Friday, April 25, 2008

Open...or shut

Have you ever tried to go to your local municipal building and pick up what you thought should be a public document? How about your school district? If you have and you've been shut down, let me know. Or, if the door was wide open I'd like to know about your experience, too.
Gov. Rendell (I was a big fan until he simply dropped the ball on property tax reform, created a monster with the gambling board and has all but ignored the shenanigans at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, but I digress), has come up big this time with the appointment of a director of the Office of Open Records.
All too often I hear unbelievable tales from people about how they were denied a public document. We did our own audit here a few years ago and a local district justice actually told the person we sent in to the courtroom that they couldn't have a criminal complaint because the detective on the case said so!
That's my most outrageous story, what's yours?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very ineresting comment you have posted Stan. Since I am a resident of Lower Providence Township and have realiized for the past several years of the political games that our Supervisors can play(can you say printing contracts?) I understand the necessity for access to public documents. Our Township has made it very convenient for the public to review or receive copies of public documents (@.25/page) under the Freedom of Information Act. So many residents have requested documents under this Act that our Township even created it's own request form for public use. It is amazing how nervous the staff becomes when certain people show up lookig for documents. Are they by chance hiding something?
The Professor

Anonymous said...

Yes, my son had his tooth knocked out of his mouth during gym class. (The gym teacher had told the kids to "hit a few balls around the gym" while she went to do something else.) When I asked Colonial School District for their insurance company information, they refused. Knowing about the FOI act, I insisted. They finally handed it over and the insurance company informed me that they don't cover "accidents." I never received a response to my second request for information... what are we paying this company for?

Anonymous said...

Stan:

Visit CTMA/CTJPW in Trappe and try to get info. What a joke.

By the way it looks like that guy Craig Marks beat all you guys to the best story in years. Take a look at his blog.

Anonymous said...

We here in LP usually get answers to inquiries, but, if a call is related to Deeds, and the rules set forth, (i.e. #of Animals, size of an addition permitted to the homes in an area (development)when the original homes were built & # of cars not in driving condition) you will more than likely here-- I never heard of such a thing or who will enforce these rulings? The reason we purchased our home here in this area was because of the rules in the Deed, it made us feel secure that the neighborhood would not look like a junk yard or someone who had no taste when adding on to their home. Surely there must be some way our township can enforce these rules. When purchasing a home, & before settlement, all rules should be understood by the new purchaser and signed off before settlement would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Stan--please don't bother to publish the comment about Farina--you covered it very well in your editorial.

crystal balls said...

Stan, Craig Marks blog is way out of line. There was no raids on anyones home. If these people know so much carry a camera and shoot the scene. If you go to some web sites they have everyone and their brothers home being raided by 10 to 30 FBI agents. People keep taking shots at you, like Joe Friday used to say "give me the facts,just the facts.

Stan said...

I heard the rumors last week. However, before I move forward with something of this magnitude I will make sure we have confirmation.

Anonymous said...

Once again, a vindictive, ousted council member or their fearless leader from Trappe tries to put a spin on a story that involves a current council member or a member of his family. These people just don't get it !! The reason that they are on the outside looking in is because of these underhanded, weasley tactics and how they are unable to be trusted. Move on people !

Anonymous said...

Stan
Is it normal for the FBI to give out search warrants to public officials?

Anonymous said...

Stan, I really love you, but I am wondering why you would even give the pseudo blogger space to advertise his site on your blog. It's been obvious here for months that this person has serious, almost to the point of obsession, axes to grind on a handful of elected officials. I think he/she has dropped the names of certain officials one too many times and any rational person would not consider this person credible. If there are slanderous statements in this pseudo blogger's site, couldn't you be part of any lawsuit if one is filed by posting his comment which advertises that blog?

Innocent and really good people could be hurt by this person and his fake blog and contents. I don't think it's fair to continually post his/her comments. He/she has some serious issues. I'd hate to see you be a part of that.

Sign me,
anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

As a first time reader to your blog I looked at www.pvpa.blogspot.com. Were search warrants issued? If so why wasn't this reported in your newspaper?If this did not take place report it and clear this matter up for the public interest.Regarding comments from one of your anonymous writers in checking out your entire stories on your blog in the past Stan names of public officials are being written about from all townships including county,local,and federal level it does not look like just one individual is being singled out. This is America everyone is entitled to an opinion.What is the problem?

Stan said...

This is how it works in newspapers. We don't run stories based on rumors and innuendo. We are currently checking out the rumors and innuendo, but until we have something in black and white you will not see anything in The Times Herald.

Anonymous said...

Stan,

I wish you would hold your blog to the same standards as the Times Herald.

All there seems to be on here is rumor and innuendo.

Dolphin Eye

Anonymous said...

Well well well, there is only one comment about Craigs Marks being out front on the ALLEGED story in Limerick. He was so out front that either he is smearing people and will ultimately be sued, or has direct information about the investigation and therefore he should be criminally charged for obstruction of justice or just wants to act like the former trappe councilman who has a questionable past. Thank you Mr Huskey for responsible journalism. Mr Marks, keep pipe dreaming !

Tory said...

Stan . . .

I'm sure you have received a lot of blog entries you are unable to print until you determine they are not rumors and inuendos.Im from L.P. and think your blogs are great !

Anonymous said...

What’s my most outrageous story? It was at the races last Thursday. The one with Norristown taking their records to the county incinerator. That’s one way to beat the new open law. Never saw government employees move that fast.

Anonymous said...

Stan
I think you DO hold the blog to the same standards as the Times Herald. Keep up the good work.

Fisherman said...

Sounds like dolphin has a black eye. . . . Eventually the residents will sort out fact from fiction !

Anonymous said...

Why dont you people stop heckling LP. You're all just jealous. What we do in or out of work is nobodys business.

Mitch said...

Re: anonymous' comment on May 9th

Obviously this individual is very green (and I aint talkin with envy) or quite politically protected to make such an outrageous comments.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to 2009 when newly elected officials can clean house !

Anonymous said...

Our area when we first moved into our home was beautiful. Our neighborhood was something that we were able to boast about. But, now a few homes have changed hands some are rentals or parents became part of splitsville and only young adults live there and could care less about the property. One property has four cars sitting on various parts of their property and the road. No they are not antiques cars! The grass most of the time is uncut and stuffed furniture gracing the lawn. Now how can the township permit this to go on when neighbors complain? Anonymous in LP you are right, we need homeowners made aware of what the "Deed" states and the township should also fine any owner not complying after a warning is given. It is important!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5/22, check to see if the Lower Providence Township has on board a "Compliance Officer", such as all Banks have. These matters are handled very swiftly and it would make everyone happy about their surroundings and taxes paid for services rendered.

Anonymous said...

Taking Care of Business ...Well the Township should be open to suggestions regarding the appearance of neighborhoods. I have noticed the Police Car going through our neighborhood on at least a weekly basis and also our Township Vehicle using our street as a cut-thru. Now why in the world would they not see an unattended property if the signs are there (Cars that have not been moved, uncut grass & indoor furniture on the lawn)? Enforce the laws on the books right now and also be aware of the "Deed" restrictions when a development starts/finishes. Our Mail person is very knowledgeable and will tell the authorities if the house is not receiving mail & where it is forwarded to, that is if the township doesn't already know. A law is a law - enforcement is needed.

Anonymous said...

SAVE YOUR BREATH>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Take a look at the corner of Pinetown and Egypt roads. When your the friend of the property owner a weed ordinance is null and void. The police have enough to worry about other than chasing lawn furniture and abandoned cars. The high paid manager should get out of his air conditioned office and see what his code people are doing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6/3 you really mean NOT DOING!

Anonymous said...

To all those who have complaints concerning property maintenance issues. Please contact the codes dept at Lower Providence Township at 610-539-8020. Stans Blog should not be used as complaint forum for property maintenance issues. Lower Providence Township strives to be the one of the finest communities in PA and we have had property maintenance codes for years. Please call the Township with your issues and they will be investigated immediately. By the way, if you wish to air out your complaints concerning the operation of the LPT Codes Dept, please refer to the LPT website. The township has a complaint investigation link for you. If you have time to complain here, then you have time to use the LPT links provided on the website.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected........Thank you.

Anonymous said...

LP Anonymous - Regarding Code Enforcement. Maybe our taxpayers need to be reminded that the Township is indeed enforcing the rules that so many Bloggers are complaining about.

Anonymous said...

Code Enforcement... Properties that are not maintained is of concern to all towns. Our Postal Workers & Police patroling an area should take note because just maybe there is a person living in the home that really needs assistance. We have County/Township Workers that can supply help in these cases. This is just another reason why action should be taken. Many High School Students are in need of credits for volunteering in order to graduate (not all schools require this) and the summer would be a good time to earn them.