Partisan Politics rears its ugly head, again
I don’t generally like to get into blog wars, but when I’m attacked personally, I feel it’s important to respond. Tedman O’Hara, author of the All Things Media, PA blog, has written a post accusing me of lacking transparency and conflict of interest with the 3rd Street Dam and Friends of Glen Providence Park. While I don’t read his blog, a friend pointed it out and so I felt it important to respond quickly with some facts.
Transparency. Pot. Kettle.
However, most people who mention they read his blog don’t know who he is or what his political background is … Because it’s not posted anywhere on his site. I’ll be honest, I don’t read his blog because I find most of the posts to lack basic fact-checking.
Tedman rarely comes to Borough Council meetings, he never addresses any of his concerns publicly (at our public meetings), and he also never speaks with myself or borough council President Brian Hall about issues he writes about. So far I’ve received one email from Tedman on Borough Council which is about the promotional video. (I’ll address that later.)
On the contrary, I have an about page on my site which says who I am, what I represent, and I have updated it regularly as I ran for council last year and won last November. I chose to continue my blog this year in order to keep issues open and in the public.
In terms of my own transparency, I was responsible for setting up our new award-winning Media Borough website on the Technology Committee last year which posted volumes of information regarding the 3rd Street Dam project, and continues to keep residents updated with the goings-on in Media government. In addition we are working on getting internet streaming for Borough Council meetings which I hope to get done by early 2013.
I’m in favor of Parks in Media. And fair trade. And the farmer’s market. And …
Secondly, I’m cringing as I have to defend somehow my pro-bono support of Friends of Glen Providence Park. I run a local web development business, Market Acumen, Inc. which is my private business. As a part of my private business I support local causes which I believe in. One of those causes is Friends of Glen Providence Park. Here are some other sites which I host for free:
I’m really hoping Tedman also decides to attack these terrible “Special Interest Groups” and all of the horrible things they do for Media Borough. (I’m being sarcastic.)
When the Friends of Glen Providence Park group formed last year I offered to set them up with a web site and free hosting. I still provide them free hosting and technical support for their site. They do not pay me for my services, and I have never been asked by them for anything more than the hosting. In fact, to the contrary, my wife and I have donated money to support their organization.
I am not involved in any aspect of Friends of Glen Providence Park’s advocacy for the Third Street Dam. However, my wife and I and my three children do volunteer for that group for park cleanups and family events. I spent time over this summer digging for a morning to plant trees by the streambed by the pond. I have also volunteered three times in this past year doing litter cleanups in the park, donating my weekends picking up other people’s trash in the streams and woods of our local park.
Finally, I stated publicly in March of this year that I would vote and fight for what the residents of Media wanted for the 3rd Street Dam. Based on the survey provided to the public by the CAC group, residents were in favor of minimizing the impact to the park by the dam, and making the dam more pedestrian friendly. I have not wavered in that position since we’ve received feedback from the public, and started these discussions.
The Friends of Glen Providence Park group advocated dam removal this year. As a private organization, they have every right to advocate for their position, and to organize to get what they feel is best for the park. Everyone in town has that same right.
As many will know, the decision has been made to move forward with dam construction. I was in favor of that decision, but I wanted to continue discussions with Broomall’s Lake Country Club and Delaware County to look at some options which would reduce the cost and, hopefully, get everyone what they wanted, including solving the ownership issue. Unfortunately, I was not successful.
Shame on you
It would be one thing if Friends of Glen Providence Park got their way in terms of advocacy. But anyone who has been paying attention will know that they didn’t. The dam will be going in, and now Borough Council is debating how much of the park we will impact. So, if I’m representing this special interest so heavily, how is it that they haven’t gotten what they wanted? We have all moved onto the next phase of this project and trying to make it an attractive and safe gateway to Media.
Demonizing a local group of volunteers who are essentially giving their time and money to clean up a park which is owned and managed by Delaware County is a new low for Tedman. Residents who have lived here for a while may recall that there were concerts in the park decades ago, and, what do you know: Friends of Glen Providence park is now hosting a concert next month, renewing this tradition.
So, Tedman O’Hara is against this group which saves taxpayer dollars by cleaning up the park, organizes concerts, getting grants for plantings, and making our park cleaner?
I don’t read Tedman’s blog because his posts are politically motivated and lack basic fact-checking. When he does produce facts, they are surrounded by suppositions, innuendo and fear-mongering. I’m unsure how many people actually believe what they read there, but it appears there are many people who are unaware of his political aspirations.
If you want to know about my background, it’s posted here.