i hope john nagle had a warm cup of sunshine to start his day today, because one look at the opinion page of the main line suburban life will likely depress him.
for starters, there is a critique of the nagle board by dan sherry (sort of a 'state of radnor' editorial). it does a good job laying out a timeline of what nagle has done (and what he has allowed to be done) -
As I See It: Nagle is Not the Right Person to Lead Radnor Township
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By Daniel J. Sherry Jr.
The current Board of Commissioners for Radnor Township will be faced with a multitude of complex issues that will directly impact Radnor’s residents and taxpayers. These issues include but are not limited to a budget crisis, significant ongoing litigation with disgraced former Township Manager Dave Bashore and an evaluation as to whether large land tracts should be acquired and preserved at the expense of millions of tax dollars. Accordingly it is important for Radnor residents (who are facing hefty tax increases) to examine the current status of the newly restructured board as well as the direction it has taken in the first few weeks of its inception.
By way of background, after multiple unsuccessful attempts to become commissioner, John Nagle, a Democrat, won a special election in November 2009, and joining him on the board was Elaine Paul Schaefer (like Mr. Nagle a former executive director of the Radnor Conservancy; she ran as a Democrat), and Republican Donald Curley who won an uncontested election in Radnor’s 6th Ward to replace 2009 Board President Tom Masterson. Thus the current makeup of the seven-member Board of Commissioners consists of four Democrats and three Republicans.
During the Jan. 4, 2010 reorganizational meeting, Mr. Nagle and Ms. Schaefer supported a motion from Commissioner Kevin Higgins that called for the restructuring of the board’s agenda, such that the vice president (rather than the president) would be elected first. A vote was taken, and Donald Curley was elected vice president by the entire board, save for Commissioner John Fisher, who abstained and noted that he had never heard of restructuring an agenda in a similar fashion. Thereafter Mr. Nagle was nominated by Ms. Schaefer for board president. With the support of Messrs. Higgins and Curley, Mr. Nagle won the presidency, even though neither of the incumbent Democrats (Bill Spingler and Mr. Fisher) voted for him.
One of the first acts of President Nagle was his support of an amendment offered by Ms. Schaefer (a licensed attorney) to redact portions of a document that was to be displayed on Radnor Township’s official Web site. This document included the names of township employees as well as their respective salaries, which are paid for by Radnor’s taxpayers. Ms. Schaefer offered her amendment after being told multiple times by Township Solicitor John Rice (as well as Mr. Fisher and taxpayer advocate Christina Perrone) that anybody could “walk in the door” and examine the entire unredacted document. Nevertheless Ms. Schaefer’s anti-transparency amendment passed with the support of President Nagle with the only two dissenting votes being cast by Commissioners Fisher and Vice President Curley.
Thankfully the unredacted document has subsequently been posted on local Internet sites, and the information contained therein is particularly noteworthy. Specifically the document reveals that township employees Dan Malloy and Thomas Blomstrom each receive a taxpayer-funded salary that exceeds $100,000... even though both men were suspended for allegedly meeting with Dave Bashore in Maine (outside the presence of legal counsel) subsequent to Mr. Bashore’s unanimous termination and specific instructions by the township to have no contact with Mr. Bashore. The fact that Messrs. Malloy and Blomstrom specifically cost Radnor Township annually well in excess of $200,000 is information that residents are entitled to know, and it is deeply unsettling that Commissioners Schaefer and Nagle have attempted to restrict the public’s ease of access to these financial records. This is compounded by the fact that Mr. Nagle utilized his own blog, “Round Radnor” (roundradnor.blogspot.com), to dismissively describe the investigation into former Township Manager Dave Bashore’s contract as “crap” and “a total waste of time.”
Equally troubling is the proposed level of effort that Commissioner Nagle intends to put into his presidency. Last week Main Line Suburban Life reporter Sam Strike published an interview she had with President Nagle. During the interview, Mr. Nagle, a self-described retiree, asserted that he had no intention of devoting 40 hours per week to his position and stated, “I think the job is going to be as little or as much as I put into it.”
In addition to Mr. Nagle’s disclosure regarding his de minimis allocation of time to the board, it was likewise reported by Ms. Strike that Mr. Nagle had appointed himself liaison to Radnor Township’s Parks and Recreation Board. This is potentially problematic due to Mr. Nagle’s extensive affiliation with the Radnor Conservancy – a special-interest entity that has received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars from the township, and has “repurposed,” for its own use, acres of publicly owned open space (as well as the publicly owned Willows Cottage). Mr. Nagle’s close affiliation with the Conservancy is shared by Ms. Schaefer, who acted in a leadership capacity for the Conservancy during her campaign for commissioner.
At a minimum Mr. Nagle and Ms. Schaefer should recuse themselves from voting on any issue involving the Radnor Conservancy or the $20-million taxpayer bond that Mr. Nagle and Ms. Schaefer, as part of Citizens to Preserve Radnor (a “non-partisan political action committee”) helped pass back in 2006. Indeed recusal would greatly diminish any actual or apparent conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, in light of Mr. Nagle’s recent self-appointment to the Parks and Recreation Board, this appears unlikely to occur.
Last year President Thomas Masterson and Vice President John Fisher informed the public that they considered virtually all Radnor Township documents and records to be publicly accessible and proclaimed their commitment to operate in an open and transparent manner. Robust public discussions were held and documents were readily made available to residents. Unfortunately it is clear that the hard work and “good government” philosophy advocated by those two men is being rapidly replaced by Mr. Nagle and his enablers with nebulous “good intentions” and a decidedly lackadaisical approach to Radnor Township business.
Daniel J. Sherry Jr., Esq., lives in Wayne.
good stuff by dan.
however, a somewhat stranger slam was delivered by jerry scott. usually, scott (who many years ago was a republican school board director) fills up the editorial page with rabid right wing rantings (often at a national level).
here however, soctt weirdly whimpers about the fact that bill spingler, a democrat, wasnt elected president by the current b.o.c. -
Politics As I See It: Commissioners will Regret not Naming Spingler
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By Jerry Scott
I lived in Radnor Township for 34 years before retiring to the Florida Keys and was active in Radnor Republican politics for the last 28 of them. I worked at the 4-1 polls for almost all of the 56 elections during that period. When I first started working in 4-1, Republicans enjoyed an 80-percent registration. It was fun working at the polls since the Republican and Democratic committee people liked each other. I always enjoyed working with Ted and Sarah Shakespeare, Elaine Coate and Eric Schwartz. Ted and Eric also served as chairmen of the Radnor Democratic Party. I also had very cordial relations with Peggy Cherpack when she was chairman of the Dems as well. However, none of those fine people were elected to anything. Many of them ran for office but they always lost. Bill Spingler was elected Sixth Ward Commissioner in 1969 and was elected Delaware County Commissioner two years later. He went on to run for Congress and ran against George Aman for Third Ward Commissioner in 1991. Bill was able to beat a Republican incumbent in the most Republican ward in the township. Not only that, he was re-elected four times. Fairly clearly Bill Spingler was the elected face of the Radnor Democratic Party for 40 years. He is by far the best retail politician that I have ever met, although Jack Cleek comes in a very close second. Each of them called on their constituents at least once a year and provided outstanding constituent service. Bill Spingler always campaigned personally for local Democrats in every ward and precinct in the township. While I was shocked when the Democrats elected a majority of the Board of Commissioners last fall, I was even more surprised when the Radnor Dems declined to support Mr. Radnor Democrat, Bill Spingler, for president of the board. If any person has ever earned that job, Bill Spingler’s name would come first to any politically aware citizen’s mind. John Nagle, Elaine Paul Schaefer and John Fisher may well regret their decision not to support a Radnor legend for board president...
couldnt disagree more with scott. frankly, the only thing good about the nagle presidency (and i really mean that) is that spingler isnt able to be president!