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Ridley Park's Code Enforcer - Living up to people's opinions

A few months back, I posted a blog on Anthony Tartaglia, the Code Enforcer for Ridley Park Borough, "Code Enforcement - "Arrogant, Ignorant, impossible to work with"-- ...".  I hope people will read what I posted and compare it to tonight's council meeting (January 20, 2015 meeting).  Another resident is experiencing the ignorant, offensive, and dirty tactics of this Code Enforcer that Bob Berger and the majority of Council approved.   They have ignored many contractors and residents pleas to remove this inept Company.

At the January Council tonight a new resident on Partridge Avenue highlighted everything that I've heard from residents, contractors, and people doing business with the borough through Code Enforcement.  It is a disgrace that this resident is talking to a lawyer to go after the illegal tactics of this contractor of Ridley Park Borough.  My guess is, this is another political favor gone sour for the current majority of council.   Their hires a dropping like flies, - WHY - due to not being able to perform daily work functions.

The Borough is currently looking for another Borough Manager.  Supposedly, seven applicants will be interviewed.  Unless at the last minute a political appointee that is related to one the Councilor's wives or something along those lines is interjected into the process.   This is exactly what what happened with the hiring of our last Borough Manager...I'll bet history could repeat itself, somehow with this group.

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Comment by Ken McCrae on October 13, 2015 at 1:09pm

The other day I received  a flyer with the Republican's version of the "best" team for the borough this election year. I t made me think back to a council meeting when I spoke to a councilor shortly after a question why home sellers are being held to a higher standard for home repairs when trying to sell their home. His response was that the home sellers are the only one's in the borough they can "hold a gun to their heads". Meaning, the borough can keep you from selling your home until you kiss their ass and make what they consider to be necessary repairs. He said it was the fault of the previous code enforcers if they weren't enforcing the laws. Well the previous code enforcers answered to council. Who's not doing their job. Need a change and Nov. 3rd is the chance to do it. Get out and vote.


Comment by tim devabey on October 9, 2015 at 9:48am

@hotdog,  Yeah, agreed.  Practice what you preach; before you pass Codes, see that your own sidewalks pass Code.

Comment by hotdog on October 8, 2015 at 9:32pm
I'm talking in front of Bergers home, Glens home, Broadhursts home and the rest of councils homes. They as Borough Officials should be held to the highest standards of the code. Their properties should be perfectly code compliant.
Comment by tim devabey on October 8, 2015 at 9:09pm

@Hotdog,  I was typing and missed your comment...

Here is the deal.  If every sidewalk in the Borough is held to the one-half inch specification, and the no ramping requirement for repairs, and the no cracked blocks, and the no slope greater than one in twelve, and the "rough surface texture is a trip hazard" opinion, and the no patching with asphalt (as was done along the railroad sidewalks on Ridley Avenue, Ridley Park Homeowners are going to be replacing a lot of otherwise serviceable concrete at their own expense.  Is this really cost effective?  We all want safe walkways; walk-ability is one of the nicest features of our Town.  But really, who can't lift their foot a half inch off the ground?  How then does one step on the brake pedal while driving if an inch is too high to reach?

Let's consider another economic question.  Remember not too long ago at a Council meeting Paul Mattus was handed a "check" for (or was it a promise to pay) $530,000 to be spent on safe routes to school.  The plan is for several hundred feet of new sidewalk across the floodplain upstream of the Lake.  I say, before the Borough creates more unnecessary sidewalks, spread the money around and fix the existing "non compliant" sidewalks that we all use.  Remember, the sidewalks are on PUBLIC PROPERTY in the BOROUGH RIGHT OF WAY.  This Council adopted changes to the older sidewalk ordinance.  Let Council figure out how to make us compliant without penalizing the homeowners!  And by the way, as I mentioned elsewhere, CE Anthony T. stated at a Borough meeting that all the existing handicap ramps which had been installed by the Borough (not by individual homeowners) are all NOT IN COMPLIANCE with the specifications he is enforcing on ME.  Aren't I special.

Comment by Nina on October 8, 2015 at 8:53pm
Hot dog, At the public meeting with Tartaglia, the question of borough owned sidewalks came up. Very bad cracks etc in front of borough hall, in front of Barnstormers. Also some around the lake. Code enforcer's answer was the borough planned to put those repairs in the 2016 budget. So until then people can trip with no help
I think someone asked why homeowners can't have the same privilege of taking a year to make their repairs .
No answer
Comment by tim devabey on October 8, 2015 at 8:46pm

@Parkergirl,  You are correct about the fence issue.  If you notice, in the past, fences and structures such as steps, decks, porches, retaining walls, etc are not allowed to extend into the public right of way (which is usually a few feet beyond the sidewalk toward the house).  Side fences usually (or always?) are not to extend beyond the front of the building foundation.  One other item which was explained to me by a former Code Enforcer (not the current one) regarding the sewer line clean-out which many homes have between the house and the street:  the clean-out MUST BE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE BOROUGH RIGHT OF WAY LINE.  That means the homeowner's clean-out must be on the front yard, NOT IN THE CURB PLOT WHICH IS PUBLIC PROPERTY.  I see it being newly done around town--just look for a white plastic cap sticking up in the curb plot.  Is someone getting a pass on enforcement of this (prior?) regulation?

Please, post a blog on the subject of your second topic.  I was reviewing the trees in Rec Park along Park Street a month ago with the Urban Forestry Coordinator for SE PA.  She bent done to pick up a small empty plastic envelope and said this is a HEROIN PACK. She visits many communities in the region so I have no doubt she knows what she is talking about.  But I am embarrassed that now we have evidence of illegal hard narcotics on my street in a public park.  Then three weeks ago a Borough employee said they have found SYRINGES and CONDOMS around the port-o-potty in Recreation Park.  My next door neighbor is a Borough Councilor.  I hope this message is reaching the hallowed halls of RP Borough:  IF YOU CAN'T REMOVE THE PORTOPOT, at least, for safety sake KEEP IT LOCKED UP AFTER DUSK EVERY NIGHT!  

@Linda, Reread my comment below. Anthony was at the meeting last Tuesday on my front yard.  Nothing private about a public sidewalk.  Thanks for commenting. 

Comment by hotdog on October 8, 2015 at 8:33pm
Has anyone checked the Borough Council members sidewalks for compliance? If the Code Enforcer is holding the Residents to the letter of the code then wouldn't it go without saying that all of the Council members properties should maintain these high standards as well?
Comment by Linda Shockley on October 8, 2015 at 8:02pm

@Tim, take a picture of it & send it to Tartaglia with a request for an explanation.  Or bring it to council, unless you think that would be an unfair violation of privacy.

Comment by Parkergirl on October 8, 2015 at 5:19pm

@Tim. Such a double standard going on in the boro. I remember mths ago someone posted here or it was mentioned at a council mtg...enclosed front lawns. I'm talking about a house in the boro that has a newly installed fence inclosing their front yard and across the driveway. As I understood it, borough code states, no enclosed front lawns. Even fences running along the side of properties can't exceed past the front of the house. Don't get me wrong, the house is beautiful and very well maintained. But a fence is a fence. Is borough doing anything about it?

In addition to that, I see the porta potty is still up at ABC field. Word is there are needles strewn all around it. It's mid October, it should have been removed.

Comment by tim devabey on October 7, 2015 at 8:33am

This is an update on my Appeal to County Court for relief from Code Enforcer's Citation for "sidewalk out of spec."  My Appeal rescheduled to yesterday, Oct 6, has at the request of Borough Solicitor been rescheduled (again) to December.  We had a meeting yesterday afternoon with Code Enforcer, Borough Manager, Borough Solicitor, Urban Forestry Coordinator Julianne, and myself.  The purpose of the meeting is to come up with a "compromise" between protecting a valuable street tree resource and meeting the specifications of the newly adopted Borough sidewalk code specifications which does not include provision for tree root protection as spelled out in the Borough Shade Tree Ordinance.  I will be receiving the proposed "compromise agreement" from the Borough Solicitor sometime before the scheduled December Appeal Hearing.  

The standard being applied in my case is 1/2 inch misalignment of sidewalk blocks. In addition to the prior designation that sidewalks must be "wheelchair accessible" (the handicap ramps at most every corner in the Borough are now, according to Code Enforcer, non compliant with the new sidewalk code) it was stated yesterday by Code Enforcer that "my" sidewalk must also be accessible to the blind (blind as in unable to see anything).  Really.

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