|Breslin does not like the attention|
Taxes.- Breslin's chief complaint is increasing taxes. He noted that in his first year as a Commissioner, the Board depleted its rainy day fund, resulting in what eventually tuned out to be a 17% tax hike the next year. Though no taxes were raised in this year's budget, he "can almost guarantee a tax hike next year." He ripped the Township for its borrowing, but neglected to say that he is one of the Commissioners who voted for a $10 million line of credit on April 7, 2014.
Community Center. - He also complained about $1.5 million in repairs needed at the 11-year old community center, saying that the "government shouldn't be in the gym business." He never said that during a Township meeting. He failed to mention that, on July 18, 2016 he was one of three Commissioners who voted to hire an architectural and engineering firm for these repairs. He also failed to state that, on September 19, 2016, he was part of an unanimous decision to seek a construction manager. He complained about a $725,000 note owed on the community center construction, but was unable to some up with a single suggestion about how to do better.
Housenick Park.- He lashed out at Housenick Park, which he mistakenly called "Housenick Mansion." He called it a "money pit" and a "waste of taxpayer money," adding that only five percent of the township even know it exists. He slammed a trail at the park "that nobody uses." He told Bobby Gunther Walsh that he voted against the trail grant, but on March 2, 2015, he was part of an unanimous vote in support of a $471,000 contract to NIMARIS Construction to complete the trails and build a driveway and parking lot. The funding for this came from a DCNR grant, matched by funds from the Housenick Park Trust.
Township Engineer.- He complained about the Township Engineer, noting that the Township has failed to issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) within the last eight years. But he was unable to tell Bobby Gunther Walsh what an RFP actually is.
"They run roughshod over us." .
"Our Township engineer,. Their bills. They gouge us."
Breslin neglected to say that, in his three years as a Commissioner, he has been one of those unanimously voting to approve the Township engineer about whom he complained.
Bill Agenda - Complaining about the Township's "$18 million budget" (it's actually $19.6 million), Breslin next turned his attention to the bill agenda, an assortment of bills that the Township Commissioners approve each month. "[I]f it was my job, I'd go through it every month and I could probably save 5-10% just negotiating, getting people to sharpen their pencils more." Well, that is his job. Some Commissioners occasionally do have questions about items on the bill agenda. Mike Hudak, Malissa Davis, Tom Nolan and Kim Jenkins have each questioned specific charges, and so do the Township residents. But Breslin has never once uttered a word about the bill agenda in any meeting.
Streamlining. - Breslin also stated that he wanted to "streamline" Township government. When pressed by Bobby Gunther Walsh, he indicated he'd eliminate departments and staff. .
Since Breslin will be unable to inflict his brand of stupidity on Bethlehem Township much longer, I had decided against writing about this radio interview, littered as it is with misinformation. But since it was discussed during the meeting, it's news.
Citizen Reaction. - Barry Roth, a citizen who does a lot of complaining himself, has the personal integrity to do so at open meetings, where township officials can tell him when he is wrong and when he is right. He noted that Housenick Park is no "money pit," but has been self-contained. Money for its maintenance has come from a trust managed by luminaries like Judge Stephen Baratta, as well as grants from DCNR. "Please,do a little more research next time," he suggested to Breslin. "Personally, I felt that we just looked like a bunch of fools."
Commissioner Reaction. - Tom Nolan made clear he was "disappointed" by Breslin's remarks,and thought they were deceptive. He was particularly irked at Breslin's suggestion about eliminating township jobs, saying that sent a "totally wrong message to township staff." Malissa Davis noted that "we did not borrow more money for the last budget." Mike Hudak, who is now President of the Board and is doing an effective job at running meetings, told colleagues that "[w]e're all certainly entitled to our opinions" But he added, "We need to check the facts and not facts that are alternative facts."
Blogger Reaction. - Breslin was on a conservative radio show so he could represent himself as a conservative firebrand for whatever office he is seeking next. Some say he's running against Steve Samuelson. Others say he has his eyes on Congress. But he fed Bobby Gunther Walsh nothing but bullshit burgers. I am astonished that he spent so much time complaining about things completely within his control as a Commissioner. It is his job to review the bill agenda, something he's never done. If he wanted to seek an RFP for an engineer, he could have opened his mouth and said something. Instead, he voted three times to retain the very engineering firm about which he now complains. His claim that he voted against the Housenick grant is simply untrue. He also voted both for the engineer and construction manager for the community center repairs. With no comment, he voted for a $10 million line of credit. He misrepresented himself. He was deceptive. And, as Hudak so aptly observed, he delivered "alternative facts" in the hope that it plays well to conservative listeners, most of whom will unfortunately never read the truth.
When Breslin was unable to tell Bobby Gunther Walsh what an RFP is, that should have given him away as what he is - a fraud.