This excerpt tells a lot about why the previous city council spent millions defending the City of Coatesville:
“No mention is made in the editorial of the fact that for four years our council had to protect the revitalization progress from relentless attack by Pat Sellers and Bob Saucier. Opponents showed up at every council meeting saying that there really was no revitalization planned. Those who attend the meetings remember how all we heard from them was that there really were no investors lined up or that it would never happen.
Would we have the concrete revitalization that we have today if the council had folded on the golf course back in those days? I doubt it since Sellers is on record stating that he opposed the third avenue project, TIF, the river walk and other vital components of the overall plan. No alternative ideas were ever offered in those years, and the Sahas kept coming back to the negotiating table, only to back out later. The council was led to believe that settlement was close many times over the years.
Next the council had to defend the city charter from the proposed amendments starting two years ago. Legal experts agreed that the amendments had to be fought. The creator of these costly amendments, Sellers, had to have known that these amendments would eventually be ruled illegal, but it didn’t matter to him. The point was to cause further delay (and expense), and to take the issue closer to the elections.
The fact that it took years to get a ruling that should have been open and shut was beyond the city’s control and was very costly. Why the delays in the courts?
Once that issue was resolved in the city’s favor, many of us who support the city began to talk about backing away on the Saha land, recognizing that it had become too divisive. Previously supportive council members were telling Paul Janssen of their concern before his surprise resignation.”
From: Don’t forget Coatesville’s triumphs
With regard to the editorial entitled "Coatesville voters must look back but also forward" (DLN, May 12):
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Another article sheds some light on the character of one of the Saha supporters:
“But the primary elections did rouse some of the controversy that has characterized the epic land dispute.
Longtime Saha supporter Robert Saucier, 48, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of disorderly conduct and harassment after leaving the Coatesville Community Center, which serves as the polling station for the fifth ward.
Coatesville police said they had received four calls involving Saucier’s behavior at a different polling location prior to the incident.
According to police, several witnesses saw Saucier threaten 68-year-old Elwood Dixon, a member of the local NAACP, and create a public annoyance at the polling station.
Saucier was issued two summary, non-traffic citations for disorderly conduct and harassment and was released.
Police warned Saucier that if he returned to the polling place and continued to create a disturbance he would face criminal charges.”
Saha shakes up vote
COATESVILLE -- Aftershocks of the city’s six-year eminent domain battle with the Saha family could be felt at polling places throughout the Coatesville area Tuesday.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
By ADAM CIRUCCI
It was obvious to me that the City of Coatesville was forced to spend “six years and boatloads of money”. The city was forced to defend itself for what in my opinion were more than 30 frivolous lawsuits. Why did some of those lawsuits sit for years on a judge’s desk awaiting his decision? If enacted Pat Sellers referendum decision would in my opinion have made the Coatesville City Council unable to enact legislation affecting land use unless it was presented in the form of a referendum. Why was such an obviously unconstitutional referendum allowed to appear on the ballot in the first place?
Would the Daily Local News write this same editorial now with the benefit of hindsight?
Coatesville voters must look back but also forward
Published: Thursday, May 12, 2005
I think the big question is was there a motive besides defending the Sahas behind all of the legal motions and intimidation at Coatesville City Council meetings. I think you need to ask that if there never was a property rights issue in Coatesville; would Sellers, Saucier, Campos and Legree have found some other reason to oppose revitalization?