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