Pottstown School District’s Proposed Budget Cuts 11 Staff, Raises Taxes

The Pottstown School Board introduced the proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year at its Thursday night meeting, May 8, 2014.  For a brief synopsis of the meeting and more information, visit Brandt’s blog Digital Notebook at http://evan-brandt.blogspot.com/.  To see the Storify visit https://storify.com/PottstownNews/of-bushes-and-budgets?utm_source=embed&utm_medium=publisher&utm_campaign=embed-header

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Pottstown Cleanup Effort Brings Out Volunteers

Editor’s note:  Evan Brandt did a nice job of promoting a positive event that happened in Pottstown recently which demonstrated some civic pride and community spirit.  Both are in short supply.  We enjoyed reading Evan’s article until this statement caught our eye:

During Monday’s council meeting, Flanders agreed and added, “There are a lot of special interest groups in town who come to borough council asking for fees and permits to be waived.  I didn’t see any of those groups represented and I share that with you as food for thought.”

We have a problem with BM Flander’s comment.  As Borough Manager, you should be trying to unite factions, bring people together and be the biggest promoter of Pottstown.  Instead, we get the above “finger-pointing” comment.  A total “us and them” statement with a negative connotation.

So Mark, do you think making snide comments will encourage any of these groups to pitch in next time there is a community event like this?  There could be any number of reasons why people did not attend.  Every organization can’t take part in every borough activity.  Many of the organizations you are throwing out as “food for thought” are already doing something for the community.  

It’s time to put away the “tough guy” shtick and start acting like a leader who brings people together.   Maybe try to smile more.  You look angry all the time.  It’s hard to feel the love.

POTTSTOWN — A group of about 50 dedicated volunteers braved the heat recently to help spruce up the borough for the summer.

Unlike some previous efforts, efforts which once had Councilman Mark Gibson declare he would no longer help organize such efforts, this most recent clean-up was “a great success and I want to thank the community for doing an excellent job,” he told council at the June 5 meeting.

“Even during the heat, they showed up and they picked up,” Gibson said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130611/NEWS01/130619784#full_story

Pottstown School District: Barth Project Costs Higher Due To Borough Consultant

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s Note:  This is priceless.  So the borough turns around and hires the same people to review Codes for $33,000.00.  Is somebody related to these people or what???  Is Evan Brandt the only person in Pottstown who researches anything? Wasn’t Barth already behind schedule when the borough hired the same outfit for the Codes study?  Does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing?

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Conshohocken engineering firm hired by the borough to suggest ways to make the codes department more efficient has caused delays and may cost borough taxpayers “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in cost overruns at the Barth Elementary School construction project, school officials said last week.

A call to Remington, Vernick and Beach Engineers seeking comment Monday was not returned before press time.

During the past several school board meetings, the district’s architect, construction managers and administration officials have made references to delays in getting the Barth Elementary School renovation project started.

Those delays, they said, have been due to requests and requirements made by Remington, Vernick & Beach.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121023/NEWS01/121029818/pottstown-schools-barth-project-costs-higher-due-to-borough-consultant-&pager=full_story

Many Questions About Jason Bobst’s Departure

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Below is a Letter to the Editor in today’s Fishwrap.  We give two big Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Glenn Mooney of Pottstown for raising his very valid points.  There is far more to Jason’s story, but unfortunately we will never know all the details.  Pottstown politics are nasty and people get tired of beating their head against a wall.  Sometimes you just have to walk away to preserve your own sanity.  Mr. Toroney has learned nothing from Jason’s departure.  We can only hope enough new people get on Council in November to pick a new Council President.  It’s time to clean house!

Referring to the most recent Mercury article by Evan Brandt, dated Aug. 15, I have some questions not about his report but about the mayor and borough council’s account of losing Jason Bobst.  Let me understand, Councilman Toroney stated, and I quote from the article, “He did a fantastic job for us.  But age and experience were not on his side.  He didn’t have the battle scars.  We need someone with experience who has the wherewithal to do a good job for us.”  My bet is Jason could elaborate quite a bit about battle scars!

This sounds a little funny regarding whose choice it was for his leaving Pottstown?  Then we have Mayor Bonnie Heath and Jeff Chomnuk stating that the borough has begun to gain traction in its recovery efforts, due largely to the efforts of Bobst and Finance Director Janice Lee.  Hhmm?  These comments were to help justify going outside to hire a new manager at a 30-percent higher salary.  Then Mayor Heath stated and I quote, “It’s actually kind of an awkward fact that we were paying Jason less than $100,000.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120901/OPINION02/120909989/many-questions-about-jason-bobst-s-departure