Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Great Valley House

Criminals Opt for Hotel Lodging rather than my Bed & Breakfast!

Last week, I had a call from a Lower Providence police detective. The detective gave me a list of five names and explained that the police were working on an ATM banking fraud case. Apparently, one of these individuals had rented a car and had my bed and breakfast, telephone number and address programmed in to the car’s GPS system. Although provided with limited details of the police investigation, (I now understand why) I checked my September – December 2010 guests database and reported that no one using any of those names had stayed at the Great Valley House.

You can imagine my surprise when I was listening to the evening news last night and hear the report that Lower Providence police have busted a robbery ring that relied on hi-tech devices and ATM machines and arrested five men. I went to the network’s website and tracked down the names of the five men arrested — Dimitar Tanchev, Dragomir Lipov, Ismail Misankov, Dimcho Vasilev and Krasimir Uzunov. I knew it was probably more than coincidental and yes, they were the same names.

According to the news, these Bulgarian nationals operated out of a Norristown hotel. The men installed high-tech scanning devices in ATMs throughout Montgomery and Chester Counties, using information on the back of customers’ cards to steal nearly $135,000, from at least 143 victims. During the arrest, police found skimming devices in the hotel. Upon further investigation, they found similar equipment in their rental car, a storage locker and in a Chester County hotel room. Thank goodness for me, the criminals preferred lodging choice was a hotel rather than a reservation at my bed and breakfast!

These men face a laundry list of charges including theft by deception, identity theft and criminal conspiracy

Economic Times Create Challenges for Local Business Community

As a member of both the residential and business communities of Tredyffrin, if elected to the Board of Supervisors I plan to build upon this balanced relationship and be a bridge between them. I fully understand the affect that our country’s current economic situation has cast on small businesses such as mine, the Great Valley House, a historic bed and breakfast. Having enjoyed an interesting way of life as an innkeeper and small business owner for 25 years, I have also witnessed first hand the downturn in our nation’s economy and its effect on my business. Back in the 1980’s, I did postgraduate work at London School of Economics, after completing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CalState-Fullerton. My thesis work at LSE included a “Comparative Analysis of Job Satisfaction in the Workplace between the United States and Britain”. The British government was particularly interested in this analysis as the two nations were very comparable in their ‘double-digit’ unemployment rate and the resulting downsizing in the workplace. My work became ‘dated’ in its theories as the US began to turn around and regain a degree of healthiness. Britain on the other hand, was far slower in its recovery and as a result the similarities between the two countries lessened during the next decade.

Fast forward 25 years, and you find that 2008 ushered in a similar era of economic downturn, massive corporate layoffs and high unemployment rates which is effecting Tredyffrin Township as it is across Pennsylvania and the nation. It is interesting to view this situation through the eyes of a small business owner but likewise I understand the economic woes and downsizing challenges facing large corporations. My husband has been employed by Unisys for 30 years, a major township employer. Like so many other technology firms, Unisys has endured falling share prices, lowered profit margins and the impact of our nation’s economic crisis.

I would like to look at various ways our township government may be able to assist and encourage our local businesses. Perhaps a review of township contracts to utilize the services of our local business community whenever possible. By keeping the flow of business “in the neighborhood,” everyone can play a vital role in regenerating the economic growth of Tredyffrin. I would like to see our community come out of the “survival” and in to the “growth” mode, ready to focus on the future again. The ripple effect will benefit the township and beyond. Supporting the business community of Tredyffrin Township supports everyone! Serving as a board member of the Paoli Business & Professional Association allows me the opportunity to understand the ongoing need for revitalization and encouragement of our township business community.

Community Matters © 2024 Frontier Theme