Dave Bashore

Radnor Township Sets the Example for Tredyffrin Township or Maybe it Is the Other Way Around

How about this headline coming out of Radnor Township, “Public Rights to Comment is Actively Under Assualt in Radnor Township”.  Have you been following the media coverage of Radnor Township’s elected officials?  Close on the heels of Dave Bashore (Remember Bashore is Radnor’s township manager that awarded more than $600K in bonuses to himself and other employees without the authorization of the Board of Commissioners) and his trial,  John Nagle won a commissioner seat in November and at the first board meeting of 2010 was elected president of Radnor Township’s Board of Commissioners.  In just a few meetings, Radnor Township commissioners have become their own version of reality TV.  President Nagle has quickly positioned himself against many members of the community with a determination to control and attempt to silence the commentary of the public at commissioner meetings.  As an example of Nagle’s distructive behavior and lack of civility, the public at a board meeting was greatly disturbed when he aggressively shouted profanity at a resident, who dared to disagree with him. 

Dan Sherry, an attorney from Radnor Township received a copy of a proposed Radnor Township resolution that is circulating which I found very apropos for Tredyffrin Township readers.  Although Mr. Sherry has not verified the resolutions’s authenticity, he believes it to be real. Please read proposed resolution here. Could this be a sign of what is to come for Tredyffrin residents?

In discussion of the proposed ordinance, attorney Sherry writes, “The proposed ordinance, plain and simple, is designed to restrict the public’s ability to engage the Radnor commissioners at official Board meetings, and to prevent the public from asking questions, receiving answers, or alerting the Board (and the public) of complicated matters of concern which can not possibly be expressed in three (3) minutes. . .

Moreover, the proposed ordinance is a shameless attempt to insulate the commissioners (and their corresponding actions) from public scrutiny, and to imbue the President of the Board (currently John Nagle) with unprecedented power and discretion (see, among other places Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4). Accordingly, if this proposed ordinance is adopted by the Board (which is currently comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans), any professed commitment by the commissioners to “accountability” “openness”, or “transparency” can be dismissed as demonstrably (and laughably) false. . . “

Mr. Sherry concludes his thoughts on this proposed legislation by saying,  ‘” . . . emphatically, an issue that the local press should examine, and that the identity (or identities) of the commissioner(s) responsible for drafting this document should be discovered and made public immediately.”

In response to Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors decision to return escrow to St. Davids Golf Club, I have received emails from residents of Lower Merion, Radnor, Easttown and Willistown Townships.  These neighboring residents have followed the decisions of Tredyffrin’s supervisors from the December supervisor meeting which included the BAWG report and with its alleged $50K offer from St. Davids Golf Club, to the $23,200 cardboard check presented to the fire companies and now to this latest supervisor decision (in opposition of ‘past practice’ of the township) to return escrow money without applicant request (or without the contracted work being completed). 

Do you see the grey cloud hanging over Tredyffrin Township . . . our neighbors are talking about us, wondering where is the accountability of our elected officials?  Wondering why a group of 4 individuals (Lamina, Kampf, Olson, Richter) is allowed total control of this community. Do we as residents of Tredyffrin Township care what our neighbors think of our government and the decisions of the officials that we elect?

I am really struggling to find a solution that could work to turn the clock back for Tredyffrin and its residents . . . to a time not long ago when elected officials of this community did what was right.  Supervisors Lamina, Kampf, Olson and Richter need to reflect that it was the voters who elected you to serve them — that is, elected you to serve all the residents.  I fear that unless we move towards changing this picture that these four have created, this may be the legacy of those who serve on the Board of Supervisors.

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