Friday, October 5, 2012

Was Third Street Bridge Intentionally Stalled and Neglected for 16 years?


For months, if not years poeple have been wondering why all the resistance and lack of effort towards repairing the Third Street Bridge.   With a fully funded design in place to mitigate one of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous dam hazards, why wouldn’t this have started months ago?  In addition, why have we witnessed blatant conflicts of interests, favoritism to a group opposed to the bridge, campaign literature/ petitions for a greenway, stacked committees and a website provided by a councilman to advance  opposition against the project? 

Well, it’s now become clearer from a Letter to the Editor in yesterday’s Daily Times, that Council President Brian Hall never really had the best interests of the town in mind. 16 years, millions of dollars and one of the biggest safety concerns in the state, and he's quoted in the paper stating keeping the bridge area closed wouldn't be such a bad idea?!?!   This may also explain why Hall and Robinson who both served prior terms never got anything accomplished towards the dam, nor spoke up about a one-lane/greenway option during that time. Based on Hall’s comments, how can one not think this was politically gamed while taxpayers and residents were strung along the whole time.

Seems the Media Democratic party had a stall tactic in place for years only to fortify it by proxy, as shown by pandering and preferred treatment to the Friends of Glen Providence Park who obviously share their same views. 

Letter to the Editor - Delco Times: Media Borough Council Faulted on Third Street

Letter to the Editor - Daily Times







Of the 16 years, 18 months were held by Pete Alyanakian and a bi-partisan coalition that resolved the lawsuits and secured the remaining funding.  In the last nine months Council President, Brian Hall and his majority have wasted our time, money and have challenged a settled agreement that now has the matter back in court. We've gone backwards, but I guess his group doesn't think that's so bad.

Media Democrat Co-Chair, Deborah Krull wrote and article commending the all-democratic borough council for their works towards the bridge.  She went on to say, “ But ultimately, Borough Council did its job.”  I beg to differ, they did nothing of the sort.  In addition, she also supports a one way option across the bridge now that costs have increased.  They increased due to a lack of leadership and mismanagement that has plagued this issue for 16 years!




What they did do includes:
  • Mismanaged 16 years while the cost of the project doubled for taxpayers.
  • Signed petitions for the FROGS while campaigning for political favors.
  • Mayor tells people he’s for two-way design, but says nothing during meeting before crucial vote.
  • Allow a councilman to provide webservices to group lobbying him on a multimillion dollar project.  Never divulged the relationship until caught.
  • Allow another councilman to angrily call up a RTM schoolboard member to protest their discussion of Third St. Bridge.
  • Allow same councilman to shockingly insult Upper Providence, Middletown and School board for resolutions supporting the bridge.
  • Allow Council to stack the deck with FROG officers, while never addressing the reason for the Co-Chair resigning due to a slanted committee.  They even denied the resignation letter even existed.
  • Allow councilman who lives 50’ from the bridge and affiliated with the FROGs to vote on project.  If it’s not against the law, it must be ethical.
  • Allow a survey to be created and sent out that didn’t weigh cost associated with options for a bridge.  Essentially a push survey for a greenway.
  • Use results from same survey as their premise for a one way design, while recent meetings held majority audiences with petitions for a two-way.
  • Jeopardize a fully funded, ready to go project by irresponsibly challenging a court order and the agreement with two stakeholder.  One  of which has contributed money to the projects design.
 


Over a decade and a half, $1.5 million in increased costs, not one brick or concrete footing set and we’re back in court!   And we hear, “But ultimately, Borough Council did its job” The lack of awareness is stunning, let alone NOTHING to show after all this time.

We not only can do better, we HAVE to do better as democrats, republicans, and independents who have all had enough of the most conflicted, mismanaged, and politically slanted issue this town has experienced in decades. 

Tedman

21 comments:

  1. Look where Kent Davidson lives, look where Frank Daly lives. Case closed.

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  2. weak is, what weak does. Ha! Krull's article should have been in the comedy section, or better yet, unsolved mysteries.

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  3. mission accomplished? not a good choice..a bad icon for the GOP even if the Dems are screwing this up.

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  4. It's reaffirming and inspiring to see so many fellow Media residents angry about the political hijacking of our legislative process by four Council members and the special interest group that supports them. This is actually a political coup. To add insult to injury, the people of Media have been paying for this unresolved problem for over 16 years now, as several writers have pointed out. Most homeowners and other taxpayers don't realize that while the cost of this project has doubled over the years, they continue to pay for re-routed school bus routes and the additional time of Borough staff and engineering consultants, and legal fees involving this purely political and self-serving decision. Media used to be a place of friends and neighbors who put the needs of our town first. If that's the kind of home town you want, then now is the time to fight for it. Stand up and speak out! Go to public meetings and make your voice heard. Send letters to the newspapers. Channel your anger into action -- just as Tedman O'Hara has done. He and other Republicans continue to work with Democrats, and Independents like me, to bring the power of government back to the people of Media. Government should serve the people -- not themselves and a small circle of friends. Is this is the kind of local government you really want and voted for -- one that wastes your hard-earned tax dollars? All is takes for injustice in the world to prevail, is for good people to do nothing. Don't be "anonymous." You have the power to change this. No one is going to do it for you. Congratulations to those brave people from Media and Upper Providence who have spoken out against this travesty. And remember to vote in November.

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  5. Michael Jordan, MediaOctober 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    I agree completly with Sam Lemon's comments above. His family has lived me Media over a 100 years. My family from the late 1930's. We have a history here that few can match. We have seen it all--almost. But nothing like the scheme of trying to unwelcome our neighbors from Uppper Providence, Middletown, Edgmont and Lima, into our borough.

    I and others have long thought that the dominant Democratic Council's feet dragging and inaction--now 17 years--on the bridge/roadway was deliberate,keeping the great western gateway into and out of Media closed.

    Now statements by Democratic borough leaders are proving our long- held beliefs true. As they used to say when we got our news from radio, "Stay tuned."

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  6. Michael Jordan, MediaOctober 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    "No State shall...pass any...law impairing the obligation of contracts..."

    --The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 10

    ("A leglal agreement is, by definition, a contract. And
    under the Constitution of the United States, a contract
    is sacred.)

    --The Power Broker, Robert Caro, p.624

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  7. "Go to public meetings and make your voice heard." Sam, you had the perfect opportunity to make your voice heard as co-chair of the CAC, yet you chose to give up in the face of perceived adversity. Rather than stay and fight for your cause (or rally your troops to participate in CAC meetings as concerned citizens), you chose to abandon those who shared your views and lob grenades at the CAC from afar. Your letters to the editor made the CAC appear as the wild west, highly inaccurate as anyone who actually attended those meetings could attest to (in fact the only time things got remotely testy was when two of your like-minded cohorts showed up demanding to know why you resigned, maybe they should have asked you directly). Or maybe you're not a quitter at all. Perhaps your resignation was just the foundation of a plot to discredit the CAC as biased against your beliefs so you could hide behind your pen as you help spread the disinformation.

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    1. If you'd like to join the debates, by all means, but please use your real name. I assume you were at that meeting and probably a CAC member yourself. True?

      Opportunity to make your voice heard? Don't think so. I was also at that meeting and asked who on the committee was affiliated with the Friends of the Glen Providence Park. I was not only talked over, but was denied an answer from the Co-chair, Terry Rumsey. My statement wasn't even included in the meeting minutes.

      As for the resignation letter, I spoke to Paul Robinson, who selected the committee and spoke to him about it that night outside. He denied one existing and asked me what I knew about it. Why would he question me? I later discovered the truth, but was surprised how this was handled. I was also surprised by the insulting nature Robinson displayed towards adjacent communities and our school board when the vote didn't go his way. If he was fair and objective, that wouldn't have happened. Paul Robinson also signed a petition for a green way w/(FROGS) while campaigning last year.

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  8. Anyone remember this:
    "When I was a private citizen I was opposed to this development because I thought it was too intense of a development on too limited a sight, which echoed the general opinion of the residents in that neighborhood," he said. "I supported those residents and ran for council...because I was unhappy with this development as it was unfolding and that’s one of the major reasons I’ve sat here the last four years."

    http://media.patch.com/articles/media-borough-council-approves-final-hampton-inn-plan

    That was Jim Cunningham from last August, casting the only dissenting vote against the Hampton Inn, a project supported by a significant part of Media's population (including the MBA). Does anyone on this blog support his comments? If you do, you're a hypocrite when you accuse Kent Davidson and Brian Hall of looking out for special interests and not the better good of our community. Cunningham did the same thing when he backed a group of residents who united (in the form of a law suit against a developer) only to fight a project that threatened their quality of life.

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    1. Yes, I support his comments. Let me provide some context to the argument, as the differences are profound:

      Cunningham didn’t secretly provide a website to a group that helped to advance his and their cause.

      Cunningham didn’t live 50’ from the proposed hotel site.

      Cunningham didn’t politicize a community park, or anything else that could have been used to mislead a base of people.

      Cunningham didn’t publicly insult communities after casting his vote.

      Cunningham didn’t jeopardize funding of a previous settled court agreement

      Cunningham didn’t create a committee and stack it with people who opposed the hotel.

      Cunningham didn’t have a family member help create and run an opposition group.

      Cunningham didn’t first agree to the project years in advance, then later change his mind.

      Cunningham didn’t misrepresent public opinion by propping up a “push survey” that didn’t equally and fairly represent cost among each option. If people knew how much more a greenway would cost, the results would be dramatically different and not in favor of a greenway.

      Cunningham didn’t furiously call up a board (i.e. School Board) to protest their discussion of the matter.

      Other than Monica Rehoric or Dawn Roe, no one on council even questioned what was going on and appeared to be perfectly fine with this conduct.

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    2. Are you really trying to compare a bridge that served this community for a century to a propsed new hotel that was threatening to build a structure to five stories, up against private property? Can you explain what makes the two similar in any way, shapr or form?

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  9. "Here they go again," to paraprase Pres. RR. "Anonymous," "Anonymous." Hiding behind "Anonymous" What can I say!

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  10. I don't usually respond to people who are too cowardly to post their names. But if you have something to say to me, then say it to my face next time you see me on the street. The truth of the matter is that I've been making my voice heard on this travesty for 16 years now - maybe you weren't living in Media back then. How many years does a person have to keep speaking up on the same injustice? You pretend that you're speaking on behalf of the park, or on behalf of the trees, or mothers with strollers - who I've NEVER seen walking on Third Street Bridge over the past 50 years - or whatever the silly excuse of the week is. You're not fooling anyone with this charade but yourselves. And your selfishness and hypocrisy is costing the taxpayers of this community many hundreds of thousands of dollars and causing 50 school bus routes to be detoured EVERY DAY - while the cost of this project has TRIPLED. You only care about your own private little corner of Media. But this is EVERYBODY'S hometown - not just yours. You are part of a fraud - and possibly a crime - that's being perpetrated on the people of Media, and I chose not to be a part of that. Because unlike you, I really do love this town.

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  11. OK, I've never let anyone call me a coward and not respond, and I certainly don't want someone else to feel your wrath because you assume that because I posted anonymously I was part of the anti-road contingency. That's my mistake for not stating my name. So let me make this perfectly clear because you're reading into my previous post something that I never said, that I am in lock step with those who oppose your position. I'm not criticizing you, Sam, for your position in supporting a like for like replacement of the dam/road. This is America and you can believe whatever you want. What I am disappointed in is your reluctance to participate in a forum in which you were given a golden opportunity to add your knowledge, skills and perspective, and then throw that forum under the bus as being unsympathetic to your views and ramming a preset agenda down your throat. This is far from true, as you know there were more than just a couple of us who made it a point to do our best to keep the CAC unbiased in completing the task at hand. But by leaving your post, you actually made the argument that the CAC was biased even stronger. So yes, I will question your motive for leaving when you clearly care so much about this issue.

    I know why you SAID you quit, but you weren't the only one on CAC who was upset with the timing on the Friends of Glenn Providence Park pamphlet that was distributed weeks ahead of the CAC survey (and without the common courtesy of letting the CAC know about it ahead of time). I made it clear to that group's leadership and our fellow CAC members that such a move could compromise our work. But rather than turn my back, I dedicated extra effort in trying to ensure every decision made by the CAC was done in an unbiased, transparent manner. I believe to this day that the report we produced is a fair, objective analysis of the challenges Borough Council faces in making a tough decision.

    So when you say "go to public meetings and make your voice heard", I absolutely find that statement hypocritical because you gave up an opportunity few others had to make your voice heard directly by your fellow CAC members in a forum open to the public. As for falsely criticizing (comparing us to "kids in a school yard brawl...where interruptions and shouting were tolerated"?) the effort I and six other citizens put into what some might say was an impossible task (get the pulse of the community on an important issue and put it all in a concise report in nine short weeks)? That I find insulting! And I will be happy to tell you, or anyone else who questions the integrity or transparency of the CAC, to your/their faces. If we don't happen to run into each other on the street, you can find me at Borough Hall every first Tuesday night of the month.

    Retort however you want to. I'm not anonymous anymore, but I am done with this thread.

    Sincerely,
    Michael Kinsley

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    1. wah wah wah michael take your ball and go home. or better yet spritz on some patchouli and go to the park cry baby.....wish you were not done with this thread so you could read this.....

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  12. Michael,

    A few things:

    For the sake of transparency, can you let everyone know that you sent an email supporting Councilman Davidson in the 2011 primary who had signed a petition for a greenway? I have it, I can provide. Are we to believe that since that time you changed your mind and suddenly were not in favor of a greenway or a political agenda aligned to Davidson?

    Why did the survey you and the CAC put together not include costs associated with each possible option?

    You said: “I know why you SAID you quit, but you weren't the only one on CAC who was upset with the timing on the Friends of Glenn Providence Park pamphlet that was distributed weeks ahead of the CAC survey (and without the common courtesy of letting the CAC know about it ahead of time).I made it clear to that group's leadership and our fellow CAC members that such a move could compromise our work.” Are there CAC minutes that reference that conversation?

    Did anyone on the CAC respond to a call made by a Media Borough councilman to the RTM schoolboard who angrily protested their discussion of the Third St. Bridge? If this was a fair and objective committee, why did that need to happen and why wasn’t it disclosed?

    I was at a CAC meeting and raised a question of “who on this committee is affiliated with the Friends of Glen Providence Park?” You were there too, but saw I was talked over and decided to remain silent.

    Why wasn’t any of your points discussed during the tenure of the committee? If they had been, please reference the minutes. Why is it coming out now?

    And lastly, why are you also posting anonymous comments in defense of certain councilpeople who were for a greenway and signed the FROGs petition? “If you do, you're a hypocrite when you accuse Kent Davidson and Brian Hall of looking out for special interests and not the better good of our community.” Worst yet, other comments insulting people of this community. Aren't you on the planning commission?

    Your post didn’t provide many answers, but instead raised more questions of the conduct and bias the CAC and this borough council has had on a multi-million dollar project.

    Thanks for reading.

    Tedman

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  13. What a joke this council has made out of a settled situation. Not only has council jeopardize the funding for the project and put the burden of replacement on the tax payers, but has also managed to divide the community over an issue that was settled.

    The biggest issue that supporters like Kingsley should be appalled by is the gigantic conflict of interest by Kent Davidson that Brian Hall allows to happen. The conflict would not be tolerated by any council president in any other community. This is why no one will ever believe the new council is transparent when it is obvious to all how pathetic this council is behaving. Can anuone believe what davidson and all wrote in their campaign literature that they are " sworn to represent the residents of Media, and not my own or any individual or party’s self-interests." What a complete lie they told the residents of Media.
    By the way Kingsly is a member of the Planning board and should keep his mouth shut and stay away from politics as a sitting member. This council doesn't care about conflicts of interest but the residents should. What is to stop him or the Davidson's of the world from voting against an issue that may come up before the planning board of a resident who supports 2 way?
    Go away Kingsley and attend your 4 hour planning meetings boring the appliants with your esteemed opinions. Transparency....I think not.

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  14. So what is NOT being referenced here is what the CAC did NOT do. They were told by council not to consider any financials having to do with design or construction - which is a HUGE consideration on behalf of the entire borough! As for the survey - they purport this large insistence from borough residents on behalf of a non-vehicular roadway. Truth be told, the response rate was only somewhere near 16% of 'supposedly' ALL residents were mailed the survey (yea I now some are STILL waiting!). If the CAC was truly examing all impacts of the roadway, they should have also included Upper Providence residents in the survey, at the very least those who reside on the west side of the Pike and are directly affected.
    Lets call a spade a spade - the CAC was a JOKE! A stacked deck that was destined from the start in putting forth EXACTLY the scheme that FROG's wanted all along. Pity.

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  15. Someone on council really needs to explain all of this.

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  16. Wonderful irony with the "Mission accomplished" banner!

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  17. Can we hire the Roman Military or a platoon of Navy Seabees to come in and restore the bridge in the middle of the night? It seems like the only way to get the bridge restored quickly in this person's honest opinion.

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