Sunday, February 17, 2008

Taking a break

When we started Residents Who Care in 2006, we had some lofty goals. Chief among them was trying to raise public awareness of issues happening within the township that had a direct impact on the lives of the citizens. This ran the gamut from basic issues to much more serious matters.

We were the first, and so far the only civic organization to formally challenge the Board of Supervisors on a wrong, and tremendously unpopular zoning decision that still sits in the hands of the court, and will have a very severe and detrimental impact on our community if we ultimately lose the battle.

While we are extremely proud of this, very frankly, we failed to inspire 99.9% of the population of Forks Township to get involved, except on very specific issues and for a very short period of time.

Sadly, the same fiscal irresponsibility, cronyism and bad management that occurred before our formation still exists today, and in some cases, it is even worse.

Perhaps we should have known better. Some of us were former founders of the Forks Township Concerned Citizens (FTCC) as well as the Forks Action Committee (FAC). For all intense purposes, FAC has become an adjunct to the Board of Supervisors.

We saw the same apathy at FTCC and FAC and we thought that we could reverse this trend with a new group and a much simpler mission.

We had hopes that the newest Board of Supervisor members (Egolf and Chuss) would be different and better than Hoff and Ackerman. We were wrong. Frankly, it is just more of the same.

Where do we go from here? We will-
  1. Continue to see our challenge to zoning ordinance 298 through the court system and take it as far as our attorney recommends.
  2. Keep this blog active as a reference source and in case some how, some way the citizens of Forks Township decide to regularly engage in the decisions and actions that have a direct correlation to their own welfare as well as of them their families, friends and neighbors.
Where do you now go to get the other side of the story? Regrettably, nowhere. The Express-Times, Morning Call and WFMZ (Channel 69) will continue to devote limited resources to Forks Township. The Forks Action Committee (FAC) will most likely persist in offering a sanitized and non-controversial recap of township meetings and decisions. Unless the Board of Supervisors decides to broadcast their meetings, you will only be given the “feel-good” minimal information that they choose to share with you.

Many will relish us going on hiatus, some will even celebrate. In the end however, we remain very proud of what we did manage to accomplish and recognize that our respite is not a defeat to us personally, but a loss to every man, woman and child who resides in Forks Township Pennsylvania.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Breathe, if you can....

Sad to report that once again we ranked as one of the worst places in America for asthma patients, and those with allergies.

According to the report just released by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, we came in at number 6. Please do not be confused by the "Allentown" reference on the chart. As the in-depth report shows, this covers the metropolitan area. In other words, places like Bethlehem, Easton and yes, Forks Township are included.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mismanaging your money...again

At the January 7th Board of Supervisors meeting an expenditure of $39,000 was brought up for vote. No explanation was offered, why? Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas was the only member of the board of who voted against it, why?

Karl Kline, who in private practice, according to his website, specializes in Estate Planning, Estate Settlement and other Real Estate matters, was reappointed as Township Solicitor, as was Keystone Engineering and France, Anderson, Basile & Company, P.C. as the Auditors. This was done without seeking competitive bids (i.e. RFP's or RFQ's) from other firms, why? Though this action may indeed be the right of Board of Supervisors, why not seek bids from other qualified firms to make certain that we, the taxpayers, are getting the best deal for our money?

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Howell FUBAR

Great letter to the editor by Officer James Rowden in response to a story that appeared in the Express-Times on January 11th.

Though Mr. Howell just "assumed" the position of Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, he has been on the Board long enough to know better in making irresponsible comments, which may cost us, the taxpayers, significant money towards a setttlement for Officer Fimiano.

The remarks made by C. David Howell have made it crystal clear that he is no fan of the Forks Township Police Department.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No $$ for Supervisor 60%

In a 2-1 vote, the Forks Township Board of Auditors said NO to granting Supervisor 60%, a.k.a. Donald "Don" Miller a pay increase this year.

The elected Board of Auditors only meets once a year and their only purpose is to set the rate of pay for members of the Board of Supervisors who also hold Township jobs.

We'll defer to them for explanation, but, considering that the Forks Community Center has yet to yield a profit, and unlike other community centers such as Bethlehem Township (click on "programs" and check out adult and senior), the Forks Community Center (click on community center and then programs) mainly caters to those under the age 0f 15 years old.

Kudos to Gretchen Gerstel for taking a stand and doing her part to make certain that the travesty committed by last years Auditors to irrationally and wrongfully reward Mr. Miller was not reenacted this year.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Who needs TV?

For those who bemoan the seemingly never ending television writers strike, they should have attended tonight's Board of Supervisors meeting! Never before has a new chairman given the audience so much fodder to laugh at.

Was their anyone in the audience who didn't giggle and make fun of this guy?

If this is the way he will be running all the meetings, we urge all those who attend to bring a video camera as this is award winning material for America's Funniest Home Video TV show!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays, suckers.....

As we read this article in the Morning Call, we would not be surprised if this is what the Board of Supervisors was thinking when they passed a tax increase.

Granted, the housing market in Forks Township has slowed considerably, though we warned of this years ago, and contractual expenses do go up, but why are salaries of non contract employees being raised right now and what capital expenditures have been cut or reduced?

Seems to us that the Board continues to spend OUR money (residents) and incur debt with reckless abandon.

While the actual increase to the average homeowner is relatively small, we believe that the worst is yet to come.

In the meantime, preliminary congratulations to Forks Township Supervisor 60% (a.k.a. Donald "Don" Miller) who is slated to get another increase just one year after getting a 60% pay raise. All this and the Community Center still is not profitable. Will he refuse the increase if offered? Don't hold your breath!