Monday, April 12, 2004


And now, a couple of items from Nether Providence Township, which could very well be a local translation for "Darby With Trees" (so named because of the often contentious and partisan bickering between the township's board of supervisors which is often on par with similar conduct in Darby Borough; one board member actually used this term as a cautionary measure, but read further and you may see that the warnings may not be being heeded).

The News of Delaware County reported that SEPTA plans to remove the pedestrian overpass at the Wallingford Rail Station. The fast-tracking of these plans may also have been helped by the fact that SEPTA's Minister of Mis-Information Richard Maloney just so happens to be a resident of the Wallingford district of "Darby With Trees", but residents and some township board members are pleased that SEPTA was addressing this issue.

Railroad tie and surface work has begun between Secane and Elwyn. After the pedestrian overpass structure is removed, inter-track fencing will be installed from October 2004 through January 2005.

The existing pedestrian track crossing will stay and the fencing will extend about 200 feet past the existing passenger loading platforms, Maloney said.

He said in the spring of 2005 a new technological crosswalk would also be installed.

"It will have sound alerts and lights showing when a train is coming," he said.

(Township supervisor Sara) Petrosky asked if the platform could be raised because it is difficult for passengers to step off the train.

Maloney said he would take the issue back to the general manager.

Petrosky was pleased with SEPTA's new safety improvements.

"SEPTA was very responsive to this issue and I just wanted to thank you," she said.
News of Delaware County

Now, for the other hot button topic in "Darby With Trees".

In last Wednesday's Delaware County Daily Times (article was not posted on-line), township officials were relieved to learn that the proposal by SEPTA to re-route the 118 in the Garden City district of the township was put on hold and would be addressed as part of the upcoming Annual Service Plan.

SEPTA Treasurer Joe Casey (who oversees the Service Planning department as part of the Finance Division) sent an email to State Rep. and former SEPTA Board member Tom Killion (R-168) that cancelled the Putnam Village re-routing while also taking the 118 out of Garden City. The 118 would instead be routed via Chestnut Parkway, Waterville Road, and Brookhaven Road. The township board along with Putnam Village residents, Killion and State Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-9th) had been opposed to the original re-routing plan.

A public meeting on the Annual Service Plan is scheduled to take place at 1234 Market next Tuesday (time to be announced later when I get more information), with the actual tariff/public hearing process expected to take place in May.

Township board member Robert O'Connor, who lives in the Putnam Village development, had led the opposition to re-routing the line through his neighborhood in a classic case of NIMBYism, earing praise from one of his constituents.

"I'm very happy the bus (route) has been stopped," said Donna Epright, a resident who helped coordinate opposition to the move.

Epright also said that residents have "overwhelming" gratitude and appreciation for (O'Connor)...

"He got the job done through his relentless efforts to communicate with our residents individually and aggregately, and he succeeded in getting our message" to Pileggi, Killion, and SEPTA's Board of Directors, she said...

On the other hand, Epright said the residents were "disappointed and embarassed" by the "insensitivity and unprofessionalism" of some township (board members) who "did not want to hear from us on this issue and claimed to have no involvement or ability to influence SEPTA's decision.

Epright said she was referring to (board member) John Kennedy, who represents the Garden City section, and board President Tom Gallagher.
Daily Times

This is where the "Darby With Trees" reference gains its relevance.

The article went on to point out that both Kennedy and Gallagher were critical of Putnam Village residents who had complained to them regarding the proposed 118 re-routing. Gallagher claimed that he had recieved e-mails from angry residents at work and threatening phone calls at home. Kennedy had complained about the same thing, but also added that "what he found strange about the phone calls and e-mails was that 'most of them were directed personally toward me. Like I have this magic wand, where this is my doing.'" Daily Times

Epright also claimed that some board members (though she didn't mention Kennedy and Gallagher by name, it appears they were among those involved) used some rather colorful language to complain about the Putnam Village residents after the meeting, which airs on the township's public access channel.

"They used more obsecnities over the airways than the filthiest R-rated movie," she said. "Using countless f-words to describe their feelings toward their fellow board members and Wallingford Valley (Putnam Village) residents, they showed their true colors." Daily Times

Okay, it may not be as enormous of a story as, say, the ongoing feud between Darby Borough Mayor Paula Brown and the majority on Borough Council who hate her (and, according to news accounts, have even less of a clue about democracy than Don Pasquale), but bear in mind that this is the same township which couldn't get their act straight on how to add a 7th member to the board last year (a move which required court intervention).

Hence, Nether Providence = "Darby With Trees"...

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