William Penn Held a Vision for Good Government . . . How Does Tredyffrin Measure Up 300 Years Later?

What did William Penn see as necessary for good government and good leaders three-hundred years ago? In Preface to The Frame of the Government of the Province of Pennsylvania in America, 1682, William Penn wrote, 

” . . . Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn.

I know some say, let us have good laws, and no matter for the men that execute them: but let them consider, that though good laws do well, good men do better: for good laws may want good men, and be abolished or evaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer ill one . . .”

I wonder if Penn would think his vision for good government and good leadership has been recognized in Tredyffrin?

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  1. I certainly wish our current elected officials understood and appreciated Penn’s words and vision for the future. Three centuries later and look at the place our leaders have us. I received a call from a friend in Easttown this morning who joked about Tredyffrin becoming the ‘Lower Merion of the western Main Line’. Only thing is, I wasn’t laughing!

    At next week’s BOS meeting, I suggest that there be a review from our elected officials, township solicitor and township manager and a public apology for Kampf, Lamina and Olson’s behavior at the last BOS meeting.

    Apologize and make amends or this is one Republican vote that will never go to any of you again! But you’d probably say since I’m only one vote, what difference does it make? That’s the kind of arrogant mindset that all of you have!

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  2. While I agree with Pattye that poor judgment and hubris are not limited to one political party, and that the debacle occurring month after month on the BOS could have happened under the chairmanship of any boob, Republican or Democrat, I do think that there would have been more pushback on all of the controversial votes in recent months if our Board had two-party representation.

    That arrogant mindset Chesterbrook Voter describes has free reign in Tredyffrin. Literally a handful of people are calling the shots, and they’re in a bubble.

    Despite the hostile environment any non-supportive citizen faces, it is important to keep rising and speaking up when he/she is troubled by our supervisors’ actions. We may have to wait until November 2011 to clean house, but many important issues will need to be decided in the interim – including the 2011 budget and the importance of fire funding in that budget.

    This blog provides a great forum for ideas and opinions, but ultimately we have to take it to the community and make sure they know what’s going on.

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  3. OK, I have watched the you tube videos pattye provided three times now.

    I agree: Lamina was out of line.
    I agree: Olson was just bad.

    I disagree: Kampf provided an answer to Pattye’s question and only seemed annoyed when Pattye interrupted him during his answering — seems fair.

    He also gave the only answer that outlined exactly why the Supervisors — all of them — gave on Pittcairn several years ago. It was, by the way, because that is what the Twp solicitor told them they had to do to stay in the law.

    It also seemed that the solicitor said what they did with the fire companies was legal.

    I can see not agreeing with the answer, I can’t see where he needs to apologize. The other two? Sure.

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  4. There was absolutely no indication that Tom Hogan provided guidance on the fire solicitations. I would speculate he was not approached beforehand and thus could not have provided any legal opinion on it.

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  5. Add in the Township Solicitor (elected by the people of Tredyffrin like a Supervisor) who has been MIA for years. Oh wait he is Treasurer of the Kampf campaign.

    Sorry for the random comment.

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    Jim P Reply:

    So what exactly is your point Anon.?

    [Reply]

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