Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fair is Fair

Isn't it part of the American way that those accused are entitled to face their accuser? That people should be accountable for the things they say and do? Well, maybe so, but apparently not here...not if you're Rick Brown.

Mr. Brown, a current and past supervisor, went on record at the Aug. 24 Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting as voting against approval of the invoice submitted for July by the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) solicitor, relating to legal work regarding the American Revolution Center (ARC).  He insinuated that my solicitor and the ZHB that I chair were somehow improperly billing the township for this work. Seems Rick couldn't understand why on earth there would be charges for a case that had been all over the news as abandoning its efforts to build a museum here and relocating to Philadelphia.

Maybe Rick has been at this a tad too long, because apparently his memory is starting to go. The reason there was an invoice was because...of Rick himself.

Rick submitted an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in July in that still-open litigation, asking the judge in that case to allow his personal opinion to be considered along with the rest of the record. And that's fine, I respect his right to do what he feels he must. But he filed his brief 4 days AFTER the ARC announced that they were leaving...and he never mentioned that he filed this brief in the BOS meeting while he was strenuously objecting to the payment of the invoice. Surely Rick, with all his years of experience as a township supervisor and a former ZHB member himself,  knew that his brief had to be reviewed and responded to by the ZHB solicitor and that of course he would bill for that, as he should.

Why would Rick do that? FYI,  Rick already testified at length in the ARC hearing...his position and opinions are already on the record. Rick cost the township taxpayers an extra $4,093 in July and August this year solely because he filed that brief. I don't know about you but that's money I'd rather have go to our parks program or some other more worthy cause than addressing a brief that didn't have to be filed.

When I showed up at the September 17 Board meeting on behalf of the ZHB and our solicitor to ask Rick about his sudden memory lapse, why he seemed to be intentionally misleading the residents, why he seemed to be insinuating that the ZHB (and by extension, me) and its solicitor had somehow done something improper, what do you think Rick did?

He ran. Literally, ran out of the room, left a Board of Supervisors meeting while it was still in progress, stating that he didn't have to listen to me (which I find pretty strange considering he's usually very interested in talking and trying to tell me how to run the ZHB). Where's the accountability for the things he said in a public forum on August 24? He probably didn't want to answer, because he doesn't HAVE a good answer.

On top of that, he probably should have abstained from voting on invoices related to a case he's attempting to become a party to. It just screams
"conflict of interest".

So, how 'bout it, Rick? Want a do-over?