Subjects Include Sheriffs, Pennsylvania Amendments — Subjects for tomorrow’s (March 17) seminar on the Pennsylvania Constitution are The proposed subjects of study and discussion for the March 17, 2023 “GoToMeeting” are:
The Pennsylvania Constitution Amendment Process
House Bill No. 1 Constitution Amendment of the 2023 Special Secession
The controlling law in Pennsylvania concerning “the Right to Bear Arms”
Getting Pennsylvania Sheriffs and County Commissioners to do their constitutional jobs
Delco Extends Pact With Fort Orange Press For Mail Ballots — Delaware County Council, March 15, approved by consent 38 items including a contract extension with Fort Orange Press of Albany, N.Y., for the printing and mailing of mail-in and absentee ballots for elections during 2023 not exceed $150,000.
Joy Schwartz of Upper Darby objected to the pact during public comments.
“This was the same company that printed ballots last year, some of which were deemed highly suspicious by one of the foremost forensic document analysts in the world during a hand count back in January,” she said.
She noted it wouldn’t be hard to find a local printer, which in fact had been required by ordinance until the county changed the law last summer.
“(Fort Orange) is this company that prints ballots but does not mail them directly to the requester,” she said. “It delievers them from Albany to Philadelphia, across state lines, by who knows who, before they are mailed out to voters.”
She wondered why they didn’t mail them directly from New York, which is a pretty good point.
The system being used hides the final delivery location and allows the opportunity for massive ballot harvesting.
“If we are outsourcing printing of mail-in ballots, why does the Bureau of Elections in Chester need its own huge, expensive Pitney Bowes MEGA printer at the Wharf?” she asked.
She also pointed out that a right-to-know request had been filed regarding Fort Orange Press which the county denied and continues to deny despite the request being upheld in binding arbitration by state adjudicators.
Robert Mancini, of Media, who filed the request brought the issue up in the second round of public comments.
Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther responded during public comments that the Secretary of State won’t let them release the records despite the arbitration decision and the county has filed a lawsuit to resolve the matter.
There is no innocent reason why these things should not be open to the public.
Other Election Contracts
The County by consent extended its contract with Phoenix Graphics to provide printing of election day ballots for 2023 in an amount not to exceed $116,063.4; and approved a three-year contract with Hughes Relocations Services for voting equipment services for an amount not to exceed $307,020.
Prisoner Program Approved
The County, with Ms. Reuther dissenting, approved proposed changes to the Inmate Health Care Services Contract provided by Wellpath to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility to include a “return to competency” program through December 2024. The cost will be $226,674 for the rest of this year and $457,157 for next.
Return to competency is for inmates with mental issues who would otherwise be sent to Norristown State Hospital.
Ms. Reuther objected to to the use of county general funds saying the state should pay.
Little Flower Park
Council approved the advertising for the construction of Little Flower Park in Darby Borough. The project had been approved by the previous council three years ago. Ms. Reuther blamed the delay on previous council not allocating sufficient funds. So what is the county funding shortfall now, Christine?
In the second round of public comments, Mrs. Schwartz brought up the death by exposure of a homeless woman in Upper Darby earlier this year. She wondered why there were no beds available at the Breaking Bread Shelter which had recently been opened by the county to much fanfare. In Council comments, Chairwoman Dr. Monica Taylor said there had been beds available but the woman died in remote place not in the path of the teams sent to take homeless to shelter on nights with dangerous weather. She said that if all the beds are full on such nights, homeless are taken to a hotel.
Scott Thomas of Broomall and Laura Lewis of Radnor expressed concerns about how the county handles elections. Ms. Lewis noted that audit in Allegheny County showed that tens of thousands of votes were counted twice. She also brought up investigations finding problems in Fulton County, Pa. and Maricopa County, Az. You would think Council would start taking these concerns seriously even if they are convinced their elections are working. There is no reason to have 24/7 outdoor dropboxes dubiously surveilled by solar powered cameras.
Also speaking was Kyle from Upper Darby who expressed anger that the county wouldn’t let him raise a transgender flag at an event. Councilman Richard R. Womack, Jr. said he had no problem with it. Ms. Taylor it was her fault there was a misunderstanding and that she will work with him.
Fair Acres Projects
By consent the County approved a contract for $53,480 with KCBA architects to design a Delaware County Health Department headquarters at Fair Acres Building 1; and a $59,550 contract with USA architects for evaluation services for the placement of the Medical Examiners Office and Delaware County Libraries at Fair Acres Building 7.
H. Lynda Kugel was appointed to the Delaware County Workforce Development Board for a term ending Dec. 31; and Al Achert, Damien Warsavage and Nigel David were appointed to the SEPTA Citizens Advisory board for a term ending Feb. 28, 2025.
Ridley will get an $85,000 grant for demotion of a collapsed home at 1250 Mildred Ave.
The County gave final approval for an ordinance putting weight restrictions put weight restrictions on four county bridges. The Mulford Bridge on South Avenue over Muckinpattis Creek in Glenolden will have a weight limit of 13 tons except 24 ton combinations; The Michigan Avenue Bridge over Little Crum Creek in Ridley Township, 12 tons; The Worral Bridge on Paper Mill Road over Darby Creek in Newtown Township, 15 tons except 20 ton cominations; and the Bonemill Bridge on Station Road over Chester Creek in Thornbury Township, 3 tons.
Delco Extends Pact With Fort Orange Press For Mail Ballots
Mayor Pete, now called the Secretary of Transportation for all of the U.S., a cabinet level position in the Biden regime, visited Kansas City, Mo., recently, enjoying one of the perks of his job. That is, getting to pose in grip and grin photos and take some of the credit for a big transportation project, the new Kansas City airport. Having flown into KCI numerous times over the years, a new airport is a huge, much-needed upgrade for the area. The old airport’s Soviet Bloc look was past due for a revamp. So, great news for Kansas City and for travelers, and kudos to those who made the project happen. As to Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (BOOT-ə-jəj) …
It’s good to celebrate successes, but Buttigieg’s most recent history shows a failure to respond meaningfully to the continuing crisis in East Palestine, Ohio. So that’s where his energy should be focused. Playtime comes after dealing with the tough stuff.
In his two years as transportation secretary, Pothole Pete – his moniker for his lukewarm performance as mayor of South Bend, Ind., because he couldn’t get the streets’ potholes fixed – has delivered the mediocre level of performance that’s the standard for members of Team Biden. In the first year of his transportation gig, Buttigieg was absent for two months on paternity leave during a transportation crisis. He was then criticized for his response to multiple airtravel problems. He called a nationwide flight shutdown a “data point” from which learning could come.
The East Palestine environmental disaster that began in February has been Buttigieg’s most defining event of who the transportation secretary is. While the crisis called for strong, coordinated actions from the government, Buttigieg was a no-show, revealing his lack of commonsense and empathy. He blew an opportunity to take the lead in addressing a horrible situation.
More than a day late and a dollar short, Buttigieg finally visited East Palestine on February 23, 20 days after the Norfolk Southern train derailment, and a day after former President Trump visited. The current president hasn’t traveled to East Palestine, but Biden did fly to one of the world’s most corrupt countries, Ukraine, to deliver more American dollars to the president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, displaying where the U.S. president’s priorities are – not with Americans enduring an environmental disaster in Ohio. Since the people in the Biden administration appear to walk in lock-step on the worst path, Buttigieg, a good soldier, is perhaps just following orders.
It would be good to see even one Democrat step up and do the right thing. Pete could have done that in Ohio. It should have been crisis communications 101 – if only he could have executed a plan. Presumably, emergency response and crisis communications plans are in place at the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FEMA, the EPA, NTSB, Norfolk Southern, National Guard, the Secretary’s office and with first responders and state & local officials. Whoever the players are, assemble all relevant parties in a virtual “war room” and go through everything that needs to get done, anticipate questions and needs that will arise, determine the lead organization and spokesperson, etc., etc. Get the people of the community taken care of and get the area cleaned. And overcommunicate to all stakeholders. Communications, communications, communications.
Residents of the community and the American public didn’t see that happen. But things that made no sense to the layperson happened, most strikingly setting fire to all the chemicals in the derailed cars, sending dangerous, toxic material into the air, ultimately to land on ground and water. With animals dying, there was no confidence in the community if residents were safe now or in the future. And as to Pete, he tried to blame former President Trump – the default response among Dems remains: it’s Trump’s fault. (Given Trump has been out of office for more than two years, how long will Democrats try to use him as the catchall answer to anything gone wrong?)
Buttigieg may be “book smart,” but he has a poor sense of the right thing to say and when to show up. In the face of people in Ohio suffering and uncertain as to the health, safety and economic impacts on their lives and those of their families as a result of the environmental disaster in East Palestine, Buttigieg said, “There are roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing,” seemingly minimizing the impact of the February 3 derailment.
One thousand derailments sounds like a lot. Two years into his transportation gig, wouldn’t Buttigieg be “all over this?” Rail transportation is not exactly a new invention. It’s reasonable to think railroads and trains should be operating efficiently and safely. On a priority scale, safe railways and rail transportation that don’t kill or harm people, wildlife and the environment should rank much higher than one of Pete’s favorite topics: ending “racist” roads.
To give Pete some credit, on the mediocrity scale, for example, he is much less mediocre than Vice President Kamala Harris. Perhaps in an effort to bolster her dismal image, Politico recently wrote a puff piece on first gentleman Doug Emhoff. Maybe Pete can follow the example – an image-bolstering interview with Pete’s husband, Chasten James Glezman Buttigieg, telling us what a great husband and dad Pete is.
These types of pieces may reinforce support from the Kool-Aid drinkers, but the rest of us just want to see elected officials do their jobs well. Failing that, resignation would be in order.
On March 1, a train crash in Greece resulted in the deaths of 36 people. The Greek Transportation Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, saying he felt it was his duty to step down “as a basic indication of respect for the memory of the people who died so unfairly.” Karamanlis said he had made “every effort” to improve a railway system that had been “in a state that doesn’t befit the 21st century.”
Officials who don’t fulfill the duties of their jobs will not resign under a Biden regime. They have no sense of honor and duty to the citizens of the country. Their only duty is to protect the power of the collective – the Borg. Protect it, and it protects them.
More than 50 years after another major environmental disaster, Ohio takes a hit again when train cars derail spilling vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate chemicals. The 1969 event was one of multiple fires on the Cuyahoga River that had been contaminated for years with debris, chemicals and oil. A polluted Cuyahoga River, along with a major oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., served as focal points for a developing environmental movement and the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as the creation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Richard Nixon in 1970.
Maria Fotopoulos writes about the connection between overpopulation and biodiversity loss, and from time to time other topics that confound her. On FB @BetheChangeforAnimals.