Because something works in Allentown doesn't mean it will work in Chester County. Allentown is a Democratic Party city. But even Republican judges in Lehigh County look down on Chester County Republicans.
Let’s put this way. The Chester County Republican Committee reveres a former County Commissioner and Chester County Republican Party Chairman named Theodore Rubino. “Teddy” as he was affectionately called was CCRC Chair in the 1970s and Chester County Commissioner at the same time. He was a trash hauler from Malvern, PA. “Teddy” had an empty top drawer in his desk at the Courthouse. If you wanted something done, he would walk out of the office and the drawer would magically be filled with money that “Teddy” would put into his pockets when he came back.
Rubino died just before he was to enter Federal prison. This is a guy the CCRC holds dear as a best ever Republican Party Chairman. I call him Chester County’s version of Tony Soprano. Stuff like this happens when an extremely wealthy county stays in the hands of one political party for over 150 years.
I think Chester County basically can gear up a “wild west” court system when they so desire and get away with it. Amazing and unusual stuff happens here in Chester County Courts that makes Republicans outside of Chester County say. “What’s wrong with them down there?”
It’s not really a partisan political thing and it could happen in any country on earth. It’s what happens when all the money and all the power is handed down within the same closed group of people for 150 years.
What I am getting at is that I think a slumlord who knows which buttons to push can basically ignore any regulations that Coatesville makes.
But there are plenty of Republicans who didn't look to “Teddy” Rubino with undying reverence even when Rubino was CCRC Chair. There is a change in the winds of politics in Chester County and there are places where the City of Coatesville can get help.
Our best chance at cleaning up the city with enforcement of regulations is the Housing Authority of Chester County enforcing Section 8 HUD regulations and withholding rent from slumlords until the property is repaired. And more money for enforcement may be on the way as per the Southeastern Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project public meeting on regional opportunity in Audubon last Thursday.
But rising property values in Coatesville will make the slumlord’s, buy at Sherriff Sales, spend almost nothing on the property, collect rent for about a year, ignore all summons, don’t actually pay for the property and after about a year of ignoring summons let the County take the property back; business model unworkable. If the property values increase like I think they could the slumlords will need to go outside of Coatesville for a community to victimize with their business model.
Another separate housing problem in Chester County was until very recently among the new Spanish speaking immigrants didn’t know how to complain or who to complain to if their apartment had a leaking roof, no heat, no water and no electricity. Organizations have grown here in Chester County to help the Spanish speaking community.
The “Famous Building” in Coatesville had Spanish speaking renters only. The “Famous Building” once had a roof supported entirely by the brick façade instead of the steel frame. The bricks were connected to the steel frame by steel ties. Over the years those steel ties rusted away and the façade bowed out three feet from the frame at the center front of the building. The roof was in danger of collapse. If it did collapse it would have come into the top floor and the entire 6 story brick façade would have fallen to the street below.
The future is more promising for Coatesville than at any other time. A big part of that promising future is the efforts of ordinary people. I just don’t think that anything that would rely on our court system is going to do much for Coatesville at this time. Publicizing the names of our big violators slumlords such as Amrit Lal, David Smith and Ernie Campos as I do might help but don’t look to what I believe is an astoundingly corrupt court system for help.