Now that we are in 2017, how did Township perform compared to the 2016 budget?  First, a bit of history.

Every year, the Township is required by law to pass a budget. Every year, the former Township manager dedicated “hundreds of hours” or roughly 1/12 of his entire work year ((found on my website 9 November, 2014 last paragraph), just to create this one document. During his tenure, he would often claim that it was a “very tight budget”, a term that really means nothing. He would also say it was a “balanced budget”. Since that is the law it was more senseless drivel. Year after year, the former Supervisors (2 of the 3 are now gone, David Brown is still on the Board) overspent the budget. Monies that were given by the Hankin Group in a Settlement agreement to purchase open space slowly were tapped. Government Administrations prefer the term borrowed, insinuating they will pay it all back but that rarely happens. Through a Transferrable Development Right transaction of the Burch property, they laundered that money and actually made a few bucks, while increasing the population of the Township at the same time (read August 09, 2013 newsletter for all the details and documents). I use the term “laundered” because after the money was used to buy the property rights, the same Supervisors (emphatically led by David Brown) claimed that the money no longer had to be used for Open Space, it was “different” money. Therefore, it did not have to be spent to purchase Development Rights.

In 2016 Mike Schneider took a seat on the Board of Supervisors, changing the face of the majority for the first time in West Vincent in over 2 decades. The previous 5 years of 2011-2015, the Township over-spent the budget by approximately $1.4 million. Read my emails of 13 March and 16 March, 2016 for all of the exact deficit spending. In 2016, there have been some line items in the budget that the expenses have exceeded the designated amounts, yet the overall Budget vs. Actual reflect a very important fact. On November 16, 2016, I forecasted that the Township would be under budget for the year. I was correct, by no small amount. The General fund had almost $861,000 unspent at the end of the year. Almost a MILLION DOLLARS. Think about that. The New Administration not only stayed in budget, they underspent the budget by a huge margin.

Now the bad news. There are three bridges/culverts on the verge of collapse (discovered in the first ever Comprehensive Roads Survey performed in 2016) in the Township that will need a big chunk of money to repair.  Structures just don't go bad over night.  The former Roadmaster/Chairman of the Board of Supervisors ignored these areas. This erosion has been going on for years. One of the bridges that needs major repairs should have never been taken over by the township. It is an old farm bridge from the 30's that became part of a development. It never met PennDot specs and should have been rebuilt by the developer prior to Former Administration taking ownership. But the Former Supervisors took it anyway, and now the taxpayer gets to pay for the repairs. Thank Mike Schneider and John Jacobs for protecting your tax dollars so that the township won't have to borrow the money to fix the failing road infrastructure left to them. I am sure they will even do more in 2017!

Best Wishes.

To see my previous mailings just Google chickenman west vincent.  As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Just  write to chestercountynews@gmail.com  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.