Former Township Supervisor Trish Kreek Disappointed in Supervisors Behavior

Former township supervisor Trish Kreek speaks out about the behavior of some of our supervisors in the following Letter to the Editor which appears in this week’s Main Line Suburban Life newspaper.  In her narrative on good government, Trish suggests remedial training for those supervisors that do not understand their responsibilities and duties.  Thank you Mrs. Kreek for your words!

Ex-supervisor disappointed in some board members

To the Editor:

The manner in which government conducts its business tells you something about its attitude toward its citizens. Tredyffrin Township has always prided itself on its professionalism in the handling of its affairs, particularly its public face. I feel compelled to express my deep disappointment with the behavior of some board members, particularly as it pertains to their interaction with members of the public during public meetings.

Supervisors run for office under party banners. When elected they take an oath of office to serve all the citizens of their township, not just members of their own political persuasion. The board has a Public Comment period to allow citizens to bring their thoughts and concerns to the board’s attention. They expect the boards to respectfully listen and be treated with courtesy during their comments, whether you agree with their remarks or not. Comments concerning the speaker’s political party or motives are inappropriate. The supervisors work for the citizens, not the other way around.

Government has rules and regulations concerning the conduct of official business. Many of these procedures are formally adopted and voted into law. As such they are not arbitrary and board members cannot accept or reject them at will (sidewalk issue, Jan. 25, 2010). Board members have recently given the impression that they have the power and authority to change these laws and procedures to suite their desired outcomes at will. Not so!

Tredyffrin’s board needs to recapture the professionalism that once defined our local government. If this board does not understand its responsibilities and duties, may I suggest remedial training is available? The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) offers classes in supervisor duties and demeanor.

Trish G. Kreek
Former Supervisor
Tredyffrin Township
Wayne

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31 Comments

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  1. I’ve known Trish for years and have great respect for her integrity and years of service to Tredyffrin township. She makes compelling points and suggests a very interesting idea: sending Kampf, Lamina, and Olson back to supervisor school! They need it.

    Kampf, Lamina and Olson are way too comfortable with “situational ethics”: saying “no” to Pitcairn was the correct and ethical decision. Good. But then they didn’t apply the same ethical standard when it came to fire company fundraising. Why? Because in the Pitcairn case they didn’t have anything to gain, politically or personally. In the fire company situation, they chose to ignore the inherent ethical problems of their stealth solicitation plan and then grandstanded and celebrated their wonderfulness for all the local world to see in their public roles as supervisors.

    Finally, when they were challenged regarding their actions and had the opportunity to make things right, rather than acknowledging the appearance of impropriety and actual impropriety, they snarkily and defensively explained away what they did by saying they were acting as “private citizens”? Seriously?

    I call on all Tredyffrin residents/taxpayers/voters who read this blog to attend the next supervisors’ meeting and politely and firmly call out your errant elected officials. The local world is watching.

    [Reply]

    Anon for now Reply:

    Help me understand why saying NO to Pitcairn was the correct and ethical decision. Can someone really expect preferential treatment because they do you a favor — one that is publically acknowledged? The donation was not to the township, but to a non-profit 3rd party. Where was the downside of accepting Pitcairn REALLY — except to advance a project the powerbrokers don’t really want to succeed?

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  2. While I appreciate her effort to write the newspapers, Trish Kreek was probably the last person I wanted to hear from on this. She absolutely let the men folk lead her into any battle she fought — and now her letter is the same way — talk about the elephent in the room please. To suggest that Tredyffrin needs to recapture professionalism is almost comical — it has ruled this exact way for as long as I can remember — the push back we see now is because someone is scrutinizing them. Blogs and citizen journalists make their lives much more complicated. Mt. Pleasant didn’t get the way it is just under the current watch. They have ruled Tredyffrin with one mind — and Ms. Kreek was a happy and included participant. They forced her out and someone like EJ now holds her place…so wihle her letter to the editor was nice and polite and suggested something is awry, it fell far short of educating readers much less voters about the nature of the problem.

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  3. Thank you for saying that E.J. Richter is the new Trish Kreek. The irony is that Warren Kampf was put up to take Trish Creek out. More ironic is that E.J Richter is Warren Kampf’s volunteer coordinator.

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    TT Lurker Reply:

    EJ RIchter is Kampf’s volunteer coordinator? I guess that is more political pay back. That “rubs” me the wrong way. Seems like, we are getting “jerked” around here. The whole thing is “whacked”. I guess Mr. Kampf believes he is the “master” . We are definitely getting “baited” here.

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  4. I would suggest that comments TO the board members should be equally respective and the board should be treated respectfully. What I observe from watching the meetings is a clear disregard and lack of respect for the supervisors and their positions. Couple that with attacks and purposeful misrepresentations in this blog, and a person can start to understand the frustration that the board members must experience.
    On the one hand, if the board member listens and does not respond, they are chastised. On the other hand, if they respond, they are criticized.
    Unfortunately, due to the anonymity of posters, blogs have turned into a new means of launching negative campaign rhetoric. There are no checks and balances as with traditional media (although even with those in place, traditional media still manages to disseminate misinformation).
    Where does it all lead?

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I have repeatedly suggested that residents watch the BOS meetings, either as an audience member or at home. They are rebroadcast numerous times. I have also included YouTube video clips from supervisors meetings. The residents should be engaged in their community. I do not believe that my questions at the last BOS meeting were disrespectful; however, the same can not be said of Mr. Lamina’s remarks. Respect is a 2-way street — I believe that if elected officials respect their constituents the constituents will likewise respect the elected officials.

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    papadick58 Reply:

    Nameless – you are funny — in your post you say.. “Unfortunately, due to the anonymity of posters” and then proceed to known as “Nameless”
    You sound like a snake from the TTRC….. or are you really Lamina in disguise??

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    Nameless Reply:

    Papdick58, thanks for verifying my point by responding with your assertion that Lamina is a snake.
    You must be a snake from the TTDC, or are you really Drucker in disguise?
    I certainly hope that Lamina (as well as the other sitting supervisors) don’t waste their time reading (and especially posting comments) to this blog.

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    papadick58 Reply:

    Now I can see why you want to remain “nameless’ … You might want to be also be known as “clueless”.
    Please tell us all where I said that Lamina was a snake… I have re-read my posting and while I am not as young as I once was I think my brain works fine and my command of the English language is as good as ever.
    PS – If you were a regular here you would know that I am not a Democrat – but a registered Republican that is sorely disappointed in the actions of the three musketeers on the BOS. I would add that I am not at all pleased with many politicians anywhere in this country – particularly when they feel and act like they are the almighty and talk down to people.
    I intend to vote against these three whenever I can….

    Nameless Reply:

    So Papadick58, would you go so far as to liken these three members of the BOS to Nazi’s like John Petersen did on another thread on this blog?
    I am a registered democrat and have been for decades, yet I am honest enough to admit that most of what is written about these three particular supervisors on this blog goes over the top.
    You are correct, you did say Lamina was a snake. Still, your insinuation that I am a snake from the TTRC points out the paranoid fantasies that, unfortunately, many posters on this blog reiterate.

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Nameless – Mr. Petersen did not use the word ‘Nazi’ on this blog. Can Papadick58 and Nameless please just stop with Supervisor Lamina’s characterization as a snake, or anyone else for that matter. For me, all I want is good government, leaders that follow the Home Rule Charter and a respect for each other’s democratic right to voice an opinion. I ask for a return to civility.

    Nameless Reply:

    John Petersen Wrote:
    “Consider this…imagine if these same three applied the same energy to the Mt. Pleasant community? You already know by their own words, they don’t represent or care about non-republicans. It again reminds me the stories my dad and uncle would tell me about 1930’s Europe when a certain regime took power – isolating certain folks based on what they were, and what they were not……. Mr. Kampf may not like that comparison…but I’ll stick by it.”

    You are correct Pattye, he didn’t use the word ‘Nazi’. Can you please explain exactly what he was referring to in the above quote? Is that the ‘civility’ you want to return to? Is no one offended by this reference?

    Sitting in the shadows Reply:

    Namless
    Blogs can be negative campaign rhetoric to be sure — but they can also be a place where positive comments are fully aired. Your own posting is nameless, so surely you don’t want to be held responsible for your comments either. Respect TO the Supervisors — for their “positions” — you mean elected representatives who serve at the pleasure of the people? They already sit above us — and clearly find most comments to be something they endure, not consider. I think it’s all politics — but with only less than 40,000 “constituents” in their kingdom, some of the attitude of the supervisors is blatantly intolerant. The R’s have ruled Tredyffrin forever and before blogs and citizen journals, they did so with little if any scrutiny. Where does it lead? Well — if you believe that the commentary is inaccurate or simply negative, you can offset it by highlighting what you believe are the positives this sitting board has brought to us. Too many people drink the koolaid from both sides — it’s all good or it’s all bad. I am an R and have always appreciated the civility of this community, but I too believe that the entrenched attitude of Warren Kampf, under the misguided tutelage of Bob Lamina has led to some major missteps — and following such, has led to condemnation of their accusers rather than a frank discussion about the pros and cons of their position.
    The sidewalk subcommittee was a quiet “okay — let’s move on” way of recognizing the flaw in the SDGC ruling, but the continued disregard for Democratic comments from the floor belies an intolerant majority — who count on the people who like low taxes (and pay little attention to the details of how they are created) to march in step at the polls.
    SO — if you are going to take the reins, as our BOS so clearly have — you have to be accountable to lots and lots of constituencies. I don’t mind exchanges that seem to lack respect — if they are frank and candid. The BOS hasn’t earned the respect of many for quite awhile — but they could if they would answer the questions you consider disrespectful in a way that actually addressed the concerns. Pitcairn is simply the brightest bulb shining right now — as however you want to characterize Pattye’s statement at the BOS, Lamina had absolutely NO RIGHT to suggest that it was to reflect on Warren. The BOS created that linkage — and Warren’s website touts his involvement and his solution skills. I stand behind the analysis that Pitcairn was not even a little improper — once it was out in the open there was no chance anyone could have done anything but suggest impropriety — they could not prove it or even assert it — because it was open. The BOS voted it down because Hogan said they should — ??? — Hogan who donated to the Fire fund….and has NOT offered an opinion on this distinction without a difference. The BOS can argue with me all they want — but not the way they have up to now — they have to tell me what is right about what they did, why it is NOT wrong, and the truth about their own poor judgment in both situations. IF they wanted the Jones Barn built, not only would they have accepted the Pitcairn offer to help (since it was NOT an offer to the BOS!!! or the Township!!!) , they would have helped raise money for it themselves….since that’s what they can do (per the fire funding!) It’s all crap — but unless it gets some light someplace besides this blog, it will be business as usual. Otherwise, why would people like Carole Achell have endorsed Kampf??? That’s business as usual as well, and for someone who lost to Andy Dinniman because SHE won’t pay to play.

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    Giovanni D'Amato Reply:

    Nameless,
    I was present at the last Supervisors meeting, as I try to make all of them. Elected officials have a responsibility to rise above the adolescent tendency’s displayed in particular by Bob Lamina. As a Republican, resident and voter I was disappointed to say the least at the comments about party affiliation. The Supervisors are all Republicans and when they behave poorly it hurts us as a brand. Regardless of what may or may not be motivating a citizen when they take the mic is irrelevant, I expect our Supervisors to rise above to the level of government they represent and do so respectfully. That didn’t happen

    I read Pattyes blog when I can because I like to hear what’s going on out there. Many fellow Republicans read this blog as well as post on it. The assertion that this blog is just some Democrat blog with a Democrat agenda just isn’t reality. That statement was out of line and shouldn’t have been said.
    Many of my neighbors read the blog it has become quite popular. As I said I was disappointed at what I heard coming from the front of the room, Bob has been up there for some time and should know better.
    And for the record I am a member of the TTRC.

    Giovanni D’Amato
    TTRC West Chair

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    Kendrick Buckwalter Reply:

    I caught a statement by one of the Supervisors at the last meeting saying that as Supervisors they can “exercise their rights to use the bully pulpit.” Karl Rove wrote an op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal titled “It’s Only Called the Bully Pulpit, Attacking the motives of critics is not presidential.”

    Rove writes, “In a big, free nation like ours, people want to debate the issues. They don’t take kindly to arrogant leaders who believe it is their right to silence the opposition—by either driving them out of the legislative process or pushing them out of the public debate with fiery rhetoric. Through the anonymity of a ballot box and beyond the power of presidential intimidation, voters can express their discontent and they will.”

    Gio was right on when he wrote “The Supervisors are all Republicans and when they behave poorly it hurts us as a brand.”

    Behavior that hurts the ‘brand’ will cause the voters to express discontent at the ballot, in this case, possibly at the peril of Republicans.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212311929122830.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

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    chet Reply:

    I agree. The Democrats do alot to hurt their “brand” too, yet they don’t police themselves, they rally around one another.
    Example: Charlie Rangel.

    papadick58 Reply:

    Ken
    Thank you for your comments.
    As an aside you will find this to be interesting a rewarding. I emailed a dear friend who is a die hard female left wing liberal elitist and a resident of P’ville and asked her about you and your time on the BOS. Her response was that you would be fine — BUT in her opinion she would prefer that you stayed on the BOS as good Supervisors are hard to find. She admitted that it was a selfish feeling, but indeed it was from the heart. It confirms my vote for Buckwalter…

    Anon for now Reply:

    Nameless
    No need to wonder who you are, but clearly you are educated in media relations — you took over the debate by making the criticism the focus of the debate, not the behavior that prompted the criticism. Good job…what does what John Petersen says have to do with the basic ethics violations that WK and his group are party to? What does respecting the supervisors have to do with them doing their job correctly?

    Please stay on point. Tell us what you like about them.

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  5. Maybe it’s just me, but not all Supervisors treat the residents without respect. There are some who do. And magically, the ones who don’t do not get disrespect back.

    So this becomes a “what came fist, the chicken or the egg” kind of debate. Who started the disrespect first? In the 15 or so years i have been watching the TTBOS meetings, I would clearly say that the moment Mr. Lamina sits in the lead seat, his level of personal godliness and disrespect towards those he speaks to be out of this world. He’s not much better when he’s not the chair, but when he is….Look out. Mr Kampf may not have hit Mr. Lamina’s level, but he hasn’t been around long enough to get there. During his time at the helm, Kampf had some pretty nasty times. Oh, and Mr. Olsen is the KING of disrespect towards people. Hands down, he’s got it.

    I digress… but to answer the question, it doesn’t matter who started the disrespect, it is up to the supervisors to hold a higher level of maturity.

    I would like to see the meeting room at the TT builing adjusted. It should be stadium seating with the audience high, and the supervisors low. This current set-up with them up on the risers is giving them a sense of empowerment over people they just don’t have.

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    KnowBob Reply:

    It is clear from the video cuts that Bob Lamina’s comments and demeanor justify the criticism noted in this blog.

    That having been said, I have worked and currently work alongside Bob Lamina in two non-professional (charitable) and non-political environments, and that is not the Bob Lamina I know.

    My personal feeling is that Bob is human and his emotions got the best of him. Perhaps he could have ‘behaved better’ but under the criticism he has received for many, many months, I can empathize with him.

    No offense to Bob, but he is not a politician. My understanding from him three years ago was that he was not interested in running again back in 2007 but there were no candidates available so he reluctantly agreed to run for this current term. By his choice, I have no doubt he will NOT run again.

    I am not giving him a pass on the criticisms here, but if you look at the actions he has taken, albeit they may have been not politically savy, in no way do they rise to any level of dishonesty.

    Bob – Thank you for the time you have spent working for the township and for the residents. Thank you for the countless hours you have spent away from your family in a what is really a thankless job.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I too know Bob personally, apart from his serving as ‘supervisor’. That’s why his actions over the last few months as chairman (especially at the 4/19 BOS meeting)add ‘insult to injury’ that I was his target. If he could just send me an email or pick up the phone and call me — it certainly would help the situation. When you feel that you have been disrespected and dismissed (as I feel) it makes it particularly difficult to take. But good for you for sticking up for him, we should all have such good friends!

    [Reply]

    Anon for now Reply:

    KnowBob
    WHile I agree with Pattye that it is nice that you are standing up for him, I take issue with any apologist view of the stress he is under. Bob ran again “because no one else was available” is an imperialistic view that has become entrenched in sitting board members on lots of boards. They run again because they don’t think anyone else can do THEIR job….but it’s not THEIR job. It’s a community that needs people committed to issues FOR THE COMMUNITY — not some point of view they have developed, legislated and now stay around to protect. I don’t tthink he’s dishonest — I think he is arrogant — and his running again “reluctantly” is testimonial enough for why he does not have the temperament to deal with the job anymore. Why isn’t John D. the chair? Because the sitting bloc of 4 wants to retain POWER…enough of this attitude of benevolent dictatorship. Bob doesn’t listen because he is only interested in protecting the status quo he helped to build. Any other committees he serves on certainly do not provide him with the power he derives from his current elected position — “no candidates available” is an incredibly obnoxious personal assessment — none as politically tone deaf as Bob maybe. It’s okay to end your reign. It’s not just your township Bob — it’s OURS…

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  6. Trish Kreek is to be commended for her thoughtful letter. As a former supervisor, she viewed the proceedings of the April 19 BOS meeting from the other side of the dais, and found the behavior of some supervisors to be out of line..

    I find it interesting that a number of disgruntled commenters have accused others on this blog of waging a campaign against certain supervisors, even posing as Republicans while doing so – which would be amusing if it weren’t so paranoid.. People have opinions. They tend to gravitate to places where they can be heard and enjoy others’ feedback.. Nothing conspiratorial about that.

    Sitting in the Shadows’ response was classic – to blame the messenger instead of those responsible for poor decisions, disrespectful behavior etc. I don’t think Trish Creek deserved “…. Shadows”‘ harsh words. To compare Kreek to Ms. Richter and suggest that Trish was pushed around by the “boys” is just another cheap, baseless shot.

    But judge for yourselves, please. Re-read Trish’s letter and then watch the April 19 BOS meeting or watch it again – specifically the last 15-20 minutes. No citizen spoke disrespectfully to our “esteemed” supervisors. Four women, including Pattye, politely made comments and asked questions. None were “deserving” of Bob Lamina’s snark and arrogance. He was out of order by anyone’s standards of conduct..

    And that charge is not part of any “agenda”.

    Regardless of whether a citizen is out of line in his comments, I think we have a right to expect all of our supervisors will remain civil in their words, respectful in their tone, and transparent in their actions as supervisors.

    It’s clear that some just don’t have the temperament for the job…We can only hope they will move on….

    Finally, in defense of State Senator Dinniman., if “…..in the shadows” is implying that Andy beat Carol Aichele in 2006 bc he was willing to involve himself in pay to play politics while she was not, may I suggest you provide solid evidence. Because to me, THAT is one baseless charge that should be viewed for what it is – mudslinging..

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  7. I am very disappointed in some of our local government officials. I have watched the BOS meeting and it it hard to watch Chairman Lamina be so absolutely out-of-line with his remarks. For the record, did Pattye receive an answer to her question?

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  8. Kate
    Interesting that you would call something mudslinging that is almost legendary. Maybe only R’s who were solicited know about it. Are you not aware of the group of republican businessmen in WC that met to determine that Aichele was probably too independent (and not in need of fundraising support) to support her. Not saying that Dinniman was guilty of anything — just that Aichele was judged as too untouchable. Look at the support list of Dinniman’s campaign in 2006. I’m guessing that’s what the supposition about how Kampf got her endorsement was about.
    And maybe only R’s know as well — but Kampf and the TTRC ran Trish Kreek off…so her view from that side of the dais is somewhat tainted — and as someone who had several arguments with Ms. Kreek during her tenure on the board, she was — arrogant — is that better than disrespectful? Majority parties sometimes have dirty laundry inside….

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  9. OR Mr petersen, you, in defense of the 1930’s comment, can refer to today’s Alinsky (sp?) government. You describe them PERFECTLY!!!!!

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  10. Thanks for the education, Anon. I did think the charge was aimed at Andy, whom I’ve known for a number of years as an honest politician – if those two words aren’t an oxymoron.

    If what you say about Carol’s “problems” of not leaning far enough to the right to attract county and state party money, that information reflects positively on her – in my view. Maybe she really is a moderate and a pragmatist. Tthat’s the kind of decision-maker this county needs right now.

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  11. Kate
    Glad to add to the discussion. I am also glad to have the opportunity to avoid the misunderstanding about Dinniman.
    Aichele is a moderate in my view — but the R brand has an ever more conservative requirement… it’s why I think we need to know more about candidates and their goals — not just their hopes and dreams. How easy it it to say that “I will bring fiscal restraint to Harrisburg” …. no one will say it, but does anyone think WK wants ONLY to be the next level? He’s a Yale grad and a partner in a law firm — he’s swinging for the fences. If George Bush could get reelected….the electorate isn’t all we think it is.

    [Reply]

    Steve Rogers Reply:

    I certainly think it’s fair to wonder as to the limits of his political ambition. In 2006, he sought his party’s endorsement for Bob Thompson’s State Senate seat. The 157th is just a stepping stone for WK.

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    Anon Reply:

    Let’s not forget his desire for Lt. Governor. In his interview with Petersen, Kampf made it clear that his desire is to be a full time elected official. I get it that Kampf is not one of Petersen’s favorite people and the feeling is probably mutual. However, Kampf has never refuted the merits of this column. I am wary of anybody who seeks to make their way as a full time elected official as THE reason to run. After a few terms, I understand why the same people stick around. Take Jim Gerlach for example. He’s done a good job. I accept that is his job. Kampf on the other hand, appears to have taken so many bites, some of them ill-advised, at the apple. Then, there is his judgment, which may be the biggest thing in question. Who in their right mind, makes these kinds of choices? Who decides to pick these fights? Kampf appears to have a very myopic view of things to the exclusion of anybody else’s opinion. I don’t think you could ever be a successful legislator or any other kind of public official with that attitude.

    These elected officials are paid with our tax dollars. I would have a hard time accepting Warren Kampf making a living off our hard earned dollars.

    http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2009/07/20/main_line_suburban_life/opinion/doc4a61e8b70569d272722089.prt

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