Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Talk about timing, it's time for real Republicans to stand up.

There was a comment from a reader on the earlier version of my blog from former state representative Jacquie Crahalla and I'm posting here so I can get the new blog off to a running start.
Stan, this weekends' papers had me quite angry. The reporting by Peggy Gibbons - would she have used the word "chronies" with the word "Democrat"? Doubt it, let's just bash all and any Republicans. Nice of you to give candidate Damsker the opportunity to say there is an underground government, in a large comments box as well as the article. Try the Rendell administration for that. Then the dumb commentary by Cassie Hepler who needs to get out of her ivory tower: "Talk about proud to be an American. How can anyone willingly support a country that condones mass genocide?" Say what!!!! The US condones mass genocide, since when!"

Jacquie Crahalla's comment couldn't have been timed better. I have been thinking about the sad state of the Republican Party for quite some time now, and Jacquie chose today to write about how one of my writers was taking pot shots at Republicans that she wouldn't take at the Dems. As for that, Jacquie I couldn't disagree more. Margaret Gibbons is an equal opportunity basher. It just so happens the Republican Party deserves it right now. What the heck is going on with the county leadership?
It's time to clean house folks. Republicans unite, before it's too late.
Ken Davis has to go. Period. I'm sure Bob Kerns is waiting in the wings somewhere. Let's give him a chance.
You know what they say, if there's an appearance of conflict of interest, there's a conflict of interest.
I know the county lobbying contract was taken from Davis, but you do realize Davis still holds the contract for Montgomery County Community College, right? And you do know who appoints the board of the college, right? If not I'll tell you, the county commissioners appoint the board.
And what in the world really happened at the county Republican convention? How did Jim Matthews walk away with the endorsement along with Bruce Castor? Matthews didn't really have anyone to run with since there wasn't a snowballs chance in pergatory that Ellis would get re-elected. Castor hand picked a running mate that had great name recognition and actually had a chance of fending off the formidable duo of Ruth Damsker and Joe Hoeffel.
So what happens? Matthews is paired with Castor? Talk about mixing oil with water.
This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


I finally figured out how to respond to your new blog. I hope others will take the time to go thru all the hoops.

As for your comments on the state of the Republican party in Montco, I agree. However, I don't think you should be offering advice since you are a newsman. Better to stay objective to keep all readers happy!

celticwarrior said...

I for one agree with the state of the Republican party around here, not only at the county level but local too. Look at Lower Providence. A literal handful of malcontents have made such mountains out of molehills in our multi-award winning little hamlet to the point that the Republicans are squabbling amongst themselves. These people are no 'Friends', certainly not of this township, and surely not of their own party. I almost hope a Democrat gets elected to the open seat on our Board, maybe it will teach them a lesson. If they keep it up it won't matter what they think because our party won't be controlling anymore anyway.

Anonymous said...

A View into CTJPW and CTMA

In 2004 two minority Trappe Council Members were appointed to CTMA and CTJPW. During their tenure they noticed that meeting related documents (agenda, financial reports including bills to be paid, etc.) were distributed just prior to the start of the regularly scheduled public meetings when it is common practice to provide these documents to the members of such a committee five (5) business days prior to the meeting. When the two new Trappe representatives requested that the documents be distributed earlier so they could review them prior to voting Mr. Schmidt replied "that is not how we do things around here". Mr. Matt Watson was the third member of both CTMA and Trappe (and is a current Trappe Councilman running for re-election this year) and voiced that it was not necessary to change this practice.

The situation stems from the formation of the Collegeville Trappe Joint Public Works Department in 1992, which was supposed to spell the end for the joint municipal authority, according to the agreement of 1990. However, more than 15 years later, the Collegeville Trappe Municipal Authority still exists. Why? No one from either Trappe or Collegeville has or can give a valid reason.

In the middle of this is Ernie Schmidt, a former resident of Trappe who moved to Lower Fredrick more than five years ago and served on CTMA since its creation as a municipal authority in 1968. Mr. Schmidt represented Trappe on the regional sewer authority until he was not reappointed by the Trappe Council in January 2006 citing he was not a resident of Trappe Borough. State law requires that a person maintain their primary residence in the borough or township that they serve.

Collegeville Borough Council, led by President Charles Draksler and Vice President Teresa (Terrie) Stagliano, led council to appoint Mr. Schmidt as Collegeville's representative for the regional sewer authority. In all correspondence directed to Collegeville from Trappe, Trappe pointed out that Mr. Schmidt could not serve as chairman of the Lower Perkiomen Valley Regional Sewer Authority (which had just started a $60 million plus capacity expansion) because he was not a resident of Collegeville. Trappe provided to Collegeville a court deposition transcript in which Mr. Schmidt had given sworn testimony that he was a resident of Lower Frederick Township (where he is the Building Inspector).

Mr. Schmidt was removed by Montgomery County's District Attorney Bruce Castor in July 2006 as Trappe’s representative on the CTMA and as the Treasurer of the Public Works Department, a part-time position that pays him $32,000 a year (working an estimated ten (10) hours a week but cannot be confirmed as time records are not kept for the employees of CTJPW) after he refused to resign after Trappe Borough Council cited he was a non-resident. The Montgomery County District Attorney, Mr. Bruce Castor cited state law that requires residency for Mr. Schmidt to represent either Trappe or Collegeville. Collegeville attempted to pay the legal bills for Mr. Schmidt out of the treasury of CTJPW but this effort was blocked by Trappe Representatives.

When council members from Trappe brought the 1990 agreement to the attention of the Collegeville Borough Council, the response was, "Where have you been for 15 years?" The 1990 agreement was in response to a lawsuit filed by Trappe against the CTMA years back. As a result, the joint public works department was formed to operate the sewer system. According to the agreement, the CTMA was supposed to cease operations when the joint public works system was formed.

Andrew Cantor, Solicitor for Collegeville Borough, CTMA, and CTJPW stated that if Schmidt was appointed to the CTMA as a resident of Trappe, then he can serve out his five-year term even though he moved out of the borough during that term. Trappe disagreed and had their solicitor challenge it through the offices of the Montgomery County District Attorney and State Attorney General.

I have no idea why the CTMA still exists," Strauss said. "We could eliminate an entire layer of government and save a lot of money. The meetings are redundant. A guy from public works will stand up and speak to the board, and then a guy from the CTMA will stand up and say the same exact thing."

Anonymous said...


I disagree. Feel free to offer advice. You live here too. Ken Davis is a travesty. The sooner he is put out to pasture the sooner this county can get back on track.

Let's hope Matthews has stopped carrying Davis' water. That's the only way he can win in the fall.

Anonymous said...

I just letting you know that I do read your Blog.


Anonymous said...

BULL to the first comment on this blog. It's that kind of "political correctness" that's gotten the Republicans the nickname "silent majority!" Your an editor!! Your job is not to make readers happy. Objective reporting is one thing. Checking your opinion at the door or giving up your First Amendment rights because of your job is garbage. Gordon gets lots of ink and is a great counterpoint to you. I might not agree with him very often, but I enjoy reading his pieces very much. The Opinion page is the first page, but certainly not the only page, I read in the Times Herald. Public debate is important to a strong democracy, in my opinion, so keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

Stan I'm getting too old to learn how to use new formats (or whatever). The election is almost here, and if the Republicans get out the vote, as they should, Ms. Gibbons will hopefully give us a full page covering this BIG WIN as the article showing how many Dem. voters there are in the county in todays paper. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

The change in voter registration will only matter if the people use their votes. Voter turnout is still sad

Anonymous said...

The word is "cronies."

Just taking your advice from Monday's column and popping in to respond to your blog. You asked for it.

John Andrews said...

May 10

I've just come in from door-to-door campaigning as a Methacton Director candidate. Of the 200 voters I talked with, 198 are anti-Arcola. That is great encouragement to me, Dr. Mollick, Mr. Landis and Mr. Kazimer!

Now, if they vote their minds, Mr. Van Horn may be moving on as his tax and spend days will be short.

Anonymous said...

Well I do think the Republicans came out in numbers, at least in Lower Providence, about 3 to 1 a committee person told me.

Anonymous said...

Why for the need of such wide coverage on the Nat'l Lab. Service? I'm under the impression, as are many others,and would like to know where we would find another service in Montgomery County that could be considered. Ms. Damsker... just check how they got the contract, which you should already be aware of and let the Commissioners know the names of the labs. that qualified and were interested in taking on this large task but did not receive our contract. Most companies have people on staff that go after information on contracts and request information as to when they would be out for bid.

Anonymous said...

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