now. Since that did not occur, any opposition would have faded, obviously.

    I assume the "intent to remediate" was published in the PA Bulletin, a government publication, which I'm guessing most people do not read. Most people do not even read the 'public notice' ads in the Daily Local News, so it would not surprise me that few people even knew about those attempts. Regardless the commercial development never occurred, so there was no need to remediate to the commercial standard. An intent to remediate was also published, I assume re: Kardon Ponds, but that does not mean it will assure development, or that the proposal would be legal.

    It is a simple fact that most people do not read such ads or go to meetings unless they find out something is happening that concerns them. They just trust that elected officials will do the right thing by them. They likely would never have even thought that selling off public parks was even conceivable by Borough Council. As hard as it may be to believe, I run into people now, who have no idea what has been proposed for Kardon Park. I suspect there are residents of Johnsontown who have no idea what is proposed there as well. They don't get the paper and have other things on their minds.

    Some now know otherwise, and must remain vigilant and attend meetings, and yes, if necessary take legal action to protect their interests in public parks.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  36. I just went back through most of what I posted and if you look really clearly, I state waht has been written or said and then give my opinion. In fact in one instance very clearly this is what is said,

    "I have been called on my assessment of the decision of Judge Platt also. I honestly do not think that had she really had all the facts in front of her that she would have been swayed the way she ruled. Even within the ruling she says, “There is less substantial evidence of a dedication of the areas of the property which are not adjacent to the trails, ponds, and Victims Memorial, particularly those areas which are contaminated……….I am compelled to treat them as one parcel. [sic] The public has historically been given access to the entire property……” So what was her decision based on? Anecdotal evidence? Most likely, because if she really had seen what the contaminated areas are used for if at all I do not see her deciding the way she did, “based on law” as the other side would have you believe.

    So there is a fact and then my specific opinion, so I am not sure what you object to other than you seeing ALL of KP as a usable park and I see it as an opportunity to invigorate Downingtown a bit.

    No it was posted in the Philadelphia Inquirer in February of 1999 and if FOKP were so interested in the park's fate shouldn't they have been watching things like that? There was a complaint shortly before that and that is what started the process and eventual decision that part of the lands west of the ponds needed to be remediated.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Here is some interesting reading material for you. The notion that there was no opposition to those plans (which again, died a natural death) can be indicated by Council member Roderer's commentary.

    FOKP was founded in 2008, so obviously did not exist in 1999. Clearly there was opposition to the plans way back then. Had they proceeded beyond the conceptual stage, there may have been much more...we will never know.

    http://replay.waybackmachine.org/19991003063801/http://www.downingtown.org/parks.htm

    http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20010830081455/http://downingtown.org/electedO/minutesB.asp

    It would be interesting to know if the "intent to remediate" was also advertised in the Daily Local, the primary 'local' news media. Generally, anything involved with DEP or any State agency would also be advertised in the PA Bulletin. But the intent to remediate was to allow for a "change of use"...the senior center/library/bank/community center proposals. Remediation would have been required for those as it would be for the KardonPonds proposal. The intent to remediate had no bearing on the use of the land as a park. The ACT 2 report indicates that "no further remediation is required" for continued park use.

    Underlying all of this is the fundamental truth that the Borough does not have any legal authority to sell or lease public parkland for private (or even public) development unless it has the express approval of the Orphans Court which, to date, has never occurred.

    No one is denying that there have been designs on Kardon Park for over ten years. That is a matter of record. The question remains: have any of those plans or concepts been legal? As of today, no.

    I could list your house on craigslist, and market it, and even write a sale agreement on it, and take a deposit. Does that make it legal? Not if it goes to court.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  38. There is no contradiction in Judge Platt's comments because the picture of the dedication ceremony says that twelve acres were dedicated on that day. That would be all of the land from the second lake west to the rail bed going back to, but not including the lawn area where the Lions Trail curves out to the church. This was a "formal dedication" by Borough officials, and is reflected in the minutes as the dedication of the Kardon parcels. (The development could not occur without those parcels, since there would be no ingress from Pennsylvania Ave., and these are the parcels the Borough claimed were never dedicated parkland) Much of the housing would be placed there as well as the entrance road and parking areas.

    Mr. Greenleaf, Borough Manager at that time testified the intent was to incorporate all of the park land that previously existed...second lake and the two Project 70 parcels (deed restricted) with the two parcels acquired from Kardon Industries into "Kardon Park" but the newspaper clipping does not specifically state that. However, Judge Platt had all of the deed restrictions for the Project 70 parcels which limit them to park/open space use, and she had documentation that the Lions trail winds through and connects all of those parcels, and IT is dedicated to public use. She also had the OSRER Plan, the Comprehensive Plans of both the Borough and East Caln, the Recreation Plan of East Caln, and other documents including Borough park inventory documents, such as the one I just posted to guide her, which indicate that all of the land (including the 7 acre composting facility) is "KardonPark". There was ample evidence the park was dedicated to the extent required, and in fact, used for park purposes.

    Judge Platt determined that all of the documents, and the historic use of the Lions Trail which connects all but two of the parcels was sufficient to indicate an intent to dedicate, and that the land had in fact been available for public access, indeed had signs welcoming visitors to Kardon Park the entire time.

    Now, I could go through all of this point by point, but nothing seems to get through that cranium of yours, so what would be the point?

    If you really want to understand the legal argument that convinced Judge Platt, I suggest you read the Kim Mfg. brief on the FOKP site. It is quite thorough.

    http://savekardonpark.com/resources/Final+Brief+to+OC+-+Fintan.PDF

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  39. What I find so interesting is that you still have to repeat yourself when I used an example from posts in the past that you could have commented on then. Also you complained that the blo has been about Kardon Park and little else, yet when I do post something about another subject you are absent.....a bit telling. You must have a quite a bot of time on your hands to troll through blogs and such lookig for what your superman cape let's you think is injustice.

    ReplyDelete
  40. It takes no time at all, actually, since I researched this extensively back in 2008. All of this is from memory. I do have the documentation to back it up, at another location, so if you have any other questions, I would be happy to address them, factually.

    Another post with minutes from a Borough Council meeting with scathing commentary from one council member back in 2001, was apparently caught in your filter...again....

    I also included a page from the borough website listing the park as 50 acres.

    %@&% spam filter. Both were published.

    This is from the borough website and describes Kardon Park as 50 acres:

    http://replay.waybackmachine.org/19991003063801/http:/www.downingtown.org/parks.htm

    This describes the opposition to the lease in 2001 (letter at end)

    http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20010830081455/http://downingtown.org/electedO/minutesB.asp

    This again specifies what is Kardon Park:
    (see Mr. Roderer's question about the extent of the park renamed in Resolution 2001-3 which specified 6 parcels, and 47+/- acres, including the EC parcel)

    http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20010425124836/http://www.downingtown.org/electedO/minutesB.asp

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  41. In case anybody did not have the ambition to look up those minutes, this is what Councilman Roderer said in a written statement presented in a Council meeting.

    Councilperson Roderer's Prepared Statement: (Reproduced for the web site)

    The "Community Center" lease to authorize publicly funded property, for, what will be fundamentally private use is INVALID. The actions of the majority of Borough Council members in attendance for the January 24, 2001 work session violated the "Sunshine Act" Pennsylvania Code, 65 Pa. C.S.A 701.

    (1)The citizens were not allowed, nor did they have the opportunity, to examine, discuss, comment, or express their concerns about the lease. I did not receive a copy of the proposed leave until shortly before the meeting, and another councilman has just recently received a copy.

    (2) The work session meeting, January 24, 2001 ended with the motion to ADJOURN, and enter into "executive session" (which excludes the public). It was seconded, and voted upon. This action, therfore ENDED the public meeting. What followed was a secret meeting.

    (3) The citizens were told the meeting was over, that they had to leave.

    (4) In spite of my objection to the motion to reconvene, the public meeting (that had just been publicly, and properly adjourned), and even though the public was no longer available, a vote was forced.

    (5) The minutes of the January 24th meeting presented for approval at the following public meeting, February 7, 2001 were incorrectly recorded. I requested the appropriate changes, and received a consensus of council that the minutes were incorrect. That Mr. Mason's motion at the end of the January 24, 2001 meeting before the executive session, was a motion to "adjourn". The proper corrections to the minutes, reflecting what had actually occurred, should have been made but weren't.

    (6)The Borough Solicitor has spun a yarn that "the public was there". Finding two people left in the parking lot, with the mayor franticly calling someone on a cell phone begging him to come back into the building, does not constitute "the public", or a "public meeting".

    (7)The solicitor has again twisted things to say that, because the minutes originally presented (however incorrectly written), contain what, would have been a proper motion to "recess" into executive session and that because former Councils have done this sort of thing, makes it ok. Because it has been done before, makes it all the worse!

    In summation, the minutes presented February 7, appear to be an attempt to cover up improper actions of the council's majority in attendance. It also appears that, the borough's solicitor, certain employees, and some councilman, don't care what official action is taken, as long as minutes were recorded, and reported, in a manner to accommodate their objective, even if inaccurately.

    If nothing was handled incorrectly, why has the Borough's solicitor recommended another vote on the subject? Could it be because, even though there were four Councilmen in attendance which constitutes a quorum, the "Laws of Pennsylvania Act 1996-177", requires the affirmative vote of the majority of the WHOLE council for enactments? Three councilmen is not a majority.

    "If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself, it invites anarchy. To declare that, in the administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means... would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely act its face." United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States (1928)



    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  42. Note: Mr. Roderer makes the same complaint as Ms. Feldman, almost 10 years ago, that Borough Council members were not provided with advanced notice of the issue they were expected to vote on in a timely fashion. He also seems to be suggesting there are a few mwmbers of council who are trying to push their agenda, at the expense of public notice and participation. [the more things change, the more they stay the same, apparently]

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  43. WOW talk about not listening......I believe that those of us who have less time on our hands shall move on to other things for today. Chris you might want to either set up your own blog or seek intervention for the lack of anything better to do during the day.

    ReplyDelete