Voters, be informed
To the editor:
There is little sense in voting unless we are first “informed.” To be informed means we know about our candidates and their records before we vote. Can anyone find a place (website or other) they can go to learn about the current record of any of the candidates that will be running in the next election.
Abington Commissioner Steve Kline was asked for his in the last election. He turned me down. It wasn’t necessary for him in order to get elected. I’m not sure why. I guess because we accept that. Your government really is up to you. Your vote will count if you make it count. That might require more than just going to the polls.
By the way, while I’m discussing Commissioner Kline, I promised him that I would publicly apologize for anything that I got wrong because my intent is to proliferate the flow of correct information so people can make real choices, begin to become an active part of their government, make their choices based on facts to know who is serving them and what they can change.
When I asked Chief Kelly to either step down or apologize for what he said that was untrue (which he had promised to do but then reneged), Steve’s response to my plea to step in was that I wouldn’t apologize for mistakes that I made. I promised him that was not true and asked what he thought I had to apologize for. He told me that I had said that he, personally, was re-zoning everyone’s property.
In fact, if anyone misinterpreted my remarks, or if I misspoke in any way, I do publicly herewith apologize. Steve is not personally re-zoning your properties. Steve is, however, the chairman of the zoning ordinance rewrite committee and in this capacity there has been what in my opinion has been an alarming lack of transparency coupled with an overwhelming set of changes that will be understood by very few who are deeply affected.
What has taken them years to create, you will have a brief period to review and fruitlessly protest. Steve has, as the chairman, made direct decisions that have kept the understanding of these changes from the view of Abington residents so they can organize and react. A summary, for instance, of the changes to each area as they are made, notification to residents whose properties are in areas scheduled for re-zoning, meetings to ask residents what they would like to see, has been requested but denied. Steve and his committee, when I began obtaining the minutes to the meetings and distributing them to those affected, split many topics out and refused to provide us with the minutes for those meetings. The minutes are directly and immensely helpful in understanding what is going to be done and the reasoning behind these changes and who, exactly, is promoting what.
To refuse to take minutes was both irresponsible and, I believe strongly, part of the effort to hide onerous actions that residents would rail against. Their home values and the quality of their lives are being affected by these decisions and it is egregious to see Steve and his cohorts able, without approval from the property owners, to be able to “legally” take these people’s rights, as I have witnessed again and again.
So yes, I will apologize if anyone thought Steve has been doing this on his own. He has had a whole committee to help him. But I believe that if residents understood what was being done, they would vote him and all of them out. We need an openly published record of our candidates’ votes, and actions to make our vote something meaningful. Lora Lehmann Meadowbrook