As the clock continues to tick towards the March 6, 2017 deadline of East Greenville's pullout of the Upper Perk Police Commission, time becomes a commodity that shouldn't be wasted.
There are so many questions by so many people and it appears that few of them will be answered in time to save a partnership that has existed for more than four decades.
There are three sides to every story; your side, their side and the truth. In the case of the Upper Perk Police Commission, the truth lies somewhere in between.
Potential solutions presented to the public have been mixed, confused and incomplete. And, it seems there are two solutions to the problem: fix the Upper Perk Police Commission or break it up.
Readers offered up many suggestions and questions, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of those thoughts with officials – not to embarrass them, but to help them by sharing information. Something they may want to improve upon – especially with each other.
Mediation may not be completed by March 6, 2017. Solicitors and officials hint at the very real prospect that the deadline won't be made.
When will the mediation meetings start? With officials beginning to outline stipulations before they even meet for the first time, the pre-mediation meeting(s) will need to gather the proposed guidelines, report back to officials and have them agree to them before the real mediation meetings take place. How long will that take and will officials be able to agree on stipulations for the meetings?
Mediation meetings may not work at all. With the now openly confessed personality conflicts in addition to the financial problems, what are the chances that those with personal issues today will be able to sit at the same table and resolve those disputes in time?
Will East Greenville start its own police department and sign contracts with a chief and officers that will extend beyond 2017 to thwart any attempts to return to the Upper Perk Police Commission, by those challenging them for their seats in 2017?
Is taking out a loan to start-up a police department in the best interest of long-term financial stability?
What is the legal opinion of the East Greenville solicitor regarding the lawyer for the Upper Perk Police Officer's threat last week to sue for breach of contract? If the borough loses, affected police officers could end up being compensated through the end of 2017. Whether or not they're just working for Pennsburg may not matter. A breach of contract usually results in the affected being compensated.
Will Pennsburg officials put the offer to increase their payments back on the table if East Greenville agrees to extend their participation through the end of 2017?
Can the budget be fine-tuned further? Are taxpayers getting the best bang for their buck? Way too often budget preparers and reviewers simply take last year's budget or actual amounts and add a percentage to come up with this year's budget. Lack of due-diligence by elected officials rarely translates to the best-buy for the taxpayers.
The list goes on. Feel free to add your own questions and comments.
The people of East Greenville and Pennsburg are encouraged to contact their officials and let them know their feelings. This is a spot-on case where the silent majority could end up losing more than they think they will. Time will tell.