It’s Shooting Season In Pottstown – Warm Weather Brings Increase In Crime

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

What exactly does it take before the powers that be take Pottstown‘s out of control crime rate seriously and do something about it?  Is this sorry state of affairs the best the citizens and taxpayers of Pottstown can hope for?

Maybe outsourcing the police department needs to be a consideration.  $3 million dollars a year is a great deal of money to spend for a crime rate equal to Philadelphia and Reading!   Hell, hire the PA State Police or the National Guard.  I bet you’d get results then!  How does a 5 square mile borough with slightly more than 22,000 people end up in this condition?  Poor leadership!

Granted, one has to wonder what two people are doing standing in Buttonwood alley at 4am.  We all know Buttonwood Alley is a high incident area so why aren’t we being proactive and doing something to crack down on crime once and for all!?!  SEND A MESSAGE THAT WE WON’T TOLERATE THIS BEHAVIOR IN POTTSTOWN!

Numerous larger cities in Pennsylvania have a lower crime rate than Pottstown, as I have spelled out in earlier posts.  What about surveillance cameras???  What about crime tracking software???  Again, can we say PROACTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There are grants out there!

The next Chief of Police needs to be tough on crime.  The current highly paid top cop shrugs his shoulders and blames Pottstown’s crime problem on its location between Reading and Philadelphia.  No other towns along 422 have a crime rate anywhere near Pottstown (except Norristown – like that’s something to aspire to?????)  And why is that?  For $100,000 dollars a year I think the taxpayers of Pottstown should expect certain results and there needs to be accountability from a department head.  Maybe if the people who make these big municipal salaries had to live in Pottstown they might care more about what goes on after 5pm when they take their pay check and leave town!

Here’s the latest news from the Fishwrap about Sunday morning’s double shooting in Buttonwood Alley:

Pottstown Civic Activists Stage Rally Against Deadbeat Slumlords On King Street

Teri Lyn Jensen-Sellers and Katy Jackson, both neighborhood residents, organized a rally today to protest “landlord” Andrew Soule’s $10,000+ in back payments for sewer/water/trash to the Borough of Pottstown and the condition of his buildings in the 400 block of King Street.  Reporters from The Mercury, The Pottstown Patch and Roy’s Rants were on hand to document the effort of this group to draw attention to this huge problem plaguing Pottstown.  Absentee landlords with blighted properties and overdue bills are straining Pottstown’s already stressed tax base.

The Borough of Pottstown is owed over $700,000 in back water/sewer/trash payments from 200 people.  The top 10 people on the Pottstown Wall of Shame owe nearly $200,000.  As Pottstown Borough Manager Jason Bobst has stated, “It’s all the same people that we see time and time again.”  Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski uses the Hall of Shame tactic in Allentown very successfully.  Mrs. Jackson recently attended a webinar on this subject hosted by Allentown’s mayor to learn more about how other towns and cities are coping with this problem.

Mr. Soule was evidently on the scene when the first protestors appeared, but left upon their arrival.  Mrs. Jensen-Sellers questioned a man but he denied being Andrew Soule.  A neighbor stated it was Mr. Soule after the man departed.

Sixth Ward Councilor and Man of the People, Jody Rhoads was on the scene as the sole representative of Pottstown Borough leadership along with Gallery on High/Gallery School co-founder Cathy Paretti and Andrew Monastra, a real estate lawyer with an office in the borough.  A Code Blue member was in attendance as well as other concerned borough residents.

I interviewed two former tenants of Mr. Soule, both of whom had unpleasant dealings with the landlord.

Both Mrs. Paretti and Mr. Monastra shared their feelings about doing business in Pottstown and the challenges of being a business owner here.  Both see the potential Pottstown has to offer but understand that many things need to change before Pottstown can follow in Phoenixville’s footsteps.

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!

Pottstown Citizens Plan Protest Again Slumlords For Friday

Are you a Pottstown borough resident?

Are you sick of slumlords not paying their water/sewer/trash bills?

Are you sick of slumlords renting to anybody that breathes and can pay their rent (not doing criminal background checks)?

Are you ready to make a statement that Pottstown residents are ready to take back their town?

If so, a group is gathering tomorrow, Friday, August 26th at 5:30 pm in the 400 block of King Street, between Franklin and Washington Sts.  This event is for anyone who is ready to say ENOUGH!  There will be a press conference and protest to demand that these deadbeats pay up or get the hell out of Pottstown! 

Feel free to bring your picket signs!

The National Night Out – Pottstown


“America’s Night Out Against Crime

Pottstown, PA July 15, 2011

Pottstown residents will participate again this year in National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.  Activities will be at Chestnut Street Park at the corner of Washington and Chestnut Streets in Pottstown, starting at 6:30 pm. The celebration is being coordinated by Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization, the  MOSAIC Community Land Trust, Pottstown, PA, and Genesis Housing.

Residents old and young are invited to be at the Park at 6:30 pm for the start of the activities. There will be hot dogs and refreshments, public safety demonstrations, and a story time for kids with book reading on internet safety awareness. The official activities for National Night Out, or NNO for short, will last until 8:30 pm.

New this year for Pottstown will be a four-block walk through the streets near the Park.  The traditional display of support for NNO is to keep an outside light on during the evening, and to sit outside on a porch or step. The organizers are excited that the short march will add even more spirit and fun to this year’s celebration. Residents who cannot make it to the park are still asked to leave their lights on, and sit outside as their part of the vigil! Rain or shine, the event will go on.

Questions, suggestions and offers to volunteer or contribute can be directed to or

NNO is an easy way, on a single day, to invest in community spirit and to show that the neighborhoods are being taken back by the people from the criminals. Residents are asked to come out to show solidarity against drugs and crime, and to help develop a partnership between the community and local police, fire and emergency services.

Any organization wishing to set up a table is encouraged to join the activities; please bring your own table and any information or handouts you would like to give away. The organizers will not be able to provide tables. (To help the organizers with planning, please send a note in advance to to let them know you’ll be there with your table!)

Thousands of communities and millions of citizens will be participating across the U.S.A. In Pennsylvania alone, as many as 150 municipalities will be taking part. NNO is sponsored by the National association of Town Watch.


ABOUT National Night Out and National Association of Town Watch: 

The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a non-profit, crime prevention organization which works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, was introduced by the Association in 1984. The event has grown from 400 towns in 23 states the first year, to over 15,000 communities in all 50 states with 37 million people last year in August 2010. The 2011 event is expected to be even bigger. More information on NATW and NNO can be found at

ABOUT Genesis Housing Corporation :

Genesis Housing Corporation is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and to the education of consumers on housing and financial issues.

Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has served Montgomery County as a community housing development organization (CHDO). Our general activities include the rehabilitation and new construction of homes to improve and stabilize neighborhoods and to provide opportunities for lower income homebuyers to purchase homes at affordable prices. Genesis Housing Corporation also provides housing counseling and money management services for potential homebuyers and homeowners. More information on Genesis is available at

ABOUT Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization:

Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization (“CPR”) is working to unify all of Pottstown’s pockets of activism. In keeping with CPR’s mission to breathe new life into our community through positive actions, community involvement, courage and respect, we invite you to submit news and comments promoting the betterment of Pottstown.  Viva Pottstown! More information is available at

ABOUT MOSAIC Community Land Trust, Pottstown PA:

MOSAIC Community Land Trust, Pottstown, PA is a local non-profit corporation dedicated to increasing affordable homeownership opportunities in Pottstown, developing a community garden at 423 Chestnut Street, and empowering residents to participate in the improvement of their own neighborhoods. Collaboration is the key to their efforts to create long-lasting change, and they are already partnering with local businesses, volunteers, Pottstown School District, Pottstown Borough and other community organizations, such as The Gallery and Genesis Housing Corporation. MOSAIC has been working with a nationally-recognized expert in community land trusts, thanks to a grant from National Penn Bank. More information available at

Upcoming Pottstown Events Sponsored By CPR

A section of the vegetable garden

Image via Wikipedia

Sat. – May 21, 2011 – Garden Party at the Park – From 10am – 1pm
Help plant a garden in the park.  We will be putting a small vegetable garden beside the Police Sub Station building.  Plants, mulch and soil donated by Colonial Gardens, Phoenixville and the raised vegetable garden courtesy of Genesis Housing Corp.  We will also discuss the mural that is planned for the park.  Light refreshments will be served.
Sat. – June 4, 2011 (Rain Date – June 11) – Science in the Park – From 12pm – 3pm
Several local scientists will demonstrate interactive and fascinating science experiments geared to amaze elementary and middle school age children.  Event sponsored by Genesis Housing Corp. and Arkema Inc.  Food will be served to event participants.
Looking for Volunteers for both events:
Food Prep and Service (Light food Donations for Garden Party)
General Help

Please Respond if interested in helping.

Best Regards,
Anna Johnson


Pottstown Neighborhood Watch Needs You!‏

There’s no time like the present to take back our neighborhood!  The message must be loud and clear that VIOLENCE, CRIME and DRUGS will not be tolerated in our community.  Please join us at the PAL Bldg. (146 King St.) @ 7PM on Friday-2/18/2011 to discuss the following topics on the agenda:

1. Pottstown Crime Statistics
2. Organizing a Pottstown Court Watch
3. Collaborating with the Pottstown Guardian Angel Chapter

All are welcome and participation is not required, you get credit for just showing up! So, tell your friends and we hope to see you there..

Please respond if you plan on attending @

Tentative Neighborhood Watch and Events Schedule 2011 (CPR Website)
Friday, February 18, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhood Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Patrol Training by Guardian Angels (1h) | 21 N. Hanover (Pottstown Karate Club)

Friday, March 18, 2011
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Witness Training by Pottstown Police (1h) | Borough Hall (3rd Floor Council Chambers)

Friday, April 15, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhood Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Science in the Park (4h) | Washington/Chestnut St. Park

Friday, June 17, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhoo d Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Friday, August 19, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhood Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Friday, October 21, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhood Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Friday, December 16, 2011
7:00pm – 7:45pm
Neighborhood Watch Meeting (45m) | PAL Bldg (146 King St.)

Critical Pottstown Council Meeting Tuesday Night (Oct. 11th – 7 pm) – Be There!!!

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

My friend and community activist Katy Jackson wrote this piece regarding what’s going on in the “core neighborhood”…  Katy and her husband live in the “core neighborhood” where all this crap is going on so she speaks from first-hand knowledge!

Katy writes:

“An aggressive neighborhood stabilization partnership among Montgomery County, the code enforcement department and the police department should be established immediately.  This partnership can ensure the strict compliance with requirements of units using Section 8 and other federal and state housing vouchers.”

From the pages of last year’s Urban Land Institute Report, (note their use of the word, “aggressive”).  In the short time they were here, at the Pottstown Partnerships request, the ULI understood that our neighborhoods are in crisis, and that their stability is vital to revitalization.  This is not rocket science people, but the borough still doesn’t get it.

We pay our taxes, we take care of our properties, we clean up after the deadbeat landlords and their criminal tenants. We pick up the drug baggies, the needles, the spent casings and the trash left carelessly on our streets and sidewalks. We do our best to protect our properties and our families from the feuding gangs, the misguided gun shots that ring out day and night…and we call the cops.  More often than not, when we contact the borough for answers, we are “treated” to the dismissive, uninformed attitude of borough employees and the ineffective, clandestine efforts of our police department.
We recently learned that the county is pushing even more subsidized housing on our community while we are literally drowning under the weight of the existing housing.  Borough leaders have demonstrated that they cannot get control of the problems that are leading to the complete degradation of our neighborhoods and ultimately the town.  Why would they even consider more of the same?

What kind of a deal has the borough made with the county?Why won’t the county step up to the plate to work with the borough to clean up our neighborhoods, get control of the subsidized housing problems, repair our sidewalks, our streets, our infrastructure and help make Pottstown attractive to new businesses that can create jobs and homeowners who will increase our revenue?

Are we earmarked, as some would suggest, to become Montgomery County’s dumping ground for Section 8 and other subsidized housing? Is this Borough really going to “roll-over and play dead” in the name of turning a quick buck without due consideration for the future ramifications of their decision?

Who is going to support this town when all the decent taxpayers have gone and subsidized housing, non-profit service agencies and churches are all that remain? THINK ABOUT IT.  We are being systematically diminished.

The taxpayers are mad as hell and we are going to hold this borough accountable for taking “right action” to protect the best interests of the homeowners, the conscientious investors, and all of the responsible residents of Pottstown. This includes enforcement of ALL of their existing ordinances including the Nuisance Ordinance.

Join us, Tuesday night, at Borough Hall to speak your truth and let your voices be heard, loud and clear.

Power to the Pottstown People!

Pottstown Noise/Nuisance Ordinance

This kind of ordinance is what was being discussed at the meeting Thursday evening.  Using this ordinance to file civil suits against property owners who rent to criminals.  Illegal activity usually has noise associated with it.  Gunshots come to mind.

We already have a tool in place that can be used by average citizens to fight back against undesirable neighbors.

Read and familiarize yourselves with this!

Important Meeting Alert!!!!!

If you are sick and tired of the criminal element causing violence in Pottstown and would like to do something to make your voice heard, please read below and mark your calendar for this important meeting!

October 7th, 7:00 PM

Pottstown Diner – 99 W. King St. (corner of King and Rt.100) in the Banquet Room
Speaker:  Local Attorney, Adam Sager
Mercury Headlines:  

Shots Fired Monday in Pottstown, Two Homes Hit…

Pottstown Man Describes Shooting Home Intruder…

Pottstown Police Seek Info on Brutal Home Invasion…

Pottstown Drug Dealer Convicted of More Crimes…

We all know that this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG

ENOUGH.  We deserve to feel safe, to keep our families safe and to enjoy our homes and neighborhoods without fear.
Homeowners, concerned investors, business owners and concerned renters WE CAN take back our neighborhood. Listen to Mr. Sager to find out how civil law can be used to hold criminals and slum property owners accountable for the violence in our neighborhoods.
DON’T MISS THIS.  If you can’t be there, be sure you send a neighbor on your block. NO, better yet…round up all the good neighbors on your block.  Spread the word and let all of your friends and neighbors know about this meeting.
Bring this Flyer with your name printed below and win one of two $25 Wal-Mart gift cards, in time to decorate for Halloween. A random drawing will be held at the end of the meeting.
A BIG THANK YOU to our Good Neighbor – The Pottstown Diner for providing us with meeting space and refreshments.  Many Thanks to Attorney Adam Sager for his time, knowledge. willingness and support.  Way to Go Neighbors!!