Since I have been feeling improved - some distance still to go though - I have been reviewing some of the things that have been happening in West Vincent earlier in the year. It may surprise you but the Open Space Committee has been operating illegally since it's inception.

First, some history.

The Open Space Committee is an advisory committee established in 1999.  They review and recommend suitable properties that would be eligible for the Township Transferrable Development Right program. The Supervisors put their confidence in this committee.

At the beginning of every year, Municipalities are required to re-organize. This involves appointments for positions within the Administration and Committees. Terms expire and people need to be reappointed or replaced. New people need to be appointed to committees, and currently for West Vincent it’s important to replace the incestuous group appointed by the former Supervisors that controlled all the groups. These were the yes men and women who would do whatever the old Administration wanted. Not exactly independent thinkers.

When the new Administration started in 2016 (Jacobs and Schneider), some new members were appointed to the Open Space Committee. Then, it was brought to the Supervisors' attention that the resolution that created the Open Space committed very specific groups of people to the Board. One of the people that was required to be a member is a Township Supervisor, which was David Brown. Here is the Ordinance in 1999 (http://www.westvincenttwp.org/wp-content/uploads/Ordinance-No.-099-Creation-of-Open-Space-Review-Board.pdf)
establishing the Open Space Committee (signed off by Ken Miller, Zoe Perkins and Karl Brachwitz) required a Township Supervisor to be on the committee. The Ordinance would have been reviewed by the Township Attorney (if not written by him in the first place).

Now, 18 years after the Open Space Committee was established, it is discovered that the Ordinance was flawed and the Open Space Advisory Committee has been operating illegally. The problem? It was pointed out by Brian Curry that under the Second Class Township Code 403. Supervisors (b) it clearly states:

“Except as otherwise provided in this act, no supervisor shall at the same time hold any other elective or appointive township office or position. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a supervisor from being a member of a township planning commission created under the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 805, No. 247), known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."

The Ordinance had to be corrected, Supervisor David Brown removed from that Board and the a new person appointed to the Board. As I have pointed out many times before, the old Administration paid huge monies to their Attorney to do research and in the end, in this case, write a defective ordinance. How many other poorly written or legally defective documents are to be found out there? My guess is that there are many, but only time will tell. How much will it cost the taxpayers? Nobody can even speculate. It all depends on what problems are discovered before or after something happens that triggers a lawsuit. Just more problems left for Mike Schneider and John Jacobs to have to clean up from the old Administration. Thankfully the law firm has been replaced.

But wait, there's even more! Because of defective minutes written at the beginning f the year, Brian Curry pointed out that again, the Open Space meeting was operating illegally. Would you like to see the Open Space meeting get shut down in 7 minutes?


No surprise that there were supporters of the old Administration who were not happy with this revelation. Both entertaining and sad to see that the old ways of running West Vincent is still supported by some, no matter how illegal

Best Wishes.

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