Backing Into Rupert
POTTSTOWN, PA – Remember in 2001 when the Borough of Pottstown approved the plan to reconfigure High Street with back-in angel parking? The reasoning for creating back-in parking was that it would revitalize High Street and the downtown business community.
It’s almost ten years later and we’re still waiting for that downtown revitalization.
Why are we raising this issue?
The back-in parking debacle is a case study of how school board member Thomas Hylton operates. And it’s a bad warning sign of things to come for the taxpayers of Pottstown.
Hylton looks for loopholes in the system. As he did when he pitched his idea for back-in angel parking. Hylton had been working on reconfiguring High Street for some 17 years (that’s according to Hylton as posted on his Save Our Land website). The only reason that back-in angel parking was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was because there was nothing in their books against the idea.
Let’s fast forward to 2010. Hylton is now proposing new energy efficient windows at Edgewood and Rupert Elementary schools (and we can only assume that he will demand cost prohibitive “hi$torically accurate” windows for Rupert). By moving forward with spending money on our schools…down the line…when the issue comes up to get rid of the five tax gouging schools, Hylton will retort: “But jeepers Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer…can’t you plainly see that we’ve already spent soooo much money to upgrade the schools…how can we possibly close them now?…it would be fiscally irresponsible.”
Do you see a pattern here?
With the current proposals for new school renovation projects on the table, Hylton is backing the taxpayers into the idea that he will be continuing to sink money into these schools…so he can use that as his argument for keeping them open…as they continue to be our tax ball and chain. Continuing to maintain five 40+ year old crumbling elementary schools will continue the downward spiral for Pottstown taxpayers.
The sooner Hylton’s idea of sinking money into these schools is stopped, the sooner the school board can concentrate on the real issues affecting our children – improving their education and raising test score numbers. Something that we wish they would pursue as doggedly as maintaining five soulless buildings.
As a side note, when Pottstown Borough Council approved the idea of back-in angel parking for High Street in 2001, Dennis Wausnock was Council Vice President, Veronika White was President of the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (Veronika’s husband Nat sits with Hylton on the Neighborhood Schools Committee) and Rick Huss was a member of the Pottstown School Board.
So, we’re seeing the same old people involved trying the fix the same old problems…and we’re still in the same old mess.
Is it any wonder why Pottstown isn’t moving forward?