John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

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Featuring content curated from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. The insights/opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.

Environmental Advisory Council Asks Local Businesses to Take Its Single-Use Plastics Survey

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) is considering recommending that the Newtown implement a single-use plastics resolution. Your response to this survey will help EAC to provide a recommendation that is appropriate for local businesses. Similar actions have been taken or are being considered by Solebury, West Chester, Doylestown Township and Borough and Lower Makefield Township.


From - December 10, 2021

The Newtown Township 2022 Budget was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors at the December 8, 2021, public meeting. The vote was 4-0 vote (Mr. Oxley was absent).

There was only a slight change from the Preliminary (advertised) Budget regarding income projections. See the details here.

Meanwhile, in a public comment before the BOS, resident Frank McCarron gave the Township Manager a lesson in how to properly develop the township budget based on actual numbers rather than essentially cutting and pasting from previous budgets and making inaccurate income and expenditure projections. Mr. McCarron didn't use that language, but that's how some people see the current process.

More details...

John Mack's Insights:
FYI: According to Section 3202 of PA ACT 69, "During the month of January next following any municipal election, the board of supervisors may amend the budget and the levy and tax rate to conform with its amended budget."
Related Content:

From From - Nov 29, 2021
At the 22 November 2021 Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, Supervisor John Mack updated participants regarding traffic and pedestrian safety issues on North Sycamore Street near Silo Drive in Newtown. He summarized the comments and suggestions of Police Chief Hearn. This was followed by a lively discussion that included several ideas for mitigating the danger to both pedestrians and drivers. Listen to the discussion.

Read a summary of the meeting...
John Mack's Insights:
Education is important. That's why - at the December 8 2021 BOS meeting - I suggested to the Chief that the township pass a resolution designating a "Newtown Pedestrian Safety Week," which was done in 2010 as proposed by the then Joint Traffic Committee. Activities could be organized during these weeks garnering media coverage - a much better way of reaching many more people than the hit-or-miss distribution of leaflets by local businesses as proposed by the Chief.
Related Content:

From - Nov 17, 2021
A board within Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has cleared the way for setting strict drinking-water limits for two forms of toxic man-made substances known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in humans and the environment.

The rule would set limits of 14 parts per trillion for PFOA and 18 parts per trillion for PFOS. The current EPA health advisory level is set at 70 parts per trillion for both.

More details...
From - December 9, 2021
Provco Pineville (Wawa) submitted preliminary plans last week for a Wawa at the corner of Silver Lake Rd. & the Newtown Bypass. The township have accepted the application as administratively complete, and is processing the application for distribution to its consultants for review.

The plan specifies only 6 fueling stations in accordance with the new E-30 use. It does not, however, include and signage specifications. Signage variances were a contentious issue when this plan was before the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB; see Related Content below).

More, including links to the plan and Transportation (Traffic) Impact Study...
John Mack's Insights:

Wawa has 60 days from October 20, 2021, to appeal the decision of the ZHB regarding signage. I have heard a rumor that it has already done so.

Related Content:

From November 18, 2021
The shift from in-person to online meetings during the pandemic is an example of how we actually can change the way we hold public meetings. Some communities are even electing to keep online components intact after the pandemic ends in order to allow for easier participation (read, for example, “Doylestown: Incorporating Zoom Into Live BOS Meetings").

As we think about changing public meetings, this seems like the moment to take stock of how we structure our meetings in general. Is the way that we have historically held public meetings the best way? Are we truly engaging the public?

Read how Portsmouth, N.H., voted to change its city council rules to allow more public dialogue in public meetings...
John Mack's Insights:

IMHO it is necessary to make public budget hearings more frequent and with more public dialogue - rather than just static public comments - by implementing some of the ideas put forward in this article.

Related Content:

From - Dec 10, 2021
We dramatically underestimate how much ocean-bound plastic waste we generate. Research shows recycling hasn’t slowed the deluge of plastic pouring into oceans. That’s partly because only 9% of the plastic produced ever gets recycled. Scientists estimate at least 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean annually.

While we work to pick up and repurpose plastic already polluting the earth, it’s vital that we don’t add more to the plastic waste heap. There are simple steps you can take to create small plastic waste reduction wins in your daily life. First, immediately eliminate single-use plastics from your routine. Buy products in sustainable packaging.

Read about more steps to reduce plastic waste...
8 December 2021 BOS Meeting Summary

Agenda items:
  • 2022 Budget Approved
  • Public Comment - improving the budget process
  • Reports of Officials - Engineer, Police
  • 8 December 2021 Bills List - Bills total $354,465.253
  • My Detailed Notes - lots of background info and links

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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