If This is Compromise in Newtown, What Is In Store For 2013?

2012 was a very costly year for Newtown Township residents. What will happen in 2013?

So, I received this email and read Patch’s article about the 2013 budget passed by the Newtown Township's Board of Supervisors on December 27th at a 5 p.m. meeting. This action doesn’t seem to reflect any consideration, in my view, of Newtown Township residents during a holiday week, especially since township officials have had months to prepare, present and discuss this budget. Why do they wait until what seems to me to be the last minute and most inconvenient times to hold important meetings and make important decisions?

The following is an email from a concerned resident on Thursday night's meeting:

"Last night we passed the 2013 budget, tax increase was reduced to 2.9%. This is a good compromise to keep the increase as low as possible and still provide adequate funding to effectively operate the township. We do expect that when some of the approved development (Liseter formerly Ashford for example) is built, that new tax revenue will enable us to minimize increases in the forseeable future. Now that the township is back on sound financial footing, the board can fully focus on sewers and possible revision of zoning. Of course, both issues are complex and not everyone will be satisfied. The sewer issue is extremely difficult; we have folks who desperately want sewers, others with new septic systems who are adamantly against sewers and many folks in the middle. In order to keep the plan cost efficient, it must include almost everyone. Quite a challenge!”

Seems Newtown Township’s supervisors or someone speaking about the actions of the Newtown supervisors having finally passed a budget at almost the last possible date available, are suggesting that a 2.9% increase reflects a good compromise.  I certainly don’t see it their way.  

And, I think having township’s expenses grow to almost $8 million dollars in 2013 without increased services to Newtown taxpayers could scarcely be seen as sound financial management. How is the township now on sound financial footing? And, it wasn’t on sound financial footing previously? Yet, three current supervisors have been on the board quite a few years.

In 2012, taxpayers got to pay significantly to settle with former Police Chief Dennis Anderson. The Board of Supervisors just voted to pay a settlement of $43,000 to former Township Manager Jim Sheldrake. And taxpayers continue to pay annually $44,000 to Aqua (per year for five years total) to settle Aqua’s appeal of the previous Act 537 sewer plan. 

All this, and taxpayers are asked to continue to pay for the medical benefits and deductible costs for supervisors. That’s about $80,000 that taxpayers will provide for the medical benefits for supervisors Ross Lambert, John Nawn and George Wood, and their spouses and/or families. To add to this, supervisors allowed the creation of the position of Public Works Director and then hired a candidate without the advertised required education and no municipal experience at a salary of $70,000 plus additional benefits.

So, it seems to me, Newtown Township supervisors’ version of compromise is continued spending, no accountability, and references to the challenge of changing zoning to affect residential neighborhoods as well as years of sewage facilities planning. 

This would not be my view of compromise—is it yours?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

EC December 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM
If you were EVER anything but extremely negative, you might have some shred of credibility.
david jordon December 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Patti You have lost all respect from many. Give it up. You forgot to mention what YOU cost the taxpayers with your "settlement"!
Boot Road Resident December 30, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I agree with EC. Patti, your constant negative comments without solutions have grown tired and old. My new years resolution stop reading Patti's blog.
Fgs December 31, 2012 at 04:31 AM
David Jordan is back. Good to hear from you mike g.
JC December 31, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I think every taxpayer has a right to speak out positively or negatively about the township’s budget without getting attacked for doing it. It’s called freedom of speech. Comments made by local residents, whether negative or not should remind the township supervisors that they have accountability, not absolute power.
Irv January 01, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Can't we just pay Patti to stop wrtitting a blog? Patti, You are all in Township business for yourself. You lost all crediaiblty when you took a cash settlement from Developers. For the better of your neighbors? Stop giving your thoguhts about this Township Thank You, Residents against residents taking money to change their minds
Bill G. January 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
“This action doesn’t seem to reflect any consideration, in my view, of Newtown Township residents during a holiday week…Why do they wait until what seems to me to be the last minute and most inconvenient times to hold important meetings and make important decisions?” Patti, are you telling us that the reason why you were not present at the meeting was because of the holiday? Or, are you using the holiday as an excuse not to show your disgraced face anymore? As we have seen in the previous posts, and as you yourself admitted, you received a substantial sum of money from a developer, is this why you no longer show up at township meetings because everyone knows you are a fraud? What type of person will sell out their neighbors, friends and township just to make their pockets thicker? What type of person, will hold up an entire sewer project, one that is intended to make the township better, just to make their pockets thicker? Why will you not answer the questions on your blog regarding your settlement agreement? You close your last “smear-blog” with the following, “This would not be my view of compromise—is it yours?” Well Patti, we know that this is not your view of compromise; your view of compromise is one where you sell out your friends, neighbors and community. We know that this is not your form of compromise because in this instance, you did not become richer; you were not bought off, but you were once again viewed for what you are, a fraud.
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