UPDATE 9:31 a.m. At 8:22 a.m. on 9/7/12 the letter posted on Tredyffrin’s official government website was taken down. At 9:24 a.m. the letter is back up.
So unfortunately for all concerned who tried to do good, it is somewhat disturbing to think a local government website paid for with Tredyffrin taxpayer monies is being used somehow like a private website for personal gain?
The Vice Chairman of the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors is on the warpath and he’s launched a savage political attack on the media and a private citizen on Tredyffrin Township’s official, taxpayer funded, website.
In a page-and-a-half screed that reads like a vicious political campaign hit piece, Republican Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman John “JD” DiBuonaventuro offers his explanation of his romantic involvement with a township Zoning Hearing Board member who is at the center of a “drunk and disorderly conduct” criminal case….The letter then turns blatantly political as DiBuonaventuro launches an attack on Main Line Media News which ran the original story (Patch linked to the story on the MLM website) and goes after Community Matters Blogger Pattye Benson, who also posts many of of her blogs here on TE Patch.
I had no idea until a little while ago that the letter that this Tredyffrin Supervisor John DiBuonaventuro wrote was on the Tredyffrin official government website.
Truthfully, I am somewhat scandalized by that. Because in addition to everything else, for someone who did not like this entire topic, they just blew the topic larger than life in a more tawdry manner than any blog post and attacked a resident in Tredyffrin who happens yes, to blog on her blog at Community Matters, but who also happens to give hours and hours of herself to the residents with items involving historic preservation and fun things like the Paoli Blues Festival. This woman doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk.
Her name is Pattye Benson, and she is a magnificent human being. I am sticking up for her here because I know her and she has integrity and personal values. She is kind and pleasant and will always lend a helping hand. She is also a rather thoughtful blogger and I know for a fact she mulled over posting the latest Tredyffrin tackiness for a while because she just did not know what to think. Now apparently in Tredyffrin over this issue, you are damned if you don’t and damned if you do anyway?
She wrote another post this evening called Community Matters Closes the Chapter on Police Investigation but Tredyffrin Supervisor Opens a New Chapter . Read it.
She ends her post thusly:
I hope that all who read the above narrative, come away with a positive feeling about these four individuals (Tom Hogan, Michelle Kichline, Tom Tartaglio and Tony Giaimo) and the parts of our local government that they represent – I believe that these individuals respect the citizens of Tredyffrin and are trying to do ‘what’s right’ by us.
Unfortunately, as I was completing this exhaustive summary, I was told of an open letter to the citizens, penned by BOS supervisor John DiBuonaventuro. Apparently, DiBuonaventuro does not support Main Line Media News, Community Matters or the civil rights of citizens to express their opinions on this topic. Below is the last paragraph of DiBuonaventuro’s letter, click here for the full text. The tag line for Community Matters is “Your Voice Matters, Join the Conversation” and I stand behind it … we, as the community do matter and your voice does count!
Pattye has style. Now the whole world knows that a sitting elected official did date a current appointed official in Tredyffrin. This is by this elected official’s own hand, and very Ed Rendell of him. Me thinketh the supervisor doth protesteth too much???
However his attack on a private citizen named Pattye Benson that was in a sense condoned (supported? I mean what adjective does one use?) by ALL in Tredyffrin Township because this was published on seemingly letterhead on the official Tredyffrin Township Website is a sad state of affairs. It sends a message to the citizenry that you are o.k. as long as you do not question your government, let alone criticize anything. Does it also imply the First Amendment doesn’t matter when it comes to politics? It is also very revisionist history because people concerned about this issue, who have commented on this issue, who have reported on this issue did not ever create this issue.
And while we are talking about this, someone whom I guess must be a supporter of this Supervisor DiBuonaventuro wrote a comment. I imagine he also wrote Pattye’s blog, but I have not checked yet. Here is this guy and what he had to say:
I am sorry that this dear man feels this way about two female bloggers. We’re just regular gals. And my goodness he is all in a lather. Truly he can kiss my grits on this one. I am entitled to my perspective and allowed his opinion to post. I am not hiding who I am, and I am also a writer. If he or anyone else does not like this blog then don’t read it. He takes a jab at anonymous bloggers, and Pattye and I aren’t so anonymous. But some do blog anonymously for any number of reasons.
A pen name, nom de plume, is as old a tradition as the United States itself. Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine and John Adams all wrote with pen names. And in their time, they were heroes.
Ironically, I wrote an editorial in 2009 about blogging for Main Line Media News. Here is part of what I said then:
So let’s talk about being a blogger, or “citizen journalist.” Sometimes we write about what we had for dinner, and sometimes we write about who that politician had dinner with. Sometimes we are just giggling over political shenanigans and a political-blog lampoon is born.
Do politicians like blogs and bloggers? Heck no. Ending up on a blog is like being caught outside in your underwear. Politicians are all about the image, and when the emperor has no clothes, the image can get tarnished, can’t it? I think blogging is a way for the common man to level the playing field. I like to think bloggers can make a difference. After all, look at what blogging has done for the billboard issue in Haverford. Look at eminent domain in Ardmore.
Politicians, despite protestations to the contrary, know that blogs can be good for them. Sometimes they will release a statement or will even create a blog during an election cycle. Simply put: they like it when they can control the output; they don’t like it when they can’t….Why is blogging on the Main Line such a big deal? Is being a blogger like having chronic halitosis? Or do people who complain about blogs complain about them because they have not figured a way to use them to their own advantage yet?
OK, I will admit I have a lot of opinions and am as politically inconvenient as the next local blogger. But so what? …I am amused by the festering Petri dish that is Main Line politics and other local issues….Bloggers blog under catchy “handles,” as well as under their own names with or without a fun handle. People love to make a big hairy deal out of blogger anonymity. But pen names are definitely as American a tradition as apple pie.
Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were among our founding fathers who wrote under aliases. If alive today I bet they would embrace blogging as a communicative medium….To wind this up I think blogging is here to stay, and people should just get used to it. Blogging is another way for people to have a voice in what matters to them. Much like this editorial page, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
At the end of the day, am I really surprised this guy Brian above left a nasty comment? Nope. Is it the first nasty comment I have received as a regular writer or a blogger? Nope and it won’t be the last.
Truthfully, dear readers and blog followers when I wrote my original post on this sorry arsed topic I had truthfully no idea it would mushroom into “As The Tredyffrin Turns.” Didn’t know this woman. Did not know this Supervisor. Did not know any of it. I merely read an article I found profoundly disturbing on the Main Line Media News website written by a reporter.
And now, here we are. And isn’t it sad.