Monday, November 25, 2013

It's been fun, but I'm done

I am sitting at the commission meeting and just heard the commissioners remove $137,400 from the Brafferton project and transfer it to "field enhancements." They also stole $500,000 from unassigned funds for "field enhancements." The remaining $112,600 will be considered in a separate motion at a future Commission meeting.

I will accept comments while I take time off. It may be a day. It may be longer. It may be forever.

You win, Dave Brumfield. You win, John Bendel. You win, Kristen Linfante. You win, Dave Donnellan. You win, Dave Franklin.

Thank you, Kelly and Matt for voting against this.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't go! You are a true treasure to Mt. Lebanon, Ellen!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Elaine, for everything you tried to do.
Matt, Kelly thanks as well, there is no doubt whom to blame when taxes need to go up.

Anonymous said...

Well, ESB folks, guess the three of the commissioners told you what they think of your opinions on saving the environment.

John David Kendrick said...

Elaine,

Thank you again for your wonderful service to Mt Lebanon. You have enlightened many of us, generated a genuine interest in local affairs and perhaps inspired several new candidates who will make cur community a better place to live.

May God bless you.

Sincerely,
John David Kendrick

Anonymous said...

So, no Pay as You Throw?

Anonymous said...

Don't tell them Elaine.
Let 'em show up at commission meetings and find out for themselves.

Anonymous said...

My Momma always said, "What goes over the devil's back comes back under his belly!"

This turf and other fiascos are adding up. I bet you nearly a million bucks this turf project won't be as "smooth" as they plan. Look at all the corners cut in the school construction. I'm not against turf in general but dislike the way they so easily stab their fellow commissioners and abuse their constituents for their own heartless agendas.

I don't wish bad on anybody but I will sit back and chuckle when the field is destroyed by a storm.

However it comes, they will get back their own misdeeds.

Anonymous said...

Any chances for a successful run as judge were eliminated by his latest antics. Mr. Brunfield, you may have won this battle, but you lost the war. You will go no further than a commissioner in your political future. Enjoy your turf.

Anonymous said...

No one sees the real scam occurring here, because they are either too lazy or too apathetic or too stupid to follow along.

The whole field turfing we are told is dependent on $250,000 non-municipal funds going towards the project.

For the uninformed that sounds like Franklin and his croonies will be chipping in substantial money. But you'd be wrong.

The commissioners are turning over the field sign revenue to the YSA, so those fences that taxpayers pay for will be made available for the YSA to sell.

Then you have Mr. Donellan suggesting that the school district will be available to chip in as much as $200,000 to artificial turf. Of course Mt. Lebanon taxpayer... that will count as 'non-municipal' revenue as well.

Just sit on your duffs folks and recite after me...
"I believe, I believe, I know I shouldn't, but I believe."

Anonymous said...

11:55 don't count on it!
People could ghave stopped this farce, but instead stayed home snug in their beds.

E. T. Gillen said...

I have uploaded the podcasts to most of the meetings last night. I left after the commission meeting and did not stick around for the remainder of the discussion session.

The municipality has uploaded the videos to last night's meetings. Please watch Kristen Linfante's reactions to my comments starting at 14:35 of the commission meeting. 11 25 13 Commission meeting She couldn't nod her head any harder when I said that there were only six readers here. Watch Kristen look at Dave when I said that they were sticking to Kelly and Matt. Watch Dave Brumfield smile.

I want to thank those who came to the meeting and spoke. You have a sad commission, Folks. If you get a chance, watch Dave Brumfield yell at Matt Kluck at the discussion session during the turf segment of the meeting. I stepped out of the meeting and went into the commission chambers to sign up to speak. The junior commissioner asked me what was going on in there. She could hear them yelling. I explained that Dave Brumfield was going after Matt Kluck. Nice behavior, Dave, for our junior commissioner to hear. How can anyone argue with Matt Kluck. He is always the perfect gentleman.

I will be back, so stay tuned. Also, I will be more selective in monitoring comments here.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I heard the three commisioners voting in favor of turf say:
"If you like current crummy fields,
you can keep your current crummy fields!"

Anonymous said...

Brafferton, Bird and school district fields will remain in their pathetic conditions, but realtors will be able to drive prospective home buyers down Cedar to show them what high taxes will buy them
ahahahahahahahahaha, ahahahahahahaha, ahahahahahahahaha!

Damion Deringer said...

I can't wait to hear the moaning and complaining from all those "thousands of adults and children" that wanted turf so badly when the bids for this turf come in a million dollars over.

Anonymous said...

Hometown Heroes? Kelly Fraasch and Elaine Gillen.

Anonymous said...

My child told me he would never grow up to be a commissioner. Sad.

Do I need to move before more irreparable damage is done?

If we *see* these injustices on videotape, imagine what happens behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

I agree that too many people sit at home when they could be at a Commission meeting. However, these meetings start late, and sometimes go on forever. Parents with young children have a hard time with this balancing act.

Anonymous said...

2:11 one parent can't attend?
It takes too much effort to vote in the primaries and general elections?
Then you deserve the leadership you get.
Don't whine about it.

Anonymous said...

2:22 Sometimes one parent is out of town. Chill. I vote, I attend meetings, I write letters. I CHALLENGE. I am just stating that I think this is why many parents do not attend the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't forget Matt Kluck, who stuck to his principles and kept his eye on future budgets.
Have a happy holiday, Matt, Kelly and Elaine.

Anonymous said...

2:25 good for you, but that doesn't explain 20-30% voter turn out or empty commission meetings.
Funny thing, the turf people always manage to get a turnout, don't though.
The commissioners/SB always overwhelming support for their audacious plans.

Anonymous said...

There weren't many turf people there last night and the SAB wasn't there in its entirety. Maybe not everyone thinks their methods are appropriate or maybe they felt certain they would get their $500,000 or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Correction-
Funny thing, the turf people always manage to get a decent turnout, don't they.
The commissioners/SB always proclaim they have overwhelming vocal and email support for their spending plans.

Where are the empty nesters, seniors?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone wonder if Mt Lebanon government is suffering from institutionalized sexism?

There seems to be a double standard here for the turf board/SAB, which is male dominated and went through accruing $500K plus, while ideas presented by women endure tremendous scrutiny and are often shut-down.

Anonymous said...

Your 6 readers must be trying to watch the video at the same time. It is lagging and hard to understand you. Will try again later tonight ! Glad your coming back Elaine !

Anonymous said...

3:12 uh, yes! It's more than that. Narcicism and egomania are all intertwined.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything in Mt Lebanon's Home Rule about recalling elected officals? It wouldn't be hard to recall Brummie after this.

Anonymous said...

5:01, from reading through the HR charter there are an extensive list of things that can and can't do, but the charter convenient leaves little recourse if the rules, ethics, etc., aren't followed.
Hopefully, the new charter being worked on will correct that omission, but it is highly doubtful.

E. T. Gillen said...

5:01 AM, it was John Bendel's proposal. Three commissioners voted for it. One of the commissioners, who voted against it, is leaving at the end of his term in a few weeks. The municipal manager never instructed the PIO to inform the public. The solicitor never intervened. Kelly Fraasch would be running the meetings by herself, if we are talking about ethics, rules, or recalling elected officials.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Which one of my six readers didn't vote on the lebomag.com holiday poll? There are only five votes.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Listen to Brumfield's comments on turf around the 40:30 mark of the commission record.
Has anyone ever spewed more nonsense and gobblygook than this man does in his position statement.
Oh yeah, realtor's are going to be driving perspective home buyers down Cedar to look at turf.
Are you folks really buying his case for a million dollar turfing project?
Really, you're buying that argument?
If he is correct, no one's selling their home here until the pool project and the turf projects are completed!
After all, he's convinced realtors need these wonderful amenities to close the deal on selling your home.
I guess though, he must also be convinced that anyone that has bought a home in Leboin the last 10 years is a total idiot since you paid a pretty penny - verified by the reassessment numbers in the various wards excluding #1 - and you did so with an obsolete high school, antiquated pool, and oh God that horrible, cesspole we call Wildcat/Middle Field.
You know, there truth in the old yarn, "there's a sucker born every minute."

Anonymous said...

Does anybody question the availability of "unassigned funds" in this amount? For example, could it be that items like the Spalding Circle bench don't really cost $5000? If so, then that "extra" funding goes to turf. Turf = gift to public works (forget about grass but remember to salt the roads) and rec department (less complaining about field availability and Commissioners Bendel & Brumfield (you know we are sneaky and you don't care) and Franklin (if we need an attorney, we are calling you).

Heck, in Nags Head, you can adopt/install a bench for $150.

Anonymous said...

What gives the commission the right to turn over municipal property to any organization to rent so that organization makes money?
If a field sign space is sold the money (profit) should go directly into municipal coffers, not YSA bank accounts.
Same with field naming rights.
Any money from either are not non-municipal funds!

Anonymous said...

From today's Almanac:
"Commissioner Kristen Linfante echoed Brumfield’s comments. “I believe this project will bring value to every single home, whether there are children living there or not,” she said. “These amenities do matter. It’s common sense.”

I'd love for her to describe in detail the value it brings to 'every single home' and way that 'value' is more valuable than safe streets, proper storm water handling, or numerous well-maintained grass fields?
She won't because she can't, she has no evidence to back up her claim. It is easier to spew meaningless catch phrases along with Mr. Brumfield.

"Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man [or woman, Kristen] is convinced that he [or she] is well supplied with it." - RenĂ© Descartes

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON NOV. 27 12 PM!!

Anonymous said...

I do not think driving by a turfed field in the middle of a community would be a selling point for me. The addition of advertisements would also be a turn-off for me. You don't see advertisements driving through attractive neighborhoods/towns. I've been told that these advertisements will be on the fences but that doesn't make me feel better.

Did the "Zoning Board" have anything to say about this?

Anonymous said...

"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment"
Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"

http://www.prc.org/community_visual_blight.html

Of course, Linfante's, Brumfield's, Bendel's and Franklin's "Common Sense" trumps residents' right to clean water (Ecoturf rain water runoff isn't clean) and esthetic values in our parks because they need money.And they need it badly to continue their little games.

How is it Mt. Lebanon was held in high esteem for its amenities for 100 years, but now we have to sell ad space on anything that doesn't move in those amenities and pan handle like common beggars to fund our schools, athletics and parks?

Richard Gideon said...

Two years ago I submitted to the Commission an argument against the idea that parks have a positive affect on property values for all homeowners. Part of my argument was based on an extensive whitepaper produced by none other than the National Park Service (NPS). As one might imagine, the NPS is a big promoter of parks - what they characterize as "greenways." In a document titled "Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors", the NPS stated:
"Natural open space and trails are prime attractions for potential home buyers in 1995. According to research conducted by American Lives, Inc. for the real estate industry, 77.7 per cent of all home buyers and shoppers in the study rated natural open space as either “essential” or “very important” in planned communities. Walking and bicycling paths ranked third. A community design which offers quiet and low traffic was the top ranked feature."

The facility along Cedar Boulevard qualifies as a "park" in the sense that it is an open area and has recreational facilities. But as far as property values are concerned, do all Mt. Lebanon homeowners see an economic benefit in terms of higher real estate values? The NPS provides some interesting thoughts on that subject: "The effect on property values of a location near a park or open space has been
the subject of several studies. Statistical analyses have been a common method of attempting to measure this effect. These analyses attempt to isolate the effect of open space from other variables which can affect property values, such as age, square footage, and condition of homes. Isolating the effect of open space can be difficult and results have been varied. Nevertheless, many studies have revealed increases in property values in instances where the
property is located near or adjacent to open spaces. Most studies have addressed traditional parks or greenbelts (large open space areas), though a few studies are available for greenways.
The NPS then adduced several studies to show how property values had increased when certain TYPES of parks were introduced into a community, but when on to note the following:
"The effects of proximity to open space may not be as simply quantified as in the above studies. Many studies (Brown and Connelly; Colwell, 1986) have found the potential for an increase in property value depends upon the characteristics of the open space and the orientation of surrounding properties. Property value increases are likely to be highest near those greenways which:
o highlight open space rather than highly developed facilities
o have limited vehicular access, but some recreational access
o have effective maintenance and security


Finally, the NPS White Paper identifies what it calls "nuisance parks." A nuisance park is "a highly developed and used park." In the case studies of nuisance parks property values increased the farther away the properties were located from the park.

Ms. Linfante, whose enthusiasm for the turf deal is understandable, is wrong when she says all Mt. Lebanon property owners will benefit from turfing Wildcat/Middle fields. Some property owners may benefit - but certainly not all. And there is evidence to suggest that those people living closest to the new carpeted facility may wish they lived farther away.

Richard Gideon said...

Correction to my post of November 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM: "...but when on to note..." should read "...but went on to note...".

E. T. Gillen said...

Which is why there should have been a public hearing on this. It was never advertised and the only people who knew this was coming were the sports people who received eblasts and the readers of this blog. The proposal was not publicized on any municipal media, such as the municipal website, Twitter, Facebook, mtl Magazine, or lebomag.com. Kelly Fraasch had it on her blog, but that is not an official website of Mt. Lebanon.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Elaine, so we're sure that everyone is using the same scorecard, let's play a simple game of true or false.

1. The turf proposal was on the agenda at each of the last two Commission Discussion Sessions. True or False?

2. The turf proposal was on the agenda for last meeting of the Sports Advisory Board. True or False

3. Both the Commission Discussion Sessions and the Sports Advisory Board meetings are open to the public. True or False.

4. The agendas for the Sports Advisory Meetings and the Commission Discussion Meetings are published in advance. True or False.

5. Citizens can make comments at the Sports Advisory Board meetings and at the regular Commission Meetings. True or False.

6. Only one resident - an Eagle Scout candidate - attended the last Sports Advisory Board meeting. True or False

7. On July 22, 2013, the Commission held a public hearing to accept input from the community on how best to spend the unassigned funds. True or False

8. At the July 22 public hearing, residents offered suggestions to the Commission. Of the 13 citizens who spoke that evening, 8 supported a turf project and 3 spoke in favor of sidewalks. True or false.

9. The Commission has approved the use of unassigned funds for a turf project and sidewalks along N. Meadowcroft. True or False

Dave Franklin

Anonymous said...

No, no, Mr. Gideon, Ms. Linfante was adamant that turf will bring value to every single home with children or not.
If she said it, its only 'common sense' that you believe it!
Trouble is, there's a big following of sheeple that hang on everything she, Bendel, Brumfield and Franklin say.
Be prepared... Comments about anonymous post being worthless should be arrivng soon.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Franklin, everyone was told Brafferton Field was going to receive substantial improvements, personally I thought they had already been started, and the pool renovation was capped at $3.3 million.
Which is not. Its not evenoving ahead at the claimed $4.1 million since several item have been moved off bid.
So knock off the deceiption.

Anonymous said...

Posted on Lebocitizens June 22, 2013, Mr. Franklin.

"On Monday, the Turf Board will be making a presentation on, you guessed it - artificial turf. They will try to tell you that a vote was taken, but there wasn't a vote taken. There was a push for turf. When Joy Pajak, representing Women's Golf asked for some upgrades to the golf course, she was shot down by Guess Who because holes 4 and 5 were upgraded. Remember, the golf course brings in revenue. Also, keep in mind that Brafferton Field was changed into a multi use field including lacrosse. The YSA presentation concluded that there were no slots available for lacrosse and so the push for lights and artificial turf on Wildcat and Middle Fields. Listen to the SAB meeting where it was suggested that the municipality GIVE money to the school district for lighting and turfing Mellon Field."

The SAB suggested the municipality give money for lighting and turfing Mellon?!
Then why are we back Middle/Wildcat
and Brafferton won't be developed as a multi-use facility?

Anonymous said...

As late Mr. Franklin, as late October 9, 2013, Elaine reported the following: 

"The day after the 100 year Lebo storm"

"A very long discussion about Brafferton Field with bids coming in too high. Dave Brumfield and John Bendel thought that it would be better to turf an existing field. Of course. Dave wants Mellon and John wants Wildcat. Blah blah blah. You can hear it on the recordings.

Steve Feller will be recommending another bond issue for next year. I was so punchy that you need to watch the meeting for more details."

Resident can't possibly  follow the plan du jour without a scorecard, Mr. Franklin.
Maybe LeboFields can start issuing them.
Starting with the dollar amounts of the "non-municipal" money coming in as well as the source!

Anonymous said...

5:49, you can include me and the entire sports advisory board in "everyone". I can assure you that we are equally frustrated about how Brafforton turned out. Unfortunately, we don't control the estimates and we certainly don't control the contractor bids. We all wish that Brafforton was going forward as planned. If you could tell me the source of the deception, I will make every effort to contact them on Friday. Unfortunately, the reality is that the bids came in way over the estimates. Sorry, no conspiracy theory.

6:10, you're correct. Many on the sports advisory board did prefer Mellon, simply because it is the most in need of improvement. Unfortunately, Commissioner Fraasch and some residents (Elaine included) raised a huge fuss over the fact that the municipality would even think to contribute funding for the school district property. In the end, given those objections, it was easier to proceed with Middle and Wildcat for this project. Perhaps they can explain why they were so resistant to Mellon.

From a space perspective, Middle and Wildcat certainly provide us with greater field slots, especially for the younger age groups you can play multiple soccer games at the same time.

Dave Franklin

Anonymous said...

Don't try to skew the conversation Mr. Franklin. I never accussed anyone of deceptiion! Never made it and I will now say you are trying to make one by accusing me of making the claim.
As of Oct. 9th, Brafferton bids were coming in too high.
So in a little over a month Brafferton's scrapped, Mellon's scrapped and a cost estimate for a Wildcat/Middle has been developed.
That is funny. Considering the commission set aside what was it... $68,000 months ago to improve pedestrian safety in the Washington Road crosswalk and they still don't have a plan.
C'mon Mr. F, you're making me laugh with your silly remarks.
So, how long Dave until the Bendel plan bids come in over $1,000,000?
Hey they missed wildly on Brafferton's plan, you saidthey did!
Tell me why I should believe Bendel's numbers????

Anonymous said...

The turf on Cedar Boulevard will not be an attraction. The turf proponents would like to keep up the Jones in neighboring areas. Using USC as an example, their turfed high school stadium field and middle school field are not observable from a road, especially from one that goes right through their town. USC also has infinitely more open green space. USC does not have advertisements hanging around the turfed field. The new Mt Lebanon turfed field will not be the same and feels like green space/nature is being carpeted in a divided community. In a society that suffers from climate change, children with nature-deficits, and in a county with alarming air pollution, turfing green space that helps off-set these problems, does not get my vote. Mt Lebanon should seek to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Lebo Fields said...

7:09, rather than ruining my holiday weekend trying to reason with your babble, I'll simply sign off. I'm certainly not going to change your mind, so it doesn't seem worth the effort at this point to try. I would however invite you to attend any one of our future SAB meetings, where you can freely ask all of your questions and listen to the answers in person.

Dave Franklin

Anonymous said...

He gets his turf and doesn't want to ruin his holiday weekend. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

Babble Mr. Franklin, sez who? You?

Run away! Run away!

Anonymous said...

I was at a meeting that Commissioner Frasch was discussing the turf with residents. She said at that meeting she preferred Mellon over Wildcat. Another meeting my wife attended Commissioner Frasch said again that she would only support a turf project that was eco-friendly, with significant private contribution and at Mellon. One of the budget meetings Commissioner Frasch asks why Mellon was taken out of consideration. Did you ever ask Commissioner Frasch, Mr. Franklin or are you making up stories again?

Lebo Fields said...

"Around the same time, turfing a field began to come up. Specifically, turfing Mellon Middle School. I wasn’t keen on the idea. It wouldn’t add any new space, it would be costly, and I wasn’t sure if we could afford turfing Mellon and taking care of our other Municipal fields the way I felt needed to happen. I began having discussions with other Commissioners and I knew we all had an uphill process that was going to be long."

Kelly Fraasch, September 19, 2012

Anonymous said...

Dave Franklin.

1. Residents approached the Ward 1 commissioner with a safety need and he did not tell them about the unassigned funds. True/False

End of story.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Franklin Esq. What are you doing?
You got turf at Middle & Wildcat. True or False?
You're simply signing off. True or False?
Why are you in attack mode?

Anonymous said...

Because a comment hit to close to home, I'd imagine and I'm betting the one questioning the accuracy of the intial $1,000,000 estimate sent Mr. Franklin into deflect mode.
It cost more than a million to intially turf a standard football field.
Doing two fields first time (grading, waterlines, stormdrains, etc.,) for multi- purpose has got to be more than $1,000,000.

Anonymous said...

Don't let Franklin set the game rules, he doesn't have the only ball.

Dave, enjoy your Thanksgiving Turkey. We'll joust later.

Anonymous said...

Funny Dave continually chimes in about how irrelevant Elaine's blog is, how it only reaches a miniscule audience and that anonymous commenters have nothing to say.
But he never misses an opportunity to dismiss a conmment, deflect a question or bring up a new topic.

Lebo Fields said...

Residents approached the Ward 1 commissioner with a safety need and the Commission allocated $100,000 for the installation of sidewalks. And they've been installed. The system works.

Anonymous said...

10:20 Thanks to blogs the workings of the system have been illuminated. Without the blogs, there wouldn't be sidewalks 50% off.

Anonymous said...

I thought you signed off for the holiday, Mr. Franklin?
There's so much babble here regarding turf that youor someone using Lebo Fields felt this compelling need to bring up Ward 1 sidewalks!

Anonymous said...

Question for the commissioners.
A unifying look to park signs was a topic in the discussion meeting.
Shouldn't revenue 'from' sign space rental go toward the cost of the unified park signs rather than for YSA's non-municipal money contribution?

John David Kendrick said...

Everyone needs to remember that Mr Franklin told all of us [on BlogLebo] years ago that he does not believe that anyone has a right to own a home.

Mr. Franklin believes that home ownership is a privilege that comes with responsibilities.

Mr Franklin has once again reaffirmed his belief that one of the conditions of home ownership in Mt Lebanon requires every property owner to pay for the proclivities of the athletic community - like turf.

Mr Franklin does not share our beliefs or our values.

Arguing with Mr Franklin is pointless.

I hope that some of you will take the initiative to get involved, to get elected and make a positive difference in Mt Lebanon.

Richard Gideon said...

Since Mr. Kendrick brought up home ownership I thought it would be appropriate to offer to Lebo Citizens Blog readers the following video from the Reason Foundation. Enjoy, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The Pilgrims and Property Rights: How our ancestors got fat & happy

E. T. Gillen said...

Where is the proposal posted? Only here on Lebo Citizens and on Commissioner Fraasch's unofficial blog. Nowhere else. John Bendel couldn't even sign his name to it. He had David Donnellan present it.

Harry Funk writes in the PG, $750,000 OK'd for athletic field upgrades in Mt. Lebanon "The proposed field-enhancement project, at an estimated cost of $999,700, would cover 110,000 square feet of surfaces on the Middle and Wildcat fields in the Main Park complex, off Cedar Boulevard." Here is an estimate from a turf company.

According to this contractor, which would be bidding on the Mt. Lebanon fields, the organic fill alone is $1.21 million, so you can say goodbye to the organic fill. Now just the regular turf alone is $990,000. That is why John Bendel would not remove the word "preferred," Kelly, as in Organic Infill Preferred. So like the Brafferton project, this will come in higher than expected. Who pays for that? Everyone knows the answer to that question.

Today is Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so much, including my family, my friends, and for all the wonderful people I have connected with through this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could sell MtL magazine for $1,000,000.00 and use the proceeds to pay for turf? Let's eliminate several problems simultaneously!

Anonymous said...

I honestly am mystified by what is going on with this plan to turf fields here. Our kids have played sports for years with the amenities we already have in Mt. Lebanon. They grow up, move on and it is a blip on the life radar. The investment in turf that will require ongoing maintenance along with the environmental concerns don't justify this. We are getting a high-end public pool, when is enough simply enough?

As for JDK's suggestion about elections, it doesn't appear that either party here is effectively representing the center. The D majority is pretty far out there when it comes to fiscal responsibility on the commission and the R party can't win a seat given the D majority voter registrations. Add to that the stagnant RCML that just won't change with the times. I worked hard for Jack Doyle, a very qualified candidate with all the time in the world to dedicate himself to working hard for the community. Certainly Steve is also capable, but I don't think Jack ever had a chance given the registration numbers.

Nothing will get reined in here until the voters engage rather than pull the lever. It will take a long time to turn this trend here around.

In the meantime, I will keep the craziness at an arm's length and focus on the good things going on for now because until the politics of Mt. Lebanon change nothing else will.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and God Bless!

-Charlotte Stephenson

E. T. Gillen said...

The Trib reports: Mt. Lebanon requires match for money to instll artificial turf on playing fields

Next year's estimate for unassigned funds is over a million dollars. Do you think we're being overtaxed? I do.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

One final thought...while many do not agree with the content of this blog (I do not always agree with what is being published either), it is currently one of the few checks and balances our community currently has.

Elaine consistently brings current issues to light and provides an alternate view. Many readers cannot attend meetings or watch the broadcast, nor are they willing to speak with media. The above Trib article is a great example of how citizens who are willing to engage can make a difference by presenting a thought-provoking alternate view.

Don't quit, Elaine.

-Charlotte Stephenson

Anonymous said...

Yea Dave, what are you doing? We got the turf.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Franklin for once be honest!

From the Trib: "Franklin said he is glad to have the municipal commitment to a project, which he could point to when soliciting corporate and private donations.
The Mt. Lebanon School District also is in the midst of a campaign to raise $6 million toward capital improvements and programs of its own.

“The rest of it is up to us,” he said. “We'd never had a project before that we could go out and ask about, and sell. I was a salesman without a product.”"



You're glad to have the municipality commit to a project that he could point to.

What was the municipality's $1,000,000 commitment to the McNeilly property? It didn't work because your corporate and private donors didn't find enough prestige in the ill-defined, ill-prepared, hair-brained scheme.

Now we're about to embark on amnother hastily prepared scheme for Franklin to put his name too.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving eveeybody. Hope those Lebo girls playing in a turket bowl on a snowy unturfed field didn't bang into each other too much or feel tool beprived for not having turf.

A game clip was shown on KDKA news.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to amend the proposal for turf. I think we need to rename both fields "Franklin field" and "Brumfield field" so we remember where to go with the tar and feathers when we have to raise taxes to replace them.

Chuck Bachorski said...

Let’s all take a step back and look at the proposal as it was written. As I understand it, the project will not move forward unless the youth sports associations bring $240,970 to the table to cover the difference between the municipal allocation of $750,000 and the actual cost estimate of $999,700. Based on 3600 participants (up from 2900 as shown in the 2012 YSA Field Project Analysis), this equates to an additional $66.94 per child per sport. If a child participates in an average of 2 sports each year, the additional cost incurred is about $134. So, if a family has two children playing 2 sports each, then the family is looking at an extra cost of $268/year, just to pay the difference for the original turf installation. Unless there is substantial fundraising done, this one time cost would need to be assessed in the upcoming year.

Furthermore, if you use another $600,000 for each replacement cycle, each of the 3600 participants will need to cover about $21 dollars each year over a period of eight years. This can be done by adding a nominal amount to the annual registration fee schedule.

Upon reviewing the 2012 turf proposals supplied by the YSA, the estimated square footage for the turfed area ranged from 96,295sft. to 120,000 sft. The bids ran from $757,400 to $987,000 excluding engineering, permits, additional lighting, foul poles and fencing. I do not think that lighting was included in the most recent fund designation by the commissioners. This will probably add about $250,000 to $300,000 to the project.

My point is that those who want this project to go forward will need to open their checkbooks and pay up, or do some serious fundraising. Based on past performance, little Johnny and Sally can’t knock on enough doors to beg for donations to cover this difference. Either the sports organizations better find a corporate sponsor or sell a lot of signage for the fences. The question here is at an average of $500/sign, they would need to sell about 500 signs to cover this difference. Is there enough fencing at the fields to handle this volume?

In short, it may take a while for the "Field of Dreams" to become a reality.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Franklin you weren't a salesman without a product.
You were a salesman for an expensive product, that few people want and even fewer want to pay for.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bachorski, you're omitting that Donnellan suggested the school district might come up with $200,000 to throw in the pot. Which would probably be booked as non-municipal funds.
Though I don't know where a school district that just struggled to trim all the fat from the budget will come up with $200,000.
The other item to consider is that nowhere does it say that $240,970 has to be cash on the barrel head.
The YSA could pledge it and just fall short after the project starts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bachoski, just thinking of all those poor realtors that won't be selling Lebo homes if your scenario holds true.
How will they ever convince prospective home buyers to settle here without turf???
Salesman Franklin better get his schitick in gear bringing in donors.

E. T. Gillen said...

I don't believe there is a YSA anymore. I heard that the sports groups now have a $12/player windfall. If that is the case, then the school district is out the field maintenance money from YSA. In addition, the YSA had pledged $200,000 to be paid over ten years to Mt. Lebanon for their last proposal for Middle and Wildcat.

The signage revenue was originally going to be raised by YSA. Then it was supposed to be the Sports Advisory Board. But when I questioned why it was a bust, it turns out that the municipality decided to solicit the revenue and blamed the poor intern from the PIO for only getting the one sign. So now, we're back to the SAB again, only after hearing that it will go toward their share of the non-municipal contribution.
I am still waiting for Chip Dalesandro to drop off the paperwork that he had up at his house from Jan Klein saying that YSA paid in full.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

What about the $7,000,000 pledge?

E. T. Gillen said...

$8,000,000, not $7,000,000.

Chuck Bachorski said...

Was there a sunset clause put on the fundraising timetable for the SAB/sports associations? If the final proposals are not drafted, this should be a part of the deal. If the fundraising deadline is not met, then the funds revert back to the general fund. This will hold the associations accountable for their portion of the total expenditure.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if competitive fundraising from the school district, and the municipality/sports folks, is healthy for our community.

Given Mr. Franklin Esquire's and Chip Dalesandro's record of fund raising promises I don't see the commission/sports folks proposal as a positive for the school district's campaign.

It would be a shame if Mr. Franklin's plan backfired on the district's plan. If it does backfire, I wouldn't want to live in this town if my name were Franklin, Dalesandro, Brumfield, Linfante, or Bendel.

This turf and pool plan could turn out to be a real turkey.

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.

John Ewing

Anonymous said...

Picture this ad appearing in the next edition of Mt. Lebanon magazine.

[graphic]

A photo of 3 or 4 angelic 2nd grade boys and girls doe-eyed, looking up with sad faces, mud spatter hair, damp, grass-stained soccer jerseys and shorts, drooping socks, standing ankle- deep in a quagmire of mud, dead grass and puddles of water.

In the background a realtor and house-hunting family turn away in disgust.

[text]

Won't you save the lives of these poor, young MTL athletes?
Today, they're locked into a life of sports depravity where every day might mean playing soccer, lacrosse or football on a field full of mud and grass. Or worse yet, not playing at all.

Won't you please help? Give these young, potential professional athletes hope! Your monthly contribution of $100, $200 or more to the Bendel, Brumfield, Linfante and Franklin Turf Their World Fund will assure these kids that they have facilities better than USC, Cranberry, Peters and that young families will continue to purchase over-priced Mt. Lebanon homes.

So please save the young athletes and write your checks today!

Anonymous said...

Since Dave B has a history of losing taxpayer's money HOW will we know if this SAB actually pays a dime? There is a bright side to all this... Dave B's dream of being a State Senator is now OVER! Even his three friends will dump him when taxes are increased because of HIS pool and turf.

Anonymous said...

I smell a few lawsuits a coming. Wonder which side Dave B will side with? Surely NOT taxpayers... You would think that Dave would learn from what is happening to his "God" Obama by being caught in all his lies. Guess not! Time to DEMAND an outside audit!