Recently, a new name appeared on the LiB Facebook page and blog with some interesting comments. Mark Purcell, a longtime resident of Ross Township and former Ross Township commissioner, has tried to define Liberty in Bellevue by linking current and former council members to the group. One major problem…Neither of the folks mentioned are a part of LiB in any capacity. While they have showed support and encouragement for our group, it has been on the basis of seeing us a new young group of residents who are coming forward to promote visibility to the politics in our Borough and, support for our belief that there is great potential in this 1 square mile we all call home.
So why is Mr. Purcell interested in Bellevue politics? After asking multiple times what his vested interest was he eventually did respond by stating, “Anything that goes on in Bellevue directly affects me. I grew up there, have family there, live next to Bellevue Park, for over 40 years…” So is that all? The vested interest is in anything that goes on in Bellevue? I wonder what that means. As a non-resident, there should be no tax concerns. He did say one specific thing to clarify, “…I have made them my friends and will do all I can to see that they are re-elected, as long as they wish to be.” This is one of the main concerns that LiB has been indicating are a problem in Bellevue politics and we now have confirmation that there is a group of friends who are sticking together. We have indicated before that personal friendships are not a reason to elect an official. We need to elect officials based on their ideas and drive to keep Bellevue moving forward. Mr. Purcell even goes as far as to indicate that friendship takes precedence over electing someone based on their ideas by writing, “I don’t always agree with their legislation, but I know they mean well.” I’ll ask the readers if they agree or not. Do you believe that personal friendships, regardless of how they legislate the affairs of the borough, is the most important factor in selecting someone for elected office? Let us know by commenting below!
In reference to Danina’s blog post titled “Agenda: Transparent vs. Hidden,” she quotes Mr. Purcell where he speaks of the former council president Kathy Coder only being interested in personal political objectives. Not knowing much of Mr. Purcell, I decided to look for information myself. I wouldn’t want to be accused of only talking to some inner circle, or, people that Mr. Purcell would want to push onto our group. Google was to be my obvious tool of choice and I was shocked by what popped up.
A long history of failed attempts to run for public office, warnings from the Allegheny County Elections Court (TWICE!) for apparent violations of a state law that prohibits the distribution of items of value near or inside polling locations on election day…., using property outside of its intended use, trying to roadblock a small business from moving into Ross, and a claim that his supporters were petitioning the courts to remove his challengers from the ballot.
Here are the links to the articles:
This is the personal friend of members of our council who will, as he put it, “do all that I can to see that they are reelected…” So that takes us to a recent issue before our council and the timely emergence of Mr. Purcell’s comments on the Facebook page and website; the replanting of trees at Memorial Park. As it turns out, Mr. Purcell lives in Ross where he has a view of the lot from where the trees were removed and has been a very vocal Ross resident demanding the trees be replaced. Regardless of my personal beliefs on the issue, it is interesting to note now that he wants these trees replaced; he comes forward with very public statements about his friendships. Don’t believe me? Here is some background on the tree issue from more local news sources with a great quote from a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article written by Johnathan Barnes published July 2, 2009 listed below.
One of Mr. Purcell’s neighbors attended the June 24 meeting, and complained that Mr. Purcell does not represent everyone who lives on McIlrath Avenue. “My neighbor has caused problems among neighbors. … The lot definitely needs cleaned up,” McIlrath Avenue resident Jason Zombek said. “I don’t know what all Mr. Purcell is proposing to you.”
I think we may have found one of the reasons for the friendship. What do you think?