Outcry Against Evesham Mayor Who Forbade Questions At Meetings

The heated exchange between a proud mayor with a football career and an elderly resident who wanted to question town policies sorely needed a referee that bitter December night.

For four tense minutes, Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown drowned out Kenneth Mills, 81, after Mills asked about a tax abatement on a property and attempted to tell Brown to calm down. In a booming voice, Brown, the kicking coach for the Baltimore Ravens, told Mills that he had been overwhelmingly reelected in November and that “65 percent of the people who came out love what I do.” He barely addressed the tax abatement.

“You’re acting like a jerk,” Mills said as he sat down, sounding exasperated.

The following month, Brown made it clear that future council meetings would be different. Residents would not be permitted to question council members during public meetings, he said. Instead, they could “make comments only.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20150303_Outcry_against_Evesham_mayor_who_forbade_questions_at_meetings.html#VKpAssuyu1cQVBhH.99

Espirit de Corps Is Circling The Drain In Pottstown Borough Hall

Roy:

Our friend the Golden Cockroach has a few things to say about what’s happening in Pottstown. Very eye-opening commentary. History has a way of continually repeating itself in the borough. Perhaps because of political inbreeding. Time for some new blood and fresh air.

Originally posted on Corruption, Cronysim, Poverty Pimps in Pottstown, Pa:

While Council contemplates the lint in their belly buttons.

images
Should You?  Heck, ask Dave Woglom, Dave knows the answer.

In the chaotic demise of the Land of Potts, we venture boldy, tip-toeing through the illegal dumps, sliding across the unkempt, icy sidewalks as the rank odors of wet, moldy decay from bank owned / investor owned properties waft through the air and…

WE THINK TAXPAYERS SHOULD HAVE THEIR EYES WIDE OPEN FOR THE POTTSTOWN ADVENTURE THEY NEVER SIGNED UP FOR…

Let a little sunshine in !!!

images-1

While public employees espirt de corps circles the drain, under Mark Flanders leadership, our confidence in local government and council’s  prowess has already circled, gone down the drain and leaked out the other end into the gutter along with the regular occurrences of raw sewage.

Dave Woglom of the Meyner Center’s presence was felt prior to and on Nov. 13, 2012 when Borough Council annointed Mark Flanders, king for…

View original 858 more words

Pennsylvania House Votes In Favor Of Selling Off State Liquor System

HARRISBURG — The effort to change Pennsylvania’s state liquor monopoly is on a familiar path filled with many obstacles.

The state House voted Thursday to approve turning the wine and liquor retail and wholesale business over to the private sector, but the proposal faces a rough road in the Senate, which failed to take action on a similar proposal in the last session. And Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf favors improving the service in the existing stores to generate more money for the state rather than licensing them to the private sector.

Thursday’s House vote was 114-87 for the proposal, with every Democrat and a few Republicans opposed.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2015/02/26/House-to-vote-on-Pennsylvania-liquor-privatization-bill/stories/201502260159

FCC Approves Internet Neutrality Regulations

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved regulating the Internet as a utility in a 3-2 partisan vote, handing a big victory to Net neutrality proponents who lobbied for a decade for tough rules to protect consumers.

The FCC’s action forbids telecom companies from blocking websites, and slowing or speeding up some Internet traffic. This means that all Internet streams should be treated the same, or neutrally, without preferences.

The FCC also voted to make it easier for municipally run Internet providers to expand and compete with Comcast and other private telecom companies, a move lauded by activist groups.

“Some states have created thickets of red tape to limit competition,” said FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, who spearheaded the changes. “What we’re doing today is cutting away the red tape.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150227_FCC_approves_net_neutrality_regulations.html#U82MxlMqFvJ5vFJw.99

What You Need To Know About The Bill To Privatize State Liquor Sales

Legislation to end Pennsylvania’s 82-year monopoly on liquor sales is due for a vote Thursday in the state House.

The plan would dramatically change the way alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 466, sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, is similar to a proposal that cleared the House in 2013. It would close the 600-plus state stores and replace them with 1,200 private licenses.

“In a year when we are faced with a potential $2 billion budget deficit, I personally think it is important to consider avenues for revenue other than taxes,” Turzai said in a memo to colleagues seeking support.

It was estimated last session that the proposal would generate about $1 billion up front, with continued revenue from existing liquor and sale taxes.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-bill-to-privatize/article_a18654d0-bb6b-11e4-bc93-6bbbd42717b0.html

Mount Joy Names Second Interim Police Chief In Less Than A Month

Mount Joy borough officials appointed a new interim police chief Monday after accepting the resignation of the former interim chief, who was only on the job for two and a half weeks.

At Monday’s meeting, council accepted the resignation of Luis Mendez, who began as interim chief on Feb. 6, and reinstated him to his former position of part-time patrol officer.

Council then appointed Maurice “Bill” Williams as the new interim chief.

Williams, a retired lieutenant from the Lancaster City Bureau of Police, will take leadership of Mount Joy’s police department on the condition that he passes pre-employment testing.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mount-joy-names-second-interim-police-chief-in-less-than/article_88aed5f0-bc6e-11e4-b902-bbcbb68bf956.html

Thanksgiving Payroll Snafu Cost Luzerne County Government $2,000 In Bounced Check Fees

Luzerne County ended up reimbursing employees about $2,000 for bounced check fees caused by late paychecks last November, officials said today.

County Budget/Finance Division Head Brian Swetz said about 50 employees submitted requests for fee reimbursements, most between $20 and $35.

The impact of the fees was lessened because two financial institutions waived fees — PNC Bank, which handles the county’s banking, and the Luzerne County Federal Credit Union, Swetz said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152031362/

Wolf’s Pick To Lead Pennsylvania State Police Draws Ire Over Wearing Uniform On Job

HARRISBURG — Col. Marcus Brown, Gov. Tom Wolf’s choice to lead the state police, has served as a patrol officer, a SWAT commander and the second-in-command of the Baltimore police.

He has led the Maryland Transportation Authority and the Maryland State Police.

But since his swearing-in on the day of Mr. Wolf’s inauguration, a group of retired troopers has taken exception to his decision to don the gray uniform of the Pennsylvania State Police.

They post on a Facebook page created to protest his wearing of the uniform, and encourage others to contact state senators, who must confirm Col. Brown, 50, as state police commissioner. In interviews, retired troopers said their questions are not limited to the uniform but extend to other issues, such as an association with then-Gov. Martin O’Malley’s push for gun-control measures. (Col. Brown has said he supports the Second Amendment and that there are no firearm proposals on the Pennsylvania agenda.)

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2015/02/23/Wear-suit-not-state-police-uniform-retired-troopers-tell-nominee/stories/201502230017

Half A Block Leveled Without Permits In Philadelphia

Little more than a year after a botched demolition triggered a Center City building collapse that killed six, a demolition company took down nearly half a block of buildings in Philadelphia’s Fairmount section without obtaining the required permits, an Inquirer investigation has found.

While dismantling five buildings last spring, Ashaw Demolition of Oxford Circle also brought down a house that had been in a family for four generations without informing the owner, the owner contends in court documents.

And Ashaw used at least some of the unsafe and discredited techniques that caused the collapse at 22d and Market Streets, city inspectors said.

The demolition violated tough new rules the city adopted so the tragedy of the collapse would never be repeated, inspectors said.

Read more:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Building_anxiety_at_LandI.html

Hotels, Money, David Cohen Helped Philly Snag 2016 Democratic National Convention

WASHINGTON – Hotels, money, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, and maybe some special treatment at the Liberty Bell all helped Philadelphia get over the top to win the right to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, city and party leaders said Thursday afternoon.

“The role of Philadelphia in shaping our nation’s history is unmatched,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee. “But what’s also unmatched is the comprehensive proposal” the city put together.

The three finalists to host the convention — Philadelphia, New York and Columbus, Ohio — were judged on logistics, security and resources to host the gathering that Democrats hope will serve as an energizing springboard to the 2016 presidential race, Wasserman Schultz said on an afternoon conference call with reporters.

Philadelphia presented the best combination of all three – though the proximity of thousands of hotel rooms to the Wells Fargo Center and sports complex were among its biggest draws, she said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/capitolinq/Hotels-money-David-Cohen-boosted-Philly-convention-bid.html#BvsKUxkxJvvgDLfi.99

Borough Of Pottstown & Pottstown School District Joint Meeting On Fair Funding For Schools

Join us at a joint meeting of the Pottstown School Board and Borough Council on Thursday, January 29th, 7:00 pm at Rupert Elementary School. Mr. Larry Feinberg, a member of the State Circuit Riders team, will talk and answer questions about what is being done to bring fair funding to public education. Hear what your elected officials from both the School Board and the Borough have to say about the issues. Before the meeting, a tour of Rupert will be given at 6:30 pm. See links below for more information.

Meet With The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office

First Assistant District Attorney, Kevin Steele, has responded to a request from a Pottstown resident/businessman to meet with the community regarding the problems of drug dealers and drug houses. This will be an opportunity to engage the District Attorney’s office and to ask questions about how they can work with us to reduce crime.

We will be meeting with Asst. D.A. Jason Whalley.

Because of the importance of this meeting we want thoughtful participation by residents who will take time to familiarize themselves with the PA Drug Nuisance Law and ask relevant questions.

This is NOT a meeting to “bash” law enforcement or dwell on personal experiences.

We are working to build a connection based on trust and communication between the community, the D.A.’s office and local law enforcement.

PLEASE RSVP for this meeting. There could be a change in venue or time but we will update you ASAP with any changes.  To RSVP email ptownadvocates@hotmail.com and put COUNT ME IN in the subject line and put your name in the body of the email along with any other information you want to pass along or questions. You should familiarize yourself with the PA Drug Nuisance Law in order to be able to participate in the discussion.  Here’s the link to the Pennsylvania Drug Nuisance Law:

http://reg.abcsignup.com/files/%7B28C5CDFA-B871-4CC5-9AFB-91D00628F4A4%7D_39/34387/Blight_statutes.pdf

Wolf Sworn In As Pennsylvania Governor

HARRISBURG – Tom Wolf, a businessman from York, took the oath of office Tuesday as Pennsylvania’s 47th chief executive, proclaiming, “I am an unconventional Governor.”

Wolf, a Democrat who made history by ousting a sitting governor in November’s election, called for “rebuilding the middle class” through a government that partners with business, while stressing his diverse personal background that included running a forklift at his family’s cabinet making business and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer.

“I am not a product of our political system,” said Wolf, not mentioning his stint as revenue secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell or his doctorate in political science from MIT.

Wolf, 66, with his wife, Frances, and daughters Sarah and Kate by his side, was sworn in outside the Capitol on an unusually mild January day, with outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett and former Govs. Ed Rendell, Tom Ridge, and Mark Schweiker looking on, bands playing, and hundreds of cheering supporters lining Commonwealth Avenue.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20150121_It_s_inauguration_day_for_Tom_Wolf.html#klWKeiw1L9WSh06P.99

Belovich Announces Bid For 4th Ward Council Seat In Pottstown

Editor’s note:  We endorse Ross Belovich for 4th Ward Councilor.  We think he would be a wonderful addition to the borough government and brings may good ideas on how to move Pottstown forward.  Something that is desperately needed!

POTTSTOWN, PA = Within days of Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney announcing he will not seek another term representing the Fourth Ward, another Democrat has announced his candidacy.

North Hanover Street resident Ross Belovich, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for mayor in 2013, has thrown his hat into the ring.

In an announcement posted on Facebook, Belovich wrote that “I believe that individually we can do good, but together we can do great.”

Toroney announced he would not seek a fifth term at the end of the Jan. 12 council meeting.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150116/belovich-announces-bid-for-4th-ward-council-seat-in-pottstown

Tom Wolf’s Agenda: Raise The Minimum Wage To $10.10 An Hour

Tom Wolf, who was elected governor in November, wants to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. Here are five things to know about the issue.

1. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

That’s the same rate as the federal minimum wage.

Nationwide, 29 states have a minimum wage above the federal level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

2. Wolf says raising the minimum wage would create jobs.

Wolf’s “Fresh Start” policy plan, released in February 2014, says raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation would raise wages for 20 percent of Pennsylvanians and lead to the creation of 5,000 jobs by 2016.

The plan cites the Economic Policy Institute, which describes itself as dedicated to including “the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions,” as its source for those figures.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/politics/ci_27320709/tom-wolfs-agenda-raise-minimum-wage-10-10

Maryland Trooper To Head PSP, Former Hazleton Police Chief Is Adjutant General

Governor-Elect Tom Wolf has chosen Col. Marcus L. Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, to lead Pennsylvania State Police.

Brown will succeed Col. Frank R. Noonan, of Clarks Summit, in that role. According to the Associated Press, the post pays $145,025 per year.

As well, Major Gen. James R. Joseph, a former Hazleton police chief, will serve as adjutant general at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Once nominated, both men will require state Senate confirmation.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/151319337/

Pottstown Borough Council President Toroney Won’t Seek A 5th Term

Editor’s note:  We hope this leadership change will usher in a new era of reduced crime and economic prosperity for Pottstown. The taxpayers have waited long enough to see their tax burden lessened and to feel safe in their homes.

POTTSTOWN, PA - Borough Council President Stephen Toroney announced Monday night that he will not seek election to a fifth term in the November election.

Toroney read from a prepared statement, saying “the decision not to run was easy.”

He did not elaborate.

However, he did choke up slightly when he said “what will be difficult is not serving this borough which I love.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150112/pottstown-borough-council-president-toroney-wont-seek-a-5th-term

Pottstown Beech Street Lofts Project Gets Council Approval

While details at this time are not available, the Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown is reporting that Pottstown Borough Council has approved the Beech Street Lofts project for the old Fecera’s building.  The building is currently vacant and in need of redevelopment.

This project will stabilize the neighborhood, provide traction for the arts community (ArtFusion 19464 and Steel River Playhouse) and send a clear message that Pottstown is serious about revitalization.  We believe this will be the transformative project that jump starts a wave of redevelopment in the borough.

You can find more information about the project here: https://www.facebook.com/beech.streetlofts?fref=ts

Hazleton Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto, Passes 2015 Budget

During a special meeting Friday, Hazleton City Council voted to override Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi’s veto of the council’s proposed budget and then adopted that spending plan for 2015.

It means there will be no property tax increase for city residents and it also means that council voted to allocate money for the city to hire part-time police officers.

All this happened — but not without confusion, hand wringing and much discussion.

The confusion started when council had to call Councilman Jeff Cusat in order for him to vote on agenda items. Cusat had a prior engagement and did not attend the meeting in person but did cast his votes via telephone.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/hazleton-council-overrides-mayor-s-veto-passes-2015-budget-1.1815211

Harmony and Unity in Pottstown…

Roy:

We here at Roy’s Rants wholeheartedly support the Fecera’s project as the needed catalyst for revitalization in Pottstown Borough. One large project that is successfully completed will demonstrate to other developers and investors that the climate has changed. A large, empty building does nothing except breed blight and crime. A restored, well lighted and full building will transform a neighborhood. Council needs to approve this project for the betterment of Pottstown. Failure to do so will contribute to the downward spiral of this once great community.

Originally posted on Corruption, Cronysim, Poverty Pimps in Pottstown, Pa:

That’s a rare sighting in this little borough.

If you happen to be among those Pottstownians who aren’t sure they can get behind the Beech St. Lofts project, a couple things to think about:

Pottstown has only ONE non-profit, community art gallery/school – ArtFusion19464 – in fact, ArtFusion just celebrated TEN YEARS in Pottstown. It’s pretty phenomenal that the gallery/school has weathered their own financial storms and the years long national economic downturn.  It is cause for celebration…

Declining conditions in Pottstown haven’t exactly been a boon to their business either – but again – the art gallery/school is a SURVIVOR!!

The High St. building that ArtFusion has occupied for lo these many years is on the market, FOR SALE. ArtFusion’s future might have lingered in the balance instead…

The vision for the Beech St. Lofts nicely dovetailed with their own desire to grow, to have more space for the arts, to…

View original 800 more words