What IS Lower Merion's Future?
The economy is still not what she used to be, correct? So what is up with all these magnificant building projects?
O'Neill on the river and elsewhere in Lower Merion, Conshohocken and Malvern? Deader then Dirt by Duckworth on Dreycott? Spanish House coming down when? May 24th or 25th? Of course in Haverford it's a Hall Redux with Ye Oldie Townie Homies at Haverford Court - leaving neighbors wondering about unlucky 13 (number of townshouses to be squashed in), traffic and density and infrastructure issues, a yearning for REAL porches not landing pads for ants where someone pictured Chris Leswing having a cup of coffee (poor Chris, I picture him choosing to be somewhere far more picturesque and can't blame him one bit), and even if the road on Old Lancaster in front of proposed development was denied even a construction driveway last time and is a big danger zone because it is quite narrow, and gets worse with cars that can't park anyplace.....
And then there is evermore Ardmore. First it was eminent domain and bad A and B, then came NO eminent domain but we kept the blight desgination (and they could have gotten useful grants like Pottstown and Norristown have for art centric things and didn't - I mean why use the creative to build upon economic revitilization? And Arts Hill in Norristown IS breathing new life into an actually interesting spot). Then came the Developer Off. First one developer was chosen and then that developer bowed out and then came Dranoff and the future looked bright, so what happened? Is the future dim and stalled? Who is stalling it? Does Amtrak have personality issues with Lower Merion Township?
Is the current developer requesting a one year extension of all dates in the Developer Agreement as is rumored? And if that is true and the township is sitting on that information, why are they sitting on that information? After all, that is not sunshine friendly is it? They CANNOT discuss this in executive session, can they? They keep trying to do this because of the exchange of property from the township to the developer, right? Isn't the actual wording in the Sunshine Act is "to consider the PURCHASE OR LEASE of property"?
A sale or swap is NOT a purchase or lease is it? There is no exception to the sunshine Act for negotiating contracts except for LABOR union contracts, right? Unless they are discussing the developer's PERSONAL financial position, they have no exception under "disclosure of information or confidentiality protected by law", correct? Isn't it true if this rumor is true that when it is discussed, even the first time, it must be done in public?
And what is it about LEED that I was told the other day that I should be paying closer attention to? It was concerning LEED buildings and what people are learning about LEED buildings. Is it possible they aren't so LEEDtastic after all? Heard that some who have built LEED buildings on the Main Line may be having difficulties? Is LEED all it is cracked up to be or is it a new spin on Emperor's New Clothes?
But as far as the vision of what out communities will look like in the future, do we really have a say? I don't really think we do. It's kind of like no matter how conservative or liberal you are, so we really have enough of a say no matter who we are about how municipalities and school districts spend money?
And what can we do when both parties seem to be a political quagmire and hotbed of issues between old and new and the desperate and the sane? Here's wondering on Election Day what the future of Lower Merion will be? Sources tell me that there is a bunch of below the radar drama in both the Republican and Democrat camps in Lower Merion. Sources also told me that the Democrats finally found people, I guess committee people to cover the Gladwyne Fire House, which is 2-1? And that these committee people never vote or one was an inactive voter or something? Is this a renewed interest in all things local or something else?
Who controls where we live? Who should control where we live? Look at our communities and look at recent successes. All of them are people driven. Not government driven. Government is supposed to work for us, right? So why does it never feel that way and why do we always feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill?
Any thoughts? And FYI there is a Board of Commissioners Meeting Wednesday 5/19/2010 8:00 PM - if you haven't vented your spleen in a while, go check it out. Who knows, you might have something to say.