Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday night, and it's the $625,000 CDC contract, again.

Around 9 p.m., a friend called and mentioned the Borough Council meeting was showing on cable tv.

The discussion was regards the CDC.

I made the mistake of watching about a half-hour or so.

By the discussion, and the resulting vote to approve the CDC contract, Ciruelos, Handwerk, Speck, and Wagner, these men, our "representatives" still don't get it.

Wagner's read of the drummed-up letters of support, the majority from people who don't even live in this town or pay property taxes here, were painful to listen to, and the lone resident's support is discredited due to the fact that he is a CDC board member. The letters were an insult to our intelligence, and an apparent transparent ploy to garner more support or to create discomfiture among those Councilmembers who wisely do not support the CDC's $625,000 contract.

One more time.

This movement to re-examine the CDC's $625,000 contract, is not about whether one supports the improvements made to the downtown district.

It's about the taxpayers bearing the burden of additional tax monies, Councilmembers Ciruelos, Handwerk, Speck, Wagner. I'm addressing Dave Gill, also, who was absent but declared his support for the contract via email.

It's about YOUR responsibilities to the residents of Phoenixville, your voters, and the needs of the various borough departments which service our town.

It's about fiscal responsibility in the face of the extraordinary economic crisis assaulting our country and affecting our citizens.

It's also about the CDC placing it's request for a 5 year contract for $625,000 MONTHS before the normal budget process, well out of sequence with the appropriation requests.

It's about YOUR unprecedented act of rewarding the "me first" behavior by approving the CDC contract.

Now, I, along with many other residents of Phoenixville are waiting to learn what you will cut out of the 2009 budget in order to afford spending our tax dollars on downtown bling.

What will be cut?

The police department?

Fire department funding?

Recreation department funding?

Will every other street light be turned off?

Or, will you just go to the taxpayer's well one more time?

Wells run dry.

Just ask the failed banking institutions.


Anonymous said...

so why isn't the video available for the public at the library? hmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Karen, its as simple as this: The CDC is benefiting the whole community. You can make up all the excuses you want but the CDC is a community organization and has proven itself to be so. Stack up all they have done for the town as a whole (between the sidewalks, trees, elm street program, the parks, etc, etc) and you'll understand again this is a community program that benefits the community.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's even worse! The video being shown on TPN isn't even the entire meeting. Everything gets cut off at 4 hours because that's what Council paid for.

By comparing where the cut off happened to the agenda on Senley's blog, my estimate is that 1/4 of the Committee meeting was cut. The newspaper has not mentioned a word of the cut portion (did Skip leave after 4 hours, too?) so if you cared about what happened at those Committee meetings, you have no accurate way of knowing what happened.

I've been assured by Council Members that the entire budget discussions will be taped, no matter how long they run and I think we can all agree that meetings that last for 4 hours really are ridicious; however, if a public session is going to last longer than 4 hours, we the public, should have the opportunity to view every minute of it.

Anonymous said...

You are right on Karen. Those voting for this seem more inclined to making friends than representing taxpayers. They're afraid they'll offend the out of town letter writers, board members and CDC employee, many of whom pay no taxes to this town. Their justification is weak at best and just down right wrong headed. It's probably not particularly Christian, but I do hope they get to experience the difficulties of unemployment, senior citizen fixed income, and difficulty paying their bills as many of us experience every day. And please council, don't preach to me about how it's for my benefit. Maybe it's for your benefit but surely not mine. And your first responsibility, whether you believe it or not is NOT leadership. It's representation.

Anonymous said...

You people are complaining about $25/yr for all the progress that has been accomplished in the downtown. $25/yr. For all of the plans to get our town to a higher level. It's ridiculous. Let me ask a simple question: Who do you people think is responsible for the downtowns progress? Karen? Jeff? Ken? I think not. The CDC deserves most of the credit (most but not all) and these people can't take it that Mr Cassidy gets so much done. Three years and look at all thats been accomplished. Our downtown was a dump before the CDC came into town. Is that just coincidental? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

The public should have the video made public on the Phoenixville Website!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of Jeff, Karen, and Ken and their campaign against BC and the CDC. The CDC is a community development organization that has fought for the rights of people who don't have the means to represent themselves. The CDC has secured grants to benefit all of Pville in the form of sidewalks, trees, The Elm Street Program, The Main Street Program, the railway study, parks and recreation, and business development. They have done their job. Mr Senley, one of the big detractors of the CDC, can't even show up for one of the most critical meetings regarding the CDC and yet you want to trust his opinion on the direction Pville should take and how our downtown should continue to progress (or not progress in his vision). Come on folks, wake up!

Anonymous said...

Where have you been Barry?Nice to have you back.

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of the folks on 1st Ave support the CDC. I know I do.


Anonymous said...

Most folks that I have talked to support the CDC as well. This issue is not unlike a close election. There are folks on both sides and one side is going to lose. Unfortunately sometimes the losers can't let go....

Anonymous said...

Supporting the CDC is one thing– no issue there. Supporting a mean spirited, negative, egotistical, dellusionary, uncouth director as it's face is quite another.

Keep the CDC, lose the BC.

Anonymous said...

keep the cdc and learn from other successful cdc's i.e.

West Chester
etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:35am : You have to be kidding right? I can see looking to West Chester for inspiration but to look to Pottstown or even Downingtown? That has got to be a joke. Downingtown is OK and did progress at one point but they haven't moved forward in the downtown in years. They are a pleasant little town but surely nothing to be looking towards to see how to run our CDC. And Pottstown? Pottstown? You did say Pottstown? That was a laugh. Maybe we should look towards Norristown on how to run our CDC so we can bring back corruption and the drug problems. Pottstown? Really?

Anonymous said...

Karen, I'm a resident of Phoenixville, and a voter, and I support the CDC contract. Does that count, or do I get discredited, too?
It seems a little insulting for you to assume that Ciruelos, Handwerk, Speck, and Wagner are blindly supporting an initiative with no thought of the residents. Do I have to write a letter to them, just so YOU understand that THEY "get it"?
Also, it seems like some people's personal opinions of Barry Cassidy are getting in the way of their judgment. Simply not liking him is no reason to sink a program that has had so many benefits. Get over it. You'd be better served by focusing your efforts on the contract itself, and if it's worth the cost. I, for one, think it certainly is.
p.s. This commenting thing would work a whole lot better if some of you would use a name, instead of clicking "anonymous". Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I live on 2nd Avenue and I don't shop downtown. I can't afford to anywhere besides the dollar store. The beer and food are too pricey for me and a lot of Phoenixville people. All the CDC is doing is making it good for the downtown businesses and propertys.

Like the bailout with the feds, when am I going to get mine? Don't use my taxes to pay for enhancing other people's pockets.

Karen is right get off her back. These guys made sure they got their money before the real trouble starts and we're all going to pay through the nose when the taxes come in. Most of this council won't get back in office after this. Remember the trash pick up? We're going to be paying for that jack*** decision forever!

Anonymous said...

Mr 2nd Ave : come on dude. Do you think that council is "getting theirs" before they get out? Please define "getting theirs"? I want to hear this one. And as far as affording the beer: Try Tyler James, they have some pretty cheap beers. I see kids in their 20's there buying plenty of beer and I'm sure they are not Donald Trumps kids. Look around, there is plenty you can afford. Plus, Tyler James has some pretty damn good food you're missing out on. Try the Chile and the cheesesteaks - awesome!

Pete Schwetty

Anonymous said...

Karen, your comments on this blog and other blogs should at least be kept to the truth. Your "downtown bling" comments are nothing short of inflammatory political comments only to beneficial for you if you run again for council. I have to say based on those comments you will never win again because you are lying directly to the people that follow you. You definitely have people that trust you, but for you to put those kinds of comments out there as truth are irresponsible on your part. I need you to post this comment to balance out your outlandish remarks and then I need you to prove them if you're gonna stick by them. Those tactics are shameful.

Anonymous said...

Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
DJIA 10,862.61 (+497.16; +4.80%)
NASDAQ 2,082.33 (+98.60; +4.97%)
S&P500 1,163.93 (+57.54; +5.20%)
10YR T-NOTE 3.827% (+0.195)

Stop with the panic mode. The market will correct itself. Commodities may go up somewhat, but hey- did you look at the price of gas today? $3.47.

If you are going to retire this year, sell your house, buy a car you might have some trouble. If not, just wait it out and stop using those credit cards. Start NOW to get in the mindset of buying only essentials. Stop NOW wasting money on frivolous things. We must do this as individuals and as a nation. This will turn around.

I am happy this bill wasn't passed and the Republicans have the sense to go against Bush and the Fed. We need to take our time and make sure 'Main St" doesn't get screwed. We are the majority- screw us and they all lose. We bailed them out once and it didn't work. Let them bail themselves out. Don't panic. We all recovered from the 1929 Depression, with the exception of those who jumped out of their windows in a panic.

Anonymous said...

Karen Johns said back in July: Sure,the downtown looks nice and people have fun on First Fridays.

But, it's all "Bling". And, it's costing taxpayers money which, by all accounts will be needed for the 2009 budget.

How inflammatory! What untruths! How dare you say the downtown looks nice, people have fun and taxpayers money will be needed for 2009! How shameful those statements are!

It is common knowledge that the downtown does not look nice. People are not having fun and most of all, we will need no money in 2009.

Come on, prove it that the downtown looks nice, people have fun and that we need money in 2009. You should be ashamed of these inflammatory self-serving remarks!

Karen said...

My response to several of your comments is in the new thread posted.

Anonymous said...

Is this serious? Are you conversing with yourself Karen? You are so full of yourself and your own sense of importance. Wow!

Solofloyd said...

I completely disagree about the 'downtown bling' comment as well. If it was not for the 'downtown bling' I would not have moved to Phxville 2.5 years ago, and I certainly wouldn't have paid top dollar for the house I purchased. There are plenty of others moving into town and a big reason for this is the 'downtown bling'. It seems that Karen has talked herself into believing that most share her view. I think she is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

I agree Solo. Karen seems to think her opinion is shared by everyone and that is completely incorrect. I don't like the mean spirited comments on some of these blogs but I don't agree with Karens point of view either. I bring my kids downtown all the time and they have a great time and I feel safe. I can walk home safely because of all the people on the streets and the police. If I have guests over to visit we go downtown and have fun and then we end up at our house. What more could you ask for in a great downtown. Years ago we stayed home in our house because there was nothing to do and it wasn't safe. Now its really awesome. I guess these people don't take part in the downtown? Thats the only way I can see them not liking whats going on. But anyway, I just wanted to agree that Karens view is not shared by me or my neighbors.


Anonymous said...

My take is that the newer people, most of whom have higher incomes (or they wouldn't have been able to afford the real estate) don't see the tax increase as that much.

For those of us who have lived here for decades, we were promised a revitalization that would lower our tax bills. As someone on a fixed income, I cherished that promise. Every COLA increase I've received for the past 5 years has been swallowed by an increased fee for Medicare. Each year, I see my actual income go down and the taxes continue to go up, leaving me even less money for necessities such as fuel and food.

I am glad that there are so many people in town to whom a $25 increase is "nothing" for the "benefits" of a bustling downtwon. When I have to choose between my taxes or drastically turning down the heat this winter, the downtown is nothing more than "bling" and the promises I've heard for years from local politicians are even more galling.

Anonymous said...

So you would drastically turn down your heat before you'd get rid of your internet connection?

Anonymous said...

50 cents per week. Thats what this all comes down to. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. This whole thing is ridiculous and a cover up because Karen, Ken, and Jeff don't like Barry Cassidy. Boohoo!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous October 1, 2008 4:35:00 PM EDT:

As a disabled person, my Internet connection is my lifeline to e-mail lists to others who are also trying to attain quality of life while struggling with daily pain, to university websites with research and advice from medical researchers specifically about my condition, to NIH information on clinical trials and to more general health care lists like Rx List where I can look up my medications and then alert my doctors if I'm having problems.

Most health care professionals and disability advocates strongly recomend an Internet connection so that those with health conditions can find out the latest information and be true partners with their doctors in managing their condition. Most of the sites I mentioned are designed so that they can be accesses easily with a dial-up or DSL connnection so that one's costs are as low as possible. (You won't find YouTube or other videos on disability websites or on the research portions of a university website). Since there is little need for advanced video, older computers work just fine. Rebuilt, older models are not that expensive and there is no need to buy another until it completely dies).

In a choice between heat and Internet, it's no contest. I wouldn't be as functional as I am without my Internet connection. It has helped me find new treatments, warned me of drug interactions and side effects (resulting in me being taken off of some drugs because of listed side effects) and for the most part, connects me to supportive individuals who help me as I help them in trying to both work for a cure and simply get through daily pain.