Friday, November 22, 2013

Son of a bitch!

Sorry for my crudeness, but this is bullshit. November 25, 2013 Commission meeting agenda

John Bendel will be introducing this at Tuesday Monday night's meeting:

JB 9. Consideration to assign funds for athletic field improvements.

The Commission would like to establish a process for funding field enhancements at Middle/Wildcat field. The project scope and opinion of cost was prepared by the Municipal Engineer and involves the installation of artificial turf covering the entire field surface, including the infields and outfields.

The Commission prefers to install a turf product with organic infill.

The Municipality will establish a team led by the Recreation Director with representation from the School District, Gateway Engineering and representatives from the Sports Advisory Board. The team will:

● Create a strategy for field use and fee structure to cover the annual field use fee
● Develop a strategy for funding the initial non­municipal share
● Draft a maintenance agreement with the School District
● Develop a list of turf vendors, including those offering organic infill
● Create an RFP schedule with construction targeted to begin by August 1, 2014
● Present  recommendations  to  the  Sports  Advisory  Board  (SAB)  and  Commission  by February 11, 2014

In total, the Commission intends to allocate $750,000 in municipal funds for the turf project, including $637,400 by action at tonight’s meeting. The remaining $112,600 will be considered in a separate motion at a future Commission meeting.

Recommended Action: Move to: (a) Remove the assignment of $137,400 from the Brafferton project and transfer it for field enhancements, and (b) Assign $500,000 from the unassigned fund balance for field enhancements.


113 comments:

Damion Deringer said...

Wow, unbelievable that this is really going to happen. I wonder if everyone that has repeat flooding issues feels that steam roller going right over them. If a certain commissioner votes "yes" to this, it will almost guarantee my decision to run. Not only is this a misuse of funds, it is also bad for the environment. How dare they waste money on a pet project.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Sleepy Hollow Rd storm sewer project supposed to start November 2013?

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a song-

"Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in

In their styes with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon"

Damion Deringer said...

Everyone needs to email the commissioners your thoughts opposing this misuse of funds. If we get enough, we can maybe add to the voice of the opposition.

Anonymous said...

Funny, how Remely declared they had cut all the fat out of the school district budget and to balance the budget they'd have to cut into the meat.
Now they have money to spare to pay for municipal field maintenance.
More BS!

Anonymous said...

How much do you want to bet the strategy for Funding the initial nonmumicipal share includes turning over field sign revenue and naming rights to the YSA, which they'll claim as "THEIR" contribution to funding turf.

E. T. Gillen said...

I am in the process of doing that, Damion. Send emails to commission@mtlebanon.org

I suggest everyone listen/watch Monday, November 18, 2013 budget review. Start at the 1:10:00 mark or so.
November 18, 2013 Budget review
I haven't listened to the whole thing, but revenue generating and the TOD were high priorities, not turfing fields, Dave, Kristen, and John. How can you use unassigned funds for a sixteen year proposal? This is insane.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

● Develop a strategy for funding the initial non municipal share

Damn, I must really be a stupid friggin' idiot, but if it's is a "non-municipal share" why are the commissioners and the municipal public employees involved and using hours on the public clock to develop a strategy for funding of this "non-municipal share".

The YSA has at times promised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards turf. It is their friggin' problem how they come up with it.

The only strategy the municipality should be debating is -- do they want the "non-municipal share" in a check or cash!
Plus, any public employee using municipal time on this task should be reprimanded and possibly fired since I believe there are codes in the Homerule Charter that prohibit the use of public time on non-public matters.

Anonymous said...

No municipal employee that I know of is classified in their job duties to work on non-municipal funding strategies.
Show us the classification of such a municipal employee Mr. Bendel!

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem is that 90% of Mt Lebanon residents have NO IDEA that this is occurring. I only learned of this blog and how (some of the) money is managed in this municipality in July. I think a "DID YOU KNOW... " flyer might help and it could be posted in parks, on telephone polls, etc. with the Commission address etc.

E. T. Gillen said...

According to Dave Brumfield, that isn't true. I will put this up in two parts. This part will include my letter to the commissioners, part two will contain Brumfield's response.
Elaine

I am extremely disappointed with the Commission. At one time, the commissioners were highly respected in Mt. Lebanon. Now, the commission majority is representing a very small portion of our population. The unassigned funds are not to be blown on your pet project, Dave, Kristen, and John.

You want to fund a sixteen year proposal with unassigned funds. That is ludicrous. When do the people get their say on this? Are you really representing your constituents or just some of them?

To form a team, comprised of the Sports Advisory Board members, which will be developing a strategy to present to themselves, is a joke. I have been saying that this is a done deal from Day 1. You turned away a beautiful skatepark which the majority of the funds were going to be donated. I guess I should be thankful that you are allowing kids to skateboard in the street. Thanks.

Elaine Gillen

Dave's response follows.

E. T. Gillen said...

Dave Brumfield's response:
Ms. Gillen,

You have shown yet again a complete disassociation with the facts. Improvements to the fields was on our strategic plan agenda each of the last two years. Four commissioners have supported turfing either Middle or Mellon this year. And that you believe that the commission did anything to turn away Pitcher Park is ludicrous. Kelly and I both pushed hard for the park. Fact is they never wanted to be here they were just using us.

As a matter of fact Pitcher park fit in with my hopes to someday be part of the recreation complex that the turf you so hate will be part of. The turf at middle, along with the work on the pool, tennis center and high school we will have a jewel to show home buyers who are weighing our community against others. And we did this without raising taxes, while still following the recommended programs for street and storm sewer repair, and while adding a police officer dedicated to stemming the tide of the drug problem.

And to attack us for using unassigned funds when we could use debt is just laughable. Why would you have us pay interest when we do not have to.

The fact remains that my constituents want recreational improvements. Perhaps the reason this as a done deal from day 1 is because hundreds if not thousands of households supported it steadfastly for years. Please understand your views are not shared by the vast majority of my ward. We are mainly families that are in the first house they ever bought. We either have kids or have watched them grow up. Our priority is our neighborhood not our own selfish concerns. Even those whose days of using fields is long gone, or never came overwhelmingly support this measure for their neighbors and friends. And they are the reason I will be doing this job for 4 more years.

Dave Brumfield

Damion Deringer said...

Well, 6:54 PM, you can always email me at damionaderinger@gmail.com and if we get enough people together we can hopefully be able to inform the 90%. I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or other, we can all find common ground especially in local government. So please everyone that wants to make a difference email me and let's see what we can do together and bring the lost souls of lebo back into the fold.

Anonymous said...

With hundreds, if not thousands of Mt. Lebanon households supporting your turf plans, raising hundreds of thousands of "non-municipal" fundimg dollars.

Anonymous said...

Omitted text at 7:26

..... raising hundreds of thousands of "non-municipal" funding dollars should be a breeze, right Commisioner Brumfield?

E. T. Gillen said...

6:54 PM, there isn't much time. This is set for Monday.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

How can one person delude themselves that they haven't raised taxes by planning on using future undesignated tax dollars to pay for turf?

Anonymous said...

Where is this turf proposal, Elaine? I only see it on your Blog. Has there been any publicitiy on the Municipal Blogs?

E. T. Gillen said...

8:28 PM,the only other place I have seen the turf proposal posted is on Kelly Fraasch's blog. http://www.kellyfraasch.com/2013/11/13/turf-proposal-for-wildcatmiddle/
There has been nothing on the municipal website, no LeboAlert, nothing on Facebook or Twitter, nothing on Kristen Linfante's blog since 12-16-12. Brumfield still has "Field Failure" on his blog from more than a year ago. Bendel has nothing and it is his presentation. Matt Kluck is finishing his term next month. Lebo Fields, Dave Franklin's blog, was last updated January 29, 2013.

Not sure how people are supposed to know about this unless they read this blog.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

PA Municipal Planning Code.
Anonymous.


http://mpc.landuselawinpa.com/MPCode.pdf

Anonymous said...

Amendments.
Anonymous.


http://mpc.landuselawinpa.com/MPC_amendments.pdf

Anonymous said...

The tyranny of a scoundrelly aristocracy.
- W.M. Thackeray

Anonymous said...

Brumfield claims hundreds if not thousands of households support this plan!
What'd he do, go door-to-door describing it to them.
Hold secret presentations and just a few wingnuts weren't invited?
Send out blanket emails of the plan to select individuals?
Please explain Commissioner Hot Air, how you got this specific plan out to the community and how you got a fair appraisal from your constituents?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd love to know if Mr. Brumfield took an official survey. How do you suppose his plan would fare if it went to a referendum vote?

As for Pitcher Park, I passed by it last week and it is looking darn good. And guess what---the residents of Carnegie aren't paying for it.

Anonymous said...

So, ALL of the other fields will remain AS IS due to this plan? And the problem is that ALL of the other fields have problems?

So, basically ALL of the unassigned funds will go to the turf, with advertisements, with school/educational funding, and with tremendous reliance on non-municipal funds and contributions yearly from sports teams.

I think there is a field envy problem here. But if residents really wanted huge, state of the art fields, wouldn't we have moved to Cranberry? Sure their fields are nice but not important enough for anyone to move there.

However, there are some issues here that bother residents enough to move and I am pretty darn sure field conditions aren't among them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Brumfield and fellow commissioners, as 9:24 suggest, put you plan and all its details to a referendum and we'll see if its as popular as you claim.

E. T. Gillen said...

I am confused by a few things that Dave Brumfield wrote.
"And to attack us for using unassigned funds when we could use debt is just laughable. Why would you have us pay interest when we do not have to." When did I say to spend a million dollars on turf? Where did I suggest that the commission should use debt?

"The fact remains that my constituents want recreational improvements." YOUR constituents just got a $4.1 million dollar pool project. You did a bait and switch. Kelly is right. That bond was supposed to be used for the pool, the golf course, and for Robb Hollow. Why aren't the unassigned funds going toward the projects which were to be funded by a bond. We were misled.

Where IS this being advertised? Why is there no public hearing on this million dollar project?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

That's the whole point! No resident knows Anything until its a done deal. It is shameful the commissioners are listed on the mtlebanon.org sit, but nothing about what's going on within the commission.

Then everything that is heard is by word of mouth.

As in a previous case, a resident led the way to change an ordinance and got backing by lying.

Better use could be made at Mt. Lebo org as well as channels 17 and 34. They just don't want transparency.

E. T. Gillen said...

Another thing on the agenda is Number 11.
Consideration of bids for solid waste and recycling.

They aren't even giving us a hint on that one. That is about Pay As You Throw.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

So, in a way Kelly Fraasch was duped? Is it go along to get along for her?

Anonymous said...

There is construction equipment and piles of rock in the parking area of the park.

E. T. Gillen said...

11:00 PM, why don't you watch the budget video from Monday night before you make that statement?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Keep repeating this to yourself and pretty soon you'll begin to believe it too.

"A new fee is NOT a tax hike!"
"A new fee is NOT a tax hike!"
"A new fee is NOT a tax hike!"
"A new fee is NOT a tax hike!"
"A new fee is NOT a tax hike!"

Anonymous said...

Or.... to paraphrase the Commissioner...

... Spending taxes already raised is way different than raising taxes to spend...

just as is...

...raising taxes to replace already raised taxes spent on a want, when the raising is really for a need...

Richard Gideon said...

Last week I had a very cordial telephone conversation with Dave Franklin concerning the turf issue. He confirmed Commissioner Bendel's numbers, which have been published on this Blog. He also told me that the Municipality's $750,000 expenditure on the project was contingent upon receiving the field sports groups contribution of $250,000. Consequently it is not the amount of money that is the issue in this thread; it is how they are going about getting it.

All along I have objected to the use of public money for a project that is not, in my opinion, an essential service of local government. This is definitely a minority opinion; even people who might otherwise agree with me on many issues feel "parks and recreation" are public obligations. OK. Then on a priority scale, does this project warrant our municipality spending three-quarters of a million dollars? I would suggest it does not. The sports groups will argue that carpeting Wildcat/Middle fields will not take away money from essential infrastructure projects, and will attract new residents to Mt. Lebanon. I am skeptical on both counts. I have not seen one shred of evidence that there are hordes of people, or even a dozen or more, camped outside the borders of Mt. Lebanon waiting for this project to become a done deal before they move in.

To the field sports organizations I would advance the following question: "If there was available field space for your groups to use, does it make a difference to you where it is located and who owns it?"

As far as I'm concerned this entire turf thing is symptomatic of a much more important issue: is it moral to use the force of local government to provide entertainment facilities to a relative handful residents? Applying libertarian moral standards to this question I would have to answer "no." Again, let me say that I realize that by taking this position I'm in the minority. Even so, how many residents would not object to a armed man coming to their doors, pointing a gun in their faces, and demanding money, not for his own use, but in order to give it to the poor? An extreme example, perhaps. Still, in both cases the "ends" may be noble, but the "means" leaves much to be desired.

Anonymous said...

This is a great deal for Mt. Lebanon IF AND ONLY IF the Municipality's contribution is capped at $750K and the sports organizations actually contribute $250k. Those are nice round numbers and easy to remember. Remember them.

E. T. Gillen said...

Is it a deal to spend $750,000 on the nicest field in the municipality? Is it a deal to use up the unassigned funds for a want? Is it a deal for the commission to ram this through without a public hearing? Is it a deal to spend $5 million on a pool and turf? Is it a deal to cover fields that could be flooded every year? Is it a deal to the neighbors who have to put up with the increased traffic? Is it a deal for those whose homes get flooded every year? Is it a deal to the State who was promised to develop Robb Hollow to release us from the McNeilly fiasco? Is it a deal for those who use the golf course? Is it a deal for the senior citizens who have been overtaxed to pay for all of this?
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

And we still don't know if the commission is going with PAYT. Where is all that money going when we start paying a fee for our garbage?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

The $250,000 should not include money from state grants. If Miller and Smith have money to pass out, or if the town applies for grants, it should go for essential government services. The $250,000 should be cold hard cash from Brumfield and his band of merry friends. Not a take away from the other taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

12:50 you hit the nail on the head.
While money (WAM perhaps) from either Smith or Miller technically might be non-municipal funds, it is still money derived from taxes and not from YSA.
The same goes for money derived from field sign or naming rights. The sports groups do not 'own' those to collect money from them.
Hopefully no one has forgotten the old Joint Maintenance Agreement and how the YSA had a hard time fulfilling their financial end of that agreement.
I believe it was Mr. Gideon that uncovered the tax records for the YSA. If memory serves they have nothing close to $250,000 to put in the pot.

Anonymous said...

Funny...mr. Brumfield didn't mention anything about turf...
http://www.thealmanac.net/article/20131029/NEWS/131029933#.UpEj4cu9KSM

Anonymous said...

I'll concede that children are influenced by their parents but even my athletic children see the environmental impact of turfing the fields. One child just said to me, "Some day all of the fields will be turfed... they just don't want to take care of them".

Anonymous said...

"Running unopposed in Ward 4 is current commissioner Dave Brumfield. Brumfield said his biggest focus for his second term as commissioner is make a concerted effort for the board to think of the long-term issues affecting the township, especially infrastructure.

We need to set things in place to take care of items like road reconstruction and storm water management so that future commissioners will always be in the position to take care of infrastructure needs said Brumfield." (The Almanac 10/29/13)

You see -- Turf was the biggest focus of his first term. Now that that Turf is in the bag, he will move on to the "needs" of the rest of mount lebanon.

Believe that? Great! There is a bridge over horsman we want to sell y'inz.

You see -- we need the money, because Brumfield raided the piggy bank and he doesn't like to raise taxes. Only, he never said this either.

Anonymous said...

$500,000 from the "unassigned" balance for this nonsense? Better rally the troops, Elaine.

Anonymous said...

With a free spending democrat commission where is the MTL Republican Committee that should be rallying the troops.
Where's the Allegheny County committee? The state committee?
The Rs are a joke.

Anonymous said...

So am I reading that the the committee that is being formed to consider turf does not include members of the ESB or any licensed health professionals?

How can we trust that the environmental or health impacts of this endeavor are being considered? Likewise, how can we trust that if elevated lead or some other sort of carcinogen is within the turfed field that concerns will be heard and remedied? We can't.

http://awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com/2010/11/parks-dept-removes-citys-first.html

E. T. Gillen said...

I can't do any more than I am doing, 7:22 PM.

Where else do you get a guy running unopposed, promising to take care of road reconstruction and storm water management, but then railroads turf onto constituents. The Almanac wrote that Dave is a volunteer with Mt. Lebanon Lacrosse Association. No conflict of interest there. No sir!

John Bendel has been coaching baseball or basketball for at least 11 years. Smartvoter.org
No conflict of interest there either.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Due to not having money for the McNeilly swap, the calculation you DON'T see is the $10 million that will be needed from taxpayers to develop McNeilly in the future.

This was one of Kelly's finest accomplishments, getting the State and Commission to agree to allow the taxpayers of Mt. Lebanon to be released from the fiasco that was McNeilly and turn Robb Hollow into a usable park instead (at a very low cost- especially compared to what it would take to turn McNeilly into the same).

Now it seems that Dave and John have both decided to publicly screw her over by using the funds that would develop Robb Hollow on turf instead.

There is no doubt that Dave and John are listening to their sports buddies that helped get them elected. I get that. Quid pro quo. But to decide to do this project at the expense of one of colleagues and end up costing taxpayers literally millions of dollars more in the end is just insane.

I have heard rumors recently that Kelly submitted her resignation to the Mt Lebanon Democrat Committee. Is this why?

Maybe its time for some real Democrats to speak up? Do you want your money spent on fake grass or on making a waste of land into a natural, usable park?

I know what the ward 2 residents would prefer. They'd certainly take a park. Ward 5, you think they are looking forward to the nightmare of a project turfing at Middle will cause?

Anonymous said...

Does Dave Franklin throw Commissioner Brumfield to the wolves?
Elaine writes:
"I am confused by a few things that Dave Brumfield wrote. 
"And to attack us for using unassigned funds when we could use debt is just laughable. Why would you have us pay interest when we do not have to." When did I say to spend a million dollars on turf?"
Then:
"Richard Gideon said...
Last week I had a very cordial telephone conversation with Dave Franklin concerning the turf issue. He confirmed Commissioner Bendel's numbers, which have been published on this Blog. He also told me that the Municipality's $750,000 expenditure on the project was contingent upon receiving the field sports groups contribution of $250,000."

Now either Commissioner Brumfield is incapable of adding two numbers together- $750,000+$250,000=$1,000,000 or he thinks he's a master of deception or he's illiterate and can't read Bendel's plan.

Either way, Franklin hangs him out to dry.

E. T. Gillen said...

7:40 AM, they are publicly screwing her over TWICE. The rec bond was to include Robb Hollow. If you watch the budget meeting from November 18, you will see her asking for unassigned funds to be spent on Robb Hollow since the rec bond was spent on climbing walls and whatever else David Donnellan insisted that we have. David Donnellan also sits on the Turf Board.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Let me clarify that the part about climbing walls and David Donnellan's wants were from me. Kelly only asked to have unassigned funds spent on Robb Hollow since the bond money is being spent on the pool.

I have not heard that rumor, 7:40 AM. What a loss for the Mt. Lebanon Democratic Committee, if it is true. We need to start a new committee, but that is for another thread another day.

Dave Brumfield, John Bendel, and Kristen Linfante are publicly screwing over Mt. Lebanon, not just Kelly Fraasch.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the public servants like Donnellan and Morgans and others that advise and market the turf planners.
Its like one big circle jerk, to put it crassly.

E. T. Gillen said...

So how many will be showing up tomorrow evening? Or am I going to be the only one again?
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Then Dave Franklin can shoot off his mouth again here saying that my blog isn't as influential as I think it is. I bust my butt here and then he gets the last laugh and his damn turf.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

With everyone focused on the Thanksgiving holiday, sub-freezing temperatures who is thinking about sports fields, natural or turf?
Couple that with the fact that THE community magazine doesn't report anything, pro or con about turfing.
Why? Isn't a $1,000,000 expenditure important enough for inclusion in the magazine?

E. T. Gillen said...

I have been asked about the parking garage next to the municipal building. It is open. Parking is free if the meeting goes past 10 PM.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Can you take democrats, local or national, at face value?

http://triblive.com/mobile/5124190-96/harry-majority-obama

Then their is "If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance."

We'll see if Brumfield votes to approve Bendel's a $1,000,000 turf plan. Bet he does!

Anonymous said...

The commission will need 3/5 votes for this turf plan to pass. They operate on favors so if one commission wants deer addressed, like Kristen, she might say, "I'll vote for your turf in return". This is the way they get their special needs met.

So Kristen, it's time for this practice to change. Bendel and Brumfield are NOT going to help you with the deer. They are not going to help anyone with anything except TURF. They are lying to you. They also aren't supporting your PAYT.

Kelly knows they lie and from listening to the discussion on this topic from the last meeting, it's clear they "blindsided" her with the turf plan while dismissing all the hard work she put into promoting the new park, which included going all the way to Harrisburg to negotiate an exchange of ownership with the state.

I can pnly hope that Matt Kluck recognizes that the majority of Mt Lebanon is not behind turfing our fields in this manner.

Anonymous said...

If you park at metered spots on the north bound side of Washington Road be careful crossing.
The municipality is feverishly making the area safer for pedestrians. Right after they fix the pool, dig up grass, exterminate some deer and charge you for your empty Disani water bottles.
The school district has already tackled making deadly Horsman Drive crossings safer!

E. T. Gillen said...

The Almanac caught how Kelly was blindsided.
Park improvements, turf back on Lebo agenda

"In discussing the proposal, commissioner Fraasch accused Dave Brumfield of blindsiding her with the proposal.

“When did you know about this?” she asked.

“I have not had this information any longer than you did,” Brumfield replied. “This is an issue that has been ongoing. We have been discussing this since January. Sometimes these things move quickly.”
Elaine

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes these things move quickly" - but not usually.

Anonymous said...

They've been discussing this since January and not one mention of it when he ran for office, no article in the community magazine disussing the locations, pros or cons and Brumfield proclaims he never said to spend million dollars on turf.
Yet there it is in Bendel's plan and affirmed by Dave Franklin.
Somebody is lying through their teeth!

E. T. Gillen said...

RG,
Did you ever get your questions answered when you spoke with Dave Franklin?

"to: Dave Franklin, Esq
from: Richard Gideon

Sir:
Since it looks very likely that the Municipality is going to turf Middle and Wildcat fields, would you, as a spokesman for the various field sports groups, tell me 1)how much money in aggregate these groups are going to contribute to the cost?, 2)how much money do these groups currently have on hand for the project?, and 3)if the sports groups intend to canvass Mt. Lebanon for contributions for the field turf project?

Thanks,
RG

November 13, 2013 at 1:49 PM"

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Parking is a problem at every field around here.

Build a parking garage and turf the roof.

Anonymous said...

I know that Dave B. is a not much of an attorney from several of my neighbors that are attorneys but who does he work for? By any chance is it Dave Franklin?

E. T. Gillen said...

Dave Brumfield does not work for Dave Franklin. He only answers to him.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

This could have all been avoided, had Matt Kluck voted for the initial Rec bond.

E. T. Gillen said...

Or if Kelly allowed the words "artificial turf" to be in the Rec bond. So because of her request, they are sticking it to her with Robb Hollow.
Is that why you are sticking it to the golf course, 7:55 AM?
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Every person who has these issues with Mt. Lebanon, should be at tonight's meeting. Whether it is flooding, sidewalks, roads, traffic calming, the golf course, Robb Hollow, PAYT, overtaxing, or the process, Mt. Lebanon residents are getting screwed over.
Elaine

Richard Gideon said...

EG:
I just saw yours of November 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM this morning.

As to the first question (1)how much money in aggregate these groups are going to contribute to the cost?), Mr. Franklin confirmed that the sports groups will have to provide $250,000 (or more), as is shown in Commissioner Bendel's proposal ("Non-municipal share" as shown on page 15 of the Field Enhancement Proposal document).

With respect to the second question (2)how much money do these groups currently have on hand for the project?), during our telephone conversation I broached that question by asking whether the sports groups had that kind of money now? Mr. Franklin said that at the moment they do not; however, he also said that the groups will be able to raise that sum; in fact, they must raise it before the Municipality will let a contract for the turf.

As to the third question (3)if the sports groups intend to canvass Mt. Lebanon for contributions for the field turf project?), I let it go. Canvassing the community for contributions to youth organizations has a long-standing tradition in Mt. Lebanon, and I will be surprised if they don't.

Even though Mr. Franklin and I don't agree on this project, he was most cordial.

RG

Anonymous said...

Elaine showing up would make a lot of sense if there was even the slightest chance it would any good.
We've been here before and people showed up. What happen? They went ahead with the high school project.
Now if Kelly or Matt really, really had any interest in stopping any Lebo fiasco, that will go over budget and serve a small minority of special interest, they'd ask for support.
This deals done, frabklin's been working with Bendel and Brumfield on it since January.
Now roll over and play dead Lebo, just as you do when its election time.

E. T. Gillen said...

Thanks, 9:45 AM. I might as well shut down the blog and get my life back. I started this blog Nov. 29, 2010, hoping to make a difference. I had a good run. You win Franklin and Brumfield.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

What does it take to make a positive change in Mt. Lebanon? MONEY. Money gets people elected; money gets information out to the community; money gets people elected; money can even create a local political organization targeted to the concerns of Mt. Lebanon; money gets people elected (did I say that already?). Contrary to popular opinion, liberals love money. They love theirs and yours, too! They want to keep theirs and spend yours. Gotta love those upper-middle class entitlements! Yes sir; money talks and nobody walks.

Anonymous said...

10:13 am. What do you mean here: "Yes sir; money talks and nobody walks"?

Elaine - Your blog has made a difference. You are just up against something devious and corrupt. It's hard to get ahead but it doesn't mean it isn't worth the battle.

Anonymous said...

Well, there are two commissioners that if they do nothing else, can call a spade a spade.
They can insist that not a sq. in. of natural grass gets turned BEFORE the $250,000 non-municipal money gets put on the table.
They can ask for their supporters to be there to back their demand. They can go to the press - not the silly community magazine - and tell their constituents how they are being hoodwinked.
We've had too many mindless projects started, the HS, McNeilly, the $3.3 million pool that quickly went to $4.2 million proceed without delivering on the promise.
Sitting in chambers for the eveningwon't change a thing if the elected officials are going to roll over.

Anonymous said...

One more example the field sign ordinance, hastily passed- kinda of like Obamacare- with no idea how the ordinance would work. who'd run it and who would bank the revenue.
I'm betting Franklin and his cronies, think sign revenue and naming rights should go to the YSA as contributions to their non-municipal $250,000 share.
Even though they don't own the fences and don't own the fields.

Chuck Bachorski said...

Once again, we got what we elected. Remember, in Pennsylvania, the principle is that those elected will represent the views of their constituents. Apparently, the commissioners are of the opinion that they are performing their duties per this principle. The only way to change this is elect different types of representation in the next election cycle.

Now that it looks like we will have turf, we need to start thinking about funding the first replacement. Where will these funds come from? Will we be able to fund the replacement surface in 6-10 years? Will artificial turf still be a viable surface option? What happens if the surface is ruined by flooding or other catastrophic incident? How will the various sports associations work around situations like this? It is not just spreading new dirt, re-seeding and mowing anymore.

This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

The old soccer group alone has at least $200,000. This goes back about a decade. If the SAGs (sports advisory group) get 100% of that money, then the $250k shouldn't be a stumbling block.


Here's my take. I wouldn't raise hell about astroturf/field grass/whatever it is. But I would be astonished that the commission would deem it a good use of taxpayer money to fund such a project. It just boggles the mind.

I agree with the previous poster that suggested Robb Hollow is what is getting screwed around here (along with taxpayers).

Remind me but didn't Elaine post earlier that the turf would use this year AND next year's unassigned funds for turf? This would take the McNeilly/Robb Hollow swap off the table it would seem to me.

Those who vote to turf tonight better have a plan in place to develop McNeilly (and the funds to do it) since it is required by the State.

And those who helped advocate for turning Robb Hollow into something other than a leaf dump will hopefully show up tonight as well.

The neo-con-no-spend-ninnys can team up with the recycle-everything-compost-your-garbage-liberals to help stop this thing maybe.

Anonymous said...

Here is another for instance.
When the do-goody ESB people show up to demand PAYT (which I believe is a ploy to free up municipal tax revenue for turf by adding yet another 'fee'), one of the commissioners should grill them on this environmental concern:

On page 6 of the following link it states that 1,861 trees would need to be planted to neutralize the carbon impact of artificial turf.
The link also mentions the pollutants such as lead, zinc and others that leech into the storm water systems.

http://www.redhenturf.com/pdfs/TheTruthAboutArtificialTurf.pdf

Seriously, isn't protecting the environment and reducing our carbon foot print the prime objective of the ESB?

So they get to spew their liberal agendas without regard to facts, nice how they're allowed to get away with it.

Tom Moertel said...

Richard G., I suspect that on this particular policy issue you are not actually in the minority. This turf proposal, if put to a referendum, would almost certainly fail.

If it seems otherwise to the commissioners supporting the proposal, it is probably because they spend most of their time in circles dominated by family households. Since it is precisely these households upon which the benefits of their proposal will concentrate, of course the commissioners are going to hear overwhelming support from “their constituents.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, however, family households in Mt. Lebanon are outnumbered by more than 2-to-1 by households without school-age children to play on turfed fields. Therefore, if the commissioners were to consider the full measure of their constituents, they would probably find but meager support for a plan that would force two out of every three households to pay for something that will provide little benefit to those same households.

I suspect that this reality is understood by the commissioners who support the turf proposal. Deep down, even they must realize that their proposal, if put to a referendum, would almost certainly fail.

Anonymous said...

10:54 the high school and the pool were not mindless projects. If previous school boards would have spent some $ on upkeep and maintenence the project probably would not have been so costly.
The High school had not been updated, since the 70's. I am glad that this school board had the guts to do what needed to be done.
The pool project has been on the agenda for years, it too needed to be done sooner.

Anonymous said...

Elaine, I sense a note of sarcasm in your 10:01 post.
Your blog has been the most transparent, most informative community news source since you started it.
But, unless our elected officials draw a line, I'm speaking specifically about the apparent opponents to the turf plan, this thing will pass, it will quickly get under way and just as quickly go over budget.
And once its started, the $250,000 will vaporize into thin air and taxpayers will be left holding the bag.
That $250,000 non-municipal money needs to show up first and there ought to be some plan to build a nest egg for the $600,000-$800,000 turf replacement that'll be showing up in 8 years.
Bendel said that expense will be occurring, shouldn't the people that create the expense be responsible for instituting a plan to cover it?
That's where Kelly and Matt need to step up to the plate and tell their constituents about the future rqmifications of free spending.

Anonymous said...

11:41, I don't disagree with you - "if previous SB has spent some money on upkeep and maintenance the project would not have been so costly."
So here we are again. Mr. Bendel makes no secret that the turf will need replaced in about 8 years at a cost of $600,000.
That breaks down to about $75,000/year the municipality needs to save to pay for the replacement that is surely coming.
I doubt our municipality puts anywhere near $75,000 into Wildcat/Middle maintenance every year. I'd be surprised if they put in $8,000 now, and that is what papers say turf annual maintenance runs.
So, once the turf gets installed the municipality has upped expenditures by about $83,000/year for maintenance and necessary replacement for just one play area.
Abd Brumfield declares he isn't raising taxes... bah humbug!

The old soccer group is sitting on a $200,000 bankroll. Why?

Anonymous said...

Good article in today's PG

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2013/11/25/Pay-to-play-1/stories/201311220004

Anonymous said...

Soccer was going to use it to develop fields in Ward 3 near the intersection of Terrace and Connor.

Of course, that never happened and I believe the space is more or less unusable. I didn't say it was a good plan, but the group did have the money.

E. T. Gillen said...

Thanks, 12:08 PM, but there was no sarcasm in my 10:01 post. This has become a full time job, seven days a week. My health and my family are suffering. Do you think it is fun to spend so much time trying to expose the corruption, when people can't even go to a meeting and voice their opinion? I understand public speaking is top of the list of what people fear most. Death is number seven, I think. But it would be nice to have some support at meetings.

What Brumfield, Bendal, Linfante, and Franklin are doing to the community is criminal. Franklin with his comments both signed and anonymous are disingenuous and deceptive. He bullies me every chance he can. He writes in to the blog thanking Steinhauer for defending the student, stating that he has two high school students. He never mentioned that one of them is on the editorial board of the paper. He has Timmy lying for him by telling the community that all YSA funds are paid up. He has his own blog where he can be pushing his agenda, yet finds it more fun to try to discredit me here. He monitors it to make sure that he sets the record straight on all topics. A person can take so much.

That is why I say Brumfield and Franklin have won. They are the ones with the power. I am just a whiner.
It would be awesome if this turf thing would generate enough anger in the community, that it would go away. We all know it is a done deal. Franklin has already said that the next project is turfing McNeilly. You won, Dave and Dave.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

$1,000,000 initial turf installation.
$600,000 8 year turf replacement.

1,600,000 / 16 years  = $100,000!

Does anyone believe that the municipality puts anywhere near that kind of money into ONE sports field area annually.

The Joint Maintenance agreement that supposedily covered all the school district/muni fields only ran around $83,000 annually a year or two ago.

Now Bendel, Brumfield, Linfante and of course that oh so cordial Mr. Franklin are looking to raise municipal expenses.

And there has been no conversation on the additional electric bill for keeping the fields lit, the routine care for the turf.

Brumfield says they been talking about this since January. One would think he'll have all these Total Cost of Ownership figures in front of him for tonight's meeting.
Kelly or Matt need to insist on seeing those numbers.

Anonymous said...

“If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out... Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

E. T. Gillen said...

Thanks, 1:36 PM. I guess I haven't done enough.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, 1:36!

You're not getting away this bullshit any more.
Numerous people have presented plans, suggestions, documentation on how and what should be done.

But oh so cordial Franklin and friends don't want to discuss real solutions that may not involve turf.

Instead they throw stones, call people wing nuts, etc., etc.

Tell me 1:36, based on the projections of Bendel's plan and the addition of 1:33, how do you propose turfing without raising taxes.

I'm all ears or rather eyes for your comment on where that money will come from.

No rebuttal to the math? Then knock off the bullshit.

A Wingnut

Damion Deringer said...

The math is more than off, but I would be pleasantly surprised if it only cost $990,000.

Anonymous said...

To 1:36:

'Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.'

- Oprah Winfrey

Anonymous said...

Dearest 1:49 wingnut,

What does "you're not getting away this bullshit anymore "(sic) mean?

What are you going to do?

Anonymous said...

Turf will raise municipal expenditures by at least $100,000/year, 1:36.

Quotes are not a solution to a problem, so where is your solution to the problem of installing and maintaining turf?

Anonymous said...

I went back and looked at the Commissioner's websites about this issue. The only one that has any current information is Kelly Fraasch. She did call the public to voice their opinion and I am hoping the public responded. This was back on November 13th so everyone had more than enough time to talk with her and email or talk to the Commission.
http://www.kellyfraasch.com/2013/11/13/turf-proposal-for-wildcatmiddle/
Hopefully everyone did.

Anonymous said...

To correct some misconceptions that have been posted in this blog about the ESB: The Mt. Lebanon Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) has never advocated for artificial turf. When asked to look into it for Mt. Lebanon, the ESB concluded that it was environmentally unsustainable.

Anonymous said...

So as I understand it La crosse is rending a field in USC. If so, I think JDK is correct in assuming or raising the question that it doesn't matter where sports are played.

Why not develop Fields at McNeilly with other municipalities? Dormont? Why not share turfed Robb Hollow with Scott?

If we are renting field space from other communities, sounds like the other turfed communities aren't getting much use by their own.

Why can't Dave Brumfield compromise as he claims he's such a great compromiser, bringing people together? Want turf? Save for it. Set aside a PORTION of unassigned funds for the next 4 years, gather the money and THEN pay for it. That would be a compromise.

Anonymous said...

Elaine, I know how discouraged you are and how hard you've worked. I think people don't know what to do. People that pay attention don't know what to think because the commission keeps everything in the dark till the meeting. They leave things off the agendas. There is no reason they can't plan their agendas 6 -12 months out. There is no reason DAVE AND DAVE can't set up a presentation on channels 17 and 34 or whatever they are to be looped over and over giving their constituents time to mull over their ideas. This may not be required as we did elect the commission and school board, but it certainly would be courteous.


Anonymous said...

To 3:07 - The ESB needs to make a position statement. Please. We are in the top 2% of counties in this nation for cancer risk due to air pollution. The addition of synthetic turf in Mt Lebanon shouts to everybody: We don't care!

I can't reconcile Cancer Walks and fundraisers held here in Mt Lebanon when we have a chance to say "No" to adding a not-cancer mitigating recreational facility (turf) to this municipality. We need to make changes that off-set emissions and air pollution and prevent exposure to carcinogens rather than making changes that foster these problems.

I guess I am a wing-nut too.

E. T. Gillen said...

3:07 PM, I hope that someone from the ESB will speak during Citizens' Comments and state their position regarding artificial turf. Perhaps a paper with your position and given to each commissioner, just as you did with PAYT, would be appreciated.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

"Dearest 1:49 wingnut,
What does "you're not getting away this bullshit anymore "(sic) mean?
What are you going to do?
November 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM"

You're are so sweet 2;17, that I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to point out the false statements you make here as long as Elaine allows me to.
We've had a couple of problem solving suggestions made here in the last 30 minutes or so. The ESB state turf is environmentally unsustainable andyet you refer to everyone as whiners.
So your BS statement doesn't hold water.
But, I've answered you question 2:17, it is funny how you decided to goad me into some sort of reaction, but won't address a simple question to you.
How do you propose paying for the total cost of turf ownership.
Its not a tough question.
You add up the cost of installing the turf, the replacement cost in 8 years or so, the maintenance cost and divid it be the number years.
That is the annual cost.
I calculated $100.000/year over a sixteen year term. I suspect that means a tax hike. Prove me wrong, I won't get upset.
I'd love for you to find a mistake in my calculations.
No, you love to pick fights.

Anonymous said...

Or at least the commissioners Elaine need to acknowledge that the ESB has informed them that turf is unsustainable!

Which by the way refutes 1:36's comment that people do nothing but whine.

Chuck Bachorski said...

1:36
Are you referring to your strategy to get a turfed field? First, you whine that we don't have enough fields, so MTL buys two useless pieces of land. You then whine that we don't have the right kind of fields. Turf was your only answer. You then implemented this strategy by whining to our elected officials and rallying the troops with "other communities have it, why not us"campaign.
In my opinion, the whole turf strategy was built on whining.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Wingnuts whining about whining. Elaine probably really believes that more than 6 real people actually read this nonsense. You six people also actually believe that Elaine is thought of to be anything other than a whining wingnut and has some real influence among the sane. Remember how many votes she got when she ran for office? Elaine is a great influence in the minds of six people and the 117 countries and planets where this thing is read, nowhere else.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Chuck. Somewhere along the way, you must have forgotten that you are a "deadbeat athletic supporter" to most of the posters on this website.

Anonymous said...

dearest wingnut

I don't agree that we need turf either, just wanted to know what you meant by you're are not getting away with the bs.
btw, I wasn't the one that posted the quote, but I was the one who called you out. I do agree with the quote however.
How does argueing and whining on a blog do any good?

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:57pm - why don't you name those six people for us? If you go through this and other threads on the Blog in just the past 30 days you'll find a hell of a lot more than six people WHO SIGNED THEIR REAL NAMES! Oh..and do you count yourself as part of the six? After all, you're reading this blog too.

BTW: How are things over on Main Entrance?

E. T. Gillen said...

4:58 PM, that is not true. Just like how you blame the teachers' union on everything. Take your meds.

4:57 PM, thanks. You have said this before. This is the last time I am publishing it.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

4:57

Apparently, you do not know my position on this matter. I have presented several options to be considered in previous posts, I am a proponent of youth athletics and feel strongly that the municipality/SD has some type of obligation to providing recreational/athletic facilities. However, I am not in favor of just spending money to have something new. In this case, I am referring to turf. There are other options that have never been considered. Some considerations are matching field inventory to field requirement by sport, making affordable renovations to what we already have and a systemic maintenance schedule for our assets. See, there is a strategy, it was just never considered.

Your tactic to call names & run is really commendable. It takes a big set to do what you do. Congratulations.

While we are at it, the MTL Basketball Association does not have enough of the right size gyms in our community. We play many of our home games at CV, West Allegheny and the Palumbo Center. Should I lobby/complain for additional indoor facilities to meet the market demand? Why not, it is only money! My kids are grown and out of the program, so it doesn’t really matter to me. Let’s let the next generation pay later for what we want today.

Chuck Bachorski

Anonymous said...

5:06, something curious here.
Apparently, you are mistaken that I am dead set against turf.
I'm not crazy about it, would never lobby for it, but I would not stand in the way of people that absolutely think they need it... if they're willing to foot a big part of the bill.
The problem I had with the comments by 1:36 is that unless we support turf we're whiners and contribute nothing to solutions.
I stand by calling there comment bullshit, because it is.
I for one have invested a great deal of time looking for solutions to our field problems, which I've shared with the 
 commissioners.
I think first, we fix the problems with our current grass fields. The Brafferton plan was part of that solution.
Maintenance at other fields could be if not drastically changing their conditions, make them at least better.
Then once we get a handle on maintaining what we have, we tackle turf.
My first preference would be developing fields and walking paths along the Castle Shannon Blvd-T corridor.
Its an eye sore and could be a beautiful, highly visible, property value inflating spot.
But apparently that is impossible, so I think I side with Kim Ressler who prefers turfing Mellon.
I do have conditions that I would expect to be resolved for this location.
So, I'm not a whiner, void of any ideas as proclaimed by 1:36, and that is why I won't sit still for their BS.

Anonymous said...

"Damion DeringerNovember 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM
The math is more than off, but I would be pleasantly surprised if it only cost $990,000."



You made the above comment, but didn't explain where the error occurs in my math.

Mr. Franklin told Mr. Gideon that the inotial turf plan is for $750,000 from the muni and $250,000 from 'other' sources.



$750,000+$250,000=$1,000,000

Mr. Bendel states turf could need replacement in as short as 8 years for around $600,000.

$1,000,000+$600,000= $1,600,000

First installment of turf last 8 years, according to Bendel. Second we'll estimate at another 8 year life span. 8 + 8 = 16 years.

So we can guesstimate with the info avaiable from Bendel a turfed field cost (TCO)  is approximately $100,000/year.

Granted if turf last 9,10,11 or more years that changes the calculation, but so does a storm destroying it in 5 years.

So I'm lost as to where I erred, Damion. 

Damion Deringer said...

7:52PM, your math is not off, but Mr Bendel's certainly is.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter Damion, bad math or not they're turfing.