VF Middle School chain link fencing closing in on Chesterbrook residents (literally!)

The saga surrounding the TE School Board’s decision to ‘mark its boundaries’ at local schools continues. Although the District withdrew its application to Tredyffrin Township’s Zoning Hearing Board, to seek a variance for 6-ft. chain link fencing, the Board remains determined to see the proposed fencing go up as a means to mark the school property lines.

In Chesterbrook’s Green Hills community, the District’s proposed chain link fencing at Valley Forge Middle School is set to go within a few feet of some of the homes. Affected homeowners in Chesterbrook have attempted to have a reasonable discussion with the school board but unfortunately, to date, those attempts have been unsuccessful. There are many issues at play that are seemingly ignored, including a 2002 agreement between the Chesterbrook homeowners and TESD regarding development of the property and the inconsistency of Green Hills Association bylaws regarding chain link fencing. The District’s chain link fencing may not comply with the Tredyffrin’s RC zoning district. According to the zoning ordinance, any wall or fence used as a buffer cannot conflict with the character of abutting district. Green Hills Homeowners Association are very strict about fencing and what is and is not permitted – I know of no chain link fencing used by any of the homeowners.

With a chain link security fence steps away from your backdoor, one has to question if the Board has considered the reduced property values of affected homeowners?

Valley Forge Middle School property is nearly 50 acres and the fencing at the Chesterbrook-Green Hills property line is located at the farthest point from the school. The proposed fencing is so far away in fact, that it cannot be seen from any point in the school. Other than to damage the values of adjacent property owners and prohibit local homeowners and children from ease of access, what exactly is the point of the fencing? Plus there’s the cost — The fencing estimate costs of the two middle schools and high schools was $250K plus an additional $100K in costs for the variance request that the District subsequently retracted.

Reasonable people should be able to have reasonable discussions. Why should residents face confrontation from the TE School Board when they ask questions and/or suggest compromise? Some Board members believe that once they are elected, it is their ‘right’ to make all the decisions. On one hand, School Board President Kris Graham regularly invites the public to attend committee meetings (“where the real work gets done”) but on the other hand, residents learn very quickly at the committee meetings that decisions have already been made and … that their opinion is neither needed or valued.

Some will suggest that ‘we’ elected these people so, therefore we get what we voted for and some on the Board will point to the high ratings of the District as proof they are doing a great job. I have heard Board members say that there are only a few dissatisfied malcontents in the community … and that everyone else believes that they are doing a great job. I’d say that the small group of malcontents is growing – just ask some of the Chesterbrook homeowners.

There’s only one currently serving TE School Board member seeking reelection – Kris Graham, who serves as TESD president. All of Chesterbrook’s 28 villages, including Green Hills, are located in the TESD District 2 voting district, which happens to be in Ms. Graham’s district. With 3,400 registered voters and their votes at stake in November, Ms. Graham may want to re-think her stance on the Valley Forge Middle School chain link fencing project in Chesterbrook. I suggest that Ms. Graham read the following letter from Green Hills resident, Peter Stanton, a long-time Chesterbrook homeowner who attended the District’s Facilities Meeting on Friday to discuss the VFMS fencing project.

I am writing to express my great disappointment over the secretive and disrespectful way the Tredyffrin Easttown School Board is treating me and fellow residents recently. I grew up believing that elected officials in our country are there to serve the public interest in an open and transparent way. I guess I am naïve in believing that inclusiveness is a key to our democracy. Recently, an example of the School Board’s disdain for the public they serve has arisen in the Chesterbrook community.
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As many residents of Chesterbrook and the surrounding communities already know, a massive chain link fencing project is about to begin in June, virtually encircling the perimeter of Valley Forge Middle School’s huge (nearly 50 acre) campus. The ostensible goal of the fencing is for student safety in the wake of Sandy Hook, Columbine and other school-based atrocities. No one is disputing the desirability of enhancing student safety. However, it is dubious whether perimeter fencing is a desirable or even effective way to protect school children. What is clear, however, is that this project has been unilaterally rammed down the throats of the surrounding community with virtually no input until the project was approved and contracted out. (with a scheduled June start date)

Here’s why there is community consternation over this project:

– One of the first rules of security is the tighter the perimeter being guarded, the better. The security fence being proposed offers anything but security. The northern perimeter of the fence, abutting 5 homes directly, is nearly a quarter mile from the school itself and totally out of the sightlines of the school. Any potential intrusion at this perimeter location would go undetected, fence or no fence. A four feet high chain link fence out of sight of the school itself, poses minimal resistance to anyone desiring access.

– The fencing project violates a written understanding between the Chesterbrook Civic Association and the School Board, from 2002, to create an easement space of 250 feet between the homes of Green Hills and the athletic fields that now comprise the open space. In fact, berms were constructed in 2002 to help mark this ‘buffer zone’, and assist the residents in maintaining the peaceful nature of their environment. This was a good faith, respectful solution to a difficult problem that is now being summarily ignored by the same people who made the agreement in the first place. With the proposed fencing, open access to Chesterbrook ‘s wonderful system of interconnected walking paths and trails would be seriously compromised.

– Cost: Overall, the entire fencing project will wind up costing Tredyffrin Easttown residents about $190,000. Apparently, this exorbitant cost doesn’t faze our School Board at all. Seems to me that at least some of these funds could be directed towards retaining some of the 73 employees they plan to lay off this year to save employee benefit costs? (yet another example of the School Board’s penchant for operating under cover of darkness). I guess fencing is a higher priority than retaining loyal employees.

– The northern perimeter of the fence borders Green Hills homes directly. There are 5 homes directly on this border (mine included) where the fence will cut off access to long-enjoyed open space and forest. The 5 homeowners average 20 years of residency here, so open access would be sorely missed. There are also several other homes just off the School border, which would also be seriously impacted. For some homeowners, this planned fencing would come to literally within several feet of their homes back entrance. This is totally disrespectful to these homeowners, especially because satisfactory and effective alternatives are available.

So what should the School Board do to protect the students? My fellow residents and I are not anti-security, and we are advocating a “reasonable man” approach here. What’s “reasonable”? What about a perimeter fence that could actually be monitored visually from the School? Supplementing the existing fencing already in place around the upper athletic fields would provide direct sightlines to the secured area, thus a better level of security while probably costing the taxpayers a lot less. …At the same time, signs announcing the school boundaries could be posted at the actual border where potential intruders would be put on notice.

At the last School Board meeting in February, impacted residents were promised a choice of mutually agreeable dates to meet and discuss the project. Since then, the School Board has awarded the contract, obtained a Township permit for building the fence, then unilaterally scheduled a “take it or leave it” meeting date with the residents, which some residents will not be able to attend (with no chance of a proxy being allowed either), and an agenda not to discuss the project, but to determine if residents want to pay for fancier fencing!

So, T.E. School Board..…In addition to a more open discourse with residents on projects affecting the entire community, please come up with a better plan to secure our children’s safety. And at the same time, honor the commitments you’ve already made to the community.

Sincerely,

Peter Stanton

In the photo below, Green Hills homeowner Gary Wu at 1452 Brandywine in Chesterbrook is standing right on the property line indicating how close the School District’s chain link fencing will go to his backdoor. Wow!

Fence border Chesterbrook

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  1. Patty, thank you for your very fair and accurate assessment regarding the Valley Forge middle school fencing project. As a member of the Green Hills community, I am deeply disturbed by the lack of compromise the school board is showing our community. Of course our entire community wants nothing but the best security measures in place for our students, however, we just do not understand as no one can tell us how safety would be negatively impacted if the fence was set back 50 feet from our homes, rather than 10 feet as is proposed. The whole thing is absurd! We literally feel as if we are at the mercy of the school board begging for some type of compromise. It’s almost unbelievable that this fencing project has gotten as far as it has without any accommodations for our neighborhood. The school board should consider not only the aesthetics of the fence, which goes against our community bylaws, but the decrease in market values of our homes which will be drastic. However, the biggest shocker and disappointment is primarily the (lack of) ethics of the school board to go against a mutually accepted agreement that was put in place in 2002 to prevent this sort of thing happening so close to our homes. I think everyone can agree that if this fence was going in one of their backyards, this conversation would’ve ended months ago.

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  2. If there is someone out there who can tell me how the fencing at Valley Forge Elementary School is keeping the children safe from harm, I’d like to hear it. This is the most ridiculous waste of our tax dollars I’ve ever seen. Please stop for a minute and take a good look at the wide open expanse at the front of the school and tell me that some interloper won’t get a chance to come right through the yard to do whatever he or she chooses to do. We’ve lived in the Tredyffrin Township for over 47 years and have seen some crazy ideas put before the School Board but I am just angry that you have just ramrodded this choice through without giving it a good review by the parents and homeowners in the community. There are or should I say were many other options that would possibly be much safer and certainly less costly. Is there someone on the board who might be getting a kickback?

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  3. I was at the Zoning meeting when the district’s architect announced that the fences were to mark the property lines. Also attended the recent Facilities meeting and it was disrespectful to members asking about the fences. Message to the chairman “School District property is not a park” has been used 3 times over the years..we get the message. Is taxpayer money suddenly plentiful…here were 2 architects from Daley & Jalboot in attendance at Facilities. An interesting fact was announced that the district is going to Planning on March 19 for the 3.1 million dollar maintenance/storage building on Old Lancaster Rd.. The neighbors never got a notice from the township so we don’t stand a chance of being heard. Seems to be the trend.

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  4. CHV,

    It sounds like the School Board is saying that safety is the reason for the fencing but in reality they want to mark the property lines.

    Could you please expand further on this comment….. “Message to the chairman “School District property is not a park” has been used 3 times over the years..we get the message.

    There were 2 Architects at Facilities from Daly and Jalboot? Why? How much do we pay the Architect and how much do we pay the Lawyer?

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    CHV Reply:

    Zoning questioned them heavily on the safety aspect at TEMS..then Tom Daley said it was to mark the boundary . it seems one fence at TEMS is over the property line but it has been for 30 yrs.
    I’ve been attending Facilites for years ( 3 differnt chairpersons).. Same person same line “its not a park”.. First it was the fields at VFMS ..then the field on Old Lanc RD ..now fencing project at VFMS Years ago the district spent good money to have the properties surveyed & installed granite markers to mark the property lines.
    Daley & Jalboot head architects are paid $105 an hr.Usually they have 1 person no idea why they needed for this meeting.
    Lawyer fees depends on which firm & for what service .

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  5. Pattye–thanks so much for the commentary on the issue. It summarizes things in a way that everyone can appreciate and rally around. Well, “School Boards Gone Wild” seems to be a recurring theme in our immediate area..I would urge your readers to check out the page one story in the Inquirer today where Phoenixville area residents are in a similar battle over the construction of (you guessed it) athletic fields in residential areas. We simply must continue to put the heat on these folks to come to the table in good faith..I agree with one of your prior posts that this is not a universal indictment of all SB members; there are some supporters of our arguments…and some that I think would like to support us but perhaps are reluctant to do so for a variety of reasons. Thank you again for shining a bright light on this important issue!

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  6. This should not surprise anyone that follows what the Board has been doing for the past 5-10 years, particularly as it pertains to “Facilities”. Thankfully the Chairman of that Committee is not standing for re-election. It seems that he wants his last projects to be a tribute to his arrogant attitude to anyone that does not agree with him and once he has made up his mind – devil be damned if one might have a different opinion or thought and has the gall to express that thought in a public meeting. I clearly recall a Board meeting in which the final vote to approve the renovations at the high school was to be taken. A Board member expressed her reasoning for her “NO vote” — (she questioned the need to spend 35,000 to color the concrete in the outside courtyard.) The Chairman took a hissy fit and attempted to humiliate her for her bringing this up at a Board meeting. Since that time I have been watching him and this Board have a total disregard for those that they represent as well as the students that they have been charged to educate.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    The chairman did the same thing to me. I brought an issue to the Policy Committee in September or October of 2014 and he interrupted me, screamed at me and attempted to shut me down by stating that it should have been brought up at another committee meeting, Public Information, which at been canceled. He caused such a ruckus that the chairman stated that she was going to stop the meeting and take it to executive session. She let me finish my points but it was not easy and I felt very humiliated, disrespected and shook up. After his outburst, he continued with his intent to discredit me and my comments by looking at the Supt. and rolling his eyes and sighing. It was most disrespectful, inappropriate, unacceptable and unprofessional. I haven’t been back since and maybe this is why citizens don’t attend meetings.

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    Papadick58 Reply:

    That is his style…. a sign of weakness as well as a huge case of narcissism ….

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    Shining Light Reply:

    Radnor has a code which states:

    commissioners are “bound to observe in their official acts ‘the highest standards of morality’ and must likewise keep ‘above reproach’ their conduct in both official and private affairs.”

    A commissioner stated to a resident who was speaking, “someone shoot you”

    and Resident Sherry called for President Schaefer to “rebuke” the Commissioner (Nagle) for this outburst:

    As Sherry then asked Schaefer to rebuke Nagle, township solicitor John Rice told Sherry to finish his remarks. Schaefer said that she didn’t hear Nagle’s outburst.

    My source is Main Line Media News or MLMN:
    Radnor ethics complaint filed against Commissioner Nagle over ‘Someone shoot you’ remark
    Published: Friday, January 02, 2015 By: Linda Stein
    ————————————————————————————————

    Well, I am quite sure everyone in the Policy Committee Meeting heard Pete and although I didn’t know to ask for a “rebuke”, I will in the future.

    Do Tredyffrin and Easttown Commissioners and Elected and Paid Public Officials have a written code of ethics and or Morality for their private and public behavior?

    Another Green Hills Resident Reply:

    At the T.E. School Board meeting on Monday, March 23, 2015, among the handouts was the “Code of Civility (General Public).” This code (adopted March 27, 2006) states in the 3rd paragraph: “It is the District’s position that rude, disrespectful, abusive, or intolerant behavior erodes education. Such behavior shall be addressed when it occurs.
    All members of the general public are expected to communicate with each other and with District employees, students, volunteers, and Board members in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect.”
    OBVIOUSLY THE ABOVE CODE DOES NOT APPLY TO HOW BOARD MEMBERS TREAT THE PUBLIC.
    The Code states that you can file a complaint if you are treated in an uncivil and/or disrespectful manner. We should all be aware of this option.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    Good point “Another Green Hills Resident”

    Except for the fact that if you were to file a complaint, you would have to file the complaint to the very person or persons who you would be filing the complaint against. What do you think the outcome of that would be?

    The answer is 4 year term limits. Vote in Directors who understand who they are working for. Maybe some new Board Members will consider instituting a moral, code of conduct like Radnor:

    Radnor has a code which states:

    commissioners are “bound to observe in their official acts ‘the highest standards of morality’ and must likewise keep ‘above reproach’ their conduct in both official and private affairs.”

    My source is Main Line Media News or MLMN:
    Radnor ethics complaint filed against Commissioner Nagle over ‘Someone shoot you’ remark
    Published: Friday, January 02, 2015 By: Linda Stein

  7. I am incensed that the Facilities Committee chair has forbidden Green Hills homeowners, other than the 5 affected and the president of the Green Hills Association, to attend the meeting he set up on March 25 to discuss the fence boundaries. He stated at the Facilities meeting on March 13 that no one else in the community would be affected by the fence. This is a false statement that should be rescinded and every member of our community should attend.
    For a school district that declares “bullying in any form is not tolerated,” the T.E. School District should practice what it preaches.

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    Pattye Reply:

    I agree that more than just 5 Chesterbrook homeowners are affected by the proposed fencing. I have been told by one of the affected homeowners that attorneys of the affected homeowners are also not permtted to attend the meeting. My question to the Board — were these sanctions agreed upon by ALL members of the school board?

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    Shining Light Reply:

    I don’t believe the Facilities Chair or anyone else can forbid a tax paying citizen or resident from attending a public meeting about financial matters concerning the school district, so if that is true and he forbid those other than the only 5 he says will be affected by the decision, from attending the meeting, then that is extremely disturbing.

    Pattye,

    Do you know the time and date and location of the meeting on March 25th. Thanks.

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    Pattye Reply:

    I was told tha the meeting is March 25 but don’t know time/location. If I find out that information, I’ll post.

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    Pete Stanton Reply:

    In another example of a false/misleading statement made by the Facilities Chair on 3/13, where he stated that the SB had obtained a permit from Tredyffrin Township, no such permit has been obtained. Independent verification that no permit has been issued..

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    Pete Stanton Reply:

    Continuation of comment…unless and until said permit is obtained, no fence can be built..To repeat, a permit has yet to be issued. Draw your own conclusions on this..

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    Pattye Reply:

    Thanks for the clarification Pete — I too thought that Tredyffrin Twp had approved the fence permit. As I understand the township regulations, the school district is not exempt from the permit requirement.

  8. I say, who cares what they say? Are they going to stop you from walking in the door? How do they know who lives where and if you are or aren’t “directly” affected? Will they be carding us at the door? ;) I was one of the “chosen” houses to receive such a letter… we will be there, and I think anyone else who would like to should also be there. The decrease in the market values of the homes in our neighborhood affects ALL homes in the neighborhood.

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  9. Dear School Board —
    It is NOT just the five Green Hills homeowners (that you refer to as abutters) that are affected by your chain link fencing decision. Having a District security fence a few feet from your backdoor is certainly going to change the value of their properties but those house values are then going to affect other homeowners in Chesterbrook! You lower our property values with your fencing project and tell us that we can’t attend the meeting.

    Its interesting that none of the school board members live close to any of these fencing projects. My guess is that if you did, there would be no chain link fence approvals. In fact, the head of Facilities lives in Easttown Twp, so what does he care about the residents of Chesterbrook?

    This proposed security fence is a very long way from the school building. Having any of you School Board members taken the time to drive to VFMS and look at the situation? I think not because if you did, you’d see that this proposed fencing is not a protection for our children! It’s been repeatedly stated that the School Board wants to ‘mark’ their territory. This is crazy! And the taxpayers are just supposed to go along with tax increases year after year to pay for these kind of decisions!

    If Kris Graham thinks she’s getting the support of Green Hills voters in her reelection bid, she’s in for a big surprise in November if this ridiculous fencing goes up!

    Carol
    (or rather, fedup in Chesterbrook)

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  10. What would happen if someone tried to abduct a child walking along VF Rd? The child must run the length of the fence (to its end or to a gate) to elude a predator! NO fence is the safe option; it gives a child multiple safe lines-of-travel away from a predator. This is common sense, folks!!

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  11. The use of Sandy Hook and Columbine as a justification of this is an apalling example of government fearmongering. They’re using fear tactics to justify their actions. The symbolism of government expanding their reach and building dividers/walls/fences between them and the citizens/parents of school kids is not lost on me.

    This seems like another step towards the prisonification of our public schools. Is anyone thinking about the psyche of the children who are being fenced in? No, the school is not a park, but it is part of our community, supported by the generous taxpayers. “This land is my land, this land is your land”.

    As for me, I will be leaving TE; moving out of TESD in a few months, and hopefully leaving this nonsense behind. My children will be homeschooled. There will be no fences. No false walls put up between them and “the outside world”. As homeschoolers they will learn at home, yes; but also outside, in their community, in the city, and in the world.

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  12. Thank-you. And if it is true that he forbid tax paying citizens from attending a public meeting regarding matters concerning the school district, I wonder if he ran that by the lawyer, Ken Roos, before he said it. I can’t imagine a lawyer approving that.

    It’s so inflammatory and runs counter to the philosophy our fore fathers fought so hard to create I would think he would know that and ask legal counsel before saying it at a meeting.

    I mean no disrespect to “Another Green Hills Resident” but did anyone else hear him say this?

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  13. Sorry but you are all living in your own reality. All the schools in Radnor have fences, all the schools in Lower Merion have fences, all the schools in Maryland and Illinois that my kids went to have fences. As a taxpayer in TE for 30+ years I say that the school district has been delinguent in NOT having fences at VFMS before now.

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    Pattye Reply:

    If we accept the Board’s decision for security fencing, then my suggestion would be to put the fences where they may do some good. If the purpose is for children’s security, it would be reasonable to have the fences where they can be monitored from the school, not at the back of the 50 acre property. It seems that emergency lighting at the back of the property by Chesterbrook would be more effective.

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  14. He did at the 3/13 Facilities meeting which I attended.. Bullying should not be tolerated either at Schools or by School Boards

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    Pattye Reply:

    I wonder if the decision not to permit anyone other than the 5 abutters to attend the meeting was sanctioned by all the Board.

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  15. Steven Bradley, if you read our comments, you’ll see that we aren’t saying to NOT have a fence, we’re saying that the fence should be located at a site that makes sense to everyone involved. This is a 45+ acre campus and the location of this particular fence can’t even be seen by the school. All we’re asking is for them to move it a certain distance away from the homes (which would be in compliance with an agreement the School Board and our neighborhood entered into in 2002). As for the Radnor, LM and the schools you are familiar with in Maryland and Illinois, did the fence surround the entire property? And were the gates kept locked or unlocked? Fencing, to me, does nothing if the entire front of the property is left unfenced. And if the gates are locked, won’t that hinder children from escaping at a faster rate?

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  16. Hi everyone, The meeting that only a select few were “invited” to is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th at 6pm at the TE Admin office located at 940 W. Valley Rd Suite 1700. It would be great if anyone who is available to please attend. This fence doesn’t just affect us 5 homeowners, it affects the market value of our entire neighborhood. Thanks.

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  17. Actually most of the schools were fenced on the sides and back to mark their property line. And a lot of them had no gates to lock. You are responsible for what happens on your property. Are you willing to take responsibility for whatever occurred between your property and the school’s fence? I believe somewhere in this blog it was stated (I don’t know if it is true or not) that there was a safety committee made up of community members which came up with the recommendation for the fences. If the school board doesn’t follow this and something happens what liability will they and me as a tax payer face? Yes, property values will be lower because right now your property looks a lot bigger than it actually is. I don’t have the right to keep my neighbors from putting fences up on their property line, what gives you that right? The school was there before Chesterbrook was developed so everyone should have known what they were moving into.

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    Green Hills resident Reply:

    Again, Steven Bradley, what gives us the right is a legally binding agreement reached in 2002 that the School Board is ignoring. Would like to see a copy of this signed document?

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    Steven Bradley Reply:

    Yes I would. I guess you can post it here or send it to my email.

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    Pete Stanton Reply:

    Concur with Green Hills Resident reply, Stephen. Unless you are saying that written agreements aren’t worth anything. Further, when this particular parcel of land was deeded to the School Board in 1981, there were abundant deed restrictions on what could and could not be built on this land. The premise for all living or moving into this area (Green Hills) was that the land would remain open and accessible to ALL residents. Fencing at that location is a direct violation of that pact.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    Steven,

    Go to the TESD.net website under School Safety. It states,

    The District safety committee’s members include parents, a school board liaison, teachers, students, administrators, counselors, community members, representatives of the Tredyffrin and Easttown Police Departments, and a member of Town Watch.

    I attended a safety committee meeting a couple of years ago. I sat in the audience, but sitting around the committee table were teachers, administrators, police and coaches. I saw one parent and because I knew the parent I approached the parent and asked the parent why the parent was there. He/She was there to represent a community group that he/she belonged to.

    I wrote an e-mail after the meeting, asking why the committee represents to the public that parents and community members are on this committee when that is not true. I did not receive a response. The next and last safety committee meeting is May 13, 2015 at 1:30 at the TEAO. Just so you know though, they don’t talk about much at the meeting. The committee meets privately before the public safety committee meeting, , and sites security and confidentiality as reasons for not revealing much at the meetings. That’s why I did not go back.

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  18. Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. I have three children that will be going to Valley Forge Middle School in the coming years, and I agree that fencing would help add security, but fencing that cannot be seen from the school itself is ludicrous. Not only does it increase the cost of the fence, but limits the effectiveness. A fence that surrounds the upper fields and that can be seen from the school would seem much more appropriate. This would solve the issue of marking a sight line of the school grounds and limit the intrusion towards the neighbors of Chesterbrook. Why the school board sees it a good use of tax dollars to fight this simple compromise is beyond me.

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  19. To clarify — the ONLY invited guests to the meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 6 PM at the TESD Administration Building is the 5 ‘abutters’ – that is those five homeowners whose property is adjacent to the proposed TESD fencing. It is my understanding that the homeowners are not permitted to bring legal counsel.

    Which school board members are representing the District at the meeting? As to avoid Sunshine Law violation, only 4 of the 9 Board members can attend. My guess is that school board members in attendance will be President Kris Graham, VP Doug Carlson, Facility Committee Chair Pete Motel and Finance Committee Chair Virginia Lastner. In addition to the school board, who else from the District? Business Manager, Superintendent? And there’s little doubt that the District will have its legal counsel Ken Roos sitting at the table.

    Now that the day, time and location are available – what do you think is going to happen if homeowner attorneys or other affected homeowners show up? Will they be barred from attending?

    It should be pointed out that there is a regular school board meeting on Monday, March 23, 7:30 PM at Conestoga High School. ALL residents can attend this meeting and there is an opportunity at the beginning and end of the meeting to comment and/or ask questions. Plus, this is a televised meeting so questions and answers are “on the record”!

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  20. If I am an involved neighbor and want to bring counsel, I would.. Who the hell are these Board of Directors? They know how to create contention thats for sure…. who are these people that we elected??

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  21. One of the reasons my family chose to live in Green Hills 10 years ago is because our Association has rules in the by-laws against fences (except around swimming pools.) It gives the neighborhood a lovely open feel. The proposed fence is not secure, will be unsightly and will decrease resident’s home values and quality of life. Surely we can have open discussions about alternative security solutions that are more logical, right? Everyone – go to the meeting and let’s propose some alternatives! What is it that the Board is really attempting to accomplish?

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  22. Margaritaville makes a great point. I think Pete Motel, Chairman of the facilities committee has been elected and relected 4 times (Someone correct me if I’m wrong) so really folks this is on the citizens. If you want to be treated differently and you want change you have to get out there before Nov. 4th, meet the candidates, understand who they are and what their attitudes opinions and beliefs are and vote in the ones that best reflect your ideas and values.

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    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Good advice. Unfortunately in the present case, all but two of the eight facilities over which Dr Motel reigns are in Tredyffrin, yet only the residents of Eastown could pass judgment.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    Ray,

    Upon reading your comment, my head snapped back and I’m still laughing out loud.

    You say, yet only the residents of Eastown (Easttown is so overshadowed and disrespected by Tredyffrin, residents don’t spell our name properly) could pass judgment.

    Even though voting for Pete is limited to EasTTown residents, we are all responsible for every elected official sitting on the School Board. I will do my best to get to know all the candidates running in the next election, EasTTown and Tredyffrin alike. For instance, I lived in Kris Graham and Michelle Berger’s neighborhood for years. I know many who live there. Just like I’m sure you know many EasTTown residents you (IMO) have the responsibility to converse with.

    We are all responsible for every elected official sitting on the School Board.

    GO EASTTOWN!!!!

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  23. Is there really a legally binding document between school district and residents? Somebody is claiming such a document exists. Can that be posted here? I have a difficult time believing the school district would go forward with knowledge of an agreement if that agreement was an absolute bar to building a fence. Did the agreement run with the land? Was it only good for a certain amount of time? Has a lawyer reviewed? If somebody is a party to that agreement, then your remedy is simple. Go to court and get a TRO against the township and district. After that, you’ll have to go to court to have the agreement evaluated.

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  24. Yes, there is a document from 2002 addressing the agreement between Homeowners and the School Board. It reflects the then-Counsel for the School Board, Steve Aichele’s testimony under oath into the record. It reflects what is not allowed on that land and reinforces a buffer zone of 250 feet between Homes and the newly constructed athletic fields.
    Prior documents on the deeding of the land to the School Board in 1981, by the way, publicly available in Chester County’s tax Offices, show ‘perpetual’ restrictions of a similar nature..these restrictive covenants indeed do “run with the land”.. Both CCA and the Green Hills Landowners Association have engaged Counsel.. I received an email stating such.. These Attorneys are working cooperatively.

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  25. Hopefully they don’t use this as a reason to go ahead and fence in the rest of the detention center. I mean, school. ;-)

    Which way will the razor wire face when they decide that is also necessary? Towards the school or towards the community surrounding it?

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  26. When it comes to having a fence around our school properties for security purposes, I for one believe the cons outweigh the pros. It will limit egress in times of emergency. It will force students to walk/run along the fence line to find an open exit, which could make them easier targets for a bully or a stalker (as somebody else has noted in the comments). A four foot chain link fence will EASILY be scaled by ne’er-do-wells. It is the smaller school children who will have trouble getting over it in times of emergency.

    We live in a nice area. Our community has provided the schools with large park-like properties (non more-so than VFMS!). Now, this generation’s TESD “leaders” want to put up chain link fences. This will make the environment uglier. And, it will change the atmosphere for our students. A chain link fence along VFMS’ property line on VF Road – or VFES’s property line facing Walker Road – would make it look like a prison! And, it will detract from our sense of community, while providing questionable benefit – i.e., other than marking territory.

    (BTW, I believe the schools in Radnor have what are called “ornamental fences”. They look like wrought iron but are probably aluminum. IF you’re advocating a fence, then they are a better option than chain link for a number of reasons.)

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