22 April 2011
newsletter will be short today. The research I have been doing
is taking a long time. Perhaps it is the time it takes to find
out these things is what the leaders of West Vincent want? That
way, abuses will not be uncovered. But luckily I have lots of
time to spare.
I received an interesting mail following my last piece about the $5000 “donation” to the French and Pickering Conservation Trust. A correspondent wrote "RE: the $5000 to oversee the property – Natural Lands Trust Exec. Director told me personally such service from them would cost “a couple hundred dollars” if no complications". Hmmm.
The Open Space issue has brought more interesting issues to light. Remember, this is your money. You, the voters of West Vincent, were in favor of paying taxes to save open space and voted to do so in a Referendum placed on the ballot. The problem is, you trusted the wrong people and there has been no citizen oversight.
Here is an interesting TDR issue:
I have attached a copy of a list of all the TDR's that have been purchased to date and have been taking the time to review them. This takes quite a while to do. I didn't have to go far to come across another anomaly.
#3 on the list (attached) of Preserved properties: Dunn, Robert and Mary. The farm is a beautiful expanse on both sides of Birchrun Rd. This property is very worthy of saving. The Dunns have been in the area a very long time. I have heard that they are good, decent, honest, hard working people and have no reason to believe otherwise.
They sold (attached) their development rights on one side of Birchrun Road in 2005 for a total of $796,700. This preserved about 43 acres and the Dunns held one development right (perhaps for an Accessory Dwelling in the future?). The township entered into an agreement of sale (attached) for the other side of the road on January 25, 2005, to be completed on or before November 30, 2009. This was for 52 of the 62 Development rights. The total cost to the township and the taxpayer was $1,336,400.00. But the agreement has never been consummated. There is a record of a $50,000 payment yet the agreement speaks nothing of a down payment. There is nothing filed in the Courthouse to reflect this deposit. The township has nothing to show for this money, other than it is gone.
It seems to me that the Township is in default on the purchase of the Development Rights, leaving us, the taxpayers, wide open for a lawsuit. In my research, I have been able to find out that there was a sticking point to the sale. It seems the Township was trying to change the terms of the agreement by reducing the number of Development Rights the Dunn's could preserve. The original agreement, filed in the Chester County Courthouse clearly reflects 10 Development Rights. Later, there was a discrepancy over location and number of Development Rights the township wanted the Dunns to retain. There is nothing in writing I could find out about this issue of the location/number Development Right retainage, it only comes from independent sources. So, if that is wrong, I apologize. But the facts remain as follows:
You, the taxpayer, have received nothing for your money. With the updated 2010 census of the population having 4567 people, every man woman and child in our township paid over $10 for this giveaway. We are out $50,000 for nothing.
The township defaulted on a contract and could be sued. Perhaps the Dunn's will let it go with just the payoff of $50,000? We should be so lucky. The Dunns are under no obligation to sell the Development Rights at this point.
So we lost out on a pristine piece of property in the township, flanking both sides of the road that portrays exactly what West Vincent is about, and have $50,000 less in our account. Since we didn't “purchase” anything, how does that money get back into the Open Space account? The Dunns are certainly under no obligation to give the money back.
I ask, where is the oversight?
Please take the time to read the attachments. They are not long OR complicated. They are the legal documents pulled right from the Courthouse computer. Except for the expenditure list. That came from the Township. They are all true documents.
Election Day is coming. Clare, Ken and Zoe were all part of this
debacle. Clare is Running and Ken supports her. Zoe supports
Trolier and Brown. None of them have ever spoken against the
mismanagement of the finances or even questioned the Townships
activities. In fact, they have said that the Township is “well
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