Thursday, December 19, 2013

Media Borough Council Spends $29,200 on Legal Fees For Third Street Bridge. And for what?

Media taxpayers pay the cost.
The $29,200 Media borough council spent on lawsuit against Third Street bridge may be small in comparison to the millions incurred due to repair cost increases over the last 19 years, but at the end of the day, we still aren't any closer to having this situation fixed.  In fact, it has probably slid further backwards now that the matter will again be presented to Judge Proud based on the recent news this week from the PA Commonwealth Court.

It was reported a few days ago that Middletown is planning to replace two bridges in its township, while Upper Providence makes plans to repair route 252 over the Springton Lake dam.  Both project being responsibly handled and not obstructed by conflicts or interest and political agendas.  $29,200 could have gone to the library, fire department or a host of causes, instead it went to lawyers.

How many bridges did you cross to get to work today and how much more will Media taxpayers have to pay?


  1. Speaking of the bridge area...isn't there some sort of ordinance that requires residents to clear an acceptable path on their sidewalks? Does Davidson have some sort of royal immunity from doing so? Especially living on a corner? It's treacherous!

  2. There is nothing wrong in the grand scheme of things with spending $30k in legal fees if the council is doing so in accordance with the wishes of the electorate. The one-way road solution was heavily discussed as a part of the 2012 council race. The candidates running in the Democratic Primary and general election against a one-lane roadway lost by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. Disagreement over the fate of the 3rd street bridge is a normal part of political discourse; the level of sore loser-ism displayed by some folks who post here on the issue shows such a contempt for the electoral process that it is beyond words.

    The council, as a result of the past two elections, is well within its rights to continue to pursue a solution to 3rd street in the manner consistent with the wishes of the voters.

    1. MediaMike
      day late and dollahh short my friend.
      It does not matter one bit what the Council candidates ran on in 2012. Or that they won by a certain margin. THE COURT HAS RULED
      The only decision Judge Proud has to make is what the INTENT of the three parties was when the THREE PARTIES entered into the agreement which then became a Court Order.
      No newly elected council can change that----and none of the three parties can ask to have the Court Order "thrown out" read the SR. Judges opinion the time to change, alter or revoke the Court Order has PASSED.
      WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER---two ways here we come

    2. The court didn't rule that Judge Proud must consider the intent of the parties. One judge mentioned it in a concurring opinion, but it was not the ruling of the majority and therefore not binding on the lower court.

      Most importantly, the stipulation itself explicitly says that the intent of the parties is not to be considered - only what is written in the agreement. (The record is silent on whether the concurring judge was aware of that provision.)

      In addition, any of the three parties CAN ask the judge to throw out the stipulation. The recent court ruling only said that Judge Proud can't do that on his own, without being asked.

      I have mentioned these things before, but Tedman has been deleting most of my posts, so it might have been in one that didn't get through.

    3. @anon 9:12 AM. Thank you for that key bit of nuance in the ruling!

    4. I would disagree that the one-way option was heavily debated. It was a last minute proposal submitted as a "compromise" at the Council workshop meeting the week before the final vote on whether to adopt the plan as set forth in the Stipulation. It was adopted by Council the next meeting. In fact, the CAC (50% comprised by Frogs) which made findings to "assist" Council prior to the vote, determined that one-way was not a viable option. It is really surprising that the other parties to the Stip. reacted as they did? Interestingly enough also, the majority of survey responses favored a two-way roadway (either a rebuilt dam or a bridge of some sort), so I don't think the election was a referendum on the status of the bridge.

      One thing that the decision does do is soldify the binding nature of the Stipulation. That means that as of now the lawsuit to determine "ownership" of the bridge which certain members of Council have attached such great importance is over. The Court will not rule on "ownership" of the dam. I am still confused as to howsome members of Council suddenly placed so much emphasis on "ownership" and how important a ruling was on the issue yet somehow it was ok to have a one-way road without such determination.

      Where to from here? Maybe try to work out a "compromise" where you actually discuss the terms with the other party. How about this for motivation. Do you want Tedman to write a headline stating "Borough is found in contempt, taxpayers to pay BLCC and County legal fees in addition to already wasted 29k?

      Happy Holidays to All!

      Dave Daniel

    5. Dave, the decision doesn't solidify the binding nature of the Stipulation. The recent court ruling only said that Judge Proud can't throw the stipulation out on his own, without being asked. Any of the three parties can ask the judge to throw it out - and he is free to do so. Then we're back to the question of ownership - which has been a crucial issue since day one.

      BLCC finds themselves in a terrible position - and it is their fault for signing off on a shoddily-drafted stipulation. BLCC have to convince the judge that "reestablish as a thoroughfare" really means "reestablish as a two-way thoroughfare."

      Media Borough will argue that a one-way road reestablishes a thoroughfare - just as the stipulation requires. They can ask, if the judge does not agree, for the stipulation to be thrown out.

      Seems to me that BLCC have very little chance of winning this one. (For example, if republicans want to "reestablish control of Media Borough council" do the council members have to be Alyanakian, Cunningham, Roe, Rehoric, Simpson, etc.? Because that's what BLCC is arguing.)

      And yes, BLCC and the Borough could work out another compromise. But, again, BLCC are in a terrible negotiating position. They part-own the bridge and they are not putting up a penny of the repair costs. The original stipulation was a sweetheart deal for BLCC - a taxpayer giveaway to a private organization. They want to have their cake (a free bridge) and eat it (veto power over the design) too.

      Happy Holidays to you too!


  3. OMG is there no end to this senseless acts of selfishness????????? Has anyone ever seen his yard in the summer??????? Disgrace and Disgusting

  4. So what if anything was said last night about the latest court development???

    1. Re anon @ Dec 19 2:45 just drove by his house - seems he lacks a shovel still snow covered and looks very icy. I too thought there was an ordinance! At least the eye sore POD is gone!