Here is the documentation of the West Vincent Township Meeting of January 3, 2012. As you can imagine, this took quite a bit of time to compile and had to be done listening to an iPod recording since the video of the meeting (as well as the two previous meetings) is not yet on the website. By the way, West Vincent still has only a handful of minutes on the website for 2010 or 2009, even though they are clearly listed as links on the Township website. Click on ANY of the dates, chance are you will get nothing. The minutes "mysteriously" disappeared shortly before the General election of 2011 with the delivery of the new website and the audience was told (according to the township video) they would be back up soon. I suppose it is like everything else run by this administration. Offer information, but don't really deliver.

Here is what I can tell you about the January 3, 2012 meeting:

1.The PUBLISHED Agenda available at the meeting was 14 items. The actual meeting was 16 items, according to Ken Miller. These were not arbitrary add-ons, the extra items were on the list that Ken Miller was reading. Number 16 was Clare Quinn's Health benefit package. I still can't figure out what Number 15 was. Why were the last two not listed?

2. In the Committee appointments, Pam Brown was re-appointed to the Environmental Advisory Committee. That's great. She can advise people how to build an oversized house on Environmentally preserved land. She was NOT re-appointed to the Open Space Advisory Board most likely because she filled a chunk of her township paid Open Space with a giant and illegal (by the current Zoning) house that she considers a cottage.

3. The Township Meetings are finally scheduled for twice a month (Just a few years ago it was every Monday, last year it was 3 Mondays per month). Twice a month is often enough for meetings and another can always be established and advertised if needed.  Just think of the money that can be saved in attorney bills!

4. Township Manager Jim Wendelgass' salary was increased from $99,784.61 to $103,277.07 for the year. Add his benefits package and it totals a whopping $132, 280, according to the adopted budget.

5. The highly experienced Supervisor Clare Quinn and keen eyed Attorney Supervisor David Brown voted for a motion to approve two Treasurers bonds($1,000,000 & $2,000,000, note attached Minutes from 2011). The proper execution is to pick one OR the other. The error was caught by Michele Thomas and the motion had to be rescinded and re-voted , selecting one bond. There were THREE lawyers at the front table. David Brown, Alan Greenwood and James Wendelgass. The MBA in the audience caught the error and corrected the Board.

6. Public comment was not allowed for any of the Reorganization process, unlike previous years. Refer to the 2011 minutes attached

7. Maria Jacobs asked if the list of appointments was listed on the (Township) website. Clare responded “Yes it is”. No, it's not. Jim Wendelgass stated, “It will be after tonight”, but he didn't say when. It may be someday, but not today as the Township minutes are still taking 5+ weeks to appear.

8. Michele Thomas noted that the Agenda stopped at the Bills List (#14) and asked when opportunity for Public comment on Non-Agenda items would be. Ken Miller said, “Actually we're not doing that this meeting. There is one more item on the agenda.” When Thomas pressed the issue, Clare Quinn stated the following. “The organizational meeting is not our regular Township meeting.” Counsel Alan Greenwood corrected the highly experienced Clare Quinn by stating, “Actually, it is a regular meeting but typically it's limited to this.” No, typically it is not. What was being stated is clearly UNTRUE. January 3, 2011 minutes are attached to this e-mail for the readers review.  It is clear that LAST YEAR a regular meeting followed the re-organizational process.

 9.  At this meeting they did change the schedule to the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month, they did not list in the schedule the 3rd of January as a special or “re-organizational only” meeting. The Board of Supervisors can indeed field questions if they so choose and in fact, by presenting the bills list and Clare's raise (ADDED BENEFIT PACKAGE), they were having a “regular” meeting. Bills Lists and the giving of Free Health Care are not any part of a the once a year reorganization meeting of the township. To do such business, they should have closed the meeting and opened up a separate meeting, just as is done for hearings.

 10. Michele Thomas asked what the new changes were to the zoning changes to be adopted at the Township meeting on Monday, January 9. It seems that the zoning changes that Clare said would be changed no further were indeed changed. Alan Greenwood stated they changes were “minor”. Jim Wendelgass stated that he "recalled" that the changes were typographical. Clare Quinn stated “I don't believe there were any other changes than those typographical things”. She also said: "I don't know what they are, so I can't tell you”. Tom Helwig stated, “So exclusively Counsel that made the changes and yet, even Alan Greenwood did not know what the changes were, nor could he determine it from reading the document. and nobody knows anything about the changes”, to which Clare Quinn stated, “Correct”. What? Nobody read the changes on the Board and they are voting on them next week. Clare didn't read them and yet believed the changes were merely typos and stated she didn't know what they were. When will these people give a completely honest answer or at least know what they are talking about? Clare is one of highly experienced new Supervisors? 

I believe a typographical error is a misspelled word. While these changes probably have no effect on you, look at the changes and see if that is the case, I think you will be surprised.

I have stated in a previous e-mail, these changes are most likely to do with the 1000 + acre Dietrich property. Making these new changes probably has something to do with the rumors of its impending sale and manipulation of the zoning for some benefit.

The NEW changes are shown here and are more than simple typos.
See Pages 16, 17, 18, 20, 26, 28-34, there may be others

11. Clare Quinn wrote a letter requesting to be covered by Township Insurance. Tom Helwig said he saw no need for it and Attorney/Supervisor David Brown said “Tom, it's a matter of right as I understand it under State law”. Helwig corrected Brown stating it must be voted on and Brown said it does not. Township Manager/Attorney Jim Wendelgass stated that it is his understanding that it does not need to be approved, it is State Law........they(the Supervisor) are allowed to it (Health Benefits) under State law. Attorney/Supervisor David Brown asked Attorney Alan Greenwood if that was correct and Greenwood said “Yeah, it is a 'Right'”. The Board then voted and approved it.

There are two things to note in this very expensive decision. One, it was voted on proving that Tom Helwig was correct and Attorney/Supervisor David Brown was not. If the Board did not have to vote on the issue, they would not have. Two, while a Supervisor has a “right” to Health Insurance, it is the Township that decides how much it will cover. It could be 100% paid by the township or to put the Supervisor on the policy, at the Supervisor's own cost. That right of determination is specified in the PA Second Class Township Code. For anyone who want to see the rules, simply Google  PA Second Class Township Code.

Three attorneys, all bearing half truths and one is a Supervisor. Good luck with your new Supervisor, West Vincent, seems like you are getting more of the same, just like I predicted.  You are off to a good start!

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Best wishes