Monday, September 26, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

I have not been to an amusement park in quite awhile, but last weeks Borough Council meeting provided me with the opportunity to do just that and we all got to ride the roller coaster.  The climb to the first hill started with Citizens to Be Heard.  Ms. Brown who is a resident of East Brandywine and Ann Feldman's right hand woman when it comes to Kardon Park railed against council for what she thought were violations of DEP standards and covert actions taken by council to stop water flow in the Mill Race.  Back in August Ms. Brown first questioned why there were rocks in the small flowing creek of the Mill Race.  It appeared that she was accusing council for putting them there.  Councilman Benner replied that it was possible that the rocks appeared since the water levels were so low.  Apparently that did not appease Ms. Brown as she produced a two page copy of her accusations against council and gave a bit convoluted description the rocks appearing and then disappearing.  Councilman Smith tried to help make clear what she was saying and was hushed by Ms. Feldman.  Ms Brown then proceeded to accuse Public Works and council of violating DEP standards because they had the audacity to mow the high weeds which by chance flew into the Mill Race on Norwood Rd.  In the end Ms. Brown leveled some serious accusations at council and called Jack Law and Steve Sullins liars.

When that hullabaloo was over and we felt like we were on the down side of the first hill.  DMWA presented their request for an ordinance which would preclude anyone in the borough from digging and building a well without approval of the Water Authority.  A first this did not sound to be too complicated, but if you listened close enough we were back on an uphill climb again.  Essentially under the guise of protecting the citizens of the borough DMWA does not want competition and wishes council to help them stop anyone from coming up with a different source for their water.  DMWA has quite a monopoly in D'town and has just recently raised water usage rates exponentially.  Even a family of two whom are professionals and not home all day saw an increase of almost $50 in their bill.  Both Councilwoman Feldman and Councilman Smith were upset by the language that was being used by DMWA and felt that competition was what was needed and if DMWA did not want it, "TOUGH".

Just when we thought the end of the ride had come Kardon Park came along and took us up one hill into a hairpin corkscrew and bunny hopped us all the way to the end of the meeting.  Solicitor for litigation Patrick O'Donnell brought to council that Kardon Park was going to be brought up for rebidding due to borough legal parameters, transparency and the fact that the value of said land has now changed due to litigation brought forth against the sale.  Both O'Donnell and council for the present developer, Progressive Housing, Louis Colagreco agreed that this is what was needed to be done until such time as the court cases come to an end.  When it came time to vote on this issue Ms. Feldman pushed saying that she should be a part of this vote as it is not in conjunction with the current litigation.  Council President James Bruton told Ms. Feldman that may be the case, but the rebidding is a direct result of the lawsuit brought forth by her.  Ms. Feldman would not let it go saying that voters would be disenfranchised if she did not get a vote.  Several murmurings could be heard among the residents in attendance stating that Ms. Feldman brought this on herself.  When she pressed the issue Mr. Colagreco stated that Ms. Feldman would then open herself up to personal litigation.  Many felt that it was about time that someone let her know that you cannot have your cake and eat it too.  Finally a vote was taken and rebidding for the sit will go on.

Getting off that night's roller coaster was a bit daunting and had me reviewing what kind of ride I had been taken on.  First of all I have no idea why a resident of East Brandywine is even considered in a Downingtown Borough Council meeting.  But then I remember that Ms. Brown is a cohort of Ms. Feldman.  DMWA in my eyes is a monopoly that really needs to be challenged.  When water usage bills go up over $100 in one bill cycle there is something seriously wrong in the back rooms of that organization.  Now we come to Kardon Park.  My views on that have not changed, but I am getting a bit tired of the fight that has lasted far too long.  I have never felt that Ms. Feldman should be allowed to remain on council while bringing litigation to the very body she sits on.  I know that she was legally voted in, but the very fact that she is the complainant on said litigation is a clear conflict of interest.  Yet Ms. Feldman is concerned that voters will be disenfranchised if she does not get a vote?  Wake up Ms. Feldman you are the one who created the situation.  While I would still think that she had a serious case of NIMBY syndrome and that the fight would still go on, I would have less of a difficult time taking Ms. Feldman seriously if she was not sitting on council while taking said body to court.  The voters may have placed her there, but did they understand the ramifications of Ms. Feldman having to recuse herself?  Did anyone think of that.

I think the next time I want to ride a roller coaster I will just go to Hershey Park as their coasters are much more fun.


  1. I agree the water bills have become cumbersome to say the least!! Why can't the DMWA have the same competition as PECO?? Building a well is a great solution to the current problem providing you have the money to invest. For the rest of us we are screwed. I can see the advantage for moving away to a different area as the savings can be HUGE.

    I can not understand how Ann can be upset that she can not vote in a matter that was brought against the council by her own design???

    fictional senario::::

    If I am in litigation against "Company Alpha" for selling me a bad product; would I then go and work for them? Taking it to the next level. Would I get angry working for Company Alpha because they would not include me in a business decision about the lawsuit I brought against them??? This is NUTS!!!

    This is the apitome of "politics"!!!! .. just so sad it is happening in the community that I live in. William Shakespeare implied the world would be better if we get rid of the lawyers, I say getting rid of the politicians would be a better start.

  2. I love when people bash American politicians...

    "William Shakespeare implied the world would be better if we get rid of the lawyers, I say getting rid of the politicians would be a better start"

    Whoever would write something like this is clueless. You may not like how our system of government works in America, although it is the best government in the world. What other system would you rather have? Socialism? Communism? We are a republic/democracy. Now, I agree with you that Downingtown has many negative things going on, however if you want to make a difference get more involved. Don't mock and point fingers at the leaders...become a leader.

  3. Ah but there alone lies the difference......a politician vs. a leader.

  4. So if politicians are causing more harm then good are we not to call them out on it ???? Seems to me that is one of the benifits of living in America is I can speak out against, or for, whatever I want. I assure you I am not clueless, did we not read the same article/editorial/blog? Do you even have an opinion? If you do I have not heard it yet. Oh wait maybe it is better for you going to just sit there and bash the posters on this blog? You define HYPOCRISY for me better then any dictionary.

    An individual that is an elected official has a sworn duty to serve the public. If they are lacking in the capacity to do so, they need to be called out on it. Elaine is right !!! There is a huge difference between a politician and a leader.

    So there is no confusion I am involved in many areas, within the community of Downingtown.