West Goshen is one of those Chester County municipalities that seems to like to stay below the radar. We heard a lot about them in recent years because of the Sunoco pipeline. But you don’t hear about them very often overall, do you? I don’t think so, unless I am missing something?
However, West Goshen actually popped back into the news again recently over a pipeline meeting in West Chester. There was also an interesting blip in Pensions and Investments about them in early August (article was titled West Goshen Township issues call for investment manager.) And something just yesterday about QVC laying folks off again recently (jerks – QVC not the township so we are clear.)
West Goshen also seems to outsiders and residents to not be so open and transparent a municipality, and maybe there is good reason for such opinions? The Board of Supervisors Meetings are neither televised nor videotaped for replaying later (even East Whiteland has joined modern times with that!) and their meeting minutes are not current and the most recent I could find was from July 2016, and they are draft minutes, not finalized (don’t they finalize at next subsequent meeting and post?). Oh and this Sewer Authority Meeting Minutes from June makes interesting reading but nothing more current?
I found this letter in the Sewer Authority Meeting Minutes so interesting, I thought I would share with the class. This is something one would think the local papers would perhaps be clued into and report on? What the heck is going on???
I don’t have a clue but damn…. that is one scathing letter, isn’t it?
So I found this thing on the court records after someone said there was some kerfuffle at summer meetings.. West Goshen is embroiled in some new litigation…and it’s new, very new.
I sense a Nancy Drew Mystery….and I predict this is something to watch….
A resident is suing West Goshen Township. People do not take those actions lightly. And it is over a lack of “sunshine”. Yep. Open Records. (I have friends who did this and prevailed in Radnor Township some years ago now and this is not an easy thing.)
“CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE OF PETITION FOR REVIEW TO OVERTURN THEFINAL DETERMINATION OF THE OFFICE OF OPEN RECORDS (OOR) FINAL RULING AND TO COMPEL THE DEFTS TO PROVIDE ALL INFORMATION REQUESTED UPON”
Municipalities and sunshine and transparency do not necessarily go hand in hand do they?
I notice that West Goshen has TWO lawyers representing their interests versus one resident pro-se (representing himself) at this point.
So the two lawyers are Kristin S. Camp (Township Solicitor) and an associate from her law firm, Ryan Jennings.
Hmm that Camp name was familiar, so I asked a friend who lives in Easttown Township and they said Kristin S. Camp was their solicitor didn’t I remember the articles about Devon Yard the hideous Eli Kahn/Wade McDevitt/Old Waterloo/Devon Horse Show/Devon Drama plan?? (Well who could forget about that looming monstrosity?) They sent me a link to a February 2016 article written by Main Line Media News Reporter Linda Stein titled Easttown Township: More than 200 residents pack meeting about Devon Yard plans .
It always amazes me how many municipalities municipal lawyers have – Ms. Camp is no exception and she has a few. I don’t know if this list is completely 100% current and if not I apologize to the solicitor but I have: West Goshen, Easttown, West Nantmeal, Birmingham, and Pocopson all in Chester County? Wow, and she is a partner in her law firm? Busy busy busy.
But West Goshen is spending money on two lawyers to defend against one small resident? Are they nervous or something?
Now the Judge assigned, like most Chester County Judges means nothing. Judge Jeffrey R. Sommer who apparently before ascending to the bench was in the same law firm that Solicitor Camp is with. His term runs from when he was elected in 2013 to 2023. This Judge was in the news this summer over his excellent decision regarding that pool fence dispute. Somehow I knew the Judge who wouldn’t get this case is the only one I know of related to someone serving on a West Goshen Board, Allison Bell-Royer. Her husband is a former West Chester Borough Councilman, Shannon Royer. Mr. Royer, a senior lobbyist with a firm called Wanner, sits on West Goshen’s Zoning Hearing Board.
As a completely unrelated aside, Judge Royer has an amazing Pennsylvania political pedigree. Her grandfather was legendary State Senator Clarence D. Bell, who I think still holds the record in the Keystone State for being the longest serving public official in Pennsylvania – almost 50 years! (48 to be precise). Judge Royer’s dad was no slouch either. If you wonder what propels people towards public service, look no further than the examples Judge Royer had growing up. When Judge Royer was running I was new to Chester County, so I did a little research to decide if she was someone I wanted to vote for since women on the bench is still not an every day occurrence and I think it should be (but I digress).
So back to this case. What does it all mean? I don’t know. Hopefully reporters will dig into it.
Seems there is a lot going on behind the scenes in somewhat normally sleepy West Goshen doesn’t there? I don’t have much of an opinion about West Goshen at this point, but I do find this somewhat intriguing, don’t you?
File under inquiring minds want to know?