By request of a Freedom of Information Act submission to Media Borough, we received documents related to the sale. Of interest is a Sales Agreement that was signed between Media Borough and the seller in March. Based on the email it appears to have happened as early as March 13, 2017. That was two weeks before Brian Hall sent out a letter dated March 30, 2017 to some residents that a public hearing would be held to discuss the park. Was it shared with that group that the borough had already secured an agreement of sale at the April 4th public hearing?
If the agreement of sale was already locked up, was the vote at the April meeting just a formality? Had the decision already been made in March despite the community's input presented on April 20th?
|Media Borough Council President Brian Hall|
We will be doing a full story with "must see" video from last night's meeting, but the vote to proceed with a park at 5th an Broomall Streets passed 5-2. Paul Robinson and Lisa Johnson voted against it but that wasn't enough for the standing room only crowd that was openly hostile towards council president Brain Hall for two straight hours. One-by-one residents took to the floor to express their displeasure with how the whole process was carried out. Citing examples of misleading/incomplete information, lack of transparency, favoritism and personal agendas. Residents even went as far as declaring their total lack of trust in Media Borough Council.
Shouting matches ensued with threats being leveled that people would be removed from the audience. Infighting between members on council also erupted with one member questioning the council's own transparency and legal obligations. Vice President, Paul Robinson openly accused Brian Hall and other members on council of bullying the park through with no discussion. He even went as far as saying he didn't even know about the agreement. That's interesting as complaints from the community stated the same thing.
After two hours of open hostilities, the council did manage to take a vote on the issue, but this doesn't look like it'll blow over anytime soon.
Here's what wasn't known until last night's an hour before the vote.
- The Borough will pay $350k for the land.
- The land is owned by an employee of Media Borough
- There are back taxes owed on the property
- Media Borough did not adequately post the agenda in advance stating there would be a vote on Thurs 4/20. They posted it the day of the borough council meeting.
Not only did Brian Hall lose control of last night's meeting, he's lost the confidence of the community to effectively lead as council president.