Op/Ed: Questioning Westtown on Crebilly hearing

Well, some of us were able to attend Monday night's hearing, virtually, via the Zoom platform. Once logged on, I am pleased to say, zoom worked very well. It seems the township capped the meeting at one hundred attendees, including callers, leaving MANY left out. Who made this decision and why? I do not know.

A specific number of up to 300 virtual attendees was discussed and decided upon over a month ago. I do not understand what changed. And why didn't a listserv from the township, notifying the public of the additional Aug. 31 hearing, go out sooner than Saturday, Aug. 29 at 1 a.m.? I do not know. I have no answers.

Why was the township 'reminder listserv' sent out 15 minutes prior to last night's hearing? I do not know that either. I was told in a phone conversation it would be sent out Sunday evening. And why were only some of the board of supervisors and not all of them, provided with the appropriate documents for last night's hearing? Again, I do not know. I'm just the piano player.

Unfortunately, by the time the issue was remedied, the hearing was almost halfway over and many, understandably, had already given up. I have been assured from reputable sources that moving forward, all Zoom hearings in the future will accommodate everyone (up to 500 people). That's more like it! There were easily a few hundred people wanting to watch the hearing. A hundred logged in successfully before the block and many of them were couples.

I truly commend the public for their fine display of participation. And thank you to the public officials doing the best they can under the circumstances. I am terribly sorry for so many that could not log on or call in. I cringe in frustration- yours and mine. The amount of wasted energy by myself and others over battling logistics, missing and/or incorrect information and what feels like apathy- needs to stop. The board of supervisors has enough to focus on.  With so much at stake, well beyond Westtown borders, let's hope the rest of the township team steps up their game for the greater good. Not a moment too soon.

Ah but all is not lost. As luck would have it, for those who missed, here is the bootlegged video recording of the evening (my apologies for any barking dogs in the background):

https://crebillyfarmfriends.com/meeting-videos/

To briefly recap, township solicitor Patrick McKenna, did a great job, as usual, steering the ship for the entire evening.  Most of the evening centered around testimony presented by Toll's traffic consultant Nicole Kline. Ms. Kline is brilliantly talented when it comes to evading a straight answer and I commend Kristen Camp, solicitor for the Planning Commission, for her tenacious and relentless pursuit of just that- a straight answer. There was also more discussion regarding a mini-roundabout (what Toll has proposed) vs a full roundabout (what the PC would like for safety reasons) on West Pleasant Grove Road.

In addition, it was incredibly disappointing to learn, at the end of the hearing, not every board member was presented with proper documentation for the evening.  Yet another detrimental oversight during the most important hearing in Westtown Township's history.

Please mark your calendars for the next hearing to be held virtually, Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.

Those with party status will continue to have an opportunity to question Toll's traffic consultant.

Decisions being made now will permanently affect our lives, our national history, and the surrounding community we all hold so dear.  We will not go away.  We must not give up.  We must keep going.  I sincerely thank you for your continued participation in pursuit of the best possible outcome for Crebilly Farm.

If not you, then who?

Mindy Rhodes
www.CrebillyFarmFriends.com

 

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