Friday, July 10, 2009

Letter of resignation - George Martynick, Jr.

The resignation of George Martynick, Jr. last night from the Planning Commission is an unmeasureable loss for Phoenixville.

Martynick's departure generates concerns similar in nature to those experienced during the disconnect with Charlie Berger and Tom Carnevale.

Just as the two men mentioned above, George believed wholeheartedly in his work, with much gusto he gave Phoenixville his best efforts, and he never met a problem or a situation in which he couldn't suggest a resolution.

For assured continuity, the person appointed to his now vacant seat will require not only knowledge of planning's intracacies, but also have high ethical standards along with an in-depth understanding of Phoenixville, it's residents, and our town's needs.

Trust is earned.

I trusted George.

Respect is earned.

George has mine.

Phoenixville owes George a debt of gratitude for his dedication, hard work, perseverance, and tenacity.

Kudos, George for doing a volunteer job above and beyond the norm.

I am going to miss you.



Attached is my letter of resignation from the Phoenixville Planning Commission.

I always had a good relationship with all the reporters and bloggers, both past and present, and I appreciate that you took the time to discuss and learn about some of the issues associated with planning in the Borough.

George Martynick Jr.


July 7, 2009

Mrs. Deb Johnston
Chairperson, Phoenixville Planning Commission
120 Church St
Phoenixville, Pa 19460


Please accept my resignation from the Phoenixville Planning Commission. I have enjoyed my time working with you and the rest of the commission both past and present. I am grateful for all that I have learned from you and the others and I hope that my impact has been a positive one.

Not being one to go away quietly, I would like to give my impression of where the Planning Commission is and a suggestion or two on how it can be improved.

The meeting should really be digitally recorded and available to the public. It would be a wonderful resource for the public so that they can understand the whole process.

The Planning Commission needs to get away from bypassing the ZHB by enacting zoning changes. By adding changes to the ordinances for specific projects, we have been flirting with (if not crossing the line) spot zoning.

Applications should come to the Planning Commission without the pre approval of Borough Council. For some projects, it has transformed the Planning Commission from a recommending body to a justifying body. We have made defensive approvals on these applications when we felt that the project was not in the best interest of the Borough. We half heartedly approved applications, with some recommendations, because we wanted there to be some guidance on plans that were basically approved before we received the application. The correct procedure is being bypassed in the same way that we bypass the ZHB with zoning changes. It is not the right way to work through the projects.

When a member requests a legal interpretation of a planning issue prior to a meeting, they really should be given some kind of answer. Even if the request is denied, there should be some response. There are issues that we deal with that needs legal interpretations for members to make informed decisions.

The Borough needs to realize that a lot of seasoned members have left or been removed from the Planning Commission. The turnover has left an unseasoned body that will need some more time to gel. Remember that I was not always as cool and level headed as I am today. When I started on the Commission, I would go on a rant but it would be Charlie Berger and Tom Carnevale that would follow up with a cool level headed observation. That is what the Planning Commission needs to get back to. It has been decimated by years of removals and resignations and it will be a long time before things stabilize. Council started this by removing Charlie Berger and has continued until last year. Hopefully this game will stop.

Members should be required to take the Chester County Planning Commission’s Master Planning Course.

The Borough should spend some money to hire someone to do the minutes.
Members and Council need to realize that an opposition to a project does not mean that you are an obstructionist. As long as you have studied the application and talked to the people affected, it is the right thing to do to oppose a project if you believe it is not in the best interest of the Borough.

The comp plan need to be a community wide project and though a 9 or 13 member committee is manageable, it will yield a very limited plan. There should be sub committees studying individual aspect of the plan and reporting back to a centralized committee. Then it will be well thought out.

It’s been fun!

George Martynick Jr.


Anonymous said...

We lose an other good public servent...a sad day. Thanks for your good work George. Don't go too far.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the time and hard work that you put into the Planning Commission.As members of these commissions,I am not sure the public knows how time consuming it really is.Commission members really don't want the publicity and it would be ideal if these commissions worked without all the fanfare as there are two sides to every project.
I hope that the Chair and your fellow members take your recomendations to heart and return to the proper process regarding Planning ,Zoning and Councils final approval.This process works when done properly and I ,like you feel that the Borough has gotten away from this system of checks and balances.Good luck to you and your family as you will surely be missed.

Mr. Ellsworth Toohey said...

He was always a good source of information but a bit of an irreverant commission member.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Let's kill the lie-berry plan. If only for Georgey's sake.

Anonymous said...

...and I was going to ask you one more question about the dog park. Darn, maybe you could give me some guidance about a doggie/person water fountain, just for fun, sometime in the not too distant future. Thank you for your time and recommendations in the past.
Evelyn Walsh, Pres.
Friends of Horsham Dog Park