Monday, October 29, 2007

Have we had enough? And, some of my ideas.

As we countdown the last days prior to the elections on November 06, 2007, I want to share with you some of my ideas which I believe will benefit our community.

However, I must begin with the current state of affairs regarding the delayed release of the 2008 proposed budget. I cannot EVER remember a budget released AFTER election day. Discussion of this peculiar fact can only lead us into the realm of conjecture and speculation, which I would personally prefer to avoid. Nevertheless, the additional fact that I am in the last days of a campaign for a Borough Council seat demands that I challenge Council's outrageous decision to postpone the disclosure.

I do NOT believe the administraton is not ready. They have been working on the budget since June, we were told. Every year, every municipality in our Country presents a budget, we are not reinventing the budgetary process. Preparation of a budget was done, until a few years ago, with paper and pencil. It is not rocket science. It's a muncipal budget! I am utterly disgusted with Council for not following up on their previous vote ORDERING the presentation.

Though I have no more information than any other Phoenixville resident, I believe the bottom line on the budget includes usurious increases.

I believe, this information is not in the public's hands because Council incumbents risk defeat as a voter reaction in the upcoming election.

Have we had enough?

Vote YOUR conscience based on the fact that we have no knowledge of what it is going to cost us to live in Phoenixville next year, and if you believe as I do that the seated Council has abdicated it's responsibility to represent the public interest with integrity.

That being said, I believe more focus is needed in the area of cutting Borough operating costs just as we do in our homes. As with many other residents, my husband and I are constantly examining ways to maintain our home more efficiently. To that end, we have purchased several solar lights which work quite well in reducing the cost of lighting our home. The Borough may also benefit from a review of the street lighting, parking lots, and other municipal buildings by an investigation into solar energy. One source of solar lighting, , provides an impressive listing of industrial, public, and military applications in use. Solar systems are at work here in Pennsylvania, and the site refers readers to Raystown Lake in our state as an example. My proposal, if elected, would direct attention to a complete review of our current energy consumption with the goal of cutting costs to the taxpayer, reducing our dependency on the "grid", and ultimately having less impact on the global environment.

During my two term tenure on Phoenixville’s Borough Council in the 1990's, Council agreed with my proposal to create a much needed tree commission to replace missing or aging trees in our town. The Commission has done much work towards reestablishing the grandeur of bower-lined streets for future generations.

Much more needs to be done.

To that end, I propose an exciting program for the Tree Commission which will benefit not only our community environmentally, but also provide a method for the public to memorialize family members and loved ones, celebrate special occasions such as the birth of a child, a wedding, birthday, or an anniversary. The gift of a tree, planted in the Borough, memorializing an event will help to replenish our parks and streets and provide a lasting a lasting legacy by the noble act of planting a tree in honor of an event. Overall, this is an idea which will cut costs to the Borough while embracing the concept of giving a living gift to everyone in the community.

As part of my promise to the residents of Phoenixville to be a proactive Council member, I also recommend the establishment of a comprehensive system, led by Council, to audit and fix any inefficiencies in our local government. My concerns include facilities management, legal services, purchasing, contract negotiations, information technology, and several other areas which may be in need management reform.

Many of our Borough’s hardworking employees are well equipped in their positions to identify waste and inefficiency. I am aware of the fact that after many years on the job, these men and women who often “think outside the box”, will be our best source of information, ideas, and solutions on an audit of our current operating system. I believe that once all recommendations are processed, the resulting reform will enable our employees to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently, while providing better services to Phoenixville residents and saving money for Phoenixville taxpayers.

We need change.

I am prepared and ready to work for you.


Begging for a complete housecleaning said...

One suggestion, does borough hall need to be that cold in the summer time? I don't think anyone there works that hard.
I received a really interesting piece of mail today. Who ever delivered it to each house on my street I say Thank you.

Anonymous said...


The voters of Phoenixville are so blessed to have a person of your Character and experience, willing to run for office and serve the public.

I sincerely hope the Votes of Phoenxiville do their do diligence, and realize that you are willing to sacrifice so much as to serve the Public Interest and good. As you well know, the Reward for your efforts, is a position that pays ZERO, and an open door for the Public to call you anytime, so that YOU their Public Servant can make a difference for them and for their community.

Many Thanks Karen,,and I truly hope your Campaign,,,provides an example, of what Public Service is supposed to be.

One of your many admirers and supporters,

A resident of the Phoenixville Region, ( not of the Borough)

Karen said...

Good morning!

I really can't speak knowledgeably to this summer's temperature at Borough Hall but if you were chilly during your visit, perhaps there was a glitch in the system at that time. The unit has been known in the past to be tempermental.

I hope the "interesting piece of mail" was my campaign information! If so, thank you!

And, thanks for contacting me!

Karen said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your public confidence in me.

Thank you, so much, for your kind words and good wishes!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps when elected you could do something about the lack of press coverage of the Phoenixville Police Department. Most other newspapers publish police reports. "The Evening Phoenix" and the "Daily Republican" used to. "The Phoenix" does not. Why?

Earlier this week there was a report on "The Phoenix" web page of a pedestrian being struck and killed between the railway overpass and Kimberton Road on Nutt Road. Even this BIG event had no follow-up on the web page. Who died? Who was driving the car that struck him/her? Any other details? Is the story being suppressed for one reason or another? Is this lack of news the fault of the Police Department?

Questions, questions - any answers?

With every takeover of this newspaper the lack of reporting gets greater. Sure would be nice to go back to yesteryear, at least in the quality of the news.

And here's wishing you the best of luck in the election. We really do need more people like you who are truly concerned about the citizens of this fine Borough.

Karen said...

Thank you, for your comments, Anonymous.

What I can do, right now, is forward your comments to the Editor of the Phoenix. No need to wait for election day!

Your questions and comments are concerns shared by other readers of our newspaper, and I hope we receive a response as I will ask for permission to post it here.

From my vantage point, Anonymous, I suspect that the Phoenix is doing the best that it can in reporting the news. Newspapers, even local ones, I understand, are suffering financially due to the public's ability to read the news and recieve other information instantaneously on the internet.

With only a few reporters, time constraints, and much work to do on local papers, there may be a very limited amount of time in which to actually do investigative or follow-up work.

Thanks, again, for your post and for your kind words regarding my campaign.

Anonymous said...

About time you had a platform

Karen said...

Interesting comment, Anonymous, because I consider the entire of my campaign website a continuous discussion since it's inception.

It contains my resume`, details my background, thoughts and ideas, along with commentary on issues in Phoenixville.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions you may have and thank you for visiting my website and for your interest in my campaign.

Anonymous said...

It's time for all of Phoenixville to unite, and campaign for a true public servant, that has the public interest at heart, like Karen Johns.

Karen said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your support!

Anonymous said...

Your family and friends are behind you 100%, Karen!! I hope Phoenixville comes out to vote for change. VOTE FOR KAREN JOHNS!!!

Karen said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your support!