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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Budget meeting April 21 2010 Riverwalk change order discussion

The City Council and City Administration discussed the Riverwalk Change order number one for contracted work proceeding at the Riverwalk. The additional work removing the contaminated soil will cost an additional $227,765. The City will not pay for the additional work but the grant from the County will pay for it.  The contractor is ready to do the work. There is a second change order coming up that is a deduction of $3, 500.

Rob Barry (Redevelopment Project Director), “The receipt of plan approval letter was dated September 22, 2009.”
Ed Simpson, “And when was this put out to bid?
Rob Barry, “Back in March or April of 2009, I believe.” 

Ted Reed (City Manager), “At the time Buchart Horn submitted the application to DEP there was a box marked whether or not there was contaminated soil. Buchart Horn put in there, no. As DEP was reviewing it and we put out the bid DEP found, I believe it was July, that, that mark was incorrect.  And it was at that time it was advised that the contaminated soil would be required to be studied.  The City hired Geo Tech… to do the environmental analysis provided to the Council, which showed that there was very little contamination in the soil and that would require an amendment to the contract.  And would require a change order when we got to the part where we were removing the soil…This was part of the overall Flats. It wasn’t just the Riverwalk…

 The contractor going in knew that this would have to be added to the contract…

In November and December of 2009 Mr. Hudson and Mr. Barry made a presentation to the Council and the Redevelopment Authority of this overall project.  After the presentation the council left... except for one Councilwoman who stayed.  And then it was further discussed with the RDA about the contaminated soil and that it needed to be removed.

Ed Simpson, “The soil sample was taken in 2004….It’s not like we didn’t know that that it was contaminated… Did anyone within the City or anybody around the project review those documents prior to submitting them?”

Ted Reed, “I’m sure that the staff reviewed it, Mr. Walker reviewed it, at that time Daimler was involved in it and he reviewed it and of course Buchart Horn is actually the one that prepared it. That was simply an oversight.  

Ed Simpson, “This is where my problem with the whole thing lies. We put something out to bid knowing that it was wrong…Because everybody knew it was contaminated...

The honeymoons over people need to be held accountable.  We cannot continue allow mistakes like this to continue to happen on a regular basis. I’m tired of it.  And we always come up with excuses…

If we’re not going to do our jobs right the first time we’re going to find people that can. That’s it, the bottom line.

Joe Hamrick, “Citizens were asking about…what is the contaminant? Back in 2006…”

Ed Simpson, “Well, it’s not the cities money; it’s the City’s money the County is going to pay for it.  It’s somebody’s money. But what it does is, it makes us look stupid. Because now, we have a change order.. Everybody within 15 miles of here knows it’s contaminated…It’s been a steel mill since the early 1800s…For us to think that this is acceptable to put this up to bid… The lack of attention to detail on this is embarrassing. It has to stop…

I’ve had enough. I’ve dealt with this for six years and I’m tired of it… One of the things this new Council wants to see is accountability, and we’re going start seeing it.  We need to see it. Mr. Reed, that’s one of the reasons why we brought you in. It’s to hold people accountable for what they’re doing.”

Mr. Reed, “Well of course this was done a year ago, under a different Administration and under a different City Council and that’s not an excuse that’s just a statement of fact.”

City Council Vice President Karl Marking, “The staff hasn’t changed and I think that what Mr. Simpson point is that regardless of what changes appear we need to hold the staff is fully accountable, as we are.”

City Councilperson Ingrid Jones, “Hold their feet to the fire”.

Ed Simpson, “Now, what is going to be all over the newspapers is that there is a $227,000 change order...”

Mr. Reed, “Change orders are a fact of life... but this particular project I certainly understand and can concur with Council that this is something that should have been caught particularly the engineer, but also by the staff that, when that  box was checked. And DEP did not catch that for several months…”

The Change Order for the Riverwalk was unanimously approved. 
Listen to an excerpt here:

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