The King of Discombobulation
POTTSTOWN, PA – It appears that Team Hylton, members of which can be directly tied to the staggering lack of progress in the Pottstown School District over the past five years, has successfully recruited a new member…recently elected board member Andrew Kefer.
Kefer, who was elected to the Pottstown school board this past November, cast his stall tactic tabling vote on the future of Pottstown’s elementary schools along with fellow Team Hylton posse members Valerie Harris, Dennis Wausnock, Ron Williams and ring leader Thomas Hylton at last week’s board meeting.
If you want to read about the week old meeting, you can check out today’s print and online editions of The Fishwrap. If the board wants their meetings to receive timely news coverage, perhaps they should crash a flaming car into the Pottstown Middle School on meeting nights to attract The Fishwrap’s savvy news hound attention.
Can anyone tell us why on earth the board is even discussing the asinine idea of closing the 40+ year old Edgewood elementary school building over the 80+ year old (and literally falling apart) Rupert elementary school building?
And please, don’t feed us that BS about walkability or population. Who is the only person who wants everyone to believe that Rupert should be kept open? The King of Discombobulation himself…Tom Hylton, who has mastered the tactic of confusing the crap out of folks by feeding them too much information and skipping around the stated facts.
Tom Hylton doesn’t want you to know that Rupert (when compared to Edgewood) is the least walkable school in the lowest attendance area. Pottstown Public Works Director Doug Yerger performed a GIS study of a one mile radius of attendance area for Pottstown elementary schools on two occasions and it was proved, both times, that Rupert Elementary (when compared to Edgewood) is the least walkable school in the lowest attendance area. Has anyone discussed the redistricting that will result when one or more schools are closed? This was discussed at length during the President’s Task Force meetings and needs to be fully examined before talking about which schools to close. If you close Edgewood, of course Rupert will become a more walkable school (because the school population will increase). The same is true if you close Rupert…then Edgewood will become a more walkable school. Tom Hylton wants to keep Rupert open at all costs…and that means hiding facts and figures that prove his incorrect theories wrong.
Why are members of the executive team trying to make it appear that Edgewood should be closed? Because they think they can sell that property to The Hill School. Has there been any discussions with The Hill School about the purchase of the Edgewood property? Of course not. Will Tom Hylton put on his concerned citizen cap and bombard the district with Right to Know requests for every email sent from Superintendent Reed Lindley in an attempt to uncover some delusional culture of secrecy? Since Rupert isn’t slated for closure, of course Hylton won’t do that…because he fully intends to keep Rupert open at all costs…even if that means acting unethical and underhanded (a skill that Hylton has honed so well during his 40 year occupation of Pottstown).
Did you know that according to Montgomery County property records, The Hill School owns 57 properties in Pottstown that have a combined total assessed value of $43,437,430. As a comparison, the Pottstown School District owns 15 properties that have a combined total assessed value of $51,812,560.
Yes folks…over $43 million dollars of our taxable property is currently controlled by the biggest private tax exempt entity in Pottstown…and the executive team of the Pottstown School District wants to add to that figure by selling Edgewood (currently assessed at $3,117,750) to the very same tax exempt entity that holds hostage to over $43 million of our tax dollars. If the Edgewood properties were to be purchased by The Hill School, the total dollar amount of their tax exempt properties in Pottstown would increase to $46,555,180. Yes you read that figure correctly…over $46 million dollars of our taxable property would be owned by The Hill School. $46 million dollars that Pottstown will never be able to collect taxes on. How do you feel about that fellow Pottstown taxpayers? It kinda hits you right in the gut, doesn’t it?
The real cost savings in Pottstown will be fully realized when Rupert is closed and the property is sold to a commercial entity that will contribute to Pottstown’s tax base…not take away from it. Look at the new town homes built along South Charlotte Street. If they could squeeze that many new homes onto that small parcel, just think of how many homes could fit onto the 3.4 acre parcel where Rupert currently sits. That’s the potential for a lot of new tax dollars for Pottstown.
When folks start asking the questions that need to be asked and start making leadership decisions that benefit Pottstown (and not just one individual)…Pottstown will prosper. Until then, it will continue to chase its tail in circles.
Will this sham continue to go around in circles…or will it fly high like a bird up in the sky? Only time will tell.
For Mr. Kefer and other new members of Pottstown School Board, here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice. When Tom Hylton calls you up and wants to schedule a personal meeting with you at his Chestnut Street home…just say NO. Here’s the modus operandi as it currently stands: He’ll warmly invite you into his home, he’ll attempt to overload you with nonsensical gibberish facts and figures that he overcooked, he’ll talk your ear off, he won’t let you leave and then, to top it off, he’ll record the conversation without asking your permission. If you really have nothing more productive to do with your free time and feel the need to meet with Tom Hylton on a one-to-one basis …do so at your own risk and do it somewhere in a public setting (preferably where food is served – just don’t order any twinkies) and set a designated time for the meeting to end.