TOWAMENCIN — Although it may not be a completed transaction, Towamencin residents are still asking their boss many questions about the proposed sale of the township sewer system.
On Wednesday night, residents asked a question they felt unanswered for another hour and a half against the sale. We covered the allegations made in the two public city halls and the months of debate about the sale.
“I did some analysis on this whiteboard. If you maintain this system, the town will get $ 1 billion. If you privatize the system, you will lose $ 1 billion. Do you believe in this prediction? “Said Coffey Osei, a resident.
“It’s a matter of posting a number without a job. It doesn’t make sense. There are companies that offer five times the face value of the sewer. Are you worried about being part of the scam? Are you worried that you may be involved? ”He repeated.
over- Last 3 weeksTwo public Town hall meeting Hosted by Township Listen to the analysis And field public comments Possibility of privatization Of the township sewer system.Investigations related to the sale were discussed by Township and its residents After 2020When 5 bids received About the possibility of sale or lease in February, and Residents hitting the board For more details since then, it warns that the sale to Township will ultimately be borne by the payer.
At the start of Wednesday night supervisor meetingChairman of the Board, Chuck Wilson, will hold the next regular meeting of the Board at 7:00 pm on May 11 at 1000 Forty Foot Road, the Dock Mennonite Academy, which is the same location as the two city halls in April. I announced that.
“We recognize that we need a larger venue because of the expected turnout of sewerage decision agenda items,” he said.
Two new items have been released since April 20th City Hall Public data room By bidder NextEra Energy, resident Martin Cohen has indicated that four out of five board members will approve the sale of sewerage, including depreciation demanded for the cost of the town to borrow $ 115 million. The bid price submitted. The second item was requested by Osei, the founder of Towamenshin’s Neighbors Group Against Privatization Efforts The percentage of residents who oppose the sale as he disassembled the financial analysis performed by the external consultant PFM.
“Mr. Osei wants the assumptions included in the Towamensin sewerage charges that would be expected if the system were not sold, and they are now also in the data room,” Wilson said.
Later, the chairman of the board began reading public comments submitted by email, almost all of which opposed the possibility of sale. “There is no good discussion about selling our local government services, including sewerage,” Sandra Green said.
“Selling sewers will forever affect the financial position of Towamensin’s inhabitants to fund their short-term needs,” she said.
“I was disappointed to see the four supervisors declare their loyalty to the predatory sewerage company because of residents’ concerns,” said Tina Gallagher.
“Many of my favorite seniors will be greatly affected. No supervisor mentioned this in individual comments. The millions of people advertised all stand behind the inhabitants. Probably, shiny things don’t impress me. Strong morals are, “she said in a comment submitted. When Gallagher was writing her words he heard at her city hall, she raised her whiteboard directly.
“residents May Benefit from homestead exemption.It was Estimated..Created spare May It will be used. we Estimated —Vague words, foggy words for me, “she said. “I don’t want a private company with shareholders when our town can do the same job efficiently without harming the inhabitants.”
After attending the two city halls, Michael Cunningham said: NextEra is overpaying us to build a foothold in Pennsylvania. “
“The money we earn is invested and you can make great plans to spend that interest. But you are not always our supervisor. The new supervisor’s slate. Can spend or waste everything on ridiculous luxury. Think about how excited past supervisors were to build a bridge that doesn’t lead anywhere. ” ..
Jack Cisco said he opposed the sale after the first town hall, but changed his mind in the second town hall for several reasons. At the first Zoom meeting, only the presenters were shown. Looking at the numbers and thinking about them, I really went home. “
Joe and Monica Catanzaro said: Township. “
“I was surprised that four of the five supervisors were in charge of selling sewers and the opposite supervisor was a Democrat,” said Joseph Toner. In the long run, this will hurt all residents. I’m registered as a Republican, but I’ll never vote for you again. “
Lisa Reeve said that the financial forecasts shown in Township include a dramatic increase in Township’s property tax to make up for the income lost by Township selling sewers. I asked why I was there.
“When using NextEra, we, your members, are pouring hard-earned money into the drains, and we get no benefit, except for high invoices. not.”
Michael Miller asked at the City Hall on April 6 why the board did not answer the question of promising not to raise taxes after the sale, and gave an overview of possible uses for the sale price. “We cannot provide it to the residents of Towamenshin,” he said. It’s an acceptable plan. Jen Foster said he thought the comparison with other utilities run by private companies in the city hall was “very off-based and almost funny.” You can disconnect the cable cord and buy both electricity and cell service. “
“I also know one or two things about market breakthroughs, and I can 100% surely tell you that NextEra will get their money back,” she said.
Foster added a sharp word to Wilson, “in almost everything you said, he felt closed, dishonest, and completely inconsistent.” I believe that the shadow “Sewerage Commission” you are participating in is not only a conflict of interest, but is organized solely to hide your desire to sell from the public. increase. “
Vanessa Gainer said she was “confused” about the plan and opposed the sale, but Stephanie German said “few people said this was a good idea.” Judy Cunningham believes the board is “blinded by money” and the deal with PFM, which pays a percentage to the consultant based on the sale price, is “insufficiently built and if sold. You can only benefit from it. ” For me, this invalidates financial advice. “
Gary Starkweather said in an email comment that she had not yet received formal notice from the township, and bids by the sewerage authorities of the adjacent Franconia Township more closely reflected the true value of the system. Added a direct comment that I thought there was.
“I don’t know why Franconia wasn’t considered more seriously. Yes, I couldn’t afford to pay for all of these epic capital projects, but everyone wants all of these capital projects. I don’t know if it’s there, “he said.
Joe Silberman read the 2001 campaign material, where Wilson and his late director Tom Hollenbeck first campaigned for the board of directors.
“We have proposed to take a” resident-first “approach in the following areas: taxes, spending, this is one:” openness and communication “. Use the Towamenshin Newsletter to investigate serious issues. I’ve never seen it, “he said.
Cohen questioned the numbers in the financial presentation. Will the rate double as soon as the rate freeze is lifted? Is that correct? “Wilson replied:” Everyone has a presentation. “
James Collins questioned the credibility of Town Hall’s Next Era staff, who vowed that the company wouldn’t seek back $ 115 million from payers.
“Even if you can believe his words, the truth is that there is no guarantee that he will be the man who makes the decision in two, five or ten years. This is a company. They take a completely different route. You can decide to move on, “he said.
“When it comes to theirs, it’s theirs to do whatever they want to do, and we no longer have a say because it’s no longer ours,” Collins says. I did.
Bruce Baillie compared it to other services like police. We have our own police station and we run it well. You sell the supervisor and don’t bring a management company to run the town. It doesn’t make sense. And David McCreary said the PFM numbers are “not worth anything. Even if presented, it’s a bad case for township.”
After that, Taisei stood on the floor for about 20 minutes, asked questions that he felt were unanswered, and then paused while asking the questions, with the board and staff leaving answers. Some of the questions were whether township managers would like to comment on privatization, why they weren’t critical of the pre-2022 stagnation rate of decades, and that investment would be better than Next Era. If you believe, why a big tax increase is needed over the next decade, the Board plans to raise taxes and sewerage rates in 2023.
Next, Osei asks supervisors Rich Marino and Kristin Warner specific questions, why they want to increase spending during inflation, why the public should trust the board for $ 115 million, and use it for choice. Emphasized about the criteria that were made. Next Era bid. The only answer to Osei’s question came from Joyce Snyder, the only supervisor who said he opposed the sale, saying there was no private conversation with PFM.
“When did you realize that Next Era is a priority bid? And have you ever been asked about your tastes?” Taisei asked.
“At the same time, so did the rest of Towamenshin, and no,” Snyder replied.
Taisei then told the board that he plans to “read a lot of literature related to the sale of sewers until I get bored or you motion to postpone the meeting.” Attorney Jack Dooly replied that Osei “has no right to read the document and just consume the meeting.” It’s not a public comment. “
The two then argued back and forth, Dooly warned Taisei to “be very careful about the turmoil in the public meeting,” and Taisei asked, “What are too many lines of turmoil?”
“I think you’ve reached that because this board needs to be moved to do other work,” Dooly said. Later, Osei began reading letters in October before handing Mike over to Silberman, and as Silberman read more literature from 2001, Wilson sought a motion to end the public comment period. Marino and Warner were then transferred and seconded, Snyder voted negative, and the board voted 3: 1 to advance other businesses.
Towamensin’s supervisors will then meet at Dock Mennonite Academy on May 11th at 7:00 pm on 1000 40 Foot Road. For more information or meeting minutes and materials, please visit: www.Towamencin.org..
Towamenshin NOPE Group continues to beat the board over sewerage sales
Source link Towamenshin NOPE Group continues to beat the board over sewerage sales