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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Williams Tp Land Preservation Board Pushes Glovas Handout

Two Williams Township Land Preservation Board members apparently never got the word that the Glovas handout is too hot to touch right now, and was taken off last night's agenda. They were at last night's NorCo Council meeting. Their Chair, Robert Schmidt, told Council he was willing to answer all their concerns and is providing his contact information. He was accompanied by Linda Heindel, who managed to get a few of her own properties preserved as a member of the board. I decided I'd like Schmidt's contact information, too, so I could call him with my concerns.

I met Schmidt and Heindel in the hallway, where he did give me his contact information. I told him that, according to their own appraisal, this property is undevelopable. He disputed that, but the facts are the facts. According to the appraiser, 56.9 acres are "very bouldery," making the potential for basements or basic septic systems "very limited." He's entitled to his own opinion, but the appraisal says what it says.

Schmidt and Heindel then told me that I needed to walk the property. My response to that was to ask then why bother with an appraisal if you're going to ignore it and go by your own field trip. It defeats the purpose of even having an appraisal. Schmidt wanted me to tell him how I got my hands on the Glovas appraisal, and I refused to tell him. He then turned away from me and walked off, unwilling to engage in further discussion.

Heindel remained and I confronted her about participating in a board whose members seem to be enriching themselves by selecting their own properties for preservation. She told me that's a sign that they really care, although it's unclear to me whether that is the environment or their own bottom line. I turned to leave, but she insisted I shake her hand first. It was pretty clear that she was visibly angry, but she was either trying to remain civil or trying to infect me with something. I'll let you know in 21 days.


Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, my tax dollars are going to a multimillionaire so that he doesn't sell his land to developers? And he just happens to live on this property. Am I correct? If this is true, WOW, and double Wow!. Think he would let other housing on his property, really? Think neighbors wouldn't go to a zoning board and complain if their property would be affected? Too bad other Open Space isn't looked at across the board. Where was Open Space when all the developments were going up? Maybe a poor farmer wasn't aware of the program to get monies for his fields and sold some land to a real estate developer so he could live. Something really stinks here,

Anonymous said...

No need to keep my name out of this. Unlike some others who fear full disclosure, I believe in transparency. Let's talk about how you got public documents. From me, Vince Foglia that's who. When you scheduled an interview me for your story, I went to Williams Township offices. I told Jen Smethers, our Township Manager that I would be meeting you I gave your name and I told her that you were a reporter. I wanted to borrow hard copies of some appraisals. Fortunately, because of recent discovery in a legal matter, Mrs. Smethers was able to provide me a DVD of several scanned appraisals. I gave you that DVD. It is a shame that some prefer to witch hunt the source of the truth instead of dealing with it. I saw the same information in that appraisal after you reported on it. Lets not throw away a qualified appraiser's report. I'm not liked because I ask questions before spending taxpayer money. One previous member of the LPB quit with a very long critical letter about my challenges. Too bad and good Bye. It is taxpayer money. These positions are voluntary and make recommendations to the BOS, so one would expect full discloser of positives and negatives of any project. We seem never get anything negative, which is often hidden behind boiler plate in these reports. We always seem to get reports last minute and under pressure to meet deadlines. No more. I also don't like that folks try to use the Preservation board and Planning Commission as a political vehicle to fight a gas pipeline through our Town.

The reason they wanted you to reveal my name even though they knew I had to be the person should be interesting. Attack the source of the truth if the truth hurts.

Vince Foglia

Bernie O'Hare said...

Vince, I appreciate you opening up and disclosing that you are my source for the appraisals. I do not disclose sources unless I have their permission first. I was told first that I the appraisal does not say what it clearly does say. then I was told to ignore the appraisal and walk the lands. That;s an emotional appeal. I prefer to stick to the facts.

Anonymous said...

Good job Bernie. Don't let this go through. Keep the heat on Parsons and the green group.

Anonymous said...

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, BERNIE! That was really creepy what Linda Heindel did. It reminds me of the apartment building in Rosemary's Baby. They first seem nice, but underlying that smile is seething greed. She doesn't like you messing with their access to the money at the trough!

Linda Heindel said...

Just for the record, Mr. O'Hare. I was not at this meeting at all. I don't know with whom you spoke, but it was not Linda Heindel. Interesting scenario created.
There is a lot of information you might like to know about the whole land preservation process; take up Mr. Schmidt on his offer for an edifying experience.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I apologize. The woman with Schmidt was identified to me as a member of the board, and I believed her to be you. Mr. Schmidt was more interested in discovering where I got my information than in the information itself. I did reach out, but it's hard to talk to someone who walks away from you. In my life, I have seen many of the smug "we know better" types. Did you stop to consider that perhaps there is a lot of information you don't know? Starting right from your basic concept that the best way to preserve open space is by purchasing land that will never be developed? Did you even read the Glovas appraisal? Can you explain how you can do an appraisal without knowing what easements exist? Can you explain why you spent public money to preserve land already subject to easements? Or how you accepted an appraisal that failed to include the increase in value to the lands you retained? It seems there is much information you do not know at all. But that's about to change. And the game of nusical chairs you have been playing needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

Please don't let up on this Bernie! At least the Williams Twp residents voted for the likes of Bob Doerr who started this whole Open Space Scam years ago so they deserve what they get. The problem is that Wilson, West Easton and Glendon residents have to take up the slack on the school taxes and they don't even get to enjoy driving by Linda Heindel's property (she got $800,000 to preserve)that was not developable or the black diamond ski slope that was preserved across from Bob Doerr's house on Old Well Rd. (Thank you George Washburn for voting against that travesty!) That is the Smejkal property. You have to drive by that one....what a joke. If not for people like you, Foglia and Ballek, this wouldn't get any attention.
thank you!