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Ridley Park Council questions family member heater contract

Council member Sue Murtha, at a recent council meeting, questioned the awarding of an emergency contract for a new heater at the library because the contract was awarded to a relative of a council member. The story is filed by Barbara Ormsby for the DelCoTimes.

Councilman Jim Glenn said a relative of his does own the company but he has no nothing to do with the business and H&H Heating was the lowest responsible bidder for the job at $8,000 and received the contract.

Murtha contended that when she started on council in 2010, Oliver Heating Co. was doing all the borough heating work. Councilman Jared Brennan said awarding the contract to H&H Heating was a conflict of interest.

Solicitor Ernie Angelos told Glenn to recuse himself from voting on the contract and when the vote was taken it passed by three to two, with Glenn abstaining. However, there was some confusion about whether it was a tie vote so Mayor Hank Eberle voted in favor of awarding the contract even though the vote was three two in favor of H&H.

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Tags: Borough-Council-heating-contract

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Comment by Linda Shockley on December 6, 2013 at 9:30am

@Sandy,

Read the post again. Jim Glenn doesn't own the business, a relative does.  Good idea about posting bids somewhere public.

Comment by jeanne frantz on December 4, 2013 at 11:06pm

Thanks Sandy and Parker Girl for comments.  I think the idea of public postings of bids for work in our borough is a great idea.  In fact, it should be a requiremewnt.  How can we  put that idea into effect.?  I will ask around  with people   who would have the knowledge   and people that I trust to give me the honest answer.  YOu are right about this council  and sneaky things.  Parker Girl, I  know that Dan will have to work very aggressively to make sure he gets all the  facts.  My advise, from personal experience, is never tru st that the information you are given is the whole  truth or all the facts.  Be vigilant , keep yours ears open, visit the borough often and see who is  "just visiting' the borough manager.  You are so right about JIm Glenn.  He used to come to the council  meetings and berate everyone.  Every month he would come and compain ,among his many compaints, that the STREET LIGHTS were not all the same color and/or level of brightness.  Well, look at that, now he has allowed a Billboard of  of consistent outrageous brightness  in a children's playground.  Hmmm… Left hand right hand , his offense against the people is far greater than those street lights ever were. 

Comment by Sandy on December 4, 2013 at 1:58pm

First thing I'd like to say is, if I own a business, I'm going to be involved 7 days a week 24/7. How and who would ever own a business and have nothing to do with it. That's a pretty stupid dumb statement by Jim Glen. Next I'd like the people in this borough to be able to see the other bids. I think all the bids should be posted on the wall at borough hall so all residents that are interested can view them. To much is happening in the borough that we don't know about. Sneaky things.

Comment by parkergirl on December 4, 2013 at 1:07pm

@Jeanne...here's hoping Dan brings them back to reality. The fact is they work for US....the RP Residents. It's a great sign that Dan won the majority of votes. It means that RP residents are starting to wake up. ARE YOU LISTENING COUNCIL? Two years from now will be entirely different. Don't forget, the billboard may have gone up before election, but was lit after election. Changes the ball game entirely. We thought before the election that they were actually fighting for the HP residents, but now we know differently. They never did. There was a lot of lip service from them that they were helping, but another lie. What's that quote...."they're so full of S!!!, their eyes are turning brown?" Have to check that out at the next council meeting. How is it the night of the Nov. council mtg. there was no permit issued for the billboard, but 12 hrs. later, not only is it lit, but they have advertising on there as well? That dramatically changes the election in two years. The only people on council that have SERVED the residents are Jared and Sue. It's been an uphill battle for them against the other council members. I want to thank them for their service and dedication to the borough. Who knows, maybe in two years they'll be back. I'm hoping they just need a break from the dysfunction of the current council. I believe Dan will stay true to who he is and start to make this borough whole again. He has a lot of supporters out there and if council is smart (which is questionable) they will not do anything to alienate him. As for Glenn....interesting that a few years back, he was the biggest whiner there was during the public comment portion. His "troubles" with the borough back then are nothing compared to what he's doled out to the HP residents. Shame on him.

Comment by jeanne frantz on December 4, 2013 at 3:54am

This whole thing with Jim Glenn and  his relative getting the contract is another pathetic reflection  of this council's atttitude  toward the people who elected them.  This  "group" , Glenn, Berger, and Mattus and Eberle have total lack of respect for  the people.  They believe they can do whatever they want , to their personal advantage,  and noone will be the wiser.  Another example is that Paul Mattus's wife is president of the Main Streets non -profit corporation.   There is no requirement that  forces  them to have financial accountability to the borough.  Yet, we pay our borough police and maintenance  staff. to help this corporation to get money.   Hospitals are non-profit too, but  lots of people receive salaries  and or perks. This borough has NO IDEA how much money is made, where it goes and and who gets it.  And you see, it is perfectly permissable for us to speculate in any way we wish  because this council does all these things behind closed doors without telling the citizens  any thing. Another example besides the heater and Main Streets is HETZRL PARK.    And what's even sadder is that Berger and Eberle were re-elected .

     

Comment by parkergirl on November 27, 2013 at 6:19pm

@ Ken...I would like to think H&H doesn't make donations but considering how cozy everyone is on council, I wouldn't be surprised.

@Tim...I agree as well. It goes back to having common sense. If 4 council members have the ability to sign a check, there is no reason for Glenn to be signing it. He should have recused himself from it, but if he didn't do it on his own, someone else should have pointed it out to him. I believe a contract goes out for bid if it's $10K or $18K. Lower than that it doesn't. I agree with the inside info part of your comment. Who on council has knowledge of bids or contracts that they can't give a relative the "inside edge"?

Comment by Kenneth Harper on November 27, 2013 at 11:50am
Oliver Heating Co didn't donate to the Ridley Park Republican party. Does H & H Heating make donations?
Comment by tim devabey on November 27, 2013 at 11:13am

Serious, yes...nobody is accusing Councilor Glenn of doing anything illegal, but the mere suggestion or appearance of "inside trading" or conflict of interest is what the State Ethics Code for Elected Officials is designed to prevent.  If the Solicitor advised a Councilor to recuse himself at this time, how many conflicts may have occurred in the past?  We have a right to an answer.

Comment by INFORMED RU on November 26, 2013 at 10:27pm
This is a very serious topic! We as a community need more answers, there is nothing stoping Glenn from getting kick backs.
Comment by tim devabey on November 26, 2013 at 3:38pm

parkergirl and all,

What is funnier still is who didn't know which number is larger, 3 or 2.  I hope not the same people in charge of our Borough's 1 million dollar budget... or is that 2 million dollars out of the taxpayers pockets?

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