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Council boycott paralyzes government in Yeadon
As a native of Philly and a former frequent visitor of Yeadon it is sad and shameful that this town has fallen into this period of dysfunction.
I assure you that many of the residents of Yeadon are former Philadelphians who departed the core city in order to escape from the chaos that reigns within. Unfortunately they seem to have brought with them too many fools.
This must be put into context as well.
So many of our people can articulate who they will NOT vote for. Anyone to the right of Obama does not fare to well amongst our voting populace. For me - POPULARITY is not indicative of correctness. It never has been. It only shows the common assumptions that are within a given political body.
Instead we need to make note of the RESULTS that the people WE DO VOTE FOR have rendered and use this as some "constructive feedback" upon the need for us to change the assumptions that we work upon.
I must also add that too often in poor and "educationally deficient" communities the person who gets elected is often the angriest, the most aggressive and the most articulate among the masses. The one who can vocalize the community's grievances to the legislative body the best. Management capabilities, per se, are not needed. Only "activism".
AT-LARGE VOTING VS DISTRICT VOTING
I need to bring up the sticking point that is seen so frequently regarding how an all "At-Large Voting" configuration is said to be discriminatory against racial minorities in a large voting area. In the conservative Fayette County GA that I presently live in - the "Black Flight Progressives", most of whom have moved next door to their ideological adversary are making a run to force the Georgia State legislature to force Fayette to change to district wide voting.
I was originally supportive of this point. However, I have changed. I am more interested in EFFECTIVE RESULTS!! Thus the very civic accoutrements that attracted them to this area (and away from the community that they were driven to move from) were constructed under the system which produced "FUNCTIONAL COUNTYWIDE UNITY".
If the county was failing - my views would not be as such!
With this county properly functioning - I am resistant to CHANGE.
They should instead learn how things are done and educate the forces who run the places where they used to live on how to produce such results.
These people are mere CONSUMERS.
They moved into Yeadon when it was a nice, sleepy suburb of Philadelphia.
When they moved in - someone else had made it in the way that was attractive to them.
Over the years the "Yeadon Police" were a point of contention.
They attempted to maintain order and they were good for writing tickets for traffic violations. The standard charges of "Racial Profiling" were levied as the town began to change. Though I have not been to Yeadon in more than 10 years - a recent story that I published about the economic challenges faced by other small cities that surround Philly makes me believe that there indeed has been a major population shift. More Immigrants and African Americans live in these places than ever before. The Whites have likely moved into the "second ring suburbs and beyond".
Instead of prioritizing some "right to district representation" it is clear that there is a need for certain people to SIT BACK/ LISTEN AND LEARN HOW TO ADMINISTRATE A MUNICIPALITY!
Did they move in to this town so that their children could be exposed to a quality educational experience? (as compared to the place that they came from which did not provide this) Or did they move in to "apply their brilliance" shown within the City of Philadelphia to their new home in Yeadon?
Please note the use of the word 'FACTION' in the article below. In majority Black political districts what is typically PARTISAN divisions turn out to be ALL-DEMOCRATIC FACTIONS because Black = Democrat. Beyond their local contentions - they all seem to be able to vote in the GENERAL election for:
- The Same Democratic State Rep
- The Same Democratic State Senator
- The Same Democratic Governor
- The Same Democratic US Rep
- The Same Democratic US Senator
- The Same Democratic Presidential candidate
Please explain - How is it that Black people - rich vs poor, educated vs uneducated, homeowner vs renter are ALL able to find a "consensus candidate" beyond their local fractiousness?
This is the heart of how the phenomenon that I had pointed out exists: Looking Past The Sins Of The Local Democrats And Voting Against National Republicans
Our community is losing the battle at the LOCAL LEVEL
Article From Philadelphia Inquirer
Yeadon Borough, like other Delaware County municipalities that hug the Philadelphia border, is no stranger to cutthroat politics or the occasional out-of-control council meeting.
But at least its neighboring boroughs have fully functioning governments.
Over the last month, Council President Vivian Ford and two other allies of deposed Councilman Terry McGirth, a convicted embezzler, have refused to attend five council sessions.
As a result of the boycott - regarded by Ford's political opponents as a shameless attempt to maintain her voting majority - the seven-member council has been unable to form a quorum and conduct official business.
"For all practical purposes, government has been shut down in this town," said Councilwoman Jacquelynn Puriefoy-Brinkley, who has called for Ford, Councilman Jack Byrne and Councilwoman Florence Penny McDonald to be removed from their posts for failing to attend meetings.
"There are a lot of evil things going on here," Puriefoy-Brinkley said. "We are being held hostage by them. To put this community through what they're putting us through, it's almost criminal."
The controversy in the borough of about 11,000 residents revolves largely around McGirth, who was kicked off council in mid-July by a county judge because the state constitution bans persons convicted of an "infamous crime" from holding office.
McGirth, 53, an evangelist who was elected in 2007 and is facing criminal sexual-harassment charges, pleaded guilty in 2003 to stealing more than $100,000 from his employer, a kidney-dialysis company. He was a member of the four-person voting majority, headed by Ford, on the all-Democratic council.
The remaining six council members had 30 days to fill the vacancy, but four members are needed to form a quorum. Had all of the remaining members attended, Mayor Jacqueline Mosley, who is aligned with Puriefoy-Brinkley's faction, would have cast the deciding vote in the event of a 3-3 tie.
But this week, with the expiration of that 30-day window, Puriefoy-Brinkley said, the tie-breaking vote would go to the borough vacancy board chaired by Elaine Carter - who happens to be the mother of Councilwoman McDonald, a member of Ford's faction.
Ford's political opponents say that her faction has been stalling to give Carter, not the mayor, the deciding vote on who replaces McGirth.
Carter, 76, was charged with harassment earlier this year after, police say, she choked the 70-year-old chairwoman of the Yeadon Civic Association during a council meeting. A judge dismissed the charge last month after Carter completed mandatory anger-management classes.
"This is not just about some political struggle," said Rosalind Johnson, an outspoken Yeadon resident and former councilwoman. "We as a community are very concerned that critical business is not being attended to."
Interim Borough Manager Paul Janssen was on vacation last week and did not return a voicemail message. Ford, Byrne and McDonald did not return calls seeking comment.
Meanwhile, McGirth is awaiting trial next month on charges of indecent assault, stalking and harassment. He allegedly grabbed Terri Vaughn, then the borough finance director, and "against her will, kissed her mouth, stuck his tongue into her mouth and licked all around," according to the criminal complaint.
Vaughn later was fired. The state Attorney General's Office is investigating whether she misappropriated funds. Following her termination, Vaughn filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, when McGirth's replacement might finally be appointed - if enough council members show up.
Puriefoy-Brinkley said that the standoff has given Yeadon an undeserved black eye, leaving the misimpression that the borough is unable to govern itself.
"It's been a terrible year," she said.
"Our town is being portrayed as this boisterous, noisy, out-of-control place, when that really isn't who we are," Puriefoy-Brinkley said. "This is really a good town and a good place to live."