On Thurdsay  Jan  13th, 2022 at the Board Of Commissioners Meeting Steve Kline was appointed to the Zoning Hearing Board .....

Less than a month later on Feb 8th  I sat in on his Whistleblower Arbitration Hearing - and listened to a plethora of emails and testimony about his performance re: ZONING issues such as code (non) compliance and issues that led to the testimony from our former Manager acknowledging that one of the choices the Attorney General's office gave him was to have Steve charged.  Yet, here he is - back in Abington government - appointed to the Zoning Hearing Board. What's wrong with that picture.

After all that happened at the Colonade, and after  many other "incidents" and  actions,  many of us do not believe he has a right to hold ANY leadership position in the Township.

Many of Steve Kline’s bad actions are well known by a good portion of our community -  and there are very, very few in the administration that are clueless about his complete disregard for laws and codes that cost us so much……… and that hurt your fellow residents. 

      Please appreciate the full picture of what they are doing.  In December 2021 they passed a Budget where, without any proper public vetting, and with no explanation by anyone, the entire code and zoning department got put under the directorship of one, young, new, completely inexperienced employee who had zero experience or training in the very complicated field of code and zoning.  Literally none evident at all.  Here is her linked in page …. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlyhamm .   She will now be  be director of  not just
the entire  Community Development Department, as she had been last year, administering the Community Development Block Grant, "HOME" Program funds, the Summer Youth Meal Program, etc --- but now they have added  to her responsibilities  the actual oversight and leadership of one of the largest and most complicated,  most important areas of Township management... namely,  the entire code , code enforcement  and zoning department . These codes are not child's play. Professionals with training and years of on the job experience have trouble  sorting out which laws apply and how they may be coordinated with others that also apply.  Very, very complicated  building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, accessibility, energy and property maintenance codes AND the zoning ordinance are administered here, as well issuing permits  such as Use and Occupancy permits.   Oh my.

       You have to find this as mind boggling as I do.  These codes are monumentally complex , include all State and Federal Codes, like voluminous Labor and Industry guidelines and the Uniform Construction Code  and these all have to be adhered to,  in addition to local codes,  policies, and ordinances. Literally years of training would be necessary to even begin to understand what others are doing in these areas and whether those things are true to code or not.  If a 3rd party is hired, someone should have some basic experience to know if they are doing hte job properly.  LIVES are at stake when the codes are not adhered to. 

    More and more of our work is being farmed out to 3rd party  professional firms, but it would be the job of the director to know that we have picked a good firm and they are doing  what they are supposed to.  Our last Engineers didn't -  it was the person put in charge of oversight that was part of the corruption.  So  having someone who already showed problems, or having someone  who has no knowledge at all  leaves Abington residents in a less than ideal place .  We can't have unknowledgeable "yes girls or guys" anywhere in "leadership" ..... we have already paid a huge price for improperly handled zoning and code matters ...... We need and deserve strong and competent directors.  No one should be directing this who cannot oversee what unscrupulous or other inexperienced operatives might be doing.  By the way, Manfredi has a trained and licensed code person in the refuse department - who filed a lawsuit  over that move. 

    This  absolute folly of the  directorship of the code and zoning matters  was again accomplished by  withholding documents that revealed the new Director's status  until the very last moment –actually PAST the very last moment, illegally – and then also illegally refusing to allow  reasonable  public  comment  as provided by law - as that was one item in 856 pages - with 10 or 11 other items on the agenda, too. 

      Now add to all that a person, Steve Kline,  who was part of a project where dozens of codes were violated and where lives were put  in absolute danger,  people harmed,   unnecessary expenditure of millions of dollars caused ....and he seemed to me, to others and in the documents we have, not to care about anything but  being “in control”,  his own  bottom line  and that of the  millionaire or billionarie Landlord that  he was working for. 

         Kline was accused, in the previously noted Whitleblower lawsuit that was the subject of the Feb 2022 Arbitration of retaliating against those who testified against him in front of the Grand Jury. And although I have not seen any official  Arbitration result as of this writing, I have heard that it was NOT a unanimous decision for Kline.  He was also accused of bullying employees who were in charge of enforcing the codes on the project that he was performing for the wealthy Landlord - and the documents  some of which were read in the Arbitration and  others that I read myself when I first received them, appear to bear that fully out.  I believe that I myself , Commissioners and others have been victims of that bullying / intimidation.  The Commonwealth/ AG's office  told our  then Manager Michael LeFevre, according to documents filed in court   and according to testimony at the Arbitration hearing in 2022,  that Kline could be charged if LeFevre chose that option – as could our Solicitor Michael Clarke.  So please understand how serious what they did is.  The Commonwealth would not  be able to charge someone without strong evidence. It was a shame the Whistleblower case did not go to a jury trial - but that would have cost even more. 

    These things are known personally to many Commissioners, because they have heard them again and again  from residents and tenants, firefighters,  and others....  Many nonetheless voted Kline back into his VP slot even after knowing that lives had been put in grave danger.  And they put him, nonetheless,  in leadership again in 2022 by appointing him to the Zoning Hearing Board.  Even the newer Commissioners were informed of the historical issues. 

     The residents of Abington deserve better. 

Stunningly, in 2016 or 2017, then Board President Wayne Luker made a statement that he and the Board did NOT want to know the details of  problematic decisions being made by Kline and Clarke  because that would be easier for them not to know these things.....   That can only be seen as them wanting to cover their exposure - because they  already knew way too much about all of it that made their inaction a real part of the problem.  You can't "un-know" what you already know and  for  someone  in charge of public safety, I think such a  statement is beyond disgraceful.
. and may rise to even more than that.

         Perhaps they believe that they can continue pretending not to know  so they can bring him back,  in their infinite wisdom, to risk harm to Abington residents once again.  And they have set him up well if the goal were to offer him  little resistance if he were to be prone to bullying  those who should be overseeing the  Zoning Hearing Board matters ... with  Zoning Department Director and Employees that have little knowledge or experience ......….  
         I'll remind you again of the Engineering firm / individual  where manager Richard Manfredi was consolidating all of the power - putting her in charge of 3 major departments --  an absurd thing to do -- until we found out  the principles in the firm were arrested for racketeering --- charging for more hours than they put in, falsifying records, etc.   The Engineer hired was  known to have problems before the hire…..  and was hired anyway and given a top-heavy salary .  So put all of that into this picture and  please understand that Abington has an ongoing problem. They seem to be seeking people l who have little to no regard for rules and laws...where there tmay be room to benefit.  People who will go along with things that  are wrong.  The appointment of Steve Kline to a position of responsibility in this Township where he was VP of the Board in chage of operations gone seriously awry  that have already has cost the Township millions of dollars, and hurt individuals badly, putting so many through so much ----  pain, fear, aggravation,  financial hardship ......would simply be wrong.  Kline role on so many levels of this has changed  the very nature of how our staff and the residents interact - and even how the Board and the employees interact. All this nonsense he caused has  changed the trust level between employees and management ...our fearless Manager even instituted rules to help ensure information from the inside would not leak out … instituting no “gossip” rules and stoking fears that jobs might be in jeopardy .  Residents no longer can get the phone answered  or have simple questions answered.   Everything is funneled at great expense through the lawyers….. because so much wrong doing was found whenever  documents were turned over.   
      Hiring the man who was the architect of so much of this to determine what is  sound zoning .... to decide where Developers should wi the day or ordinary residents should -  to decide what that the Zoning Hearing Board should  approve  would, in my opinion, be  an absolute abomination of the process.  His endorsement of Richard Manfredi as Township manager, in my opinion, and I hope yours, if you have done any homework or been paying attention whatsoever, has been the worst move for Abington  we have ever had. He changes everything minute by minute to muddy the records and prevent  comparisons .  He has driven up  costs so dramatically,  bending over backwards for developers  ( for whom the phone IS  answered) and holding special meetings for them. While saying he was removing positions and consolidating to save money. He  instead appears to be consolidating power, using consultants and 3rd parties at great expense where regular employees, often residents themselves once worked –  again removing the ability to properly access the information or compare today's expenditures with prior years.  All of that nonsense led  him  to casually  impose  an over 30 % tax increase on you, planned  within 2 years after his arrival. And, further, he is poised to use the same disinformation and misinformation tactics  to explode the development density in this Township with devious methods like those that have been used by PREIT in 12 long and fruitless meetings over the last year, where nearly all of residents' most important questions  were left unanswered right from the first one to the last one.  

Again: It is my express opinion that Steve Kline has NO BUSINESS being in any leadership role in Abington ( or any other town) .  That no one died from his actions was, imho, a miracle. Plenty were hurt…….
How in the world would anyone put him in a leadership position - at the County or here unless they had done no research.


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STEVE KLINE : COLLECTING DATA TO UNDERSTAND THE facts AND  EFFECTs OF THE TOD'S that he has directed OUR comprehensive plan teamS to install everywhere --

 THE NUTSHELL   Steve Kline, continues to be  a  force pushing for dense development in one Montco town after another, all to the dismay of the suburban residents who chose suburban rather than urban communities on purpose.     In a presentation, he acknowledges the results of all the development he and his colleagues are creating in municipality after municipality is unknown  - he wants to use the Township wide rezoning  to "collect data", he says ........  which is something you would ideally do from other already existing projects  BEFORE  rezoning the whole Township and finding out the data says "not a good idea.
 Remember Brandolini.  That may have been his first TOD. He acknowledges it went awry- and that they did not accomplish what they sought to accomplish But .........it seems he doesn't pay much attention to the data he already has. The new Comprehensive Plan is creating visions of TOD's around every train - and possibly bus station, too.  

Here are his actual words ....  

Steven Kline :  ……..  there  is this huge misconception about what TOD developments can do to a community and I think the biggest fight out there for developers and the public officials, and even for the community that are weighing in on these potential developments, is actually understanding the facts of these types of developments. And I think that the more that occurs and the more data that we can obtain from these projects the better equipped public officials, the developers and the community are to understanding the fact of the effects of what these projects are.       

Question: What about the acceptance of transit oriented development?
Steve Kline:  -……  John (Kennedy) and I worked together on the Fairway Transit District which was in Abington, dealing with Brandolini. .......The process takes forever, I mean you saw it - it was three or four years of process and ended up not having anything from it except a lawsuit and then finally not having it. 

   ( In fact it was far more than 3 or 4 years – it has been an on-going nightmare  that  is unable to be undone – nor can we get back all that we spent or the time that hundreds and huncreds of residents had to spend to prevent even more of a disaster . The Commissioners caused it because they could have just said no.  Once the the Fairway Transit District was in place,  the lawsuits that  this transit District was supposed to be avoiding actually started  en masse and  went on forever   .  You can see him seeing here admitting that it didn’t work the way he planned it. And now he wants to take a stab at re-zoning the rest of the Township. In fact .... multiple  townships.  This  conversation makes clear he doesn’t even understand what he’s doing or what the result will be.)

To find Kline's words, fast-forward to 50 minutes in on this video