Pottstown Poised To Loosen Tree Rules

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note: What’s that I hear?  Is it the sound of wailing coming from the 200 block of Chestnut Street?  To say the tree ordinance was “a little bit extreme” is the understatement of the decade.

POTTSTOWN — Borough council is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to lessen the requirements for plantingtrees when a property is developed or re-developed.

Specifically, the vote would authorize Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. to advertise an amendment to the borough’s sub-division and land development ordinance, known as a SLDO, and would apply to “open space trees” and to “parking lot trees.”

“This is the result of an ongoing theme at the planning commission,” Garner told council during the Wednesday work session.

“We were calculating a large number of trees and then granting waivers and it was becoming problematic,” he said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130906/NEWS01/130909576/pottstown-poised-to-loosen-tree-rules

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Pottstown Fires Codes Worker Being Investigated For Taking Developer’s Check

Editor’s note:  I think this incident illustrates how broken Pottstown‘s municipal government really is.  Apparently, in the past, it was anything goes in borough hall.  While, BM Flanders isn’t on my hit parade (and I am sure the feeling is mutual) at least he is handling this situation rather than sweeping it under the carpet.  The carpet in borough hall is very lumpy…there has been a good deal of crap kicked under the rug in that building for years.  

Frankly, we think Codes should be outsourced.  It’s the poster child for a dysfunctional department.  Maybe after a period of time passes, the department could be reinstated and an entirely new staff hired.

POTTSTOWN — The firing of zoning work leader Michelle Fry from the codes office is just one of the developments in the borough department that has recently received so much scrutiny.

Of Fry, formerly known as Michelle Borzick, Borough Manager Mark Flanders would say only that “she is no longer employed by the borough,” and said he would neither confirm nor deny that her departure was connected to a police investigation of her alleged acceptance of a check from developer and convicted thief Frank McLaughlin of East Coventry.

Fry, however, confirmed to The Mercury Tuesday that she is using a standing borough process to appeal her termination. She declined to comment further.

McLaughlin was sentenced in Montgomery County Court last month to three years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with his use of devices to by-pass water meters so he would not have water bills at his property.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130410/NEWS01/130419918/pottstown-fires-codes-worker-being-investigated-for-taking-developer-s-check

Big Changes In Pottstown Codes Office Recommended In Report

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — The long-awaited report on ways to improve Pottstown’s Codes Department was presented to council March 11 and Council President Stephen Toroney promised to implement as many of the changes as possible as quickly as possible, but several of the recommendations likely will cost more money.

Chris Fazio and Rick Miles from the firm of Remington Vernick and Beach presented their findings in a 60-page report that contained 37 separate recommendations for improvements to operations in the codes office.

“There are several areas where improvement is needed,” Fazio told council.

Rather than go through all 37 recommendations, Fazio and Mile reviewed what they called the “top 10.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130317/NEWS01/130319394/big-changes-in-pottstown-codes-office-recommended-in-report#full_story

Pottstown AFSCME Contract Extended A Year, Excludes Code Inspectors

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  I would get my resume updated and start looking for a new job…just sayin’….  As for the tardiness of the Codes Department review by Remington, Vernick and Beach, are we really surprised?  I hope not.  Another day in paradise.

POTTSTOWN — With a 5-0 vote Monday night, borough council approved a one-year extension of the contract with the union which represents borough hall, public works and parks and recreation workers.

However, it does not include the borough’s code enforcement officers.

With Councilman Joe Kirkland and Councilwoman Carole Kulp absent, the remaining council members supported the motion to extend the contract, which was recommended by Borough Manager Mark Flanders and Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr., the borough’s primary negotiators.

According to the information provided to council, the extension means no change in wages or health care contributions for either side.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130214/NEWS01/130219793/pottstown-afscme-contract-extended-a-year-excludes-code-inspectors#full_story

Pottstown Codes Deptartment Gets Reprimanded By State

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  This made the Mercury’s 2012 Top Stories list…always good to keep the shenanigans in Pottstown on our minds!  Be vigilant!

POTTSTOWN, PA — The state agency which oversees code and inspection functions in Pennsylvania has issued a “formal warning” to the Pottstown Codes office for a number of violations, including allowing inspections to be conducted by personnel not certified to perform those inspections.

In a letter issued Oct. 2, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry informed the codes office manager, Maria E. Bleile, of the results of its complaint investigation.

The letter outlines eight complaints regarding inspections at both commercial and residential properties, ranging from Pottstown Memorial Hospital, to the Salvation Army to four residential properties.

Issues ranged from inspectors conducting “plan reviews” and inspections without the proper certification; to no records of reviews or certain inspections being conducted at all; to missing dates in inspection reports.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121224/NEWS01/121229767/pottstown-codes-dept-gets-reprimanded-by-state

Pottstown Council, School Board Want To Work Closer

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Acting Superintendent Jeff Sparagana for being proactive!

POTTSTOWN — When it comes to getting along, it could be said that the borough and school district governments in Pottstown sometimes get along like siblings on a long car trip.

Acting Schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana is among the first to admit that and did so Wednesday when he told borough council that “it is important to acknowledge and recognize there have been breakdowns in the relationship between the borough and the school district in the past.”

But he was also the first to offer an olive branch in pursuit of a new era of cooperation.

Appearing before council during the Wednesday work session, Sparagana prefaced a presentation of the district’s land development plans for Rupert, Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools with a statement — and an apology.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121209/NEWS01/121209423/pottstown-council-school-board-want-to-work-closer#full_story