Pottstown School District Adopts Proposed $60M Budget That Raises Taxes 2.9 Percent

POTTSTOWN — With a 7-2 vote at its May 15 meeting, the Pottstown School Board adopted a $59.9 million proposed budget that would raise taxes by 2.9 percent if it is adopted unchanged as a final budget in June.

Board members Ron Williams and Thomas Hylton cast the only two votes against the proposed budget, which increases spending 5.6 percent and would increase the annual tax bill by $81.91 for the owner of a property assessed at $73,670 — the borough’s median assessment.

Board member Amy Francis said, “This is a very difficult decision for me because, like every other taxpayer, I am at the end of my rope, but I also feel we have a responsibility to get the job done that we started with the renovations at the elementary schools. We can’t do one without the other.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140521/pottstown-adopts-proposed-60m-budget-that-raises-taxes-29

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Pottstown School Board To Vote On $125K Electrical Outlet Upgrade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board’s facilities committee will ask the full board to spend about $125,000 to install an additional 263 outlets in classrooms at Barth Elementary School, the renovation of which was just completed in September.

The much-debated change-order will also replace seven “1950s-era” electrical panels with three modern ones, said Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer, who made the recommendation.

The outlet changes were requested by teachers, who do not believe the older outlets in the building are adequate or in the right locations. Further, they are not comparable with the more modern outlets that will be in the renovated rooms at Lincoln, Rupert and Franklin elementary schools.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140415/pottstown-school-board-to-vote-on-125k-electrical-outlet-upgrade

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$3M Bike Lane/Sidewalk Project Would Create Safe Routes To Schools In Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — An ambitious $3 million plan to repair sidewalks and install bike lanes throughout the town as part of an effort to establish “Safe Routes to Schools” was unveiled Monday before borough council.

The idea is to combine state transportation funding and seek funding from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation as a match to undertake the upgrades, which would include repairing numerous damaged borough sidewalks at no cost to property owners.

At the same time, said Pottstown School District Superintendent Jeff Sparagana, the district would seek to incorporate the idea of physical fitness into its curriculum and encourage students to walk or ride a bicycle to school and home again.

Sparagana offered up two towns, Naperville, Ill. and Titusville, Pa., where similar efforts were undertaken and have proven successful.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130613/NEWS01/130619676/-3m-bike-lane-sidewalk-project-would-create-safe-routes-to-schools#full_story

Pottstown School Board Seeks Input On Stadium Lighting

POTTSTOWN — The school board has deciding against using as much as $225,000 in money it had not expected to receive from the state to replace the football stadium’s aging light poles.

Instead, the board agreed to reach out to the community to solicit ideas for how to raise the money.

“I’ve had a lot of feedback from the community about this,” said board member Amy Francis.  “And we’re really between a rock and a hard place.”

 “I think we need to find a way to make it happen, but we need to find a more creative way,” she said.

Thomas Hylton Mentioned In Morning Call Article About Bethlehem School District Building Project

Editor’s note:  This is priceless!!! 

…By sticking to Roy’s timeline, the district will not invite a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historic preservation advocate, Thomas Hylton, to tour Nitschmann as south Bethlehem resident Stephen Antalics had requested.

Board President Michael Faccinetto said Hylton, who had argued in a recent Morning Call editorial for the cheapest possible renovation of Nitschmann, could present his views at a public meeting.  But Faccinetto said the district would not allow Hylton a private tour of Nitschmann as he had gotten at Broughal before the building was torn down to make room for the new school and its athletic fields.

“The last time he came here, he billed the district $5,000 for his services,” Faccinetto said.

On Nov. 20, Hylton, a member of the Pottstown School Board and president of the nonprofit group Save Our Land, Save Our Towns, said he never offered to tour Nitschmann.  He said he did not know his name was being bantered around the district.

“All I ever did was write the piece in the op-ed,” Hylton said…

Read the whole story here:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-nitschmann-broughal-20121126,0,5200349.story

Pottstown School Board Rejects Second Look At School Project Plans

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — With a 7-3 vote Thursday night, the school board rejected a proposal to suspend work on designing additions to three elementary schools to allow the potential to save as much as $6.5 million to be explored.

The proposal, made by school board member Thomas Hylton, sought to take advantage of a recent change in long-standing state policy that was made with the passage of the most recent budget in Harrisburg.

Throughout the many years of discussion on the elementary school project, it has been state policy that it will not provide reimbursement to any school construction project that does not eliminate the use of modular classrooms.

The need to meet this requirement is among those driving the decision to add between 12 to 14 classrooms in additions to Rupert, Lincoln and Franklin elementary schools, which is where the $24 million project now stands.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120803/NEWS01/120809803/pottstown-school-board-rejects-second-look-at-school-project-plans&pager=full_story

Thomas Hylton Is Astonished By Plans To Add Classrooms To Pottstown Elementary Schools

The Grand Poobah of the Pottstown School Board, Thomas Hylton seems to suffer from convenient memory loss.  After carefully reading Evan Brandt’s account of the latest school board meeting, I found this quote by Numero Uno Responsible Citizen, Thomas Hylton rather humorous.

“Our first responsibility,” Hylton said, “is the economic viability of this community and, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is astonishing to me that we are thinking of adding extra classrooms to our elementary schools.”  

This cow patty of wisdom from the number one Rupert-lover himself.  What about the architecturally correct windows and geothermal heating and cooling that Responsible Tom proposed for Rupert?  Now suddenly we’re “astonished” that we want to add classrooms to house the Edgewood students.  Should we educate them on the lawn, Tom?

The Middle School would need to be retrofitted to segregate the elementary students from the middle school students.  That will cost money as well.  It was made abundantly clear by the parents of elementary students that they do not want their children mixed in with the middle school population.  I guess Tom forgot about the community outrage when he proposed putting 5th grade in the Middle School during his heyday as Neighborhood Schools Potentate.

I think somebody needs some Ginkgo biloba or the wifey needs to take better notes at meetings.

Wyomissing To Replace Red Oak Trees

Editor’s note:  Now this is a well thought out street tree philosophy.  Imagine the idea that trees have a “life-cycle” and need to be replaced at a certain point.  Wyomissing also employs two certified arborists to maintain their trees!
 

Driving through Wyomissing, one immediately notices the tall, sturdy trees that line the streets, providing shade and suburban character.

But Jim Babb, borough public works and property manager, wants to make it clear that some of these octogenarian red oak trees are nearing the end of their long lives.

Soon, they will have to be replaced by baby red oaks that will take decades to reach the height attained by the current trees.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=367538

Pottstown School Board Reorganization Holds Promise Of Positive Change

Last night the Friends of Pottstown Public Education candidates Judyth Zahora, Mary-Beth Lydon and Andrew Kefer took their places as members of the Pottstown School Board.  The three candidates were able to win school director seats in the November election, despite Mr. Hylton’s attempts to sway the voting public with his high-gloss, smear-tactic postcards.  Pottstown voters were not taken in a second time by the eleventh hour negative campaigning waged by Tartan Tom’s political action committee, Citizens For Responsible Government.  Citizens For Responsible Government is run out of Mr. Hylton’s Chestnut Street home aka Mount Olympus.

It would seem Pottstown is getting tired of Mr. Hylton’s meddling in our affairs.  The borough was the first group to untangle themselves from Mr. Hylton’s death-grip involvement by making the Shade Tree Commission obsolete and taking control of Pottstown’s shade trees.  Mr. Hylton also lost his support and was not returned to the Planning Commission after twelve disastrous years which brought us revolutionary concepts like back-in angle parking.

Now it would seem Mr. Hylton’s grip on the school board has been pried loose by the election of the Friends of Pottstown Public Education block of candidates.  Last night, Judyth Zahora was elected President of the Pottstown School Board.  Mrs. Zahora is not unfamiliar with this role as she was President before.  Robert Hartman was sworn in as Vice-President.  While Mr. Hartman was not a Friends of Pottstown Public Education candidate, his actions show he is very much like-minded.

Now that sanity has been restored to the school board and Mr. Hylton has been neutralized, we can look forward to fiscally responsible decisions being made.  We can also look forward to transparency and accountability being returned with the dissolving of the Neighborhood Schools Committee, Mr. Hylton being removed as sole “liaison” on the $15 million renovation project and the mandatory use of school district email to conduct business!  No more “secret” conversations between select school board members or the board being controlled by one person.  We elect nine people for a reason! The job is too large for any one person, even if they are a god-like being of superior intelligence, with a penchant for plaid.

We congratulate Mrs. Zahora and Mr. Hartman.  We wish them much success, along with the other new members of the school board.  The task is daunting, but we voted you into these positions because we have faith and confidence you will make the best decisions for the education of our children and the fiscal health of our school district and borough.

Save Pottstown Lambastes Thomas Hylton In Election Related Post

Ah, the smell of napalm is in the air once again as Election Day is just around the corner.  Our friends at Save Pottstown have come out of semi-retirement to shed some light on the self-proclaimed “most powerful man in Pottstown” and his election antics campaign.  Look for those glossy mailers to start trashing up your mailboxes soon!  If nothing else, they make lovely bird-cage liners or table crumbers.

To read Save Pottstown’s revealing look at Mr. Hylton aka the PAC man’s finances and get a few yucks at their verbiage, click on the link below:

http://savepottstown.com/lang/es/2011/11/the-queen-of-the-big-spenders-is-back/

Curb Tree Damage Around Pottstown After Weekend Snow

Free lance photographer and occasional Roy’s Rants contributor Jody Rhoads snapped a few pictures around town showing curb tree damage after Saturday’s freak October snow storm.  I suppose a certain Citizen For Responsible Government, aka the PAC man, on Chestnut Street is mourning the loss of some of his precious babies.

Thomas Hylton Tells Derry Township How To Be All They Can Be

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Image via Wikipedia

From the Derry Township website:

Speaker to Kick-Off the Review of the Comprehensive Plan

Pulitzer Prize winning author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns and Smart Growth leader, Tom Hylton, will kick-off the Township’s Comprehensive Plan survey, Your Vision for Derry Township, on Monday, September 12, at 7 p.m., at the Hershey Public Library. (The survey will be available online at www.derrytownship.org in late August.)

Hylton won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles he wrote about Smarth Growth issues in Eastern Pennsylvania.  He also authored and produced a documentary that showed on WITF.  He will discuss Smart Growth, Walk to School Programs, and how to make a community the best that it can be.  (Because it has worked so well in Pottstown)

The September 12th event is free and open to the public.  However, seating is limited. To reserve a seat, email SandyBallard@derrytownship.org and she will mark a seat(s) with your name on it until 6:45 PM and notify you via email if the event needs to be moved to a larger location.

Visit saveourlandsaveourtowns.org for more information on Tom Hylton.  Funding for the presentation is being provided through a Dauphin County grant. (Money for glossy mailers in November)

All I can say to the nice folks in Derry Township is, before you go getting all in a lather, come to Pottstown and see Mr. Hylton’s handiwork first-hand.

Irene Causes Damage In The Hylton State Forest aka Pottstown

Sixth Ward Councilor and Man of the People Jody Rhoads was out and about this morning assessing storm damage in our fair borough.  Here are some photos Jody took around Pottstown showing the tree damage caused by Hurricane Irene.  Some of it is extensive.  Notice the curb tree damage.  Many thanks to Councilor Rhoads for sharing his photographs with our readers!

Sidewalks On King Street vs. Curb Trees – The Trees Are Winning

While covering the Slumlord Rally today, I could not help but notice the horrible condition of the Thomas Hylton Memorial Sidewalk in the 400 block of King Street  In addition to slumlords ruining the neighborhood, the curb trees have overtaken King Street and the sidewalks are in dangerous condition!  Here are some pictures for your viewing displeasure!

He’s Back In The Saddle Again – Thomas Hylton’s Neighborhood Schools Committee Rises From The Ashes

You may remember a while back that Mr. Hylton and his Neighborhood Schools Committee (NSC) were reigned in by the board for operating outside the normal limits of a committee.  They were placed under the Facilities Committee so that decisions would be made that included the entire board, not just “selected members”.

Oh, how times have changed.  Mr. Hylton’s power grab has landed him back in the catbird seat once again.  Mr. Hylton now has a majority of five votes on the board that will predictably go his way.  The NSC is now unfettered and free to act without the pesky interference of those other four trouble makers on the board who disagree with him.

On August 8th, the NSC held an 18 minute meeting to discuss a few issues.  Chairman Dennis Wausnock and Committee members Valerie Harris and Thomas Hylton were in attendance.  Déjà vu anyone.  There were some others in attendance, members of the administration, two other board members, Crabtree and Rohrbaugh folks and a couple of spectators.  Just a cozy little group, the way Mr. Hylton likes it :)

Mr. Thees (a former board member) asked some pointed questions:

  1. Will the cost summary be provided to the public?
  2. Mr. Thees asked about those darned historical windows that keep popping up.
  3. Is four weeks enough time for Crabtree and Rohrbaugh to go through the list?
  4. Why is Mr. Hylton the sole representative on the board for this project?

Mrs. Weand asked Mr. Hylton if the other eight members of the board are not to be involved in the day-to-day decisions.  Mr. Hylton replied that the board decided the Neighborhood Schools Committee has been appointed to oversee the work.  Ms. Harris chimed in that every board member has a say but that Mr. Hylton is the point person for the day-to-day dealings.   (The answer to Mrs. Weand’s question is a resounding NO!).

So Crabtree and Rohrbaugh have four weeks to provide a timeline to the NSC on the completion of renovations to Pottstown’s five elementary schools.  Of course, this motion passed with three yes votes.

Another motion was passed to authorize the preliminary work necessary to issue the $15 million bond ASAP.

Of course, the NSC voted to make Mr. Hylton the sole point of day-to-day contact between the PSD administration, Crabtree and Rohrbaugh, Stephen Kalis and others involved in the upgrade of our five elementary schools.

A motion was made and passed to develop a contingency plan for emergency student housing if the construction takes longer than anticipated.  (We can only imagine what this will entail!)

Eighteen minutes later, Mr. Hylton made the motion to adjourn.

Future meetings will be on an “as needed basis”.  (Sounds like the Shade Tree Commission)

If this doesn’t raise a few eyebrows then I am not sure what will.  Mr. Hylton has made himself Elementary Emperor.  He will be the only board member involved in this process and has effectively shut out the other seven elected school board directors from the day-to-day process of spending $15 million dollars to “band aid” five school buildings.

Does this seem unusual to anyone else?

You know those historical windows will end up in Rupert.  What you don’t know is that those windows will enrich the quality of education in the Pottstown School District tremendously.  Why I bet they will even make test scores in the high school go up to meet the state required levels.  The sense of pride in those historical windows will inspire our students to greatness.

Just another day in Pottstown.

Evidently Stupid Is As Stupid Does In Pottstown

Despite the enormous amount of time and effort put forth by the Task Force and the cross-section of people who were involved in the process; the Pottstown Hyltonville School District Board of Education has voted to maintain five old elementary school buildings in light of the fact that:  a. Hyltonville cannot afford them and b. in the long run taxes will increase more by doing nothing.

Great job!  Not!

Many thanks to the Task Force for their hard work and many thanks to the four forward-thinking school board directors (Huss, Hartman, Pargeon, Weand) who voted NO to this giant step backward.  Watch how many homes go up for sale now!

Please keep in mind the five school board directors (Harris, Hylton, Wausnock, White, Wilson) who voted for this stick your head in the sand “plan” so when your taxes spiral even further out of control you’ll remember who to blame!  In case you forget, I’ll remind you when the times comes.

Two gigantic Roy’s Rants thumbs down and a cyber raspberry.

How Many Elementary Schools Does Pottstown Need? School Board To Vote On Thursday!

If you have followed events over the last year, you know that a crucial vote is coming up this Thursday.  The Pottstown School Board will be voting on which Task Force option to go with.  Mr. Hylton of course favors the five school plan because he mistakenly thinks that people are moving to Pottstown because we have “walkable” elementary schools.  In fact, people don’t move to Pottstown because of the school system.

The Task Force labored for a year to come up with a plan.  Naturally, Mr. Hylton is against their recommendations because Mr. Hylton’s brain contains more intelligence than the sum total of the other 22,376 residents of Pottstown combined.  If you don’t believe me, just ask him.  This vast reservoir of knowledge brought us back-in angle parking on High Street  This bone-headed concept has had a negative impact on our central business district.  If you don’t think so, drive down High Street aka Desolation Boulevard.  Many people refuse to park on High Street because of the back-in parking.  It is very unpopular (much like the purple lights),

I received permission to repost the comment below from the author. The writer explains why Mr. Hylton’s “logic” on keeping five elementary schools is a negative and in the long run far more costly than reducing to three elementary schools, as recommended by the Task Force.  The comment was in response to this SavePottstown!! post.  I urge you to read and carefully consider this information!

Without further adieu I give you Even Keel’s words of wisdom:

Even Keel

It amazes me that some school board members will make this decision based on buildings. Buildings! Not tax savings, not a better educational product, not improved efficiency, but buildings.

IMHO, the two biggest questions to ask and base a decision from are:

1) What are the future costs to the town in tax dollars? What plan saves us the most future tax dollars?

2) What plan provides for the most efficient, effective educational product for the children?

So I’ll take a stab at your question, readytomove, because my belief is that the recommended 3 school, PK – 5 plan accomplishes the best long-term savings.

While the 3 school plan is 33 million, there is a significant PDE reimbursement so that 33 quickly becomes 24. Let’s figure in a more than generous cost overrun, just for arguments sake, and make it 26 mil for total construction costs of the 3 school plan.

The 5 school maintenance plan has been estimated (estimated, because there are still some figures which aren’t known) as a 13-15 million dollar plan. There is no PDE reimbursement with this (and quite possibly a higher cost of financing.) Let’s add in that same cost overrun and put it at 17 mil for the upgrade costs of the 5 school maintenance plan.

That leaves a high estimate of an upfront 9 million dollar difference between the two plans.

Now, let’s look at the savings. With the 3 school plan, the savings in staff reductions is $750,000 in the first year. That cost was generated using this current year’s salary/benefit numbers. This savings would actually increase each consecutive year (compounding) as teacher salaries/benefits costs are always increasing, which we’re all painfully aware of.

Operating and utility cost savings for the 3 school plan would equal $135,000 the first year. (This figure does not take into account the efficiency savings of improved lighting, newer efficient HVAC systems, etc.) Again, this was calculated using this year’s utility and operating costs and as they also go up every year, this savings would increase each consecutive year.

So, in the first year alone the 3 school plan saves $885,000 in staff, operating and utility reductions and that number actually increases in every consecutive future year. But wait, there’s more! The Plan-Con financing for the 3 school plan may yield a much better rate of financing. With current cap rates, it is very feasible it could be as much as 2% or more. There is a small savings to be had there.

All totaled, the per annual savings of the 3 school plan would be very close to a million dollars. It would therefore take approx. less than 9 years to make up the savings of expending the additional 9 million dollars up front, right now for the 3 school plan. (Coincidentally, 9 years from now is when the highest debt burden of the PERS fiasco will be upon us. Seems to me we would want to be saving the most money possibly come that point in time to keep the tax burden lower than it needs to be.)

To be fair, the 5 school maintenance plan does provide savings, but nowhere near to these levels. The utility savings for the geo-thermal payoff alone are longer than 9 years. And I’ll throw it out there – Mr. Hylton loves to say that his plan would keep these buildings open for 20+ more years but not Crabtree Rohrbaugh or any structural engineer has yet to professionally opine that sentiment.

Look at all the improvements you’re getting with the 3 school plan that you aren’t with the other: ADA compliance, multi-purpose rooms to accommodate PE and lunch, Pre-K rooms for a max of 20 students, classrooms for a max of 25 (classroom max is higher with the other plan), decent library, art, music and computer rooms. All of these things for lesser future tax dollars than keeping the current status quo.

Mr. Hylton loves to dangle the fact that Pottstown is the 7th highest taxed district in the State. His plan of “light maintenance” on 5 schools does nothing to help that figure. It is a band-aid for a system that has failed us when what we need is a shift towards a more efficient system. The 3 school plan gives us an opportunity to realize better efficiency in schools that attract people and includes significant future cost reductions.

We may never see taxes go down, but we can make the right choices to slow their impending rise in the future.

A wise Superintendent recently said, “It takes courageous leadership from individuals in the community as well as those in official positions of leadership to focus on the issues that continually keep this community from reaching its potential.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Junk Flyers Make Their Way To Pottstown’s North End

Someone went through our complex today slapping Rupert flyers in the hallways of the buildings.  The hallways were just painted and the wet paint signs are still hanging up!

There are only six apartments in this complex out of one hundred and four with elementary school age children according to our Leasing Manager.  Most people who live here are senior citizens or do not have children.  That was a complete waste of time and paper.  So thanks for junking up our hallways with your flyers!

As for the proposed sale of Franklin School to a group who will open a private high school for problem teens, we all saw the article in The Fishwrap so photocopying it on a flyer and littering up the North End was a waste of time and paper.  I DO NOT see that concept getting approved.  Scare tactics!

If you want to get behind the real problem in Pottstown you should be focused on drugs and crime related to drugs.  That is doing more damage to Pottstown than any elementary school closing will ever do!

UPDATE!  Many thanks to SavePottstown!! for investing this matter and reporting it to the authorities!

http://savepottstown.com/lang/es/2011/07/criminals-on-the-run/

Additional Update – Today’s Fishwrap includes coverage of the Pottstown School District Finance Committee meeting that was held on Thursday evening.  Evan reports that the board showed little interest in selling the Annex to Delaware Valley High School to educate “troubled” Reading teenagers.  Dr. Lindley revealed that he did not give a tour of Franklin School to the DVHS group.  Dr. Lindley told the DVHS group that Pottstown does not have the need for this type of program for our own students.  So as you see, now that the facts are presented this whole hysterical campaign about Franklin School was just that…hysterical.  It would be nice if we gave Dr. Lindley and the School Board some credit for having a brain before rushing to incorrect conclusions and whooping the community into a frenzied lather over something that was never going to happen!

Pottstown’s East End Plastered With Illegal Flyers!

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Our good friends over at Save Pottstown!! have brought a recent epidemic to light that we feel is important information for the taxpayers and law-abiding citizens of Pottstown to be made aware of.  The problem is an over-zealous 6th Ward resident(s) has plastered Save Rupert flyers on any stationary object they can find.

Save Pottstown’s research found that posting these flyers is illegal in the Borough of Pottstown.  Secondly, these flyers also include Franklin School on them.  However, as Save Pottstown discovered, these flyers are thankfully NOT in the North End.  I live near Franklin School and have not seen any and please don’t pollute our neighborhood with them.

The hysteria and inability to make a rational decision about keeping 5 old school buildings is beyond comprehension.  People are not moving to Pottstown in droves because of neighborhood schools.  Instead, they move to other school districts all around Pottstown with more modern facilities.  Mr. Hylton’s own “figures” show that PSD enrollment is down and staff is up so why is he so hell-bent on keeping all these old buildings?  The mother of all $64,000 questions!

To read Save Pottstown’s excellent analysis, click here:

http://savepottstown.com/lang/es/2011/07/crime-wave-hits-the-east-end/

Pottstown Pennsylvania – The Land That Time Forgot

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Evidently we live in a time warp in Pottstown.  Forward momentum and progress are alien concepts here.  Instead we prefer to stick our heads in the sand, cling to the past (and our favorite elementary school) and refuse to look at the grim reality that lies ahead.

Pottstown School District and Pottstown Borough cannot afford to continue to operate in “Leave It To Beaver” mode any longer.  There are serious financial challenges that lie ahead and they need to be addressed in creative and thoughtful ways.  Instead, we have people like Responsible Tom who are trying to push Pottstown back into the 1950′s.

In case nobody has paid attention, the world has changed drastically from the days of Laverne, Shirley and the Fonz (whoa).  People have different expectations these days.   Parents want modern schools with state of the art technology for their children’s education – or at least the middle class, home owning families we are “supposedly” trying to attract to stabilize our tax base do.

Fixing up five old buildings will leave us with five temporarily fixed up old buildings.  Down the road, this problem will have to be painfully addressed again.

The Task Force spent a long time pouring over information.  A variety of people, from all facets of Pottstown life, were included on the Task Force to make sure there would be good representation from all segments of the community.  Now the Task Force has reached their decision and we want to totally invalidate the time and effort they put into this project because some people do not like the outcome.

Progress and change are not easy.  It is painful for many people.  However, for this community to survive and prosper, change must happen.  We can NOT please everyone nor should we try to.  However, in this land that time forgot, where a tiny fraction of the public votes, attends school board or borough council meetings, we continue to delay the inevitable reality that irresponsible spending will only continue to compound our already tenuous financial position.

We need to run the borough and the school district like businesses and stop spending money we do not have before the financial bottom falls out of everything.  If you can’t afford something at home, you don’t buy it.  The same should hold true with spending taxpayer’s money.  We have champagne taste and a beer pocketbook here in Hyltonville.  It’s about time we snap into reality.  Somebody needs to bite the bullet and “let go” of something so that the entire community can move forward.  Until that time comes, Pottstown will be “the land that time forgot”

I leave you with a story.

The Child and the Filberts

A child (taxpayer) put their hand into a pitcher full of filberts (elementary schools). They grasped as many as they could hold (5), but when they tried to pull out their hand, they were prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher (bank account). Unwilling to lose their filberts (elementary schools), and yet unable to withdraw their hand, the child burst into tears and bitterly lamented their disappointment. A bystander said to the child, “Be satisfied with half the quantity (elementary schools), and you will readily draw out your hand.”