Plight Of Aston Township — An occasional email to the voters of Aston Township, particularly the 7th Ward.
My name is Joe Dychala and I ran a Write In campaign for the 7th Ward GOP
Commissioner nomination. Myself a political unknown, going up against Mike Higgens a four term candidate who had the full support of the machine, managed to earn 1 in 3 votes this Primary.
Regardless if you voted for myself or incumbent Mike Higgens I would like
to sincerely thank you. It is only with citizen participation that our form
of government functions properly. Being an informed voter is critical for
self governance and is the minimimun every American citizen must engage in.
With almost 800 registered Republicans in the 7th Ward, a turn out of less
than 300 voters in the May Primary should concern us all. Municipal
elections are those closest to the People and impact our daily lives
The latest example is the Board of Commissioners raised our taxes, again,
and discontinued more basic services, again. Property taxes went up and
second summer trash pick up was discontinued. The Board’s solution is a
dumpster. You get to be your own trash service. But make certain you don’t
put the “wrong” trash in the dumpster. Also be aware the dumpster is
monitored by cameras to ensure your compliance.
So we have money for a dumpster and recurring pick ups, cameras, new street
lamps, new street signs, traffic studies for “round-a-bouts to nowhere”,
islands with perennial gardens in the middle of Pennell Road that filled
with trash and weeds but not for basic services we have come to depend on
We have been told much of this was funded by grants. Don’t be fooled,
monetary grants (the shiny object commissioners can’t or won’t refuse) are
generally a one time infusion of cash. In addition, grants are generally
matched by the receiving municipality. There are no free lunches.
Furthermore if it’s a state grant our income taxes paid for it, if it’s a
county grant our property taxes paid for it. When I mentioned this to Mike
Higgens he responded. “I never though of it that way.” Newsflash – thats
your JOB as commissioner, to protect our tax dollars and resources. Period.
This is after the loss of the leaf truck a few years back that had the
unintended consequence of folks just cutting their trees down. No trees, no
leaves to clean up. In Penn’s Woods.
This is after the Board refused to address a failing HVAC system and
leaking roof on the township building thus creating a situation where tens
of thousands of dollars in potential repairs led to hundreds of thousands
in actual damage that will now burden the taxpayers for a multimillion dollar
facility. This alone should enrage your fiscal sensibilities. This is not
what we elect Republicans to do.
This is after the destruction of old growth forest at the site of the
former Mercury Gun Club that failed to generate the promised tax revenue
but did cause excessive noise pollution that myself and many other
residents are on public record chastising the board and warning this would
Our township is drowning in debt and currently holds multiple municipal
bonds yet the Board continues a cycle of borrow, spend, tax, repeat.
Not to mention the businesses that are leaving Aston. Broadway Plaza is
beginning to look like a ghost town. New businesses aren’t arriving.
Take note of our once beautiful American flag next time you walk or drive
past Valley View and see that it is in tatters. The American flag and
POW/MIA flag that fly above our Post Office is also in tatters. It is
disgraceful. But not a surprise.
We are a nation in decline (I believe we can, must and will reverse this
trend) and Aston will not be immune or exempt. We desperately need, seek
and demand new leadership. My goal for Aston is forward looking. We should
not be forced to manage the decline that Media, Harrisburg and DC are
pushing on us. We need to be a model not only for Delco but a model for
Pennsylvania on how to successfully manage a township to not only survive
but thrive in these economically challenging times.
Don’t sit out this election in November. Stand up for your community, your
county, your commonwealth and most importantly for our shared values that
truly make America the most unique (and successful) political experiment in
We might be down but we’re not out. This is far from over.
Yours in Liberty,