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DelcoTimes Letter to the Editor: Ridley Park residents have big decision Tuesday

DelcoTimes Letter to the Editor: Ridley Park residents have big decision Tuesday

The residents of Ridley Park have a big decision to make on Nov. 3, 2015. Do they vote for more of the same or do they vote to restore fiscal accountability and responsible management to our local government.

Ridley Park Borough Council’s last two annual budgets overspent our tax revenues by $519,347, despite the fact that they increased our taxes by 4.5 percent. This resulted in a reduction of the General Fund balance from $873,008 on Jan. 1, 2013 to $353,661 on Jan. 1, 2015. The borough’s overall funds continue to spiral downward and out of control. We need fiscal responsibility.

Ridley Park Borough has spent an excessive amount of money on legal fees defending the actions of our past borough manager and former acting police chief. The three Republican candidates have been either chairperson or members of personnel and finance committees and are supposed to be overseeing these two critical departments. We need responsible choices.

Our former borough manager was given a buyout package when she was released last Oct. 31 — no information given for her termination and the position was not filled for seven months. Who monitored the finances of our borough?

Our police officers are currently operating without a chief of police. The former “acting” police chief has not been on duty since December of 2014. Despite negotiating for two years, the borough never obtained a signed contract with the former acting police chief, and this resulted in the borough being in a poor bargaining position when the acting chief retired in August of this year. The acting chief was given a retirement package that no one knows the content of, or impact to the tax payers. During this time the acting chief collected full salary and the borough was forced to cover his hours with overtime at a significant cost to the borough. Today there is still no official police chief. Ridley Park police officers put their lives at risk to protect us, and deserve to have the leadership of a police chief. We need a more responsible government.

The current council hired an overly aggressive building inspector who seems to be targeting citizens as they exit our town. Residents and contractors have attended Council meetings to complain of poor treatment by code enforcement. The Republican candidate for council explains that code enforcers are doing their job and condone this behavior. Ultimately, the residents are paying code enforcement fees and penalties to increase revenues.

Despite their overspending, the borough’s parks and lake have never looked so bad. Where has all the money gone? The residents of Ridley Park cannot afford another year of deficit spending.

Ridley Park deserves better. We can make it happen!

Mike Gale, Maripat King, and Jared Brennan, Ridley Park Borough Council candidates

Appeared in Letters to The Editor DelcoTimes, 10/20/15

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Comment by RidleyParkOnline on November 4, 2015 at 1:27pm

According to Jim's Link the unofficial "Official" DelCo Court House Votes are as follows:

Democrat A28 Maripat KING 882
Democrat A29 Mike GALE 895
Democrat A30 Jared BRENNAN 941
 
Republican B28 Holly O'MAHONEY 900
Republican B29 James P. GLENN 861
Republican B30 Paul MATTUS 833
Comment by RidleyParkOnline on November 4, 2015 at 7:57am

@Jim: You're right. The same results we learned last night. Congratulations to every candidate: D's and R's. Thank you for caring enough about Ridley Park to run for office.  The unofficial, official tally shows the votes without military or absentee voters counted.

Comment by Jim McGowan on November 4, 2015 at 1:50am

Unofficial results from machine counts only. No absentee or military ballots:

http://election.co.delaware.pa.us/eb/November_2015/37M.html

According to those results, Jared Brennan, Holly O'Mahoney, and Mike Gale have the highest vote totals. Maripat is a close fourth.   :)

Jim McGowan

Comment by tim devabey on November 2, 2015 at 7:34pm

@Parkergirl,  To paraphrase a line from 16 Tons, Saint Peter don't you call me 'cuz I can't go (to Heaven)--I owe my soul to the Company Store (that's where they bought my badge).  :)

Comment by Parkergirl on November 2, 2015 at 7:26pm

@Tim..No one can forget the billboard. I forgot to add the porta potty as well. I just needed to end the list because I could have gone on and on. I don't really understand the mailing sent out from the Sheriff. These are the people that booted her out, yet she's standing behind them. Guess what that suggests? To me it suggests that personal agendas override morals and ethics. Like selling your soul to the devil. It's rather quite disgusting.

Comment by tim devabey on November 2, 2015 at 6:56pm

@Parkergirl, ...not to mention the grotesque giant billboard in Hetzel Park.  In another context Sheriff Mary used the word "irresponsible."  WHO demonstrated responsible consideration of HP residential neighborhood when that secret deal went down?  WHO cared more for selling out than for the protection of our Public Park? WHO is taking responsibility now?  Is this the future abuse of our Park Code and Park Properties to which we must look forward?  Those who can't learn from past mistakes are doomed to relive them.

Comment by Parkergirl on November 2, 2015 at 5:16pm

Sorry..the lack of maintenance is a pet peeve of mine with this council. To the bigger point..this is just one of many symptoms of the problems going on in RP. Maintenance issues, budget problems, personnel (COP and BM) problems, code enforcement issues. The list goes on. RP does deserve better.

Comment by tim devabey on November 2, 2015 at 3:44pm

@Linda Shockley,  We are talking about what Sheriff Mary said.  "After having the opportunity to review Ridley Park's financial records, it is my opinion that the Democratic literature I received was irresponsible and misleading to the residents of Ridley Park."

Linda, That is the exact quote from Sheriff Mary Hopper.

It begs the question when and where did she ask the "Borough Council" for clarification about the Auditor's financial report?  Was it at the October Council meeting? And WHY does she blame the Democratic Party for the Auditor's Report?

Comment by Parkergirl on November 2, 2015 at 3:08pm

I just wanted to state how important it is to get out to vote tomorrow. I wanted to shared with you part of an email that was sent to me from Brian Vadino who is part of the conservancy group who makes suggestions/comments to our parks dept, specifically Jim Glenn. This is an email dated 9/30/14, a year ago! I'm not able to scan the document, but in part it describes "herbaceous and aquatic plants that have established themselves around the perimeter of the lake." Brian noticed in "some areas a specific plant is invasive and becoming well established around the lake. If not treated it can aggressively overrun open shorelines and it has a tendency to outcompete and displace native, desirable vegetation." It goes on to mention me, by name, and stating that I had called asking about the condition of the lake. That is why I was cc'd on the e mail. Brian states "there is concern regarding the vicinity of a memorial bench that was purchased for a deceased family member." He goes on to state, "in these types of areas in which line of site and aesthetics are also an important consideration, please know that it is acceptable (from an ecological/habitat protection standpoint) to either periodically maintain/cut back such vegetation to a more desirable height (Perhaps 1-2 feet high) or substitute with a different native riparian species of a lower/height growth habit." The email provides additional links of suggested plants.

I bring this up because it was a year ago! Is the lake any better maintained now than a year ago? When I questioned Glenn at a council mtg if I was able to remove the bench because of the condition of the lake, his snarky comment to me was, "No, you donated that bench". How disrespectful it was to those of us who have donated a bench to an area that HAD such fond memories. In many parts of the perimeter of the lake, the plants are 4 or 5 ft tall. I've noticed that many of us who have benches down there have stopped planting seasonal plants around the benches. A place where quiet reflection is needed and appreciated, what we have instead is an overgrown unsightly lake.  Please take a minute to vote tomorrow for CHANGE.

Comment by Linda Shockley on November 2, 2015 at 3:08pm

@Tim, the comment by WM PAT says: "According to the County Sheriff, Mary Hopper, the Boro's financial condition is rosy."  Doesn't say anything about that being just her opinion.

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