Actions Speak Louder Than Words
When not purchasing overpriced automobile accessories for his squad car, or buying clothing using his borough wardrobe stipend, or intimidating borough employees, or looking at homes to purchase in Pottstown…Flanders has been diligently working on tweaking the borough’s mission statement.
The current statement, adopted by borough council in October of 2011, is pretty much, like everything else associated with borough hall, a joke.
Here it is as posted on the borough’s website:
Borough of Pottstown
Our mission is to provide and maintain superior municipal services in a safe and controlled community setting, keeping within the designated financial constraints as set forth in our annual budget, in order to attract and retain responsible property owners, businesses and community leaders that will continue to assist in our improvement and growth for the future, while remembering our P.R.I.D.E.
P.R.I.D.E. Core Values
P – Plan – We will accept that change is inevitable, and PLAN accordingly for the future.
R – Responsible – We will manage our financial and human resources in a RESPONSIBLE manner.
I – Interests – We will consider the INTERESTS of the entire community in decision making
D – Deliver – We will strive to DELIVER superior services to the tax and rate payers.
E – Equity – We will treat everyone and every situation with EQUITY and fairness.
Sounds cute, doesn’t it? When it comes to borough hall…every day must be Opposite Day. Whatever the core values say…just do the opposite.
We have a more realistic mission statement we’d like to share…one that more accurately reflects how things are really done in Pottstown:
S.T.I.N.K Core Values
Screw Up Plans – We will do everything humanly possible to screw up every innovative and progressive plan that comes across our collective desks…no matter how much it cost the taxpayers.
Take No Responsibility – We will take absolutely no responsibility for the way we manage our departments…especially the Codes Department.
Ignore – We will go out of our way to ignore the interests of the entire community in decision making. Screw ‘em.
Never Deliver – We will never deliver on any issue or idea we propose…especially in regards to taxes and service to the taxpayers who pay our generous salaries.
Kick to the Poorhouse – We will kick to the poorhouse every person/family who purchased a primary residential property in Pottstown. That’s our promise.
We understand that Flanders is developing a new mission statement to replace the S.T.I.N.K core values. We like to refer to those values for what they will truly do to the honest hard-working home-owning borough residents…make them S.C.A.T.T.E.R.
Safety – We are dedicated to educate, promote and encourage the practice of safety while reducing unsafe and hazardous conditions for all who live, work and play in our community. Thus improving the quality of life within the Borough of Pottstown.
Under Police Chief Flanders’ ten year tenure the Pottstown crime index figure has skyrocketed 154% compared to the national average.
Continuous Improvement – We provide the highest quality service with the resources available by promoting innovation and flexibility to meet the changing needs of the borough.
Innovation and flexibility? Please. The only innovation and flexibility exhibited by borough hall has been for slumlords who have trashed our historic housing stock.
Accountability – We will obligate ourselves to account for all of our actions, accept responsibility for them, and disclose the outcomes in a transparent manner.
The fox guarding the henhouse. We seem to recall a certain Pottstown School Board Director who ran on a “transparency” platform…how’s that working out?
Teamwork – We operate collaboratively with an intense focus on the common goal, betting the community we serve, and we recognize that we can always achieve more by working together.
The common goal being to marginalize anyone who we don’t agree with by looking for code violations at their property.
Trust – Trust is the condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in oneself. Therefore, we accept the challenge to display integrity and character in every aspect of our functions.
Trust and Pottstown Borough Hall is an oxymoron.
Environment – We are aware of the importance of our natural, historic and economic resources and strive to enrich their sustainability for future generations.
Being aware and taking action are two entirely different concepts.
Ethics – Setting high standards in our personal, professional and organizational conduct, we will strive to uphold the public trust by conducting ourselves with integrity in furtherance of the borough’s mission.
Ethics and Pottstown Borough Hall is another oxymoron.
Respect – We will demonstrate respect by how we treat each other, by the contributions that come from our diversity, by the productivity of our relationships, and by a job well done no matter what the job.
How about demonstrating respect to the folks who pay your salaries? Like those who visit borough hall to pay for our ever increasing tax and water bills? Or demonstrating respect to those borough residents who speak at council meetings?
It’s one thing to write a fantasy set of core values that you never expect to honor. It’s an entirely different thing to actually implement them.
Good luck with that.
“Action speaks louder than words and I’m a man of great experience.” – Otis Redding