I sure do love Kenny Rodgers. “Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…”
Two months ago, Dale Kerns ripped the other Council members for spending 28k of taxpayer’s money on, in his words, “an unnecessary audit.” Since he did not get anywhere with the “audit” argument, he went with the “alarming issues” (i.e. an extra $48 in the coffers) rhetoric last month. No one bit, except for the hardcore axe grinders. Now, Kerns is treating that same“audit” as the lost Gospel with a path to the promise land and accusing people of theft and bamboozlement.
Kerns, the self-proclaimed “Defender of the Constitution,”went to an all new low in last night’s Borough Council meeting, as he contradicted the findings of an independent evaluator, the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, and the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division, which is part of the District Attorney’s office. All three of those organizations, which seem to be pretty reputable last time I checked, reviewed the same report Kerns has and found no significant irregularities or criminal actions in the Borough finances. There were suggestions made to improve efficiency and accuracy of Borough records, and those changes have already been implemented. But, the suggestions did not imply criminal behavior.
Despite these findings, Kerns stated that “theft” from the Borough had taken place. His reasoning: Cash advances were paid to employees when the Borough switched from a weekly to bi-weekly pay system, a switch that was going to leave some employees without a paycheck for 3 weeks. The Mayor and entire Council approved this measure, with the exception of Kerns who was not on Council a year ago. Not only did the Council, Mayor, the Fraternal Order of Police, and Borough Solicitor know about the payroll changes, so did the people who attended Council meetings before election time reared up. In fact, the Mayor himself offered to personally loan the money to a certain highway department worker who expressed dismay over the payroll changeover.
No one complained about the advances back then because it was all explained more than a year ago. Now, in addition to everyone already mentioned, 3 independent and well-respected groups cleared the officials and employees of any illegal activity. But, Kerns, who thinks he knows everything, still wants to beat the drum on this issue and argue that taxpayers have been bamboozled and that thievery on the high seas has occurred, as he now has taken to Facebook to continue his merry wanton ramblings of ignorance.
When it was pointed out to Kerns that an independent evaluator, the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, AND the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office ALL disagreed with him, his responses were to brush these distinguished groups off because “I am qualified” to look at budgets and “I can read.”
What exactly is Kerns reading that a professional evaluator, the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, and the Delaware County District Attorney’s office did not read? I have not brushed up on my Constitution lately, but the last time I went to middle school government class, the power of subpoena was mentioned somewhere as part of the powers within the judicial branch of government. I would think if two judicial powers of government looked into something, and have the power to subpoena people and documents, they could probably get to the bottom of the issue.
As if this behavior alone is not alarming enough, Kerns also suggested that the Borough does not need to seek legal advice in updating the Borough Code. Apparently, according to Kerns, all we need to update the laws are “a copy of the Constitution” and a few willing volunteers. If that is the case, then is there is a reason why people attend law school? Is there a reason why people are paid large sums of money to do work as part of the judicial branch of all levels of government? Is there a reason that we have a Borough Solicitor on the payroll? Maybe. Just maybe it is because the ability to read, something that an average six year old can do, does not qualify one to interpret the law.
Intelligent people don’t just read one thing and run with it. They read things from several sources before making an informed decision. Intelligent people do not assume to know everything about everything. I have a funny feeling that the professionals (i.e. the evaluator, the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office) all read something that shows them, based on their years of experience in working with finances and law, that there is no problem.
Putting all of that aside for one second: if Kerns is really so worried about financial decisions made more than a year ago, why wait to raise those issues now? Where has he been for the last year, and why wait until now to talk about it? Furthermore, Mayor Orr, in support of Kerns, stated that he contacted the State Ethics Commission. Again, why wait until now to make any mention of it?
I am no longer questioning Dale’s ability to lead. Clearly, he cannot. I am at the point where I am now questioning why anyone unrelated to Dale would even consider supporting this guy for any political office.
“…Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”