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    Economic Development Corporation

There have now been multiple attempts to pass "The Economic Development Corporation"  using unscrupulous tactics - and they are poised to ignore the residents and do just that on 8-10-23. 

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8-10-23   Passed!
Scroll down for documents showing what was passed 


A community based PA non-profit proposing to promote economic growth, neighborhood revitalization, employment opportunities  and the enhancement of the quality of life in the Township.

Can you say "conflict of interest". Nothing you could make up would be a better set up for "pay to play". The Commissioners are acting as developers themselves here, but funneling grants, loans and other money to the characters of their choosing  via a "separate" non-profit that they nonetheless calim they "control" and will keep strict oversight of.  They have found a way to "distance themselves from the opinions of the public "  and avoid inconveniences, like having to get bids  that "government" projects might be subject to....  They can rezone any property to their liking  and already took the re-zoning of what was to be their first project to the Planning Commission, failing to notify anyone nearby and doing the rezoning at your expense.  They can issue their own  permits, do their own inspections, etc . Oh my. What a deal for a developer, grants,loans and  the use of free resources and personnel with no one keeping a tally sheet.  Sweet! The bad features for residents who are footing the bill, however, just go on & on. I know you wanted some redevelopment  - but did you want to pay for what someone else will profit from? And given that we have had to protest so much of what the Commissioners threatened to approve - like the PRIET apartments or the BET/YMCA debacle - are you sure these are the  guys you want deciding what's "in your interest"? While you also  pay for it? 

  UNSCRUPULOUS TACTICS  from start to finish
People don't have to use these kinds of tricks when they are doing something honorable that really IS in your interest.

1) In 2019 they brought it to Committee, held a presentation and tried to move it right on to the Board of Commissioners for a vote, knowing that no one knew what it was and how it worked. The By Laws that contained the heart of how it would function were blank.

2) The Manager put this highly contested item on the "consent agenda" which is  for items that need no discussion and getr approved qquicly in a block vote - everyone is in agreement - they are passed all together as a group. Of course everyone wasn't in agreement . Mr Manfredi knew that.  Putting it on the consent agenda was a despicable move. We managed to get it off the consent agenda and get it back before the public for discussion.

3) Items in the presentation by the $350 hr lawyers ( who used a boilerplate template ) included  goals of  helping the Commissioners distance themselves from the public , and go around standard protections  such as required bidding.  The non-profit is "quasi-governmental"  & Directors are appointed by the Commissioners and supposedly the Commissioners will retain control,  but they are "sepaarate" and don't have to follow the Commissioners rules.

4) The Township taxpayers will be funding it and "loaning"  money to it (unclear if any will be paid back- even though they are calling them loans) . They will be using our personnel and other resources (unclear that there would be any "accounting" whatsoever of their time or other costs - so an open opportunity for corruption..  Profits, we have been told, will be used  in keeping with the mission -- and  might be used to fund the start of the next non-profit and then the next ..... so this is a HUGE CONCERN

5) The conflicts of interest are obvious - as the Commissioners can rezone land ( for themselves now) - can use eminent domain ( for themselves now) - are the ones that listen to compaints ( about themselves now ) and can decide to ignore them ( as is standard ) - are the ones that will issue and oversee permits ( for themselves now) and will be sure the laws and codes are followed ( by themselves -- when they can't seem to properly oversee others.) What's wrong with this picture?

6) The intent is to use grant funds and $ from foundations and as many other sources as possible. With no bid contracts, overpayment for services to a contractor could leave lots of  extra $$$ in the pockets of those who might consider contributing  a personal "thank you"  back to the campaign funds of the entities in control of who gets to play in this sandbox.  Since grant funds & other resources are being used, no bare-bones accounting will be necessary. 

7) The Township CREATED the blighted properties  at your expense by not requiring the Code Enforcement Officer(s) to enforce the property maintenance code and impose fines for properties held in blighted condition until the negligent property owners decided either to make it comply with code or to sell it, because not complying had become costly.

8)  So now, after getting you to pay for a Code Dept that is not enforcing the code, you will pay again by paying for personnel and resources and the grant $$ they will use. Did you want to PAY for these projects yourself - because you will be . This is how the wealth is transferred and why so few own so much of the wealth 

8) The Township cancelled most all of the Vacant Property Reveiw Board meetings once we started demanding that the Code Department do their job and make the errant property owners pay the price .  Cancelling the meetings meant that we had no place to address our concerns about errant property owners OR errant Code personnel.  This removed the input by the public to improve the properties in the right way.

9) The Township took this off the table, then hired a firm (Delta Group) to do a feasibility study. We expected that to come back first and be reviewed before they moved ahead with anything.  Instead - they simply brought the finished Ordinance  back in  July 2023 with changes they had made to it  -(when and where we don't know - but not in public)   This was an ordinance that hadn't been seen  since... (was it 2020?)  - and they said it was done and ready to be passed.  Whaaaaat ?

10) It zoomed ahead in July 2023 to be advertised for a vote... and is coming to that vote on 8-10-23  ......

  On  8-10-23  They will be trying to pass this - without acknowledging virtually any of the concerns of the residents that were expressed from the beginning.




THE ORDINANCE ITSELF AS brought to boc 8-10-23 to pass




The Township page is here :    

The original Presentation is here  and starts 1 hr 25min 30 secs in :

  This, in my opinion, is the worst measure the Township has ever tried to pass. It is a sheer attempt to take dollars from your pockets and put them in the pockets of their friends ……which will undoubtedly return to  roost at election time, with no clear connection that would make it illegal.  This is why they have tried multiple times now to bully  this through without any opportunity for meaningful input - with residents  kept as much as possible in the dark. 
      The first time, (in 2019?) they tried to pass it before the documents were even written. Then, even after the pretense  of holding THREE, (count ‘em three) public meetings, they tried again to slide it past us as originally written, while Covid’s new Zoom rules gave them full control to mute our mics like we weren’t even there protesting. After we got that attempt to pass it dropped, they tried to take the intended first project to a Planning Commission review before it was even ever designated officially as an Economic Development Corp project. That also was dropped when we loudly protested.  

    On Wednesday night they will hold their 4th meeting --- but again, we have NO CLEAR INDICATION that any changes that would have derived from those many public meetings is in any way incorporated into any version . The versions ,  of course,  should be dated to reflect if any have been amended. There are no documents labelled as such in the line-up as of this writing.  After THREE public meetings, that should give you a huge heads up – and show you the huge red flag that is wildly waving here.   

       I have asked again and again for a financial analysis that shows us the cost / benefit of their proposals. A theoretical, if you will.   You should ask the same of your Commissioner.  How dare they spend your money without a direct, clear, comprehensive analysis that shows what the outcome would be gain or loss – or what benefit at what cost.    But this would show you what they do not want you to see ---- that, yes, some nice things will be built – but largely from YOUR pockets --- and the tens of thousands or possibly millions in outgo are not likely to be recouped for decades and decades, if ever.  Don’t forget to have them account for the cost of your manager and your personnel. They don’t  work for US for free – so why should they work for this “quasi-independent”  non-profit  for free – one whose stated purpose was (among other onerous things) to distance the Commissioners from the input of the public.

     Nearly every Committee meeting was needlessly cancelled ... removing residents right month after month for open comment . 

     This “separate entity”  will take available grant monies and put them in someone else’s hands to use – someone you don’t elect and can’t  unelect . So the grant funds may not be used for the most important  needs of Abington Township taxpayers and residents.  Their actions here tie in directly with the failure of the code department to enforce codes --- leaving “blight” that speculators can now get grants for. A win/win for those causing the blight and those speculating with your money and mine, not their own.  And this ties in, too, with the failure of the Township to follow through on flood projects, for instance, that might divert grant monies away from their friends in the Economic Development Corporation Board.  So what if residents are left to deal with the constant invasuion of water the Township is supposed  to control.  A conflict of interest  can be seen if you are watching. Please do.

A shareable link that contains the information here and more discussion on this issue can be found at :  or just go to and choose Economic Development Corporation  at the top of the homepage .

Public Comment Quashed in gneral. Committee Meetings have been needlessly cancelled - Residents only resonable opportunities for open public comment were removed - and the opportunity to speak for 3 minutes at Full Board agenda items when they have been removed, was ALSO removed. It is clear the intent is to limit public comment . Manager Richard Manfredi, Solicitor Michael Clarke, and President /Vice President John Spiegelman and Tom Hecker seem to be orchestrating  a removal of public input during Covid -- some of which had begun to be evident prior to Covid .  They simply took advantage of the Covid  aberration to entitle themselves to remove rights that were unnecessary to remove.  This is a violation of the Sunshine Law which requires residents be given a "reasonable " amount of time to speak on any item before it is  voted on.  

End Run To the Planning Commission:  An attempt was made to have the Old York & Susquehanna corner property go before the Planning Commission -  before any acknowledgement was officially made that this would or would not be the first project of the Economic Development Corporation  as had previously been touted. Those interested in the Economic Development Corporation were not notified -  and once again, the lack of credibility of those trying to sneak all this through is thoroughly hanging out for all to see.

  Ignoring Public Comments - attempt to pass the original version:    May 11h -  A complete disgrace. We have just seen the agenda posted on the Mother's Day weekend ..........   They are trying to fast-track the ORIGINAL  ordinance  to a hearing.  All of the gestures  to supposedly consider the input from the residents were fake - all of the hours the residents put in, just  a waste of their time.   The May committee meetings have been canceled so the proposal to advertise won't even get a proper vetting and a week to organize residents throughout the Township.  Despite all Township activities supposedly being on hold because of the Covid 19 coronavirus, the Township decided to move forward with this without any effort whatsoever to institute the changes into the ordinance. This is nothing short of disgusting, given all that many of us have put into it. Though it was ultimately removed from the agenda - the damage to the Commissioners' credibility was quite definitely evident.

     All of the supposed concerned for resident input was a complete sham   -  hours and hours of meetings, roundtables, questions submitted, answers read,  and emails sent.  That went out the window. In September 2019, you may recall, they tried to pass an ordinance with "blank" bylaws -- ones they would fill in later however they wanted.  When we roared our disapproval, Commissiopners Spiegelman and Vahey promised that our comments mattered. Apparently they do not.  Commissioners John Spiegelman, Matt Vahey and Tom Hecker appear to have completely ignored every bit of advice that they got...including some very serious concerns about conflicts of interest, the composition of the Board, the ability of residents to have say and some control over the Board and more .  Some of us who spent dozens, possibly scores of hours on this to make our community better are infuriated. This is absolutely not the kind of government that we want. This is a government that puts forth a pretense of caring about what think but then tries to take advantage of any opportunity to dupe that process.

     The way the Economic Development Corporation is being set up,  it has literally no oversight mechanisms. Public monies can be spent (given) to favorite developers without any requirement to bid competitively. And without any regard even to whether residents approve of project or not .   On the financial front,  if theydecide to build  a brick outhouse --- and the residents don't know whether that should cost $20,000 or $100,000 --- the developer can pad the figures any way he wants.  He can say a $20,000 outhouse cost $40,000 - and who would be able to argue .  When they have no oversight and no competition, and their own monies are not even at stake at times, the likelihood of corruption is great.  The residents are not served at all with this kind of behavior. And with no strong checks and balances in the ordinance.

       Those excess monies,  obtained by padding the numbers, invariably end up back in  campaign coffers. The coffers of the very people that decide who gets to be on the Board or who gets selected to develop. All residents will see is a nice project all complete, unless they have tools for oversight clearly written in .  It doesn't matter how nice the project looks, if in the end you paid for it yourself.  If they asked you did you want to pay for and build a building that somebody else was going to get the income from and the use of,  what would your answer be? That is  a huge part of the equation here.

      All these concerns were brought up at the various meetings and not a single measure for oversight was added to the documents.  They went right back to square one.

   COVID 19 sets everything back :  March 2020. By mid-March the Township was hit with coronavirus and all operations came to a halt. Or so we thought. Apparently the Township decided to take that opportunity to cancel committee meetings where residents have the greatest opportunity to speak, instead of holding them via Zoom like they are holding the other meetings , like the  full board meetings. 
They had no reason to stop- but it made a good excuse 

   Roundtable # 2  :  Feb 22 Saturday  9am.  A second roundtable is held . The  roundtable is a robust format that allows for conversation to be NOT so tightly controlled - and there can be real communication .  A great number of issues came to the fore. One resident had been asked at the last meeting to modify the Bylaws to reflect some of the changes that had been discussed. She did that. No timetable was set for the next meeting but it was disappointing that only one person was working on changes from the first meeting - rather than the group crafting them together.  

   Lost opportunities for Public Comment Feb 5 They did NOT publish the Economic Development Corp as an agenda item on the Feb 5th Committee meeting agenda, so that more could weigh in

   Public Meeting #2  Jan 2020    On Jan 11th at 9 AM, the second special meeting on this topic was held. It was formatted as a  roundtable ( rather than the extremely unproductive question and answer session that preceded it --- where all the questions had to be written in advance and were "chosen" by the Commissioners answering it.)  January 11 was the first properly productive meeting I have seen in the  now 14  years I have been working on these issues full-time. In this meeting, residents were openly allowed to discuss issues and to hear the voices of fellow residents who agreed or disagreed with them.  Comments were not always answered   "countered" by a Commissioner with the "Township's position"  ( though there was initially some effort  at controlling it in that manner ).   It became very quickly clear where some of the major concerns were .   I will soon be sharing a summary of what was brought up at that meeting you will find it chronologically (Jan 11th ) at the bottom of this page.

    Questions and Answers not posted as promised.  We were promised in September 2019 our questions would be posted - as well as the answers -  they were not ..... not  until  mid December - and subsequent ones were not added as they arrived.  In addition many were answered with a non-answer (ie  we will follow the By Laws ..... and of course they By-Laws are changeable at the drop of a hat)  They are posted here :

    Email share out list not provided.  We asked for an email information list  We were refused.
We wnat not only to communicate with one another - but to have information on this topic mailed out directly to us as it comes up. Not a shred of cooperation.

     Commissioner Spiegelman blocks some from seeing his postings . The Commissioner continues to put out information about this and other issues while blocking some from seeing his postings or receiving his emails - contrary to Federal Law - and certainly not in the interests of transparency.
     Commissioners Spiegelman and Vahey promised  questions would be taking randomly - Commissioner Vahey is seen, on video, moving those he apparently doesn't like to the bottom of the pile
        Commissioners Spiegelman and Vahey were asked  to start a mailing list for information on this matter   You can ask again..... ; ;

   Original Presentation & details of the issue :            
One  overtly stated goal is to distance the government from the reaction of the public - and another is to avoid protections like bidding  regulations, etc..   The entity will be "separate"  so no funds will return to you   nor is  your input needed for the use of your funds.   This represents  a complete abuse of power.... that they claim is legal  .....but as with all bad legislation, if you sit quietly while they install it, your rights will simply be removed, just as your speaking rights recently were. 

           You have only to read about all the other "economic development " authorities  that went awry, to understand how bad this can be. Remember, that before the indictments and investigations on all of them,  there were  years of people thinking it was working just fine ---- just look at our shiny new businesses - aren't they wonderful? Yes, at least they were..... until someone exposed what was really  happening behind the scenes.    It doesn't all start the day of the indictment.  And some of the bad characters never get indicted because no one is willing to stick their neck out to stop it.

      One  entire Board of Suupervisors was indicted... because they knew of the corruption and allowed it. The Inquirer just did a giant layout on the Investigation in New Jersey's  authority. It was eye-opening and distressing.  And article in Oct 28th inquirer involved a  redevelopment authority  who had sold properties to an entity without doing due diligence. There is, generally , no one minding the farm while the dipping into taxpayer assets is going on. 
       Most distressing in Abington is that one organization can then use what should be  OUR profits  to spawn another....and another ... and another. 
Or engage in any other business it wants to, as long as the Board deems it "in our interests".  You know, like tearing down the historic YMCA was in our interests - or building a crazy busy Wawa in the middle of one of the busiest intersections was in "our" interest.   This will not only set development off and running at record speeds, it will be the Township supervising itself, allowing itself it's own zoning and deciding FOR us what is good for us . 

        John Spiegelman says we'll all have a seat at the table . Utter poppycock.  There is no one that has a seat at the table now unless they agree with him.   He has regularly violated all speaking rules, frequently to shut others up, then when we protested he voted to change the rules so he had none.  We don't believe that is even legal - but with a battle to fight every 3rd minute, that will have to go into a waiting list.

        Now what could go wrong in a Township that  is not yet finished with the last Dist Attorney Investigation,  Grand Jury Report, Whistleblower Lawsuit, etc  that is becoming infamous for the quashing of resident voices ?

Perhaps more than you might even imagine. 



   HERE ARE THE   questions that I submitted  plus some posed by others 

   SEND YOUR QUESTIONS   to:  copy to  and to
    They are supposed to be (anonymously) on-line with answers
                    But a full month after the informational meeting - no such  postings are available. So it will
                    be just the same as the last minute shenanigans  

   SUMMARY OF THE ISSUE  Here is a page with a concise summary of this issue

   The first presentation from which the above summary derived  

   The actual (ORIGINAL) Ordinance ( Ordinance 2169)  itself is listed here   

THE Township page that should have the latest links, meeting dates, etc.

    The By-Laws published 10-9-19 ( 2 days later was listed as  the cut off for questions - cute , huh? )

    The Questions and Answers are here:

     just a few of the many corrupt practices  associated with EDCorps
                     Abington still has an outstanding whistleblower suit & Grand Jury report ( withheld by tAG of PA Shapiro)
                     Does it seem wise to wave such temptation before those who
are not yet put to rest the last corruptions.........
                      (for which taxpayers are paying dearly)

    Scroll below  to see  WHAT YOU CAN DO  /// POINT BY POINT /// CHRONOLOGY 
                      you'll find the most recent action at the very end of the page

     Scroll to the Orange "Newsloop" near the top. Sign up for the Newsloop and  get periodic updates on this and other important local issues

           Email your Commissioners   here  or :

1)  Tell them NO  you DON'T want your Township becoming a DEVELOPER, using your personnel, resources, monies and grants  while they simultaneously have the powers of  eminent domain, and the power to rezone and have a dismal history of  overseeing  the developers in our Township...  you may recall the Colonade, the Baederwood, Manor Woods, the $600 per sf clubhouse and  and some of the many other debacles. 

2)  Tell them to publish each advertisement that they paid to put in a publication on the page for this issue -   It is hoped they have CANCELED  the initial advertisement that was approved by the Board before they  even knew what was to be in it. This was a manoever ( illegal I would think)  that was meant to "fast track"   it so it passed before you knew what was happening. It might have passed in October if dedicated residents had not brought these serious defects to light

3)  Tell them NO you don't want people outside your Township deciding what your Township should look like based on how wealthy it might make them.  (Spiegelman said on 10-16-19 that  only locals would be on the Board - but that was in contradiction to the ByLaws presented at that time) You don't want your properties taken. You want the code enforcement department, that has not been doing their jobs, to do them - or to be " reassigned" to clerical work.   If a property is out of code - cite it and it will get into compliance quickly. In many cases, a fine of $1000 per day can be imposed.   Don't charge residents to  develop it.  Instead gather residents in planning how their rules can be better enforced.

4)  Tell them you want your Township to start putting systems in place that increase your own ability to have a say in our local  development . Where is the group of residents meeting to discuss what would be right for Old York and Susquehanna?  We don't want this done behind closed doors or with a private hand-picked group.  We want an open, inclusive process of ONLY  ABINGTON RESIDENTS - the voters -  deciding how Abington should look.  They can invite the businesses they choose for input and ideas.  Butthe businesses should not be determining our town for us - they do not vote. Their interests are more closely associated with bottom line  rather than quality of life.  High density means more profits for them but takes from the qualities that residents seek. 
     After plans are created by residents,  comptetitive bids can be sought. Start with a webpage for each area of concern where residents come up with solutions. Include a well advertised webpage where interactive comments about the comprehensive plan can be entered -- and then interactive comments for individual project areas like Old york and Susquehanna.  And a page where priorities for Budget spending can be posted.   Show the simple math that will put to rest the "myth of the expanded tax base"  where only tax revenue is counted ....never the road/street improvements, sewer expansions, additional police & expanded services are calculated .

5)   Sign up  here to receive our periodic Newsloop updates on this issue and issues that matter to us all  

    POINT BY POINT           Seriously??????   

What could possibly be wrong with your legislators setting up their own little separate ( but not really separate) corporation that  they can guide and direct, that will be run by people that they appoint, where they can funnel grants and monies ( needed for many things that they have already been ignoring). Seriously?

They have asked to use our staff/personnel for $1 a year. Do you approve? Seriously?  

They want to appoint your Township Manager Executive Director --- doesn't he already have a full-time job? Seriously? 

One Commissioner who voted and also promoted the absurd $345 fee  has a sister-in-law who is a partner at  Obermayer.  We are told if it was his brother, that would be illegal, but a sister-in-law bringing funds to thesame household apparently is not. Seriously? 

It is being set up as a "completely separate entity"  that is not bound by the laws and rules that your  legislators and Township staff would be bound by - like fair bidding procedures, or a requirement for oversight of their budget. They can skip all that nonsense?  Seriously? 

Any profits they make won't go back to your budget..... they can be used to begin other projects with other developers ... you know, as long as they meet the "mission". Seriously?  

The very people setting this up are the ones that would approve text and map amendments that this entity proposed. Seriously? 

They can use your money to help anyone this way -- but tell you it isn't them -- it is the "separate"entity ....Seriously?  

This truely falls under the "How dumb do you think we are" umbrella ----  Are you sitting quietly while this happens?..... Seriously?

       Our money  redirected : Yup - the Commissioners ( or maybe even just the manager )  can direct your tax monies to the Corporation  (ie: as loans - have we become a bank? ), or help them get grants ( again your tax dollars ) or use your resources, ( they would like our personnel to be available to them for $1 per year as they get up and running ---- and your Manager to be their executive Director - because, I guess, he wasn't busy with anything else anyway. Oh my.  (Not hard to make a profit when you have so many advantages, is it? If I get a 20,000 grant and I make a $15,000 profit ....OK you get the idea )

What is wrong  with this picture besides EVERYTHING?

      Outsiders, developers and any Tom, Dick or Harry they choose.  They can appoint people from OUTSIDE or Township to be on the board -  or developers  or bankers or lawyers ...... . They can operate quite independently  --- and they are bragging about the fact that they can DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THE REACTION OF THE PUBLIC.  So our manager and others who  consult with them on what project they are doing, will not have to worry about the concerns of the public whose lives they are affecting.  Our voices won't matter - separate entity remember. 

    Residents wishes vs  money .  Text and Map amendments like the Wawa and the Abington Terrace project have found developers pitted against the residents whose lives they are changing .  Now,  the Township can be offered openly this unbounded financial incentive to rule in favor of the corporation. You know... the corporation carrying out their mission .

    In their first intended project, they have already started  the denial of resident voices : at a recent meeting, a neighbor just 2 doors away for Old York and Susquehanna  which is destined to be this Corporation's first project, expressed anger at having been promised a place at the table in the planning of this "Town Center" that affects his property with water  run-off.  But he had not been invited to join in any of the planning (and including in this new wrinkle).  So the residents are already being ignored....  while Manager Manfredi mentioned at the 7-11-19 meeting that a million or more of the 2.8 million  in grants already obtained for that project might go to help a developer...... Can you see how the "profits" will come to those developing? Whose money it really is.   How the resident voices will be ignored as they traditionally have been, but now by people who will profit or can direct and influence the profits. 

 This is a giant leap in the wrong direction for a Board that just was subject to a Grand Jury investigation and verdict.

Other projects are already in mind:  Not ones that residents  decided were most important . There is no  process  set up for residents to help decide what needs are the most important-- while developers find no problem getting private audiences and special services. Residents  are locked out of that part of the process already.  The Noble Station, for instance,  is an area where grant money ( your tax dollars) were already used to create a "vision" of shops around the  train station with apartments on top - and a train platform elevated - at huge expense- to bring the clients to the newly created area . But some residents with flooding needs were ignored while all that  was put on the front burner. There is nothing about that area that should take priority over infrastructure projects that protect homes in existence.   Our Township has been far to willing to give our safety and security away for partnerships with millionaires.  A company from Maryland  came on site to do the work at Noble  - imagine what that cost as they stayed in hotels and commuted so many hours. We have LOTS of design companies in the Phila area - even in Abington.....this was our grant money diverted to friends in other places. At one point we saw a picture with roadside parking up and down the Fairway. Nothing that any Abington resident I talked to was in favor of.  The Patane property in Roslyn has long been in the "development "eye" of the Township - an arts and music center planned there at one time - to the chagrin of the many homes in "hearing distance" of it. The vision of those wanting more and more and more money - that goes into pockets often of wealthy people outside our Township  is not necessarily the vision of the rest of us.  And the rest of us are tired of not having a seat at the table - and the tactics that are being used to do this. 

  Unfair advantage against property owners.  They can put pressure on properties to leave.  Meanwhile, please know that they have been in another room, under the guise of the Vacant Property Board, levying stiff penalties on certain properties ( some pay while some have been granted relief and some special friends' properties didn't even make the list.)   And the Township personnel who are supposed to cite blighted properties - totally delinquent they actually had a hand in creating the blight. Now the Township has found a way to profit from that negligence on their own part.  Negligence that has already cost residents dearly. ( Some had to sell, for instance, while a fully blighted property next to them  goes ignored by the Township - they lost thousands - who would move in next to that? ) And  they Township also can now make it quite uncomfortable for the properties that they would like to buy..... with whatever citations or fees they want - while other properties are ignored. In addition, the quasi governmental organization doesn't have to follow the rules that have been set up to protect  against abuse of public officials using  monies, like following government bidding requirements, for instance.

   The actual  goal of the entity is to create a profit (for the Township- but done as a profit that continues the "mission and the vision of the Township ) ...... i.e. the very legislators and folks whom you trust to decide things in your best interest, not according to how much money there might be for them to direct here or there - might benefit from each project undertaken by this entity and the entities that spring from its good fortune.  As you well imagine - the benefits would be directed to folks that the "controllers'  admire - you know, like ones who support their re-election.  In whose interest will they decide when your interest is compared to monies that they can earn or use or have spread around? Every single decision, from who they put on the board  right down to how they zone the property and who benefits from the profits that are returned to them will be a giant conflict of interest. Is there anyone who also doubts that a generous portion of the spoils will end up in campaign coffers?


 The way it is set up makes corruption too easy.  And in many placesthere have been problems with such Boards.    A grand jury has indicted all of Warren County’s top government officials on charges of misfeasance as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of embezzlement and money laundering inside the local economic development authority,…...

Proactive ?  Commissioner Spiegelman in the September Vacant property meeting said this is a way to be proactive and not have to rely on developers who bring us bad ideas like the Wawa.  Yes Commissioner - the residents all told you it was a bad idea. But the same people who can now distance themselves from the residents are the very ones who voted the Wawa in, when they had no need to do that at all.  NOW they admit it was a bad idea. So why would we want them to have this ability to operate without our input and reshape our communities in the vision of a handful of developers and special interests that they decide to put in charge with no obligation to be bound by governmental limitations.  It doesn't get much more corrupt, does it?

     Just to make the point of whom they are serving :  The manager recently said he was trying to find $ for a study to fix a long, long, long time flooding problems that have  been ignored ----- but while he couldn't find $ to serve the residents who are being afflicted, he had no trouble finding $20,000 ( and more )  immediately for this.  The actual loan amount to get them started is likely  to be much higher - that is JUST the cost of setting up the incorporation ( at $345 per hour). Parks with dying unattended trees .  Houses flooded. Infrastructure needs of every kind.....  They didn't pave my road, full of holes, til I fell in one and had injuries.......  Now funds for those thisngs will be even harder to come by.

   WHO IS WORKING FOR WHOM?   The less "chit chat" about this the better according to those who don't want you to know.  Take into account  they allowed it to be put on the Consent Agenda " at the next meeting  where there would be ZERO discussion -- and then they voted for it to be advertized for a Hearing - before they had even read it (not yet written, remember?)
    Our Manager who put it on the consent agenda is not elected and cannot hold a meeting with a quorum to decide what hings should and shouldn't have any further discussion  - so the Consent Agenda should be abolished!  It serves no purpose but to cut residents further out of their government.
    The Commissioners also know  that once the hearing is advertised, the residents only option is to have a few minutes at a meeting where they are just learning about it and trying to understand it. At the  end of the Hearing  only 8 Commissioners saying  "aye"  will make it a done deal.  No issue that is controversial with the residents ever should be placed in a hearing BEFORE it is clear that residents WANT it to have a hearing. That includes not just this - but text and map amendments and other things, too. 

 It is likely that very few will even understand what this is all about before it is a done deal. And that is just the way they like it.

  Please attend any meeting you can and use the open speaking time to speak up . Ask your Commissioner to allow you to speak at hte beginning of the meeting so you don't have to sit there waiting .  I will try to keep upcoming meetings posted at the top of the page .   I cannot think of a worse idea that is more against the interests of the residents of this Township. But if you are silent - you will get what silence earns you

Disagree???  If you have some thoughts about why you think this is a good idea - please share 

   We welcome your comments  and if you choose we can  share either anonymously or with your name attached with your  fellow Abington residents.  Or just use them to inform ourselves.    Send  any updated information, comments or questions  to: 


     9-4-19  The Concept was first proposed at the 9-4-19 Public Affairs Committee meeting, in a presentation by the $345 hr attorney & his ( also $345 hr? ) cohort  Obermayer, where it received full Committee  support-- even though the ordinance was not fully written
.  The PRESENTATION  is found 1 hour  and 25 minutes in
at his link   Your commissioners using your funds & resources,  had already engaged the attorneys without any budget approval for same, and while other projects languish, waiting to be funded.  The others unfortunately, will not  make profits - so you can see the inherent conflict of interest already.  Despite the use of Township personnel and resources and the funneling of taxpayer  & grant funds through it to make the  profits, the profits will NOT go back into your budget. They can be directed however their "not quite separate" separate entity wants them to be.   What's wrong with THAT picture?  Everything.  ( a more complete summary can be found here )  Despite the fact that the Ordinance had not even been fully written  and therefore they could not know whether the conditions would be in the interest of their constituents.  This attempt to ram it through  was certainly because they knew  that the ordinance  would be reviled by their constituents.  They hoped it would be a done deal before 90% of residents even learned about it.

       9-12-19     A HEARING IS ADVERTIZED  The Board of Commissioners votes to advertise a hearing on an Ordinance not even fully written.  Residents struggle to get  the topic off the  "consent agenda" where it gets a rubber stamp with no discussion & and try to get further information.  Commissioner Luker reluctantly takes it off the consent agenda but then just tries to pass it quickly - completely defying what residents requested.   Reason to step down  if the President of our Board is working AGAINST the interests of the residents who are just trying to get more information.   Residents protest.   They DO vote to advertise the unfinished ordinance for a hearing --- they should all be ashamed of that  except Gillespie and Zappone who voted no.   Peggy Myers spoke up to ask that an 'informational" meeting was set - that was agreed to.... but at  an unknown date.   Clearly, those who vote to advertize for a hearing could not know that it was favorable to their constiuents' interests . The most important parts were not only not done - but there was an attempt to convince the citizens in a left-handed way that they had to advertise it for a hearing in order to get the rest of it written.  Absolute poppycock. It was nothing more than an attempt to ram it through before we could wake up the community to alert them to what was happening. 

\      10-2-19   LIMITED OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK  Residents speak up at the  Public Affairs segment about about their vote (on 9-12-19)  to advertise an ordinance they had never read - one not yet fully written .  It was asked publicly if Commissioner Winegrad was related to a partner at Obermayer.  Mr Manfredi said that he himself put the issue on the consent agenda. It was noted Spiegelman's emailed newsletter are not telling the truth about the details of the EDCorp.  - where the money comes from, what the conflicts are .  ^The Township decided Baederwood  246 units ,  Wawa and other things we told you not .  It was metntioned that there was corruption in many edcorps  -  In Virginia an entire Board of Supervisors was indicted for corruption within their economiuc development authority --- bothe Phila and Pittsburgh have fought such corruption and there are amny other examples . 

     10-9-19   VERY  PROBLEMATIC By-Laws   The heretofore unwritten By-Laws are now on the site -and residents are given just 2 days , til the 11th, to  submit questions for the October 16th meeting . The elements of the ByLaws are  outrageously problematic. Please see my list of questions for the 10-16-19 meeting that touches on many of the problems.  Directors can be from anywhere in PA.  They don't have to have any love or affiliation with Abington nor do they have any responsibility to the residents of Abington. In fact one of the stated goals in the presentation was to distance the government from the reaction of the public. And another stated goal was to avoid the tiresome protections that residents have under government regulations, such as bidding requirements.  The By-laws themselves can be changed at any time. No regulations whatsoever have been put in place for taking property. The Township is listed as the sole member-however that can change any time the Township decides to change it and add other members. Liability coverage that would be paid for by taxpayers can even be offered to someone who does not warrant it, by virtue of others simply not responding for 30 days.  Liability, funding, public private partnerships, and many other features are left  changeable, wide open,  and easy inlets  for corrupt practices. Nearly every important feature is completely changeable or undetermined.   The By-Laws   or   

      10-10-19  A REFUSAL TO PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION  Board of Commissioners  meeting . They refused to put this topic on the agenda which would have allowed more speaking time. Residents had to use their precious minutes of open comment  because they did not.    Commissioner Kline who has been asked again and again at recent meetings to step down .... because of the Colonade, including an expensive  Grand Jury &  investigation and numerous lawsuits regarding his actions,  because of  ridiculing residents, presenting false information, withholding information from his own residents, and most recently withholding information and defaming another Commissioner. He was recently stripped of his leadership as Finance chair in response to that last barrage of requests. Yet again at this meeting he takes an opportunity to completely twist the words of one resident - presenting falsely what was said  in an effort to discredit the resident.   This should be unacceptable to all residents. And all Commissioners .  One resident tacklethe problem of Commissioner Winegrad voting on a matter that benefitted the law firm where his sister-in - law is a partner. Another resident took on the fully broken PROCESS - that included advertizing a hearing for an ordinance that wasn;'t written, posting the rest of the ordinance just 2 days before a deadline to submit questions about it -- and the submission forms do not work.  Refusing to guarantee that all questions asked witll be answered . Refusing to use all means to notify residnts .  

     10-16-19  -INFORMATIONAL MEETING   was held  .
     Please see my list of questions for the 10-16-19 meeting that touches on many of the problems.   Thiswas  to be
 an  information session  - theoretically with  Q & A .  They created a form where you were supposed to submit your questions  that did not work.  And tthey told people on Dec 9th  that  only questions submitted in advance by the 11th will be considered.   The information session was to  precede the hearing - but did not precede the vote to advertise for one! Disgrace.
     The Commissioners had already decided this was a "go" long before they got ANY input from the residents they are supposed to serve or even knew that it was in the residents' interests. . They put the cart before the horse. Your input clearly does not matter. And it is up to you to change that -- or to change the people that  are doing that.  This is one of the most problematic ventures Abington has ever undertaken . Oh yes, some nice things will get built - but you will pay dearly - not just with money but with a further erosion of your power and your rights. And a great deal of your tax money, your township resources,  Township personnel hours, state and federal grant monies from your pockets ... all will  go into the pockets of people you did  not choose, may not like and have no idea what their vision is . They will likely be  building in densities and heights and with shared parking that you oppose ......  because we have seen Commissioners approive of those .   And the  profits that should be returned to you  (can you have a profit when something is "grant funded" ? )   will be spent creating "mini-me corporations,  whose intent is to multiply tese actions.    Their newfound wealth (your tax dollars) will undoubtedly "buy",  via campaign contributions,  the legislation that will counter your own choices/voices. Please wake up and understand that this measure is not in your interest. If the Township wants something built, they can encourage developers to build it without taking your voice out of the mix, without removing the protective regulations  and without getting you to pay to create a series of new developers that will fast-track the overdevelopment that is already problematic. 

    At the informational meeting there was nothing but contradictions.  We understand the Township provides transcripts to Viebit Video  for the Closed Captioning - so we are waiting for them to provide  that transcript that we have requested .  If that doesn't come, we will summarize the meeting for you . 

  1. The answer to your first question is no, because there is nothing to put on Thursday's agenda. The ordinance is being advertised and will continue to be advertised. This doesn't mean that the public hearing on the ordinance HAS to be held during the Board's November meeting, only that it CAN. If the Board deems it necessary for it to be moved to the December meeting, then we'll make that move.
  2. We can't guarantee answers by the time of the public information session to questions submitted after 10/11 (the reference to 10/11 on the webpage is a typo that is being corrected), but that doesn't mean that we won't try. It is my desire to provide answers to as many questions as possible by the time of the information session, and it is my intention that EVERY question---even those asked after the information session---be answered. And I will be communicating all of this to my constituents, as I communicate everything.
  3. The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the proposed corporation are being completed will be posted to the website very soon. 

12-16-19  The Questions and ansers were finally posted - just as everyone heads into the holidays . Many are not answered. Many are answere with "non-answers"  like we will follorw the By -Laws


Earlier in 2023 Money put in Budget for feasibility study and Delta Group chosen

4-3-23  In April there was a presentation from Delta Group doing a feasibility study --- Clearly job one is to funnel to all of the  development projects as much of YOUR $$ as is possible - grants from every source including foundation - loans  or funds from township , Use of Townshop personnel

we expected that study to come back our questions to be answered  first --- but Manfredi acted like the feasiubility study had nothing to do with our concerns over adopting this . We expected to see examples that came with financials - we rarely get what we expect .....

  5-11-23 The Delta Group at the Working Session  - as has become standard in Abington under Richard Manafredi- - no documents were included in the agenda for this meeting  - despite that they know we can't prepare for a meeting without the documents .   The Delta Group is being asked to start the feasibility study for Economic Development

7-13-23  We did not hear next from Delta group. As usual - the documents were withheld and not posted properly by Friday at the end of the day -- so you know that SOMETHING is going to be on the agenda



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Abington Township, with John Spiegelman in charge, revamped the entire Township website at the end of 2015 and broke all the links to the information we had archived on this site for you.   In 2017, Manager Richard Manfredi arrived and assigned someone not qualified to redo the entire website again. They not only broke all archived links we had reinstated, but made everything as impossible to find as they could. Nearly all of our comments and recommedations to fix the Township website have been wholly ignored.

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