Thursday, September 11, 2008

Phoenixville Council "Leaders"? Or, will their campaigns have been nothing more than empty promises? Council to revisit CDC pact.

As per the article from the Phoenix, posted below, Phoenixville's Borough Council will revisit the controversial, five year, $625,000 CDC contract.

To recap, the CDC approached Council months before the 2009 budget process began with a request to approve a new, compeletly taxpayer-funded 5 year contract. The resulting controversy centered on questioning the need for the CDC in depressed economic times, adding an entirely NEW TAX amount of $125,000 annually on the taxpayers of Phoenixville, as well as the early positioning of the CDC contract request and the subsequent approval before the needs of Phoenixville residents, taxpayers, and administrative costs.

Councilmembers Ciruelos, Gill, Speck, and Wagner voted to approve the precedent setting motion while Councilmembers Buckwalter, Handwerk, and Kirkner voted against the expenditure.

Sadly, Michael Handwerk seems not to be immune to a national candidate disease, flip-flopping.

Michael originally voted FOR the CDC contract in committee, and voted against it in Council on August 12th.

Today we read of his letter to Council wherein he apparently flip-flopped again in support of the expenditure. "I am not in favor of giving notice to the CDC of the Borough's intent of terminating the contract." (Handwerk)

Less than one year ago, Handwerk made this statement:

"I will always work for the residents in my town." - Michael Handwerk c 2007

Michael, certain promises were made to me, personally, and to your constituents, by YOU, during your campaign.

The above are YOUR words.

Many of your voters placed their trust in you believing you would abide by your promises.

This serves as a public reminder of the hours and hours you spent knocking on doors asking voters to believe in your message of bold change on Council and true representation for the residents of the Middle Ward.

I ask you to keep your promises.

Councilmembers Ciruelos, Gill, Speck, and Wagner, each of you spoke to many Phoenixville residents during your campaigns, and after the successful elections you placed your hand on a Bible and took the oath of office as a Phoenixville Borough Councilmember and a representative of the residents in each of your wards.

Redeem the promises of your campaigns and your oath by placing the people, the residents of Phoenixville FIRST.

Make your time in public service the true legacy of an elected official, that of a public servant to the the people of Phoenixville.

Vote against the outrageous CDC contract.

******

09/11/2008
Council to revisit CDC pact


By G.E. LAWRENCE

The Phoenix Correspondant

PHOENIXVILLE — Borough Council's regular business meeting was especially notable for what didn't happen.

An agenda item secured by Jeff Senley (R-North) proposed a vote on terminating the Borough's five-year, $125,000 per year professional services agreement with the Main Street-Community Development Corporation — an agreement approved by Council only a month ago.

It didn't come to a vote. It barely came to discussion.

Instead, as the agenda item was reached at 10:45 that evening, Senley abruptly called for a formal continuation of the meeting to September 23, expressly for consideration of the issue then.

But the proximate cause of the postponement was Mike Handwerk (D-Middle). It had to do with his absence. He had had a prior commitment, and did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

It was a matter of the vote count, said Senley Wednesday morning. "I knew how the vote count would have gone. And I didn't think we should get into it at that late hour."

With a full complement of eight Council members, he said, four votes to terminate the agreement from himself, Richard Mark Kirkner (D-North), Kendrick Buckwalter (R-West) — and Handwerk — would have determined a tie. "That would have sent the vote to the Mayor to break the tie," he said. He anticipated Mayor Leo Scoda's support. So the contract would have been terminated.

But with Handwerk out, no such scenario.

Handwerk had in fact voted to approve the agreement when it came to vote in the Community Development Committee he chairs, but reversed course and voted against it on August 12.

And though absent at Tuesday's meeting, Handwerk sent a letter running a page and a half in length to Council, to be read into the record by Council President Henry Wagner (D-Middle). It turned out that Senley's presumptive calculus might have been in error.

"Managers think about today," Handwerk wrote. "Leaders think about tomorrow. When discussing how the Borough should go about revitalizing, we should be thinking about tomorrow.

"I am not in favor of giving notice to the CDC of the Borough's intent of terminating the contract. Phoenixville as a whole has benefited from the work that the CDC and others in our community have done over the last several years. Why stop now? What kind of message would it be sending if we cancel the contract a month after approving it?

"Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow," Handwerk repeated. "Gentlemen, I am a leader. Where are y'all?"

"The reason for continuing the meeting is to have one more opportunity for Council to make a decision on the agreement's impact on the 2009 budget," Senley said. "It is discourteous to the CDC to drag them along, when we don't have a clue about what we'll be facing in other budget costs," he continued. "What's going to happen when Council discovers that compared to other budget items, it cannot after all afford this luxury [of the CDC]?

"So now this [issue] will be subject to a long, I mean long, discussion on September 23," Senley concluded.


http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20116347&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6

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59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karen, I think Mr Handwerk can make his own decisions. He understands your views are not in keeping with the growth of Phoenixville. You had your time on council (step aside).

Anonymous said...

I was going to write something else until I read the above comment.

Do you realize this is Karen's blog? She gives you the outlet for your thoughts on issues and you try to minimize her comments?

I have known Karen for many years and when she speaks many people listen. Her judgement is impecable and reflects the thoughts of Phoenixville people in my opinion. There is not a bigger cheerleader in town than this woman who has worked for anyone who asks for help. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Karen should be council president because she would hammer stupidity down and do what is right by the people.

We all better hope she never steps aside from anything which concerns all of us.

Anonymous said...

It is Karen's blog, so she had the right to post whatever she likes on it, just as Google will be very happy to let you set up your own blog to post whatever you would like.

That said, considering that Wasilla, AK paid a Washington DC lobbyist $35,000/year to get $27 million in earmarks (getting PA "walking around money" isn't easy -- getting Federal earmarks means you are really connected), I think the CDC contract is way, way, way overblown.

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen,

Thanks greatly for all your service to the Phoenixville Community!

You are an amazing woman and a true Public Servant.

Yours in the Successful Revitalization, Rejuvenation, and ReInvention of Phoenixville,

Chris DeVol

Spring City, PA

Anonymous said...

as someone watching council often lately... they do not care about what the people want..

Anonymous said...

Karen Johns is not the only resident in this town. Her post suggests that Handwerk should listen to her as if she represents all residents. Perhaps Handwerk has talked to others in his district and realized that many support the CDC contract?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but I agree with karen; and Mr. Handwork never asked me or even replied to any of my e-mails.

p.s. Not too sure, but I don't belive Mr. Handwork represents karen's ward.

Anonymous said...

Not outright saying that Karen personally did this, but she should know that just about all politicians lie. It's in their nature to say one thing and then do another. If they didn't, we would all lose faith in the system.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see other people picking up the torch. Don't let these few "grumblers" who constantly complain about everything downplay the incredible job the CDC has done downtown. The progress is staggering downtown and I hope more is to come. Here it is summed up in a nut shell: The results downtown speak louder than anything these grumblers can say that's negative.

Anonymous said...

I am glad Mr Handwerk came to his senses and expressed his own views that reflect the direction of the town. A forward thinking young man is refreshing to see.

markerts said...

Anyone who was at the latest first Friday (the last of the Summer Music series) would surely have a positive outlook about Phoenixville. Personally, when I say how many people were out on Bridge St. having a great time, I was very proud of the direction our town has taken. If Mr. Handwerk had knocked on my door, I would have supported the CDC, too. Simply because he supports a plan which you oppose, somehow that means he's breaking a promise to his voters? I don't get that logic. There's no reason for him to support the CDC unless it is FOR the residents. I guarantee he's fully aware of the tax implications to those residents, and feels that it is worth the sacrifice. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Markerts: I'm not aware of anyone who honestly believes that downtown isn't better, that First Fridays and any other Fridays for that matter, are not fun or well attended, that we'd all like to see it continue and grow.....the issue here is the expense to the Borough tax payers. Not the surrounding township folks who come in droves and who pay nothing for it, not the merchants who pay nothing extra for it, but the vast majority of Borough residents who are being asked for funding without getting benefit. Who have to pay extra for the police, for the cleanup, for the CDC and it's staff, etc. When do those who enjoy and benefit the most pay a share? If there were, oh say 3,000 people at First Friday, I'm willing to bet that less than half were from within the Borough limits. Yet those and all those from the Borough who don't go are required to pay for it? Fair? I think not. Affordable, not for me but for some, I guess. Any ideas on how the funding can be fair would be greatly appreciated. It is NOT fair now and becoming more and more unaffordable for many of us on fixed income or stuggling with a difficult economy. I would hope our representatives represent us, the majority and not the minority of businesses who benefit the most or the visitors to our Borough who seem to enjoy it the most.

Anonymous said...

Again 7:15 pm : you speak in twisted facts to fit your old and tired arguments. Who pays for the events downtown? I'll tell you: Xmas lights funded by business owners, trees are funded by the CDC grants, sidewalks are funded by the CDC grants, benches are funded by the CDC grants, the fountain was a secured donation by the CDC, the foundry was privately funded along with state and federal grant money, the flowers are funded by business owners, the flags are funded by the business owners, and the music is funded by the sponsor Molly McGuires. So again, you tell me who funded the events you speak of in the downtown? And you can argue all you want that any grants are funded by the tax payers (which they are) but they are tax payer monies that are allocated for just those reasons and those reasons only. So if we didn't get those grant monies then some other progressive town would be reaping those state and federal benefits. Please, someone step up to the plate and prove me wrong.....................................

markerts said...

Umm, your statement about how the surrounding folks "who pay nothing for it" is not accurate. I don't know the numbers, but to be a business in this town means you are paying taxes to the borough. In addition, all employees of those business are paying local income taxes to the borough. All of this translates to income for the town, which is being paid for by the patrons, who come from out of town. That's the whole point of the CDC and the revitalization, to create a thriving environment that is self sustaining. And when I said the extra tax burden to residents would be worth it, I didn't mean I was willing to pay them just to feel better. My point was that with the added income, it would offset the costs of the CDC, and be worth the investment. Because that's what this is, an investment, and is necessary as part of any "revitalization". Without it, all those lots downtown would be vacant, and this town would be like it was 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Markets, I think some of these people liked the way it was 10 years ago. It is obvious they must have like the downtown when it wasn't safe, and no one walked the streets, and there were no events, and no businesses worth patronizing, and the people would talk badly about our town when you mentioned you were from Phoenixville. Keep up the good work in the downtown.

Anonymous said...

Markets:

Businesses in town do not pay any taxes beyond the real estate tax, which is the same if the storefront is empty and if it is full.

If the employees do not live in the Borough, they do not pay taxes. As it is, most of the restaurant jobs are either kitchen jobs which are usually filled by illegals (who often do not pay taxes) or the "front room" employees (wait staff, etc) that are only part time. So, the taxes they pay are far less than a full time, living wage job.

If the CDC/business revitalization is actually bringing in income to the town, they need to publish those numbers. So far, all the Phoenixville resident taxpayer is seeing is tax increases without increased services (beyond First Friday funding from the state).

Anonymous said...

"Businesses in the downtown do now pay any taxes". Are you serious? Tell me the name of your business and tell me who your accountant is so I can tell all the business owners and they will not have to pay taxes. There are property taxes included in most triple net lease contracts which are paid by the businesses. They pay sales taxes. And of course federal taxes. So now what you want to do is tack on some kind of extra tax? Why? So you can have 3 cars instead of 2.

You can't make a proper argument to support any of your comments so you have to start picking things out of thin air and hope something sticks and turns out to be right. Well, you're wrong. Businesses pay their taxes. They bring employment. Their employees pay taxes. They clean their part of the sidewalks. Maintain the fronts of their buildings. Pay for the flowers and maintenance. Pay for the flags and decorations. Pay for Xmas lights. Pay for the Celtic fest. Pay for the Blob fest. Pay for the Firebird festival. Pay for the Blob ball. Etc, etc, etc.

According to you owning a business in the downtown is like hitting the jackpot. Hmm, maybe you should open a business and then you won't have to pay taxes. If that were the case everyone would own a business. But they don't.

And before you make arguments that they hire illegal aliens to staff their businesses maybe you better prove that point before you open your trap. I'm sure a lot of the business owners would love to have a chat with you. Or better yet, if you have such a problem with the "illegal aliens" they hire, then maybe you should approach them and confront them on it? Well? Your statements are ridiculous and false.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous September 14, 2008 10:26:00 PM EDT:

I managed the books for a local consulting business in town for years. The only taxes to the Borough (which was the subject of the post, not federal taxes or sales tax, which go to the state) are the property taxes, which are the same if the storefront is empty or it is has a business that makes millions/year.

As for the objects you mentioned, those are picked and chosen by individual businesses, while the Phoenixville resident taxpayer has to pay their taxes whether they want to pay for police protection/trash removal/road repair or not.

As for where the illegals work, I suggest to talk to those that live on your own block and find out where they are working. I'm sure if you have a neighborly relationship with them, they would be very happy to tell you what they are doing. If you don't have a good relationship with your neighbors, I suggest you check back into the kitchens of our local restuarants and bars and see who is doing the work.

Anonymous said...

September 14, 2008 10:26:00 PM EDT

1. "There are property taxes included in most triple net lease contracts which are paid by the businesses."
Your point? According to BC, the downtown only produces $11,000 per mil per year in property taxes. That is less than 30k/year. How much does Phoenixville pay for a dedicated cop downtown every night?

2. "They pay sales taxes." Wrong. You & I pay the sales tax. The businesses remit the tax.

3. "And of course federal taxes." Your point? We all pay federal taxes if we make money.

4. "So now what you want to do is tack on some kind of extra tax? Why? So you can have 3 cars instead of 2."

Answer this; How does a tax benefit a person being able to own 2 cars instead of 3? It is the other way around; I give up owning another car to PAY the taxes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry fella, but you're twisting the truth. The fact of the matter is ALL businesses pay sales taxes, whether they are remitted is not the argument. The argument is that they generate money for the state and therefor you and I. So again, you are twisting the truth and your original statement was that businesses don't pay their share. I own a business (not in Pville) and I can tell you we pay more than our fair share of taxes. More than 3/4 of our nations economy comes from small business owners like the ones in the downtown and that is a fact. You can't deny it. If you do you better check back into your Economics 101 class. So although I believe you have some valid concerns your arrow of criticism is misguided and directed at the wrong folks. The businesses in the downtown impact our economy greatly and our local economy. I could get into the trickle down effect of a booming downtown but it would take quite a long time. But I'm sure you can appreciate that there is always a trickle down effect from every successful downtown. Please recheck your facts and report back to me later. For now you get a C-.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:27am : I don't need to check into any of the businesses kitchens to see who is working there since you have already secured some concrete evidence of your claims. Maybe you should make a list that we could all investigate and we can bring them up to code. Well?............................................

Again, your statements are baseless, inflammatory and not true. If you have some hard evidence of any illegal workers then you need to bring that to attention. Until then maybe you should check your own kitchen and stay on top of your family. By the way sweetheart, what's for dinner?

Anonymous said...

Come on Karen, post my comments. I want to know this: Tell us you can do a better job compared to Barry Cassidy. Thats all I want you to say. Say to us: I can do a better job than Barry. You would never say that. You know why? Because as much as you or Ken, Dick, or Jeff (no show) despise Barry Cassidy, not one of you could honestly say (100% without a doubt) that you could do a better job than he is doing. Like I have said in previous posts, I really don't like the guy (BC) but I have to admit that the guy gets things done. And that's all we ask. Believe me, I am not on board with everything the CDC and BC does. But, at the same time I say: when I think the results don't outweigh the costs, then I would say: "let Barry leave". I know, not too far in the future, Barry's time will come to leave. But I don't think that time is hear yet. Like I always say, "the results speak louder than any words". Why is that so hard to believe? Just walk downtown and tell us who is most responsible for that transformation? It's a simple question to answer: "Who is most responsible for the transformation downtown?"

Anonymous said...

Talk about twisting the truth!

The last few comments here have been nothing more than personal attacks and misdirection.

The topic here has been taxes that improve the Borough coffers -- talk about sales tax, which does not go to the Borough, is nothing more than misdirection.

If "trickle-down" ecomonic theory worked, the US would have had continuous economic growth since Reagen. Anyone here reading the Wall Street Journal these days?

Stop with the general statements and post some concrete examples.

Anonymous said...

how about BC hire the Lobbyist Mayor Palin hired for Wasilla, AK

sounds like a hell of a bargain compared to what phoenixville is spending on the cdc

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry, you read the Wall Street Journal. Well, that definitely changes how I view things. Whatever you say must be correct then since you read The Journal. Sorry Mr Journal but that little bit of information isn't impressive enough to change the fact that all of your statements against the plan of the CDC and the direction of the town are a complete twisting of the facts (misdirection as they call it in the Journal). Maybe they don't tell you this in the Journal class of economics but all businesses pay their taxes and contribute greatly to any local economy. Small businesses account for more than 3/4 of our nations economy. You can look at any other group of numbers that you want but you can't change that fact. Another fact is that since you can't validate your arguments you have to make baseless attacks on businesses and accuse them of hiring illegal aliens. That's really funny because if you believe that then you must not frequent any of the businesses in town because I have been in a number of these locations and I have not once seen an illegal alien (of course that may be because I didn't see the sign above their head that says "I'm an illegal alien"). Wall up and down Bridge Street and all you have to do is poke your head inside each one of these businesses and I only see great, hard working business people doing their best to make a living. Sorry I have to go, but I have to get to the news stand and get the Wall Street Journal so I to can regurgitate more baseless information.

Anonymous said...

"...Just walk downtown and tell us who is most responsible for that transformation?..."

Yes. PLEASE walk downtown. You can't drive downtown and park anymore. Apparently as of Monday 9/15 those of us drawn to the downtown to shop and eat now have to choose to do one or the other- and FAST.

If you park on Bridge St more than ONE HOUR you get yourself a nice big fat parking ticket. Is it possible to have a leisurely lunch at any one of the new restaurants downtown in under one hour? You'd better hope so or plan to add another $25+ to your bill to supplement borough coffers.

Is this what we do now to raise money? How long before this tactic kills business? LOLOL ahhhh Phoenixville, continuing to shoot itself in the foot...

Anonymous said...

September 16, 2008 10:28:00 AM EDT
"Maybe they don't tell you this in the Journal class of economics but all businesses pay their taxes and contribute greatly to any local economy."

Other than the borough property tax, which tax are you referring to? Granted, as you mentioned earlier, businesses pay sales tax but so do the 15,000 other people in town. How does that help locally?

I found it humorous when you wrote; "I own a business (not in Pville) and I can tell you we pay more than our fair share of taxes." The humorous line is "we pay more than our fair share of taxes."

Isn't that what many are saying about the additional tax burden that the CDC contract is causing borough taxpayers; more than their fair share? Shouldn't the CDC get funding elsewhere so residents aren't paying more than their fair share?

Anonymous said...

Mr Anon 11:04 AM: Apparently you have some kind of grudge against Phoenixville and its growth and thats okay. Our town does have its parking issues but that is only for folks like you who are not willing to walk a few blocks to get to your destination. There is plenty of parking for the rest of us folks who don't mind burning a calorie or 2 to get wherever. I'd be willing to bet whatever town you live in doesn't have a downtown and therefore you wouldn't be aware of the hurdles presented by towns in the midst of a successful revitalization. Phoenixville will continue to grow in spite of your laughter and we will be successful without you visiting. You fail to forget that Pville is not looked at as a great local place to visit anymore. We are now the talk of most towns and are frequently recognized by Philadelphians as a great place to spend time in the suburbs (so my point is for every one of you disgruntled, lazy people that don't want to come to Pville anymore, there are several more to replace you). We were also listed as one of the Top 100 Places to Relocate in America. Thats not Pennsylvania but AMERICA. Not to mention the great press we received in The Boston Globe, NY Times and CNN Where is your town ever listed?

If you don't like Phoenixville then please stay out! We don't need you. We never asked you to visit. We could care less if you tell your 1 or 2 friends never to come to Pville because we don't need you to visit. Have fun in your town because I'm sure there is plenty of parking for a boring, empty town.
Funny part is you visit Phoenixville now and you obviously have had a grudge against our town for a while. That really doesn't say much about your social life. All that it tells me is you can't even stay away if you wanted - ahhahhahhahhaahaaaaa!

Anonymous said...

If revitalization give us such cheery "boosters" as Anonymous September 16, 2008 1:14:00 PM, I think we are better off without any of it.

With friends like these. . .

Anonymous said...

1:14, 11:04 was merely pointing out the parking issue and you go off like an m-80 in a bonfire. I think we all agree you have the right to your childish, half-literate rant, but save the drama for your mama.

How do you know 11:04 doesn't live here? What are you doing, stalking his/her Myspace page or something?

Anonymous said...

To Mr Anon 1:14
I am guessing you wrote this BEFORE you got your ticket today?

Anonymous said...

September 15, 2008 11:30:00 AM EDT
September 16, 2008 10:28:00 AM EDT
September 16, 2008 1:14:00 PM EDT
(most likely the same person)

Why haven't you responded to
September 16, 2008 12:18:00 PM EDT??

What, no answers?

Anonymous said...

Obviously you folks who have never owned a business don't have the guts to step up and do your own thing. Are you all suggesting we just make up a tax for businesses just in Phoenixville (like its such a luxury). How about a "help me pay my oil bill tax". Again for students in Wall Street Journal Economics 101: Small businesses make up more than 3/4 of our economy. That includes federal, state and local.

And by the way Nancy Drew, I said "we pay our fair share of taxes" meaning business owners (we). My business is in warehousing and not even in this state. But I do understand the struggles of small business owners.

I and most residents I know support the CDC. You are the minority. So only you view it as an extra tax burden. This is the price you pay for living in a revitalizing town. If you don't like it then don't pay your taxes (simple), leave town, or get another job.

Now to Anon 7:33pm : Again I will say this really slowly so you can understand and catch up to the rest of the class- Small businesses all across our great nation make up more than 3/4 of our federal, state and local economies. Does anyone want to dispute those numbers? Go ahead Mr Wall Street Journal. How about you Anon 7:33pm?

Class is out kids. Do some homework and report back to me later.

Anonymous said...

September 16, 2008 10:18:00 PM EDT
Hey Hon, Nancy Drew here. You may have thought you said "we pay our fair share of taxes"...
NO NO NO - You wrote:"we pay more than"...Look back and see for yourself.

No wonder you can't answer a simple question. You are what you eat.

Now I will type it verrry sloowwly for YOU. Other than than property taxes, how do the other taxes paid by the down town businesses help locally??? How does it pay for the CDC?

Anonymous said...

Honey, sweetheart, schnookems, let me fill you in...on something big:

Riddle me this batman!!!!!!!
Riddle: Who created the CDC?
Answer: Your borough council - not the business
owners.
Riddle: What does CDC stand for?
Answer: Community Development Corporation
Notice is doesn't stand for Business
Development Corporation
Riddle: Who was is established to develop?
Answer: The Phoenixville community

Riddle: So who pays for it?
Answer: The branch that developed it (ie borough
council)
Riddle: Who does the borough council represent?
Answer: The borough and taxpayers

And the final riddle whether you like it or not:
Riddle: Who pays for borough council decisions
Answer: The tax payers (ie - you and me)

Oh sorry, one last riddle:
Riddle: Who wants something for nothing?
Answer: You

Love you/big kiss
Hon

Anonymous said...

Anonymous September 17, 2008 12:33:00 AM EDT:

I suggest you go back and read the charters for Community Development Corporations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Talk about "needing to do homework"!

CDCs are supposed to be conduits for government and private grants to do economic development (that usually means business) and are usually self-supporting through the grants they acquire and fees from business organizations such as BIDs. They are NOT supposed to be taxpayer supported, as has happened in Phoenixville.

If the Main Street CDC is truely going to be a CDC, it needs to act like one and get out of the local taxpayer trough.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:18 writes:
Small businesses all across our great nation make up more than 3/4 of our federal, state and local economies.

So how does Phoenixville help its small downtown businesses by ticketing customers who park more than one hour in front of their stores? Say a customer wants to shop at Scarlet Begonias and then eat lunch at Black Lab? Screwed. How about a customer who wants to walk from the Creperie to Jaworskis and back, maybe stopping for a latte at the coffee house? Screwed again. How many times will the customer pay tickets before they decide to go elsewhere with their $$s? Don't talk about parking somewhere else and walking a block or two. This is already being done. We need to encourage people to come to the downtown, not fine them for it. It would be a different story if there were an alternative such as a two hour meter, etc. Don't talk about a parking garage. There isn't one as of today.

Anonymous said...

September 17, 2008 12:33:00 AM EDT

Riddle: How do the other taxes paid by the downtown businesses help locally??? How does it pay for the CDC?

Answer: ???

Anonymous said...

How much did Mollys pay to rent the parking lot for the summer? Was that added to the CDC budget?

Anonymous said...

Me thinks somebody shut his big mouth after he too got a parking ticket.

Of course if it upset him he could always leave...and stay out. We don't need him. ahahahahaaaahaaa

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mr "ticked off because you got a ticket" but last time I checked the business owners in your community were not the ones writing the tickets. That seems to be something you should bring up to you police force or parking enforcement. That was pretty dumb! I can't even believe I had to explain that one. Wow!

Anonymous said...

To anon 12:33 am : Obviously you missed the class on business economics. Small businesses all over our great nation, from California to New York (including Phoenixville) account for MORE THAN 75% of our NATIONS economy. Now, what doesn't register in your little walnut? I am trying to be nice here but your making it kinda difficult. Now either Phoenixville is a rouge town and doesn't operate like all other towns and cities across America or they fall into the rest of the statistics of every town in America and contribute in more ways then you understand.

You folks are making me glad that I don't have a business in Phoenixville because I never met a local community that didn't appreciate their downtown merchants. You people really should be ashamed of yourself. Its one thing to think the CDC needs to be voted out, or to believe that the council is a bunch of bumbling idiots (those issues I can understand and don't necessarily disagree with you on). But to not be completely supportive of local merchants and businesses is just downright wrong and would fall into the category of biting off your nose to spite your face.

In no time or town in history has a downtown grown or become successful without the support of its local community. Phoenixville is no different. It has become successful because of the support of the majority of Phoenixvillians and will continue to grow with or without your support. I just don't get it. Please explain to me how you making it more difficult for businesses to operate benefits you as a community? Every town I ever operated a business goes out of their way to make it easier for businesses to become successful. Local business growth equals local town growth and it reciprocates. But what you are suggesting is tacking on some extra (made up) tax for the privilege of local businesses to operate in Phoenixville. Are you kidding me? We should be welcoming these investors with open arms. Were you here 10 or 15 years ago? Come on people wake up!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 02:49
The "made up" tax you refer to for the privilege of operating a business is already levied in many towns and cities and guess what it's called? The Business Privilege Tax. I'm not making this up.

Anonymous said...

Do your homework 5:22 pm : Not many towns have a privilege tax for businesses. Just major metropolitan cities. I don't think we qualify in that category. A business privilege tax in Pville? You are really not in touch with reality are you? Have any of you people graduated from grade school? I mean, come on this is a joke right? How about we charge you a privilege tax to live in Phoenixville? How's that sound? If its a privilege to do business in Pville well then surely it has to be a privilege to live here. You don't understand the Pandora's Box you would open in a situation like that. How about high school? Did you at least graduate from high school?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9/18 2:27-

"Sorry Mr "ticked off because you got a ticket"...."

I don't recall the poster asking you to explain anything, LOL. This isn't your blog.

Clearly the business owners do not write tickets. The point (you missed it) was that the one-hour-parking ordinance suddenly being enforced this week is not helping the downtown businesses.

Phoenixville has a habit of shooting itself in the foot. I've been here a lot longer than you- our sudden expert. We develop the downtown to draw in customers to the new but struggling small businesses. Then we suddenly begin to enforce an unreasonable ordinance and start penalizing business patrons of the downtown by ticketing anyone who parks more than an hour. Does it make sense to draw customers who have to be out in an hour? Do we need to possibly CHANGE the one hour ordinance to say 2 whole hours or maybe 3 so that we can keep customers? I believe this is the point of the post.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is already a business tax on Bridge Street. Doesn't the mandatory bill handed out to business owners last Spring by BC for 'FLOWERS' count as a tax?

Anonymous said...

Yikes! looks like 10:19 pm did his homework. People shouldn't open their mouths when they don't know what the heck they're talking about. That was like me picking a fight with Mike Tyson. I just love blogs.

Jeff Senley said...

Interesting to hear folks complain about the enforcement of the laws on the books for parking violations.

I wonder what public backlash there will be when we have parking meters installed downtown?

As the Parking Authority proceeds with its charter and the implied goal of a parking garage downtown, something will become clear.

It will cost some amount of money to park in the garage to both recoup the garage's construction cost and sustain the garage's continued operation. If someone has the choice of parking on the streets or in our existing municipal lots for free, then they're certainly not going to park in the garage unless they absolutely have to.

Therefore, on street parking spots and downtown municipal lots will also need to cost "something" to park in. Parking meters are the answer, with enforcement of violations there just like anywhere else.

While it may take some time to get to this answer, that's going to be it. Things like non-enforceable "1 hour parking" signs or some such won't get the job done.

So, you know ... Prepare for it.

Anonymous said...

10:19,
5:22 is correct in that a number of townships, towns, boroughs and cities have a business privilege/mercantile tax. They levy that tax to take the entire tax burden off property owners. Perhaps you might do some research on these places before you attempt to insult knowledgeable people with your childish remarks.

Anonymous said...

Mr Senley,
Does it make sense to start enforcing the 'one hour rule' now, BEFORE a parking garage and BEFORE meters are installed? What is the alternative if one wants to spend more than an hour downtown? TODAY's alternative, not a year from now. We have one municipal parking lot and a few spots on each end of the business district.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, you showed up again, thanks! Funny you bring up the parking. From what I understand its not the parking authority enforcing the parking in the downtown YET. You know how I know? Because the parking authority hasn't hired anyone to enforce at all. You would know that if you attended their meetings. I haven't but I know Matt from the newspaper and he has attended the meetings and says they have NO employees enforcing parking yet. So that means it is still the borough (ie YOU and council) that are in charge of all the tickets being handed out. Thanks for that! I'll make sure I vote appropriately in the next election. You can vote to Jeff but you probably won't show up. So for all you people that are griping about parking call Jeff Senley.

Jeff Senley said...

Anonymoose:

I'd be glad to address parking concerns; however, by ordinance I am not allowed to do so. Council voted earlier this year to wash its hands of all parking-related issues, which I was against.

These issues are addressed by the Parking Authority, who is independent of Borough Council.

The reason the Parking Authority has no employees is because it currently has no funds. Any "employees" would be "volunteers" at this point until they generate some sort of revenue stream that can support staff.

I suggest taking your concern to the Parking Authority's attention for an answer to your question.

Anonymous said...

No Jeff, the people are asking questions about the police officer patrolling the street and giving tickets all of a sudden. Now either the PA is in charge of the police (which i highly doubt) or they have directives from our borough government wether it be council, or the mayor or the police chief. But I'd be willing to bet your hefty paycheck that it isn't the PA since they have no teeth yet. Again, you're stamping your feet and kicking your legs because you didn't get what you wanted at that council vote. The idea, now Jeff, is to put your differences aside and work for the people and make it work. Wether you like it or not, you had better learn that real quick. I apologize that it had to come from a citizen.

Your sweetie,
Anonymoose

Karen said...

There are times when I simply do not have the time to read every post before I publish them (not a good practice, I know) and since I've just had an opportunity to read through the posts of the last week or so, I have some comments of my own.

Have you no shame?

I am rather angry that this forum has been used in this manner.

The posters involved in playing a game of one-upmanship on my blog and other local blogs have done nothing to contribute to the discussions.

After reading the drivel, the attacks, the absolute mean-heartedness, I've come to a decision.

I'm going to read every single post before I publish them, and if I see content such as what has been posted to this board, I will NOT put the comments on the thread.

You are forewarned.

If you do not see your post in a reasonable amount of time, know it won't seen here.

Think about what you post before you post it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karen. You are absolutely correct in your decision to read and edit prior to posting. Most of your fellow blog owners have started doing the same. There is an element of our blog posting community, perhaps a couple individuals but most likely one, who has reduced these discussions to name calling and bulling anyone who criticizes the CDC, it's director, it's decisions or who may even support certain council members or decisions. This element seems to believe there is only one way to look at things and if you don't agree you can leave town. It has been very discouraging and I'm delighted blog owners have realized that bullys should not be allowed to behave badly or try to intimidate others from expressing their opinions. Thanks again.

Karen said...

You are welcome, Anonymous 9:13.

They've had at it, unfortunately, and it's over.

We need solutions to problems, not snide remarks or outright attacks.

It seems our entire country is on edge due in part to the economic crisis while some in Phoenixville are only interested in throwing good money after bad, taunting each other and arguing over trivial issues.

Jeff, I want to apologize to you.

You don't deserve anything but respect for what you have done and will continue to do for our community.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Karen. I was pretty much open to the CDC idea until I saw firsthand here and on other blogs the level of bullying and arrogance in certain posts. It opend my eyes to the true character of the player(s). I am offended by the 'if you don't like it- leave' attitude. WE live here. We don't just work here and get paid with Phoenixville tax dollars. We need to know our money is being well spent in the days ahead. Granted the downtown has greatly improved in the last few years thanks to BC, but BC is NOT Phoenixville, no matter how many put-downs made against the taxpaying residents.

Hearing on the news that we are a hair away from calling the state of our economy a depression we have to seriously think about entering into a contract for music and entertainment downtown when we don't realy know if there will be future money for roadwork, police and fire needs, etc. I must vote NO.

Anonymous said...

$125,000 / 15,000 people = $8 per year or 67 cents per month to keep the CDC. Sure, I'll gladly pay it to keep the revitalization of this town going.