Sitting in the audience tonight and watching the Board of Supervisor Meeting unfold — was more exciting than watching any reality TV show! There were so many dynamics going on, it’s hard to know where to start. Everything was routine and relatively calm until we got to the ‘New Matters’ section of the agenda. Then what happened was nothing short of amazing, remarkable, combative, antagonistic . . . just about any adjective you want to use!
First off, a remarkable moment occurred when Supervisor Judy DiFilippo decided to do what’s right as I had called for in an earlier blog posting. In regards to the alleged $50K offer from St. Davids Golf Club which appeared in the BAWG report, I had asked the Board of Supervisors and the Chairman of the BAWG Committee a series of questions at the November 30 meeting. This offer (in lieu of sidewalk construction) had mysteriously appeared in the newly released BAWG report as a suggested available revenue resource. No one seemed willing to offer any answers to my questions — neither Tom Colman, chair of the BAWG committee or members of the Board of Supervisors. Tonight, Ms. DiFilippo started at the top of my list and proceeded to answer each question as follows:
- Where did the $50K St. Davids Golf Club offer come from? Ms. DiFilippo indicated that Supervisor Paul Olson suggested the $50K offer to the Board of Supervisors as payment from St. Davids Golf Club in lieu of the construction of the sidewalks.
- Was this a written offer from St. Davids Golf Club Board of Directors and was it made directly to the BAWG committee? No written offer, only verbally discussed by Supervisor Olson.
- Was the Township Solicitor, Township Manager and members of the Board of Supervisors advised of the St. Davids Golf Club offer (prior to BAWG’s publication of its report)? Both the Township Manager and Township Solicitor were aware of the inclusion of the St. Davids Golf Club $50K offer prior to the release of the BAWG report. Prior to its release, both asked that Tom Colman remove it from the report.
- If this is a written offer, what are the conditions and timeline for its acceptance? Who has the authority to accept the offer? No written offer
- Was this offer and the details discussed with the Planning Commission or Sidewalks, Trail & Paths (STAP) Committee prior to appearing in the BAWG report? This $50K St. Davids Golf Club offer was not discussed with the Planning Commission or STAP Committee, prior to inclusion in the BAWG report.
- Are any of the members of the BAWG committee also members of St. Davids Golf Club? Rob Betts, is both a member of St. Davids Golf Club and also served as a member of the BAWG committee.
- Are any of the members of the Board of Supervisor also members of St. Davids Golf Club? Supervisor John Shimrak is a member of St. Davids Golf Club.
Supervisor DiFilippo further explained that the newly formed subcommittee was meeting this week to discuss the St. Davids Golf Club situation as well as other incomplete Planning Commission land development projects. The meeting will include members of the Planning Commission with Ms. DiFilippo and members of staff to work toward satisfactory completion of all outstanding incomplete projects and also develop a strategy going foward with future land development situations.
On a personal note, it is not often when you have the opportunity to witness firsthand the extent of an individual’s honesty and integrity. After 20 years of serving on the Board of Supervisors, it would have been far easier for Ms. DiFilippo to simply keep quiet about what she knew about the situation, leave the questions unanswered and just close the chapter on the St. Davids issue. But instead of following the example of others, Ms. DiFilippo set herself apart in true leadership style, and did indeed, do what’s right! And we thank her!
It’s late and I think that the amazing, combative and antagonistic elements of tonight’s Board of Supervisor meeting (and my comments) will need to be tomorrow’s installment.