The last supervisors meeting of 2010 was far less theatrical than the last meeting of 2009 that included the infamous cardboard check to the fire companies. However, last night had its moments.
As my last post explained, the Swedesford Road Open Space bridge repair project was back on the agenda last night for a supervisors vote. I attended the supervisors meeting knowing there would be little discussion; and understanding that a decision ‘not to approve’ was most likely determined in advance of the meeting.
As the closest resident to the Swedesford Road Open Space property, I believed a first-hand account of safety issues surrounding the property and its usage was important for the record. The Township’s purchase ($825K) of this property in 2006 was made possible with a $400K grant from Chester County. As a condition of the grant, the open space was to be available to residents, and “utilized perpetually for park, recreational and natural-resources conservation purposes.”
For this open space to be available and advertised for public use, I suggested to the supervisors that the township bears a responsibility to make the property accessible and safe for visitors. A large section of guard rail at the entrance of the open space is dislodged due to a recent accident which I addressed in my remarks last night. I also stated that my husband and I do not have an opinion one way or the other about the bridge repair but thought it important to underscore the safety issues when visitors are forced to back out on to Swedesford Road because there is no turnaround space.
Considering that in all likelihood the decision not to move the bridge repair project forward was made prior to last night’s official supervisors vote, what did I expect as a response to my comments? Following my remarks, all that was required was a simple ‘thank you’ – take the vote and move on. Unfortunately, for me, it was not that simple. Supervisor DiBuonaventuro, the western district township supervisor (Swedesford Road Open Space property jurisdiction) debated my remarks, questioned the accident and guard rail damage and suggested that I was over-dramatizing the situation. He further suggested that there was no problems for visitors leaving this open space; drivers can just look in their rear view mirror and back out on to Swedesford Road. Swedesford Road is a highly trafficked state road . . . trust me, you do not want to back out on to Swedesford Road!
Mr. DiBuonaventuro further claimed that the property is only used by a few fishermen. I am the one who lives directly across the road from the property but apparently, my observations regarding the property’s usage are not viewed as valid. One hopes that the fingers-crossed approach to safety will continue to work.
So what was Mr. DiBuonaventuro’s motivation for his behavior and attitude . . . to take a personal stand on fiscal responsibility? Again, I suggest that a simple ‘thank you’ for my comments would have sufficed. After all, the vote was predetermined so the debate of my remarks was clearly unnecessary.