So in the end will we discover that John DiBuonaventuro had the approval of all his fellow supervisors regarding his infamous September letter in Tredyffrin? Will he write a personal note back to Sam Stretton who is representing Pattye and sent Tredyffrin a letter ?
Before I get to the crux of this post, as far as background check out article by Rich Ilgenfritz of Main Line Media News on November 5, 2012, and post by Pattye on November 2nd. Also check out post by Pattye on November 4th.
So Tredyffrin has as their mouthpiece it seems the solicitor Vincent Donohue, who paints such a rosy picture of Tredyffrin and how the residents are treated that many can’t help but wonder has he actually been there? I also wonder why we have not heard from Tredyffrin resident/Radnor Township ex-pat/Tredyffrin Manager Bill Martin? Where is he on all of this or is he somewhere in the Tredyffrin Township Building hiding under his desk? (Don’t laugh, I heard a story once of someone in Tredyffrin hiding under their desk and why couldn’t it happen?)
Anyway, my eyes are popping because of this article I just finished reading in Main Line Media News:
Published: Thursday, November 08, 2012
By Richard Ilgenfritz
It might appear that a majority of the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors did not see or approve a controversial letter that a Tredyffrin Township supervisor posted on the municipal website in September, according to an open records request made by a local media outlet.
In September, a letter to Tredyffrin residents was posted on the township’s website criticizing media and bloggers in what one blogger described as a personal attack on the First Amendment by a government official.
Because the letter was written by a Tredyffrin Township supervisor and posted on the township letterhead and posted on the township’s website, Main Line Media News filed an open records request under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s open records law to find out more details about who authorized placing the letter on the township’s website. Among the documents sought were any e-mails or messages about the placing of the letter on the website.
But despite the efforts, it would appear that few such documents exist.
Under Pennsylvania’s open records law, the township had five days to respond to the request that was filed Sept. 10. On Friday, Sept. 14 a representative from the Tredyffrin solicitor’s office responded and invoked the 30-day extension in order to gather and review the material to determine what was public and what was not public under the law.
When the solicitor’s office responded Oct. 15 it was determined that any letters to or from the solicitor’s office was considered private attorney/client privilege and would not be released but any other material would be made public under the law.
However, when the information was reviewed by Main Line Media News, only one e-mail was produced. The one item produced by the township was e-mail from John DiBuonaventuro, the author of the letter, to Patricia Hoffman, executive assistant, and dated Sept. 6, 2012 at 7:18 a.m.
The subject line read, “Letter to Citizens.”
The one paragraph letter read, “Pat, this is a confidential email. This letter has been approved by Michelle and Vince. Please put it on the township letterhead and make three copies for Kristen, Michelle and I to review when we get in this morning. We will give you distribution directions once a final review is done. Thanks and see you around 8 or when you get in. JD.”
There is no indication that other members of the Board of Supervisors read the letter and approved it to be placed on the township’s website. Neither were any letters or messages from residents making comments to any township officials on the letter.
Crikey! They aren’t riding the train to a new station in Paoli, these people seem to be riding the un-sunshine friendly crazy train don’t they?
So what does that mean if this was not in fact approved by a legal quorum/majority of supervisors? What are any additional implications involving the former Tredyffrin Township Manager ?
How does John DiBuonaventuro get away with something like this?
Sign me confused.
Here is Pattye’s post on the topic. She continues to be a lady about this. I bet Tredyffrin wishes this would go away, but what is that phrase? Truth will out?
Re Personal Letter on Government Website — Did Tredyffrin Supervisor DiBuonaventuro receive approval from his fellow supervisors?
Did John DiBuonaventuro actually have approval from fellow supervisors before using government resources and government letterhead to post his personal letter of September 5 on the government’s website? The answer to that question is not entirely clear, and the answer also depends on whom you ask.
As the resident targeted in DiBuonaventuro’s diatribe to the citizens of Tredyffrin Township, I was very interested to read the Main Line Media News article, “Majority of Supervisors may not have approved DiBuonaventuro letter posted to website”. In the article, Rich Ilgenfritz explains that the newspaper filed an open records request with Tredyffrin Township asking for all information pertaining to DiBuonaventuro’s letter on the township website. However, it is interesting that MLMN only received one record; an email from DiBuonaventuro to Patricia Hoffman, executive secretary for Tredyffrin Township….
One of several troubling unanswered questions in regards to DiBuonaventuro’s personal use of the township website, is did he act alone? Or, … was there discussion (approval) from the other members of the Board of Supervisors. In her response to my question on this matter, Gleason stated the following in her email dated September 7:
“ … In answer to your question, it is unusual to post a statement from an individual Supervisor, but given the inaccurate and derogatory statements and innuendo publicly made about John DiBuonaventuro, I decided to approve the posting of the letter on the Township website. In this case, he was the subject of baseless public speculation simply because he is a Tredyffrin Supervisor. The circumstances justified the use of the website to publicly defend him, carrying with it the implicit endorsement of the Township to the accuracy of his statements. The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and the Township Solicitor agreed that it was appropriate for the letter to go on the website.”
Gleason’s email states that the use of the government’s website by DiBuonaventuro carried with it the “implicit endorsement of the Township”. She further states that the Chairman [Kichline] and the Township Solicitor [Vince Donohue] agreed the letter was appropriate for the website. But did Kichline really see the actual letter?…Subsequent to DiBuonaventuro’s letter going on the website, there has been no public statement from the other 6 supervisors on this matter, except by Kichline who said that the Board would work on a website policy. Why the silence from the other supervisors? Privately, some of the supervisors have told citizens that they never saw the letter and some have stated that they would not have approved of the letter on the government’s website. Why don’t the supervisors own these opinions in public?….Another interesting thing to note on this email is that there was a private meeting of 3 supervisors – DiBuonaventuro, Kristen Mayock and Kichline. Why was Mayock involved but none of the other supervisors? As chair of the BOS, I understand the rationale behind Kichline attending the meeting but it is unclear if she actually attended or not. Mayock and Kichline are the two attorneys on the Board – was that the reason behind their request to attend this meeting? And it should also be noted that DiBuonaventuro states in this email, that he has approval from the solicitor Vince Donohue for the letter on the website. Everyone seems to be in agreement that Donohue saw and approved the letter – DiBuonaventuro, Kichline and Gleason all state that Donohue approved the letter. Interesting that this short email is all that is contained in the files in regards to DiBuonaventuro’s letter. Just interesting…..Supervisor Mike Heaberg read a statement in regards to the website policy which suggested that there would be a policy presented at the November 19 Board of Supervisors meeting. It was unclear whether or not the public would be permitted input into the website policy. Public input could prove important when you read the response from the township solicitor Vince Donohue to my attorney Sam Stretton… (click here to read all of Pattye’s post)
This whole scenario still smells rotten. What else can you say except are the residents of Tredyffrin REALLY being served? Seems to me this twisted Chester County Kingdom needs an overhaul, doesn’t it? Darn good thing that Tredyffrin and West Vincent aren’t next to each other, right? (But if Tredyffrin was it would just be more opportunity for certain people to accuse more people of being “Chickenman”, right? After all, as I here told you aren’t anyone until you are accused of being Chickenman, huh?)
Pattye, keep on keeping on. Truth will out. Truth will out.