for Economic Development
on the Econ Dev Corporation
THESE QUESTIONS REFER LARGELY TO
BY- LAWS & THE PROCESS
Article 9 says the bylaws may be altered at any time by
the township …. so please describe twhere the sense is in
submitting something for resident comment or approval
when it can be changed at will right after any comments
2) Isn’t it true that you can currently
choose to do any kind of economic development that you want to,
but that you would have
to do it within the rules ?
3) Why should you be allowed
be allowed to engage in development
outside of the rules when
you have every ability to do the same things inside the rules
that are there to protect us.
Why should we want you to be able to develop in a way
that protects you or distances you from
feedback of the
residents, or from any
other conditions designed to protect
us from government abuse?
5) Please tell why the webpage page for The
Economic Development Corporation does not show correctly the
version of the Ordinance ( without by-laws and articles of inc)
that was voted on 9-4-19
and 9-10-19 .
6) Please tell why the website
page does not show the date he By Laws and Articles of Incorp
Will you correct the dates on the website
so a true chronology can be appreciated?
How could the residents of
Abington possibly approve allowing other people from outside the
township or anywhere in Pennsylvania deciding for us what they
would do in our Township, without any further approval from us .
9) We have no idea who the people are who will be
appointed to take over our voices. Do you think that is in the
best interests of
the Abington Residents you serve?
10 ) We have no idea
what the “chosen” people’s vision
is for our Township or whether it is anything like the vision
that we have. Do you
feel that this is in the
best interests of the people of Abington? …..to totally give
their rights up to others, whose names and visions they do not
know?........who may not even live here and who have no
requirement to include our concerns
in their march towards profits
that they can “make new friends with ?
Is it not so that these developers and others, some or
all of whom may be from outside our township are to be able to
use funds, grants, resources, personnel etc
paid for by our tax
dollars, but these finances would not be decided inside the
confines and rules of our budget process.
Inside our budget process, the funds should be going to
the projects and
needs that are identified as the most urgent, but isn’t it true
that none of the funds
at play in the EDCoprp would subject to
those rules, that
process, or those priorities?
Is there any place in this entire process where the view
and the voices of the residents
would be considered first ?
At any stage of a project? At any stage of the
continuation into subsequent projects?
At any stage in the creation of new “entrepreneurial “
14) Please tell me
why residents should want you to approve such a thing when there
is no mechanism for their voices to be made louder rather than
- or made inconsequential?
If public has never been given a straight answer on the
finances regarding the profits and benefits of the the
convoluted derivative style coalitions of public and private
participation such as the one that built Crest Manor with 46
units at a cost of 17 million dollars, why would we consider
these public private partnerships to be a good thing. It is one
thing to see a beautiful thing built – but quite another when
you may have poaid for it and have no idea what it really cost
you – and whether you would have approved it if you DID know.
Will the figures on all EDCorp projects be available to
the public in advance of any such project being approved?
as the finances are often written in incomprehensible derivative
fashion, so are the sections on
liability. In fact
it is clearly far
more complex and convoluted than
are reasonable for a public document
this statement is among
the most distressing :
receipt of a written request for indemnification against
liabilities and an advancement of expenses pursuant to this
provision, a prompt determination shall be made by a
disinterested quorum of the Board, if available, or by other
means recognized by law, to determine the requesting party's
right to indemnification and advancement. If no such
determination is made within thirty (30) days from the date of
the request, it shall be conclusively presumed for all purposes
that the requesting party has rights to indemnification and
fact someone who should not be covered
can even be covered by such a simple move on the part of others.
If the Colonade has taught us nothing else, it has taught
us that our money can be stolen just as easily in false
lawsuits, as it might be by a robber with a gun and
a mask . Will
you require the liabilities to be written in a clearer manner
and written without loopholes that so easily might find guilty
parties none-the-less defended in full at the expense of the
taxpayers, as is currently the case in the Colonade /100 York
Both residential and Commercial
properties are being
considered for the taking and developing …….yet
isn’t it true that most vacant properties are only
a problem because
personnel are not doing their job?
18 ) Please explain
why properties are not
properly cited when they are not following code, causing them to
Please explain how the actions of the code enforcement
officials are not creating the problem.
20 ) One goal is
to develop things in a way to ease traffic flow and congestion.
Quite the opposite has been true with just about every single
project that Township personnel Commissioners and staff have
approved. How will this
21) Please explain how, if the
Township has consistently
approved projects that increase traffic flow and
congestion, you believe a separate corporation with far less
input and oversight could do better?
22) you have suggested that
this Corporation will submit things that meet the needs and the
desires of the residents – but the needs and the desires of the
residents are regularly ignored by Township officials totally
while approvals are made
for developers that provide construction contrary to our
residents were in
approval of a 12 pump
Wawa at such a dangerous
intersection - that has now been made more dangerous .
Residents voices were overwhelmingly ignored as the
Abington Terrace development was approved…. Affecting other
properties as well… But that information was largely withheld.
The Colonade process was
allowed to continue while
the safety of the
residents residing there including the voices of the residents
commenting on the issues at the podium were ignored. In nearly
every phase of interaction there has been a problem between what
Township officials and personnel are accepting of and the vision
of the residents. How
would you possibly suggest that this Corporation that is
required to have nearly no public input could then meet the
needs and the desires of the residents ?
23) Why should we not believe
that this attempt to move the issue to a separate Corporation is
simply an attempt to avoid that very interaction with the
residents that helps the residents voice what they actually do
want in their community. They did not want to hundred and 46
units on 8 acres. And that should not have happened. They did
not want and 1100 square-foot facility just a few feet from
their fence line, on top of that with
a septic system instead
of a sewer. Yet
approvals were made by township personnel and officials that
completely ignored the needs wishes and desires of the
Please tell us how you would seek to change that
dynamic in a process that cuts the residents voices out even
Please tell the
many ways that the residents needs wishes and desires are
gathered by those making the decisions . For instance in this
case how many people in the Township of 56,000 do you think
actually know about what
is happening and
are suggesting that you
should in fact go ahead with the development of this Corporation
? How did you
inform people before
advertising for a hearing - how did you poll the residents of
this Township to know
what their wants needs and desires were ?
How would residents be able
to voice their wants
needs desires and concerns to this board when they are not
participating in it and when the board has nearly no obligation
to them written into the bylaws..... ?
Is there any place in the bylaws that
what residents needs
wants and desires are ?
……..other than to suggest that whatever the Corporation decides
to do will meet those needs wants and desires?
27) him In section 1.01 of the
bylaws it suggests that economic development is going to be in
the interests of the residents
- however no
one has ever actually given the residents any written summation
of an economic development calculation that shows even a single
project where there is a specific economic benefit.
Will we get such a calculation?
In the past when any calculations are given they have been
totally devoid of figures that were complete and when complete
showed any benefit or list of benefits . Developments like
Abington Terrace, St. Michael's, The Manor Woods rezoning, Rydal
Waters, the Baederwood / Brandolini debacle , The Grove property
, the Colonade/100 York /the
Colonade/100 York/ the
Colonade/100 York/ the
Colonade/100 York, the
Wawa, The Rite Aid placed next to a CVS, the Superfresh next to
Shordays...... the list
goes on and on. No
figures were ever given that showed the impact of the
caused to other
businesses or the thousands of hours of staff time, legal time,
all of the infrastructure costs and
other costs…etc When
numbers are given it’s a one sided affair.
Without both sides of the
picture it is impossible
to calculate any benefit real
or imagined on the part of the township or the taxpayers funding
it all. And at the
end of nearly every project there is a developer who is
enor4mously richer and a lot of residents whose pockets have
silently been picked, little by little, to make him that way.
Will you provide please, several examples of the
benefits that the residents received from any of these
projects......? …… and then provide the actual costs
of those benefits and let
us decide for ourselves
if it was actually in our interest or not?
In Section 1 .03 private inurement can be paid to
directors officers or others when it is incidental to the
government function and purpose. This is contrary to some of the
basic protections that are afforded to residents
when the government is using their money. But by passing
this money on to a “
completely legally separate entity “ they seem to be able to
avoid this protection . Tell us why we would not be better off
having the protections
that the law intends us to have when the government is using our
) The government
already has many buildings. It has the right to obtain them and
it has the right to redevelop them. Of course those rights come
with certain limitations and restrictions that are designed to
protect the residents. Please explain how it would be in our
interest to set up a new entity and allow it to obtain new
buildings and offices in which to function that are not ours
even though some substantial portion of our money has been used
to acquire them?
limitations are put on the cost of the offices that
might be acquired ,
so again reasonable government protections are not a
feature here. Please tell
us why that would be in our interest ?
In Section 3.01 we learn that the sole member is the
township. However once again this is meaningless because the
township can add another member at any time it would like.
In section 4.02please say why
why someone should be a
resident of the Commonwealth and not a resident of Abington
Township who is deciding
how Abington Township is developed ?
Please tell me where it would establish any rights for
the residents of this Township to objected to a project that
they found completely contrary to their wishes?
government is supposed to set up mechanisms to hear the
residents before it undertakes any service on their behalf –
that is guaranteed by laws carefully set out --- ( yet already
would we want to give up the right to have any say in what is
supposedly being done “ on our behalf and in our interests” ?
We have a government
process set up for the above goals – why are we sidestepping
In section 4 .05 the residents do not seem to have any
rights to reject to either projects or personnel. Please tell me
why you should not write in to this ordinance a line that allows
that upon the objection of 25 residents a director's name may be
removed from consideration or a director may be removed from
there even be a corporation, why should a director not be
re-nominated at the end of each year with the overwhelming
tell me how residents seem not to have any participation
whatsoever in the economic development of their Township? Are
they not to be trusted?
tell me how we should not view this entire creation simply as a
removal of our rights?
41) In section 501 and the ones
following we see that the directors do not really even have to
participate except in writing or by phone or
digitally . These are all
things which the hinder proper function of a meeting or the view
of residents …. And these allow for quick behind-the-scenes
decisions where no real consensus of any community is allowed.
How is this in the interest of residents?
Digital attendance, ad hoc committees that remove
aspects of a project from the main process,
all things that take any
transparency away. If residents even are allowed to attend
meetings in the first place, which is not clear, why would they
want these non-transparent processes to take place with their
money, their personnel, their resources, and their properties?
Explain how that could possibly benefit them?
43) Quick zoning decisions
can often be bad zoning
decisions. Quick development approvals can often be bad
development approvals. Please explain how this could possibly
provide for adequate oversight, adequate input, adequate
thought, when residents feel certain there is not enough
Our manager was suggested to be named executive director.
In 1.03 this
may be a paid position, to be
paid to a man who already is working a job paid by
taxpayers that is considered more than full-time because the
work is never done. He can never say he has finished for the
day, he only can say he has done the most / best that he could
for a day’s work. If
he can hold down a second job, that would not be true.
Abington Township manager is not a part-time job. Please
explain how this organization seems to think he is available?
45) There is no indication of what officers would
be paid. How much is Mr. Manfredi being paid now?
How many hours does Mr Manfredi
think his job requires
him to put in for that pay ?
How would residents guard against this separate entity
- and all the other
entities it creates – from dipping into the funds and resources
that Township taxpayers pay so dearly for?
section on funding is worded very,
very nebulously ….. that
the organization will not be separate from the township, state,
and federal funding,
etc….. A great deal of
the funding will come directly from taxpayer pockets is this not
Since this entity can set up other entities that similarly meet
the “mission” ( broad as it is)
how would we prevent all those separate entities from
similarly acquiring our tax monies and resources without our
The manager is not elected by the residents. And if we
are enormously unhappy with what the EDCorp is dong we can
unelect our Commissioner – but that will not dismantle the
Corporation. It has
no obligation to the people.
And they have no control over it . Isn’t that correct?
How is it that no one elected by the residents is a part of this
the residents have no direct power over the Corporation is,
the whole purpose of this
separate entity is it not?
The loans, liabilities, funding
processes etc are huge issues that are barely described
in any manner that makes them clear to the residents. Usually
there is a reason when the lingo is “convoluted”-
intent to deceive. Do you
intend to rewrite all unclear clauses
to make them more
specific and more clear, and to require funding to be clearly
set out so that it is easily comprehended for purposes of
54) . In section 7
.0 8 we are not even being told the policies and the procedures
for the acquisition and disposition of residential and
commercial property. In other words you are deciding that
somebody later on will decide
what their procedures for taking my property might be . They
currently whatever these unknown people with their unknown
visions decide to make them.
Do you find that to be in the interests of the residents
Don't you think a very clear policy and procedure manual
for the acquisition and disposition of residential and
commercial property in Abington Township should be put forth in
order to see if residents agree
with it or not , if you are purporting to represent the
56) Would the Township use tools like eminent
domain against residents that did not cooperate with the entity
they had created?
57) Or you are
saying that you don't care whether we approve what you were
doing or not?
It is unclear even how
much power our board of Commissioners will have over this
entity. Do you
intend to make that clear?
Will you support them no matter what they do because they are
representing “you” or because they are raining $$$ on you
you like what they are doing?
And what will happen if you DON’T like what they are
60) After the myriad filings in The
Colonnade /100 York issue and so many other issues in this
Township that are being wrongfully litigated- even Right-to-Know
documents that are being withheld, I believe purposely, to drum
up revenue for the solicitor’s firm, as was also the case in the
Abington Terrace / YMCA issue and others…… how would we even
begin to trust a Township who put
forth a document for a hearing with first NO details – and then
nebulous changeable details like these?
How do we trust a Township who has members recommending the
absurd $345 hr fee for a
firm where his siter-in -law is a partner
and not a mention of it is made?
62) Why would we
trust a Township where this item, highly protested was put on
the "consent agenda" after the first meeting where is
would be rushed to a hearing without further comment - despite a
clear cry for more information and protest over the information
presented at the first meeting ?
How would we trust a Township who allowed just 2 days to
get questions submitted – when they already knew that nearly no
one understood this was even happening?
64) How would they trust a Township that
had just serruptitiously removed speaking rights when
they thought no one was looking?
How would they trust a Township that had so many
residents in need of
monies for important stormwater or other projects being put off,
while they had no trouble finding and immediate $20,000 for the
outline of this project.
How could they trust a Township who
cannot/ will not give a straightforward
answer after having been asked time and time again if
Commissioner Winegrad is related to the partner at the firm he
recommended the fee for and voted
66) Please tell me why, with all of these problems, and so
many more, you think any of this is in the residents’
It clearly is not.
Please acknowledge that
you have absolutely no
idea what the community thinks, feels, wants, or needs, because
you have not taken the time to ask.
68) Please acknowledge, this Corporation will only be in
the interest of the ones directly profiting from it -
being paid by it in some
way. The rest will not be
told what the nice new development has cost each and every one
of them. Nor will they be asked if that is what they wanted.
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