Does a Private Citizen Have Civil Rights in Tredyffrin Township?

Following the public hearing and vote for the C-1 zoning change, the Board of Supervisors meeting reconvened the regular meeting.  Of note, the township Finance Director Tim Klarich was named acting township manager, township secretary and Municipal Authority secretary and  township Zoning Officer Matt Baumann was named Open Records Officer.  Yesterday marked Mimi Gleason’s last day as Township Manager however, she was approved for a consulting contract with the township (contents of agreement were not disclosed.)

The regular Board of Supervisor’s meeting ended with supervisor and citizen new matters.  Chairman Michelle Kichline read a statement from the Board of Supervisors concerning the use of the township website for John DiBuonaventuro’s letter to the citizens.  Although a personal attack on a private citizen, Kichline stood by the decision to post his letter on township letterhead on the website.  She did say that the board will look into developing a policy for the use of the website going forward.  As the private citizen who was the target of DiBuonaventuro’s venomous attack, Kichline and the Board of Supervisors response was far from satisfactory.

Following Kichline’s statement on the Suzy Prawtoski matter and the use of the township website for a supervisor’s personal letter, Andrea Felkins, a former School Board director and longtime resident, presented a lengthy statement in opposition.  Felkins was absolute in her conviction against  DiBuonaventuro’s use of the township website for his personal attack on me and of Community Matters.  She spoke of the school district’s strict policy and suggested strongly that a similar policy should be adopted by the township.  Felkins has been a regular commenter on Community Matters, especially for all school board related matters.  Her comments always thoughtful and engaging.  I would like to publically thank Adrea for her public support.

To view the Kichline statement and Felkins statement video, click here.

Last night posed a near impossible situation for me. A close friend has often remarked to me that I see people as I wish them to be, not as they are … that was never truer, than last night. The last couple of weeks have sadly left me wondering about people who I thought that I knew and who I thought that I could trust.  It has been particularly sad to realize and have to accept that there are those in positions to make a difference or create change in Tredyffrin, but choose ‘group think’ rather than independent thought.  As if life could not have been more challenging, something happened last Friday that will forever alter how I view the place that I call home.

To watch my BOS personal statement, click here.

Below is the transcript of my statement from the September 17 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Pattye Benson
Personal Statement
September 17, 2012

Members of the Board of Supervisors and citizens of Tredyffrin Township – I had not intended to speak tonight, preferring to listen to other’s voices.  But something happened this past Friday, that has shaken me to my very core.  At approximately 9:40 AM on Friday, September 14, I received a joint phone call from township manager Mimi Gleason and Police Superintendent Tony Giaimo that has forever changed who I am.  In life’s journey, this is my watershed moment and a feeling that I will never forget.

Unable to shake how I was feeling, after 24 hours, I wrote the following email to Mimi Gleason and copied Michelle Kichline, chair of the Board of Supervisors.

Let me share that September 15 email with you.

Dear Ms. Gleason,

There are two reasons that I am writing this email (1) to state that as a citizen of Tredyffrin Township, I now feel threatened and harassed by our government and (2) to request that you never contact me again, unless it is with a written apology for your actions.

I have thought of little else since receiving your phone call yesterday, Friday, September 14.   As a township resident, to be blindsided with a conference call from the township manager and the police superintendent was more than a little intimidating; I have to wonder how often you have taken a similar approach with other citizens in this community. The telephone conversation left me wondering exactly what was the purpose of the call and why did you involve Tony Giaimo except as a witness or possibly to record the phone conversation.  Although there was no mention made of the call being recorded, Tony did state he was in his police vehicle, so am I to assume that the telephone conversation was recorded without my knowledge.

Between the historic house tour, the Paoli Blues Fest and personal health issues, I do not have the time or energy for your directives, missives or whatever else was the intention of your phone call or of your email dated September 7.  On September 7, I emailed you the following simple question:

“Who is responsible for Mr. DiBuonaventuro’s letter on the township website?  Was placing the letter on the website sanctioned by you, the township manager?”

The only response that my question required was a simple, yes or no, with the possible addition that the chair of the Board of Supervisors and the township solicitor had OK’d the letter for the township website.  However, no, you decided on a different response, one that was not required, not needed and not necessary.  Frankly, as a citizen and taxpayer in this township, your response was one that I believe you should never have sent. When I received your email, I made no response.

Your call yesterday revisited the opinion you stated in your September 7 email to me; again complaining that Community Matters contained misinformation and incorrect facts, specifically the assisted living project.  However, never once in the conversation did you cite specifics as to what was incorrect.  As a response to your complaints about the Suzy Pratowski matter, I stated that the Main Line Media News, TE Patch, Daily Local and the Philadelphia Inquirer had all written articles on the subject.  I further stated that there was at least a week after the news articles appeared for the police department, the township or the Board of Supervisors to make a statement before I wrote anything on Community Matters.  Residents were asking questions and no one seemed to be providing answers.

As a result of the situation, I did my own mini-investigation, speaking with District Attorney Tom Hogan, District Judge Tom Tartaglio, BOS Chair Michelle Kichline and Police Supt. Giaimo.  After a thorough analysis, I presented my own summary statement on Community Matters.   I clarified that John DiBuonaventuro was not the unidentified driver with Ms. Pratowski in the May 28 incident, as a photo in the newspapers may have implied.  In my summary, I stated that DiBuonaventuro was interviewed by the police and that the police were satisfied that he was not in any way involved with the two police officers not appearing for the August 21 court date.  I wrapped the summary up and tied a ribbon on it, stating that the two police officers missing the hearing was a human error, a mistake.  I also thanked those involved (Hogan, Tartaglio, Kichline and Giaimo) for their help and used the words that I was ‘closing the chapter’.  Little did I know, what was to happen … DiBuonaventuro’s letter, your involvement with the letter on the website, your September 7 email and most recently, your telephone call of September 14.

Feeling threatened by your phone call, I remarked at one point during the conversation that I should have an attorney on the call.  I stated to you and Giaimo that as a resident of this township, I have rights, and as a citizen of the United States, I have rights, including 1st Amendment rights.  I believe that our government does not have the right to harass and intimidate those citizens it serves to protect.  I am not an attorney but I cannot imagine that your actions of yesterday (or your email) would be viewed favorably by the courts. Further, I cannot imagine that you would have considered making a similar phone call to Main Line Media News, TE Patch or the Philadelphia Inquirer nor would you have dare taken this approach with an attorney who might understand the legal implications of your actions far better than me.

Supt. Giaimo asked what I would like to see happen going forward – my response was a denouncement from the Board of Supervisors for the letter going on the website and an apology from the township manager.  It should be noted that I quickly also stated that I did not expect either of those two things to happen.

It saddens me greatly that you were compelled to bring Tony into this matter.  He and I have enjoyed a good working relationship over the last several years, including the blues festival and the house tour. Was your motive to damage my relationship with him, or was it to record the conversation?  It is entirely unclear why you involved the police superintendent, except to further intimidate me.

In case you are not aware, your phone call was so upsetting, that I immediately called Michelle Kichline, chair of the Board of Supervisors to report the conversation.  You suggested that I was ‘mistaken’ when I suggested that Ms. Kichline had not seen Mr. DiBuonaventuro’s letter before it was posted on the website. For the record, Ms. Kichline again confirmed that she had not seen the actual letter before it went on the website; I guess you are the one who is mistaken.

In closing, your intimidating actions have contributed to my feeling harassed and threatened by some in our local government.  I ask that you not contact me again, unless it is with a written apology.  For the record, I believe that John Petersen is also owed an apology from you, for the words, “so-called legal expert has no expertise …”   contained in your Sept 7 email to me.

Sincerely,
Pattye Benson

This is the end of my email to Ms. Gleason but I have a few closing remarks.

The great irony is that today is this country’s Constitution Day.  Two hundred and twenty five years ago, on September 17, 1787, forty-two of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day, to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.  Our founding fathers fought and died for our freedom, and I am left wondering if what is going on in this township is what they would have intended.

In closing, I am but one person, but I believe that I represent a far greater community.

Can we question our government?

Do we dare to have an opinion?

I believe that ALL our voices matter.

Thank you.

41 Comments

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  1. Pattye, I am still trying to process all that happened at last night’s BOS meeting. One thing I know for sure: you were courageous to stand up in the face of an orchestrated campaign to intimidate and discredit you by people who’ve shown they don’t deserve our respect or trust.

    I respect you and Andrea for defending a citizen’s right to voice her opinion and the need for real transparency and accountability in Tredyffrin (as opposed to empty campaign promises).

    “Group think” is too nice a word to describe what overtook seven supervisors, a township manager and police superintendent -all of whom approved a personal attack on you personally and the community-centered blog you have worked so hard to establish. We must assume so since not a single one of them has expressed an objection to anything done in their names by township employees.

    Personally, I think last night set a new low in Tredyffrin.

    And given some of the absurd BOS moments that easily come to mind from the last several years, that’s saying something…….

    – fireworks voted into the 2010 budget while fire funding was cut by $25k

    -follwed by the cardboard check moment with TV cameras rolling (my personal “favorite”)

    – the BAWG chairman’s defense of a $50k inclusion from St Davids golf club as a “revenue enhancement” (instead of installing a paved path)

    -Bob Lamina’s apology re St. Davids and promise to “do better” going forward

    -Lamina’s email identifying residents by political party (i.e. ignore them; they’re Democrats) following Paul Olson’s audible labeling of residents as Democrats as they came to the microphone to speak…….

    It occurred to me last night that the many TT residents who pay no attention to local government are the lucky ones. They have no idea what a clown show they are missing. They don’t know that the Township blocked parking beyond the main lot last night – to discourage attendance by those not willing to walk a distance in the dark. They didn’t sit a few feet from two policemen during most of the evening- there in case there was any “trouble”. Our tax dollars at work.

    To anyone watching the public hearing, it seemed obvious that the steady stream of thoughtful residents who spoke against the C-1 zoning amendment had absolutely no effect on the supervisors. Our elected officials entered Keene Hall with their talking points written down, knowing they would approve a significant change to our zoning code without having fully and publicly considered the future consequences for this township.

    Without any discussion, they acknowledged that approving the ALF as a conditional use would have protected the rest of the township but cost the developer more time and money. It was project approval at all cost!

    And this project – a 93 -bed ALF on an acre+/- – was going forward regardless of how it appeared from a process standpoint, how it compared to other municipalities’ codes, or what the residents’ concerns were. Ed Morris had already gotten a commercial zoning change for a similar project in Lower Merion. Their approval would not be precedent-setting.

    I am particularly disappointed in the lack of due diligence on the part of the Planning Commission. Their pandering to Ed Morris and attorney Denise Yarnoff at last month’s PC meeting and dismissal of FACTS e.g. that no ALFs have been built on such small parcels in other suburban townships – cannot be interpreted any other way. This deal was in the bag from the beginning. Facts and expert opinions simply didn’t matter.

    I know people who support putting an ALF on the Duffy property. There is a strong case to be made that this type of development is welcome in Tredyffrin. Unfortunately, the Duffy site is not appropriate, but our supervisors have officially decided to squeeze a size 13 foot into a size 7 shoe.

    It is impossible not to be deeply discouraged by what’s gone on in this township over the last month. We are in desperate need of independent- thinking elected and appointed officials who stand apart from political parties and groupthink, are committed to transparent decision making processes, and respect resident concerns and opinions.

    We deserve no less, but we have to get out and vote for it.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    “Group think” is too nice a word to describe what overtook seven supervisors, a township manager and police superintendent -all of whom approved a personal attack on you personally and the community-centered blog you have worked so hard to establish. We must assume so since not a single one of them has expressed an objection to anything done in their names by township employees

    It is disheartening and unfair that a citizen should be made to feel as I do right now.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    not that I am a rabble rouser, but can this project be stopped, at least for a while with a court injunction?

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    Trisha Larkin Reply:

    @Takes the Cake: Bravo! Really well stated. Our family didn’t live here when some of the issues you mentioned occurred. Thanks for the insight – as dismal as it may be.

    Agreed, there are probably many locals (“lucky ones”) that don’t pay attention to their local government’s actions. When we decided to move to Tredyffrin 4 years ago, we were more enticed by the great schools, neighborhoods, and resources. Only recently were we introduced to the “clown show” as you put it.

    Make no mistake, as disappointed as we Daylesford residents are about the C-1 vote’s outcome, it’s more personal and heartbreaking to see what the “clown show” did to Pattye. How can they look at themselves in the mirror and like what they see?? Just doesn’t make sense. But then I’m not a politician…nor will I ever be. Just a resident that deeply cares about a woman who does tireless work for her community….only to see her broken.

    Send in the clowns…

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    Tredyffrin Resident Reply:

    They really had 2 officers there? What a waste of money as well as a possible safety risk by keeping two officers off of patrol. Unbelievable.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    2 officers plus the chief of police, Tony Giaimo (who is always at the BOS meetings)

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    politeia Reply:

    Lower Merion used to do that years ago when citizens like myself spoke up taking the township to task in township meetings – place extra cops at the meeting.

    They stopped doing it when I stated I was glad these cops were hear wasting resources because they can protect me in case a commissioner goes berserk and attacks me.

    After that cops stopped showing. The armed police chief is always there, after all. Isn’t that enough?

    Those cops were there for one reason – to intimidate citizens.

    Shameful – and its all on the disgraceful and cowardly BOS.

  2. I think this issue should be brought up again at the next meeting – there would have been many more people there to speak on this matter if we weren’t all aware that many hours were going to be spent with public comments on the zoning change.

    It is not reasonable for the BOS to expect residents to wait 3 1/2 hours to speak on a matter – 11pm is not an appropriate time for a Board meeting!

    Are we not entitled to know the terms and cost of Ms. Gleason’s consulting contract? I am not questioning the need for the transition – but this should be a public record.

    [Reply]

    politeia Reply:

    That was done on purpose. Lower Merion used to do it all the time.

    They knew a touchy subject would come up with citizens blasting the township, they used to have the meeting go until 1am before citizens could speak, but they have learned their lesson.

    It just makes it that much worse for them on the blogs.

    What I am noticing is Tredyffrin government is using the exact same intimidation tactics and bogus attempts to discredit that Lower Merion and Radnor used to use.

    Note Lower Merion and Radnor have since had major house cleanings – though LM still has a lot of problems because they kept the same township senior staff.

    Tredyffrin government will learn that these lame tactics only further motivate citizens and make them look like corrupt bozos.

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  3. I certainly hope there are no Republicans on here bitching about what happened Monday night. This is the one-party government you voted for.

    That is not to say Democrats in Tredyffrin should share no blame. They need to reconsider their current leadership and major party players, most of whom are ineffective, and in some cases, do more harm to their party than good.

    [Reply]

    Not so fast Reply:

    Whoa…. Come on, don’t blame ALL Republicans, look at the local voting history, there are plenty of registered Republicans in TT who have been paying attention to the local circus (TTRC & TTBOS) for years and voting D in many of the local races. Still outnumbered by the R’s that fill only one box every visit to the polls though…

    [Reply]

    politeia Reply:

    Does not matter which party is in charge.

    Townships are truly run by the township manager, the township solicitor and the police chief.

    As board members change (and regardless of party affiliation) the township senior staff that never turns over trains the new supervisors/commissioners to work for them as they see fit and to not work for the interests of citizens first as they are supposed too.

    [Reply]

    Not so fast Reply:

    I disagree. This township has been run by the BOS, and i would guess that many past BOS actions & decisions have often been completely the opposite of solicitor and mgr advice. The BOS alone owns the history of some very controversial decisions and actions over the years.

    [Reply]

    politeia Reply:

    Let me be more specific.

    I am referencing the intimidation tactics and smear campaigns while holding the board and staff to an almighty level.

    This is how senior township staff manipulates supervisors/commissioners in townships across the state.

    It allows the boards and staff to appear untouchable and to keep citizens in check.

    When it comes to votes on issues, no doubt boards are often independent to township staff, but I (and many others) would argue the commissioners in Lower Merion rubber stamp anything and everything the LM township manager wants.

  4. TT resident, I am sorry you had to resort to this. But at least you included both parties.. I suspect that this kind of stuff goes on all the time, through the years. The difference now is that there are more media outlets, blogs, etc that expose the cockroaches behind the walls.. Just look at all walks of govt and all levels. see whats going on in NY State and the city, Chicage,.. its all perverted. .. Rome is burning, and if not for citizen awareness, it would be worse.

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  5. This kind of crap happens with all political parties. Although I am certainly an R, I support Pattye’s 1st amendment rights 100%. She has the right to her opinion and, from what I can tell, her reporting on the issues surrounding this controversy has actually been superior to that of our “press”. The harrassment is beyond the pale. At the very least, those involved owe her a sincere apology in writing. What worries me is that these individuals don’t seem to understand the basics of the rights Pattye has as a citizen.

    Please don’t give up on the blog Pattye. I may not agree with you on every issue but it is clear that you try to be fair in your views.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you for the support.

    [Reply]

  6. where is the line drawn between a representative government like BOS and there actions/votes on an issue that has NO support from the folks most effected, albeit a small group of township residents?

    I enjoy when Ray offers up his opinion and unless it was tongue in cheek, I think he brought out some good points as to why this went forward. ANy thoughts on this?

    [Reply]

    Just Visiting Reply:

    Flyersfan – Why did it go forward? I still have not heard anyone articulate why it was so important that TT bend over backwards and change the entire C1 zoning with such haste, against the advice and wishes of EVERYONE (except Ray), to accomodate a developer?

    By Ray’s logic I can only assume the current thinking of the BOS is that any occupant is better then no occupant? Is that where we are? What next for Tredyffrin? Strip clubs? OTB? Casino? Just wondering.

    [Reply]

    Trisha Larkin Reply:

    @Just Visiting: Well, we’ve been hearing forever now that Hooters could take over the Duffy’s spot. But logical, and rational thinkers agree that the demographics here won’t support those “types” of businesses.

    But, you raise a good point, perhaps the strip club or casino is next?? Hmmmmm…..wonder how that vote would go??? Desperate times call for desperate measures and clearly THIS BOS (with the exception of PD) seem to think that ANY development that could potentially generate two cents is economic progress. Short-sighted? Of course. Unintended consequences? You betcha.

    Sigh…wish I was a developer. Open Season has officially arrived.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    I am no zoning expert to be sure, but would there be limitations on the c1 zoning rules even with this thing getting passed? Strip joints? I don’t know how large a can of worms was opened by this duffy decision but i would expect there would be zoning limitations?

    [Reply]

  7. Pattye,
    This country is founded on the principles that you profess. I am astonished that the “Government” did not retract their flagrant attack upon you. It is with sadness that I am again disappointed in the quality and character of leadership being shown in our government officials. These are trying times and we need our leaders to step up and lead.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you my friend.

    [Reply]

  8. It might make some of you feel better to know that 5 supervisors told me they appreciated my comments. I shared that those comments would have been unnecessary had they done the right thing.

    Choosing solidarity over substance was a mistake in my opinion. We need to examine whether public office attracts leaders, and if it does, what happens to their independence of thought? How could Chairman Kichline have proclaimed solidarity with Mr. DiBuonoventuro when by her own words, she did not agree with the letter nor did she see it or authorize its posting until it was on the website.

    Perhaps the next meeting will not require people staying around until midnight to make their statement and others will come forward and ask that Mr. D apologize. He sat there fairly smug in his bully pulpit. He ran unopposed last time (so D,s where are you on that???) We don’t want to drive people from public service, but we do want to attract people who see it as service and not just another form of power.

    Looking forward to the Paoli BLues Fest Pattye! And best of luck this weekend in your house tour efforts. I will be out of town or I would be sure to be there!

    [Reply]

    politeia Reply:

    The number one rule of government on any level – they are never wrong and they never publicly admit a mistake.

    This requires solidarity of the government unit even when they are absolutely wrong to maintain the appearance of being in control and being all powerful – as well as to be so self-righteous they never have to admit a mistake.

    This is the exact opposite of the principles this country was founded on, but there is a reason for the saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    [Reply]

    Not so fast Reply:

    5 supervisors appreciated the comments, yet none said a word while they sat there watching… their public actions (or lack thereof) speak volumes of their character and courage….

    BTW – I thought your comments were terrific, and appreciate that you and Pattye stuck it out until nearly midnight to share what so many of us are/were feeling.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    NSF — that is the question that I think will trouble me for a very long time. When I vote, I do not vote for a block. I want to see people think independently. Is JDB such a formidable character that none dare challenge him?

    I hope people will continue to ask for his apology. They requested and got a resignation from a ZHB member for a 2010 DUI. When will we see them settle things of a more current nature?

    [Reply]

  9. To the person above who made it a partisan issue, before moving here 8 years ago, I lived in a Democratic controlled area. The same type of stuff happened. Same tactics. At a local level, it really does all blend together.

    I stand with Pattye on this issue. That doesn’t mean I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket in November.

    [Reply]

  10. I am very proud of my wife and her courageous performance in speaking out for civil rights and against the abuse of a 100% republic township board of supervisors.

    Everyone should click on the two youtube video links in the post above. I, probably better than anyone, know what the township leadership put her through and it wasn’t pleasant to witness. I am so disgusted.

    Jeff Benson

    [Reply]

  11. @Andrea…your comments as always to the point, insightful and well said. You’ll be missed when you move; but keep reading & commenting on CM.

    @ Pattye…This community owes you a debt of gratitude for the “detective work” you did on the Pratowski affair. If anything you tamped down the inflamatory headlines & articles by MLSN, Inquirer, TE Patch etal, whose reporters did nothing to ferret out the actual facts of the case but kept adding fuel to the fire. For that, JD owes you for clearing his possible connection with the case. He made a huge error by including those defamatory comments in his letter. His lettter should have been sent to both MLSN & TE Patch for publication & have contained only the explanation he offered in the other paragraph. Case closed; but he probably thought erroneously that by putting it on the township website it would reach more township residents. Saying this, I am not taking JD’s or the BoS’ positon. I feel JD owes you an apology. Due to the internet & the news, etc carried on it, there is more than anyone would want to see and everyone should have a “thick skin” especially politicians.

    [Reply]

  12. I’ve been trying to put the events at the end of the BOS meeting into some perspective.

    I don’t know the objective of Mimi’s call, but apparently she doubled down on her email. The mistakes are everywhere: she conflates your posting and the associated comments, she makes the assumption that what is written on CM has the force of sworn statements, she makes assumptions about your motives and she claims “inaccuracies and innuendos” without citing any specific instances or corrections.

    A text book case of what not to do.

    I think it’s important that we do not let this deter us from the basic premise of CM – to shine a light on local government and to provide a forum for exchange of ideas. CM has clearly had a huge impact. We got part way to the bottom of a mysterious situation involving township officials and the judicial system. There has been a township-wide airing of an important aspect of development in the township.

    At the end of the day, after all the noise and allegations from all sides, the evidence was weighed. A township official accepted responsibility for her behavior and resigned. We learned something about police clerical errors. The BOS concluded (interestingly, against the advice of ex-TTRC Grand Pooh-Bah CT Alexander) that the benefits of the C1 zoning change outweighed the risks. The BOS agreed that their communication policies should be examined and codified.

    We are, though, also left with the intimidating presence of Superintendent Giaimo on the call with Pattye and with the two officers (presumably all caught up with their paperwork) at the BOS meeting. Unconscionable. But after the fact, is there an opening? Giaimo asks “what [Pattye] would like to see happen going forward”. In addition to her stated requirements, the thing I’d most like to see is the police report on the “clerical error”. What would be his response to that request?

    It’s always going to be a struggle to ensure that our government represents the whole community rather than a coterie of political power brokers. Officials may have power over us, but to some extent (and bring on campaign finance reform!) we have power over them. CM has become a powerful weapon in that struggle, and I hope sincerely that, Pattye, you don’t let the personal attacks get you down. We’re here to help!

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Ray, maybe my words and the video didn’t accurately portray how I am feeling about this situation. You say, “it’s important that we do not let this deter us from the basic premise of CM – to shine line on local government and to provide a forum for exchange of ideas”.

    For me, Community Matters is much more than that, it’s personal. I was personally attacked — yes, ATTACKED by a sitting supervisor and on OUR township website. It was MY NAME on that vicious letter, no one else’s. It was my failed campaign that was on that letter — my blog that was personally attacked. My hours and hours of work attacked, yea real personal. As if that was not bad enough, I had to endure a ridiculous attack first in email and then verbally from our township manager, talk about intimidation, the chief of police and township manager. Yea, intimidating — maybe it wouldn’t have been to you or others, but it was to me. It is easy to say “don’t let the personal attacks get you down”. Not only did the attack get me down — I feel threatened and afraid of our government. I’m not trying to be dramatic. I’m sorry if this has not transferred in my words or video, it is how I feel.

    As a result of that letter on the website and harassment from the township, for the first time since CM began 34 months ago, its importance in my life was superseded by how I am feeling. Ask anyone who spoke with me on Friday or Saturday, including Michelle Kichline, about my emotional state.

    Taking that microphone on Monday night was probably the most difficult thing I have done in my adult life. JD and the Board of Supervisors and Mimi Gleason can all have a real good laugh on this one — they managed to truly hurt this citizen. Congratulations to all involved. Getting to the other side on this situation is not going to be easy for me.

    [Reply]

    Just a thought Reply:

    Ray, I think you are missing a huge point – by posting John D’s letter on the township website, our manager and BOS all participated in using a public, taxpayer-supported platform to abuse and berate a citizen in a very personal matter.

    This was an abuse of power – and a very petty act. I don’t think many people are sorry to see Mimi Gleason go – but John D. has always enjoyed bipartisan support and from all indications was a reasonable and dedicated public official. Now, he will be remembered as a nasty bully.

    [Reply]

    Township Reader Reply:

    And I agree JAT–but is anyone going to carry that banner to the next BOS meeting or to the media to demand that JDB apologize….because absent that, it’s just another nasty but triumphant moment for a bully.

    [Reply]

  13. “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny” Thomas Jefferson

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    a lesson, outsider, we should all remember..at all levels.

    [Reply]

  14. I am an “R” living in Radnor Township for my entire life and very active in my community. Having said that, and watching what has happened here in Radnor for the last 4 or 5 years doesn’t compare to what has just happened to you. I am very sorry for all you have been through and you are owed an apology by all involved.

    [Reply]

  15. Pattye, Thanks for all of your positive actions and efforts. You epitomize the revolutionary spirit and history that others fail to comprehend and understand or, as a dear friend summed up, “Evidently (insert name) is educated beyond their intelligence!” However, my favorite is from Jimmy Buffett song lyrics, ” There is no dumb ass vaccine.” Like others, I truly believe that the entire TT BOS owes you a personal sincere apology and the entire Township on our website. Hopefully, your hurt has being felt by your supporters and they will have the last word.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you for your kind words.

    [Reply]

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