The Abington Citizen's Network

.

HOME
CONTACT US

Signup For
THE NEWSLOOP




HOT ISSUES 

ECON DEVELOPMT CORP 

WATER  QUALITY 

YMCA 

COLONADE 

SOLICITORS AT DOORS

MARCELLUS SHALE/Fracking 

PESTICIDE SPRAYING

WAWA NEAR BAEDER

RED LIGHT CAMERAS

VOTING- ELECTIONS

ST.MICHAEL'S


POLICE MATTTERS
MANOR WOODS / SUMMERFORD
GALMAN Near LENOX RD
FLOODING
BILLBOARDS
COMMERCIALS ON TV
NOBLE TRAIN AREA
BAEDERWOOD SHOP CNTR
FAIRWAY TRANSIT DISTRICT
ZONING REWRITES
YOUR HOUSE RE-ZONED?
ZONING VARIANCES
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT 
WHERE TO FIND LAWS AND REGS
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE
MCDONALDS- DUNKIN DONUTS
A PLACE TO MEET
TAX COLLECTION COSTS
YORK RD CORRIDOR PROJEct
ILLEGAL ALIENS
E-VERIFY PROGRAM


and more...
LOST AND FOUND
THE BUDGET PROCESS
THE TAX PROCESS
TAX ABATEMENTS
ZONING &
DEVELOPMENT
HUNTER SOCCER CLUBHOUSE
LORIMOR PONDS ESTATES
RYDAL WATERS
EMINENT DOMAIN IN ROSLYN
TV ACCESS CHANNELS
CORRIDOR REVITALIZATION
WILLIARD COMPLEX IN GLENSIDE
OPEN SPACE
ARDSLEY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
DEER HUNTS IN TOWNSHIP
CELL PHONE TOWERS
CONTRACTORS
TRASH - PAY TO THROW
LITTER 
SCHOOL ISSUES
JOBS FOR OUR KIDS
ANONYMOUS REPORTING
TOOLS FOR RESIDENTS LIKE
WHERE TOFIND LAWS AND REGS


and more...

COMMUNITY GROUPS
ACTIVITIES -EVENTS
TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT
FIND YOUR COMMISSIONER


and more...

CONTACT US
SITE MAP
INCLUDE YOUR ISSUE
ABOUT THISNETWORK
POLICIES
PRIVACY
DISCLAIMER
REPORT ABUSES
CORRECT AN ERROR
 


 

Regarding Postings:
All views
Pro and Con
including
multiple views
on either side
will be given
equal access
on this site.
 

The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community
 

 

QUESTIONS
for Economic Development Corporation
Informational Meeting
10-16-19

  Return to Main page  on the Econ Dev Corporation


   The By-laws  . 


  THESE QUESTIONS  REFER LARGELY TO THE  BY- LAWS  & THE PROCESS

1)  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 or approval.

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.

4)  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 were posted

7)  Will you correct the dates on the website  so a true chronology can be appreciated?   

 8)  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 ?

11)  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.

 12)  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?

13)  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 “ entities? 

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 diminished entirely  - or made inconsequential?

 15)  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?

16) Just 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  and  perhaps this  statement is among the most distressing :
Upon 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 advancement  In 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 dealings? 

17)  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  code enforcement personnel are not doing their job?


18 ) Please explain why  properties are not properly cited when they are not following code, causing them to become blighted

 19)  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 happen

 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 wishes.  Few 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 residents.
Please tell us how you would seek to change that dynamic in a process that cuts the residents voices out even further.

  24)  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 ?

 25)  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..... ?

26)  Is there any place in the bylaws that  gives concrete  steps  to ascertain  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?  

28)  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  losses  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?  

 29)  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 money?

  30 )  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? 

31)  No 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 ?

32)  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.

33)  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 ?

34)  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?

35) Our 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 inadequate)  Why 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” ?  

36)  We have a government process set up for the above goals – why are we sidestepping that process? 

 37)  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 service?

38)   Should there even be a corporation, why should a director not be re-nominated at the end of each year with the overwhelming support from…residents???? 

39)  Please tell me how residents seem not to have any participation whatsoever in the economic development of their Township? Are they not to be trusted? 

40)  Please 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?

42)   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 oversight already?

44)  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?

46)  How many hours does Mr Manfredi  think his job requires him to put in for that pay ?

47)  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? 

48) The 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 correct?

49)  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 consent? 

50)  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? 

51)  How is it that no one elected by the residents is a part of this Corporation?

52)   That the residents have no direct power over the Corporation is,  in fact,  the whole purpose of this separate entity is it not?

53)   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”-  an  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 oversight ? 

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 of Abington?

55)  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 residents?

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?

 58)  It is unclear even how much power our board of Commissioners will have over this entity.  Do you intend to make that clear? 

59)  Will you support them no matter what they do because they are representing “you” or because they are raining $$$ on you  or because  you like what they are doing?   And what will happen if you DON’T like what they are doing?

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?

61)   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 ?

63)  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? 

 65)  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.

66)   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  to fund. 

66) Please tell me why, with all of these problems, and so many more, you think any of this is in the residents’  interest.  It clearly is not.

  67)  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.


 

    Return to Main page  on the Econ Dev Corporation

 

 

tHE NEWSLOOP  Sign up  here to receive our periodic Newsloop updates on issues that matter to us all  
                                                               
  Send  your name & address t lel@abingtoncitizens.com 

  please ask your Commissioner to video and air this meeting

 

 

 



   We welcome your comments  to share either anonymously or with your name attached with your  fellow Abington residents.   Send  any updated information, comments or questions  to: lel@abingtoncitizens.com 

 

 

THE NEWSLOOP   Sign up  here to receive our periodic Newsloop updates on issues that matter to us all
      Knowledge is power. Stay informed to help shape your community & make a difference.

 

Abington Township revamped their entire website at the end of 2015.
All links directed to the old site were broken. We will be reinstating links as we find them If the data is still available.
Please let us know if you find a broken link. Send us the URL of the link and the Name of the page it is on, and if we can reinstate it, we will .


DISCLAIMER:

The information on this page or in this site may have unintentional inaccuracies, and also has opinions.
It should not be relied upon as fact until investigated personally by the reader. 
Please read our full  Disclaimer
and read our Policies page before using this site.
 All who find inaccuracies are asked to please contact us so we may correct them.