Community, get involved in government
To the editor:
Abington residents are told to tell their commissioners if they have a problem, but many have felt that their efforts are wasted because the commissioners just do what they want anyway. There are plenty of examples of that being the case. And, in fact, your one commissioner is easily outvoted by the other 14. So why are we not told to address all those who will be voting on our concern?
How do we change the pattern of response that seems so inadequate? One of the most important lessons that young people can be taught is to understand their government and to learn how to take an active role in it. While there is the occasional Scout working on a merit badge who sits through a whole meeting and one student was seen doing a report, actual in- volvement would give our students a real first-hand view of how their government works. If anyone wants to take me up on the idea, I have a list of great projects they could learn about.
For example: Ward 7 residents are about to get a new commissioner. Have both parties put someone forth and make sure everyone knows their qualifications? If not — like Ward 6, the Republican dominated board will appoint — despite the fact that the parting elected commissioner was a Democrat. In truth, a candidate should be chosen on his positions, not his party. But we can’t seem to even get the party thing going the way the residents vote it. Their last chances to speak publicly about this will likely be the Sept. 5 and Sept. 13 meetings.
Two more current issues are the pesticide sprayings and solicitation in our neighborhoods.
Has anyone seen the facts on the deaths and illnesses that could be a result of exposure to the pesticides and know all the facts about the real comparative risks involved in sprayings?
In Abington there seems to be little will by officials to do what is in the interest of the safety and welfare of Abington residents regarding solicitation. The commissioners recently passed two pieces of legislation. The first allowed commercial solicitors in our neighborhoods if they paid a fee. Previously they were prohibited, but now they can come as late as 9 p.m. — an absurd hour to open your door to strangers.
The second ordinance was enacted when the Trend newspaper was tossed willynilly on any/every lawn they chose, marking those not home rather easily. The legislation passed made things worse by dictating that unless residents took their own time, effort and expense to find out the correct address and write a letter to the perpetrator, it was permitted. You’re kidding, right? Often such requests were even ignored after calls, letters and great effort.
We are being told that the same law applies to the little baggies and all other advertising tossed on your property by anyone who chooses, the vast majority of whom seem not to be registered at all. To whom would I write? I have no clue who’s going to do it tomorrow. How many letters per individual are reasonable per year? Where are the people whose
duty by oath it was to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community?
Our community groups, our commissioners and our township officials are all in a position to improve this situation before others need suffer the direct consequences of our residential areas being inundated with transients, even after dark, and from having their homes marked when they are away.
If you cannot make the committee meeting, write, call or otherwise ask those in charge to fight on your behalf. The next meeting will be Sept. 5. Young people welcome. Lora Lehmann Meadowbrook 215-885-7130 the idea the drivers may be intoxicated or transporting drugs through our quaint little town. Just what a mother of two young active kids that love to play outside wants to hear.
To top it all off on Aug. 6, around 3:30 p.m. there was a police car sitting across the street from my house on Walnut. I sat outside with my son and neighbor watching car after car pass right through the stop sign. I walked over to my front gate to see if someone was actually in the police car and that it hadn’t been set up just to scare drivers. Sure enough the officer sat in the car and continued to allow vehicles to pass through the stop sign without stopping. I understand it would have required him to turn around in the intersection to head toward Summit to pull anyone over, hard to do when the flow of traffic is constant.
My neighbor is 16 and just took her permit test. She said she doesn’t understand why she had to learn the laws when people don’t have to follow them. She has quickly learned how hard it is to pull out of our shared driveway when the flow of traffic doesn’t stop. I cannot tell you how badly we want to move to a quieter part of Jenkintown, but like many Americans out there we bought our house when the selling was good and we can’t afford to take a loss to sell now.
I will end by sharing excerpts from a letter that I received in the mail supporting me after my first letter was published in here: “I read with interest your letter in the Chronicle. There are some things you need to know about Jenkintown Borough, so that you do not get your hopes too high; Public safety is not now and has never been a top priority for the Borough. For example, the Walnut Street side of the school property has kO school zone lights and so motorists speed through the zone at any time of the day, but particularly opening and closing of school. Is there AkY enforcement? Of course not; that WOULD BE MEAk. Motorist, fly through the borough at the morning and evening rush hours, using Jenkintown as a shortcut to somewhere else. Speeding (50 in a 25 zoneF, running stop signs, reckless driving, blocking intersections, etc. Where are the police? Hiding and avoiding. It is pretty amazing that in a .55 square mile borough, with 2 patrol cars on the road and little serious crime, that the police cannot be the AGGRESSIVE. But we don’t want to be mean. I liked your reference to the message on the stop sign (referring to the option to place a sign below the stop signs stating that a complete stop is free but a rolling stop costs AuF. Our police chief passes by that sign in Rockledge at least twice a day. Does he ever think to copy it or enforce the law? kever. It is a free for all when it comes to traffic safety. You might ask, who is responsible for overseeing the police department? The answer is and always has been, no one who knows how to ask probing questions. As a safety expert of 40 years, it pains me to watch the incompetence and indifference of the JPD. ko accountability, no discipline, no leadership, no initiative, no creativity?! Jenkintown today!”
It’s nice to know someone besides me feels strongly about safety in our town. It’s a shame it’s not the people who are paid to protect us. Chrissy Levy