meeting decorum of elected officials

Radnor Township is NOT in Chester County. But I am venturing there this morning because of behavior of a sitting elected official at a public meeting last night. It was wholly unacceptable. (If you have FiOs you can catch Radnor’s meetings on Channel 30 FYI.)

When an elected official goes from serving the public to being a consistent self-serving obstructionist, they really should resign.

I actually used to honestly respect this elected official. He was for many years a crusader for right.  But then it seems he began to believe his own press releases or something? His wife sits on the school board. That has also always given me pause when certain issues have come before the board, and isn’t that also understandable?

Someone on social media remarked last evening after the latest tirade/outburst that they were channeling their inner Yosemite Sam. That’s not who we want representing us in office even on the most local of levels anywhere. The behavior was bad enough last evening, that the board actually took a five minute recess so everyone could regain their composure.

One of the temper tantrum’s last night was over who the Public Information Officer reports to. Everyone knows that public information officer’s report to the township, and the Township manager. They don’t report to elected officials because they are neutral and all they must always fairly disseminate information to the public.

I’m also writing this post because Radnor Township after having a disastrous manager they fired was lucky to hire a man named Bob Zienkowski. He is one of the finest township managers I have ever seen. I actually think so highly of this gentleman that years ago before the current township secretary had her job, I interviewed for the job. The current township secretary actually got chosen over me as a candidate, and in retrospect life worked out just the way it was supposed to. She is also excellent at her job. And given the way Radnor Township has deteriorated and the crazy hours the meetings go to, I am VERY glad life chose differently for me in the end. I can’t sit through these meetings anymore… anywhere.

But last night I saw this one commissioner in particular be condescending, rude, and generally hateful and disrespectful to the Township Manager. With LOUD and SHOUTING OUTBURSTS.

If you watch the township meeting on YouTube you can see the meltdown beginning at the 14:59 minute mark. It goes to about 24:17. Mind you it’s not the first obstructionist disruption of the evening on the part of this commissioner. It’s not the first meeting this behavior has occurred, either. The Radnor meetings now have the reputation of being the most awful around again and with good reason.

I am sure this commissioner will have a problem with this post. But as a lover and defender of the First Amendment, surely he must realize I have a right to express my opinion, correct?

Commissioner Richard Booker, this post is for you. Suffice it to say, Radnor residents deserve better.  Hard working township staff deserves better. Your fellow commissioners deserve better.  At a minimum you should apologize publicly to all of the other commissioners and township staff. However, you also might wish to consider resigning or retiring as you seem to have lost your objectivity completely. Last night’s behavior shows you appear to be a really unhappy human being and why do you wish to project that upon residents, fellow commissioners, and Radnor Township staff? Is that really fair? Is that really the best use of public meeting time?

And yes, Commissioner Booker, the First Amendment does allow me my opinion. You are an elected official who among other things was hired to uphold the public trust and can you honestly say you are doing that at this point? And do you really work for Sunoco Logistics like it says on your LinkedIn page and elsewhere?

And my last word is elected officials everywhere demand proper decorum of residents at meetings.  Well shouldn’t residents be able to expect that of elected officials?

way to go radnor! keep setting the bar low on design standards!

Now granted, what was there before on the corner of Willow Ave and Plant Ave in the Little Chicago was known to many (myself included) as “the scary house.”

But I do not get why Radnor Township allows this kind of crap with zero design aesthetic to go up? The only thing this building is about is maximizing developer money making capability.

This is a prime example of how municipalities are dropping the ball. The trend of density and in this case serious infill density is ruining communities everywhere.

Directly opposite where this looming monstrosity is being built is relatively new construction. And what was built? Two pretty nice twin houses. This is an older neighborhood of what were historically smaller houses with neat back yards. Not the grand Victorians a couple of blocks over and it’s certainly not really urban.

Yet here’s this block house structure. And even worse in an area that redefines what it is to flood in even just a heavy downpour? They are totally built out on the footprint of the property. Where is the parking going to be?

Anyway this development gets an F. It truly is ugly. And is so out of place.

Bleck.

your health is NOT worth penn medicine radnor

Steve Smith can also be reached at Steven.Smith2@uphs.upenn.edu

When you complain about the parking and the unsafe parking lot this is the little strip of paper they hand you at Penn Medicine Radnor. (This is of course after the security guard shrugs their shoulders at you.)

Ever since I became an oncology patient 7 1/2 years ago I seem to have a lot of doctors appointments. Today I was supposed to see my oncologist and I almost turned around and went home the parking lot was that bad.

Today was the day I saw a man on a walker almost get hit by a car at a medical facility. And the driver of said vehicle as they sped by had the nerve to glare at the poor man on the walker.

I had two appointments this week at Penn Radnor. Thank the good Lord I don’t have to go back before the new year. I understand they are moving into a new facility, and I don’t want to jump on the anti-Penn in Radnor bandwagon but I’m sorely tempted at this point.

When I got there this morning if an ambulance had to come in and get someone they would not have been able to navigate through the parking lot because there was barely any space to get through. People were parked on shoulders, people were parked on the grass, people were parked in fire lanes, people were parked on curves. And this isn’t just passenger vehicles there were a couple of trucks too.

And I know it’s not any safer for the staff and medical professionals than it is for the patients. Penn Medicine has a lot of money. They need to throw some towards a parking solution. Telling patients who are upset when they walk in the door what does anyone expect them to do about it is not a solution. And I had not one but two security guards shrug their shoulders at me this week. This morning the security guard barely acknowledged me and handed me a little slip of paper with the name and phone number of the chief operating officer. He of course did not answer his phone.

Today was the day where I once again called Radnor Township about this parking lot. It’s private property, but when they block fire lanes and things like that it becomes a health safety and welfare issue in my opinion.

Now somewhat say how can they predict how many people are going to be in the parking lot each day. Simple all the people that have appointments represent a vehicle. So they can track that in their computer system. That of course does not take into consideration patients coming in on an urgent basis or possibly without an appointment.

When you enter their property in Radnor you are entering a state of chaos. Every single day. And if the parking wasn’t bad enough the people who can’t wait and have to go drive unsafely around people waiting for a parking space cause additional hazards.

I am beginning to think that my life is not worth Penn Medicine at Radnor because if it was Penn Medicine would do something about their parking lot.

flooding. everywhere.

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A friend of mine took this photo less than five minutes ago in Tredyffrin. Lancaster Avenue and that is Old Covered Wagon Inn to your right I believe.

Friends and other readers are alerting me to flooding photos, so here is a slideshow. From Lower Merion where stormwater management in the township needs a makeover to flooded out Little Chicago in North Wayne, to out around West Vincent and beyond the flooding is crazy. Highways are closed like parts  the Schuylkill Expressway, turnpike, etc.

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But of course, global warming is an urban legend…and all of the development never, ever causes any storm water runoff problems, right?

radnor street at willow

Willow Avenue at Radnor Street Road in “Little Chicago” in North Wayne, PA. (Radnor Township) Neighborhood was built at turn of 20th century over the Wayne Natatorium…which at the time was largest outside pool thanks to Gulph Creek and all those springs and water sources underground.  These people are flooded horribly today.  Feel sorry for them. Photo from Twitter this morning.

perversion

From Radnor Democrats Public Facebook Page. It had as a caption “Radnor Democrats
June 11, 2016 at 4:41pm · We always say that the Radnor Democrats have a big, diverse tent and to “join the Party.” Well, today, at the Wayne Music Festival, the Radnor Democrats LITERALLY have a big tent!”

Where to begin? Let’s start at the bitter end of September when news broke that there had been a not-local (as in NOT Radnor PD) law enforcement raid had occurred in Radnor Township.  The target? Phil Ahr, newly minted as of this summer President of the Radnor Board of Commissioners. 

News has swirled when he missed the regular meeting shortly after the raid and  then and this past Monday, some commissioners had wanted Ahr to resign. But the Democrat commissioners (Nagle, Higgins, Schaeffer) blocked the efforts.  I will admit that while they were speaking the truth about guilty until proven innocent, BUT this is the second scandal to rock Radnor Democrats with a Board of Commissioners president given the fact that in June former Commissioner and Board of Commissioners President Bill Spingler was found guilty by a Delaware County jury  of “indecent assault on a person with a mental disability.” (His 100+ year old former mother-in-law.) Ironically, Mr. Spingler is to be sentenced or something tomorrow a lot of newscasters in Philadelphia were stating today after Phil Ahr turned himself in to police.

See NBC10 Philadelphia’s reporter Deanna Durante’s 6PM report on Mr. Ahr goes to court. Also see a pretty comprehensive article by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Main Line Media News.

It’s child porn and lots of it.  It’s horrible. Truly horrible. Almost inconceivable.

Earlier this evening, Radnor Township itself held a press conference.  I contacted the township and they provided me with what they had handed out except for the PDF of the court docket – I found that myself. Today was the preliminary arraignment. 

Anyway, here it is and I will warn you it is truly disturbing:

 

 

So back to the three commissioners in Radnor who blocked a motion to have Ahr resign. Earlier this evening, they fell back behind the cloak of the Home Rule Charter of Radnor Township.  So while they perhaps could not have made Ahr resign as of Monday, given the scandal their township and political party has endured in recent months, shouldn’t they have convinced him to resign?  Or how about perhaps they should have NOT played politics at all and lived up to their oaths of office and convinced him to resign because they are supposed to look out for the best interests of the residents?

Once again, deeply troubling times for a township where I have many close friends….including those with children.

I am going to say, however, that no matter what your opinion is here, please allow law enforcement and those in the legal system do their jobs here.  Please respect the terribly difficult jobs they have, especially with this case.  Also respect the residents of Radnor Township who have to deal with this, especially the residents of Ward 7, Garrett Hill. Garrett Hill is a tight knit community that is suffering greatly.  And pray for Phil Ahr’s family.  He has now given them a terrible burden they will carry always.

Here’s a question for all of you: should local elected officials have to submit to comprehensive background checks including criminal in order to hold elected office?

Thanks for stopping by.

request from radnor: who was candy hill? (her plaque is deteriorating along with everything else at the willows)

14329944_1442553252427898_8869019755046473407_nThe photos were sent to me with the following message:

Radnor Twp has let The Willows Assets deteriorate to a point of no return.
Anyone know what the plaque represents below?

Who was Candy Hill?

The Willows was a mighty fine property. A house, never a mansion.  The architect was my dear friend Sara’s grandfather Charles Barton Keen (Keen is being discussed this month during a couple of Chester County Historical Society Events as a matter of fact.)

The Willows started out life in 1910 for John Sinnott Jr., the estate was originally called “Rose Garland.”

The Zantzinger family began ownership in the 1930s, and renamed the estate “Maral Brook.”   Alfred Zantzinger (1907-1972) married Mary Geist in 1937 and what we know as the Willows today became their home. Their son Alfred (“Gei”) was an ethnomusicologist and independent filmmaker who lived in Devault and is still remembered on the Charlestown Township website to this day.  One of Alfred the younger’s sons is a high school friend of one of my closest friends – at one time he had lent me marvelous old family photos of the Willows, but I lost them on an old computer unfortunately.

14368887_1442553162427907_7053680060494812420_nRadnor Township purchased the property ca. 1972-73, and it has been a public park and event space ever since. Now truthfully The Willows was acquired via eminent domain (See “Willows Ordinance“.)

But I digress.

No one can get their act together about the Willows in a way that makes sense.  Apparently it will be discussed at some point this fall again in Radnor, but in the meantime who is this lady the plaque was dedicated to?

Seems so sad.

Thanks to my friend Tim for the use of his photos.

Shame on you Radnor for not taking better care of a property you are stewards of. And if in the end the house that is not a mansion is demolished, care MUST be taken with this plaque that it is not lost forever.  Whomever she was she meant something to people.

Remember the state of things like this in Radnor when you go to the polls in November since one of their commissioners is under the delusion she can be an effective state representative in PA 165 – Elaine Paul Schaefer – affectionately know as Elaine Paul Sing Song Voice to some. She loves the cows at Ardrossan, but has been ineffective problem solving across the road at the Willows.  Ask her and the other present and former Radnor Conservancy members about the state of the Willows Cottage, ok?  I hear it can be summed up with one word: mold and is that true? And if so why? They got gobs of money a few short years ago to put that cottage right, correct?

Thanks for stopping by.

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