Mount Pocono Borough Special Meeting Canceled

Tonight’s scheduled Special Meeting of Borough Council to consider a compensation increase is canceled due to threats of violence made online. In our form of representative democracy, in-person and fact-based debate is necessary; but it is stifled and snuffed out by those who demonize differences of opinion and propagate hatred.

3 comments

  1. I would like to see proof of these threats as I have not seen any threats online, nor have I heard any made out loud. In-person and and fact-based debate is necessary, and the people are never to allow it to be stifled or sniffed out by any means. If there’s a threat made, you would think law enforcements would intervene, or that there would be more police or security present at the meeting, but you choose to get rid of the meeting altogether. Is the meeting being postponed or removed? You can’t make these decisions privately without the citizen’s voices being heard. When is it moved to? Why are these meetings being handled so poorly already? The last meeting was adjourned with people leaving—only to be started right back up again after some people had already left. Not off to a great start.

  2. Julia,

    I would like to know myself. I think I’ve seen all the comments and there have not been any that a rational, literate human being with a modicum of discretion would understand as a threat.

    Council was not consulted on this. And, our requests for an explanation have been ignored.

    Just another example of poor leadership.

    God help Mount Pocono.

    Tom

    1. On Monday, December 30, without consulting the council, the mayor cancelled the special meeting on the pay raise proposal he endorsed. A mayor does not have the authority to cancel council meetings under the Pennsylvania State Borough Code, but our interim mayor doesn’t concern himself with niceties like the law.

      As you will recall, the council majority and the mayor are trying to more than double their own pay. The mayor ignored several requests for information about the cancellation.

      Later he falsely accused Mount Pocono Borough Council Member Matt Hensel and me of inciting an “uprising of residents” and of promoting and propagating “dangerous behavior” over his proposal to more than double the pay of council and himself. (But he deleted this reply to that accusation on the Mount Pocono official website, so I am trying again).

      Of course, we did no such thing. Unless by “uprising” he meant informing residents of what they were planning to do and encouraging them to attend the meeting to exercise their constitutional rights to address the council. The only behavior we prompted was an the engagement of an informed citizenry. Apparently, they felt threatened by informed tax payers voicing their opinions.
      We’ve seen this movie before. Sadly, the mayor and majority of council always elect to employ personal attack over civil debate. And it worked — that’s how they won in November.

      For example, last week, when I argued against the real estate tax increase he supported, instead of addressing the facts, he called Matt & I juvenile names and personally attacked my wife (who has never spoken on any issue nor even attended any council meeting, but that’s your mayor for you).

      There were no threats made to council that justified cancelling tonight’s meeting. I have also confirmed that no threats were received by the Borough secretary. The “excuse” used was reference from last week, by a non-resident, that tax payers would be getting out their pitchforks. No competent, emotionally stable adult would understand that form of expression as anything other than it was — a well-worn metaphor for residents expressing discontent with actions taken by their government officials.

      I mean, does anyone actually own pitchforks anymore?

      No, what really hap penned is that they chickened out (and by that, to be clear, I do not mean that they transmogrified into poultry).

      They tried to sneak in the pay raise — introducing it at the end of the year, after the election, as a non-agenda item, then setting the meeting for the holiday week at 6pm instead of the usual 7. In short they did everything they could to keep it under the radar.

      When they realized that they wouldn’t be able to do that, they cowardly cancelled the meeting, rather than face justifiably angry taxpayers. (By the way Williams and Casole were not planning to be present at the meeting at all — that’s how much they respect the voters.)

      Mount Pocono deserves better than this sort of rank political nonsense.

      But we just don’t have that kind of leadership. I leave counsel next week, Matt in February. After that, it is going to be up to YOU to keep paying attention.

      I will do what I can to continue to keep you informed through the new newspaper, and Matt has some ideas on how to provide even more direct information to the residents.

      But each of you will need to keep your own vigilance to protect the town from their natural bent toward excess and self-rewarding behavior.

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