Bellevue September 2013 Pre-Council Meeting, 3 SEP 2013

Last night’s Bellevue Pre-Council meeting got a bit dramatic after the age old fight over the Lincoln Avenue Streetscape Design resurfaced. For nearly half an hour council members fought back and forth over the controversial “bump outs” which were part of the initial streetscape design recommended by BDAC (a group of citizens, business owners, and borough leaders) before they were completely nixed by council members. Eventually a compromise was reached concerning the bump outs, but the long delay caused by disagreements and fighting forced a change design fee to be charged by the engineering firm leading the project.

Liberty in Bellevue will have more to say about this and other demonstrations of government dysfunction demonstrated at last night’s meeting. But, without further adieu we present the video of the entire Pre-Council Meeting. If you wish to jump to the fight concerning the bump outs fast forward to 16:20.

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12 Responses to “Bellevue September 2013 Pre-Council Meeting, 3 SEP 2013”

  1. how much did that fingerprint machine cost again?

  2. It’s pretty clear what the issue was. I agree that $2000 is a big deal but that isn’t the point here. It seems that one person doesn’t like the bump outs and will use any and every meeting to cry sour grapes. We can’t all get our way in a democracy. Enjoy the times when you do and learn to compromise. Lynn was dead on. Let’s move on.

    • I will remind you that the Streetscape plan was initially approved at the March 5, 2013 meeting. It as passed on March 5th and should have been done then. We should have moved on then but those who were not at the meeting did not like the vote and started rehashing it all over again. They were the ones crying sour grapes. It took them over one month to get their votes to overturn the March 5th vote. This is causing us to have a change order cost of $1990. My point was the $1990 which we would not have had if they did not overturn the initial approval should not be the responsibility of the taxpayer.

      • Linda, you’re intentionally misleading people with your claim “it was approved on March 5.” I just reviewed the March 5th council video (if you’d like to review it for yourself, feel free by going here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se35MPyHQSM).

        What is obvious from the video is that you and Jane took advantage of the fact that Mark and Kathy were unable to attend the meeting. Instead of waiting for the regular council meeting for the vote on the streetscape design, you encouraged Jane to make a motion which would shut out all bump outs right then and there because you believed there’d be less opposition. As soon as others realized what happened your unethical leadership style was swiftly corrected, leading to these additional expenses. The reason for the additional expenses were your’s and Jane’s backroom politicking to get your way rather than allowing everyone’s voice to be heard and everyone’s vote to count at the first vote.

        While we’re talking about the March 5 Pre-Council meeting, let’s explore some of the other uses, or should I say abuses, of the tax payer’s money that came to light that day. During the same meeting the finance committee, which you’re a part of, proposed the spending of $15,000 on a bioscan time clock system comparable to something the CIA or NSA likely use! $15,000!!! Whatever happened with that time clock system? Was it purchased? Has it been installed?

        Oh, and let’s not forget the thousands of dollars of expenses that you paid our borough solicitor in an unethical witch hunt against a longstanding borough employee. Remember when Mayor Doscher explained how you sent Councilman Viscusi to stalk and film Tony Barbarino? That happened at the same meeting you’re referring to, which of course led to thousands of dollars in legal expenses that were previously unbudgeted!

        Oh, ya, and then there’s the $1000 for film equipment you authorized the DAS to spend that night. Where’s the film equipment? I’d actually like to see that purchase fulfilled, but since we’re talking about wasting tax payer dollars, it seems to be you’ve authorized A LOT of wasteful spending of which we’ve seen very little result.

        Again, if you want to verify all my claims, please feel free to review the video of the March 5, 2013 Pre-Council meeting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se35MPyHQSM), it’s all there.

        Linda, this is what happens when the public gets involved and records everything that happens in a public meeting. You cannot hide behind half truths and the part of the story that makes you look good. Wasting the few tax payer dollars that are available in our small borough is a huge problem, but it’s not the $1990 for a correction on the streetscape design that has me really concerned. It’s the $15, 16, maybe even $20,000+ in expenses authorized by you the night of March 5 that has me most upset!!

      • Tom,
        In reply to your posting below.

        I understand you concerns. The Streetscape plan was approved on March 5, 2013. The Streetscape plan was voted on that day at the request of our interim borough manager and the COG director. It was not because I wanted to do something underhanded as you suggested. We needed to get the approval of the design to CEC as soon as possible. The Streetscape project was behind schedule and the county was not happy.

        What? I have to make sure certain council members are present before conducting important borough business? If that was the case, we would not get much done. All council members know when we have meetings. You say it took those absent council members 1 month to find out what happened at the March 5th meeting? I would hope not.

        Concerning your accusations about our DPW supervisor, I will not comment on personnel issues. I will say no one would be upset about being watched by their employer if they are doing their job. The Mayor violated state law and was out of control and disruptive at the meeting in question. If that is the type of person you want to applaud so be it.

        When we approve an expense, we can take whatever time is needed to purchase the item. Since we have a new borough manager, it is best to get his advice concerning the expenditures approved but not purchased.

        I don’t appreciate your false accusations that I have lied. You are politically motivated to exaggerate and make unfounded accusations about certain council members. Funny, you are not concerned about $1990 which could have been avoided because it involved your friends on council. Funny, you are not concerned about members of council and Mayor who cannot seem to make it to meetings. Funny, nothing is said about council members who are not prepared for most meetings. Your concerns are very myopic. You find fault with only certain council members. Your friends can do no wrong. Bad behavior by your friends is considered necessary and acceptable. I don’t mean to point fingers but I am being singled out here. It has to be obvious to objective people.

        I was elected to represent all the people of Bellevue and I am doing that. Of course, it is not achievable to satisfy all of the residents all of the time. It is obvious I will never satisfy you. Think what you want. I am not a failure by any means. I keep abreast of what is going on in local government issues through numerous webinars, seminars and publications. I try to be as prepared as possible for our meetings.

  3. You’re absolutely right. Linda and her friends cry about the abuse of “tax payer dollars” when it doesn’t help their agenda or their friends.

    How much did they throw away on the finger print scanners? I think it was in the range of $15K. I actually emailed Linda personally for an answer on that.

    Let’s not forget her unquestioned willingness to freely give thousands of dollars to the Bellevue Dog Park both in terms of “government donations” and kick backs for trees. A park built by her political allies and friends, and trees supplied by her political ally’s company. Oh, and it’s a park, that is illegal for my entire family to enjoy because I would be arrested for supervising my daughter as she enjoyed it, to boot!!

    And then, as soon as Improve the Vue, a subsidiary of BIGr which is started and is lead by her political opponent makes a request for a simple $1000 donation to support the Bellevue Park Trail dedication ceremony she fights tooth and nail because it’s a waste of “tax payer dollars!”

    the pattern is obvious and is fooling no one. this is not about “tax payer dollars.” this is purely about getting one’s own way, and when you taking every opportunity to make a stink about it.

    • I appreciate what volunteers have done in this community. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. It would be nice to provide a nice meal, however, municipalities have only those powers set down by the statues of the state legislature. The state of PA does not allows us this ability. It has nothing to do with favoring a particular organization. Council approved $250 for the maintenance of the trail.

      As for the $2000 given to the Dog Park, they have raised 10s of thousands of dollars. Most of the heavy equipment which was used was donation. The value was over $30,000. The group worked almost every weekend for 2 years plus many weekdays. In addition, they have had many fundraisers. The $2000 was used for gravel for our parking lot and a storage shed for the park. This was a drop in the bucket when you compare the donations they solicited. What do these volunteers get for working in your park? They get nothing but criticisms and are ridiculed for their efforts from LiB.

      Concerning the remarks about the not allowing children under the age of 18 years old, I can see their concerns. Dog bites to children are not as uncommon as you think. Insurance companies will not issue you a policy if you have certain breeds of dogs. This is a liability we do not need.

      There are no patterns and no kick backs. It is only in your minds. Maybe, that is how some conduct business but that is not how all do. I was not the only council person to approve the dog park. This is a well used part of our park and an asset to the community. You can imagine patterns and suggest kickbacks but they are unfounded accusations. It is politically motivated.

      • If we’re concerned about liability, why not prohibit children under 18 from using Bayne Park? Why not prevent children from using the Memorial Park pool? Liability is CLEARLY not the issue here. It’s that a small group of people believe they know what’s best for our community. You can’t protect us from ourselves.

        If dog bites at dog parks are “not as uncommon” as I would think, then why does Allegheny County allow children at EVERY dog park they operate? Why does EVERY privately-operated dog park or dog recreation facility in Allegheny County allow children? Couldn’t my 12-pound dog be just as endangered as my 30-pound child? Where is the responsibility for owners? If you don’t believe me, here’s the link. I doubt you have ever seen this.

        http://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/rules_dogarea.pdf

  4. Scott, you are taking it too far. I said this is a liability we do not need. Memorial and Bayne parks are family parks and are constructed accordingly. The pool has life guards and other safety features for all age groups which includes a baby pool. No dogs are permitted in Bayne and Memorial Parks except in the dog park area. Yes, dogs can be dangerous to each other that is why there is an area for small dogs. I am sorry but I do not have a dog and I am not familiar with other dog parks.

  5. Just an FYI…the $250 given to the Memorial Bike and Hike Trail is going directly toward signage. If we are calculating hours and equipment donations to the park, the volunteers from PTAG and Improve the Vue have also logged thousands of dollars of time and equipment use over the last three years to get the trail where it is today—
    We are less than a mile away from connecting this to the rails to trails where Bellevue will be the final stop—Now that’s exciting and has great possibility for economic development!

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