Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog

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.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The first duty of a new City Manager is to make the streets safe

Because we live here as Coatesville residents we may scoff at the view that Coatesville is a violent and dangerous place. Day to day life in Coatesville just doesn’t feel unsafe. 
Coatesville is the drug depot of Chester County. Coatesville has about 12,000 of the 500,000 people in Chester County. More than one half of the violent crime in Chester County happens in the City of Coatesville. As far as Chester County goes Coatesville IS a very dangerous place. That fact is the primary impediment to the redevelopment of Coatesville.
Those of us here that want to redevelop Coatesville need to accept that this is a violent place and direct most of their attention to making the streets of Coatesville safe. Downplaying the violence here jeopardizes the redevelopment of Coatesville. 
We are looking for a new Coatesville City Manager. The primary action of that new City Manager will be to make the streets of Coatesville safe. Any City Manager not up to that task will fail us.
MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009


  1. I don't necessarily agree with you here. We have a police department with a competent chief. So if we say that the new City Manager’s first duty is to make the streets safe again, then are we not saying that the Chief isn’t doing his job? While making the streets safe is absolutely a high priority, I think the new City Manager’s job should be multi-tiered. First he or she needs to provide high visibility to both the residents and the County once they take over. Get out and be visible so people know who you are. Be transparent and provide a plan in public with what you want to do (say like a 6 month plan). In parallel they also need to be reviewing the current situation at City Hall and unofficially interviewing everyone to gain a better understanding of what is going on in all the different aspects. Based on their investigation and data gathering they then come up with a strategy on what changes need to be made. Some of them will be made to the public and some don’t need to be (say like HR decisions). As Karl Marking’s website states: Consistent Codes enforcement + Restored Police Department + Reduced Crime = More business development and increased property values. I think he’s right about this based on what I’ve seen and read about other communities. So while reducing crime is important, it must go hand and hand with a strong police department and effective codes enforcement. Based on what I’ve seen now that Matthews is gone, the Police Department is on its way to be being restored but the Codes Department has gotten worse. Without equal effort, the City will not get consistent result. For instance if Codes really went after everyone and let everyone know that enforcement would be consistent and effective, many of the people who get away with this will move because they don’t want to put up with the constant harassment to take care of their properties. But right now it’s not being done consistently or effectively so people don’t worry about the Codes department or the fighting them at the DJ level because many times they win. If people here knew that the both the Police and City Codes had an effective enforcement strategy and were tough on those who violate it, they would move somewhere else that was easier to deal with. People give respect and abide to the laws when they know they aren’t going to get away with it. In Coatesville it’s simply not consistent. Everyone in this City knows if one person gets ticketed for something another may not because he/she knows someone or say the Magistrate is friends with them. Currently the deck is stacked on improvement in these areas because of this. For example, how many people in this City have an active warrant against them that isn’t being enforced? Everyone knows these people yet nothing gets done. How many buildings need to be demolished yet nothing happens? How many abandoned cars are here don’t get towed? So if we want to be successful a number of things need to happen: 1) the new City Manager needs to be effective – proven track record of success as a City Manager and be willing to battle with City Council and the public to make the necessary changes that need to be made (i.e. terminating poorly producing employees, eliminating waste, speaking to the Unions about effectively renegotiating contacts (if possible) to help the City turn the corner for revitalization). 2) City Codes needs to improve – whether that be by hiring more inspectors, a new Director or simply consistent enforcement, parking enforcement, animal control enforcement it has to be done asap. Currently the process is a total failure in my opinion. There seems not to be any real strategy or direction here. 3) Continuous improvement of the Police Department. Working with residents, the County and the State to improve their department’s effectiveness. I think having a strategy like this and the players to implement it will enable Coatesville to make fast continuous strides toward the revitalization that everyone keeps talking about.

  2. I answered your excellent comment in a new post:

    An excellent comment was made in regards to: The first duty of a new City Manager is to make the streets safe


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