Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Proven Record of Leadership that Works for Media

Position paper 2011 91911.docx
Pete Alyanakian, Toni Cavanagh DiMonte, Tedman O'Hara
VOTE Tuesday, November 8th 2011

In the last 15 months theBorough has been fortunate to have a cooperative council effort that has enacted many new initiatives that are designed to better serve the residents of Media. In the last year, as lead by Council President Pete Alyanakian the bi-partisan team has accomplished the following on behalf of the residents:
  • Settled the 3rd Street dam ownership issue in 10 months that previous councils had not settled over 10 years. The Dam issue has cost the taxpayers over $350,000 just to maintain the structure that we didn’t own! The settlement allowed the Borough to apply for additional funding to help pay for our estimated $650,000 cost share.
  • 3rd Street Dam: In 1998, Media Council signed an agreement to build a 2 lane road over a new dam. We have applied for and received over $750,000 in grants to pay for the borough cost share to repair the dam.
  • Instituted new residential ordinances that makes it easier to complete home improvement projects.
  • Cut expenses without impacting services by replacing politically connected consultants with more professional and cost effective professionals.
  • Created an Economic Development Committee that has brought together all groups to promote and market Media in harmonious atmosphere:
  • Secured a $23,000 sponsorship for co-hosting MBA events making the events bigger and better,
  • Developed marketing brochures that has promoted Media to a wider audience increasing visibility cost effectively,
  • Created the Media Showcase event that is designed to raise money and awareness for our non-profits while promoting Media as an Arts and Cultural destination;
  • Increased signage on Baltimore Pike to improve visibility for retail stores.
Community Development: Preserving our Residential Neighborhoods is not a slogan but a promise to balance the commercial and residential developments with the surrounding neighborhoods. Councilman Cunningham recommended and sponsored the following legislative changes that ensure your neighborhood is protected from over development.
  • Jim sponsored an ordinance that preserves and protects our residential base by requiring a 50 foot landscaped green buffer between residential and non-residential zoning districts, eliminating multi-family home conversions in the R-1 and R-2 Districts,
  • Our team has addressed an overly restrictive ordinance that prevented a shed from being built without permit to a more sensible ordinance thatenables residents to add and expand porches and decks without going through the expensive zoning hearing board process,
  • We created an historical resources overlay district to help protect historic structures not already in historic districts.
  • We fought to make the proposed Hampton Inn motel on Providence Road and the office-retail complex at Baltimore Pike more compatible with surrounding residential neighborhoods.
  • We secured $35,000 for road and intersection improvements at Hampton Inn site.
  • Started a multi-year repaving program that uses the liquid fuel money as intended to repave streets not diverted for other budgetary needs.
  • Expanded the Sidewalk Reimbursement Program assistance program to include all property owners and increased help for residents whose sidewalks needed repair more than once.
  • We have established special police intersection patrols in residential areas, upgraded street crosswalks and repaved long neglected residential streets, added more shade trees and greatly increased tree trimming, assisted residents in repairing street tree damaged sidewalks,
  • We have instituted a plan to install more efficient and effective sodium vapor street lights across town.
Economic Development: Council President Alyanakian has made the Business District a priority this year focusing on expanding our current street fairs and trying new events that will become a part of our dynamic social scene.  Since becoming council president he has enacted the following action plan while securing $23,000 in sponsorship dollars:
  • Cultural & Economic Development Committee: Created to bring together the various non-profits in a cohesive proactive manner to promote Media as a Arts and Cultural destination. This group has started the following initiatives:
  • Established in 2010, this committee was formed to give all groups a voice in how we attract visitors and establish Media as an Arts and Cultural destination.
  • Members include representatives from Fair Trade, Farmers Market, MBA, theater, MAC, and community volunteers working together to promote arts and culture.
  • Signage and Sponsorship: For the last 12 years council, our consultants, and the MBA have discussed how to attract the motorists on Baltimore Pike to State Street. Pete authorized the “Downtown, Retail, Dining” signage that now graces our Olive ST Parking garage. This sign not only is visually appealing but provides room for upcoming events and is a potential new revenue stream through sponsorship opportunities for the MBA.  
  • Partnership withBrandywine Visitors and Convention Bureau that brings BVCB in as a primary sponsor for MBA events adding $23,000 in new funds that have made our street fairs bigger and better in 2011.  
  • MBA in partnership with BVCB now prints a quarterly ad flyer highlighting upcoming events in Media that that is distributed by BVCB to various hotel and business outlets throughout the Delaware Valley broadening our market reach at no cost to the MBA.
  • Media State Street Showcase: In April 2011, Pete authorized council to institute a new event that will highlight Media’s arts and cultural offerings with the inaugural State Street Showcase at the Media Theater.The purpose of the showcase is to help our local non-profits raise money while partnering with the Theater on a community event featuring musical acts. The proceeds of the event will benefit local Media non-profits and represent an investment by council to promote awareness and appreciation for all they contribute to make Media the destination it has become.  
Public Safety: We have hired part time police officers helping us reduceovertime and man hours while increasing effectiveness:
  • Installed Stop Sign at 3rd and Lemon which 2 democrats voted to oppose.
  • Since July 2010 we have worked with the police department to increased traffic enforcement throughout the borough with an aggressive campaign to stop vehicles from “rolling” through stop signs and ticketing speeding drivers.
  • Pedestrian Safety: Council has dramatically increased signage alerting motorists to crosswalks and have eliminated crosswalks that were not safe.  
Fiscal:  Since July 2010 we have secured over $725,000 in grants to complete the 3rd Street Dam Project saving the taxpayers of Media the financial burden:
  • Secured funding for 3rd Street Dam design -saving tax payers-$75,000 in 2011
  • Secured a grant for $650,000 that will fund the construction of the 3rd St Dam.
  • Sold 1 West Street netting the taxpayers $630,000.
  • Recommended solicitor and engineer consultants to bepaid on flat retainer verse hourly rate. The initiative saved the taxpayers, an average of $45,000a year for the engineer alone.
  • Replenished the Capital Reserve Fund enabling Media to fund future purchases.
Environment:   Media has been a municipal leader in environmental initiatives for the last 10 years. Under Pete’s guidance Media has been recognized for being the leading municipal producer of solar energy.  Governor Rendell recognized Media’s solar efforts with the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. Gov Rendell also appointed Pete to his Climate Change Action Committee.
  • Environmental Awards for Solar Energy for Media Initiative:
  • Awarded over $340,000 in grants to build the systems
  • 2002- Municipal Buyer of the Year
  • 2004-Greenest Borough Award-Armory Solar Project
  • 2007-EAC Award-Solar Energy Projects
  • 2008-Govornor’s Award for Environmental Excellence- Highest environmental award in Commonwealth.
  • Installing electric car charger at the firehouse that will run on solar energy.
Regionalization: This concept is planning for future emergency service and parks/recreation needs with neighboring municipalities.
  • Council has started the process of exploring regionalizing services with our neighboring communities in Upper Providence, Middletown and Nether Providence. We have explored sharing fire equipment to help reduce costs and increase services without raising taxes.  This is a long term planning initiative to prepare for future funding issues that may arise.
  • State Street to Ridley Creek Initiative: Under Pete’s community leadership discussions have taken place for a pedestrian friendly trail from Glen Providence Park to Ridley Creek State Park. This idea will link users from GP through a trail that extends to Ridley Creek along the watershed.
Communication: Never before has council had bipartisan leadership that represents the residents and not a political party agenda.
  • We have opened up committee assignments to all residents who wish to serve on our various boards and commissions regardless of political affiliation.
  • There are more residents than ever attending council meetings and participating in discussions than ever before.
  • The Borough, under Pete’s authority, now publishes all public documents pertaining to any issue that is openly available for inspection.  
  • Transparency is a common theme for all candidates but never has council shared more about the workings of council than now. We have uploaded and made available all documents on our web page that directly affect residents.
  • Media Community Service Award: Pete established the Media Community Service Award in 2011 to recognize Media residents who unselfishly serve our community. The long overdue acknowledgement finally allows council to officially recognize our citizens that make our town special
Shade Tree Committee:  As Shade Street Liaison Pete was directly responsible for the following:
  • Jury Parking GarageProject : Under Pete’s guidance the Shade Tree Committee created thebeautification effort of the flowering garden at the Jury Parking garage at Front and Orange Street.
  • Sidewalk Reimbursement Program:Pete established the sidewalk reimbursement program that saves old growth trees and helps residents with sidewalks repairs.  He applied for and received a grant from Senator Pileggi for this initiative.
  • Gateway Projects: Lead the effort to replant the Media “gateways” with flowers and scrubs to make them more appealing to visitors.
RECENT ISSUES: Policy Decisions: Our opponents keep talking about policy decisions they do not agree with. You decide for yourself which decisions/initiatives you agree with.
  1. One West State: Sold for $650,000: Council decided years ago that 1 West should be a retail space dedicated to having an anchor tenant that attract shoppers to the business district. There is a tremendous amount of risk in municipal governments owning commercial properties which is why so few own property.  The democratic majority received an offer for $1 million in 2005 that was rejected by council by a 5-2 vote the dissenting votes cast by Bill Tyson and I. The democratic minority and council candidates all supported a lower offer with more risk.
  1. Media Theater: For many years council has embraced the theater as a vital component for making Media an arts destination and stimulating our local economy.  Unfortunately, under Mr. Hall’s reign as vice president, the relationship between the theater and council deteriorated to its lowest point. Hard to believe he claims to be “trained listener and problem solver”.  
  1. 3Rd Street Dam: Closed by the PA DEP in 1996 this project has devoured over $330,000 of your tax dollars through legal and engineering fees. Most of the funds were paid to the politically appointed borough engineer and solicitor for various short term fixes or opinions. Since becoming council president in July 2010, Pete has applied for and received a grant for $75,000 from the county to help offset the design cost. In addition, he authorized council to apply for a state grant for the remaining balance of $650,000 for the dam repair.  In August 2011 we welcomed Senator Pileggi into council chambers where he delivered on our request for the funding. Pete was also instrumental in getting the ownership settlement that gives dam ownership to the county and Broomall’s Lake, saving Media the burden of future expenses or repairs.  
  1. Board and Committee Assignments:We appreciate anyone who has or desires to serve on our various boards and commissions. For many years council adopted an unofficial policy of automatically renewing board terms for members who’s terms were expiring.  This policy had the unattended consequence of not allowing other residents the opportunity to serve. We think it is prudent to evaluate the qualifications of all interested residents in serving on our boards and commissions and not reappointing the same residents over and over again.  Our goal was to increase the effectiveness of each board by selecting candidates based on their qualifications and desire to serve not on political connections. We feel this policy change will make the boards more responsible and enable more people to serve.
Please take the time to compare our record to our opponents.
  1. Brian Hall
  • Served on council from 2006-2010.
  • During his tenure he missed 90% of his committee meetings.
  • Opposes 3rd Street Dam settlement.
  • Supported the rights of convicted sex offenders to live wherever they want in Media.
  1. Kent Davidson
  • Has not offered one sustainable idea other than bashing and misrepresenting the records of people who have actually served.  
  • The partisan political rhetoric he spews fosters discontent and political isolationism. 
  1. Paul Robinson
  • Served as vice president but was not supported by the Media Democratic Party to continue to serve in 2006 


    1. Tedman well put. But none of the above will matter if people don't get out and vote on NOV 8th.
      Please do not take for granted that this type of progressive bi-partisan council rule will continue. Get out and vote for TEDMAN, PETE, and TONI so MEDIA will move forward together

    2. I've lived here 30 years and have not seen a list of achievements like that. We need more people to roll up their sleeves, get past partisan politics and get this town and country back on the right track. We're not going to get another chance at saving our nation.

    3. wow,pete is a 1 man band. i didn't know he did so much.