Dave Cannan public comments at Radnor BOC meeting 4/13/09
Below are my prepared comments that I read into the record last night at the 4/13/09 Radnor BOC special meeting where Radnor Manager Dave Bashore was properly fired by a unanimous vote. For those of you who have not been following Radnor Township over the years, the issues of the manager violating Radnor's Home Rule Charter, the Sunshine Act and acting without Board authority are concerns I often brought before the Board during my tenure.
I am Dave Cannan, former 7th Ward commissioner representing Rosemont and Garrett Hill from 2000 to 2007.
I was contacted by your attorney Neil Morris regarding this matter tonight and have sent a letter of response to his office. It is short and I would like to also read it into the public record.
Dear Mr. Morris:
Your office requested that I be interviewed as a past Radnor Township commissioner to go over what I remember about the township’s “bonusgate,” “contractgate” and other issues regarding manager Dave Bashore. I was told that you are interviewing the current and past members of the board to gather “facts” as part of a coming report prepared by your law firm. It is my understanding that your report is “not an investigation” and “there will be no finger-pointing.” Rather the report is intended as an in-house review to make recommendations to improve procedures at the township.
Sounds like a whitewash to me.
You should be familiar with my sworn statements on what has been going on with the township. Two years ago, while serving on the board, I had to take the uncomfortable position of suing Radnor Township because it appeared to me that one or two commissioners and the manager were similarly making township decisions unilaterally without following Radnor’s Home Rule Charter or the Sunshine Act. I specifically questioned the legality of the manager unilaterally waiving almost three quarters of a million dollars of permit fees for the Radnor Township School District’s new middle school construction as well as questionable bidding practices regarding the township’s new multi-million dollar municipal building construction. Now, as a result of information provided via the new Right To Know Laws, it appears the manager did unilaterally make changes to existing bids for building this elaborate township building without following the Home Rule Charter.
Ironically, the commissioners hired your law firm at the time to the tune of well over $100,000.00 of taxpayers’ money to oppose me on my position. And now it is my understanding that the taxpayers will be paying your firm approximately $100,000.00 again to change sides and do an investigation of what will not really be an investigation.
I have much to say about statements made in previous meeting about this matter tonight. For example, I never knew about or saw the manager’s generous contract despite requesting to see it many times over my tenure as commissioner. I was told it did not exist. I could go on and on.
So in order to get to the bottom of these issues, I want to make it clear that I will be glad to give a deposition for any formal inquiry of this matter and participate in those investigations which will do a thorough legal review of the facts by the proper authorities and hold any violators of the law appropriately accountable. And rather than waste more time and taxpayers’ money on your report, I would suggest you immediately submit a recommendation to Delaware County District Attorney Michael Green to refer the matter to State Attorney General Tom Corbett to convene a Grand Jury. This process produced appropriate and substantive results in Haverford Township in 1997 regarding misconduct of government officials as well as their disregard for the Sunshine Act. Only after such a serious process runs its course with an appropriate legal investigation and recommendations will taxpayers regain faith in their local government. When that happens the sun can shine brightly again in Radnor Township.