Monday, June 4, 2007

New kid in town

I had lunch last week with Norristown's new municipal administrator. (And there wasn't a pork sandwich to be found. We were at a real Norristown treasure, though, August Moon.) I hope I didn't offend him with the 'kid' reference, but comparatively speaking.... Actually, everyone seems like a 'kid' to me anymore; am I really getting that old? If I am why haven't I had a mid-life crisis? I sure would like to be driving a Porsche. Anyway, as old folks are want to do, I digress.
David Forrest seems like a genuinely nice guy. He has his hands full and I sure hope he can handle it. Norristown needs a straight shooter sitting in that seat and they haven't had one in a while. There's a lot of good happening in Norristown right now and the best thing he could do would be to keep up the momentum. I know I certainly would like to see a shovel go in the ground at Main and Cherry street for that new parking garage with the retail space on the ground level. We're what, about two years behind on that project? In case you haven't noticed there are some fancy new sidewalks along DeKalb Street and the project is continuing along Main Street. Now what we really need are some fancy new street lights to shine down on those fancy new sidewalks so people can feel safe when they're out for a stroll. While he's at it he can see about getting the street lights over on Marshall back in working order.
I brought up my displeasure with council's insistence on moving forward with new plans for parking at the lot adjacent to Poley Park. The plans are already there. David said something about the study being paid for with grant money and I said something about not caring because we still pay for grant money with our tax dollars and in the end it's a parking lot for Pete's sake. Pave it, stripe it, and start charging people a dollar a day to park there and move on.
Anyway, we had a lively discussion about several things Norristown. Perhaps the most lively being about code enforcement. I'll just leave it at that for now.
Here's what I think. I think we need to give this guy a chance to get his feet wet and then give him a helping hand where ever we can.
Crazy, I know, but it just might work.
What do you think?


Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the garage to be at Main and Cherry is a county garage. Since that is the case, maybe you should be putting pressure on the county to get it complete.

Bill DeAngelis/ said...

It is nice to have a professional manager at the reins. I just hope he doesn't develop into a "get along, git along" new kid in the blocks.

Re: Poley Park, remember it was the obligation of the contractural lessee to pave, stripe and light the area designated for parking.I hope it doesn't turn into a "let's pay for it with "free grant money" or there is a statute of limitation that says its our problem now.

Finally, just what is he excuse for not starting on the new parking garage at Cherry Street?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Forrest has a big job on his hands and we need to give him time. The former "Interim Acting Manager" and his remaining loyal staff of "do what Council says" cronies have done much to take the municipality backwards to its past. All one needs to do is to look back at the interim administration’s involvement in the alleged ordered “unofficial inspection” for a political friend, eviction and latter tenant suicide. I pray that Mr. Forrest has the fortitude to work through this process and weather the incoming storm of politically entrenched/reinforced staff with potential personal agendas.

Anonymous said...

Stan, this may not be the new guys problem, but lights on the street are one way to help "feel" safe. The other is to make it safe. Norristown needs to focus on "cleaning up" the problems. When you have huge drug & prostitution trade working the streets, it will not feel safe. Norristown needs to stop tollerating the norm and change it to survive. All this imprlvement is wasted. Would you walk on main street at night ? The "thugs" in norristown have no fear. I read where they were less than a block from the police station with a arsonal of guns. So why will anyone feel "safe" in a war zone.

InTheDark said...

If the borough purchased the street lighting system last year, they have control and responsibility of the entire system versus the old way of waiting on PECO to respond. What excuse do they have for not repairing broken street lights? They purchased the system to avoid that very thing by having control. The entire system should be under a maintenance contract with troubleshooting a part of that. Broekn lights are unexcusable.

Anonymous said...

So, what about the rumors of large sums of money suddenly appearing in the borough's books. Looks like the new guy needs to take a long hard look at the finance director and question why she didn't find that several years ago if it is true. I just can't think that a sound director would miss the investment interest payments on that account, or, are investments interest payments to the borough not counted as revenue on the books? Looks like it is time for another staff change if true.

Anonymous said...

New Kid in Norristown (Mr. Forrest). Money Found or not...this rumor is too big to let slide. The Auditing Firms need to be held accountable along with the Finance Director(s) covering the whole period. Norristown can not afford mistakes on the finance side. Keep on top of this rumor/fact.

Anonymous said...

New sidewalks, new street lights....fine by me. But WHAT ABOUT THE ROADS here in Norristown. I find myself going miles out of my way to avoid E. Main St. & definitely all of Markley St. You want people to visit this town, spend money, etc. FIX THE ROADS!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Stan... How is the "New Guy On The Block" doing? When taking on Norristown's Needs - it truly was a job for a man with very broad shoulders. How is the "Parking" on Main Street going? I need to take unfitting suits to the Salvation Army - but Parking in the spring was not worth the try.