Saturday, July 23, 2011

National Night Out

Johnsontown Community Group is hosting it's Second Annual National Night Out.  It takes place Tuesday August 2, 2011 from 6-8PM in Johnsontown Park.  We will have awesome face painting provided by Paintings on People a rocking DJ from Moore Music,  great food from Chick Fil A, Blue Cafe and Foster Boys.  There will be activities for the kids both young and old, baskets with lots of goodies up for raffle and informational tables set up by several local businesses and groups.  We will also be having the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the Born Learning Trail in conjunction with the United Way and the DASD volunteers and we will be joined by members of borough council and the mayor.  Downingtown police and both Minquas and Alert fire companies will be there with their impressive ladder truck, EMS truck and police cars for the kids to get a look at.  It's going to be a night for fun food and fellowship, so come on out and join us we'd love to see you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Come On Down

Johnsontown Community Group is having their general meeting tonight.  On the agenda is the Born Learning Trail, National Night Out and the proposed train station.  Join us at 7:30PM at St. Anthony's Banquet Hall on Church Street.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ironic Debt

I'll have to admit that tonight's Borough Council meeting gave me a bit of a headache and it wasn't just all the wrangling that went on. The big issue that had everyone squirming was the bond ordinance that was brought before council. I have to say that I am not savvy in the ways of municipal bonds and the reasons behind them and all the technicalities that go along with it, but I did understand why this had been brought before council and why it is a necessary evil. First of all to be honest I was really peeved that Council had long ago made an agreement with anyone for any project that would cost any amount of money before any currency was in hand. That does not mean that I have reversed my stance on Kardon Park or on the Millrace property, but even I know that you do not make a bet if you can't cover the spread. With that said I understand why it is now necessary for the borough to go out on a limb and acquire a bond to pay for the things that were promised, I don't like it but it is what it is. What made me a bit angry and uncomfortable were the questions that were raised and the attitudes that were taken. Ms. Feldman and I while we have been cordial and I will work with her for the betterment of our community will never be friends. I have however, gone to bat for her when I thought she was right and when I thought that the attitudes and comments made by various people were beyond the pale and were unprofessional. I never thought that she would make me eat those words. Tonight on several occasions she was a bit rude to the president of council Mr. Bruton whom was trying valiantly not to call the questions she was asking exactly what they were....IRONIC. I am not fond of Ms. Feldman's predilection of nit picking, but there have been times that it has been necessary, however tonight I wonder if she even saw the irony of her questions. She did not see the validity of the bond when it will encourage more debt in years down the road if it does not become the "wash" that most council members feel it will, which I agree with, however her lawsuit and the blocking of development of "Kardon Park" is exactly why Council now needs to take this measure. Ms. Feldman has claimed numerous times that she is just trying to work for and be the voice of the community at large, yet here we are in this quagmire because of her and the Friends of Kardon Park. So no Ms. Feldman, on this issue you needed to just listen and vote and put your nitpicker away.

The other issue brought before council was a new train station. The present one exists in Johnsontown and by all appearances seems to be the forgotten station, yet it is a busy area come quitting time in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Traffic can become a hairy situation especially if the light goes out at the tunnel that leads to Business 30 which happened just this Tuesday at 6PM. The gentleman that was there from PennDot appeared to have all his ducks in a row and it seems that the situation will be approached with community involvement, but my question is why not focus more on the residents of Johnsontown rather than the borough at large since we will be the ones most impacted. Regardless if the station stays in J'town or moves across 322, we will still be left with the remnants of what is, in my opinion, one of the biggest eyesores of a train station on the whole R5 line. Time will tell but Johnsontown is now seriously on council's radar as it should be.

The dog days of summer in the borough are promising to be interesting to say the least....tune in next time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Growing Pains

I have been involved in many organizations, clubs, jobs, businesses and the like and I don't think any one of them did not experience growing pains.  It all starts off with a great idea and people jump on the bandwagon because they are excited and ready to get the work done.  At first not a lot gets done because everyone is still trying to define their roles and the exact cause or venture is not clear.  But then cooler heads prevail and organization creeps in, roles are defined, goals are created, rules are established and a heirarchy is created.  Things begin to move in a very positive direction until the first speed bump is encountered.  That may come in the form of a roadblock to a goal or a personality conflict within the group itself, eventually this will correct itself in the form of a reworking of the goal or one member leaving and that sometimes lends itself to a stronger working relationship between those who are left.  However, like any good recipe it needs to be tweaked every so often and sometimes this can be the most painful time for any group, organization or business.  Clashes over goals, objectives and achieveing these things become common place and a restructuring of the make up of the group becomes a necessary evil.  Yet, when the storm passes it might leave a very different profile of what was first's not a bad thing, just different.  In the end it is a part of life, a part of maturing and it's nothing more than growing pains.