Notes on West Chester,
by Jim Jones
1. The Borough of West Chester is not responsible for, nor has it authorized this web site. Information on this site is not intended to replace official versions of the same information.
2. The notes presented on this web page do not contain everything that was recorded in the official minutes.
3. All content of this page is derived from public documents, and while every reasonable effort was made to insure its accuracy, information on this site is presented AS IS without warranty, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. It is intended as a resource for historians, and nothing more.
4. To report an error or make a comment, please contact Dr. Jim Jones.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Spaziani, Cotter, Baldwin, Mosteller, Chambers
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Chief Frame, Mr. Shay (Controller), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M.
As the first order of business, Mayor Chambers administered the oath of office to Councilmen-elect Underwood, Cotter, Mosteller and Chambers.
Following a brief statement, Mayor Chambers asked Council for nominations for President of Council. Mr. Baldwin nominated Mr. W. Earl Thomas for President. Nomination was seconded by Mr. Cotter, and Mr. Thomas was unanimously elected president.
Mayor Chambers asked for nominations for vice-president of Council. Mr. Cotter nominated Mr. Spaziani, who declined the nomination. Mr. Thomas then nominated Mr. William L. Underwood for vice-president. Nomination was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Mayor Chambers then turned the meeting over to newly elected President of Council, Mr. W. Earl Thomas.
Mr. Thomas announced that Council must appoint or re-appoint the Manager in accordance with the ordinance establishing the position. Mr. Underwood moved that Mr. Robert J. Shaw be re-appointed to the position of Borough Manager. Seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved 7-0.
Mr. Thomas: then announced that Council must appoint or re-appoint the Housing Officer. Mr. Spaziani moved that Mr. L. Vernon Smith be re-appointed as Housing Officer. Seconded by Mr. Underwood and passed 7-0.
The Manager read proposed Resolution #1-1970, a resolution designated the First National Bank of West Chester as depository for Borough funds for 1970. Following the reading Mr. Mosteller moved that Council adopt Resolution #1, 1970. Mr. Baldwin seconded the motion, and it was approved 7-0.
Mr. Thomas, as Council President, made the following Committee assignments. (First Name is Committee Chairman).
Fire: Robert J. Baldwin, Edward J. Cotter, Thomas A. Chambers.
Street: Robert C. Spaziani, Robert J. Baldwin, J. Paul Mosteller.
Water: William L. Underwood, Edward J. Cotter, Robert J. Baldwin.
Sewer: William L. Underwood, Robert C. Spaziani, Edward J. Cotter.
Light: J. Paul Mosteller, Thomas A. Chambers, William L. Underwood.
Police: Edward J. Cotter, Robert C. Spaziani, Thomas A. Chambers.
Finance: Edward J. Cotter, J. Paul Mosteller, Robert J. Baldwin.
Parks: Thomas A. Chambers, Edward J. Cotter, Robert C. Spaziani.
Real Estate: Robert J. Baldwin, William L. Underwood, Robert C. Spaziani.
Library: Thomas A. Chambers, J. Paul Mosteller, William L. Underwood.
Planning: J. Paul Mosteller, William L. Underwood, Thomas A. Chambers.
Off Street Parking: Robert C. Spaziani, Robert J. Baldwin, J. Paul Mosteller.
Mr. Spaziani announced he had received a request to block off a street in the Borough for sledding. Following a short discussion this request was taken under advisement by the Police Committee.
Adjourned at 8:05 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Mosteller, Chambers, Cotter, Spaziani, Baldwin
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Shay, Controller, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Chief Frame
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. John Harris, a member of the West Chester Police Dept., addressed Council concerning the problems encountered by the Puerto Rican residents of the Borough. He suggested that a committee of Council meet with representatives of that minority group to discuss their problems. Mr. Thomas, President, advised Mr. Harris of the Borough's efforts to date to meet the problem through employment of interpreters for the Housing Inspector and the failure of the program because of unacceptance of the interpreter by the Puerto Ricans, even though this person was of that racial group. Mr. Thomas further remarked that Council would continue to try to reach this group to assist in solving their problems. [...]
Request for "No Parking" signs on east side of Darlington St. between Price and Dean Sts. was referred to the Police Committee to investigate and make recommendations back to Council.
Request from the Church of the Holy Trinity for Council to consider a three year lease on the Church's parking lot on Union St. instead of the five years approved at the regular meeting in November, at a rental of $2,500 was considered. Mr. Spaziani moved that Council approve a lease for three years instead of the five years previously approved. Mr. Baldwin seconded and it passed 6-1, with Mr. Thomas casting the negative vote. [...]
Council unanimously approved the reappointment of Mr. Charles Melton to the Planning Commission for an additional five year term. [...]
Council delayed action on filling vacancies on the Human Relations Commission pending receipt of recommendations from members of Council.
Proposed Ordinance #2-1970, "An Ordinance Altering the Personnel of the Police Department, " which establishes the position of a fifth sergeant was read and considered. Mr. Cotter moved that Council enact Ordinance #2-1970, Mr. Underwood seconded and it passed 7-0.
Council read a letter from Civil Service Commission certifying as eligible for appointment as patrolmen Messrs. Lunsford, Kehoe, Mervin, Sexton, Crawford and Elliott was read. No action was taken on appointments pending receipt of physical exams, credit and background investigations.
Council read a letter from Mr. Richard C. Cloud, Assistant Cashier and Security Officer, The First National Bank of West Chester, complimenting the West Chester Police on their rapid response to an alarm from the bank which resulted in the apprehension of two "bad check artists" was read. Mr. Thomas also verbally commended the Department for their outstanding performance in this matter.
Council read a letter from Bureau of Employment Security, Pa. State Employment Service requesting the names of people to attend a one-day Awareness Training session on Wednesday, January 21, 1970, was referred to the Mayor for action.
Council read a letter signed by representatives of the Human Relations Commission, Black Action Committee and NAACP, concerning the present status of John A. Mervin as a police officer was read and referred to the Solicitor to answer.
Council read a letter from Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America, requesting the Borough to block off Church St. between Market and Gay Streets for a scouting demonstration from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on February 7, 1970, was referred to the Mayor for necessary action.
Council read a letter from West Chester Planning Commission approving the land use for the proposed development of 23 apartments to be built by Mr. Anthony Stancato on property to the north of Washington St. and west of the Elks Home's property was read. A review of the plan revealed a Borough sewer easement through the center of the development and Council deferred action on the proposed land use until the easement is reviewed. [...]
Mayor Chambers commented on the appointment of the fifth sergeant and the platoon system which he stated had not been approved by him. He then recommended that Council consider Officer Harry Saltzman for the position of sergeant. Chief Frame stated he did not agree with the Mayor's recommendations and stated his reasons. Mr. Thomas Chambers remarked he did not think that a man's qualifications should be aired at a public meeting, and this statement concurred in by the President, who then stated Council would consider the appointment of the sergeant at the meeting on January 22, 1970.
Mr. Chambers inquired as to the status of the new trash ordinance. Mr. Spaziani replied that he desired that the Mayor have a chance to review what is presently under consideration before any action is taken on the new ordinance. Mr. Chambers also commented on the recent snow and the problems with removal.
Mr. Mosteller commented on the recent snow and stated he felt that if the parking meters were not accessible the Borough should not ticket the cars for overtime parking. [...]
Adjourned at 9:00 P.M.
Council members present: Cotter, Thomas, Mosteller, Underwood, Chambers
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicior), Chief Frame, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 4:00 P.M. [...]
Council considered the appointment of another sergeant in the West Chester Police Department. Mayor Chambers recommended Patrolman Saltzman and Mr. Cotter moved that Council approve the appointment of Patrolman Saltzman to sergeant. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 5-0. [...]
Following announcements and letters were read:
1. Invitation from County Commissioners for Council to attend a film on Atomic Energy to be shown at 2:00 P.M., January 27, 1970, in the Court House. Four persons indicated they would attend.
2. Letter from W. Jesse Clark, President, United Fund of Greater West Chester, advising the Borough will receive recognition of its support of the United Fund at a meeting to be held at 8:00 P.M., January 28, 1970, at the Chester County Hospital.
3. Letter of appreciation from Mr. DeBaptiste, Chairman, Commission on Human Relations, to Dr. Horace F. Darlington, resigned, for his services to the Commission.
4. Letter of thanks to the West Chester Police Department from Chief Slater, West Conshohocken Police Department for the department's apprehension of two suspects wanted by Chief Slater's department.
Mr. Thomas Chambers inquired of the status of the ordinance requiring plastering of party walls when a house is demolished, and he was advised it was being investigated by the Housing Officer. Mr. Chambers also commented on a letter he had received which offered to take over maintenance of the two large parks for a specified amount. Mr. Thomas recommended that he discuss the letter with the Park Committee and then make a recommendation to Council. Mr. Chambers also reported that it was too cold to fill the ice skating rink at this time.
Mr. Cotter stated he had investigated the request of the Nazarene Church to remove parking on the east side of Darlington St. between Price and Dean Sts., and it was the Police Committees recommendation that "No Parking Between Signs" signs be erected in the center of the block at such location that three cars could park south of Dean Street and three cars could park north of Price Street. Mr. Cotter then moved that Council approve installation of "No Parking Between Signs" signs as recommended by the Police Committee, and the Parking and Traffic Ordinance be so amended. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Mayor Chambers remarked that the Borough still has snow problems and that in any future heawy snows, he will have to enforee the snow removal ordinance to the letter of the law. [...]
Adjourned at 4:28 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Mosteller, Cotter, Underwood, Chambers, Spaziani, Baldwin
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Harvey, acting Solicitor, Chief Frame, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Thomas advised those in attendance that the purpose of the meeting was to take official action concerning the status of Special Officer John A. Mervin. Mr. Thomas then requested Mr. Cotter, Chairman of the Police Committee, to present his committee's recommendations.
Mr. Cotter read the following statement: "John Mervin has been indicted and has been suspended by the Mayor. The Police Committee and Chief Frame agree completely with the Mayor in his action. The next question, pending disposition of the case, is payment to this officer. He was hired to perform a special and dangerous duty - he did just that. John Mervin and any other police officer need to know, today, Council's position."
Mr. Cotter then made the following motion: If John Mervin is found "Not Guilty", as charged, he be paid in full for time lost during his suspension. If "Guilty", no compensation should be paid whatsoever. Any monies due in this interim to be held in escrow by the Borough. This position to be reviewed not later than November 1, 1970. Mr. Thomas then asked for questions on the motion.
Mr. Thomas A. Chambers stated that he was in favor of reimbursing Mr. Mervin the difference between what he earns during the time he is suspended and what his back pay from the Borough would amount to. Mr. Chambers further stated that he did not want any employee to lose pay, but he did not feel the man should be rewarded. He then asked that Mr. Cotter amend his motion and when Mr. Cotter refused, the President requested the Secretary to poll the Council. Motion was approved by a vote of 5-2 with Mr. Chambers and Mr. Mosteller voting "No".
Mayor Chambers announced that the protest staged by the members of the Police Department was not a protest against the Mayor's action in the Mervin case, but was a protest against the actions of the Grand Jury.
Mr. Chambers then inquired of the solicitor as to the legal status of the action Council has taken. He also asked if Mr. Mervin has been fired or suspended. Mr. Harvey stated that a special officer could be suspended but if he had been fired the action by Council was not legal. The Mayor then stated that this problem was two separate matters; he had terminated the man's services as one matter, and the pay is another one. Mr. Spaziani asked why must Council hide behind technicalities, because this man was hired to do a job and he did it. Following this statement, the President discontinued on the subject and asked if there was any other business.
The Secretary read a letter of appreciation addressed to Mayor Chambers from Kuntz Detective Agency, Inc. for Chief Frame and Officer Mervin giving a speech at the Agency's meeting on January 22, 1970. The letter also advised that the Agency unanimously passed a resolution commending Patrolman Mervin for his actions, courage and devotion to duty and Chief Frame for his initiative and awareness of the Drug problem. [...]
Mr. Clifford DeBaptiste appeared to enter a complaint that the Tax Collector would not accept partial payment of taxes. He stated he had sent a check to the collector for $1,000 but it had been returned because it was not in full payment of taxes. He further stated that the Tax Collector advised him that Council must enact a Resolution to permit him to take partial payments. No action was taken on this complaint pending further investigation.
Mr. C. Harry Barber, Jr. speaking on behalf of Waldron Real Estate, extended sincere appreciation to the fire departments of West Chester for their services at a recent fire in the Colonial Manor Apartments.
Mr. John Harris commented that he had been advised that the A & P Store on Market Street intended to close, and this, coupled with the closing of Food Fair, would cause problems. He further stated that he did not know what Council could do to prevent it, but they should do something. Mr. Thomas Chambers advised Mr. Harris that the West Chester Civic Association was going to discuss this matter at its next meeting, and he requested Mr. Harris to appear at the next meeting of that group. Mr. Harris then stated that he felt the fire departments of the Borough should have some black members. The fire companies should not wait for them to apply but should go find members in the black community. Mr. Chambers replied that the Fire Committee should and would consider this matter.
Adjourned at 4:30 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Mosteller, Cotter, Chambers, Spaziani, Baldwin
Also present: Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mayor Chambers, Chief Frame, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer),
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Thomas requested a motion approving the minutes of the January 14, 1970 regular meeting, January 22, 1970 adjourned meeting and January 29, 1970 special meeting. Mr. Mosteller moved that Council approve the minutes as published. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin. Mr. Thomas asked for "questions" and Mr. Chambers requested that the special meeting minutes be changed as follows: "The motion on reimbursing John Mervin for pay lost while waiting trial which shows Mr. Cotter and Mr. Mosteller casting negative ballots" should be changed to read: "Mr. Chambers and Mr. Mosteller."
Mr. Chambers then questioned the statement contained in the special meeting minutes attributed to Mr. Harvey, acting Solicitor, concerning the legal status of the action taken concerning reimbursing Mervin for the period he is awaiting trial. Mr. Chambers stated he did not hear Mr. Harvey make a reply as stated in the Minutes. Mr. Chambers then inquired of the Solicitor for an opinion on the legal status of the action taken by Council. The Solicitor replied that if the man was suspended the action was legal but if his services were terminated the action was illegal and the motion should be rescinded. Mayor Chambers stated he had relieved the man from duty and his services were terminated. Mr. Chambers read an item from the Daily Local News which stated that Mervin had been relieved from duty. Thomas, Cotter and Mr. Spaziani each remarked that he believed the man had been suspended which resulted in the special meeting on January 29, 1970 being called in order to provide a means of reimbursing the man. Mr. Thomas then referred the matter to Mr. MacElree to study and report back at the next meeting of Council. [...]
Mr. Clifford DeBaptiste addressed Council concerning the inability of property owners to pay partial payment on taxes. He stated that the Tax Collector would not receive partial pays this year even though it had been done in the past. He stated that it was the responsibility of the Council and the school to work out a method where partial payments could be made. He further commented that if the Borough didn't need the money then the wage tax should be repealed. Mr. MacElree replied that taxes are collected under state law, and Council cannot do anything about it. Mr. DeBaptiste again stated that some people could not make payment of taxes in full, and there must be some way that the tax collector could accept partial payments. Mr. Cotter asked if these people couldn't put there money in an account at the bank until they had saved the total amount. At this point Mr. Thomas commented that further discussion was unnecessary on this subject and asked if anyone elee had any complaints.
A gentlemen who gave his address as 229 Evans St., registered a complaint about junk, trash and rubbish in the yards in the area of his residence and stated he had been promised action for five years but nothing had been done about it. The Mayor stated he had received the complaints, and action to have the area cleaned up would be taken. Viola Wilson and Mr. Anthony J. Polito made similar comments on the condition of this area.
Mr. Burton E. Lund asked if there is any policy under which a Special Police Officer can be removed. Mr. MacElree replied that there is no notice required to terminate a special officer's services, and determination is the responsibility of the Mayor only.
Mr. Herb Bostic, representing residents of the 200 block W. Chestnut St., appeared and presented a petition to Council requesting that all night parking be permitted in that particular block. (Petition is on file in Secretary's Office). Mr. Spaziani replied that at one time parking had been permitted but trash piled up and the street could not be swept. Mr. Thomas then referred the request to the Police and Street Committees for study and recommendations. Mr. D'Annunzio, who has a market in that block, stated that the problem of parking was caused by the fact that some families had five cars, and he further stated that the parking lot is always empty, and he opposed all night parking in the block.
A Mr. McQueen, from East Goshen Township, asked if Mr. Mervin is still carrying a side arm. Mayor Chambers replied that Mr. Mervin is not carrying a gun. Mr. McQueen then stated that he felt Mervin needed some protection and asked why he wasn't carrying a gun. Mr. T. Chambers replied that Mervin does not have a permit to carry a gun.
Mr. Shsrwood Angelson, Thornbury Township, further commented on the Mervin case and stated that Mervin was being punished before his conviction; he had been deprived of income and his life was in jeopardy. He further commented that we must support the police or get what we deserve.
Mr. Polito asked that if Mr. Mervin was in the employ of the Borough when he did these things, referring to the two events which Mr. Mervin was arrested for, why doesn't the Borough pay his legal expenses? Mr. MacElree replied, that in criminal cases, the Borough cannot pay the individual's legal expenses. [...]
Council read a letter from Retail Merchants Association of the Chamber of Commerce requesting free in-lot parking on February 21, 1970, was read and considered. On motion of Mr. Mosteller and seconded by Mr. Underwood, Council unanimously approved this request for free in-lot parking on February 21, 1970.
Council considered appointments to the Commission on Human Relations. Mr. Baldwin moved that Mr. Jean King be reappointed to the Commission and Mr. Jose Gonjalez be appointed to the Commission each for three year terms. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood, and upon Mr. Thomas' request for questions before polling Council, Mr. Chambers asked to see the petition which recommended that Mr. Anthony J. Polito be appointed to the Commission. While Mr. Chambers was reviewing the petition, Mr. Angelson remarked that the group needed a spark of life and recommended that Mr. Folito be appointed. Mr. Chambers then asked if the Commission was limited to five members or can the ordinance be amended to increase the size of the group. Mr. MacElree stated he was not aware of any restrictions on the size of the Commission. Following these comments Mr. Baldwin's motion on appointments was approved by a vote of 7-0.
Requests for a Truck Loading Zone in front of a restaurant at 621 S. Walnut St. and a no parking zone along the north side of Lacey St. from the alley, thence in an easterly direction to Walnut St. were referred to the Police and Street Committees for action.
Mr. Chambers moved that Council direct the Solicitor to prepare an amendment to "Fair Housing Ordinance" to expand the number of members of the Commission on Human Relations from five to seven. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
On motion of Mr. Baldwin, seconded by Mr. Underwood, Council unanimously approved the proposed land use of a tract of land located north of Washington St. and west of the Elks Home on which Mr. Stancato desires to build 23 apartment units. Land use had been approved by the Planning Commission.
Council, on motion of Mr. Underwood and seconded by Mr. Baldwin, unanimously approved the proposed land use of the Kodish junk yard for apartments. Planning Commission had previously approved this land use.
On motion of Mr. Underwood and seconded by Mr. Mosteller, Council unanimously approved the applications for permits for gasoline pumps for Wiley Motors, General Sales, Eddie Miller and Earl Gibson, for 1970.
Mr. Bayliss reported that the Convent was almost completely demolished and the contractor would begin hauling the trash away shortly. He also briefed Council on the problems at the lift station at Worthington & Market Sts. because of White Glove's car wash not re-using wash water as they had stated they would.
Mr. Cotter, Chairman, Police Committee, reported that his Committee recommended the appointment of Mr. James P. Kehoe, Jr. as patrolman with the West Chester Police Dept. Mr. Cotter then moved that Council approve the appointment of Mr. Kehoe as a patrolman (probationary) with the West Chester Police Department at the earliest possible date acceptable to Mr. Kehoe. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Mr. C. Harry Barber, Jr. asked Council if the Borough could pay Mr. Mervin's legal fees associated with the prosecution of the individuals arrested for possession of drugs as the result of Mr. Mervin's activities. Mr. Thomas stated that Mr. MacElree would investigate this matter and report back to Council. [...]
Mr. Smith, Housing Officer, then stated that the interpreter he had employed in the past had returned from Puerto Rico, and he recommended that Council appoint her as assistant Housing Officer. Mr. Spaziani then moved that Council approve the appointment of Delia Serrano as assistant Housing Officer. Motion was seconded by Mr. Cotter and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Adjourned at 9:30 P.M.
Council members Present: Thomas, Mosteller, Cotter, Underwood, Chambers, Spaziani, Baldwin
Also present: Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Chief Frame, Mayor Chambers, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Joe Harvey & John Featherman (Solicitors).
Called to order at 3:30 P.M.
Mr. Thomas explained that the purpose of the meeting was to consider appointment of a patrolman with the West Chester Police Department.
Mr. Thomas requested the Secretary to read that portion of the minutes of the January 29, 1970 special meeting which applied to the motion concerning payments to Mr. Mervin as a suspended special officer. Following the reading of the Minutes, Mr. Cotter asked the Mayor to re-state the action he had taken regarding Mr. Mervin's services. Mayor Chambers replied that Mervin's services were terminated as of 7:35 P.M., January 26, 1970.
Mr. Cotter, after stating that the motion made at the January 29, 1970 meeting was out of order, moved that Council rescind the motion made at the January 29, 1970, special meeting which reads as follows: "If John Mervin is found "Not Guilty", as charged, he be paid in full for time lost during his suspension. If "Guilty", no compensation should be paid whatsoever. Any monies due in this interim to be held in escrow by the Borough. This position to be reviewed not later than November 1, 1970, " Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Mr. Cotter then moved that Council hire John Mervin as patrolman with the West Chester Police Department, this date, February 16, 1970, subject to Civil Service requirements. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and upon the President's asking for questions on the motion, Mr. Chambers stated he was opposed to the motion and read the following statement:
"I am opposed to the motion made and seconded to appoint John Mervin to the West Chester Police Force as a regular police officer. I think all of us are aware just why such a motion is being made, since it was already discussed in a closed session of Council. The motion is being made to override the decision of the Mayor who terminated Mr. Mervin as a Special Police Officer on January 26, 1970. This overriding is being done for the sole purpose of paying Mr. Mervin "back pay" if and when he is cleared of all charges against him,
"I want to make it perfectly clear why I oppose the motion. It is not because I am against a fair and just compensation in the form of back pay. It is not because it is an attempt to override the Mayor's decision of termination. And I am not questioning the legality of the motion, since the Borough Solicitor has assured us the motion is legal. What I am opposed to is appointing Mr. Mervin as a regular police officer at this point in time because such an appointment is, in my opinion, definitely not in the best interests of the citizens of West Chester. I am not questioning the possibility that a moral obligation may exist in this ease, but should we equate a moral obligation only with money?
"There is nothing wrong with protecting an individual's interests, but there is the greater responsibility of protecting all the people's interests. I honestly believe that appointing the individual in this case to the regular police force at this particular time is not the proper way to protect his interests, and I am convinced such a move is not in the best interests of all the people we represent.
"If, for a moment, we can be totally objective in considering this motion, let's consider the following. If the motion carries, the Borough will be appointing an individual as a regular police officer who is presently under indictment by the Grand Jury. And although the indictment itself should in no way cause anyone to prejudge the case, it does, coupled with the fact that there may be other candidates awaiting appointment who are not faced with such circumstances, place us in a position, if the motion is carried, of completely prostituting the normal and accepted procedure of appointing regular policemen. And think how possibly such an appointment could adversely affect the entire West Chester Police Department and our policemen serving us now. I feel certain that if the appointment is made, that Council and the Police Department we must protect will be extremely vulnerable to attack by any citizen or group so disposed to question such procedure.
"I conclude by urging my fellow Council members to hesitate a moment to think about the consequences of our actions, to not allow emotion and sentiment of the moment to cloud our judgment that must base decisions on what is in the best interests of the people we serve. It is imperative that we not base this decision on what mipy appear to be the popular and expedient thing to do today, but what is proper over the long haul.
"I have spoken from my heart and in complete good conscience. I am confident that I made this decision to oppose the motion objectively and unemotionally, with no singular interest in mind, but with the general welfare of our Borough in mind. I urge my fellow members of Council to do the same."
Thomas A. Chambers, Borough Councilman, West Chester, Penna.
Following the reading of the statement, the Secretary polled Council for the vote on the motion. Motion was approved by a vote of 5-2 with Mr. Chambers and Mr. Mosteller casting the negative votes.
Mr. Cotter asked Mayor Chambers if he would swear in the new patrolman. Mayor Chambers then read the following Statement:
"I was very definite in my decision concerning Mr. Mervin that his services with the Borough be terminated effective January 26, 1970. I made that decision based on all the information available to me at that time and I believe this decision to be in the best interest of the Borough and all parties concerned.
"I do not feel it would be proper for me to appoint or suspend a man whose services I have already terminated. The action that a majority of Council has just taken in appointing Mr. Mervin as a regular police officer was for the express purpose of overriding my decision of termination. I realize, though, that this is Council's prerogative and I do not object to that. However, I do not feel that I can, in all good conscience, take part in this action. Therefore I will not suspend Mr. Mervin, nor swear him in."
Mr. Cotter then requested the Secretary to see if Mr. Earl Heald, District Justice, was available to swear in Mr. Mervin. Justice Heald performed the ceremony in his office, and the Secretary returned the Oath of Office to Council.
Mr. Daniel Chambers then asked why the meeting was not opened by the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Thomas stated that regular meetings would be opened in this manner, but not special meetings called for specific purposes.
Mr. Cotter then moved that Council suspend Patrolman John A. Mervin, this date, February 16, 1970, until November 1, 1970 or the final disposition of the criminal charges against him which ever first occurs, with pay to be held in escrow by the Borough. His suspension is subject to the Civil Service provisions of the Borough code, and he be paid if found "not guilty" and not be paid if he is found "guilty". Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani. In reply to request for questions on the motion, Mr. Chambers remarked that what Council is doing today -- appointment of a regular patrolman and suspension within 10 minutes is highly irregular. Motion was then approved by a vote of 5-0 with Mr. Chambers and Mr. Mosteller abstaining.
Mayor Chambers then stated he wished to make a statement concerning the misconceptions regarding recent decisions made by the Mayor, Police Committee and Chief of Police. Mayor Chambers then preceded to read the following statement:
"I want to clear up some misconceptions about some matters that have been reported and rumored quite inaccurately in the past week.
"Number One: The decision not to allow Mr. Mervin to carry a weapon concealed without a permit was unanimously agreed to by myself, the Chief of Police, and the Police Committee, contrary to the belief that this decision was made independently by me. It was my prerogative to act independently, perhaps, but I chose to consult with the members of the Police Committee and the Chief.
"Number Two: I was at no time requested, as Mayor, to provide police protection for Mr. Mervin. Chief Frame did, however, show me a notarized letter from Mr. Mervin. requesting police protection. I saw this letter around 2 P.M. Thursday, February 12, and I recommended that Chief Frame contact the Borough Solicitor since it was a matter for him, that I had no objection if it was legal. Unfortunately, Chief Frame did not get around to seeing the Solicitor that day and the shooting incident occurred at 10:30 P.M. Thursday night.
"Number Three: The decision not to allow Mr. Mervin to visit the rooms reserved for official police personnel unless on official business, after he was relieved as a Special Policeman by me, was a decision agreed to by myself, the Chief of Police, and the Police Committee.
"Although it was not the intent to conceal the decisions made, it was also not the intent to publicize them either. These decisions were made with the best interests of Mr. Mervin and the Borough in mind. I sincerely hope that this statement I have just made will clarify the record as to what really happened once and for all."
Adjourned at 4:45? P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Baldwin, Underwood, Cotter
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Chief Frame, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer).
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Walter Higgins, attorney, requested the aid of Council in protesting the closing of the steam plant in West Chester. He stated Council had protested the closing through counsel at the PUC hearings but should pass a resolution apposing this action. He further stated that the PUC attorney had offered him the steam plant free with a payment of $270,000 and he stated he had demanded $54O,000. He then suggested that Council consider establishing an authority and take over the plant. Council thanked Mr. Higgins for his comments and advised him they would consider them.
Mr. Arthur Corcoran inquired of what was being done about loose dogs. He stated he did not think policemen should be chasing dogs, and he was under the impression the Borough had a part time dog catcher, and if there wasn't one, he would appreciate Council obtaining the services of a part time dog catcher. Mr. Thomas replied that the County had a dog officer, Mr. Palmentier, who is responsible for picking up all dogs, but he had the problem of being responsible for the entire county. Mr. Chambers commented that possibly the County dog officer could spend a given amount of time monthly in the Borough for the purpose of picking up dogs.
Mr. Clifford DeBaptiste again presented the problem of inability to make partial payments on taxes. Mr. Thomas referred this problem to the Solicitor to study and report back to Council.
Request for an easement across the Borough's property located north of Snyder Ave. and bordering land owned by Grocery Store Products, from Grocery Store Products was read. Grocery Store Products has recently purchased Brandywine Mushroom Company and desires to construct a road connecting their two properties which would cross Borough property. Mr. Baldwin moved that the easement be granted, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood. Prior to the vote the question of a time limit on the easement was discussed and Mr. Baldwin withdrew his motion. The Solicitor was directed to contact Grocery Store Products to discuss a time limit on the easement and report to Council.
An agreement between the Borough of West Chester and Perfect Host Inc. for Borough water service to the Treadway Inn under construction south of West Chester was read. Mr. Underwood moved that Council approve the agreement. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Council read a letter from West Chester Development Company requesting Borough water service to a tract of land located south of the 202 by-pass and east of S. Matlack St. was read. Mr. Underwood moved that the request for Borough water service be disapproved. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers, and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Petition from residents of the 300 and 400 blocks of N. Franklin St. requesting that truck traffic be restricted on those streets was considered and referred to the Police Committee to investigate.
Council read a letter from Downingtown Borough Council requesting that they be advised not later than April 1, 1970, of the Borough's intentions concerning joining with Downingtown in a joint water filtration plant was read. Mr. Underwood moved that Council inform Downingtown Borough Council that West Chester will not join with Downingtown in a water filtration plant. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Council read a letter from Julia D. Ryan, 529 Marshall Drive, informing Council of the actions taken by the residents of that area to eliminate a flooding problem, and suggesting that the Borough try to keep the creek clean in the future. Secretary was directed to acknowlege receipt of letter and advise them the Borough would try to keep the creek bed clean in the future.
The Secretary read a proposed ordinance increasing the membership of the Commission on Human Relations from five to seven members. Mr. Chambers moved to enact the proposed ordinance. There was no second, and ... Council took no further action.
The Secretary read proposed ordinance #4-1970, an "Ordinance Relating to the Disposal and Collection of Garbage and Refuse in the Borough of West Chester." Following the reading, Mr. Chambers moved that Council enact ordinance Mo. 4-1970. The motion was seconded by Mr. Cotter, but before they could vote, Mr. Higgens spoke in opposition to the ordinance as penalizing the business man. Mr. Alex Barry and Mr. Franklin Barry commented on the inadvisability of picking garbage up once a week, and Mr. Laurento and Mr. Voge asked several questions concerning the number of cans, enforcement, etc. Mr. Devere Kauffman stated the ordinance would be very good if it was enforced. Mr. Chambers replied that ordinance will go inot effect on June 15, 1970 and everyone in the Borough will know what is in it, even if door to door delivery of circulars was necessary. Mr. Thomas then called the vote and the motion was approved by a vote of 5-0.
Mayor Chambers ... commented on several complaints received on air pollution and invited all in attendance to an "open house" in his office following the adjournment of the meeting. [...]
Mr. Chambers made a statement concerning West Chester's participation in the proposed Marsh Creek project and made the following recommendations:
1. That the Borough inquire immediately about the $220,000 allocation and request its return, if possible, so it may be placed in escrow to draw interest until more definite plans about the Marsh Creek project are presented.
2. That the County Commissioners halt further work on the project until one of the projects primary beneficiaries, the Borough of West Chester, is given a clear, concise statement about the status of the project, particularly including the facts about what effect Wilmington's participation in the project will have on West Chester in meeting the Borough's water requirements.
3. That the Borough inform the Commissioners that it supports a single-purpose project, that is, water supply, rather than the questionable multi-purpose project which presently calls for a State Park.
That the Borough consider an alternative to Marsh Creek as a source of water, particularly the idea presented in Exhibit F of the Geo-Technical Services Oct. 1969 report that proposes a location for a new reservoir to yield 30-50 MOD just 4 miles from West Chester that could also benefit Downingtown. [...]
Adjourned at 9:45 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Spaziani, Underwood, Baldwin, Chambers, Cotter, Mosteller
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith.
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. John Harris, Jr. addressed Council concerning the alleged actions of a Mr. Gary Wickersham. Referring to the recent incident concerning Mr. Devere Ponzo and Mr. Wickersham, during which Mr. Wickersham stated Mr. Ponzo would burn an American flag, Mr. Harris remarked that Mr. Wickersham had gone to the shop of the lady who had small boxes decorated with red and white stripes and stars and advised her she would be arrested if she did not remove the items from the shelf. The lady who works in the store then commented that Mr. Wickersham told her she was desecrating the flag and if she did not take the items off the shelf she would be arrested. Mr. Harris then requested that Council should do something about the matter and also about the reporting of Mr. Wilson Fox who according to Mr. Harris, made comments about the matter on the radio which were entirely false.
Mr. Arthur Corcoran remarked that he had not heard the name of the Police Department mentioned in the radio broadcast. Councilman Chambers replied to the statements and said that he did not feel that Council should take a position on this matter, as they would then be taking sides in the complaint. Mr. MacElree Solicitor, advised the lady and Mr. Harris that Borough Council is not a watch dog and further stated that the individual concerned could see the D.A. and lodge a complaint.
Mr. Michael Dixon addressed Council and stated he had been sworn in as a Special Officer last year, and he had been told his salary would be the same as a regular policeman when he was called to work. He further stated that each time he was employed by the Borough he was paid $1.60/hr. He then asked if Council could give him some concrete answers on this subject. Another complaint Mr. Dixon presented was that he had been told that the employment would be rotated according to a roster so that each of the special officers would be called in turn, but this procedure was not being followed. Mr. Thomas Chambers recommended that Council take some action to set a higher wage for these officers, and further stated "these men should get $3.00 an hour. Mr. Joe Fiorentino stated he received $2.00 an hour when he worked at the bank's parking lot. Mr. Thomas remarked that Council would not make any increases in wages at this meeting, aid the program of special officers would be studied. [...]
A letter from the Retail Merchants Association of the Chamber of Commerce requesting permission to conduct a sidewalk sale on July 23, 1970, and to create a promenade on Gay St. from Walnut to Darlington Sts. was read and the request considered. Mr. Chambers moved that Council approve the request for the sidewalk sale pending approval by the Highway Department to block off Gay St. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 7-0. Mr. Thomas stated he would contact the Highway Department to seek approval of the request for blocking off Gay Street.
Mr. MacElree, Solicitor, remarked that Council presently has an ordinance on the books which prevents the display and sale of merchandise on the sidewalks of the Borough and recommended he be directed to prepare an ordiance which would permit Council to waive the prohibition against display of merchandise on the sidewalks. Mr. Cotter moved that Council direct the Solicitor to prepare the recommended ordinance. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Council further considered the request of the West Chester Regional Planning Commission for the Borough to join in a housing study to be prepared by Roy Weston at a pro-rata cost to the Borough of $1,269. Mr. Baldwin moved that the request be referred to the Planning Committee to study and make recommendation to Council. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Council read a letter from Mr. Gabriel D'Andrea requesting Council to re-zone approximately 13 acres (known as the Lubin Tract) in the northwest corner of the town from an R-3 Zoning District to an R-6 District was read and action was tabled pending a work session on this request.
Mr. David C. Patton, attorney, appeared and presented a petition requesting that Council consider re-zoning 232 Price St. from an R-7 to R-7-A so that the property could be used as a fraternity house. This request was referred to the Planning Commission to study and make recommendations back to Council.
Following this action, Mr. Chambers asked if notices of Zoning Hearings could be sent to the neighbors of the property involved. Mr. Thomas replied that notices had been sent tm the past and could be done in the future. [...]
Council read a letter from Oxford Manufacturing Co., owners of the spoke mill, advising Council of the problems they have encountered at the mill which has resulted in the heavy smoke from their chimney was read. Following reading of the letter Mr. Chambers commented that the Borough should give them an ultimatum as he felt they were trying to stall. He also asked if a private citizen could bring suit against them as a private nuisance. An unnamed lady, who stated she worked with the County Board of Health, stated she felt that stiffer fines were necessary. Mr. Anthony Polito also commented ont the air pollution problem. Mr. MacElree then advised Council he would review to see if the Borough could ordain against air pollution, and he also advised Mr. Chambers he would check on whether a private citizen could bring suit against the company as a private nuisance. [...]
Mayor Chambers reported ... he had received a recommendation that parking be removed from one side of Miner St. between Wayne and Brandywlne St. This recommendation .was referred to the Police and Street Committees to study and report back. [Chambers also reported] he had received a complaint from Mr. Warren Burton concerning the inadequate street lighting in the 100 block of W. Chestnut St. and Prescott Alley. This complaint was referred to Street Light Committee.
Mr. Chambers remarked on his failure to obtain a second to his motion at the meeting in March which would have expanded the Commission on Human Relations from five to seven members. He then moved that Council enact the proposed ordinance providing for increasing the membership from five to seven on the Commission on Human Relations. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and the President asked for questions prior to the vote. Mr. Cotter asked if the present members had been asked if they desired the Commission expanded. Mr. Chambers replied that he had received recommendations for new appointments from the chairman of the Commission. Mr. Chambers also announced he had received a letter from Mr. Anthony Polito withdrawing his name from any further consideration. The president then called for the vote and the motion was approved by a vote of 4-3 with Mr. Spaziani, Mr. Underwood and Mr. Thomas voting "no".
Mr. Chambers then moved that Council approve the appointment of Mr. Norman Bond and Mrs. Sue Greenberg to the newly created vacancies on the Commission on Human Relations. Motion was seconded by Mr.Underwood and approved by a vote of 6-1 with Mr. Thomas voting "no". Following this Mr. Anthony Polito then asked what the duties of the Commission on Human Relations were. Mr. Thomas suggested he come into the office and read the ordinance establishing the Commission. Mr. Polito further commented that he had disqualified himself and the ordinance had passed.
Mr. Chambers commented on his earlier statements concerning obtaining the armory and suggested that Council pursue this matter. Mr. Baldwin replied that the matter was being pursued at the state level to see if the armory was available and the procedures necessary to obtain it.
Mr. Chambers also inquired of the current status of police negotiations and asked if the Committee would meet soon on this. Mr. Cotter advised him it was necessary to gather facts and information first before a meeting would be called. [...]
Mr. Bayliss recommended that the week of May 11-16 be approved for the Borough's Clean-Up Week. Council was unanimous in their approval and the Mayor was requested to issue a proclamation on Clean-Up Week.
Mr. MacElree, Solicitor, stated he had prepared a proposed ordinance on towing and impounding of vehicles as a bonded storage garage was now available. He recommended referral of the ordinance to the Police Committee for review prior to enactment, and this action was taken.
Mr. Smith, Zoning Administrative Officer, presented a letter and set of plans received from the Planning Commission. This letter approved the land use of a plot of land known as 741 S. Walnut St. for construction of two (2) twelve unit apartment buildings thereon. Mr. Smith stated that the plans met all requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and was presented for Council's approval of "land use". Mr. Baldwin moved that Council approve the "land use" for construction of the apartments. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Adjourned at 9:05 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Mosteller, Spaziani Baldwin, Cotter, Underwood
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Joseph Harvey (acting Solicitor(, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Watson (Fire Chief).
Called to order at 7:30 P.M.
Mr. Thomas explained that the purpose of the meeting was to receive, open and read bids for furnishing a 100' aerial ladder fire truck to the Borough.
One bid was received. This bid was submitted by Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Inc. who submitted a bid of $81,686 for a truck with a diesel motor and $79.666 for a similar truck with a gasoline motor. Following reading of the bid, Mr. Mosteller moved that Council refer the bid to the Fire Committee to review, ... seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Council read a letter from Grocery Store Products advising Council that the easement across Borough land (see Reg. Mtg. Minutes for March 11, 1970) was no longer required, was read and ordered filed.
Council read a letter from Mr. Charles R. Busby, Vice President, Hoopes, Bro. & Darlington, advising Council of their continued efforts to eliminate air pollution from their factory, and also requesting additional police patrols due to increased vandalism was read and ordered filed. [...]
Council read a letter from Mr. John P. Voge, 202 Price Street, requesting consideration be given to installing traffic control devices at the intersection of High and Price St. so that southbound vehicles on High St. could make a right turn onto Price St. without having to wait for a green light was read, and the request was referred to the Police and Street Committees to study and report back to Council.
Mr. Harvey discussed a recent incident where a cesspool truck was observed dumping its content into the Borough's sewer systems. He stated that the operator could be arrested but under the present ordinance it was questionable if he would be found guilty. He then read a proposed amendment to the Ordinance of December 8, 1954, as to Regulating the discharge of Sanitary Sewage and Industrial Wastes into the Public Sewer system which would prohibit the discharging of any sanitary sewage or industrial wastes into any public sewer from a tank truck or other recepticles. Following reading of the ordinance Mr. Baldwin moved that Council enact the Ordinance. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Mr. Chambers recommended that letters of commendation be given to the three firemen who rescued a woman during a fire on Spruce Ave. on April 25, 1970. Council unanimously agreed with this recommendation and the Secretary was directed to prepare same for presentation at the next regular meeting of Council. Mr. Chambers advised he would invite the three men to attend this meeting. [...]
Adjourned at 8:40 P.M.
Council Members Present: Thomas, Underwood, Chambers, Spaziani, Baldwin, Cotter, Mosteller
Other Present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Chief Frame, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works).
Called to order at 7:30 P.M.
The first order of business was to consider awarding of a contract for 100' aerial ladder truck. ... Mr. Baldwin, Chairman, Fire Committee, moved that Council award the contract for the aerial truck to Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Inc. for a price of $81,686. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Mr. Baldwin, chairman of the Fire Committee, awarded Certificates of Exceptional Performance on behalf of Borough Council to Messrs. Heal, Conway and D'Ginto for performance as volunteer firemen which resulted in the rescue of the occupant of 829 Spruce Street during a recent fire.
Chief Frame presented certificates to for alert and agressive patrol to Police Officers Potter and Romasco for duty on May 28, 1970 which resulted in the apprehension of a suspect at Foulk's Pharmacy. Chief Frame also presented certificates for performance during the recent gun battle at the Washington House on April 25, 1970 to Det. Henley, Sgt. Canzoneri, Officers Potter, Bell, Roman; from West Goshen Police; Officers Polito, Warrington, Nesbit and Manning, and Chief Fritz from Thornbury. Chief Frame then presented Officer Durnell a plaque citing him for exceptional performance during the same incident on April 25, 1970. [...]
Petition requesting the Borough to erect Speed Limit Signs on West Rosedale Ave. between High St. and Bradford Ave. was received and the request referred to the Police Committee. Petition requesting erection of a Stop Sign on the northwest corner of New & Chestnut Street was received and referred to the Police Committee.
Mr. James Hay, Jr. opened an extensive discussion on the rock concert held in Everhart Park on May 10, 1970: Major objections presented by Mr. Hay, Jr., Mr. Hay, Sr., Mr. O'Hara and Mr. Cressman were the traffic problems created, the noise of the music and the length of time the bands played. Mr. O'Hara also reported he was the father of the child who had been struck by a car on that day, but the child was not hurt badly. Mr. Spaziani stated he objected to the high noise level of the music and stated he went five blocks from his home on W. Union Street and could still hear the music. He also asked if it must be played so loudly. Mayor Chambers, giving some background on the subject, reported he had received a letter from a Mr. Kearney who asked permission to use the park. He stated he had wanted to take the request up at this Council meeting, but Mr. Kearney had advised him they would hold the concert anyway. Mr. Chambers inquired if Council could take some action tonight to control future concerts. Mr. MacElree replied that Council can regulate the parks, and addressing his remarks to Mr. Hay, Sr., he advised him he had the rights of a private citizen and could seek an injunction against the music. James Kearney, h36 [JJ: 436?] N. Church St. stated he was the one responsible for putting on the concert Sunday, and further stated that the type of music being presented is always played very loud. Mr. Cotter stated that traffic is Council's problem, but he felt the park was being used for what it was put there for. He also stated he had inspected the park on Monday and it was clean, but the area around the park where those spectators came to see what was going on was very dirty. Mr. Morley stated his 3 teenage children enjoyed the affair. Mr. Harold Cressman expressed the feelings of others by stating "Let's share the wealth and have the concerts in other parks." Mr. Thomas did not object to the concert, but he stated he was irritated at the manner in which it was put on. Mr. Chambers, chairman, Park Committee, advised that the park committee would meet shortly to discuss future concerts and park regulations, and Mr. Kearney would be advised of the results of the meeting. [...]
Council read a letter from West Chester Planning Commission approving the land use in the C-0 Zoning District at Franklin St. and the railroad for construction of a building by Oxy-Catalyst was read. Mr. Baldwin moved that Council also approve the land use, seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 6-0 with Mr. Chambers abstaining. The Secretary then read an agreement between Oxy-Catalyst, Inc. and the Borough for construction of the building over the Borough's water main which runs through the area of the building. Easement for the water main was granted in 1907 and provides for access at any time for repairs. The company will construct a removable floor over the pipe for easy maintenance. Mr. MacElree pronounced the agreement acceptable, but said he would like to revise several sections so that it would be binding if the building was sold and so that it could be recorded in the Court House, Mr. Cotter moved that Council approve the agreement with the Solicitor's revisions, seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Council read a letter from Planning Commission recommending that the zoning of 232 Price Street not be changed to R-7-A to permit a fraternity house. ... Mr. Baldwin moved that Council adopt the recommendation of the Planning Commission not to rezone the property, seconded by Mr. Mosteller. ... Mr. David C. Patten, attorney, stated that the Zoning Ordinance required a public hearing on the petition. Mr. MacElree stated that the Zoning Ordinance did not require a public hearing as Council did not intend on amending the Ordinance. Mr. John Voge, Price St., commented that he had signed the petition because he was worried about the property after the Hucks moved and he felt that its use as a fraternity house would be best. Mr. Thomas called the vote and the motion was approved by a vote of 7-0.
Council again considered the request of Mr. Gabriel D'Andrea, Rampart Builders, Inc. to re-zone the Lubin Tract ... to permit construction of town houses. Mr. Cotter moved that Council advertise its intentions to rezone the Lubin tract ... seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Proposed Ordinance #10-1970, "Removal and Impounding of Illegally Parked Vehicles, " which had been referred to the Police Committee for review at the April 8, 1970 meeting was read. Mr. Mosteller moved that Council adopt Ordinance #10-1970. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
The Mayor reported he had received a number of letters from 6th grade school children on air pollution and other problems in the Borough. He reported he was still working on the dog problem plus a few other complaints. [...]
Mr. Cotter then moved that Council approve erection of No Parking signs along the south side of Miner Street from Bradford Ave. to Brandywine Street and erection of stop signs on Church Street at Lafayette Street stopping north and south bound traffic and the Traffic Ordinance be so amended. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Mayor Chambers commented on Clean Up Week and National Police Week and expressed regret that the public had shown very little interest in National Police Week. [...]
Mr. Baldwin also commented on the Recreation Commission Budget which is presently split 50-50 with the school. He stated that even though the school has indicated there will be no money budgeted for next year he would like to make a final plea for assistance. Mr. Thomas suggested that the Recreation Commission might explore the possibility of obtaining some assistance from the Townships.
Mr. Chambers, using flip charts as an aid, made the following statement regarding the ward system of electing councilmen,
RE: The "Ward vs. At-Large" method of electing representatives to Council
Why the ward system of electing representatives to Council in the Borough of West Chester? The Borough of West Chester is more than 4 times larger in population than the average borough in the State. Its mile and a quarter square mile of area is segmented consisting of a large college community at one end of town, distinct sections with heavy minority populations, and other areas distinct from the rest, all having problems that for the most part are peculiar to their own particular area. At the present time, 4 of the 7 Councilmen in West Chester live in the same precinct, all within a few blocks of one another. And although the at-large system of electing councilmen may be suitable in small boroughs, it is my opinion that the interests of all our citizens in West Chester could better be served by adopting the ward system of electing councilmen, bringing to council members from every section of town who would undoubtedly be more familiar with the problems in their respective neighborhoods. In West Chester today, we need the most responsive, representative form of government that is available to us, and since the Borough Code gives boroughs the option to elect their council representatives from either at-large or from wards, the issue should be debated and the people themselves should decide whether or not it is in their better interests to elect councilmen from different sections of town rather than from at-large. The ward system would assure all areas of town representation on Council. And it should be emphasized that the "ward vs. at-large" issue is a "people-issue, " not a "political issue."
Mr. Chambers then asked what action Council was going to take on the air pollution ordinance. Mr. Spaziani replied that Council shouldn't enact an ordinance such as this without first talking to industry. Subject to be further discussed at a work meeting which was set for 7:30 P.M., May 21, 1970.
Mayor Chambers reported that there would be a Special Olympics for Retarded Children held on May 28, 1970 at the college and urged participation by all.
John Voge inquired as to action taken on his request for a light on High Street at Price Street wnich would permit cars turning right to continue without waiting for a green light. Mr. Spaziani advised him that Council had considered his request at the April 27th Meeting but felt the request merited no action because of the many children crossing the intersection.
Mr. Chambers reported he had been contacted by an Elaine Sharpless, from Henderson High School, who informed him there would be a peace rally in Everhart Park from 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Saturday, May 23, 1970. [...]
Mr. James Wark remarked on the air pollution caused by the smoke stack in the east end of town and also inquired of the status of the snow removal ordinance.
Mr. Bayliss reported that his office had received notice that the local landfill would close on May 29, 1970. He also reported that Clean-Up week was moving very well.
Adjourned at 9:55 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Baldwin, Cotter
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 11:00 P.M. [...]
Council considered the offer of Albright & Friel, Inc. to conduct a feasibility study for enlargement of the Goose Creek and Taylor Run Wastewater Disposal Plants. Proposal was contained in a letter dated May 7, 1970, and was explained at a work session on May 18, 1970, by Mr. Petersen from that firm. Mr. Baldwin moved that Council authorize Albright and Friel, Inc. to proceed with preparation of the feasibility study for the waste disposal plants. Motion was seconded by Mr. Cotter and approved by a vote of 5-0. [...]
The Secretary read a proposed ordinance titled "An Ordinance of the Borough of West Chester, Chester County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Prescribing Regulations for the Management and Protection of Parks and Playgrounds within the Borough of West Chester." This Ordinance establishes rules for obtaining a permit for activities involving groups in excess of 25 people, and also provides specific rules and regulations for conduct within the parks. Mr. Chambers moved that Council enact Ordinance #11-1970. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of
Council discussed proposed agreement with Mr. Richard H. Baxter for construction of a well and his subsequently giving this well to the Borough. Mr. Baxter desires to build apartments on Route 29 east of Montgomery Ave. and has been refused Borough water service due to lack of water. After constructing a well and installing necessary chlorination devices, etc. Mr. Baxter will then connect this well to the Borough mains in exchange for using Borough water. The agreement in its present form was unacceptable and was referred to Mr. MacElree to rewrite for Council's further consideration.
Mayor Chambers reported on activities on the Court House lawn on Friday and Saturday nights -- specifically the groups who are frequenting the area and their actions. He stated he had arrested three persons for curfew violations, and had received a letter from Mr. T. A. #ubino authorizing him to take necessary police action on County property. He further stated he would take the necessary action to clean up the problems there.
Adjourned at __ P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Baldwin, Chambers, Cotter, Mosteller, Underwood, Spaziani
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Chief Frame, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. MacElree (Solicitor)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Anthony Polito commented on the poor condition of Marshall Street from High Street to the Chester County Hospital and asked if something could be done to repair it. He was advised that the State Highway Department had been contacted on this problem; they were patching it, but had no money to rebuild the street. He was also advised that a letter had been written to the Highway Department requesting that reconstruction of the street be included in the budget year beginning July 1, 1970.
A Mrs. Butler and a Mr. Meeker registered complaints about the noise resulting from the rock concert held in Everhart Park on May 31, 1970. Mrs. Butler also requested some action to reduce traffic hazards at Wayne and Union Street. In reply, Mr. Chambers stated what actions he had taken on Sunday to reduce the noise and to insure that the concert ended as the permit required. He further stated that he, as chairman of the Park Committee, would not approve a permit for the park for a rock concert such as there was Sunday. He added that the parks were not set up for this type activity due to their size. Mr. Spaziani advised Mrs. Butler that the Street Committee was investigating the traffic problems at the corner of Wayne and Union Streets.
Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Zimmerman and Mr. Zaber, residents of the northwest section of the Borough appeared in protest to the proposed change in zoning of the Lubin tract from R-3 to R-4-A. Mr. Thomas, President, advised them that a public hearing would be held on June 22, 1970, to discuss the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance, and they should voice their opposition at that time.
Mr. Francis Riccardo, who resides on W. Biddle Street, appeared to complain about a flooding problem at his home due to the creek along Downingtown Pike being constricted, and to voice opposition to the construction of the low cost housing as he believes this will further increase the flooding problem.
Mr. Bayliss advised Mr. Riccardo that the contractor on the job intended to clean and widen the creek and culverts when construction is completed. Mr. Riccardo requested that Council visit his property to see if some assistance could be given him. Mr. Spaziani advised that a time and date would be set following the meeting.
Mr. Anthony Polito then asked who had removed the stop sign at Everhart Ave. and Hannum Ave., and if anything would be done about moving the contractor's sign at that corner which blocked driver's view. Mr. Bayliss said he would check the stop sign and also request the contractor to move the sign.
Chief Frame presented certificates for alert and aggressive patrol to Officers Yarnall and Kehoe.
Council read a letter from First Church of Christ, Scientist, forwarding a check in the amount of $200 as a donation to the Borough, was read and ordered filed, and the Secretary was directed to send the church a letter expressing Council's appreciation for the donation.
Council read a letter from Mr. Devere Kauffman, Chairman, West Chester Planning Commission, advising Council that the Commission had voted not to recommend a change in zoning from the present R-3 to R-6 for the property presently occupied by the Devereaux Foundation was read and ordered filed.
Council read a letter from Mr. John Flagg, Manager, West Goshen Township, advising Council that West Goshen recommended that Rosedale Avenue be posted as 25 MPH from Franklin Street west to the Borough Line, and New Street and Rosedale Avenue be made a four-way stop intersection, was read. Mr. Cotter moved that Council approve making Rosedale Ave. a 25 MPH zone from Franklin Street to the Borough Line and installing stop-signs at New Street and Rosedale Avenue to make that intersection a four-way stop, and the traffic ordinance be so amended. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Council read a letter from Dallett Hemphil, Esquire, recommending that Council enact a resolution which would appoint the West Chester Public Library an agent of the Borough to enact it to receive state aid was read, as was the proposed resolution. Mr. Chambers then explained that the reasons for the request were contained in specific state regulations pertaining to libraries which seek and obtain state aid. He further stated that the state has requested that all libraries not now designated as an agent of a Borough be so appointed. Mr. Hemphill's letter also contained the name of two members of the Library Association recommended for appointment as Council's representatives to that association. Mr. Thomas asked the solicitor if the resolution was in order. Mr. MacElree stated he would like to review the library code and then give an opinion. Mr. Thomas then referred the matter to the solicitor to review and report back to Council. [...]
Mayor Chambers reported he was still having problems with dogs; he had received a letter of thanks for participation in the Pennsylvania Special Olympics, and he had received a letter from Mr. George S. Claghorn complaining of the concert in the park. Mr. Chambers requested that the "Watch Children" signs on Marshall Drive be replaced as they were in poor condition, and he also recommended that Council consider installing stop signs on South Matlack Street to reduce the speed thereon. Mr. Chambers, then stated he was again reminding Council of his two current topics -- the proposed air pollution ordinance and obtaining the armory as a Borough building. [...]
Mr. Bayliss reported ... in reply to an earlier comment from Mr. Baldwin concerning cleaning up Walnut Street from Miner to Union Streets, stated that his men had difficulty in getting people to move cars which was a major reason why the street had not been cleaned. He further stated he needed police assistance in this matter. Chief Frame replied that he would assist Mr. Bayliss in the future on this problem.
Mr. Chambers asked Mr. Smith if the house at the corner of Market & Franklin Streets had a door on it yet. Mr. Smith replied the door had been nailed shut but persons had already broken it down. Mr. Smith then commented on a letter from Mr. Featherman, attorney, advising the Borough of what actions they could take to enforce closing or demolishing vacant buildings. Letter is on file in Borough offices.
Chief Frame, in answer to a question by Mr. Mosteller as to why Borough police had to go to the Court House fountain to remove persons bathing therein, stated that the security guards at the court house have no arrest authority; West Chester police have the authority to arrest anyone in the Borough limits. Chief Frame also advised Council that he had made an arrest two hours after the offensive language had been used on the court house steps during a recent rally there.
Chief Frame then discussed Mr. John Mervin's present status and recommended that he be reinstated as a policeman immediately. Several residents in attendance commented on the matter, but Mr. Cotter stated that the motion, which suspended Mr. Mervin until clear of all charges should stand, and Council concurred with Mr. Cotter in this statement. [...]
Adjourned at 9:00 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Mosteller, Baldwin, Chambers, Spaziani, Cotter
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Mr. Hoopes (Tree Warden).
Called to order at 4:00 P.M. [...]
The Manager then read a proposed agreement with Richard H. Baxter providing that Mr. Baxter would drill a well and provide the equipment required to enable the water to enter the Borough mains in exchange for permission to conneet to the Borough's water mains, with the Borough to assume ownership of the well and Mr. Baxter to be billed 50% of the regular rates until the well is paid for. Mr. Baxter requires water service for apartments to be constructed on Route 29. Mr. Baldwin moved that Council approve the agreement. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Mr. Chambers reported that Mr. MacElree had reviewed the Resolution appointing the library as an agent of the Borough (see June 10, 1970 Minutes) and moved that Council enact the Resolution. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Mr. Chambers then moved that Council appoint Mrs. Vernon L. Hoffman, Jr. and Mrs. Carroll D. McCulloh as Council's representatives on the West Chester Library Association's Board of Directors. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Mr. Hoopes, Tree Warden, then asked of Council what policy he should follow concerning removal of the trees which had been uprooted during the recent storm. Under the Borough Code, the property owner is responsible for payment for removal of the trees. Following a discussion on this problem, Mr. Hoopes was instructed to remove the trees, and the subject of a policy on payment for the work be studied.
Chief Frame addressed Council concerning the strength of the police department. He stated one had resigned, two others indicated they might do likewise and one is suspended. He then requested that Council request the Civil Service Commission to advertise for an examination. Mr. Cotter advised the Chief that this request would be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting.
Adjourned at 5:05 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Cotter, Spaziani, Chambers, Mosteller, Baldwin
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Chief Frame, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Williams, 17 S. Everhart St., Mrs. Margaret E. Hunder, 15 S. Everhart St. and Mrs. Bruno, 12 S. Everhart St., requested that Council take some action to assist them in overcoming the flooding of their homes during heavy rains. They stated the water from the Borough's playground plus apartments in the area at Market & Brandywine causes heavy accumulations of water in their backyards with subsequent draining into their cellars. Mr. Thomas advised them that the problem area would be looked at to see what could be done to alleviate the problem. Mr. Thomas also advised Council that a meeting had been arranged with the Department of Highways to look at the drainage problem on Route 29 (E. Marshall St.) resulting from run-off from Seven Oaks Apartment. [...]
Council read a letter from Mrs. Margaret E. Hunter 15 S. Everhart St., West Chester, Pa. concerning flooding of her property was read and ordered filed. Mrs. Hunter had earlier commented on this problem, but requested her letter be read anyway. [...]
Council next considered the adoption of an ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of West Chester which would rezone the Lubin tract (approximately 13.3 acres west of N. Brandywine St.) to permit town houses to be constructed theron and would amend the Zoning Map. Mr. MacElree read a letter from Robert Gawthrop, attorney, representing Mr. and Mrs. Mackey, who object to the rezoning of the tract and stated he did not feel that the rezoning would be upheld in court. Mr. Thomas then asked what action Council desired to take. Mr. Chambers moved that Council not enact the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 6-1 with Mr. Thomas casting the negative vote. [...]
Mayor Chambers reported he was receiving many and varied complaints. One complaint was that the Tax Collector's office was located on the second floor which was a hardship to older people. He asked if anything could be done about this. He was advised that the Tax Collector must provide his own office, and Council had no say in the matter. The Mayor also reported that Citations were being issued on weed and trash violations.
Mr. Chambers reported that he had received complaints of dogs running around and inquired if the equipment had arrived. Chief Frame advised that the lanyards were in but the gloves had not yet arrived. Mr. Chambers commented on the holiday trash pick-up schedule of July 3, and stated that the Daily Local News was at fault for not publishing notice as requested, and the Borough should be cleared of any fault in this matter, He further stated that he felt that two weeks was too long between pick-ups due to holidays and requested some action on this problem through a work meeting. Another comment made was that trucks were driving through town loaded with dirt, and dust was blowing everywhere from these trucks. Mr. Chambers then recommended that the Borough hire some boys to help clean up the town. The Manager stated that application had been made for NYC employees, and the Boy Scouts were going to be utilized to pull weeds around the trees. Another recommendation was that the merchants be requested to sweep their pavements to contribute to improving the cleanliness of the town.
Mr. Chambers then asked what action was being taken concerning increasing the hourly wages of the special officers who replace regular officers. Mr. Cotter replied that he was scheduling a meeting of the Police Committee, the Mayor and the Chief at 4:00 P.M., Monday, to discuss this among other things. Mr. Chamber's last request was concerning the Bicentennial Celebration for 1976. He stated he felt the Borough should do everything to acquire the armory for a Municipal Building and do so by 1976. He then moved that Council resolve to take active steps to obtain the armory and report at the next regular meeting on its intent to do so. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin, but before the motion was voted upon Mr. MacElree stated he would contact Senator Ware on this matter. Council concurred with this recommendation and the motion was withdrawn.
Mr. Mosteller commented on the crowds of people who congregate on the streets of the Borough and stated that people were afraid to come into town at night because of this, and something should be done to break up the groups. [...]
Mr. Cotter reported that three policemen had left or would leave the department shortly and moved that Council request the Civil Service Commission to certify a list of eligibles to Council for consideration for appointment to fill the vacancies. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Mr. Spaziani reported he had received a list of complaints from a resident of the town but reported he had not heard of any assaults, etc., and then he asked if he was missing something. Mr. D'Annunzio who has a store in the 200 block of W. Chestnut St. replied that his block was a problem area -- many people living in the houses, noise, beer drinking, etc. and people are afraid to walk on the street at night. [...]
Mr. Smith, Zoning Officer, presented a plan for construction of 73 apartments and stores on land owned ty Mr. Ginter located at Matlack and Barnard Sts. Approval of land use for 95 apartments had previously been given for this site. As the property is located in a C-0 Zoning District, Borough Council must approve this new land use of the tract. Mr. Smith announced that the Planning Commission had approved this proposal, but he had not received the written approval as yet. Mr. Baldwin moved that Council approve the proposed land use as contained in the plans submitted by Mr. Smith. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 6-0 with Mr. Mosteller abstaining.
Adjourned at 9:00 P.M.
Council Members Present: Thomas, Chambers, Underwood, Mosteller, Cotter, Baldwin, Spaziani
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Devere Kauffman (Planning Commission), Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Lt. Sobers, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Mr. Harvey (Solicitor).
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Thomas D'Annunzio read a petition on law and order and presented it to Council. (Petition is on file in Borough offices.) The petition had been signed by approximately 300 persons according to Mr. D'Annunzio and was the result of the recent disorders in the Borough. Mayor Chambers replied to Mr. D'Annunzio stating he concurs with the content of the petition, and then he read a statement concerning law enforcement which he had issued on August 2, 1970.
Following the Mayor's remarks, Messrs. Sherwood Angleson, Anthony Sabatini, Pizzani, Zaberer, Nicholas Alexander, Anthony Polito, Phillip Pollock, Whitey Naylor, Barney Hool, James H. Hay, Jr., Gary Wickersham, Fred D'Annunzio, James Hay, Dick Jackson and Mrs. Smalley each commented on the recent disturbances in the Borouch and urged that steps be taken to provide police protection for residents. Other subjects discussed by the group were the shortages of police personnel, leniency toward law breakers, responsiblity for law enforcement and the demand for stronger law enforcement. Councilman Chambers stated he had anticipated some problems coming up at the meeting and then read the following statement:
COMMENTS FOR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING - AUGUST 12, 1970 - THOMAS A. CHAMBERS
Many comments have been made recently about the state of affairs in West Chester. The question has been asked "What has happened to West Chester?" That question may be important in a sense, but the most important question in my opinion is "What is going to happen to West Chester?" If anybody is in a position to answer this question, it is the elected representative of the people. We, as elected officials, have the primary responsibility of solving the problems that confront our community. When the police are criticized, when ordinances are not enforced, when complaints are made about appointed officers, we only have to look at ourselves since the town's problems are the products of the action, or inaction, of the Borough's elected officials. It is true that elected officials are elected because a majority of people voting wanted one over another, but elected officials still must answer to the people in the final analysis, and although the problems confronting us today may not be ours as such, as far as who is responsible, but may have developed over the years, I think it is important that we look to the future, not the past, and resolve tonight to begin working full steam ahead in solving our problems. I would like at this time to make three specific recommendations that stem from one main interest that I know all of us have, that is, a better West Chester. These recommendations are:
(1) That Council define the Borough's problems in specifics, listing each problem, and soliciting the assistance of citizens and citizen groups in solving our problems. In this regard I am recommending we list specific problems such as protection, parking, housing, stray dogs, streets, litter, etc., then applying the problem-solving technique to each one which is comprised of 5 steps:
1 - Defining a specific problem; 2 - Gathering all pertinent data related to that problem; 3 - Analyzing the data gathered; 4 - Evolving all possible solutions; 5 - Selecting the best possible solution.
(2) My second recommendation is that Council meet as often as necessary until we make definite headway in solving our problems. This could very well mean meeting as much as once or more a week. I make this recommendation because I am convinced that Council cannot solve the problems meeting only once a month on a regular basis with few meetings in between as we do now. Unfortunately, Councilmen in Beroughs are only part time by law. But because West Chester is one of the biggest Boroughs of the 955 Boroughs in the State of Pennsylvania, and because our problems involving 19, 000 people are much more complex that many of the average-sized Boroughs of 4 or 5 thousand population, it is my opinion that we must meet much more frequently to work out solution.
(3) My third and last recommendation is that the Borough do all in its power to enforce all of its laws and ordinances to the fullest extent. I feel that if this is done fairly and equitably throughout the community, that all our citizens will be the beneficiaries of such strong enforcement. Unenforced laws can only result in a deterioration of the state of affairs in the Borough and enforcement requires the support and cooperation of all of us.
Gentlemen, you have heard my recommendations. I would appreciate some discussion of them at this time so action, if it is to be taken, may be taken within the next week so no more time is lost. Thank you.
Following Mr. Chambers statement, several of the individuals commented further on the law enforcement problem in the Borough. Mr. Thomas D'Annunzio then addressed the audience and requested that they do not take the law into their own hands, but they should protect their property if necessary.
Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey, 624; S. High Street, complained of a fraternity house opening next door to them at 626 S. High Street. They asked who would be responsible for controlling fraternities. Mr. Cotter replied that fraternities are similar, to other organizations such as the Elks, etc. who are controlled by a national organization and must take care of their own properties. Mrs. Lindsay stated she had been previously told that any change in usage of the property would have to be brought up in front of Council, but today she had been told the oposite. Mr. Harvey remarked that fraternity houses are now a permitted use in that zoning district, and they are free to go ahead and use the property as such.
Council read a letter from Mr. Charles E. Swope, Chairman, Beard of Trustees, West Chester State College replying to the Borough's request for a contribution in the amount of $3,000 was read and ordered filed.
Council read a letter from Retail Merchants Asseciatien thanking Council for its help in organizing the side walk sale on July 23, 1970, was read and ordered filed.
Council read a letter from Virginia G. Bliss, 115 E. Chestnut Street, concerning monthly parking spaces and fees for business people in the Borough was read and referred to the Off-Street Parking and Police Committees to study. [...]
Council read a letter from West Chester Recreation Commission recommending that lights for the Little All-American Football League not be installed at Hoopes Park, (see May 13, 1970 Minutes) was read. Mr. Edward Gruber, who had originally made the request for lights, asked the reasons for refusing the request for lights by the Recreation Commission. Mr. Spaziani and Mr. Baldwin, both members of the Commission, replied there were many reasons; some of which were (a) the ball field would be used as a practise field; (b) the School Beard had withdrawn its 50% share of the Recreation Commission's funds; (c) West Whiteland was happy to provide a field and lights; (d) expense of lights and rebuilding diamond; and (e) Hoopes Park was a natural park and not established for night sports. Mr. Gruber replied that the league would pay for lighting, and he again urged that Council consider the request because of the need for additional facilities due to the number of children in the program. Mr. Chambers remarked he fully supperted Mr. Gruber in his request for lights. Mr. Thomas then asked Mr. Gruber if he would meet with the Recreation Commission at the park. Mr. Gruber asked if the lighting is acceptable to Council would Council give them the approval? Mr. Thomas replied that Ceuncil would do so. Ne action taken pending further investigation by the Recreation Commission.
Mr. Cotter, referring to Mr. George Painter's request for a six month leave of absence from the Police Department in order to attend college, moved that Council disapprove the request for a leave of absense (sic). Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0.
The Manager read a proposal for engineering services submitted by Albright & Friel, Inc. This proposal was for preparation of a report on a pollution incident prevention program directed by the Sanitary Water Board in an order dated July 1, 1970. The estimated cost of this report was $2,500-$3,000. Mr. Underwood moved that Council accept the proposal as presented. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 6-0 with Mr. Chambers abstaining.
Mr. Charles McCardell who operates an appliance business at 142 E. Market St., requested that Council consider installation of a "short time" parking meter in front of his store to enable those customers who were only in the store a short while to park. Request referred to Off-Street Parking Cemmittee to study and report back to Council.
The Manager read a second proposal from Albright & Friel, Inc. for engineering services in connection with additional water supply. This proposal referred to the construction of new filter plant, pipe lines and storage tank for the Marsh Creek Project. [...]
Council considered an agreement with Rampart Builders, Inc. for construction of streets, utilities, etc. on the Lubin Tract. The Manager advised that Mr. Huff of Rampart Builders was not satisfied with the agreement and action was tabled pending further discussion with Mr. Huff.
Agreement between North Hills Water Co. and the Borough for purchasing of the North Hills Water Company by the Borough and operation of same pending approval of the purchase by the P.U.C. was read. Mr. Baldwin moved that Council approve the agreement as read. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0,
A Puerto Rican lady addressed Council concerning a problem with obtaining office space. Because of her difficulty in explaining the problem in English, a Mrs. Rivera presented her complaint. She stated the Spanish Community Action Committee had arranged to rent an office from Mr. Harvey Werthington at the corner of Gay and Matlack Streets but when they returned to pay the rent, Mr. Worthington had changed his mind and would not rent to them. Mr. Thomas suggested that they take their complaint to the Human Relations Commission which was established for the purpose of preventing discrimination in housing, etc. [...]
Council read a letter from Civil Service Commission certifying sixteen applicants as eligible for consideration for appointment as patrolmen with the West Chester Police Department was read. Council deferred action on the certification pending completion of the investigation and interviews. [...]
Mayor Chambers reported he was still receiving complaints on dogs, weeds and trash, but action was being taken to eliminate these. He also remarked he would attempt to get publicity on the front page of the Local concerning weeds; not the last page as occurred in June.
Mr. Thomas Chambers commented that abandoned houses are not being boarded up and suggested this problem should be an area of special attention; and the status of stop signs at Chestnut & New Streets previously requested. Mr. Cotter replied that he had investigated the request and found visibility to be good at the corner. Mr. T'. D'Annunzio stated the reason for the request was to slow traffic eastbound on Chestnut Street. Mr. Cotter then remarked he would look at the corner again. Mr. Chambers stated that somebody was dumping oil into the storm drain runs through the Elks Club property and into the stream. Mr. Bayliss replied he was aware of this and was trying to put a halt to it.
Mr. Mosteller thanked Mr. Thomas D'Annunzio for his presentation of the petition and stated he concurred with him concerning th« need for law and order in the town as the town was becoming a "ghost town." [...]
Mr. Cotter commented on the Police Report for July, 1970, and remarked that the police had made 121 arrests during the month, but this infermation is never given any publicity. Mr. W. Gehlert, WCHE, remarked that it was difficult getting any information from the Police Department -- there apparently was a lack of communicatioms between reporters and the Police Department. This comment resulted in his suggestion of the establishment of a news pool during incidents such as had occurred in the Borough. Other reporters wfere less enthusiastic than Mr. Gehlert toward this suggestion, and further discussion was terminated when Mr. Tony Polito remarked that he felt 50 moving violations were too lew as he was constantly observing many moving vehicles incidents which were violations. [...]
Adjourned at 10:40 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Underwood, Mosteller, Spazlanl
Also present: Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Harvey (Solicitor), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Thomas announced that the purpose of the meeting was to consider approval of an agreement with Rampart Builders, Inc. for construction on the "Lubin Tract". The Manager read the proposed agreement which had been prepared by Mr. DelDuco, attorney for Rampart Builders, Inc. On the advise of Mr. Harvey, solicitor, several changes were made and then Mr. Spaziani moved that Council approve the agreement with changes as read. Motion was seconded lay Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Chambers asked for a meeting with Mr. Smith concerning the Seven Oaks apartment complex. He stated there was a problem with improper drainage and something should be done before they start to build a new parking lot. ... In response to a question, Mr. Harvey said in his opinion, construction of a large paved area was changing the natural flow of water. He added that Mr. Smith could refuse to issue a building permit until the problem has been solved. Council unanimously decided that there would be no new building on the Convent property until they meet with Amanda, Inc. to discuss the drainage problems.
Mr. Bayliss asked if there was anything in writing concerning the Borough taking over the streets, etc. in the low cost housing being constructed at Hannum Avenue and Everhart Street. He stated the streets were very narrow and the drainage insufficient and recommended that Council not accept the streets if there were no prior committments made.
Mr. Spaziani advised Council that the residents of South Bradford Avenue wece going to submit a petition for construction of an alley running south along their properties. He also requested that Council give some thought to removing the meters off the 100 block W. Chestnut Street because of vandalism which was resulting in costs higher than income from the meters and to removing the parking off the west side of South Walnut Street from Miner Street south to Roaedale Avenue.
Adjourned at 4:40 P.M. on motion of Mr. Chambers.
Council members present: Thomas, Cotter, Baldwin, Mosteller, Chambers
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Chief Frame, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Sherwood Angelson addressed Council concerning the recent incidents of unrest in the Borough. He criticized the police for their policy of restraint during the window breaking incidents. His comments resulted in others commenting both pro and con on the police department's actions. Mrs. Smalley stated she could not find a policeman when she meeded one, and Mr. C. Richard Morton, Attorney, commented that the police should be publicly complimented on their performance.
Mr. Michael Dixon, an auxiliary policeman, asked of Council what is the current status of auxiliary policemen. He stated he and others had spent over $100 on equipment and had recently been told they were temporarily out of service, and he desired to know why. Mr. MacElree replied that he had written a letter to the Mayor and Council explaining the use of auxiliary police. On the basis of the contents of this letter, Chief Frame had discontinued the use of auxiliary police.
Mr. Thomas Chambers commented that he disagreed with the Solicitor's opinion on the use of auxiliary officers. He stated that the Borough Code provided for the use of auxiliary officers at the pleasure of the chief of police with no reference to any emergency or disaster as stated in Mr. MacElree's letter, and they could be used as school police and to supplement the regular force. He also discussed the use of Special Police and their manner of appointment. He again questioned the legality of the appointment of John A. Mervin as a special officer. In his final statements he requested that Council investigate the matter of Mr. Mervin's appointment and come up with an explanation that would finally settle the matter.
Mr. Anthony Polito remarked that he agreed with Mr. Chambers, and Mr. Sabatini cited a need for more police protection with constant patrolling of the "Corners" bar.
Mr. Dixon then asked if it would be possible to know the status of the auxiliary police. Mayor Chambers stated he would talk to the Solicitor after the meeting to see what had to be done to continue the use of auxiliary policeman, and Mr. MacElree advised the Mayor he had to proclaim that an emergency existed in order to utilize them. The Mayor then proclaimed that an emergency existed in the Borough, and advised the auxiliary police they were on the same basis as previously used.
Mr. Daniel Chambers asked why these letters were written and why their delivery was planned for Labor Day. Mr. MacElree explained that he had been requested by various groups to explain the functions of auxiliary policemen, but due to vacation he was unable to do so until he returned.
Mrs. Smalley, who lives over the "Corners" bar requested that the Borough paint the curb in front of her garages on New Street yellow to prevent people from parking there. Request was referred to the Director of Public Works.
Mr. McDermott, representing St. Agnes Parish Council, presented three requests to Council:
a. Installation of a school warning device on Gay Street, between Darlington and New Streets;
b. Repave Prescott Alley; and
c. Approval to place barriers in Prescott Alley behind the church during school hours.
The manager reported he had received a call from Father Kelly concerning closing of the alley, and the request would be considered later in the meeting. Council took no action on the request to pave the alley and Mr. McDermott was requested to submit a written request for the school warning device.
Mr. Anthony Polito commented on the impending retirement of Sgt. Tukloff and suggested that he be retained as a training officer following his retirement. Mr. Polito's suggestion was duly noted.
Mr. Thomas Chambers, referring to his remarks concerning the ward system of election of councilmen made on May 13, 1970, stated that at that time he was not recommending any action but he would in the near future, and the "future is now." He 6ommented on the present method of electing councilmen at large and remarked he believed that the people would get better representation under the ward system. Mr. Mosteller replied that all you had to do was look at Norristown and Phoenixville to see how poorly the ward system works. Mr. Thomas D'Annunzio stated he agreed with Mr. Chambers because he had approached a councilman with a problem and states he had been asked why he had came to that man when there was six others available. Mr. Norman Bond also concurred with Mr. Chambers remarks. Mr. Chambers then advised there were two methods of going to the ward system; Borough Council could petition the court to establish wards, or a specific number of voters could petition the court to do same. Mr. Chambers then moved that Borough Council resolve to petition the Court of Quarter Sessions to adopt the ward system. There was no second to the motion. Mr. Sabatini then suggested that the second method of submitting petition be used, and Mr. Chambers remarked that he intended to do that.
Mrs. Smalley, corner of New and Hannum Ave., requested that the trees in front of her place be trimmed. She stated that Mr. Hoopes had advised her that there was no more money when the tree trimmers had reached her corner. Mrs. Smalley was advised by Mr. Thomas that action would be taken.
Petition requesting installation of 15 MPH signs in the 300 block of W. Washington St. signed by 23 residents of that block was presented for consideration. Request was referred to the Police Committee to study and report back to Council.
Mr. Chambers requested that truck traffic on Franklin Street be restricted to local traffic only. This request was also referred to the Police Committee to study and report back.
Council read a letter from R. C. Hannum, Director, Facilities Division, West Chester State College, expressing appreciation for street repairs on College Ave. and Church St. was read and ordered filed.
Council read a letter from Tadeo Rivera, President, Spanish Community Action Center, advising of establishment of an office in the F & M Building for the Center for the purpose of solving various problems such as housing, jobs, English lessons, etc. and requesting a donation from the Borough was read. Mr. Mosteller remarked that all merchants had received a similar letter, and he would ask the Chamber of Commerce to provide more information. Action on letter tabled pending further information.
Council considered Mr. McCardell's request for a short time parking meter in front of his store at 142 E. Market Street. Mr. Cotter commented that the installation of one such meter was not acceptable as everyone would be entitled to such an installation. He recommended that the Truck Loading Zone to the west of the one parking meter be eliminated and another meter installed. This recommendation was referred to the Street Committee with power to act. [...]
Mr. Cotter moved that Council approve installation of a stop sign on Chestnut Street at New Street facing eastbound traffic, and the Traffic Ordinance be so amended. Motion was seconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 5-0.
The Manager reported he had received a request from Father Kelly to close Prescott Alley behind St. Agnes School during school hours. This request was referred to the Police Committee with power to act. [...]
Council read a letter from Patrolman Burton E. Lund, Jr. requesting a one year's leave of absence in order for him to take a position with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs was read. Officer Burton stated that he might not be satisfied with the position and therefore requested a leave of absence. Mr. Cotter remarked that he recommended that Council not approve the request for leave of absence. Mr. Chambers stated he was in favor of approving the request because Officer Lund was the type of policeman we should try to retain. Council took no action on request pending an opinion from the Solicitor on the status of a leave of absence.
Mr. Chambers commented on the present holiday trash collection schedule which provides that when a holiday falls on a workday, the trash collection scheduled for that day will not be collected until the following scheduled pick-up. This means that there is two weeks between collections, and Mr. Chambers stated this had to be corrected. He suggested a work meeting on this problem and preparation of an amendment to the ordinance to eliminate this situation.
Mr. Chambers then discussed acquisition of the armory as a Borough Hall. He moved that Council actively pursue acquisition of the armory. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 4-1 with Mr. Mosteller casting a negative vote.
Mr. Chambers asked if the Fall Clean-Up Week had been scheduled yet. He was advised that the dates had not been determined.
Mr. Mosteller stated that he was opposed to the ward system and further stated he felt West Chester was fortunate in having the present system. [...]
Mr. Cotter announced that interviews would be held for applicants for appointment as patrolmen with the West Chester Police Department beginning 6:45 P.M., Monday, September 14, 1970. He also addressed those residents present and ... urged them to review the budget to see the costs of operating the Borough and advised them of a possible tax increase to meet rising costs.
Mayor Chambers reported that the Police Department was still citing violators on weeds but the summons were being held up in the District Justice's office due to his being overburdened with work. He further stated he was still receiving complaints on dogs and asked if all necessary equipment had been received. Chief Frame stated that the only hold-up was a pound in which to restrain the dogs after they are caught. The Mayor further reported that he had received a request for additional 10 hour parking meters; homes were having their fire insurance cancelled as a result of the unrest in the Borough and he had received a request from Mr. Loper requesting permission to hold the Veterans' Day Parade on November 8, 1970. [...]
Meeting was adjourned 9:30 P.M., to meet again at 4:00 P.M., September 23, 1970.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Mosteller, Cotter, Baldwin
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Smith, Lawrence MacElree, Solicitor
Called to order at 4:00 P.M. [...]
Mr. Cotter informed Council that the Police Committee had interviewed applicants for appointment as patrolmen and then moved that Council approve the appointment of Messrs. Leonard V. Crandley, Joseph T. Tout, Harvel L. Brown and Keith G. Miller as patrolmen [probationary] with the West Chester Police Department. Motion was seconded "by Mr. Chambers and approved "by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Chambers, referring to the Civil Service Regulations which require applicants to possess a valid driver's license, again questioned the validity of the appointment of John A. Mervin as a patrolman with the West Chester Police Department in February, 1970. He stated that Mr. Mervin's licence, had been suspended, at the time of appointment; therefore he did not possess a valid driver's license, and the appointment was not legal. He further stated he had asked for an investigation into the appointment but had not received any answers. As a result of Mr. Chambers questions, Mr. MacElree, Borough Solicitor, was requested to investigate and submit an opinion on the legality of the appointment of Mr. Mervin in view of the fact his driver's license was suspended at the time of the appointment, and the Civil Service Regulations require a valid driver's license.
Mr. MacElree advised Council of the forthcoming arbitration with the West Chester Police Department on salaries and fringe benefits, and advised that he had contacted Mr. Stephen B. Sweeney, President Emeritus, Pels Institute, and Mr. Sweeney had agreed to act as the Borough's arbitrator. He further advised that he and Mr. C. Richard Morton, attorney for the Police, had agreed on Mr. Leonard Sugerman, Attorney, from Phoenixville, as the third arbitrator. He then requested that Council consider the appointment of these individuals. Mr. Mosteller moved that Council approve the appointments of these individuals; Mr. Stephen B. Sweeney as the Borough's arbitrator, and Mr. Leonard Sugerman as the third arbitrator. Motion was sconded by Mr. Chambers and approved by a vote of 5-0. [...]
Mr. Chambers reported he had received several complaints about the weeds on the lot at Union and Matlack Streets and also inquired of the status of the dog catching equipment. He was advised that, all equipment was on hand except for a place to retain the animals once they are caught. He commented on the steam vent pipe which has been in front of 106 E. Gay Street for about four months, and requested the Manager to find out when it could be removed. He then stated a certain tavern in town was creating problems, but he would talk to the Mayor and Police Chief about the possibility of getting the Liquor Control Board to investigate it.
Mr. Mosteller stated he was still receiving complaints about 152 West Gay Street.
Mr. Cotter commented on the meeting concerning the future of the Mansion House property and stated he hoped that everyone in the Borough would support the proposal to construct a new building there as it could mean a lot to the Borough.
Adjourned at 4:50 P.M.
Council members present: Chambers, Mosteller, Baldwin, Thomas, Underwood, Spaziani, Cotter
Also present: Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Shay (Controller), Chief Frame, Mayor Chambers, Mr. Harvey (Solicitor)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Sherwood Angelson addressed Council concerning the ward system in West Chester which had been proposed by Councilman Chambers at an earlier meeting. Mr. Angelson's comments indicated he disagreed with the proposal as he felt it would break up the community. He also commented on his feelings concerning the black and Puerto Rican community to the effect that these racial groups did not want to be pawns of the white race and attempts to segregate them could result in problems. He further stated that signatures on petitions were of no value because most people signed out of fear or lack of knowledge. Mr. Normon Bond replied to Mr. Angelson stating that Mr. Angelson was not in a position to know what blacks think because he.is not black. [Last sentence deleted per Nov. 11, 1970 minutes] [...]
Council read a letter from West Chester Planning Commission not recommending for land use Mr. Robert Seville's request to construct 22 town houses on his property located in the southwest corner of the Borough was read and ordered filed. Recommendation of Planning Commission required no action by Council as Mr. Seville had not submitted a formal request to Council for re-zoning.
Sub-division application submitted by the Philadelphia National Bank to sub-divide the property located at 500-510 E. Gay Street was considered. Sub-division had been approved by the Planning Commission on October 12, 1970. Mr. Thomas advised that action on the application would be delayed pending review at the next work meeting as all Councilmen were not familiar with the request. [...]
Mr. Cotter reported on the request for a 15 MPH zone in the 300 block of W. Washington St. He stated there were "Watch Children" signs in the block at the present time, which did not slow the cars, and he did not know if 15 MPH signs were permitted in a residential area. Borough Manager was requested to check to see if such a speed zone could be established.
Mr. Cotter, reporting on the matter of truck traffic on North Franklin St., stated he had talked to Agway concerning their using Matlack St. and would discuss the problem with other truckers entering that area. [...]
The Manager read a proposed amendment to the trash collection ordinance which provided for collection of trash scheduled for a holiday to be collected the work day following the holiday instead of the next scheduled collection day. Mr. Chambers moved that Council enact Ordinance #14-1970, as read. Motion was seconded.by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 7-0. [...]
Mr. Cotter then advised Council that two vacancies existed on the West Chester Police Force and moved that Council approve the appointments of Jerry C. Robinson and Jacob B. DeBoard as patrolmen [probationary] with the West Chester Police Department provided their physical examinations were satisfactory. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Mayor Chambers reported the following: complaints about college student parking from a resident at 321 Dean St.; complaints of disturbances early in the morning from Lacey and Walnut Sts area; Borough parking lot #4 had several pot holes in it and was badly in need of a clean up and complaints about the appearance of the Borough stables [Public Works, 205 Lacey Street]. Mr. Bayliss was directed to clear up the last two items.
Mr. Chambers asked if the date of the fall clean-up week had been determined. He was advised that Clean-Up week would start on October 19, 1970, and that notices had been published in the paper and announcements had been made on the radio.
Mr. Chambers then commented that he had been advised that on-sight summonses were in effect as of October 1, 1970, and he felt that this should eliminate the delay in enforcement of the Ordinances now encountered. Chief Frame gave an explanation of the new summons procedures and advised that a class for police would be held on Monday, October 19, 1970 to explain the forms which had been received this date.
Mr. Tom D'Annunzio asked why more people weren't present to learn what is going on in the Borough. He also commented on the trash problems in the 200 block of W. Chestnut St. and said that bad landlords and tenants should be fined.
Mr. Chambers then asked what had been done about a snow removal plan. Mr. Bayliss stated he had the plan and would explain same later in the meeting. Mr. Chambers also requested that Council insure that the houses which are vacated by families moving into the new low cost housing on Downingtown Pike are placarded and that no new tenants be permitted to „ occupy these vacated quarters. [Mr. Smith to be advised of this.] [...]
Mr. Cotter, referring to the agenda which listed "Petitions, complaints and suggestions from residents in attendance" remarked that he was tired of having Mr. Angelson appear each month and concurred with the earlier remarks of Mr. Bond. Mr. Chambers remarked that Mr. Cotter was entitled to his opinion, but Mr. Cotter did not speak for him.
Mr. Bayliss reported on the snow removal plan: Snow will be removed from the central business district, generally the area bounded by Wayne, Chestnut, Matlack and Miner Sts. except on High St. where the removal will extend to Dean St. Plan calls for posting no-parking signs whenever the snow becomes of depth to interfer with parking. Parking lots will be plowed and the snow will be piled until streets are clean. Business and residences will not be permitted to push snow into the street. All Borough sidewalks will be cleaned. Snow routes will be designated and parking will be'pro-hibited on these streets.
Mr. Bayliss reported he had received an informal request for restricted parking on Sundays at the church located at New St. and Rosedale Ave. in order for church goers to have parking. Students now use the area for permanent parking, and church goers have no place to park. [...]
Chief Frame requested that Council consider establishing a loading zone on the east side of S. Walnut St. south of Market Street for trucks stopping at Rubinstein's and the Bell Telephone Company. Police Committee was requested to investigate this request and report back.
Mr. Bayliss reported that vandalism in the parks was increasing and called on all citizens to report any incidents in order to reduce the destruction of property.
Mrs. Smalley, who resides at the corner of Hannum Ave. and New St. thanked Council for having her trees trimmed and for painting a yellow line in front of the row of garages on New St. north of Hannum Ave., but then stated that cars were still parking there in spite of the line.
Mr. Sherwood Angelson, replying to earlier remarks of Mr. Cotter, stated that if his comments were not welcome he would discontinue all association with the Borough and urge his friends to do likewise.
Mr. Tigue asked if there was an ordinance against people sleeping in automobiles. He stated he had noticed this occuring in the alley behind his home on E. Gay Street. Mr. Harvey replied that the Borough could adopt an ordinance to protect the health and welfare of the public.
Mr. John Voge, commenting on Downingtown's recent amendment to their Zoning Ordinance, which requires two parking spaces for each apartment, asked if this provision could be adopted by the Borough. He was advised that this matter would be considered. [...]
Mr. Peter J. Hoffman referring to the church parking problem at New Street and Rosedale Ave. requested Council to consider his a "formal" request to study the problem of parking for those persons attending church on Sundays.
Mr. Philip Tigue then asked if the electric poles in the alleys could have their identifying numbers printed on them in flourescent paint in order for the police cars to use them for identifying locations in the event of a call. The Manager advised he would check with PEC to see if this could be done.
Mrs. Smalley asked if there would be additional policemen on duty on Halloween and was advised that additional policemen would be on duty.
Mr. Baldwin announced that the Halloween parade would be held on October 29th and Trick or Treat Night would be held on October 28.
Adjourned at 8:45 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Chambers, Underwood, Spaziani, Cotter, Baldwin, Mosteller
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Smith, Liet. Sobers, Chief Frame, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Messrs. MacElree, Harvey and Featherman, Attys.
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Thomas then requested approval of the minutes of the October 14th regular meeting and October 21st special meeting. Mr. Chambers, referring to Mr. Angelson's remarks and Mr. Bond's reply thereto made at the October 14th regular meeting, moved that Council approve deletion of the last sentence in the particular paragraph, referring to the discussion. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 4-3 with Mr. Cotter, Mr. Spaziani and Mr. Underwood casting the negative votes. [...]
Council considered the proposal of the Retail Merchants Association of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater West Chester, Inc. to the Borough for financial assistance in conducting a parking and traffic survey. Total cost is estimated at $3,000, with RMA and the Borough each to pay $1,500. Survey is to be accomplished by Parking Unlimited, Inc. Mr. Mosteller moved that Council approve the expenditure of $1,500 as its share in the parking and traffic survey as requested by the Retail Merchants Association. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Next order of business was to conduct a hearing into the suspension of Chief Frame by the Mayor. Mr. Thomas turned the meeting over to Mr. MacElree who explained how the hearing would be conducted. A court stenographer was in attendance and all testimony was recorded by him. The hearing continued until 1:10 A.M. at which time Council recessed into Executive Session and reconvened at 1:20 A.M. Following reconvening, Mr. Cotter moved that Council reinstate Thomas Frame as West Chester Chief of Police with back pay to the date of suspension. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and approved by a vote of 6-1 with Mr. Chambers casting the negative vote.
Adjourned at 1:25 A.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Chambers, Underwood, Cotter, Baldwin, Spaziani
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer), Chief Frame
Called to order at 7:30 P.M.
Council first considered approval of an agreement for professional services between the Borough and Albright & Friel, Inc. in connection with design and construction of the new water filtration plant and pipe line on the Brandywine. Mr. Underwood moved that Council approve the agreement with Albright & Friel, Inc. Motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and approved by a vote of 7-0.
Next order of business was to consider a proposal for geologic and engineering services in a ground water exploration program submitted by Roy F. Weston. This proposal would provide for supervision of test drilling of a well to supplement the Borough water supply and other services at a cost of approximately $8,010. Mr. Underwood moved that Council accept the Roy F. Weston proposal. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and approved by a vote of 7-0.
The Manager informed Council of several items to be discussed at the CCAB meeting on November 18, 1970. These included recommended amendments to the Borough Code and a resolution urging that earned income taxes be permitted even if a state income tax is levied. ...
Mr. Thomas then discussed the following items on which action had been delayed: 1. Request for 15 MPH zone in the 300 block of West Washington St. Mr. Cotter advised Mr. Thomas that the Borough could not install 15 MPH speed zone signs on a through street. ... 3. Ice skating rink which the Recreation Commission has under consideration. Mr. Baldwin remarked that it had been discussed and would be discussed further at the next meeting of the Recreation Commission. Mr. Thomas indicated he was in favor of having a skating rink, as did Mayor Chambers and Chief Frame. [...]
Mr. Jim Hay, Jr., referring to "speak-easies" in the Borough, asked who had the authority to close them. Chief Frame replied that the Borough police could close them if they had proper evidence; also, the Liquor Control Board could take action if requested.
Mr. Cotter, referring to the John Mervin suspension, moved that Mr. Mervin receive his back pay and be reinstated. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani, but before a vote could be taken, Mr. MacElree, Solicitor, suggested that the Civil Service Commission be asked to review the application of Officer Mervin and certify their actions to Council. Mr. Malcolm Berkowitz, Attorney, representing John Mervin, stated that Mr. Mervin met all requirements for appointment and all facts were made known to the Police Committee during the interview. He also stated that Mr. Mervin had appealed from the suspension of his driver's license and it should be restored by Friday. Several persons in attendance, entered the discussion -- Mr. Chatley asked who was on the Civil Service Commission. An unidentified person asked if Mervin could be paid and still remain suspended. Mr. MacElree recommended against back payment tonight. Mr. Berkowitz stated that he and his client would like to have the Civil Service Commission meet before the next meeting of Council. Mr. Chambers then read the following statement concerning the hiring of John Mervin as a policeman:
RE: QUESTIONING THE LEGALITY OF THE HIRING PROCEDURES EMPLOYED BY COUNCIL IN THE HIRING OF JOHN MERVIN AS A SPECIAL AND REGULAR POLICEMAN
"In the face of what may seem unpopular to some people, and necessary in the minds of others, there are some very serious questions regarding the hiring of John Mervin, both as a Special and later as a Regular policeman, that have not yet been answered satisfactorily.
"At a regular meeting of Borough Council on September 9, 1970 I requested that an investigation be conducted to determine once and for all the legality of the hiring procedure employed in the hiring of John Mervin as a Special Policeman on September 18, 1969. At an adjourned meeting of Council on September 23, 1970, I again asked for an investigation and requested the Borough Solicitor for an opinion as to the validity of the regular appointment of Mervin on February 16, 1970, since he did not possess a valid driver's license when appointed, a requirement of the Civil Service laws. The Solicitor has given the opinion that unless the Civil Service Commission ratifies the February 16th appointment, the regular appointment of Mervin is invalid. I understand that the recent appeal by Mervin's attorney concerning the suspended license was sustained, but that the successful appeal does not affect the requirement of the Civil Service Commission to ratify the previous appointment.
"But regardless of that, my main purpose is to prevent Borough Council from taking any further action concerning back pay, and possibly reinstatement that has for its basis original action that may very well be illegal. Extending or ratifying illegal action will only compound the problem. If there is illegal action involved, then exposing same for what it is may prevent such procedures from ever being repeated. And I want to make two things clear. First, John Mervin is not the subject of my questions, but the object. It is the procedure employed by Council that is being questioned, not John Mervin, the one who happens to be involved in Council's action. And secondly, my questions are not new, but were raised as far back as January 1970, yet remained unanswered. The questions involve whether or not Mervin was properly hired, both as a Special Policeman and as a Regular Policeman, and whether or not the back pay involved can be paid out properly and legally if one, or both, of the appointments are declared to be illegal. Last month I asked that and I quote, `Council give me their word that we will sit down together, and with the Civil Service Commission, to discuss fully the question of back pay and reinstatement in this case.' Council said that they would. That is why I am discussing it now.
"Assuming for the moment that the appointment of Mervin as a regular policeman on February 16, 1970 is valid, I first question whether his subsequent suspension just ten minutes after his hiring constituted a legal suspension. I am of the opinion that the suspension of Mervin as a regular policeman was, and is, illegal and base my opinion on the following court decision that was also cited by Solicitor MacElree at Chief Frame's recent hearing. That is: `A policeman may be suspended only for a definite period of time, and a suspension until hearing by the Civil Service Commission or without time limit is void. ( Appeal of Laux-1952).' In Vargo v. Franklin Borough Council (1962) it says: `Suspension of.a police officer by a mayor or council must be for a definite period of time.' The suspension of Mervin by Borough Council just ten minutes after hiring him as a regular policeman may be void since Council did not suspend him for a definite period of time as required by law, but suspended him `until November 1, 1970 or the final disposition of the criminal charges against him which ever first occurs, with pay to be held in escrow by the Borough.' If by any stretch of the imaginatation, with the court cases cited in mind, it is ruled the suspension in question was for a definite period of time, then John Mervin should have been back on regular duty since October 22, 1970, since that was the date of the final disposition of the criminal charges against him. If the suspension is ruled to be void because of what I have already mentioned, then John Mervin never was suspended and should have been considered a regular policeman since February 16, 1970, and could have been working since that time.
"But regardless of a ruling concerning a definite or indefinite suspension there are only specific reasons why a Council can suspend a regular policeman as cited by Solicitor MacElree at Chief Frame's hearing.
"I have yet to hear any preferring of charges by Council against Mervin, therefore there is no basis for suspension. Citing another case: `Where borough policeman has been suspended and remains suspended without charges. being preferred and without hearing or opportunity to be heard, and he is ready and willing to be heard, he is entitled to salary during suspension.' The question then of whether or not Mervin ever was suspended legally on Feb. 16, 1970 should be resolved.
"But regardless of whether there was a legal suspension ten minutes after the hiring, the question of whether the hiring itself was legal should be considered. First of all, Civil Service requires that the background and qualifications of all applicants for regular appointment be investigated and this was hot done in the case of John Mervin's application. And being honest with each other, we are all aware that Mervin's hiring as a regular policeman was for the sole purpose of establishing a basis for payment of back pay, clearly an improper motive for the hiring of any policeman in my mind. Without a proper background investigation, and with an improper motive on Council's part to hire, the legality of Mervin's appointment comes under serious question. I am aware that the Civil Service Commission did not check out the background of the individual in question here, in spite of the ruling in Patrick vs. Bradley (1959) that: `A borough police civil service commission has exclusive jurisdiction in determining the qualifications and fitness of a police officer.' Also, in Manning vs. Civil Service Commission of Borough of Milbourne, we find that: `Strict compliance with civil service laws is necessary for appointment of patrolmen of borough, and substantial complaince is not enough.'
"Also, if there were sufficient grounds for suspension of Mervin, the fact that only ten minutes passed between his hiring and his suspension leads a reasonable man to conclude that Council knowingly hired a policeman with clear knowledge of a reason for suspension, intending to suspend him when they hired him, an act that, in my opinion, can only be characterized as highly improper, and probably illegal.
"If this Council insists on spending borough funds for the payment of back pay where, in my opinion, there is no legal basis for back pay, then in all good conscience as a representative of the people I serve as a Councilman, I will either seek an injunction to halt payment or consider the filing of charges of `misdemeanor in office' on behalf of the people against any councilman who by his vote allows the illegal expenditure of public monies."
Following Mr. Chambers' reading of his statement, Mr. Cotter again moved that Council reinstate John Mervin so that he can receive his back pay. Mr. MacElree again recommended against Council's taking action on any motion until the Civil Service Commission has acted. Mr. Cotter then moved that Borough Council direct the Borough Manager to request the Civil Service Commission to meet on the matter as soon as possible. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 7-0. Mr. Thomas then advised that Council would hold a special meeting after the Civil Service Commission meets.
Mr. Chambers and Mr. Cotter held a short discussion on a statement which Mr. Chambers states that Mr. Cotter made following executive session on November 11, 1970. Mr. Chambers stated that Mr. Cotter said there needed to be an investigation of the Police Department and he desired to know if Mr. Cotter was still in favor of such. Mr. Cotter replied that he had never used the word "investigation" but rather said there could be some administrative improvements made in the department. Mr. Chambers terminated the discussion on this matter and then inquired of what could be done about the bridge over the railroad on E. Chestnut Street. Mr. Bayliss stated he would comment later on that subject. [...]
Mr. Bayliss reported he had met with three residents of the Borough and Mr. Lyons of the PCRR [Penn Central Railroad] concerning the bridge on E. Chestnut Street. He stated that the railroad would repair the bridge surface, sidewalks and railings with work to begin within ten days. He also reported that as a result of an inspection of the underside of the bridge Mr. Lyons had indicated he was going to write the Mayor and recommend that the weight limit on the bridge be reduced from twelve tons to five tons. Mr. Bayliss stated he felt the Borough should oppose this due to the traffic problems that would be created due to rerouting buses, trucks, etc. Mr. MacElree to take necessary action to oppose this decrease in weight limits when Mr. Lyon's communication is received.
Mr. Cotter asked Mr. Bayliss when the barriers would be taken down at the site of the Mansion House demolition. Mr. Bayliss stated they had been removed from the Church Street and should be removed from Market Street within a day or so.
Mr. Bayliss ... stated the new Route 202 should be completed by June, 1971 which would result in considerable savings in distance driven by the trash trucks.
Adjourned at 8:55 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Spaziani, Mosteller, Chambers, Cotter, Baldwin
Also present: Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Chief Frame, Mr. Bayliss (Public Works), Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Thomas explained that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the PUC decision to permit the Philadelphia Electric Company to discontinue steam service in West Chester on October 15, 1971, and to consider the status of Mr. John A. Mervin with the West Chester Police Department.
The Secretary read those applicable portions of the Public Utilities Commission Order concerning abandonment of the steam plant effective October 15, 1971. Mr. MacElree advised Council of the actions they could take to oppose the order -- appeal to the PUC or to the courts. Council decided that there was no justification for taking an appeal and ordered the document filed.
The Secretary then read the following letter from Mr. MacElree, Solicitor, concerning the status of Mr. John A. Mervin with the West Chester Police Department:
"As a result of the acquittal of John A. Mervin of certain alleged crimes, the question has arisen as to his status, if any, with the Borough of West Chester Police Department.
"A review of the Civil Service Records, John Mervin's Application and confirmation by the Commission, through its attorney, that it was not aware of certain information, makes me conclude that the Certification of John A. Mervin by the Civil Service Commission on January 9, 1970, was null and void. The information related to suspension of his driving privileges and an unreported occurrence in New Jersey.
"Accordingly, his appointment to the Police Department at the meeting of February 16, 1970, of the Borough Council, and all other action relating to him based on the Civil Service Certification, was a nullity.
"Therefore, it is my opinion that a Motion is in order to rescind the motion of February 16, 1970, insofar as it relates to John A. Mervin, in its entirety.
"Sincerely yours, Lawrence E. MacElree"
Following reading of the opinion from Mr. MacElree, Mr. Cotter moved that the motion of February 16, 1970 be rescinded, as it relates to John A. Mervin, in its entirety. Motion was seconded by Mr. Spaziani and approved by a vote of 6-1 with Mr. Thomas casting the negative vote. [...]
Adjourned at 4:15 P.M
Council members present: Thomas, Baldwin, Underwood, Mosteller, Cotter, Chambers
Also present: Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Chief Frame, Mayor Chambers, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 7:30 P.M. [...]
Mr. Thomas asked Council to set a meeting for first review of the 1971 Budget, the preparation of which had been delayed pending receipt of police arbitration results. A work meeting was scheduled for 4:00 P.M., Monday, December 14, 1970.
Mr. Thomas asked what had been done about the skating rinks discussed earlier. Mr. Baldwin reported that the Recreation Commission had discussed the problem, and had tentatively decided to install one at Everhart Park and one at the Community Center. Mr. Baldwin added that Mr. McClellan and Mr. Bayliss are working on the problem.
Mr. Thomas then asked about what action had been taken concerning the bridge on East Chestnut Street. Earlier information stated that the railroad was requesting a reduction in weight limit from 12 to 5 tons. Mr. MacElree reported he had been in touch with railroad representatives and had been advised that the bridge would be repaired to enable a maximum load of 12 tons, but this limit needed compliance and enforcement to prevent heavier vehicles from crossing it, and to insure safety.
Mr. Thomas requested that the Manager read a proposed resolution opposing the rate increase requested by the Philadelphia Electric Company. Following reading of the Resolution, Mr. Mosteller moved that Council adopt Resolution #15-1970. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 6-0. [...]
Mr. C. Harry Barber advised Council that the theaters are locking exit doors which created a hazardous situation because the doors do not have panic bars, and suggested that the police check the situation. He also asked if, in the development of ground, if the installation of sidewalks and curbs were a requirement of the building permit. Mr. Thomas advised him that it was.
Mr. Chambers discussed acquisition of the Armory as a municipal building and advised that the West Chester Civic Association and the Real Estate Committee of Borough Council should do the legwork on seeking this acquisition. He also asked what could be done to provide a garage for the Goodwill Underwater truck. He stated that equipment had been stolen from the truck, and he understood it was now being housed in Downingtown which didn't seem satisfactory. Mr. Hugh Purnell stated he would contact the Industrial Committee of the Chamber of Commerce to see if a local garage could be obtained in which to store the truck.
Mr. Cotter remarked on the improper usage of the truck loading zone on the east side of Walnut Street south of Market Street by the Bell Telephone vehicles and requested the Secretary to write the telephone company and advise them that the area is not a private parking zone for telephone company vehicles. He then discussed the drive-in mail box in front of the Post Office and the problems it causes due to its location. Chief Frame also remarked on the traffic problems caused by the mailbox. Mr. Cotter then suggested that he talk to the postmaster concerning relocation of the mailbox. [...]
Adjourned at 8:10 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Underwood, Cotter, Beldwin, Mosteller, Chambers
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Chief Frame, Mr. Smith (Housing Officer)
Called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Thomas explained that the purpose of the meeting was to approve advertising the proposed budget for 1971 for public inspection.
Following a short review of the proposed budget, Mr. Mosteller moved that Council approve advertising the budget for the ten days public inspection and that Council meeting at 4:00 P.M., December 30, 1970 to adopt the budget. Motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved by a vote of 6-0.
Council read a letter from Mr. William M. Wolverton, Chester County Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America, requesting permission to use Church Street between Market and Gay Streets for a Boy Scout Exhibit on February 13, 1971, was read and discussed. Several persons were not in favor of using the street, and Mr. Baldwin moved that Council offer the Boy Scouts the use of Parking Lot #2 for their demonstration. Motion was seconded by Mr. Cotter and approved by a vote of 6-0. [...]
Adjourned at 4:12 P.M.
Council members present: Thomas, Spaziani, Cotter, Mosteller, Baldwin, Chambers, Underwood (arrived late)
Also present: Mayor Chambers, Mr. MacElree (Solicitor), Mr. Smith, Zoning Officer
Called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Thomas explained that the purpose of the special meeting was to enact the budget resolution for 1971 and to set the real estate tax rate for 1971.
Mr. Thomas requested the Manager to review the budget. The Manager reported that the General Fund cash and receipts would total $1,613,071, and expenditures would total $1,569,159 leaving an unexpended balance of $43,912. Mr. Thomas then asked if Council desired to enact the budget as presented. Mr. Cotter moved that Council enact Resolution #16-1970, which is the budget for 1971. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 5-1 with Mr. Chambers casting the negative vote.
Mr. Chambers, referring to the surplus in the budget, suggested that Council consider reducing the real estate tax rate by one half mill. Mr. Cotter commented that he felt that the surplus was a minimum amount considering the total budget and shouldn't be reduced, as any unforseen situation could eliminate the surplus rapidly. Mr. Cotter then moved that Council enact Ordinance #17-1971 which establishes the tax rate for 1971 at 18 mills. Motion was seconded by Mr. Mosteller and approved by a vote of 5-0 with Mr. Chambers abstaining. [...]
Mr. MacElree commented on the recent opinion received from the Civil Service Commission concerning the status of John A. Mervin. The Civil Service Commission opinion stated that Mr. Mervin'e appointment was valid, and he was entitled to his back pay through November 30, 1970. Mr. MacElree recommended that Council take no action on the opinion until he had a chance to do further research on the opinion. Mr. Aglow, representing John A. Mervin, commented that he felt the legal aspects of the matter had been threshed out and recommended that any action be taken promptly. Mr. Thomas then asked Mr. MacElree how long he would require to prepare an opinion on the Civil Service Commission decision. Following a short discussion Mr. Thomas stated there would be a special meeting at 4:00 p.m. January 8, 1971 to take further action on the Commission's opinion as this would allow Mr. MacElree sufficient time for Mr. MacElree to research the matter. Mr. Aglow asked if he could be present and was assured that the meeting would be open to the public.
Mr. Mosteller asked if it would be possible to have patrolmen in the parking lots on Friday nights as protection to shoppers. Mayor Chambers remarked on the same subject and stated that citizens are concerned about their safety as muggings, purse snatchings, etc. have become increased and asked about the possibility of using auxiliary policemen to patrol various areas of the town during the late evening hours. Several comments were made that most of the crimes involved juveniles, but Mr. Chambers remarked that not all crimes were committed by juveniles and he had requested the Mayor to obtain the facts from the Police Department. Mayor Chambers then asked if anyone objected to the use of auxiliary police to assist in patrolling the streets, and'"there were no objections to his question.
Adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
|Copyright 2011 by Dr. James A. Jones|