Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EARLY THOUGHTS ON THE MOUNT PENN - LOWER ALSACE MERGER

John Fielding

Now that we are officially in merger discussions, and having heard the options presented, the assumption of the merger group is that a merger referendum needs to be on the ballot by August. Why? What's the rush? I like the borough we have just tine. I think the borough form presents the best model for keeping costs under control and ensuring qualified employees. We don't need to merge in terms of services, either. Mt. Penn's snow removal was abominable, exceeded by Lower Alsace's (Reading's solution to snow removal seemed to be awaiting the arrival of June). I simply do not see advantages in services that Mt. Penn doesn't currently enjoy, and which the addition of Lower Alsace will not improve. Unlike the school district merger, we do not have the concern for the education of children driving the merger, which leads me to question, "What is driving it?, since there seems to be no obvious advantages in the merger itself

The meetings have exposed the lack of cost and personnel controls in the 2nd Class Township model. It is an open invitation to nepotism and filling all available employment positions with idiot relatives.

The second best arrangement, if we must merge, is a home rule
entity governed by rules drawn from the Borough Code as a starting point. The object of this is not to give someone's wife a job.

I hope the new Mayor understands that he has veto power over the eventual resolution from the council.