UPDATE: Alyanakian states we “can’t possibly understand”
Media, PA News has been trying to get a hold of Borough Council President Pete Alyanakian by email since Monday, August 23rd. He expressed reluctance to communicate with us (see below), and as of 8:00PM Friday, August 27th, he has refused to answer the most basic questions about his policies, claiming the we “can’t possibly understand” his reasons.
Media, PA News on August 23th, 2010:
I am writing a series of articles about the recent changes on Borough Council and wanted to get your comments based on your prepared statements in July, specifically:
- 1 West State St. (Old Borough Hall aka Brodeur’s)
- Empty lots on Baltimore Pike
- Declining services and rising costs for public safety (Police Department)
- The MBA which has 5 web sites promoting State Street
- The 3rd Street Dam
- “Partisan politics which have left us with mounting infrastructure and financial issues which need immediate attention.”
Mr. Williamson addressed these issues with specific rebuttals at the meeting, but I really wanted to offer you the opportunity to comment before I wrote your portion of the article.
- My understanding is that you have proposed selling Old Borough Hall several times and have been defeated, however this was prior to your fellow council members’ tenure. How do you plan to handle the sale differently than it was handled under Williamson/Simpson?
- Empty lots on Baltimore Pike: How do you plan to get projects like the Residence Inn in place, if at all? (As I know Mr. Cunningham appears to be a vehement objector to this project.) How do you plan on filling the other vacant lots on Baltimore Pike?
- How do you plan to improve services for the Police Department or other public safety programs without increasing the cost?
- What is your plan for the MBA and the 5 web sites?
- My understanding is that the 3rd Street Dam has been held up for years by [other council members]. How do you plan on addressing responsibility for its repair in the short and long term?
- Can you elaborate on “mounting infrastructure and financial issues” with some specifics?
I really appreciate you taking the time to offer specific comments.
Editor’s note: My email asks about the Residence Inn, however it is the Hampton Inn which is seeking to build near Baltimore Pike in Media.
Reply on August 24th, 2010 from Pete Alyanakian:
Reply on August 24th, 2010 from Media, PA News:
I get about 200 unique visitors a day, but that typically increases dramatically when I do articles of this nature. I plan on covering future Borough Council meetings as well.
You may remember me from last week’s meeting; I asked Monika and Dawn to explain their actions early in the meeting; I’m simply transcribing what was said at the meeting and offering some commentary. I hope to keep the articles relatively unbiased, and simply let you and the other Borough Council members speak for yourselves when possible.
I have your response to the question later in the meeting transcribed, but I felt like you didn’t get a chance to really explain the issues below; and Peter did in his prepared statement (again which I have transcribed).
I want to be fair and include your position on these; I think it will be a benefit to anyone who may be uncertain about how you plan on handling things as Borough Council President. The article on you will include your July statement, the statement made in the meeting about how and why the change came about, and I’d like to include a section on each issue below with some background; if it gets too long I may break it into smaller articles as the web is not suited for long, drawn-out articles.
I’d appreciate it if you could give comments on the below.
Reply on August 25th, 2010 from Pete Alyanakian:
I will refrain from answering your questions after reading some posts in your blog. I usually avoid reading the blogs because they seem to be split along party lines and encourag vevengeful [sic] or hateful comments from anonymous people.
My goal is to lead council forward addressing and hopefully resolving long standing issues that have been a drain on borough resources. I look forward to working with both Peter and Monica and will continue to value their insight and experience.
Media, PA News reply:
Thanks for getting back to me. Admittedly, the candor of public debate on the internet is sorely lacking, however, I think that the two articles posted on this matter are relatively fair in terms of their treatment of the meeting. The majority of public comments were expressing residents powerful emotions about what happened, and I included two comment summaries which were supportive of the change.
The second article regarding Monika not really being a Democrat is, given her comments in the meeting, not too much of a stretch. It’s an opinion and labeled as such. I would welcome your comments on it.
I have converted this series of posts into a news and opinion portal which I plan on updating regularly with borough council issues, and I personally plan on both attending regularly scheduled borough council meetings and reporting on them for the town of Media. I really would like to be able to republish your stance on the issues below for the benefit of Media residents.
Media Borough is unfortunately too small of a pond to have any newspaper dedicate any serious amount of time to local issues, and while Town Talk fills a needed niche, it is not known for its investigative journalism.
If you don’t want to answer these or other questions over email now, I can certainly ask you on September 2nd in a more public forum. I know that you need to get to know me to build trust, and I hope to do that, but all I’m asking for is just your position on the issues you spoke about at in your prepared statement in the July borough council meeting.
If it’s any consolation, the comments on this site are moderated, and I will not tolerate hate speech or vengeful comments. If you read the comments on the Delaware County Times web site, they also appear to attract hate speech and vengeful comments.
I guess as Borough Council President, your role is to lead. Part of leading is having a vision for the future. What, with specifics, is your vision for the future of Media?
The new site is: Media, PA News.
I received a reply from Pete Alyanakian at noon:
At the airport will get u something before end of week. I could never explain how we got to this point without you knowing past issues and dynamics of council most relating to people, politics and agendas.
Reply back from Media, PA News on August 25th:
Thanks, I do appreciate you taking a moment to communicate your vision for Media; and in my opinion it would probably help assuage some of the rumors that apparently have been flying around.
It is painfully apparent that a lot of these issues have a long history; I am planning to do some research on them as well; and I would hope to include your comments when the time comes. If you have pointers to any specific individual who you think would be most helpful regarding, specifically: The 3rd Street Dam and Old Borough Hall, I would be happy to speak with them.
I will hold off on the article until I receive your comments, but I’d like to run it Friday at the latest. If you’d prefer to speak over the phone, I can be reached at my office at [number].
We heard back from Mr. Alyanakian at 7PM on Friday night, after this post was originally made, and he said:
Media, PA News replied:
I am asking not only for myself, but for all of the residents of Media whom you represent in your leadership position on Borough Council. They deserve some answers about how you plan on managing Media in the future.
Claiming that “I can’t possibly understand” because I don’t know the history is unfair, and honestly, presumptuous; all I can assume is that you have no answers to my questions; and you have no vision or greater plan for Media. By not answering, it puts into question your motivations for ousting the previous leaders.
If the ousting was for the reasons you stated in July, then back it up with some substance, otherwise it implies it was for other reasons.
As a leader of the Media Borough, I would hope you would be able to communicate to all levels of intelligence and to new and old residents of the borough. As a newer resident, I look forward to hearing your explanations.
I would suggest that if Mr. Alyanakian refuses to answer my questions, perhaps he will answer the questions of other residents. He can be reached at , or (610) 909-9004.
I encourage anyone who is interested to contact him directly, or come to Borough Council meetings which are the 1st Thursday of each month at 7:30 PM, and the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:30 PM in Borough Council chambers.
The next meetings are Thursday, September 2nd at 7:30 PM, then Thursday, September 16th at 7:30 PM. [Editor's Note: The times posted on the Media Borough website are, apparently, incorrect.]