Your Pottstown Tax Dollars At Work

Editor’s Note:  Former Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads posted this fine example of the Pottstown Public Works Department’s keen eye for detail when constructing a “curb cut” aka handicapped access ramp.  Imagine trying to get your wheelchair around the poles. Apparently, this didn’t seem like a flawed plan to whomever constructed the ramp? Really?

 

Jody writes “Here is another one where Pottstown’s Public Works wasted you’re money.  What is wrong here?  West St between Charlotte and Evans. Go look at it for yourself.  These are the type of things that need to come out so people can see what Pottstown and its leadership is really all about.  And I’ll bet no one will raise hell at a Council meeting about this! Leadership thinks this is doing a GOOD job?  This one should go VIRAL!”

Feast your eyes on this engineering marvel!  No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke…

1526409_10201686061139379_8739009307955973678_n

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Pottstown Primary In 7th Ward Pits Conard vs. Kirkland

30950_232676920206349_1767238787_nEditor’s note:  We here at Roy’s Rants are endorsing Cindy Conard.  We had the opportunity to meet Cindy a few weeks ago when we toured 716 Adams street (a disgusting rental property in 7th Ward) along with Cindy, her husband and some other civic minded folks.  Mr. Kirkland was not in attendance.  He was contacted, responded after four days and was more concerned about who the tenant told her story to rather than helping solve her problem.

Mr. Kirkland has had four years to do something to distinguish himself from the pack.  I am still waiting to see some actual leadership.  As for his being a strictly door-to-door person…why was Dan Weand going door-to-door for you, Joe?  Seems like that should be something you would do for yourself.  You won’t be losing 40 pounds again that way.  I must say many of Mr. Kirkland’s quotes in the article made me chuckle.

We think Pottstown could indeed benefit from some leadership before it turns into Camden or Chester.

Having attended several council meetings, Conard said she feels Pottstown needs to find a way to engage in a more constructive way with borough council.

“People interact with Pottstown when they have an issue,” she said.  But council needs to find the leadership to bring the town together in a “shared vision, you know, what we want to be when we grow up.”

Conard is a senior manager of quality assurance with Altria.

“I’m not a politician, but I do believe that Pottstown could benefit from some leadership,” she said.

Full article:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130517/NEWS01/130519285/pottstown-primary-in-7th-ward-pits-conard-vs-kirkland#full_story

Renovo Citizens Criticize Police, Seek Answers

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RENOVO, PA – The Renovo Police Department came under fire at this week’s borough council meeting, with citizens charging that there’s a lack of accountability and job performance among officers.

The Wednesday night session became a sounding board for a group of about 20 mostly long-term Renovo residents who believe the department is not doing its job properly, and council is not providing sufficient oversight.

The complaints also come just months after South Renovo Borough dropped shared police coverage by the Renovo officers, saying they didn’t believe the neighboring borough just across the West Branch of the Susquehanna River was getting its money’s worth.

Read more:  http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/544725/Renovo-citizens-criticize-police–seek-answers.html?nav=5009

Michigan To Appoint Emergency Fiscal Manager For Detroit

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan.

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DETROIT — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced on Friday that the city of Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster.

“There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States.  If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst.  So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years,” Mr. Snyder told Detroiters in a town-hall-style meeting that was broadcast live on local television stations across the city.

“It’s time to say we should stop going downhill,” he said.  “There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around, they haven’t worked.  The way I view it, today is a day to call all hands on deck.”

The state-appointed manager, who could be selected later this month, would ultimately wield powers aimed at swiftly turning around the municipal government’s dire circumstances — powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, to recommend bankruptcy proceedings.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/us/michigan-appoints-emergency-manager-for-detroit.html?hp&_r=0

Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee Down, Not Out

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We are always saddened when parties leave the table, especially with something as an important as this.  Cooperation between the city and the suburbs leads to smart growth, regional planning, inter-municipal cooperation and the list goes on and on.  Manheim Township is the largest suburb of Lancaster so one would assume their dues had something to do with their size.  In any case, $22,000 is a blip on their budget so not seeing where this will be a huge help to taxpayers.

Lancaster city and three of its suburban townships cross paths in Bridgeport, the busy little crossroads just east of town.

Two major state roads — Route 340 and Route 462 — meet there, and there is plenty of housing and other growth putting more pressure on roads and water in that area, East Lampeter Township Supervisor John Blowers said.

So he’s glad his township is part of the Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee, Blowers said Wednesday.

In coming years, whenever the city and East and West Lampeter and Lancaster townships sit down to talk about solutions in Bridgeport, “we’re going to have a history of having talked and having worked together” as fellow members of the LIMC, Blowers said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/815068_Lancaster-Inter-Municipal-Committee-down–not-out.html#ixzz2KuMk2T3v

Pottstown AFSCME Contract Extended A Year, Excludes Code Inspectors

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I would get my resume updated and start looking for a new job…just sayin’….  As for the tardiness of the Codes Department review by Remington, Vernick and Beach, are we really surprised?  I hope not.  Another day in paradise.

POTTSTOWN — With a 5-0 vote Monday night, borough council approved a one-year extension of the contract with the union which represents borough hall, public works and parks and recreation workers.

However, it does not include the borough’s code enforcement officers.

With Councilman Joe Kirkland and Councilwoman Carole Kulp absent, the remaining council members supported the motion to extend the contract, which was recommended by Borough Manager Mark Flanders and Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr., the borough’s primary negotiators.

According to the information provided to council, the extension means no change in wages or health care contributions for either side.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130214/NEWS01/130219793/pottstown-afscme-contract-extended-a-year-excludes-code-inspectors#full_story

Questions Of Unethical, Sexual Conduct By Pottstown Police Chief/Interim Borough Manager Mark Flanders

Editor’s Note:   The Goldencockroach has opened Pandora’s box, also known as Pottstown politics, and all kinds of noxious gases are escaping into the atmosphere.   Getting to the bottom of the shenanigans going on in Pottstown Borough Hall is like peeling a rotten onion. Each layer is more putrid that the previous one.

The governing process utilized by borough leadership is mushroom management.  Keep the taxpayers in the dark and buried in dung.  There is plenty of dung to go around.  

The elected leadership of Pottstown evidently has a fondness for the feudal system.  The taxpayers aka “serfs” are treated as a nonentity and taxed to death.  The leadership aka the “landed gentry” recklessly spend tax dollars like there is no tomorrow.  

Speaking of reckless spending, evidently we wasted money on a supposed national search for a new borough manager only to have the job handed to Mark Flanders.  So you people are telling us there no one person in the United States of America who is more qualified to run Pottstown than the Chief of Police?????  Has anybody noticed the crime rate in Pottstown???? Evidently we reward poor performance with a promotion and a hefty raise.  Are there even metrics in place in borough hall to evaluate employees or do we just give raises and promotions to our friends?  Knod, knod, wink, wink…

An outside agency, not connected to anyone in Pottstown, nor intimidated by anyone in Pottstown, needs to do a thorough audit of Pottstown Borough Council and Pottstown Borough Hall.  We think the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should involve itself in an official capacity. If not Act 47 then the establishment of an oversight committee to ensure borough government becomes more transparent, review the overinflated budget and come up with a more realistic number for a borough of 22,377 inhabitants.

Click on the link below to read a ‘Peyton Place’ like narrative from the Goldencockroach: 

http://goldencockroach.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/allegations-of-unethical-sexual-conduct-by-pottstown-police-chiefinterim-borough-manager-mark-flanders/

Birdsboro Faces $114,000 Deficit As Tax Revenue Drops

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Police Chief Theodore R. Roth spent most of Monday night’s Birdsboro Borough Council meeting silently staring at a copy of the 2013 budget spreadsheet.

But after more than 90 minutes of listening to council discuss how to balance next year’s $1.85 million budget, Roth could no longer keep quiet about rumors that his department was going to be downsized.

“I hear you’re facing two options, both of which are not very palatable,” he told council. “I’m asking what are those options but it seems like no one is willing to say it in public.”

Roth said his officers had heard that council discussed cutting an officer during recent executive sessions.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=418218

Dozens Apply For Pottstown Borough Manager Post, Background Checks Pending

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We can only hope that whom ever is selected, and paid a very large salary, will be allowed to do their job. We would expect this person to have formidable expertise for the price tag. Why spend this kind of money if you are just going to hire a sock puppet, yes man/woman? It’s a complete waste of taxpayer money! Based on the previous history in Pottstown, certain people try and “run the show” and circumvent the staff.  If this practice will continue, and I have NO DOUBT it will, then this is an exercise in futility.

POTTSTOWN, PA — Tomorrow is the last day for those interested in becoming Pottstown’s next borough manager to apply and anyone who does will find themselves up against 35 to 40 who have already applied.

Borough Council President Stephen Toroney told council Wednesday that the applications have come from all over the country.

“Some are local, some come from all over the United States and there are some very qualified individuals among them,” he said. “So the process is moving forward.”

Wednesday, council agreed in principle that the process will include a background check costing the borough between $2,500 and $3,000.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120907/NEWS01/120909650/dozens-apply-for-pottstown-borough-manager-post-background-checks-pending&pager=full_story

8 States With Deepest Funding Cuts

Editor’s note:  Pennsylvania did NOT make this list….you may be surprised by some of the states that did!

The Great Recession pinched state governments, forcing them to be less generous with local communities which, in turn, had less to spend on students, police and programs for the poor.

For nearly three decades, local governments could count on a steady increase in money from their two biggest funding sources — the states and property taxes.

That changed in 2009 and 2010, when local governments took in less from both sources, according to a report last month from the Pew American Cities Project.  The funding shortfall has forced many cities, towns, counties and school districts to tighten their belts.

24/7 Wall St identified the eight states making the steepest cuts in funding to local governments. The website’s analysis of data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that these states were having their own budget problems as tax receipts shriveled in an anemic economy.

Read more: http://money.msn.com/investing/8-states-with-deepest-funding-cuts

Pottstown To Offer $110K To $130K For Manager’s Post

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  For the proposed salary level, a national search had better be conducted!  There are rumors flying around that Pottstown Borough Council has already decided to give the manager position to a current borough employee.  If a wise decision is not made, Pottstown will suffer greatly!

POTTSTOWN — Borough council will decide formally Monday whether to offer a salary range of between $110,000 and $130,00 a year for a new borough manager.

It surfaced during Wednesday’s work session when council heard a presentation from David L. Woglom, former QuakertownBorough Manager and now the associate director for public service at the at Lafayette College.

The Meyner Center was hired by borough council to perform a search for a new borough manager after Jason Bobst submitted his resignation in May after getting a job as West Norriton’s township manager, a post Bobst has already taken up.

Last month council appointed Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders as interim borough manager.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120810/NEWS01/120819948/pottstown-to-offer-110k-to-130k-for-manager-s-post

Former Coatesville City Manager Discusses His Termination

Editor’s note:   Sounds so familiar!

COATESVILLE, PA — More than five weeks after he was fired, former City Manager Gary Rawlings discussed recently why he was let go, the situation with the city’s police department and other issues.

City Council never provided the public with a specific reason as to why they terminated Rawlings on June 11. Rawlings said he, too, was never provided with a reason from council for his eventual dismissal.

“I was never given a reason and can only assume,” said Rawlings, who served as manager for 13 months.  “I guess it was that they were unhappy with my style.  But I tried to draw a line between my responsibilities and theirs based on the city charter.  When it came to personnel matters, I told them they had to stay out of it or else they could get in trouble.

”Rawlings said council was “too involved” in the day-to-day management in the city.  He said the council never set goals for him even though it was part of his contract.  He said council should “set goals and then step back” when hiring a city manager.  He said the next manager will also need more time to develop.

“Thirteen months is not enough time to judge someone’s management style,” Rawlings said.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/article/20120723/NEWS01/120729924/former-coatesville-manager-discusses-his-termination&pager=full_story

Audit: Allentown Posts Deficit As Fund Balance Drops In 2011

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year of rising pension costs and flat revenues in 2011 forced Allentown to tap into what’s turned out to be not such an endless well.

Faced with a deficit for the fourth year in a row, the city dipped a bit farther into its shrinking general fund, spending more than $12 million in the last five years.

The general fund is the city’s primary operating account. It’s used to collect most revenues, pay out most expenses, like public safety and public works, and carry over undesignated and unspent money into the following year.

Now, Allentown is faced with its smallest fund balance in years — $1.9 million — and city officials aren’t ruling anything out if faced with a fifth year of deficit — not tax increases, not the sale of city property or any other solutions.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-budget-deficit-20120705,0,5637297.story

Bobst Reports Pottstown Borough Financial Picture Looking Up

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Further proof of how devastating losing Jason will be!

POTTSTOWN, PA - It’s starting to look like when Borough Manager Jason Bobst leaves the borough in August, he will be leaving it in pretty good financial shape.

He offered council a mid-year budget status report last week that could be summed up as “most of the funds are going pretty well.”

“Some lines,” he said, “are cause for concern but overall, the borough’s books are on a positive cash basis and we’re projecting a $50,000 surplus at the end of the year, barring anything unexpected.”

Given that as recently as 2009, the borough has ended the year with deficits, this is good news and the result of hard work by Finance Director Janice Lee and her staff, Bobst said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120611/NEWS01/120619941/bobst-reports-borough-financial-picture-looking-up&pager=1

Jody Rhoads Resigns As Pottstown Sixth Ward Councilor Effective Immediately

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pottstown political cesspool has claimed yet another victim.  Man of the People and Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads has called it quits in a two sentence email to Borough Hall.  After banging his head against the table, serving approximately four and a half years on Pottstown Borough Council, Jody has had enough.  The man who dared to fight City Hall wants his life back.

This is a huge loss for Pottstown on the heels of Jason Bobst’s recent announcement that he has accepted a job as the new West Norriton Township Manager.  Both of these men have worked to make Pottstown a better place and have tried in their own way to look at the big picture and find a way forward.  However, the “good old boy machine” is just too strong.  Mr. Toroney and his sock puppet majority on council like Pottstown just the way it is and have no intention of letting things change.  If you read the Fishwrap on a regular basis you see Pottstown is in need of sweeping changes based on the news presented.  It’s generally not good news.  The ULI Report may as well never have been written, since we constantly ignore it.  There is no desire to move forward by the majority of the leadership in Pottstown.  They say what they think people want to hear and do the opposite.

Jody was successful in neutralizing Thomas Hylton’s Shade Tree Commission and has been a tireless advocate for cutting costs, keeping taxes down and being a councilor at large for any citizen of Pottstown who needed assistance!  Jody is not a politician.  Instead, Jody is a concerned citizen who gave thousands of hours of his time to serve the residents of Pottstown.  Seeing Jody walking the streets of his ward and talking to his constituents was a common occurrence.  However, there comes a time when you have to cut your losses and move on.

Jody achieved a landslide election victory last November and was sworn in to serve another four years on Pottstown Borough Council in January.  The Sixth Ward and the entire Borough of Pottstown have lost a champion for the people.  It’s a sad day indeed!

We think losing a Borough Manager and a Borough Councilor so close together illustrate Mr. Toroney’s failed leadership as Pottstown Borough Council President.  We think Mr. Toroney needs to do the right thing and step down as well!  Somebody with some vision for the future needs to occupy that position as Mr. Toroney has no plan for the future of Pottstown.

Ask yourself why these two particular people would suddenly resign after being so involved.

Pottstown Councilor Jody Rhoads Is Looking For A Few Good Men And Women To Run For Pottstown Borough Council

Next year there will be four Pottstown Borough Council seats up for grabs:  Wards 1, 3, 5 and 7.  As many people know Jody is not a politician.  He is a life-long resident who truly cares about Pottstown and has been trying to make things better since taking office four years ago as Sixth Ward Councilor. 

Councilor Rhoads just won a landslide re-election and will be in office another four years.  We need more people on council like Jody.  We need concerned citizens who want to do the right thing by Pottstown, not bobbleheads who go along with whatever their party tells them to do!  We need independent thinkers and doers in leadership positions if Pottstown is ever to turn the corner, clean up its act and revitalize.  One maverick on council can’t get things done.  We need four people with a like-minded vision to get the job done!

If you are interested, talk to Jody and see what’s involved with being a councilor!  He knows the ropes after serving four years!  Start attending council meetings or committee meetings to see exactly why Pottstown is not moving forward!  It’s a question of leadership!  The right leadership WILL move Pottstown forward!

Management Raises For Pottstown Government Vary From Zero To 14 Percent

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note:  Kudos to Jason Bobst for trying to lead by example and forgoing a raise in 2012.

POTTSTOWN, Pa.  — In a year that police officers saw a 3 percent salary increase and borough workers 2.1 percent, some borough managers and supervisors are enjoying pay increases as high as 14 percent, including a 10 percent raise for a supervisor recently convicted of drunk driving.

A review of management staff wages for 2012 shows a wide disparity in the raises provided to the non-union staff.

The information was provided to The Mercury through a Right-to-Know request made by former code enforcement director Jeff Smith.

According to the information provided by the borough, the highest increase — 14.2 percent — went to grants coordinator Erica Weekley.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120309/NEWS01/120309539/management-raises-for-pottstown-government-vary-from-0-to-14-&pager=full_story

24/7 Wall Street’s Best And Worst Run Cities List

Map of Virginia highlighting Virginia Beach City

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note: No city in Pennsylvania made either list.

According to 24/7 Wall Street the best run city in America is Virginia Beach, VA.  This city of 439,172 residents has a Aaa credit rating, a low crime rate, a low poverty rate and 93.1 percent of the adult population have graduated from high school.  These among other factors catapulted Virginia Beach to the top of the list.  Irvine, CA and Madison, WI rounded out the top three.

On the other end of the spectrum (definitely the list you DO NOT want to be on) is Miami, FL.  This city of 400,892 people has a high crime rate, a high poverty rate and a very low percentage of adults who graduated from high school (68.2 percent).  Other members of the wall of shame are Detriot, MI, Newark, NJ. and Cleveland, OH.

Pottstown Borough Council February Meeting Summary

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

February’s Borough Council meeting had a short agenda to go along with the shortest month of the year.

All Councilors were present.  After the usual opening formalities, there were a few comments from citizens.

A concerned resident brought up a temporary cross walk erected between PMMC and Wawa.  He feels the situation is dangerous as people are walking across the street and expected traffic to stop.  The resident observed an incident which turned into a verbal altercation between a motorist and a hospital employee.  The employee started walking across the street and expected the car to stop.  This caused the driver to start yelling at the hospital worker.  With the increased traffic from construction, the situation could end up resulting in an injury, death or a physical altercation.  President Toroney said this matter will be brought up at the next Safety Committee meeting for discussion.

Human Resources gave a brief update of events they will take part in:  Family Fest on March 17th, Latin Night hosted by CCLU at Academy Hall on May 7th and the Fourth of July parade. They are working on sensitivity training for the Police Department.  The Human Resources Department is finally getting their long-awaited computer and other requested items.

Rita Paez of CCLU asked council to vote yes for agenda item number 5.

Mayor’s Report

The Mayor wished everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and then quickly proceeded to lose that loving feeling.  Bonnie felt the need to again give her little lecture about the small group of haters and their under current of negativity that is trying to destroy Pottstown.  It is sad that people who disagree with her are labeled “haters” and constantly browbeaten in public.  Frankly, it is getting old.

Manager’s Report

Jason attended a transit meeting which included PART, SEPTA, BARTA and LANTA.    Jason thinks it is time for PART to undergo a third-party review of its operations.

Pottstown received a Greenway Grant ($25,000) and an Assistance Grant ($2,000).  A Heritage Action Plan is being developed for Pottstown to capitalize on heritage tourism using the Schuylkill River and the trail system as a way to bring people into Pottstown.  Hopefully this will also tie into the Hanover Street Bike Lane Project.

Jason hopes to have an infrastructure meeting with PECO after the underground transformer explosion on High Street last week.  The power outage severely affected several downtown restaurants, which lost large quantities of food, and many residents were without power.  President Toroney agrees this issue is important and stated we were very lucky this incident was not far worse, like what recently happened in Allentown or Philadelphia.

Jason is requesting that Council allow him to investigate the costs involved in getting mobile computers and printers for the Codes Department.  This would allow Codes to issues citations on site, without delay.  The money would be well spent.  Any use of technology to speed up a process is good.  The Codes Department would greatly benefit from having this tool in their efforts to curb blight and handle other code violations.

Contracts are still in arbitration for the Police Department and AFSCME.

Pottstown and Norristown’s Codes Departments are looking for ways to work together since both boroughs have similar challenges.

Committee Reports

Most meetings were cancelled last month due to the weather.

PDIDA – Assessments will be going out.

Blighted Property – the meeting was cancelled but Councilor Weand did attend a Blighted Property Seminar and found that Pottstown is ahead of the curve on this issue based on what he heard from other municipalities.

New Business

Council adopted a resolution to authorize the destruction of certain municipal records.

Council adopted a motion to ratify an agreement between Hough Associates and the Borough of Pottstown to collect recycling data and prepare a grant application.

Council passed a motion to grant Pottstown Industrial Investments, LLC a one year extension to gather more information for their zoning request on the proposed use of property at 551 Keystone Boulevard.

Council unanimously gave Thomas Hylton his walking papers as a member of the Pottstown Planning Commission after twelve years.  Mr. Hylton was not reappointed.  President Toroney directed that a letter be sent to Mr. Hylton thanking him for his 12 years of service.  Council unanimously approved the appointment of Andrew Kefer, of Chestnut Street, to the Pottstown Planning Commission for a four-year term.  We wish Andrew much success.

Mr. Hylton’s Chairmanship of the Shade Tree Commission was recently rendered null and void by Council’s decision to rewrite the Shade Tree Ordinance.  Borough management will now make all decisions concerning trees in Pottstown, making the need for a Shade Tree Commission obsolete.  Mr. Hylton is still a member of the Pottstown School Board.  We certainly hope these change will allow Pottstown to move forward.   

Councilor Weand submitted a very routine request to draft a policy which addresses monetary requests from non-profit organizations.  Pottstown Borough gives money to several local non-profit organizations like the Senior Center.  They also routinely receive requests from other groups.  Councilor Weand, who is head of the Finance Committee, has been trying to standardize and streamline all financial processes and procedures since he took office.  Councilor Weand wanted to create a one page standardized form to be used for all requests for money from the borough.

The reaction to this request by several councilors and the mayor was frankly astounding.  Councilor Chomnuk totally opposed this request because he said it gives the appearance Pottstown had money to give away and would encourage people to apply for money.  He also made the statement it would create a burden on the staff by implementing a procedure that we do not need.  Mayor Heath also jumped on the “this gives the appearance we have money to give away” bandwagon.  Several people asked for clarification about the form and how many requests for assistance the borough receives.  The debate because rather testy at times.

Councilor Weand then asked if Council wanted to tell everyone who requested money NO?  This suggestion was met with further cranky objections.  Evidently, certain people want to take things on a “case by case” basis (read between the lines here).  So to recap, Council spent a good fifteen minutes arguing about streamlining a procedure with a one-page form.  We applaud Councilor Weand’s efforts with our borough finances and his attempt to be fair and equitable in the treatment of those who request financial assistance from the borough.  The motion was tabled.

A motion passed 5-2 to ratify the mayor’s disciplinary action toward a Pottstown Police Officer who was given a three-day suspension.  Councilors Gibson and Allen abstained.

A motion passed to approve Certificates of Appropriateness, issued by HARB, for two properties.

The bills were paid.

The meeting was adjourned and Council went into Executive Session.