Delco Council Accused Of Ignoring Prison Crisis — Frank Kwaning, president of the Delaware County (Pa) Prison Employees Independent Union, told County Council, last night, Jan. 18, that things are bad at the prison and that the county has been ducking requests for meetings with the union to resolve matters.
Others have also reported on the dangerous conditions at George W. Hill Correctional Facility.
The county took over the prison on April 6. It had been privately run since 1998.
Councilman Richard R. Womack, Jr. said he was unaware there had been an attempt to schedule a meeting and pledged to connect.
The drug crisis was also discussed along with a discussion on how to spend the $63 million settlement the county received as its share of a billion dollar settlement with pharmaceutical firms Cardinal Health, McKesson, and the Conshohocken-based Amerisource Bergen regarding their involvement in the wrongful distribution of opioids. The payout will be $3.5 million per year for 18 years.
It was noted that there were 1,584 overdose calls in Delco in 2022 which is believed to underrepresent the number of actual overdoses as people reported unconscious would not have been recorded as an overdose.
Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther came close to blaming racism for the crisis. Here’s a thought, stop mentioning skin color. Allocate resources according to the rate of occurrences. Nobody will object, and you end a point of division while advancing unity.
Christopher Welsh, who heads the public defenders offices, announced that all public defenders were now full time employees of the county and members of the United Auto Workers. And listing one’s pronouns on an official government document is rather unserious.
There was a first reading of an ordinance updating the county code regarding parks. It was noted that existing code was decades old and failed to account for things like drones. The new ordinance would require a permit for filming. Wonder if they are accounting for things like cell phones.
Also, 24 agenda items were approved by consent; Councilwoman Reuther was appointed to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for one-year term; David L. Walker, Claudia Cueto, William T. Smith, John Gillespie and Brian Razzi were appointed to the Delaware County Planning Commission for a term ending January 2027; and 16 property tax refunds were approved.
For a story about the changes made to the county election code follow this link.