Get Smart and Attain Some Knowledge About Your Township Business
Letter to the editor 08/29/2002
I would like to thank reporter Karen Neuhauser Ruppert for her excellent article on the petition for the addition of two supervisors in Sadsbury Township (Coatesville Ledger Aug. 15-21, 2002). This will allow a referendum question to be placed on the ballot in the November election.
There are several items I would like to clarify. Robert Silvernail is quoted as a member of the Planning Commission. Although Robert has attended every commission meeting, he is not a member. He is a member of the Zoning Hearing Board. His wife, Stephanie Silvernail, is chairwoman of the Planning Commission and has been a member for many years.
Sadsbury Township is a township of the second class.
The resident Ms. Ruppert mentioned as not being able to afford a tax increase, filed a suit in the Court of Common Pleas contesting the validity of the petition. Only in America can a man be too poor to pay a tax increase on August 6, 2002, but have enough money to hire a high priced lawyer to contest a petition a week later. A form letter was developed and some of the people who signed the original petition asked that their names be taken off the petition. On August 19, 2002, the Chester County Court of Common Pleas threw out the lawsuit and the question will be on the ballot. That is the way a democracy is supposed to work.
The manner in which the form letters were gathered and what the residents were told in order to make them change their minds is definitely in question. It seems that every letter mentions a substantial tax hike, some as much as 45 percent. Where did that lie originate? That is the biggest farce I have ever heard. Do you know what state law, the Second Class Township Code, stipulates as the highest salary a supervisor can make? It is $1875!! That is not an option or a guide. It is an absolute. The only other cost the township would occur is a total increase in the liability insurance of $125!! Wow, that adds up to a total of $3,875 per year. With a budget over $500,000 that figure is pennies.
These facts are very easily verified. Contact your local state representative and ask for a copy of the Second Class Township Code. Turn to page 6:2 and read section 606. Our insurance carrier is PIRMA and can be reached at 1-800-362-1011 and they can verify the yearly $125 yearly increase. I have the information in writing if anyone is interested. Go to the township building and ask to see the budget. You will realize that there is plenty of room in that budget to accommodate $3,875 per year.
It is outrageous that some of our residents have been frightened and intimidated by other residents with the threat of a tax hike. We have many senior and lower income citizens in the township and no one has the right to scare them with lies and intimidation.
What really irks me is that some of the people who have signed the letters requesting removal from the original petition should have more sense. Some of them are business people who would never accept a statement involving their business without checking out the facts. But they swallowed this crap hook, line and sinker. All it takes is a minimal amount of research to find that there will not be a need for a tax increase.
There is also a rumor that the petition was done so that I can run for supervisor again. Believe me, after all the lies, rumors and innuendoes that were made against my family and me, it is very unlikely that I would ever run for supervisor again. There again, people believe what they are told and don't check the facts. I wish the residents would wise up. Get smart and attain some knowledge about your township business. You will be surprised what the current board has in mind for you. If you love and admire the looks of Route 30 in Caln and Thorndale, you will be pleased to know that the current board wants to replicate that look on our section of Route 30. Please get involved and if you do nothing else, when you hear a rumor, check it out and make a decision based on the facts, not someone's ramblings.
It seems the incumbents are very worried that they might lose control of the township if two more people are elected to the board. What are they afraid of? In January of 2002, the board increased the number of planning commission members from seven to nine. The rationale for this was the increased workload due to the amount of development and other work. If this rationale works for the planning commission, then why not for the supervisors? They should welcome the extra help with open arms instead of plotting to defeat the referendum.
Neil H. Heineman
İCoatesville Ledger 2003
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