Community, get in­volved in gov­ern­ment

Times Chronicle - - OPINION -

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


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