January 2013 Pre-Council Meeting Video

The new year is upon us, and with it comes a new round of monthly council meetings (not to mention committee meetings and pre-council meeting….read: sarcasm). Last night was the first official pre-council meeting of the year. It lasted less than 15 minutes. However, don’t allow its brevity lead you to believe it was pointless. Among the highlights is the borough’s introduction to our new solicitor Patricia McGrail and/or Matthew Racunas(?).

The meeting included a surprising and interesting public comment by Susan Schaffer, former Democratic candidate for Bellevue Council. During her five minutes of public comment, Ms. Schaffer disclosed a story regarding her “recruitment” to run for borough council, by Linda Woshner, Jane Braunlich, and Jim Viscusi. Ms. Schaffer stated that when she denied the request that she be a consistent vote in favor of Woshner, Braunlich, and Viscusi, all support for her candidacy was dropped. Ultimately Ms Schaffer lost the election.

Most interesting though was the way Ms. Schaffer’s story seemed strikingly similar to the story told by Frank Camello during the December 2012 Special Meeting. During that meeting Mr. Camello confessed that he was also “recruited” to run for council and in return for their assistance in getting elected Woshner merely request that he vote with her and against individuals such as Mark Helbling and Kathy Coder. When Camello opted to not “vote as instructed” he was ultimately rejected by Woshner, Braunlich, and Viscusi.

We at Liberty in Bellevue are finding these stories to be all too consistent with the behavior we are witnessing every month within the council chambers. Every month, if there is a split vote, it always comes down to the “Woshner Camp” (Linda Woshner, Jane Braunlich, Jim and Susan Viscusi) against everyone else. Regardless of the logic, or lack thereof, it is becoming painfully apparent that these individuals already know how they will vote regardless of whatever anyone says.

Are we expecting too much for our council members to think independently and lead rather than ignorantly do as they’re told and unquestioningly follow?

Are we simply too naive to expect our council place the best interest of Bellevue higher than one’s political alliances?

Are we foolish to imagine a local government where the love for one’s community takes precedence over personal grudges?

What do you think Bellevue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

There are timestamps below to help you navigate the video. Please feel free to leave comments!

1:06 – Pledge of Allegiance, Moment of Silence, Roll Call
Attending: Jane Braunlich, Kathy Coder, Mark Helbling, Lynn Heffley, Jim Scisciani, Vice President Jim Viscusi, President Linda Woshner, Mayor Doscher, DAS Doug Sample
Absent: Frank Camello, Susan Viscusi (Sue Viscusi arrives late)
2:22 – President Woshner introduces/welcomes the new borough solicitor, Patricia McGrail
2:35 – Public Comment: Susan Schaffer goes into detail about her interactions with individual council members when she previously ran for council. Her story is told with surprising parallels to the story Frank Camello told at the last meeting.
8:15 – Discussion on hiring an Interim Manager to replace borough DAS Douglas Sample until a permanent replacement is found. (Doug has given his notice to the borough.)
13:35 – 2013 Budget discussion & questions
14:00 – Public Comment (NONE)
14:20 – Motion to adjourn

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40 Responses to “January 2013 Pre-Council Meeting Video”

  1. Pretty amazing to me watching this that Ms. Braunlich doesn’t even acknowledge Susan isn’t paying any attention being so busy with the papers in front of her. Obvious by her body language that she is intentionally ignoring and is a clear indication to me of guilt. When is the next meeting?

    • I was thinking the same thing Scott. Ms Braunlich shuffled papers the whole time a community person spoke. Very unprofessional! I think the President should discuss w/ her board the importance of professionalism, but from what I’ve seen of these meetings it’s limited at times.

  2. I also want to note how Linda Woshner responded to Mrs. Schafer. She was inquiring about the 5 minute time limit for public contribution, and Linda then asked Dough if it was an ordinance? AN ORDINANCE?!? Are you kidding me? What would the repercussions be for going over the 5 minutes, a fine? What a joke. I’m sure they’re trying to come up with a way to enact an ordinance right now so that they can put down their iron fists when someone speaks for more than 5 minutes. I understand the need for guidelines, but we’re not running the white house here, this is a small town. If someone speaks for more than 5 minutes, you should be more focused on what they’re trying to say to you instead of trying to control everything with your 5 minute rule. Last time I checked, “we the people” are the “employers” of the council members. I wonder when the last time Mrs. Woshner screamed at an employer of hers and still held a job afterwards? I wonder when the last time Mrs. Braunlich down right ignored her employer while they were addressing her and still held her job afterwards? Shuffling the same 3 papers for over 5 minutes is just downright unacceptable. I understand that Mrs. Braunlich refuses to use a computer, but I think the papers need to be organized prior to the meetings so that she can be attentive to her “employers” when they address her. Also, how on Earth does anyone get hired to any position while refusing to use a computer, and/or lacking any/all computer skills? A cashier can’t get a job without computer skills, just wondering how someone in a community leadership role was able to do so. What are the standards nowadays for gov’t positions?

    • Nina, Braunlich probably does have a computer and probably knows how to use it. She likely refuses to allow herself to be reached by any constituent via any kind of digital media where she may have to respond. Or maybe Woshner doesn’t allow her to use a computer because she can’t be trusted to make an intelligent response.
      Regarding the 5 minute allowance for public comment do this. When they try to cut off the speaker when their five minutes are almost up you stand up and tell them that you would like to donate your five minutes to the speaker. I can’t remember the terminology but they do it frequently on the floor of the US House.

      • I love the idea of donating my 5 minutes to someone else. Most people that go up there to speak, do so quickly and efficiently. If every once in a while a person take a minute or two too long, so what? They’re so focused on making sure that they CONTROL everything, they they’re missing the excellent points that many community members are bringing to their attention.

      • Hi Nina, just as a point of clarification – Ms. Woshner as Council president can decline your wish to donate your time to another speaker. As president of Council, she is chair of the meeting – even during public comment. Donating is something you usually see on TV and isn’t guaranteed to us via the HRC. The citizenry doesn’t have many rights over Council other than providing 1,000 signatures to force something onto the agenda for a vote.

  3. In a larger, wealthier community intuition would point to something illegal going on such as contract bid rigging, kickbacks, etc., but these four buffoons are completely inept and probably incapable of something so complex. Seeing that cabal elected to public office simply reflects the same indifference and lack of intelligence of voters that got Obama elected twice.

  4. I’m sorry, but I must say that after watching these videos I completely dislike how it seems as though Woshner is always abrasive and rude. I must ask: how’d she even get elected? (okay, you don’t need to get into that…) I guess I get there is pressure in running a borough, but it’s an attitude thing. It seems so easy to constantly say “no” or “need an ordinance for that” rather than saying “yes” or discussing the subject matter politely and in an adult manner.

  5. The attitude on display by Ms. Woshner and Ms. Braunlich is simple – arrogance. I don’t know them personally and have been unsuccessful in engaging them outside of Council meetings. The attitude they put on display in Council meetings is purely elitist and arrogant. They believe they know better than you. We are all naive loud-mouth rabble-rousing youngsters in their eyes. We haven’t paid our political dues (or sold our souls to the local party leaders), we haven’t lived here our entire lives, and we simply don’t understand what they know. I first experienced this attitude when assisting the alcohol referendum in 2011 – Jane’s husband was very understanding with my perspective on things before Jane arrived and spent 30 minutes telling me that I was naive to believe alcohol could possibly benefit the Bellevue business district. She knew better than me because she had kids my age. Ms. Woshner is the same way – any criticism of her actions on Council are taken as an attack on her character but again her defense is that we don’t know what we are talking about. We don’t know what Bellevue needs – they do. You know, things like open container laws, back yard burning ordinances, frequent police complaint fines, trees to shield Mark Purcell’s home, and a new solicitor. In their eyes, Jane and Linda know best.

    They are not approachable – nor are they visible. Has anyone ever seen them along Lincoln Avenue doing everyday things rather than being seen at community events? I haven’t. Never seen them in Kuhn’s, at church, at Bayne Library, at the bank, or just taking a walk. They are too busy telling us we’re wrong to notice that our great community is struggling – they are too ignorant to know how they can reverse the negative trend.

    • Miss Woshner, if you read any of this: please know that you are not more important than anyone else. Your attitude actually makes you less of a person. Not even taking the time to listen to what anyone else has to say is extremely childish and not becoming of one who is involved in lawmaking. Bellevue is NOT Congress. Bellevue is a small borough in Allegheny in Pennsylvania that is overlooked by many because of the “laws” and “ordinances” you put in place unnecessarily. I can only imagine that you are a very unhappy person who sits at home and plots against your own borough. You know what we do to people at my work who are unresponsive, irresponsible and rude? They’re fired and replaced with someone who will work for the betterment of others.

      Oh my…okay…rant done.

  6. Wow! What a bunch of arrogent jackass’ you are…………….Do you people really even have a clue as to what the hell you are talking about? Do you ever get out of Bellevue? You sound like a bunch of small town yokels. Leah…who died and make you judge of everyone? What have you done for your community except bitch at people on council that Lib tells you too?What have you done period? Sounds like not much with your life…Get a grip……

  7. Whelp, I’m sitting here scratching my ear trying to figure out that bunch of crazies that call themselves..Liberty in Bellevue. They kicked me off their site and a couple of other people too. All you have to do is disagree with them and “Poof” you’re gone! So much for liberty huh?

    I really got a kick out of one of their dummys on Bellevue Council, Frank Camello, He says he was leaned on to vote for the new attorney they just hired, and resents being used, and that he’s not stupid 🙂 Is he not the same Frank Camello that just this spring got up and stomped out of a meeting when the majority on council refused to hire his son for summer help on the road crew? He said council disrepsected him by not hiring his son….Wow! What about the taxpayers in Bellevue? Were they being disrespected by Bellevue Councilman Frank Camello because he thinks his son deserves special considreation cause he’s an elected official? DING DONG!!!!!

    · Bellevue Lincoln Oh, I’m not calling Camello Stew-Ped, like he can’t think for himself… No……It’s like a dummy that you sit on your lap. Like when the other councilman Mark Helbling said, I know Frank doesnt like to talk so I’m going to speak for him…Place hand in back of dummy, pull strings and you got a DUMMY…I swear…this actually happened…you can watch this on a video that Liberty in Bellevue posts on their site.

    • Bellevue Lincoln! It’s so good to know you’ve found your way to our main site. Thanks for joining in on the conversation! However, let us be perfectly clear about why your name was blocked from the LiB FB site. We’ve made it perfectly clear to everyone who interacts with us via a social networking site (blog, FB, Twitter, etc), that unless you’re willing to identify yourself (as all member of LiB are willing to do), then we’re not interested in reading your hate-filled, pointless comments. We are happy to have all perspectives represented on any of the LiB websites. We are not afraid of disagreement and worth while debate on the issues. However, hiding your true identity so that you can attempt to assassinate another person’s character without reprisal simply will not be allowed.

      So, consider this your fair warning. Feel free to engage in the issues with us. However, we simply ask that you do so with you only once our identity has been stated. Hope you have a great day and we look forward to learning your true identity.

      ~Tom

  8. If you look back over previous posts, you will notice that council president Woshner has posted on here and her posts were not removed. You don’t have to agree with LiB’s posts for your posts to remain up, just be transparent.

  9. Hi Mr. Purcell! I hope you and your family had a nice holiday season.

  10. You really do skirt the issues. Did you kick off McKnight Babcock? Did you kick off, who’s the other one i saw posting on your site? North something or other? No you didn’t. But why don’t i see Mr. purcell posting on your site? did you kick him off? I wonder! But forget all that stuff…why don;’t you address Frank Camello, why dont you address Mark Helbling, Why dont you address Kathcy Coder and all the hidden hundreds of thousands that she received for her campaign?? Why, because you have an agenda…it has nothing to do with good government and has everything to do with politics that you claim to want to reform. The only people you are kidding here are yourselves.

  11. Bellevue Lincoln. Let me answer some of your questions. I know you probably won’t like the answers but that isn’t really something that worries me. We have explained numerous times some simple things that our council members could do to show their openness to listening to the citizens of Bellevue. As far as not letting people post on the site you are right if you aren’t using your real name you will be banned from the site. In the case of Mark Purcell, his opinion isn’t valid in the discussion as he is not a resident of Bellevue. Even as a non resident he has made many claims that only amounted to old personal issues that he has with people and instead of addressing them directly he would rather throw a tantrum. You claim that the reason you don’t want to release your name is because you think you will be dragged through the mud. If you have an opinion it doesn’t matter if anyone agrees or not. Everyone is entitled to differing opinions and we are open to having the conversation with you on the condition that we know who we are speaking with. So to address your particular questions regarding frank mark and Kathy….the one thing that we do when we are addressing an issue with any member of council is we use our real names. We have enough character to let them know who is asking those questions. If they wish to address the issue with us we make ourselves available at council meetings if they wish to discuss it. We have made multiple efforts to have these discussions with them but been turned away. So the ball’s in their court. We will continue making any and all information public and would cherish real answers to our real questions. You are asking questions related to Mark, Kathy, and Frank and because you hide behind some false character how are they to know who they ate addressing. The fact that you do hide slso makes your claims less than valid. Ill agree with you, if Mark h has done what you claim then I am publicly asking for him to respond, on the condition that he knows who he is responding to. As far as Kathy and the money for her campaign for state rep…we are concerned with our local government and keep our focus there. I really don’t care where her campaign money came from.Tthe money thing is one of the problens with politics. it would be the same as unions using dues to support Democrat candidates. Either way i dont believe that that much money should be used for political campaigns. As far as the tax issue goes, I approached her on it when I was made aware of it. It was known by me quite sometime ago, was revealed at the beginning if the campaign on the ethics documents that were filed, and she gave me what appeared to be a very honest answer and was willing to continue having the conversation with me until we came to a resolution. She even addressed it in news articles when she was asked. Again, for what our focus is, sure it’s concerning, but not in the conversation we are trying to have. Just because you feel our conversation should be about something else doesn’t mean we are hiding our supporting people or ideas, it simply means you want to have a different conversation that doesn’t fall into the scope of what we are doing. LiB is political…we have never said we weren’t interested in the politics. I’m going to go out on a limb and speak for all members of LiB…we are here to support any and all people that wish to run for council whether that someone likes the Facebook page, or not, I encourage you to do it with conviction. Run your campaigns on the ideas that you have for Bellevue whether we agree or not. Evaluate the issues, talk to your constituents and most importantly listen to them and be prepared to give a detailed reason as to why you agree or disagree with whatever issues are out in front of you and be willing to give your opinion publicly. Whether we agree or not, you will have our respect for being a person of conviction that is open with the people that they represent. At the same time, LiB also wants to assist in making our council more visible and accessible to the public. Watch the videos! Regardless of your opinion of our commentary watch them so you can hear ALL council members in their own words and make up your own mind. We aren’t here to tell you what to think. The one thing we aren’t going to do is allow others to define what we are here to do. I understand that if you have nothing valid to say all you can do is try to redefine who we are or try to make people believe we are something that we aren’t that would be less appealing to people. When you want to engage in the discussion and present your thoughts and ideas as a real person ill still be here waiting to have the conversation…I hear that you are leaving Bellevue anyway so I may be waiting a long time. Going back to one of our original blog topics, if you want to, send me a write up about why you are leaving Bellevue and what your positive and negative experiences were here. Ill send you a private message and you can send me your write up there. Thanks!

  12. Bellevue Lincoln,
    I suggest, as mentioned before, that you respond using your real identity, the same way that I am using mine.
    Please name 5 things that our council has done over the last 10 years to make doing business in Bellevue easier, welcoming, and more attractive to entrepreneurs. Please name 5 things that our council has done over the last 10 years that has encouraged home owners to invest more into their current homes or attract new buyers to the area. Please name 5 instances where our council has invited a new idea, a new marketing concept, a request from a business owner to help enhance their business, or simply just welcome the help that has been offered by myself and a half dozen other people offering to volunteer to build a better website, design and formulate an eblast for the town, offered to help with event planning, offered to sit down with employees or volunteers to show them how to really integrate social marketing and networking into the current plan for our town, the list goes on and on. What I see as the major problem here is that there are a group of people that are highly driven, highly talented, in the know, and willing to put the work into the town to make it a better place to live, love, worship, shop, dine, explore, and grow. The problem with the current council members in regards to the towns direction, is that they’re simply not open to taking the town in a prosperous direction, and are probably not familiar with the things that we’ve offered to help with. Instead of swallowing their pride, taking a step back and looking at what other successful areas of the city have done to bring prosperity, they shut down and go back to their old ways. How does the saying go…Humans fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. I love to teach people new things, I offered to sit down with whoever they elected to be in charge of eblasts and walk them through how to design the email, add photos, links, etc. I offered to do this on my own time, because I know that eblast WORK. I want this town to succeed, not end up with vacant storefronts, diminishing real estate, and be left in the dust. Every major city needs a boutique town to the north, south, east, and west. To the east, there is lawrenceville, shadyside, and basically the entire east end. To the south there is southside, and mt Lebanon. The north doesn’t have anything other than Sewickley, which is a great example of what happens when a town, it’s residents, and it’s government support and recruit businesses. Of course Sewickley is a different demographic that what is closer to Pittsburgh proper, but the fact remains that they are doing some awesome things in Sewickley. Bellevue has the potential to be the north boutique town. Parking, beautiful houses, affordable rent along the business district, and a flat, walkable street. When a town is failing, and a business district is crumbling…it has to stem from somewhere. In my opinion, it stems from poor planning in the past, poor decisions in the past/prestent (and undoubtedly the future as well), refusal to explore a new path, lack of creative drive and vision, bad leadership skills, inability to listen to what the people are saying, refusal to approach opportunities with an open mind, an unhealthy desire to acquire and keep power as opposed to using the power to better the town, incompetent council members, and of course, the kicker…council members running (and of course winning) because they’re uncontested. Things need to change. I would love to hear the reasons that you’re moving away from Bellevue.
    -Danina DiBattista

  13. So you welcome comment from all parties? Even those that disagree with you? Funny, I saw a post where a girl named Gail Downey disagreed with Tom Fodi about something. I think it was the burning ordinance. Gail is on oxygen.
    Fodi’s response to Gail? You are disagreeing because you have something personal against me? Yeah, do a little research you will find it. And Gail is the younger sister of Chuck Downey a classmate of mine that gave his life in Vietnam, yet she is not entitled to her opinion, a right that Chuck gave his life for because she disagreed with his Holiness. They will tell you that Jane Braunlich, through the courts, took a vote away from a guy that was fighting for his country in Afghanistan, when in fact he was away at mandatory National Guard training.
    Now they are going to the Northgate meetings? Wait till they get a load of Slanderers in Bellevue…Good grief!!!! Watch out School Board…You will be called crooks, corrupt; they will make videos and put silly captions in them. Oh, only you that oppose Coders or them. The head of the Slanderers in Bellevue is a preacher that on Sundays preaches the love of Christ and slanders people during his time away from the church.
    Oh, and they remove posts that they do not want you to see, Example, Kathy Coders explanation of why she was hiring people from groups she created or worked with. They remove people that disagree with them…Me…. I have Coders explanation though if you would like to see it. They support council people that believe that their children deserve special consideration with hiring in Bellevue. They support big PACs secretly giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kathy Coder for her legislative campaign. They support council people that may have used their office for their own personal gain. Oh yes, they will skirt these issues by telling you they are only interested in what council does. Not Kathy Coder or they will give you some other lame excuse. They keep telling us that they want council to have a (vision) of the future of Bellevue. Funny, If you pay attention, (Vision of the Future for Bellevue) is Kathy Coder speak. Yet they offer absolutely nothing in the way of a (vision) for Bellevue, only slanderous remarks about those on council that took power away from Kathy Coder, and me of course, that helped the democrats do that. If you read their posts and pay attention to the (likes) under the posts…you will see that most are likes from them, yes even from Liberty in Bellevue, or most of their friends, personal friends that is. You might even be threatened if you disagree with them. Watch this group folks they can be ugly and have a motive, and it’s not good government. They have the scent of Kathy Coder and the right wing all over them, but will swear that is not the case…Watch out Northgate School Board, any of you that did not want Ron Coder on your board…you are a target. Oh, you probably will not get to read this because I am not allowed to have an opposing opinion about this bogus group. They say I attack them. Read their posts on certain Bellevue Council people. They attack the hell out of them, but don’t you dare attack them. So I call them slanders and hypocrites and they don’t like a taste of their own medicine. So the group that accepts all opinions will block me, and you, if you disagree with them.

    • Mr. Purcell: Please take a grammar course. This is painful to read…

    • Welcome to the discussion, Mark. You’re always a joy to have around. I don’t seem to recall that conversation with Gail. Perhaps you could share the link to it? Probably not because just like you’ve been rejected by your own political party for being a no good, sleazy politician not worth his weight in salt, you were rejected from the LiB Facebook page for being nothing but a liar who avoided any honest and worthwhile conversation. However, we’ll let your record stand for itself (you can see Mark’s history by clicking here). The only people to ever have their opinions disregarded from any of the LiB websites have been those who have been too cowardly to stand behind their opinions and comments with their true identities, and you, because you have nothing productive to offer anyone who listens to your venom and lies.

      I’m impressed that you know how many personal friends LiB members have. You’re genius never fails to impress me. It’s good to know we have thousands of personal friends within Bellevue, because that’s the number of people who check in, comment, “like,” or otherwise follow the LiB website every week. Could it because we now have thousands interested in what’s going on that you feel the need to post and repost your consistently unverifiable stories? Could it be that LiB is making your little pawns on council feel a bit nervous that their lack of vision and mismanagement of OUR borough might actually cost them their political future? It is awfully humorous when you call a raw video of council meetings “slanderous!” Are FACTS slanderous Mark?! They must be when folks like you are much happier in a world shrouded in lies, misinformation, and character assassination.

      Feel free to keep doing what you’re doing. You can call me all the names you want, Mark. Feel free to try to denigrate my personal character all you want. All it tells me is that you and your pawns on council are simply incapable of debating the actual issues at hand. While we stay busy informing the public of what is actually going on in their local government, I’m happy to let you stay focused on insulting me. I have nothing to hide. There are no skeletons in my closet. How is yours? Keep up the good work Mark. You help us in our cause of rebuilding the town we all actually live in more than you know. Thanks Mark!

    • Hi Mr. Purcell! I have some questions for you:

      Why are you and your various pseudonyms so INFATUATED with Kathy Coder? Jealousy? Insecurity?

      Why do you question who she knows when you convinced your friends on Bellevue council to buy trees from YOUR SON’S BUSINESS to protect YOUR property in Ross Township? Especially when FREE trees were available?

      Why should a community organization be the ones responsible for providing vision to the ELECTED members of Bellevue’s legislative branch? I know its not your nature to let facts get in the way of your political lies and deceit (*cough* Ravenstahl *cough*), but if you read my posts on here as well as letters to the editor of The Citizen, I’ve offered several ideas for Bellevue: increased code enforcement, improved engagement with renters, improved oversight of rental property owners, and yes, allowing served alcohol in Bellevue businesses to increase revenue and improve the viability of businesses.

      If ANY public official feels attacked by any criticism in a LiB post, they need to get out of public politics. We question MOTIVES and criticize DECISIONS made by publicly-elected officials in OUR municipality. You currently live in Ross. Concern yourself with the 300 homes going into the former Highland Country Club or the slow decay of the lower end of McKnight Road. If anyone’s tone on here could be characterized as an “attack” or filled with lies and slander it would be yours!

  14. Hi Mark,S
    I encourage you to read this slowly…. Kathy Coder is not a member of LiB, she may be a fan…but so are a lot of other people in the community. She has no leadership role with LiB, and has never offered us her opinion on things without us engaging her first (as we’ve done or tried to do with all members of council.) I personally like the plans that she had for the borough during her presidency with council. I think that BiGr was on the right track. To say that using the words “vision for the town” is evidence that she’s somehow leading the LiB pack is hysterical to me. I suppose you have a better word for it? Better yet, give me a better plan for the town instead of sitting around analyzing my word choices. I, as well as numerous members of LiB and members of the community have come up with some pretty killer plans for the borough, as well as ways to enact them. Please feel free to read through all of the blogs to get a glimpse. I approached the council several years ago and offered to do all of the leg work to set up a “field trip” to some developing communities in Pittsburgh, including setting up sit-downs with some leadership members of those communities as well as sit-downs with business owners so they could explain how the leadership has helped them reach success. That email was ignored by everyone, except Coder & Helbling, both responded via email saying that they really liked the idea and to let them know the date and time that I come up with so that they could attend. Interesting right? In early/mid 2012, i revised that same letter so that it was a little more current and emailed it to all council members as well as presenting a printed copy to them publicly at a council meeting. Agaiin, Coder & Helbling said they were in. I never received a response via email, US mail, or even a simple conversation about it from any other member of council. Just a point that the number of people in leadership roles in Bellevue that are actually able to get off their high horse and understand that they don’t know EVERYTHING is slim to none.

    And to correct your little rant about how we removed Kathy Coders post on the LiB facebook page…that post is still up, has never been removed, edited, etc… It can be found here:

    I imagine that the reason that YOU cannot see that post is because Mrs. Coder has probably blocked you, or facebooks privacy settings are making it seem ‘hidden’ because you’re no longer permitted to spam the LiB facebook page being that you’d done so repeatedly several months ago. If Mrs. Coder has blocked you, I certainly don’t blame her…You seem kind of obsessed with her judging by your comments about her all the time…talk about creepy.

  15. Your actions speak for themselves. You all started out with attacking (certain members) of council and it continues to this very day. Now you tell us that it’s because they didn’t respond to your letters? , Oh yes, but you all are actually delusional enough to believe that others, is it thousands now?  actually believe you’re doing something constructive for the community of Bellevue when in fact all you have done is name calling, character assassination, outright lie about people, and carry some (other council members) water. Keep patting yourselves on the back if it makes you feel important, yes, even you Holy Father. 

    • Mr. Purcell,

      Again you throw out hollow accusations. You can’t even share a web link that shows dishonesty. You are the proven MASTER of “name calling, character assassination, and outright lies.”

      People in Bellevue believe in what we’re doing. No less than 25 people have posted this blog post to Facebook and Twitter. The blog post about your involvement in the solicitor – no less than 84 people posted it to Facebook. The video of the December 17 special meeting of Council? 114 people. Those are stats provided by Facebook – no pseudonyms or fake accounts to hide behind.

  16. Mr. Purcell,
    In one of the posts above, you said “they (LiB) offer absolutely nothing in the way of a (vision) for Bellevue”. I gave you an example of an idea and vision (one of so very many that I’ve offered to them) that I had, along with an outing that i was trying to plan to bring us all together to try to come to a common ground. The idea that “vision” happens within the walls of borough hall is never going to happen. Being out of the confines of the borough building and into a more creative setting such as having lunch together in great part of the city and simply having discussions about the potential that our awesome town has, would be a lot more conducive to progress in my humble opinion. Of course Bellevue needs to have its own identity, but you can’t knock what works in nearly every other successful town in the country. Taking a few tips and tricks that work and implementing them into our town is a great starting point. Here’s my thing, you want to say that I “attack” those on council that disagree with me, and that’s not it. I think that if someone is in public office, they are opening themselves up to criticism of their work. If they’re simply not doing a good job, extremely unprofessional, only out to quench their thirst for power (or are way too keen on throwing their “power” weight around), or if they’re nothing more than someone that rules from their council seat instead of really getting into the nitty gritty of what makes a great town tick…then yes, i will be pointing out the incompetence that I feel is on display. You don’t like that I point these things out, because for some reason you feel that you should have a say in what happens in Bellevue. Why? Please answer me this… How does a town in decline benefit you? Wouldn’t a prosperous town be more beneficial to you being that your home is practically in Bellevues back yard? In your professional political opinion, what drives a town to success – a progressive and open minded group of council people, or ones that are so stuck in their ways (and the way the town USED to be in 1970?). I’m just wondering what you would do to take the town in a better direction? Or maybe you are convinced that dollar stores, pizza shops, RYO cigarette shops, and rent a centers are a sign of progress? Please enlighten me with your oh-so-wise experience about these issues. You seem to think you know better…well here’s your chance to put it on display.

  17. I just went back and re-read my post. Where did I mention my service in Vietnam? Nowhere, you have to wonder why that service would bother all you experienced worldly people anyway, you that have given so much to your country and community. I talked about Gail’s brother that was killed in Vietnam. Does his ultimate sacrifice bother you all somehow?
    Interesting when you think about it. Not one of you, save Tom Fodi has put on the uniform of this country. None of you have ever held public office, or even run for one. Most of you are probably just out of your mother and dads nest for the first time, most of you don’t even have children, or has raised a family, and at least one of you does not even have a mortgage, you rent. One of you is not even an American citizen and you’re going to save Bellevue from it’s corrupt people on council? And tell the people of Bellevue how to save the town from all the problems that this council has wrought on it? That’s really laughable.
    Yeah, you are a worldly bunch for sure…………………..Heck, I’d follow you to hell and back.

    • Hi Mr. Purcell,
      I don’t know if this comment is directed towards me, so I guess i’ll answer quickly… I don’t recall ever mentioning your service in Vietnam, or mentioning your service at all actually. So i guess that part of your comment was not directed to me. But none the less…my father served in the Marines, my maternal grandfather served in the Army and fought in the Korean War. My dads side of the family came to this country in the early 60’s, and worked their tails off to be able to raise their children…my paternal grandfather worked in the steel mills. You speak to me (and a lot of the other members of LiB) as if we have not experienced anything in life. We may not be as well versed in making and repaying political favors as you are, but we sure as hell know what drives a great communities economy, real estate, and desirability. You are really good at attempting to degrade us for our not being as calloused as you are at the political game. But it still doesn’t change the fact that our borough needs some youth on council, with fresh ideas, energy to execute those ideas, and the smarts to do it fiscally. Not to mention the ability to use technology to be as productive as possible with our time, and as a way to connect with the residents of the town, and bring in outsiders to patronize our business district (if we can get it out of the tailspin that it’s clearly in right now.

      I notice that you have not answered a SINGLE question that i had asked in my previous comment. They are all serious questions that you should be able to answer honestly, without demeaning anyone in the process. You say you want us to engage with you and not block you – well then why not engage with me by answering the questions? Perhaps it can open the door for some discussion on the major issues with our town. We can toss some ideas around about how to fix the problems that we are clearly dealing with.

  18. Mr. Purcell,

    Nobody is bothered by your selfless service to this country. Nobody mentioned Ms. Downey’s brother or his service – you did. That is a perfect example of your political expertise – discrediting your opposition. Despite your commendable service, you use it to put down others and make them feel unworthy. You are acting like nothing but a bully – but one without any guts. Repeatedly I’ve challenged you to do a background check on me. I’ve challenged you to meet me face to face. But you sit behind pseudonyms and the Internet trying to take on a community watchdog group in a community that isn’t even yours. Why is this? Because your own community has had enough of you. How many more times can one be accused of impropriety, be arraigned on criminal charges, be accused of election violations, or be called out for cheap lies and deceit ALL for his personal gain? Sure as heck doesn’t sound like a soldier to me. The Navy motto of “Honor. Courage. Commitment.” is completely lost on you. Your dishonesty is anything but honorable. Your inability to insult me to my face shows your terrible lack of courage. Your numerous attempts to win public office show your lack of commitment to any career. Besides, when did your sons serve? Or do they only line up to collect from the gravy train of political favors when they need to unload some trees that conveniently shield your property?

    Insult me for not serving. Go ahead. Insult me for choosing a high-impact but low-paying career. Go ahead. Insult me for having $45,000 in student loans because I put myself through grad school. Go ahead. Insult me for renting instead of owning a home because I’m putting my wife through grad school. Go ahead.

  19. Thanks Mr Purcell for confirming you the things we have said all along. If people don’t have the same experiences as you there beliefs and opinosn just aren’t worthy are they. What LiB stands for is a belief that all people have something positive to offer. Everyone’s life expereinces are different and those varying expereiences and the opinions. thoughts and ideas that they give birth to all hold value. We celebrate people of all differening backgrounds, ages, cultures, income level, talents, etc. Bringing people from varied backgrounds together and using those talents and experiences to drive solutions is the strongest way to fix any problem. Whether the person is still in college and living at home, or has experienced multiple things over their life (war, politics, etc), all of the ideas that they generate are valuable. This includes, all members of the community of Bellevue, and all of the members of council (ALL OF THEM). We just need to break down the walls that they have as to listening to the varied community members that want to engage with them and start working together. This is why LiB was formed and how it all started. It did not start with attacks as you indicate. Like I have said before. If they really want to engage with us as equal members of the community we are open to that and have said that all along. They cannot use the excuse that we attack them and that is why they dont want to engage because they didnt engage any of as individuals prior to the creation of LiB either. I would like to know why and move past this.

  20. “Most of you are probably just out of your mother and dads nest for the first time, most of you don’t even have children, or has raised a family, and at least one of you does not even have a mortgage, you rent.”

    Wow…there are a lot of assumptions right there.

    Maybe, Mr. Purcell, you should, rather than slander people, turn a leaf. Actions speak louder than words. (Of course that phrase can be debatable, because when used correctly the written word can be a powerful thing. But I digress…). So instead of wasting energy being negative all the time maybe do something good for the community instead.

  21. DaNina, I plan on engaging the people that I believe really want what’s best for Bellevue. Are you one of those people DaNina? If so, I would be glad to give my ideas and solutions. Show everyone that you are that person and quit playing the detractor and I would be more than glad to work in a (positive) way for Bellevue. I applaud your family and their service. My family, also Italian came here just like yours, although a bit earlier, 1889, and made their way, in politics, public service, business, and military service. So I can appreciate that.

    • Looks like the three of us have something in common. My family immigrated to the US in 1921 from Italy. They started a dairy farm in Florida right where the royal west palm golf course is now. As you can tell that property wasn’t passed down in my family lol!! They left in 1930 after the okeechobee hurricane because the disaster was so great that my great grandmother never felt safe living there and they went back to Italy. They came back and went to Canada in 1948 where my uncle joe (being born in the United States) volunteered and fought in the us army during the Korean War. I am very proud of my heritage and I can tell both of you are!

    • And the status quo remains the same for you and your constituents, Mr. Purcell. You want to spend endless hours criticizing those of us that see the problems and are forthcoming with our ideas about what will solve the problems. You are so concerned about maintaining power on council, that you will not openly give us your ideas. If you were so concerned with the direction of the town, then why not share your solutions with everyone? Why not engage with me and answer the questions that I’ve asked you in the previous comment? If our ideas are so terrible, and your ideas are so ingenious…please share! Otherwise…you’re adding no viable content to this conversation whatsoever. If you’re focused on the betterment of the town, then why not be open about your ideas the same way that I have (and numerous other members of the community and LiB). Seems sophomoric to me to sit around and tell other that their ideas suck, when in fact you’re not willing to provide better ones.

  22. “Yesterday was the deadline for briefs to be filed with the Supreme Court, attorneys said. Daughenbaugh was not available for comment, Jacobs said.
    Daughenbaugh was in Afghanistan from December 2008 until August. He then began traveling to train National Guard Special Forces units around the country, according to the petition.”

    I returned from a deployment in Afghanistan in August 2009. I was on active duty status as a member of the National Guard in Utah conducting training in November 2009. I was not able to physically vote in Bellevue during that November election because of a military requirement to be in Utah training fellow soldiers. I cast my absentee ballot by mail before I left for Utah. The attorney Christopher M. Jacobs, the appeal brief to the Supreme Court, and I have never stated otherwise. The Citizen even printed a picture of me holding a copy of The Citizen while at FB Lilley, Shkin, Afghanistan hoping me a safe return home in Summer 2009.

    I have every right to vote even when my military service takes me away from my home, and I have every right to have my vote counted. Jane Braunlich failed to do the right thing when she filed a petition with the Court of Common Pleas asking that the absentee ballot be struck because of the violation of state election law. There was no fraud involved with my absentee ballot. A volunteer elections judge accidentally left my absentee ballot in the trunk of her car. It was counted a week later by the Allegheny County Elections Division still doubled sealed in two envelops.

    “The law requires that absentee ballots be opened at the polling place on election day, and those present given an opportunity to challenge the eligibility of the voter to vote by absentee ballot.”
    “The case was heard Wednesday by Judge Joseph James, who ruled that the ballot would not automatically be discounted absent some evidence of fraud. He did, however, give Braunlich the opportunity to challenge the eligibility of the voter, which she declined to do.”

    Jane Braunlich lost that election. She declined to challenge my eligibility to vote by absentee ballot when given the opportunity, and she agreed to the “casting of the lots”. Braunlich lost the “casting of the lots” to Dave Piet. She then appealed in the courts to throw out my military absentee vote after losing. Braunlich maintained the Bellevue council seat on a flaw in the voting laws, a technicality that never validated my vote.

    http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_663685.html?source=rss&feed=7#axzz2HD4xpJiv

    http://www.thecitizen.us/article/court-rejects-election-challenge

  23. Great story Mark, just among the many from descendants of immigrants that make up this great country and its diversity. Coming from that Italian background I know both of you understand your ancestors hard work ethic, sense of fair play, and a help your neighbor ideals that they brought to America. Their struggles to overcome prejudices and how many worked their way into much better lives, participated in public service, or fought for their country when duty called. Thanks for sharing that story.

    Walt; I can understand your disappointment when your vote wasn’t counted, especially when you were in uniform doing what we all admire about you and others like you. But according to the law, Jane Braunlich won that election and had every right to challenge that ballot. I have no doubt that had the tables been turned the other side would have done the same exact thing had they been so advised that they had the right to challenge. Not allowing ballots to be counted that were not properly posted at a polling place has a very sound reason as you can imagine. One thing that I know we can all agree on is the fact that our legislatures and congress do all they can to suppress the vote when just the opposite should be true. Low turnout is good for the incumbent and the minority party. The only cure for all of this in my estimation is term limits for all elected office.

  24. Why do any LiB people respond to Purcell. Ignore him and he’ll go away. He just wants attention. And he has no standing in Bellevue.

  25. Just curious as to why there is no report on last night’s council meeting. I hear it was really a good meeting. Linda Woshner gave a very positive report on substantial savings that the council has achieved over the last year. Seems to me that you would want to share this with the citizens of Bellevue. You might even want to join with council to suggest other ways together you can move Bellevue in the right direction.

    I hear there are more positives reports and ideas coming in the near future. Now would be a great time to join in for the good of all of Bellevue’s citizens.

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