Friday, February 15, 2008

Messina: Delay appointments (to Planning Commission)

Messina: Delay appointments


By G.E. Lawrence, Special to The Phoenix

PHOENIXVILLE — John Messina was tapped by borough council Tuesday evening to replace Mike Hott on the planning commission when his term expires in March. But by Thursday, Messina, himself, recommended that his appointment be rescinded and be reconsidered along with Hott’s application for reappointment and an application from paralegal Michelle Beaver.

“Right now I think Council should reverse its decision,” Messina said early Thursday afternoon, “and interview each of us before reaching its decision. I have no trouble with that.”

His judgment came, he said, as he saw public reaction to the appointment on’s The Phoenix Files, and other local blogs.

“This is no way to start building a team [on the commission],” he said. “If there is so much opposition, council should go to interviews.”

Interviews with all three candidates originally had been planned for Council’s committees meetings on February 25, and the candidates were informed of the procedure.

But on motion by Richard Mark Kirkner, D-North, at council’s regular business session Tuesday, Messina’s nomination was put to a vote, superceding the prior arrangement. The vote to appoint was 5-1-1, with Kendrick Buckwalter, R-West, in opposition and Mike Speck, D-East, voting “present” because, he said, “a citizen who applied was not given the opportunity to be heard before Council.”

Criticism was indeed quick and heated. Hott wrote in an e-mail to Council, “I write this email in disgust with regard to the ‘sham’ of a process Council conducted in the planning commission appointment process. To not hold public interviews is appalling and disrespectful to the applicants and residents.

“This appointment and the process around it reek of political patronage,” Hott wrote. “It appears the ‘Good Ole Boys’ network is alive and well at borough hall. As a fellow Democrat, I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the Democrat majority.”

Beaver was no less critical. “These are the type[s] of actions that the political machines are made of and I believe strongly that there is no place for this type of political favoritism in Phoenixville,” she said in a response to Hott. “What Phoenixville needs right now are new faces, new ideas, and new perspectives…. I am disturbed by Council’s blatant disrespect for my application to the planning commission.”

Reached for comment Thursday evening, council President Henry Wagner, D-Middle, who had on Tuesday vocally supported interviewing, reiterated his position saying, “It serves everyone better to have candidates fully vetted, to have a fully vetted process. I thought that way from the beginning.”;jsessionid=bxyKH1nKQShlH7wqh7Q8v1H42SvN2DGPNjTcCvT1pJ253cYQbtMv!-625106091?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FPVN%2FHome&r21.content=%2FPVN%2FHome%2FTopStoryList_Story_1590894

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Say it with me, kids - "Dees Ees Bullsheet!"

"This is no way to start building a team," said Messina the Gweat and Tewwible.

Let's get real here. Do you actually think we believe that you are interested in team building? Do you think that after your last four-year round of bullshit with PPG that we will ever be that gullible again?

You never wanted a team, M-F-, you wanted an empire.

I want a HOTT FOR PLANNING COMMISSION sign for my yard.