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Have been personally hearing from contractors and receiving phone calls about Anthony Tartaglia Commonwealth Code Enforcement who handles the Ridley Park Borough Code Enforcement.
The emphatic and consistent words used to describe the borough's newly hired Code Enforcement subcontractor are, " arrogant, ignorant, impossible to work with, never shows up for scheduled times to inspect. Doesn't return phone calls, then shows up with an attitude when a follow up phone call is made by the contractors." This isn't the first time we've heard of outlandish and overly aggressive tactics by Mr. Tartaglia's company.
A loyal and dedicated resident who lived up on Tasker Street was in the process of selling his home to downsize and had the code enforcer paint orange markings all over his sidewalk the day of the code enforcers inspection. The resident came to the Council meeting to advise of this obnoxious and degrading style of enforcement, but the current council brushed off the behavior and actions of the Code Enforcer, Tartaglia. This council continues to allow this reoccurring behavior by its employed Code company.
I guess this council agrees with Mr. Tartaglia's actions and process. It will be great when the contractors decide to NOT do work in Ridley Park. That is exactly what one contractor told me he is going to do. We both were raised and grew up in this town and were NEVER treated like this before. I guess this is just another attempt to appease another political friend within the "good ole boy network" that this council continues to appoint to positions within the borough. There is a common underlying theme that I have talked about for the last three years that is directly related. Financial problems. We are in the red financially and it is growing.
This current council CANNOT pay the bills of the borough and are doing everything and anything they can to make up for the shortfalls. Before Sue Murtha and I finished out our terms, we constantly saw shortfalls in the finances of the borough, but no one seemed to listen. Last year we did NOT pay the last quarter of the sewer obligation until after the new year. That was about 330,000 dollars. We didn't pay the MMO 90,000 dollars ( Borough's obligation to fund the Police Pension ) until March. The bill was due in September and is to be paid before Dec 31. The borough incurred a 7,000 dollar fine for not paying. The borough manager blamed the state in the last televised meeting for the non payment. The General Fund was short at the end of the year by nearly 219,000 dollars and when I questioned the finance committee, I was told we opened a new General Fund account that had a positive balance. WHY wasn't this account open to the public? The published Borough Budget showed (219,000) at year end. Why was it only shared with the public when it was questioned by Sue and I? The answer is simple. 4.5 percent increase in your taxes, fines for the meters in the borough increased, and now these increases in borough fees for code enforcement. More aggressive fines and fees by the borough against its residents and hiding and distorting the facts by the Finance Committee. The debt grows in other parts of the borough too.
This council has added an office employee on the payroll who does the work of the Borough Manager who is rarely at work during scheduled hours. Did I mention the new hire is politically tied to Nick Micarrelli's office? There have been continuous legal fees piling up to protect the borough legally from actions of it's own employees. The acting Chief has accumulated so many legal issues since coming on board, from grievances within the police department to implementing the K9 Unit: purchasing and sending an officer to schooling to train the dog, WITHOUT council even voting on the action. Now he is personally trying to play judge and jury with another officer's injury which occurred in the line of duty. All of these Executive Sessions and Special Private Meetings you are hearing about are LEGAL meetings due to our acting Chief's actions. We are paying lawyers fees at record levels, but no one is listening. What can be done?
What can be done is that we vote this group out of office and get people who actually care about the borough and not the political group that is controlling Ridley Park. I have to be honest and say I hope it all comes crashing down so that people will act and respond. I cannot afford to continue to pay school taxes and increasing borough taxes for all of this mismanagement by the current council. Who's to blame?
We all are. Myself included. I actually went against my own judgment and approved of this current acting chief to be in this position. I was promised by the acting chief that he would be a chief of police BEFORE being a political Chief of Police. I was lied to by him. He has embarrassed this town and only 3 or 4 months into his position, I asked for his resignation in an email to all of council. We made a HUGE mistake on hiring this current acting chief. The good news is that it can be changed and fixed by getting active and voting the "right people" into office. My hope is that this does not fall on deaf ears.
We now have two options: One , continue to be harassed and incur increased taxes or Two, vote these incumbents out of office and take back the control. When I said, "I hope it all comes crashing down", I realize and am reminded of a saying: Careful what you wish for, sometimes wishes come true.