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Proposed Newtown CR Zoning Amendment Change

Should we trust that Newtown's elected and appointed officials are really representing residents or is this just a show for election season?

Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary offers these definitions of the word trust: "Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; A charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship; Something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another."

When residents in Newtown elect their township officials, these voters understand that they are voting to entrust these officials to represent their interests and concerns.  Not the interest and concerns of those outside the community. This should not be hard for these officials to understand. And yet, somehow, in my view, the elected Newtown Township supervisors and some of their appointees don’t seem to understand who they represent. 

And, even worse, they seem to me to have the confidence to not care. Rather, they feel empowered, I think, to make whatever decisions they want to make without fear of being held accountable.  How can residents trust their elected supervisors and some of their appointees when they:

  • Ask township residents to foot the bill for over $80,000 to pay for heathcare premiums and deductibles that were not initially properly authorized and raise taxes for this purpose.
  • Appoint developers, those that work for developers and even someone who has been charged by the the US Attorney for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in connection with the storage of hazardous waste to the Township Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board and/or the Municipal Authority.
  • Meet with developers and institutions to develop sewage facilities plan before meeting with residents.
  • Prepare a budget and hold budget workshops where no mention is made of bonus money for the township manager and then early in the year, vote to pay a $9,000 bonus to the manager. 

And in their latest breach of trust and lack of transparency, they discuss and presume to make decisions about the CR zoning amendment that will have a dramatic effect on existing neighborhoods. Does anyone doubt at this point that the amendment was not really an attempt to represent planning that is in the best interest of all residents?

If that were the case, early on in the process, those residents living closest to the areas where the change would occur would have received formal communication from their elected officials. Their officials would have reached out to them early in the process to help residents understand how and why this change would be made. Instead, it was not until public notice was required for a proposed vote on the amendment that homes nearest the affected areas were notified. 

And instead of feeling concern for those residents, the initial response of elected officials was to chastise residents for not attending every public meeting.  Public meetings that these officials could televise, but they refuse.  Public meetings that could have accurate agendas posted before the meeting, but they refuse.    

So, now election season is about to begin and there are two Supervisors positions as well as many other public elected offices whose positions are open.  And, suddenly, there is some change in the CR zoning amendment in the area of Saint Albans Circle and Rhoads Avenue.  But no change in this proposed amendment for the residents in Newtown Heights.  I guess they are not worried about how the Newtown Heights' residents will vote?

Amazingly, the township’s proposed 537 plan will be changed as a result of recent public input even though the review of this alternative was requested and denied by these officials almost four years ago. Can residents really trust that these latest zoning and sewage facilities planning proposals are sincere? Or is this just an attempt to change the subject before elections?

Attendance at township meetings has increased dramatically over the past 6 months.  It has been a terrific indicator of the passion and concern that residents have for their community.   hope that this interest and attendance will continue. Voters of Newtown, I believe, have good reason to be mistrustful. I hope that in the coming year these voters will continue to ask questions and hold accountable those that they trust to make decisions for the community.

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.

Influential Neighbor February 18, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Patti- this is rich coming from you. You have yet to respond to anyone who has questioned you about a settlement with a developer. You, Patti Wilson, should leave this type of public comment on the "sidelines" until you answer with complete clarity to your own credibility and motivations. You are not the moral compass of NEWTOWN township.
Patti Wilson February 18, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I have responded and will respond again. If anything I have offered in my Patch posts is inaccurate, by all means, point that out. Additionally, I have responded to comments made about me that I have found to be misleading and inaccurate. If you leave your name and phone no. I'd be happy to call you. In the meantime, your comment has absolutely nothing to do with the issues/concerns presented in this post. What I don't understand is why you and others will not post your name to your comments.
Jennifer Kim (Editor) February 18, 2013 at 09:28 PM
A comment by Robert B. was deleted because it violated Patch's terms of use.
Rob b February 19, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Patti keep up the good work. Visit. Newtownsquare.com
Bill G. February 19, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Patti- Normally your blogs are full of false statements and misinformation that any individual, who understands what is happening in the township can see right through your lies and see your true motive, which is only looking out for yourself. So what is the purpose of this entry? Just to complain and bash individuals who have exposed you for who you truly are? Also, Rob B, what is this address nothing comes up?
Mrs. Rebecca O'neill February 19, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Patti, I just spoke with a neighbor of mine who lives on green countrie drive, and she explained to me that there is a Marriott hotel that is coming to Newtown. Is there not a Marriott at the Springfield country club? Why would a town such as Newtown want a hotel? Somebody must be getting a Kickback somewhere. Bedroom communities such as where we moved from in Connecticut frown upon hotels. That is one if the reasons we moved to Newtown last year.
Patti Wilson February 19, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Again, I'll reply and ask you to point out where my blog has ever made false statements or provided misinformation. The information that I have provided is accurate. You may not like it, but it is accurate. And, what individuals are you talking about that you say have "exposed you for who you truly are"? By all means, provide your name and phone number. I'd be happy to call and have a conversation with you.
Patti Wilson February 19, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Hi Mrs. O'Neill, As part of their development plans, BPG's property( at Rte. 252 and West Chester Pike) proposed to build a hotel. I don't know the current status of the hotel plan. You could contact BPG. Their website is www.bpgdevelopment.com where they have all of their contact information. BPG would be able to tell you the current status of the hotel plan. Patti
Bottom Line February 19, 2013 at 07:07 PM
The bottom line here is Patti you probably speak to much truth and folks don't want to hear it! I have lived here only a few years and Newtown Township seems to be stuck in the 70's. When a broken down Acme is your only place to shop, I mean come on aren't we better than this? The answer is yes! It also does not take long if you are involved with the township on some level to see how it is a bit of a boys club, why are there no women on the board? Newtown Township has so much potential to be great and a destination for people wanting to shop and live, it seems like it just can't pull it together. Several school board members resigned at the same time, the high school has more principle's leave. The residents' need to vote out the board members that are behind the times, demand change, going to meeting is great but action speak louder than words!
Margie komorowski February 19, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Bottom line, So your saying if you have a nicer supermarket or more retail stores your town somehow becomes refined? Newtown had much more potential to be great? Please elaborate. I'm interested in what a bottom line name perceives as "great"? The 70's are coming back, 20% down on homes, income verification and a simple life.... Don't spend more than you make... Oh what a nice tease for the upcoming female candidate.
Margie komorowski February 19, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Bottom line, So your saying if you have a nicer supermarket or more retail stores your town somehow becomes refined? Newtown had much more potential to be great? Please elaborate. I'm interested in what a bottom line name perceives as "great"? The 70's are coming back, 20% down on homes, income verification and a simple life.... Don't spend more than you make... Oh what a nice tease for the upcoming female candidate.
Linda February 20, 2013 at 02:11 AM
If you have travelled and lived in other parts of the country, or even in other countries, you would agree with Bottom line that newtown square is indeed stuck in the past. I agree it is quite shame as well. There is nothing to fear in change, progress, forward movement, that is the way of life and how we all evolve and become a better society, by looking forward, not back.
Bottom Line February 20, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Margie, I am just giving a few examples of how we could improve our community's bottom line, for example I shop at Giant in Broomall, I would rather inject my $$ into Newtown Township, not Marple. It also has nothing to do with being "refined" (your words not mine), but it is a matter of choices and we have one! I don't think we need more retail at all, but instead a Dunkin Donuts & Panera or is it Primo Hoagie? (Which will impact Cut Above, a long time small business for sure) are going in right next to a Wawa that is our focus? How about sidewalks so my kid(and other kids) can walk to school since we live around the corner from it, no we need more food establishments that are not healthy. These are my points and I have more, but I am also optimistic and like our community very much, mostly the people are what drew me here and like the passion I see in them. I just think it's time for a change and the Board should be the first place to start and I think having a female point of view would be interesting, don't you? And let me retract my comment about the 70"s, it's the 50's I should have said. If it were the 70's people would be protesting!
Boot Road Resident February 20, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Bottom Line there are a couple positions on the board up for vote this year - why don't you run?
David Y. February 23, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Patti - have you received any money from any developers?
Jermaine Webster February 23, 2013 at 08:17 PM
David Y, maybe you should be asking that question of the current political leadership and Board.
Rachel B Santoleri February 26, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Would you like two restaurants, a block apart, in front of your property? The noise from one and the aromas from their cooking is more than enough. Now we will be enclosed with high buildings and another restaurant. The supervisors should try harder to understand our needs.
Rachel B Santoleri February 26, 2013 at 07:07 PM
It is easy to say go ahead with the plan when you live away from it and not behind it.
NonMoney Taker February 26, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Pay Patti to get off the Patch, she will accept money to change her mind!!!!
Rachel B Santoleri February 27, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I see a plan to beautify the entrance to the Heights. New homes on both sides of Ellis, and the block from Ellis to College, Main and West Chester Pike. Ellis with a sign directing to the Heights. The Heights is the entrance to a great Library, People come from many locations to see their children play on our fields, and our indoor playfield. couldn't we play the Heights up as a good place to live?

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