Monday, January 24, 2011

Litigation Agitation

If anyone has been following the less serious news lately one would have found and watched the video of the woman walking and texting and then falling into the mall fountain.  Anyone who has seen that video knows that the woman cannot be identified and one can also see that she was not seriously injured since she climbed back out of the fountain and went on her way with a look around like most of us have done when we have fallen on ice in the winter or tripped up stairs;we look around to make sure no one saw our klutziness.  Shortly after the video aired everyone found out who the woman was when she went public with the intent to litigate the whole issue.  Were the security guards who put the video on YouTube a bit callus, they might have been, but since the viewer could not see the woman's face, there really was no harm no foul.  It's a bit like the suit brought against McDonald's by the woman who got burnt by a cup of their coffee.  Thanks to her there are now warnings on all hot beverages stating that one must be careful as the contents are hot....well duh.  We have turned into a society of litigious people and it has gotten us things such as silly warnings on coffee cups all the way to serious things like losing government grants.

Just recently Downingtown was denied a grant to extend Struble Trail through Kardon Park.  No one knows exactly why it was denied, but there is plenty of speculation and I believe it has to do with the pending appeal of the Kardon Park development and the current litigation of the E. Caln property.  Why would the government want to give a grant for something that could very possibly wind up in court....I know I would be trepidatious in giving money for something that may never come to fruition.  So here we are looking to revitalize our town even in a small way and we can't because a few people have an issue with progress and have the borough tied up in court.  Now before you try and rake me over the coals I know that Ms. Feldman voted for it and I am thankful that Mayor Maxwell was able to help her to see that it would be a good thing.

It's a shame that a few misguided people can cost others so much.  Lawsuits for malpractice that pay the plaintiff millions of dollars which won't bring people back, people suing McDonald's because they bought a cup of coffee, put it between their legs and then had to hit their brakes hard enough to make the coffee spill in their lap, people texting while walking and not looking where they are going, falling into fountains and then hire a lawyer because they were humiliated, people tying up a borough in court over something that could have been hashed out long before there was a desperation that a park would be lost.  No one wants to take personal responsibility anymore and no one wants to discuss change with those proposing it because, I guess, that would be too easy AND too hard and God forbid anyone make an effort anymore.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Too Much Energy

I'd like to address something right here and right now......Do I hate FOKP and or Ann Feldman?  No, I don't, to hate something like that group or to hate Ann takes way too much energy on my part and is a wasted emotion.  Do I think that FOKP are misguided, disingenuous, a bit hippy-like and hurtful to the borough?  Oh yeah.  Do I think that Ann Feldman belongs on council, is misguided herself, and does not seem to be prepared to do the borough any good?  No, yes and yes. 

I said that so that it should be clear where I am coming from.  First of all I am not speaking out in this particular blog from a legal standpoint.  I am speaking from the standpoint of a resident who is a bit peeved at other residents.

Now on to the big issue.  A group of leaders is only as effective as it's members and to be perfectly honest Borough Council could be much more productive if certain things were to happen.  First on my wish list would be for Ann to step down.  My reasoning behind that is this....she is involved in litigation with the very body of government that she has a duty to.  If I were involved in a lawsuit with JCG I would not be in the position I am currently holding, simply for the fact that I do not see how I could possibly be effective when I would be at odds with the governing body.  There are many other ways to "fight city hall" other than to be city hall and have the governing body at cross purposes with you.  Another reason is that other council members, right wrong or indifferent, do not want to nor do they work well, answer questions or respect her comments specifically due to the fact that she is FOKP.  While the budget rangling was going on and at the last meeting for the year I felt Ann and Mayor Maxwell had a valid point about the Delta contract versus getting rid of the assistant borough manager and it seemed that that idea was deemed impossible simply because she is the one who suggested it.  So you tell me what good is she really doing on council?

The other reason ties into the first one.  The other members of Borough Council need to step up their professional game.  I don't care how much you personally hate, despise, distastefully regret having to work with another person it does not give anyone the right to speak to another member of a governing body as has been done the past few meetings and most possibly even further back.  Regardless of how long your term may be or what is left of it you are stuck with that other individual until such time as they step down, you lose your post or you are re-elected and they lose their post, so you need to learn to suck it up and deal with it as a professional and the esteemed borough council person that you are.  Just because you intensely dislike a person does not mean you dismiss them and their ideas from the get go without some thought.

With all that being said the borough did manage to not raise taxes, but at the cost of two people and maybe some services to the residents.