John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Dealing with Newtown's Issues is Like Drinking Water from a Firehose!

Dealing with Newtown's Issues is Like Drinking Water from a Firehose!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are well aware that us Supervisors have a lot on our plates lately. Information is coming at us like water out of a fire hose!

I for one am being bombarded by email - just reading all the email and responding takes hours - and comments from residents on a number of issues that I need to review and re-review in order to make decisions when the time comes.

To keep up with all the information I receive, I spend between 20 and 30 hours per month reviewing information and interacting with residents. This does not include the time I actually spend at meetings, whic can add another 20 hours per month.

Take the Toll Bros project as an example. I have dozens of comments, emails and data from residents regarding that proposal and have yet to collate all those into a meaningful, easy to digest list of points in favor and opposed. This is how I process information so that I can inform and explain my decision regarding this project and other matters that come before the BOS.


Just minutes before the Feb 26, 2020, Toll Bros hearing began, supervisors were handed this thick stack of "Exhibits" that included site plans, results of flood plain study, stormwater management report, transportation impact assessment, review letters from our Township Engineer, etc. It should be no surprise, therefore, that I did not read every document from end to end in that pile of exhibits! It just is not humanly possible. I have to question how Supervisors can ask intelligent questions and make the right decision under such circumstances. In fact, in the end, NO decision was made! A decision is expected to be made at the August 26, 2020, Supervisors Meeting.

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Other firehoses include:

  1. E-30 "Curative Amendment" - not even the lawyers can get all the information straight no matter how hard we press them!
  2. Jointure Comprehensive Plan - I have matrices to fill out, survey data to review, input from the Environmental Advisory Council to read carefully, etc., etc.
  3. Econsult Solutions comprehensive multi-year financial management plan (see here)

I'm not complaining. It's what I signed up for and was elected to do. I appreciate all the help I get from knowlegeable residents who are very involved in the issues that may impact them directly.

What I miss is having residents attend public Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetings. Meeting and hearing from residents in person invigorates me, whereas Zoom meetings are mostly boring, frankly. The problem is that our Township does not yet allow residents to attend BOS Zoom meetings. Hopefully, this will change (for more on that, read "Newtown Supervisors May Open Up Zoom Meetings to Residents").

So, basically, I am asking for more firehose water from residents! Anyway, thanks for listening.


Posted on 13 Aug 2020, 01:02 - Category: Governance

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