Vot­ers, be in­formed

Glenside News - - LETTERS -

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

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