Newspaper Editor Offers His Opinion on our Supervisors, stating “. . . Tredyffrin Township residents deserve better and we will make sure we hold the board accountable for their actions.”

When do you suppose was the last time the editor of our local newspaper weighed in on the actions of our local elected officials?  I cannot remember it happening in any recent times, that is until today. In today’s edition of Main Line Suburban Life, Executive Editor Tom Murray offers strong words in his Editor’s Corner for supervisors Lamina, Kampf, Olson and Richter and their St. Davids Golf Club decision.  Tom’s words, ” . . . trust was lost when four of the supervisors made that fateful vote a few weeks back” are understood and echoed by many in this township. (Tom’s full column is below.)

Supervisors Lamina, Kampf, Olson and Richter probably thought that their St. Davids decision to return the country club’s escrow would be forgotten by this point, swept under the carpet by their apology and that we (the public) would have just moved on.  Just the contrary, . . .  far from forgotten, I think we all agree with Tom Murray’s assessment, we do deserve better in Tredyffrin Township.

For the record, there has been no response from Chairman Lamina concerning my email request this morning to add St. Davids Golf Club to the Agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting.  Guess he doesn’t need to respond to me; I will just wait and see if St. Davids is on the Agenda tomorrow.

As an aside, I wonder if the stalling on the St. Davids matter is related to Warren Kampf’s upcoming weekend event – the Chester County Republican Committee have their formal endorsement process in West Chester this Saturday (my understanding is the committee vote will help determine Mr. Kampf’s political future).

      Bad decision in Tredyffrin

Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

By Tom Murray

Three weeks ago I guess you could say I hit a wall.

After 62 consecutive weeks of writing this weekly column – all 54 in Main Line Suburban Life and eight before that for Main Line Life, I felt I needed a break. We had some very strong letters to the editor and I felt it was more important to hear from the readers.

Two weeks ago the new boss of our parent company started and there were meetings and discussions about our Web site, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to, and bull sessions with my bosses and staff. Another batch of strong letters and guest columns made my decision not to write again easier.

Then last week came the snownami, which according to the Urban Dictionary I found online is defined as “when it is snowing so damn much you can’t even see a thing.” Yes, Mother Nature sure had the last laugh last week when she followed up her 28-inch snowfall with 17 inches more and winds that left many Main Liners in the dark.

A decision was made to push up deadlines so another week passed without this column. I received a few phone calls and plenty of e-mails from loyal readers asking if everything was OK and a few were concerned about my employment status. I assured them that I would make sure that I would let them know when that time comes. I want to thank all those readers who checked in. So with the batteries recharged, I feel it’s important to touch on one issue that I missed the past few weeks.

Up the line in beautiful Tredyffrin Township, the Board of Supervisors voted a few weeks ago that sidewalks weren’t needed at St. Davids Golf Club and they voted to release money from an escrow account that ended the longtime controversy.

While the debate over sidewalks has been around long before I arrived on the Main Line, it was the way the board went about its business that has me concerned.

I took it personally because it was my decision not to attend the meeting when the four commissioners pulled a quick one. Each week I sit down with reporter Blair Meadowcroft and we discuss what needs to be covered. There was a big Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board meeting that same night and the school budget for the year was being discussed. Blair and I looked at the agenda for the Board of Supervisors that night and we made the decision that since there was nothing earth-shattering to be discussed, she should attend the school-board meeting and see where the board would cut millions of dollars in programs.

But a funny thing happened on the way to that week’s newspaper.

I started getting calls and e-mails that night from upset residents letting me know what the supervisors did, and that was bring up the St. Davids issue, debate it for a short time and then vote to give the golf club back the money it originally had to put up. Board Chair Bob Lamina has since apologized to residents for the board’s actions. It was a good first step but I don’t blame residents for still being upset.

Board members need to realize that it’s no longer the 1950s and they can’t get away with this kind of behavior anymore. I had given the board the benefit of the doubt a few times since January’s reorganization meeting, but now it’s personal. That trust was lost when four of the supervisors made that fateful vote a few weeks back.

Tredyffrin Township residents deserve better and we will make sure we hold the board accountable for their actions.

That’s our job.

Formal Request to Add St. Davids Golf Club to Agenda for February 22 Board of Supervisors Meeting

On behalf of the community, I have just emailed the following formal request to members of the Board of Supervisors ( Tom Hogan, Township Solicitor and Mimi Gleason, Township Manager were copied on the email.  There are many unanswered questions concerning St. Davids and after several reviews of the last supervisors meeting, it is clear to me that this community deserves better from some of its elected officials.  It is my understanding that Paul Olson will have returned from his vacation and will attend the February 22 supervisors meeting.   It is important to note that by making the formal request today, it meets the timeline deadline for getting on the agenda.  Agendas for Board of Supervisors meeting are done the Thursday before a meeting, so today being Wednesday, the excuse of being ‘too late’ will not work in this case.

Do I think that this formal request to add St. Davids Golf Club to next week’s meeting agenda will work?  Don’t know.  One thing I do know, is that we are not going to allow St. Davids to just be swept under the carpet and pretend it never happened.  As residents of this community, we deserve better.

Dear Members of Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors –

I am asking that St. Davids Golf Club be added to the Agenda for Monday, February 22, 2010 Board of Supervisors meeting.  Since the supervisors meeting of February 8, I have fielded many comments, emails and calls from township residents who do not support the supervisor’s decision to return the escrow to St. Davids Golf Club. There has been much discussion in regards to the township’s Home Rule Charter, policy and procedural errors and the precedent for developers working in this township, as set by the January 25 vote to return the escrow to St. Davids Golf Club.  Residents asked many questions at the February 8 Board meeting, in regards to the St. Davids issue, which supervisors were unable to answer and due to stated attorney-client privilege, Tom Hogan was also not able to respond.  As a result of unanswered questions, there is an underlying trust issue in this township towards some of our elected officials.  In the best interest of our community, I formally request that St. Davids Golf Club be added to the February 22 Agenda of the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Thank you for your consideration.

Pattye Benson
1475 Swedesford Road
Malvern, PA 1935
Tel: 610.644.6759

For disclosure purposes, this email request to the Board of Supervisors will appear on Community Matters, .