The Axis of Evil
POTTSTOWN, PA – So an East Coventry slumlord who owns 16 rental properties in Pottstown and West Pottsgrove is busted in June for having installed water bypass meters in his properties that cost Pottstown more than $17,000 in lost water fees. (The same slumlord who – no joke – filed a lawsuit against the Pottstown Codes Office last year…talk about big brass ones.)
We later learn in September that his arrest is intertwined with a Montgomery County grand jury investigation into the Pottstown Codes Office.
And then a few weeks after that we learn that Pottstown Borough Council commits to spending more than 33,000 unbudgeted taxpayer dollars to hire (again) a company that has already cost Pottstown taxpayers “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in cost overruns in connection with the Barth Elementary School construction project.
What do all of these events have in common?
They all involve three high profile law enforcement public servants in Montgomery County…Commissioner Bruce Castor, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, and Pottstown Borough Manager Mark Flanders…or as we like to refer to them…The Axis of Evil (cue the lightning bolts, crashing thunder, and mad scientist laughter).
So…what’s the latest on the grand jury investigation DA Ferman? It’s been almost three months now with nary a peep from the Halls of Justice in Norristown. Word on the street is that the investigation has been dropped without any charges being filed. How so very convenient!
We guess now that since Flanders has his employment situation all solidified (courtesy of Commission Castor and his legal muscle), that irritating county investigation of the Codes Office can now go away without any drastically needed change being implemented.
That means that Flanders can now spend $33,000+ on Remington, Vernick and Beach Engineers to conduct a review of the Codes Office. RVB is the same company that was hired in March to be the borough’s engineering firm and also the very same company that does work for the Planning Commission (and, as mentioned above, is the same firm hired by the Pottstown School District for the Barth Elementary School construction project).
Did you ever wonder how that firm was hired by the borough? We have too. Do you think there was a bid issued prior to the firm being awarded all of this work? Or do you think the firm was awarded a no-bid contract?
Word on street tells us has that the company was hired as a result of family ties to members of both Pottstown Borough Council and the Pottstown School Board. Using family connections to award no-bid contracts…that sure would explain how the company has been hired so many times by both council and the school board.
It’s also worth noting that Flanders’ decision to hire RVB was backed up by council’s Finance and Administration Committee, which is chaired by Councilman Dan Weand. During the October 9 council meeting when the vote to proceed took place, Weand stated, “We want to make Pottstown a top rated town and codes is the places to start.”
The Axis of Evil is hard at work in Pottstown.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.