Our scuz-busting friend, the Golden Cockroach, has more horrific news about the results of the absentee extractive investors who have taken over large numbers of properties in Pottstown. These folks buy up homes for “cents on the dollar” and rent them to anybody who will pay their rent in “cash”, **wink, wink. The properties are not maintained and the tenants are left to run wild and terrorize their neighbors.
The typical absentee extractive investor lives in a large suburban home, in a township where mostly upper middle class white folk congregate. They take their wads of “rental cash” and do “fun stuff” like take vacations to tropical locations with municipal employees (who also make wads of cash thanks to the overburdened taxpayers in Pottstown). While these folks are sunbathing, and having drinks with little umbrellas in them, back at the ranch all hell is breaking loose. OR when they aren’t sunbathing and having funky beverages south of the border, they are at home in their virtually crime-free suburban communities reading about Pottstown’s ills in the Mercury.
Meanwhile, Pottstown is falling apart and these rental properties are crumbling off their foundations. HOWEVER, unless “I” live next to a problem rental property it’s not my problem. These properties somehow pass inspection, they are somehow issued occupancy permits and everybody is happy. Well, except for the people who live in Pottstown and are being terrorized by these tenants who aren’t properly vetted before being allowed to occupy said rental properties. But again, unless it directly impacts me, it’s not my problem. RIGHT?
Apparently, this is the attitude emanating from Pottstown Borough Hall. This attitude comes across loud and clear when you read the latest post from the Golden Cockroach. You should be utterly incensed by the complete disregard for the residents of Pottstown. This stunning information confirms what we have always thought. The fact that it was said out loud by a municipal employee makes us sick.
The result of this blatant contempt for Pottstown is crime. Evidently, we can now add dog fighting to the list of heinous crimes being perpetrated in Pottstown and ignored by the very folks who are paid to look after the interests of the taxpayers. Why? Because many municipal employees do not live in Pottstown and these problems do not impact their quality of life. Ergo, it’s not my problem. They can read the Mercury on their iPad while they sip their morning latte from the safety of their suburb. After reading about “life in Pottstown” they can head into the office for another fun-filled day of
work “screw over the taxpayer” behind bullet-proof glass. We think that’s a game like “pin the tail on the donkey” but we aren’t 100 percent sure. Can you hear them cackling as they drive over the borough line with their big fat paychecks?
So we have people with virtually no interest in seeing Pottstown revitalize running the show. These same people are allowing absentee extractive investors to make large profits at the expense of the fine folks who do live in Pottstown (and who pay very high taxes for these stellar municipal services brought to you by people who don’t give a
Crime is running rampant and no matter now many miniature golf courses you build, you are still putting lipstick on a pig. Don’t get us wrong, miniature golf is fun and we expect to try it out soon, however there are far more important issues that need to be addressed. CRIME and JOBS should be the TOP priority of the municipal government. The job market should be high and crime should be low! It’s ass-backwards in Pottstown! It’s time for the taxpayers to say “enough” and hold these co-perpetrators accountable for Pottstown’s ruination.
Please take a few minutes to read Golden Cockroach’s latest post. Please watch the video about the animal abuse and dog fighting if you haven’t already seen it. The video is included in the post for your convenience.
POTTSTOWN, PA — A local hoops legend lent his support Monday night to the anti-violence movement that began in the borough a little more than a month ago.
“When I heard about this, it’s just a natural thing for me to want to be involved in some capacity,” said Howard Brown, the Pottstown grad who went on to play basketball at Villanova and internationally. “We’re actually drumming up a lot of residents and former residents to just not only bring awareness but to talk about some of the issues that we do have, to change.”
With a driving rain cancelling plans for a full march, the Stop the Violence campaign moved indoors at the Ricketts Center, where players in the Olivet Boys and Girls Club’s summer basketball league gathered together between games to pose for a picture and show their support of the movement.
A Maryland resident now, Brown is in town for a combine for his basketball agency, iBall United, which will be held over the weekend both in Valley Forge and at The Hill School.
POTTSTOWN, PA — Police took a man into custody Thursday night after he allegedly assaulted a woman and dragged her into his house after she tried to leave.
Around 7:21 p.m., Pottstown police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Cherry Street for the report of a domestic disturbance outside.
Witnesses told police they saw a man, who has not been identified, forcibly pulling a woman into a house on the block. Police said they were told it looked like she was trying to flee from the man and that she may have tried to escape more than once.
Residents also reportedly told police that the man and woman were arguing for most of the day. It’s believed that the two are in a relationship but unclear to what extent.
I say kudos to the Pottstown Rumble organizers for another successful tournament. For a large event that draws several thousand volleyball players from across the United States and probably several thousand spectators, it runs like a well oiled machine. The Rumble is one of the biggest events that is hosted in the borough and probably the most well run. I think it draws a great group of people. A very well-behaved group from what I have observed over the years and today was no different.
I think the cooperation between the borough and the event organizers was apparent. From the PART trolley shuttling people between venues, the folks at Parks and Recreation and the powers that be in borough hall, it seemed as though everyone was on the same page. I even noticed Pottstown Police Officers walking around.
This event has put Pottstown on the sports world map and is a favorite venue among players. Memorial Park looked great. The music was a nice mix and had high energy. The sun was shining. Vendors had lines of people waiting to buy food. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
The Rumble showcases the best things about Pottstown. One vendor said to me they wished there were several more big events during the year like this one. It’s a nice infusion of cash into the local economy. That’s always a positive thing.
So hats off to another great Pottstown Rumble! Feeling Pottstown Proud.
POTTSTOWN, PA — Even before Steven Mitchell was found dead in his car on Jefferson Avenue Thursday night, borough residents were beginning to express concerns about the mini crime wave that has hit Pottstown.
“Pottstown is becoming another Chester, PA,” North Hanover Street resident Dianne Krumm told borough council at its Wednesday night work session.
Since May 30, Pottstown has seen shooting incidents near Brian’s Cafe, a car wash at Wilson and Spruce streets and a man shot in the elbow on Lincoln Avenue, not to mention the attempted robbery of the Wells-Fargo Bank on East High Street.
“I was laying in my bed and I swear I could hear the bullets,” Krumm said. “I want something done about crime.”
We feel this post merits re-posting on our site. We feel the time has come for the good people of Pottstown to say ENOUGH ALREADY! Your presence at the demonstration and meeting tomorrow night is essential if the elected leadership is to see people mean business. The only way to send a message is to show up. 10 people at a council meeting sends the signal that the good people of Pottstown are either okie dokie with the way things are run OR that y’all don’t care. We urge you to make the time to attend the meeting tomorrow night. Share your displeasure with the elected leadership. Demand change. You pay very high taxes to live in Pottstown and deserve to feel safe and secure. Power to the Pottstown people!
Our friends at Golden Cockroach write:
Back in March, 2012 the Patch online news conducted a survey of Pottstown. They asked:
“What Keeps Pottstown From Success?”
Crime — 31 percent
Drug gangs — 2 percent
A high rental to private homeowner ratio — 16 percent
Section 8 — 6 percent
Government — 33 percent
Negative thinking and apathy — 6 percent
The need for a commuter train — 0 percent
* This is not a scientific poll* In my experience it is an accurate representation. However, when asked, Pottstown officials repeatedly say the biggest problem is NEGATIVITY AND APATHY among Pottstown citizens…
as exemplified in the comments of Borough Manager/former Chief of Police, Mark Flanders, in this 2010 article. These sentiments are not unique to Flanders, they are etched into the minds of local officials. They are passed down, as a torch, to all incoming leaders until it has become the mantra, the…
View original 1,046 more words
POTTSTOWN, PA — The victim of a fatal shooting Thursday night has been identified.
Steven Mitchell, 20, was found dead in a car in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.
Mitchell died from a single gunshot wound to the torso, according to Dr. Walter Hofman, the Montgomery County Coroner. Hofman was not able to confirm where Mitchell lived.
Mitchell’s death was ruled a homicide, Hofman said.
POTTSTOWN, PA – In response to increased and ongoing violent crime in 2014 (more than 5 gun related crimes since May 18th), THE RESIDENTS OF POTTSTOWN REQUEST THAT COUNCIL PRESIDENT, STEVE TORONEY, STEP DOWN FROM OFFICE.
Statistics bear out the increased crime in our community but the real story lies in the individual experiences of loss and hardship. There is a vanishing sense of well-being and safety as homeowners lose their homes and all that they have worked for. Those who remain have lost all confidence in local government.
Montgomery County continues to warehouse their social services population in our community, yet they provide little relief from the results of their actions. A promise made, to this community to address the “quality of life” issues in Pottstown, by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa V. Ferman has not come to fruition. Local officials have not held the county responsible nor even asked for answers as to why they continue to overwhelm this community with their disenfranchised population.
Our neighborhoods are not safe. They are in dangerous shambles, riddled with blight, gang members and others who possess weapons, drugs and display anti-social behaviors. Yet, Montgomery County continues to fund housing programs that enable and pay negligent income property investors to house people that the county declines to care for. These investors do not conduct background checks, they fail to register their properties or maintain them, they do not pay taxes nor do they monitor their properties once occupied. This leaves borough residents exposed and vulnerable.
Taxpaying homeowners/residents are often accused of doing too little to support law enforcement. In reality we’ve done too little to hold our local officials accountable for the fearful, depleted conditions we find in our neighborhoods. We have not made them responsible for their failure to advocate for us, to interact and communicate with us, or to include us in seeking solutions. Monday night we will proclaim the tide is turning. From this point forward we will hold our elected and paid officials accountable for our diminishing quality of life.
-We ask our elected officials to take a hands-on approach in seeking solutions by working with the paid management that they selected and by holding them accountable for their performance and their interactions with the community. In addition, we ask our elected officials to encourage innovation and measure progress on issues that contribute to crime in Pottstown.
-We ask our elected officials to rid local government of underperforming public servants and to reign in management salaries and expenditures including new cars, iPads, extended paid vacations and other luxuries that we can ill afford.
-We ask our elected officials to acknowledge the reality that many residents in our borough are hardworking people who are trying to raise their families and be good citizens. Yet, they despair as they watch their investments in this community continue to spiral downward year after year.
Despite the viable options put in place to seek and hire qualified, experienced management from outside the borough, President Toroney’s public conviction was that the right choice for Pottstown was to promote the former Police Chief to Borough Manager and promote the former Police Captain to Police Chief. We were not fooled. Today, we most assuredly know that Pottstown is in further decline since those decisions were made.
Today, we ask Steve Toroney to step down as Council President and remove himself from Pottstown Borough Council so that his seat is open to capable, fresh and motivated leadership. We MUST begin to turn the decline around before we find ourselves facing untenable conditions like those of Camden, N.J. and Detroit.
Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SavePottstown
The Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown is organizing a peaceful gathering of residents prior to Monday night’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting (to request the resignation of Pottstown Borough Council President, Steve Toroney). Borough residents are encouraged to come and take a stand to save Pottstown by participating in the gathering before the meeting and/or by attending the meeting and exercising their right as a Pottstonian to address the council during the allotted time for public comments. This is your opportunity to stand together and make your voice heard.
Date: Monday, June 9, 2014
Time: 6:15 pm – The gathering in front of Pottstown Borough Hall
7:00 pm – Pottstown Borough Council Meeting begins
Council Meeting Room on the 3rd Floor.
Where: Pottstown Borough Hall – 100 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
Here is a recap of what’s been going on:
Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054
Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school
Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital
Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect
Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets
Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video
UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercury: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown
I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough. And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem. A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.
People are afraid. People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES. If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help. HINT: Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters. There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance. Be proactive instead of reactive. Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????
Editor’s note: With the warm weather comes increased crime in this neighborhood. I think it’s time for a plan instead of a band-aid.
POTTSTOWN — A young woman was shot Sunday afternoon, causing Buttonwood Alley between Washington and Warren streets to be closed for several hours due to the police investigation.
Pottstown Police and Goodwill Ambulance responded at around 5:15 p.m. to the home fronting the 500 block of East High Street.
It’s unclear who or where the alleged shooter is.
Patrol officers were unable to comment on the case and deferred questions to Pottstown Police detectives. They did not return calls as of press time.
NORRISTOWN, PA — An accused Pottstown murder conspirator has lost his bid to prevent a jury from hearing the alleged incriminating statements he gave to police following a gunshot slaying outside a local bar.
Michael Romain Hinton’s police statements are admissible trial evidence, Montgomery County President Judge William J. Furber Jr. ruled after determining Hinton’s statements were voluntary and properly obtained by detectives investigating the 2:17 a.m. March 22, 2013, gunshot slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in Pottstown.
Hinton, 27, of the 900 block of North Stanbridge Street in Norristown, and his lawyer Patrick J. McMenamin Jr. maintained Hinton’s statements were not voluntary or knowing because he was questioned while waiting for or under treatment at the hospital for gunshot wounds he suffered on March 22.
But Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Strubel argued Hinton was properly questioned by detectives and that there was nothing to indicate he was confused or under the influence of medication at the time. Strubel implied Hinton was so coherent that he even was able to concoct an initial false statement in an alleged attempt to mislead detectives about the shooting.
Chadd Watson, 23, and Brooklyn Aiken, 22, both of Pottstown, are accused of assaulting two officers outside the Montgomery Elks Club on Walnut Street in Pottstown on Feb. 2 around 2:30 a.m.
The two accused men appeared in front District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. and a full courtroom Friday morning.
Officers from the borough police department lined the back wall of the courtroom and took up several rows of seats while family and friends of Watson and Aiken filed in. There were so many supporters for both sides that several people were asked to leave by the judge and told to wait in the lobby.
POTTSTOWN, PA — Police confirmed charges Tuesday against a man suspected in Sunday’s early-morning shooting incident as court documents revealed details in the subsequent melee.
Theodore Cosiouse Arnold, 31, of Pottstown, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder as well as six felony counts of aggravated assault, six misdemeanor counts of simple assault, and other misdemeanor offenses including making terroristic threats, possessing an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.
Paperwork indicates the charges were filed Sunday, but Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas said Arnold was not in police custody as of yet.
Arnold was arrested in October 2012 in Pottstown for misdemeanor assault charges but those were dismissed less than a month later, a court docket indicated.
Editor’s note: Thank you, Sharon!
POTTSTOWN, PA — Mayor Sharon Thomas said a potential plan is in place to deal with “nuisance” properties in the borough following the shooting and subsequent fights with police early Sunday morning outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge.
“I spoke with Chief (Richard) Drumheller today about some interventions,” said Thomas. “There are some plans but they need time in order to come into position, but this is not the time to implement them because there is an ongoing investigation.”
Pottstown Police responded early Sunday morning for a shooting outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge at 609 Walnut St. Arriving around 2:45 a.m., officers found a man, who multiple sources said was Brandon Germany, wounded on the ground, Pottstown police said. While attending to the victim, a crowd came out of the lodge and at least two people assaulted the officers, police said.
The officers were not identified and were taken to an “area hospital” for treatment.
Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140203/pottstown-mayor-interventions-planned-for-nuisance-properties-after-weekend-shooting?fb_action_ids=10201321407823274&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B715583075129807%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D
POTTSTOWN, PA — Police arrested two men who each allegedly stole from a borough Citgo gas station in two different incidents earlier this month.
Scott T. Sinclair, 48, and Marzel D. Brickhouse, 46, were arrested over the weekend on charges related to stealing cash and lottery tickets, respectively, from the Citgo convenience store on the first block of West High Street.
Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas said the first incident at the Citgo occurred Jan. 14 and involved “no confrontation.”
A cash box was placed somewhere inside the convenience store toward closing time and went missing, Thomas said. Pottstown Police responded around 9:23 p.m.