Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Township Lawsuit . . . Where Does it Stand?

I received the following from John Petersen this morning in regards to the township lawsuit. There has been much discussion and debate concerning the lawsuit; I think it is important that the facts be presented in John’s own words.

Just so everyone is clear about the [law]suit – I did speak with Tom Hogan at length on Tuesday. I have decided, for the time being, to stand down on the suit so that the subcommittee can go forward.


I have made it clear that the new subcommittee cannot suffer the same fate as the BAWG. I, along with many of the people here, will pay close attention to happens with that process. I note with interest, the stimulus funds that have been received on behalf of sidewalks. I do wonder what this new process means for those funds….

I want to leave you with Bruce Parkinson’s comments:

When he looked to his left, he was looking at me: re his comments about this matter being a “political football”. If there is a political football, it is because Kampf, Lamina, and especially Olson, have made it so. My issue is about following the rules. Parkinson on the the other hand, apparently believes that as a member of the club and the club itself, is subject to a different set of rules. And to that end, the government can break its own rules for the benefit of the club and its members. At least, I think that is what he was saying. When it comes to political footballs, I take Parkinson’s comments to be nothing short of a political threat.

in other words, they were instrumental in getting people like Olson back on the board…they could be instrumental in getting people removed. In other words, Parkinson was telling the BOS to “play ball.” There is simply no other way to take his comments.

For the record, Parkinson is a local committee for the GOP and is also a member of the county GOP executive committee. Further, he was chairman of the building committee in 2005 when the development was approved.

Parkinson was the one, along with the club president, to agree to the sidewalks. You didn’t hear him talk about that on Monday….did you????

I simply do not have any more time to waste on folks that are so intellectually weak that they could be placed in a position to break the rules (Kampf, Lamina, Olson and Richter). And for sure, I don’t have any more time and patience to deal with the country club set and that faction of the GOP that believes it is OK to corrupt the government so long as it suits their needs.

I believe that if I went to court, I would prevail. However, that victory would not result in a thorough review of the sidewalks, trails and paths. That is what the subcommittee is supposed to do.

If it turns out to be a ruse, there will a stiff price to pay for that.

Political committee seats folks..that is where the path to taking our government and community back begins. That is what I’ll be concentrating on now.

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  1. The BOS are really going to have make an effort to make the sidewalks subcommittee completely transparent. At this point, it smacks of back-door deals. Can’t wait to see which supervisors serve on the committee — it certainly better NOT be Olson, Lamina, Kampf, Richter!!!!!! My money is riding on Michelle, she should be in charge. Please, please do not have Parkinson on the committee (we know that he is a St. Davids member, Republican committee guy and member of STAP) a really bad choice. Many in the public are going to watch every movement of this committee. John, PLEASE hold on to your lawsuit — it may still be needed!

    1. I’m curious: what does ” the new subcommittee cannot suffer the same fate as the BAWG” mean? What fate did the BAWG suffer?

    2. How can the views of the Township be accounted for if one or more of LORK is not there? I would agree Olson would be a bad choice because he has lost all objectivity. It can’t be all pro sidewalk people.

      1. The amount of the deductible, if any, on the Township’s D&O insurance policy and the amount, if any, by which the premium for future insurance policies increases as a result of the suit.

        The lawsuit, as drafted, is largely moot as a result of the Feb. 22 vote. The BOS already has done most of what John was asking the court to order the BOS to do — rescind the Jan. 25 vote.


  2. I would love to be on that committee and I believe most in the community would see me as an honest broker who would give my best effort to represent the community’s interests. However, listening to their qualifications as to who can sit, I don’t think it’s possible.

    1. Jim, come on. You are a member of the TTRC and everybody knows that is half the recipe for corruption. Members of the TTRC are bent on destroying the Township and ripping up our existing sidewalks. I hear the entire TTRC and all Republicans are members of St. Davids and that in fact there are no Democrats.

      The only way this committee can have any credibility is if all the members are part of the TTDC and STAP. It probably should be chaired by John Petersen. He is obviously level headed and thoughtful on the issue.

        1. Sorry. I keep forgetting sarcasm does not translate well in writing. I was joking about all of it. Particularly, John’s involvement. Everything I read and see of John makes me think he is somewhat paranoid. Although he does seem to be a smart guy.

      1. Amusing little bit of sarcasm, Anon. No one is suggesting that all members of the TTRC can be categorized as corrupt, sidewalk haters or members of the SDGC.

        There is ample evidence that many members of the community have been troubled by the actions of some members of the BOS, their choice of members for the BAWG, and the way in which people are chosen for committees and boards in general.

        The only way the “sidewalk subcommittee” will have any credibililty is if its members are a balanced group with open minds. Those who are familiar with township process and procedure, its committee structure, and the Comp Plan would be the best choices.

        Your cynical dig at Democrats – as if we are a monolith – suggests that you are certain there is no wisdom outside your own ideological/political camp.
        And that thinking is the core of the problem around here.

        Until people in this community can trust that committees will NOT be stacked with those who agree to a certain outcome at the outset, committees like the BAWG will be viewed as a sham and a farce.

        The BAWG was made up of people who agreed from Day 1 that there would be no talk of tax increases or a new tax structure. Their job was to find sufficient cuts to balance the 2010 budget – even if smoke and mirrors were involved. (And they were.) And of course, BAWG members were asked to slip that little favor for St. David’s into the mix – against the advice of our township solicitor.

        In the course of a month, while Paul Olson sunned himself in Hawaii, Lamina, Kampf and Richter stuck together like glue in their efforts to “help out a small business in hard economic times” (Isn’t that how Brain Trust Richter described SDGC?)

        Monday night’s motion succeeds at doing just that. The reinstatement of the escrow is an empty gesture in light of the suspension of SDGC’s legal obligation.

        And just wait a few months….. An “independent” subcommittee will “recommend” that all land development deals requiring sidewalks in areas where there currently are no sidewalks will no longer be enforced – and no longer required in future development deals. Deals that soon will be controlled by LORK on the BOS.

        It is short-term thinking driven by political expediency (it helps Warren’s candidacy) and the desire to help developer cronies, while putting the lid on the Comp Plan’s vision of a more walkable community.

        The will of the community will figure into this plan in only one way – those select members who support the status quo will shuffle up to the microphone to rubber stamp LORK’s position. We may even see more non-residents like Uncle Tom (Kevin) Stroman, who was the first speaker on 2/22. He was imported by Olson and Parkinson to trump his former neighbors in Mt. Pleasant and insist Upper Gulph is “too dangerous for sidewalks”.

        Anyone who objects will be characterized as a whiner and thrower of “political footballs”.

        Isn’t that right, Mr. Parkinson?

        In my view, this is not about politics at all. It’s about taking back our community.

        1. Anonymiss:

          You say, “The only way the “sidewalk subcommittee” will have any credibililty is if its members are a balanced group with open minds. Those who are familiar with township process and procedure, its committee structure, and the Comp Plan would be the best choices.” In fact, “Those who are familiar…” are probably the LEAST open minded, on either side of the issue – they are, by definition, politically involved. How about folks who have good judgment, are reasoned and don’t have a political ax to grind?

          Also, your nickname and characterization of Mr. Stroman has no place on this or any other board.

          1. I agree with Mike of Berwyn re Mr. Stroman. While I support that it is inappropriate for ‘non-residents’ comments at BOS meetings ( without first giving explanation of their nonresident status) I do not support negative, racial characterizations.

            I believe that Community Matters needs to truly represent this community and its views; and I try very hard not to edit the words of those who comment. Against my better judgement, I let the comment of Anony-miss stand in its entirety and I know now that was an error on my part. I will read more carefully and make a better judgement going forward. Thank you for your comments Mike.

            1. Pattye:

              No apology needed on your part – Anony-miss’ comments reflect on him or her judgment and credibility, not on yours. I appreciate and respect your editorial restraint.


        2. The Uncle Tom comment is charming. By the way don’t let the fact that Mr. Stroman has a proven history of caring for the kids in the neighborhood get in the way of your racist comment.

          Just a few facts. There are very few situations where the Planning Commission can require sidewalks. (check the code) Where they not required they should not be extorted from property owners.

          There’s no more consensuses in Mt. Pleasant than anywhere else. Believe it or not there is nowhere to walk to the west except Cabrini and the last thing most neighbors want is for Mt. Pleasant to be more convenient for college kids. There are a number of places to walk on that section going east. (the park, church, library, etc)

          By the way, there was no dig at Democrats just at John Petersen who is way out there. One more thing I voted for Sean Moir for BOS and think connecting the SDGC sidewalk to Mt. Pleasant and points west is a great idea. I just don’t think SDGC should be required to build it.

          1. I have no reason to apologize for my name. I did it to distinguish myself from the numerous “Anon” and “Anonymous” commenters.

            But I do apologize for my characterization of Mr. Stroman. Of course he is entitled to his opinion, and I never assumed that all residents of Mt. Pleasant think the same way.

            Still, it seemed obvious that Mr. Stroman didn’t just show up as a concerned citizen asking and being granted permission to go first – with an opinion that conveniently supported that of Mr. Olson and Mr. Parkinson, (who sits on the board of Kids First with Stroman.)

            Mr. Stroman’s connection to Mt. Pleasant was stated. But I should have given the man the benefit of the doubt – and assumed he was happy to spout the party line on sidewalks.

            Mr. Stroman, I apoligize for offending you.

            Re not allowing anyone with a political affiliation or active role on related boards to be on the proposed subcommittee, I think we see first-hand the “value” of having unqualified, uninformed people serving as public officials. They don’t have a basis for making important decisions, and they’re easily manipulated by those with agendas.

            I for one want to see individuals with deep experience in this township serving on a board that may have significant impact on our community.

        3. BAWG members were not asked to slip anything in for anyone… there were no smoke and mirrors… were you in the room?

  3. I would suggest that no one attached to the TTRC, TTDEMS, or St. David’s be anywhere near this sub-committee. We have enough ‘politcal’ bs going on with other committees in the township.

    Let the other committees (STAP, etc.) that have been working on this issue deal with it.

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