There was an interesting “His View” in the Argus today. Our local paper is becoming more and more like a Facebook news feed. Anything and everything will be written and shared regardless of any ties to facts or reality. Just fill the white space at any cost.
I wanted to voice a few concerns over the “opinions” this council member, Paul Hamill, voiced in the article. He has been very vocal lately, taking to the paper, social media, and his website to tell you…
… he plans to share more of his “research and ideas over the coming weeks and months.”
The over-arching theme of this narrative over the past few years has been that of the lone-wolf. However, he is the only one in the fight. A common phrase that is used and is indeed found in today’s article is “We just need to work together for the good of the entire town…” Council is working together, council is publicly having important discussions. Yet, this council person cries foul and says no one will work with him. From my experience this year, it is not that council works against Paul Hamill, it is that Paul Hamill works against council.
Here are some things I want to point out from the article.
1. I have major concern over Paul’s relentless attack of our Act 47 coordinator. He claims in article that some voters are calling for change of the coordinator. He recently sent an email to all council members asking us to review the current coordinators resume (the 2012 version was only 21 pages long).
• First of all, our Act 47 coordinator is eminently qualified.
• He refuses to use her title, Dr., which I find to be very disrespectful.
• He went, without any councilpersons knowledge, to Harrisburg to disgrace her character.
2. He recently admitted at a council meeting to having just read the most recent plan that was submitted by the coordinator (one that he has had access to and should have read at the beginning of his term of office.) It therefore comes as no surprise that false statements would be made about the plan such as: “and waiting until 2018 to suggest home rule.” This is blatantly false. I found Home Rule suggested on the Plan submitted in 2011 on page 125.
3. He mentions the coordinators opposition for an independent “forensic” audit. Why the opposition? The current independent audits are sufficient, and the suggested reason from Paul which is to convince surrounding municipalities that we are doing things correctly would be an inappropriate use of funds considering this type of audit would cost significantly more that the current independent audits being lawfully conducted.
4. In the article he essentially blames businesses not coming to town and lack of multi-municipal coordination on the coordinator which is highly offensive and enormously unfounded.
5. The police car company, approved through costars, which Hamill references is IBIS Tech, went under new ownership about a year and a half ago.
6. Buckerhorn Engineering was not to blame for the issues of City of Hermitage, it was the council who bet on profits from the creation of the garbage incinerator.
7. Paul insinuates an ulterior motive behind Home Rule and in the process is doing a great disservice to the very commission he was elected to serve on.
• His suggestions that the only purpose of Home Rule is to have no limits to taxing is highly uninformed… but of course it would be, he has attended few meetings and refuses to bring up these concerns of his in the actual discussion.
• In regards to his title and conclusion: “Get your house in order first”. That Home Rule is a process in which the borough can use to “order our house.”
• I hope everyone see through the thin vale of false promises that his absence from the commission will ultimately benefit the commission because of his attendance at these PSAB conferences. The Certified Borough Official training is not a qualifier. And there has been no measurable positive outcome to-date from all of his time at these conferences (which he has repeatedly asked the borough to pay for.)
• He asked “When do we get to the phase where we discuss the broad spectrum of opportunities and concerns that home rule presents?” Maybe if he would go to a meeting he would understand the timeline and expectations that have been accepted by the commission members.
8. Paul is right about Greenville’s need for economic development. However, there are many limitations on the local government and specifically what a borough in Pennsylvania is able to do in that realm. What bits of legislation is he proposing that we adopt to benefit economic development? Crickets…
• Borough council and the Act 47 coordinator work within a framework. The borough council has a legislative role. Again, what bit of legislation does Paul think we need to adopt?
Since we are talking about opinions, let me share mine.
I am afraid that Paul has a very poor understanding of local government, which is a shame considering all the time and money spent at conferences. Paul has been in office for some time now, and is gearing up for re-election and he is using these tactics to convince residents that there is a problem. What has he done to fix the problems, or call or answers and accountability to this point? Its all conjecture and hyperbole. A whole lot of talk and very little action. Not one resolution has been drafted. The most recent appointed council person to fill a vacancy drafted and successfully adopted a resolution within his first two months.
This article also speaks about tax hikes. This article was prepared, probably by his ghostwriter, and sent to the Record-Argus before our discussion played out. He was preemptive. And if you where at the previous council meeting you would notice that he acted interested in entertaining the discussion. I’ll add a conspiracy because we all like those. Paul pretended to be interested in tax hikes, or at least discussing it, hoping for the majority to possibly be in favor of what was proposed by a citizen, only to swoop in, as he did in the article, as the only one who is fighting for the people and boo taxes. Problem is… council discussed after his opinion was sent to the paper, and no one on council is looking for a tax hike. He is fighting apparitions.
The tactics that are used here are that of a dirty politician. He refuses to say what he really thinks for discussion to play out in the arena that it is supposed to, and instead, takes to the internet in spreading conspiracy theories, defame his fellow councilpersons, and incite hatred with falsities. Paul has been detrimental to our local government.
I have been made aware from reputable sources that Paul does not plan to stop his attacks until I step down and some of our administrative staff resigns. Unfortunately, his focus is not on serving and helping the Greenville community, rather on personal pursuits of power and control.