I went to the Council meeting thinking that I would hear about what this leadership group learned at the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission’s meeting on how to improve the housing market and increasing jobs in communities. The story was front-page news on Sunday’s Delco Times. The Mayors of Lansdowne and Upper Darby were there, to name a few.
Here’s what our Borough officials learned:_________________________________
Yup, that’s right. No mention of it. I guess everyone was busy this weekend. The entire leadership group of this Borough could not muster up enough ‘know how’ to simply get to a meeting of the DCRPC that is meant to specifically help towns like Eddystone. For all the talk about jobs, taxes, and revenue, no one wants to actually do something to improve these areas.
We did get to hear about the WIN Committee, though. And there was a little squabble between the Chief and Councilwoman Reeves over the alleged ‘comparison shopping’ that happened with police car maintenance. There was a long discussion about a stop sign and shrubbery. And we got to see someone who according to Councilwoman Reeves, has no platform or ideas to help the Borough grow, get appointed into Kevin Begley’s vacant seat.
I actually feel bad for President Pappas. He looks like he is trying to captain the ship and get it moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, a group that refuses to row the boat in the same direction surrounds him.
The Borough has serious issues facing it. Housing. Land use. Maintaining safety. Hiring police. Attracting residents. Just to name a few.
Yet, we get to go to monthly meetings and listen to reports on hot dogs and whether or not a pork chop should be taken out of Wal-Mart’s parking lot. (Here’s a hint for you on the pork chop issue….leave it alone and go to the other end of the parking lot. Have the Highway Department move the concrete barrier out of the entrance point near 10th street. Access will then be provided to Simpson Street. Problem solved.)
President Pappas, and I would venture to say a handful of Councilors, want to see this Borough thrive; yet, Eddystone’s Republican Party leader holds them back. Pappas and this Council have a front row seat to see just how vindictive he can be and how personal agendas drive everything this so called leader does. Pappas, just like a group of residents who came together and got something accomplished, not only want positive change in this Borough. They are willing to put their personal feelings aside and actually do something about what they believe to be true. Whether or not he agrees with ER4PC, that group of residents had the love for this town to fight for something they believed in, the discipline to stay the course with their fight, the knowledge to challenge anyone who tried to placate them with hot dogs and presents, and the endurance to sustain their cause. They worked with state officials, both elected and employed, they worked with County officials (elected and employed), and they tried to work with the local government. In fact, they worked with the local government until the guy who sits in the corner of Borough Chambers started making his mocking ‘done deal’ comments and harassing the people who were trying to do something positive for this town.
Those people actually had a vision for Eddystone that allowed the town to grow into something just a little bit more than what it has been or is. Just to be clear, I did not say change Eddystone. I said grow.
Here’s the thing that Mayor Orr doesn’t want to acknowledge. The rest of Ridley has such a poor view of Eddystone, they would rather move into a different school district than move into Eddystone. So, when they are losing their houses or moving because taxes are too high, those people move out of Ridley.
Don’t believe me? Ask your middle or high school kids what the other kids in school say about Eddystone.
Furthermore, life long residents continue to move out into other areas because they are trying to get away from the Eddystone stigma of being the bottom of Ridley. Don’t believe me? Ask a lifelong resident about how the housing market used to be, even in times consumed by a bad economy. There was always a strong housing market in Eddystone because there were always kids growing up and ready to buy homes in their hometown.
The worst part about all of this for Mayor Orr: He knows this is happening and has no idea how to fix it. He is so far out of his league and so beyond his personal ability to succeed. Instead of acknowledging his weakness and asking for help, he simply deflects the conversation to hot dogs and attacks anyone who contradicts his way of thinking. Thus, he still remains ‘the man’ in his own eyes even though the rest of us can see that he is nothing more than the ‘Emperor who has new clothes’ (remember that childhood story of a guy walking around naked?).
President Pappas wants this Borough to thrive. So does a very dedicated group of people (some elected, some not) who successfully demonstrated their abilities. Councilman Stewart has stood up for behavior expectations for employees. Councilwoman Thompson has argued for fiscal responsibility and workplace expectations. Councilman Paterson brought outside resources into the Borough and stood with ER4PC members who fought for this town. I’d even venture a bet that Councilwoman Reeves would jump on board if there was a majority in place.
We all can see the crossroads at which Eddystone stands; who is going to be the leader to step up, take the Borough down the proper path, and allow our community to grow?
President Pappas gets a B. I give the man credit for trying. I don’t agree with everything he is saying, but I do think he is putting forth a good effort. Yet, there is no mention of any of the larger issues facing the Borough. He needs to reach out to the people who want to be involved, despite the feelings of one small-minded party leader.
Councilman Paterson gets a B. He tried to nominate someone who has served the Borough for years as a member of the Recreation Board. He is also trying to bridge the gap between this Council and his neighbors who are shunned by the ‘emperor’ sitting in the corner (notice, Mr. Paterson did thank all of those people who worked Memorial Day). Unfortunately, he is getting nowhere.
Councilman Stewart gets a B. He is trying to get lines painted on the roads that Sucher paved two months ago. He also asks questions with just about every issue that comes up.
Councilwoman Reeves gets a D+. Abstaining from a vote just because you do not want to vote is not a legitimate reason to abstain. Stand up and fight for your town. You wanted to fight the Chief and his ‘comparison shopping’ yet you won’t fight to put someone strong on Council. Weak.
Councilwoman Thompson gets a D+. Was she there?
Councilwoman Tatiscoire gets a J. Yup, four levels below a big fat F. Missing half of this year’s meetings is a joke.