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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, March 24, 2011

March 21, 2010 meeting of the City of Coatesville RDA

The RDA Chairperson Joseph Disciullo was not present.
Jack Burkholder, Vice Chairman of the Coatesville RDA, “Welcome to the March 21st meeting of the Coatesville Redevelopment Authority…We have a full agenda which is good, for us and the City of Coatesville.”
Mr. Burkholder, “Our first consideration is extending the purchase option agreement for the National Velodrome Center.”
Mr. Vince Mancini, RDA Councilor, The Velodrome has had the sales agreement with the escrow agreement council… for about 10 days. He’s had a number of emergencies…Mr. Cosby been traveling. The last option is going to expire tomorrow. This is just basically to keep the agreement going.”
Mr. Rob Barry Executive Director, “The extension is until April 25, 2011.”
Mr. Burkholder, “Consider a letter requesting the Fleetwood properties from the City. We discussed that the City is going to sell those properties back to us for a dollar.”
Mr. Mancini, “That’s correct, these properties are essential to the complete the train station project which is starting to heat up.”
Mr. Barry, “These were properties that were unfortunately subject to the arson fires and subsequently purchased by the City of Coatesville and demolished. They are now vacant lots.”
Mr. Burkholder, “Discuss the RDA Property Manager.
Mr. Barry, “The RDA Board had issued a RFP, Request For Proposal for RDA Property Manager. The board has received two responses for RDA Property Manager and started considering them. Mr. Vice Chairman, It’s up to the Board’s pleasure how to proceed with the two proposals that were received for the Property Manager.”
Mr. Colon, “I believe we should table this item and review the proposals and come back to it another time. I’ll make that a motion.”
The Item was tabled.
Mr. Burkholder, “Now… The RDA Engineer/Architect.”
Mr. Barry, “The RDA issued an RFQ for RDA Engineer/Architect. The RDA received a total of 33 responses. Of those 33 responses 2 of them came in late and therefore were disqualified. So there are a total of 31 considerations.”
Mr. Mancini suggested that perhaps each member should review every response.
The item was tabled until the next executive session.
Mr. Burkholder, “Consider the MauTiste RFI response. These are people that sent us a project that they were interested in doing in the City of Coatesville involving RDA property.”
Mr. Barry, “In a nutshell they are asking for the RDA to donate property to them. They are a residential housing developer who, as I understand, has some experience already  in the City and is looking to expand upon that... Unfortunately, in my opinion their RFI response lacked a little, clear explanation as to exactly what the defined project would be as well as the financial statements required in the RFI. In a nutshell that’s what their response was.”
The RDA will notify MauTiste Developers that at this time the RDA is not going to move forward and thank you for considering us.
Mr. Burkholder, “Consider the Staff Sharing Agreement. This concerns us using City employees in RDA positions such as Stacy Bjorhus and Rob Barry.”
Mr. Mancini, “Basically what the agreement does, it’s really for efficiency, the City is the primary employer of all the staff that the Authority utilizes and It just empathizes that if we are sharing that staff the primary employer is the City and we would be reimbursing the City for whatever expenses are incurred. In this fashion we try to keep costs down with multiple employers.”
Ms. Bjorhus, “These two paychecks (cost us) $107.00 a month.
The Staff Sharing Agreement passed.
Mr. Burkholder, “Discuss Brandywine Health Center Request for 731 E. Lincoln, Highway.”
Mr. Barry, “The Brandywine Health Center has submitted a request to the Redevelopment Authority to lease and or purchase 731 E. Lincoln, Highway. Their intentions are to construct a temporary parking lot that will allow for additional parking to the activities that they are engaged in at the Center. The terms of their request are enclosed in your packets and at this time the staff is looking for some direction from the Board about how to proceed to their response.”
Mr. Burkholder, “As we said in item E, they wanted us to give them the land.”
Mr. Mancini, “E, That’s MauTiste.”
Mr. Burkholder, “That’s why we turned them down. We’re not giving land away.”
Mr. Barry, “Perhaps I could just read the letter here. The Brandywine Health Center and Housing…proposes to lease the lot at 731 E. Lincoln, Highway for a term of 5 years with renewal option at a rate of $! Per year.” (After this point I can’t understand the recording well enough to do justice to the reading of the letter.) J.P.
The RDA directed a letter be sent thanking the Brandywine Health Center for their participation but at this time we are unable to do business with them.

Mr. Burkholder, “Consider opening a mail account.”
Mr. Barry, “From time to time the RDA will need to overnight official documents related to settlements to legal action whatever.” Currently we don’t have that ability.”
It costs no more to have a Fed X account for the city and the RDA. The charges are per. use.
Mr. Barry, “And in some cases we would have the ability to charge that to the developer…”
A mail account for Fed X and a Post Office Box was approved. 
Mr. Burkholder, “Consider Vegetation Management Permit for the Pulver Hotel Site. They want to clean away some vegetation. Mr. Mancini had some concerns about it.”
Mr. Mancini, “I was just concerned with two things. One… we want to retain the right to review the property ultimately should we have occasion to utilize it for development. And number two, if there is going to be some replanting or of some grass planted that’s going to require some ongoing maintenance as opposed to the conditions that are apparently there now, that those maintenance features would be assumed by Pulver.”
Mr. Barry, “There was one more thing to add and that was that the amendment indemnification to the RDA. So that would be a separate motion to a letter to the developer asking the developer to indemnify the RDA.”
Mr. Baker, “What are they using to get rid of the vegetation?”
Mr. Barry, “I don’t know…
Mr. Baker, “I saw across the street, where one day we had green and the next day we had dessert.”
Mr. Mancini, “Strong stuff.”
Mr. Barry, There are permit applications on the second page; there are some requirements that come along with trimming trees or pesticide activity. So there are some requirements that PENDOT can adhere to. I don’t know what they are using, if they are just going to use equipment or chemicals to remove it.”
Mr. Mancini, “Is there a stream nearby?.”
“The Brandywine”
Mr. Mancini, “So this area would drain towards the Brandywine?”
Mr. Baker, “Where is the proposed…”
Mr. Barry, “Along the 30 Bypass.”
Mr. Baker, “Is there any vegetation flowers, animals around there that are endangered? That, if we kill it we will be responsible for?”
Mr. Barry, “That is a good question.”
Mr. Collins, “There’s also some nice ornamental pine trees left up there. That was kind of semi-landscaped. I hope they’re not talking about chopping those down.”
Mr. Barry, “The permit application says to remove trees and vegetation from the PENNDOT right of way on the South side of SR-30 Bypass to on the West side of the Brandywine River SR-82.”
Mr. Mancini, “I don’t think our entire property is within the right of way.”
Mr. Mancini, “I think we should get more definitive information.”
Mr. Mancini, “I think they want to get a clear line of sight.”
Mr. Baker, “We need to find out if Valley (Township) is involved and to give them a heads up that we’re not moving forward until we talk to them.”
The item was tabled until more information could be provided.

Mr. Burkholder, “Art Partners request to use downtown storefronts of the RDA for their artwork.”
The RDA approved the Art Partners use of RDA properties with the caveat to indemnify the RDA and indemnify the release and wavers of all and any employees and volunteers who 
would enter the building.
Auditor RFP was approved.
Citizens Comments:
Chris Williams of McMahon Associates spoke, “We’re a local Chester County firm. We specialize in transportation engineering so although the RFQ had a wide variety of services, architectural, engineering, public works, we chose to submit on our own specializing on transportation. So we look forward to the selection process and please feel free to contact us if there’s anything that we can do. We’re a Chester County firm. We do a lot of work for municipalities, DOT.  We have great contacts. We also have great developer relations as well,. Our bread and butter started as firm representing developers so we understand the goals of the RDA to promote sound development, as it relates to transportation. Thank you for your consideration.”
Mr. Mancini, “I just wanted to report back that the Penn Crossing settlement’s been completed all checks are cleared.” 


The Brandywine Health Foundation

McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners

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