Woodlynne Borough Council Meeting 12-10-2020

Below is a recording of the Woodlynne Borough Council Meeting held via Zoom on December 10, 2020.

Things of particular note:

Resolution 2020-77A – This is the Borough’s pathetic attempt to correct their failure to notice properly for last week’s special meeting. Those paying attention to these meetings will remember that the OPMA compliance for that special meeting was challenged due to public notice only appearing in one newspaper. Given the three week lead time from when the notice appeared in the Courier-Post to when the meeting was held, the Borough had every opportunity to notice properly. To take it a step further, they were *aware* that they were noticing only one newspaper. Below is the “notice” that the Mayor had posted online:

As you can clearly see the notice specifically only mentions notice in the Courier-Post, but nothing for the Retrospect. Now obviously, since the Borough is doing *anything at all*, we know that they are at least tacitly acknowledging that they did something wrong, though we all know that they will never come forward and actually own up to anything. The result was this revised Resolution that was revisited during the meeting “to give the public more opportunity to speak about it”. There are two significant problems with this:

  1. There was no notice that went out indicating that this was going to be discussed. How exactly is this being done to allow the public more opportunity to speak up and ask questions *IF YOU DON’T TELL THEM WHAT’S GOING ON?* If the public was not made aware that this was going to be discussed, then there is no reasonable expectation that the public will be there. If this was done in an attempt to redress the original OPMA notice failure, then it looks like they doubled-down and responded with even less notice.
  2. The Mayor *constantly* referenced things discussed at the special meeting, particularly when answering questions. How can there be references to a meeting that, legally speaking, *NEVER HAPPENED*. The meeting failed OPMA compliance and as such cannot be used as a reference point for anything, particularly when answering questions from the public.

Of course, rather than actually address the issues, the Mayor and Solicitor found opportunities to argue with me, talk over me, and mute me multiple times – all during a time when *I* was recognized as holding the floor. Our Mayor has once again forgotten that while he does have some power as our Mayor, the ability to censor us because he doesn’t like what he’s hearing is *NOT* one of them.

This brings me to the second point that I wanted to make sure that you were aware of: The Mayor is deliberately censoring the public, and the public record. We learned during this meeting that the Mayor doesn’t like to include anything in the meeting minutes (which are *not* being prepared by the Municipal Clerk like the Borough suggested months ago) where there is any kind of heated discussion. Our Mayor would rather distort the truth of the proceedings of our public meetings than let it be known just how dysfunctional the governing body is. He even takes it a step further by threatening to remove anyone for saying things that he doesn’t like. The OPMA protects our right to be heard at these meetings, and while there are provisions that allow crooked officials to limit how much time the public may speak, the governing body has *NO* control over the content. This is yet another case of the Mayor overstepping his authority.

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