Media, PA News: Everybody's Home Page

Partisan Politics rears its ugly head, again

Aug 26

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.

First, let’s address transparency. Tedman O’Hara is the head of the Media Republican Party. He has run unsuccessfully for Borough Council.

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.

As a final note, I should mention that I am a supporter of Friends of Glen Providence park organization, as shown on their website. I’m also a member of Broomall’s Lake Country Club.

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.


  1. I don’t often read Tedman’s blog, but when I do, I invariably shake my head in disappointment in what politics has come to. Thank you for exposing Tedman as the true hypocrite.

    I would like to know how many times he has run for Borough Council- it’s at least a few, and I am relieved that he has never been elected. I was actually once sympathetic to Tedman as providing a dissenting voice in local politics, but along with many others I know, I have grown to find him bitter and mean-spirited, without anything productive to add to any discussion.

    It is creative of him to accuse Friends of Glen Providence Park of being a “special interest group”. In addition to what you listed, they have held free monthly events in the park, researched its history, and documented its wildlife. I don’t see the controversy in their trying to minimize how much of the park gets buried under earth fill.

  2. Media Mike /

    Nice post. Although I wonder why the Ted Man is allowed to “report” in the form of a campaign attack ad on his blog by the Delco Times. I had a comment of that nature taken down on his blog the other day. Typical. As a resident of Media I look forward to continued support of the Democratic Party’s candidates, the borough council, and a measured solution to 3rd street.

  3. @Media Mike: To be clear, his blog is his own and is hosted on Google’s BlogSpot; Delco Times simply links to it as they do this blog. Obviously, that would be clear if he had any sort of disclosure about the author on his site and who runs it.

  4. Tedman ought to be a deli guy. He throws around a lot of bologna. That’s a given. However, the 3rd Street project is one where different opinions are derived from, seemingly, the same set of facts. Specifically, I mean, the results of the survey. Survey science notwithstanding the results didn’t tell me much. There was a low response rate and the constraints put on the survey by Boro Council ( do not mention money) made it difficult to fully infer the intentions of the respondents. One thing that was clear is the desire to have access to Media through 3rd Street. Further discussion about limiting the bridge to one lane or have one-way traffic is a time waster and appears to be an attempt to get ‘another bite of the apple’ by the Friends of The Park.
    Let’s get going before the money goes away.

    • I would argue that the survey does not represent any thing “factual,” it’s a statistical sampling of 17% of Media Borough residents who (1) received the survey and (2) cared enough to fill it out and return it. Given that less than 30% of residents actually vote, it’s significant enough to, at a minimum, determine which way the wind is blowing with regards to this project.

      That said: The majority of respondents to the survey actually preferred emergency vehicle access only, and preferred a “bicycle/pedestrian only solution,” so perhaps you should re-read the conclusions of the CAC.

      You are correct, however, in that what seems to be a clear direction to me is mis-interpreted or completely ignored by others, including my fellow decision-makers.

      • The CAC are well intentioned, good people from Media. However, it appeared to me that the committee had an agenda. I did not come to this conclusion from thin air. I attended two of their meetings. The second and third meetings if I recall correctly. Let me be more clear about why the survey lacks credibility with me. 1. The survey results were poisoned by the door stuffers delivered to homes in Media a few days prior to the distribution of the survey. The door stuffers were slanted toward the Friends of the Park position. This is known as a guided democracy.
        2. The layout of the survey was confusing.
        3. Media Borough Council does not govern by survey.

        If you feel that the survey accommodates a particular point of view then, by all means, continue to refer to the survey. Me? Not so much.

    • Bill, thanks for your comments.

      Door stuffers? Sounds like a conspiracy theory. The survey was delivered by the US Postal service.

      I attended several of the meetings of the CAC and my impression was they went out of their way to remove bias from any of the proceedings; the final survey was approved unanimously by all members, many of whom who wanted a two-lane road on top of the dam. You’re entitled to your opinion, but perhaps you could provide specific details as evidence of bias.

      I agree, Media Borough Council does not govern by survey. Common sense and a balanced, compromise approach should come into every decision we make. However, the survey provides some guidance of public opinion regarding the largest capital project Media Borough has ever undertaken.

      At a minimum, the survey shows that the town is divided between those that want a 2-lane road over a dam, and those that want to remove the dam and restore the stream. As elected officials, it’s our duty to do our best to accommodate both sides in compromise. Of course, we can’t please everyone, but at least we’re moving forward with a solution which accommodates both sides in some way.

      “By the people, for the people,” right?

      If you think your local government asking resident’s opinions is bad policy, then so be it.