Sunday, September 2, 2018

STOP: Townsend, Osienski in damage control mode

How ironic is it that Rep Osienski and Senator Townsend sent out letters to adjacent neighborhoods, that they are working on 'permission' from the new Orphanage Property owner and developer (Bob Sipple) to allow the building of public trails through the remains of the Orphanage Property woods?

Imagine if they had the foresight to send a letter in 2013? Imagine had they sent this before any of the development plans were even drawn up, to give residents and Advocates a chance to intervene? Beyond any shadow of a doubt, they would have begun working with the Felician Sisters and Tom Gordon for a regional park, and the odds of success overwhelming. But no, they did not, because as Advocates have so clearly demonstrated time and time again, they wanted this Chestnut Hill "Preserve" to happen.

The letter accuses Advocates of putting out "inaccurate information" No, they did not. They posted speculative information here and on social media pages about what could happen, in light of the fact that Gender Road access will likely be cut off, due to the Adverse Possession lawsuit pending. And don't be fooled; a connection to Todd II or Breezewood would still happen if it became a matter of building the development by code, or because safety demanded it. Remember, when needed, Emergency Services and Police will need to be able to get into the development quickly and safely. Right now there is only one access - the developer wanted two, and in the end, DelDOT will have the final say.

IF Townsend and Osienski have so much power to over-rule DelDOT and NCC in this matter, why didn't they intervene and demand Meyer make a good faith effort to Save The Orphanage Property? Even if they are correct, and they manage to stop any other connections, the Chestnut Hill "Preserve" is 269 Dwelling Units. The Unified Development Code calls for a bi-directional, signalized intersection for over 300 DUs, so we're looking at just under that number. It is a foregone conclusion that at some point in the future, DelDOT will upgrade Route 4 to better accommodate congestion and close-call issues at the CHP, using tax payer dollars.

Like so many other facts we've stated -- and not once have been disputed -- another glaring fact is how these two (and NCC's Diller, equally at fault) refuse to take one ounce of responsibility for the disaster unfolding. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that the region is completely disenfranchised because of them; that they held the only ever opportunity for a regional park in the palm of their hands, and threw it away. The time to save it was when they first learned of the smallest possibility of development - but instead, their inaction, disinterest, and lack of public engagement allowed the CHP to move forward to the point where it would be difficult, though not impossible, to stop it. So what did they do? Handed responsibility to newly elected NCC Exec Mat Meyer, himself bought off by construction interests and having zero vested interest in the region or a park.

So now it's election time, and they're in full damage control mode. Their folly is unfolding right here in front of us. We see it, and it's time for new leadership. Don't be taken; vote all 3 -- Diller, Osienski, and Townsend -- OUT of office on Nov. 6!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

STOP's Greatest Memes: Part 1

By wildly popular demand, here are the first half-dozen of our most poignant, revealing, and/or disturbing MEMEs published by STOP Advocates throughout the first 3 years of the campaign. Each has their own story to tell about failed leadership, hypocrisy, trashing democracy, and throwing constituents under the bus. There is so much shame to go around, we have to publish these in a series.

The Catholic Church is a self-proclaimed charitable organization, supposedly putting the greater good first, ahead of the wealthy few. They claim to uphold Christ's mission of peace and love, and of late, Pope Francis and his encyclical concerning environmental stewardship. Or so they say. Apparently, it never occurred to the Nuns to give, or even partially gift the land to their neighbors in the form of accepting Meyer's inadequate buyout offer. The church put maximizing profits first, and to hell with the people, planet, and wildlife.

With Councilwoman Diller
publicly stating that "she didn't own the property and couldn't make them sell it", she declared herself "DONE" and "FINISHED" on numerous occasions, unwilling to support STOP Advocate's efforts. It fell on NCC Executive Meyer, who had multiple opportunities to clinch a buyout with shared funding between the County and State, and as we know, he failed miserably.

It is far from clear why all 3 legislators -- Diller, Osienski, and Townsend -- trusted Exec Meyer to negotiate all by himself. Meyer was only elected in 2016. He isn't from the area, and took numerous campaign donations from developer and construction interests. Though he lies to the contrary, as quoted here in an email to us, he has no respect or regard for open space and the natural environment -- never mind quality of life in Ogletown-S. Newark.

Shortly after Diller leaked news of the Orphanage Property's impending doom in July 2015, Rep Ed Osienski admitted that he and the other legislators were following the Felician Sister's plans for at least 2 years prior. This came as a total shock to residents and Advocates, who were just now confronted with a completed exploratory plan and the Chestnut Hill "Preserve" marching forward, full steam ahead.

Like Diller being "done" and "finished", Osienski held nothing back in 2015, quoted at various meetings that the development "is going to happen" regardless. At the end of the STOP campaign, he played a very different tune, expressing sorrow, regret, and disappointment that STOP didn't "happen".

One of the very first excuses from Senator Townsend. He did little or nothing to inform the public and Advocates of impending development for two years (2013-2015) because, well, he just didn't think it would happen. However, he insists that he told a few constituents in adjacent communities that were present at their local HOA meetings.

When 8 acres of prime habitat area in his district came under threat of development, Rep Kowalko not only notified his constituents, he went public, ensuring that Advocates were aware of the threat. Even those outside his district were well in the know, early in the game.

Friday, August 10, 2018

STOP price tag was 10% the cost of the Route 9 Library

Isn't it shocking
to think that the Legislators only needed to raise approx 1/10 the cost of the Rt.9 library (that's right ... 1/10) to save the Orphanage Property? All three -- Councilwoman Diller, Rep Osienski, and Senator Townsend were first aware of the Nun's intentions to sell and build low income housing in 2013. They should have known the grave threat that presented to the entire open space, especially given certain ordinances. These include "workforce housing", compliments of Penrose Hollins, where this vast buildout (Chestnut Hill "Preserve") was actually a condition of the Nuns receiving a tax credit. Is that crazy or what?

Instead of keeping this all a big secret, the legislators should have known that the most appropriate use of the land was for parkland, and immediately enlisted constituents and advocates to oppose it. A fight could have been led against NCC, demanding that they waive (they can do that) Hollins' ordinance. Instead, the legislators stayed mum, waiting until it was too late -- 2 years later in fact. Then Diller leaked it in 2015, leading to the bloodbath at Holy Family Church that July.

If the property appraised at $5.9M, less than 3M would have been required from the State side for an even 50/50 match with NCC. Instead, Townsend and Osienski go around taking credit for achieving $1.25M in the bond bill, with only their promise of a second installment a year later. That gave Meyer all the excuse he needed to throw the Orphanage Property away, at one point even saying that Townsend lied having promised $6M in the bond bill.

How much clearer can it be that they wanted the development to take place? That their developer friends and donors came first? 2013-14-15-16 -- the first three with Gordon -- and both Osienski and Townsend couldn't round up a $3M match for NCC funds. Yet they just love to blame NCC Exec Meyer (who arrived late in the game) for screwing the pooch. Had the alarm sounded in the 2013-14 time frame, Gordon would have jumped at the chance of State matching funds, and worked with the Nuns to rezone as necessary for the low income housing, and spin off the rest for a regional park. We know this because Gordon called us in the Summer of 2016 and we talked in person about it. He just needed to defeat Meyer in the primary and the rest would have been history we're sure. But that didn't happen; Meyer narrowly defeated Gordon.

In no way does this excuse Meyer, because he could have made STOP happen in the 11th hour. Obviously, his campaign donors dictated otherwise. But it never should have come down to Meyer in the first place; Both State Legislators and Diller had a clear opportunity to wrap this up years before he arrived at the scene.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

STOP: No word yet on the Adverse Possession Claim

By Angela Connolly and Frank Warnock

There has been no official word yet on the Adverse Possession claim/lawsuit, which threatens to reduce the Chestnut Hill "Preserve" development to only one access point in one direction on Route 4. It is difficult to imagine everyone U-turning in or out and not effecting safety and congestion issues through Ogletown now, including existing LOS failures at intersections. That, and having to navigate through low income housing as a daily routine. Both of these issues, for every new resident's average 9 car trips per day, per household according to FHWA statistics. The McMansion people back in the woods are just going to love that, aren't they?

The question we are asked daily is this; how will Sipple (the developer) deal with this; will he simply accept the limited access and go forward with the full plan anyway? Or will he look to buy ROW from Holy Family Church, perhaps through their parking lot? An off-alignment connection, that can only use Gender Rd, is seen as a critical part of the plan -- not just to Sipple, but to DelDOT as well.

According to the Unified Development Code (UDC), a signalized 2-way intersection is compulsory when a development exceeds 300 dwelling units (DUs). The Chestnut Hill so-called "Preserve" is 269. They seriously want this second connection out to Gender and that's why this lawsuit is taking place (supposedly it is; Advocates have heard nothing).

Assuming the case is genuine, and Mr Stranahan isn't bought off, our prediction here at STOP is that he -- the plaintiff -- wins his claim for Adverse Possession. Sipple's "Tree of Heaven Way" is now blocked from Gender. Sipple then goes to Holy Family Church; if they don't give up enough ROW for a through road segment, they will refer back to their original plan of connecting to Waverly Rd in Breezewood, making Skyview the through road out to Gender. Townsend has already insisted this won't happen, however, he and Osienski have proven time and time again that they are a joke; they are weak and ineffectual at stopping or standing up for anything, unless they or their minions profit from it, of course.

The other thing we should look for -- assuming all these second connection ideas fail -- is DelDOT reconstructing Route 4 at that location and adding a signalized intersection. If not now, then inevitably down the road. That would come at taxpayer expense, of course. But then hey, why not, right? They keep raising taxes to pay for all of the services that these new DUs require, that NCC cannot afford. The Legislators and County Council have already lowered property values on area residents by allowing Section 8 housing, and stripping any notion of a regional park -- which would have enhanced quality of life and increased property values. They're just batting a thousand, aren't they?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Flashback 7/17: Legislators blow off final chance to STOP

By Frank Warnock and Angela Connolly

Memories of 1 year ago, and the colossal failure on the part of our "legislators" to save the Orphanage Property, and the last chance ever for a regional park in Ogletown/Rt.4.

NCC Exec Meyer offers to buy the land on behalf of the County and the State, at appraised value only, despite close to a million dollars in developer planning, engineering and labor that would have to be absorbed. The Sisters offered to "meet halfway" on that, as long as Meyer produced a buyout agreement containing basic conditions (i.e. who's going to plow the snow at the entry road, etc) that they previously agreed upon in prior meetings. But Meyer wouldn't budge, instead producing a buyout agreement that doesn't address said conditions. District 5 Councilwoman Lisa Diller supported Meyer's stance, saying that paying above appraised value would be unfair and unacceptable to taxpayers, even though Diller herself endorsed paying over appraised value for the land required for the $30M Library on Rt.9. On the other hand, saving the Orphange Property -- in Diller's own district -- would have cost NCC a mere 10% of that!

Wow; they knew EXACTLY how their constituents felt, in that they would rather have the "Chestnut Hill Preserve" than spend a little over appraised value!

WNJ: "In an interview Saturday, Meyer declined to directly address his correspondence with the Sisters or say whether negotiation ends with this rejection. He did indicate his administration is done making offers for now and it is up to the Sisters to counter".
  • Where was Diller, Rep Ed Osienski and Sen Bryan Townsend during these negotiations? Since they were absent, why didn't they insert themselves during and after, and demand that Meyer write a fair and viable buyout offer with the conditions he had already promised the Sisters?
  • Why was it incumbent on the Sisters to "counter", when they already had a much better offer from the Developer with a finished plan? They were agreeable to a park, but it was the Legislators that SHOULD have wanted it most on behalf of their constituents, and thus fervently pursued it.
  • Two months passed while Meyer waited for the Sisters to "counter", and with that, the final buyout opportunity expired. During that time, he came on a tour of the Orphanage Property with area residents, resolute that he would save the land if his apprenticeship reform bill was passed by NCC Council -- of which a modified version did.
  • Townsend was having "nightly phone calls" with the Nuns over this period. Why wasn't HE and Osienski livid, insisting that Meyer accept the slight over-appraised cost and include the conditions he promised them, or they would call on Gov Carney to act? The State has ultimate veto authority, and can invoke Eminent Domain if called upon.
The whole thing is foul, wretched, stinking of collusion between each of the NCC and State legislators. They knew that development was coming all the way back to 2013, and now they had to cover themselves -- that they were actually trying to stop it. But from Osienski's very words alone ("it [the development] is going to happen, it's going to happen"), we knew they weren't trying; not even close.

If the Legislators truly made a mistake by waiting until July 2015 to spring the completed exploratory plan on the public -- too late for residents and advocates to stop it -- they would have been an overwhelming presence at Meyer's negotiations and demanded he complete a fair purchase of the Orphanage Property. That or involve the Governor and overrule Meyer and NCC from the State side. Instead, they stood idly by, trusting Meyer to go it alone; a man who was just elected, isn't from the area, took numerous campaign contributions from developer and construction interests, and has no respect or regard for quality of life in Ogletown-S. Newark.

November can't come soon enough, folks. Let's boot these cretinous profitmongers from elected office; please help by spreading the word, sharing our posts, and joining in future action calls and alerts.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ogletown Park: Setting the record straight

By Angela Connolly and Frank Warnock, STOP

Senator Bryan Townsend and Representative Ed Osienski, in this Timeline, attempt to defend their actions in their failure to succeed in saving the Orphanage Property for parkland. They want you to believe that they did everything that they could to save the land. THEY DID NOT. Here, after our careful review, is a list, which summarizes our findings, to give you an idea of the inconsistencies that we uncovered. Their "timeline" has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

Here are those key points...

1) Senator Townsend and Rep. Osienski, from the time that they claim to have been made aware of the possibility of development in 2013, over two years before the July 2015 Public Meeting at Holy Family Church, FAILED to notify their Constituents, in writing to each and every household, especially engaging those who would be directly affected, such as those homeowners immediately bordering the property, in time for them to voice their concerns and to participate with Legislators, the Felician Sisters, and their neighbors in finding an acceptable alternative to the massive and devastating development that we are now facing. They failed to hold early public meetings, which should have been advertised and specifically addressing the possibility of development. Indeed, Rep. Osienski on his FB page, arrogantly stated that he "didn't think that a four year grassroots campaign, as opposed to a two year one" would have made a difference. WRONG; it would have made all the difference!

2) Senator Townsend and Rep Osienski FAILED to communicate with the Felician Sisters in a manner where they would have been made aware of how the Sisters were progressing in their plans for development. Their Timeline shows large portions of time gone by where they failed to reach out to the Sisters to check on the progress of the tax credit that the Sisters intended to keep applying for.

3) In spite of the strong photographic and other evidence presented by homeowners, Senator Townsend and Rep Osienski FAILED to address, and fight for, the very real drainage/flooding concerns of their constituents in Todd Estates 2 and Breezewood, who may now suffer devastating personal and financial consequences as this development goes through as planned. Although they did visit some neighbors who had flooding issues, it was reported to us by those neighbors (who are willing to be identified if necessary) that these concerns were not taken seriously.

4) Senator Townsend and Rep Osienski FAILED to object to the appointment of Joseph Setting (Orphanage Property developer) and Michael Hoffman (from the legal firm representing the Sisters) to Chairmanship positions in County Exec. Meyer's Parks Transition Team. They were both aware that Setting in particular had a strongly vested interest in developing the Orphanage Property, and so they were morally and ethically bound to raise an objection, protect their Constituents, and cite these appointments as a conflict of interest. However, they did not. With the Campaign over, and the land forever lost, Senator Townsend recently went one cruel step further, by claiming that these appointments were indeed NOT a conflict, because the Parks Team did prioritize the need for Ogletown parkland as #3 most important. He never once realized that, at #3, saving the Orphanage Property would never become a reality from Meyer's budget restraints alone, never mind stop the bulldozers. Setting, in a sneaky, crafty way, made sure of that.

5) Senator Townsend and Rep Osienski FAILED  to respond to, or investigate, the legality of the Traffic Impact Study (TIS). Although Sen Townsend said that he read the County Law, and from his perspective, he felt the study was inconclusive, knowledgeable Advocates -- one of whom contributed to writing the UDC -- brought forth claims that the TIS was flawed and incorrectly recorded to exclude failed signalized intersections that, by law, are required to be included. This means that, by law, building over 50 units in total would be illegal - and so the development can be, and should be halted. Despite numerous pleas from Advocates, imploring them to investigate this claim and object to the project on that basis, both refuse to address this issue. Senator Townsend also stated to Advocates that he didn't think that the development would impact Rt.4 traffic congestion, despite the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) studies that show an average of 9 car trips per day per household in the U.S. (x 270 new housing units).

We hope that you will consider all of the points presented here, and that you will re-read their Timeline and conclude for yourself what we have already concluded - that, NO MATTER what they say otherwise, these two Legislators FAILED their Constituents by not acting at an earlier date, in time for the development (the Chestnut Hill "Preserve") to be halted before it was too late. We believe that their failure to do so ultimately contributed to this development progressing to a point where it was too late to stop it from happening. Their efforts came too late, and contributed to the loss. For this, they must take responsibility.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Where's the Rt.4 Park? A Conversation With Senator Bryan Townsend

Well, folks, we had a fascinating Facebook conversation with Senator Bryan Townsend today, started off by one of his constituents asking simply "Where's the Route 4 park?". We have repeated on numerous occasions, and in articles on this website, that both State Legislators (including Rep Ed Osienski) are equally at fault for the loss of the Orphanage Property.
Unlike other States, most of Delaware does not have local jurisdiction, like a city, township or borough. Nor do we have the ability to draft and put up referendums on the ballot, i.e. open space funding via a minuscule sin tax as commonly seen in most other States. This is something that, like 10-9 funding (failed) and Open Space as a Democrat Party Plank (failed), we would have worked very hard on to secure funding. Therefore, our County and State Legislators are given a significantly elevated responsibility to act in the people's best interests, throughout the districts they serve.

We knew from very early on that Councilwoman Lisa Diller was completely useless; a colossal failure who did virtually nothing for STOP. Exec Meyer arrived late on the scene with his election in 2016, and with no State Legislator oversight, simply threw away this one time-only opportunity. But along with Diller, both Rep Ed Osienski and Sen Bryan Townsend knew way back in 2013 that the property was under the threat of development, and did not act in the manner one would expect if you're trying to save it.

BT (Bryan Townsend):  As I’ve said before, I’m crushed that we didn’t acquire that land. I did everything I could do. Please read this link, and let me know if you have any questions about what happened:

AC (Ange Connolly, STOP):  Unfortunately, you did not ... starting with keeping it from the public for several years when that precious time would certainly have made a difference.

BT:  Ange, no one kept anything from the public. In particular, residents who attend their community meetings heard from us about what limited information we did have.

FW (Frank Warnock, STOP):  Please stop lying, Bryan. How come everyone in Kowalko's district -- and those beyond like us -- knew immediately when 8 acres of habitat came under threat? You and Ed did virtually nothing to inform the public and notify advocates and community leaders from 2013-2015.

FW:  You also did not even float the idea of eminent domain, or getting the governor involved. You also stood idly by and allowed a huge window to close while Meyer farted around even coming on a tour of the property with us.

BT:  Frank, we did lobby the Governor, whose team did speak with County officials. We did not allow a window to close; we secured State funding at a time when County had indicated funding was the threshold issue. I was keeping you posted throughout that whole time period, with a consistent combo of phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings. In my grief over failing to save the property, I remember vividly who fought for the property and who didn’t; in your grief, you seem to have forgotten.

FW:  Why didn't the Governor, and you, and Ed, and Sen Sokola, and Rep. Paul Baumbach, and a host of others that were supposedly on board override Meyer? The State has the ultimate authority and can do so -- even if it requires Eminent Domain. You could have demanded this, and/or threatened to resign over it. Your constituents should come first, above your own self-interests.

BT:  Frank, it wasn't possible to "override" Meyer or the County, particularly once state legislative session was over. Remember, everyone thought it was a 50-50 partnership, and the key step was getting enough funding to have the Sisters take the State/County seriously and finalize an agreement. We were able to get State funding, and that should have started the dominoes falling in a positive direction. But when it didn't (because of County tactics and decisions), it wasn't possible for the State to go back and re-do the framework. We were done with legislative session until January 2018. Now, of course, in hindsight, we wish we had seen what might happen with the County, and tried to come up with a work-around where the State would be the 100% purchaser. But we never thought the County would so dramatically fail on this project. Four other quick points: (1) the State may have the ultimate legal authority **generally**, but it would take a long time, if at all, to somehow change the law and take parks/land-use power back from the County... it simply does not work that way, especially snap-of-the-finger timing and especially when the legislature is not in session; (2) Eminent Domain has never been used in the way you are suggestion, and in fact DNREC's own law in the Delaware Code forbids this kind of acquisition via eminent domain; (3) you keep saying that we should have "threatened to resign" when County wasn't cooperating --- that is entirely childish behavior, and no one, no one, no one at County would have cared if two state legislators were threatening to resign for not getting what we wanted... in fact, resigning (or losing re-election) would be what those individuals might want to see, because then they would not have to worry about disagreeing with us anymore; (4) I put my constituents first, always, including on this project... there were no "self-interests" for me that distracted me from 100% supporting this project, including convincing my State colleagues to allocate funding... and I clearly remember the many, many times you and I communicated about this issue in real-time, and the times I literally handed my newborn son back to my exhausted wife so I could hop on yet another phone call to try and broker a successful deal here, to try and do everything possible to make that land a regional park for a hard-working community that deserves it... in those final weeks, you and I coordinated frequently, and it is unfortunate that we were not successful, and that you now are on a path where you lump those of who stepped up into the same categories as those who did not.

FW:  You will never, ever convince us, Bryan. If a giant sinkhole opened up on Rt.4 in front of the Orphanage Property, the State would have immediately found $7+M to fix it. Ditto with a bridge collapse, or an emergency need for land in any other situation. They found $30M to buy out Glenville. The money is always there when something is this important, as this was, and there is lots of precedent for it. The Bond Bill can be amended in any emergency, or sought after for emergency funding if required. The point is, this wasn't an emergency to you or Ed. To us it was. That is the difference between us and that will never change.

And no, I would have told my colleagues on the bond committee and in Leg Hall that this is of incredible importance and that your political career is on the line (we obviously hope it is now). You could have stated you would be forced to consider resignation given the political fallout, because yes, the constituents come first. You never once told us you spoke with Gov Carney and what actions he was taking, so as far as STOP is concerned, that is hearsay, but we'll gladly look at any emails between you two if you have them.

The fact -- if true -- that eminent domain wouldn't work, and that overruling the County would take too long; that's not our problem. You're the State Senator and speak for the State, as does Ed, and again, if true, that is a colossal failure on the part of State Govt. Again, in virtually any other emergency funding situation, your excuses would have no merit -- the money would be there.

BT:  Frank, I’m sorry that you seem to forget that State money was there, and that our previously announced County partner decided not to prioritize the project in the final critical days and weeks. In your anger, you’re pointing to inapplicable or untimely theories (like eminent domain against a willing seller) and blaming all officials, even those who actually fought for the project. It’s your right to do so, and your right to advocate for other candidates at election time, but it’s unfortunate to see you ignore the clear record of advocacy, the fellowship that had been built, and the need to hold accountable those people who did not try their best.

FW:  The money wasn't there. Only $1.25M is not $6M. Many even believe that the 1.25 was only put there as a decoy; a CYA. Something for you and Ed to be able to point to, and say "see? we tried".

Again, had this been any other pressing need for State land acquisition, the money would have been there. It always is. Just give the word and we will start researching the vast amounts of precedent for emergency bond/budget funding and start posting on it. STOP more than qualified.

You can blame Exec Meyer and NCC, but with plenty of recourse at your disposal, you and Rep. Ed Osienski failed. Period. Either your donors came first, or it just wasn't important enough. You had yourself convinced that even if it was hot button, you would survive the fallout -- and you just might given your ability to deflect blame and put it on others very convincingly.

The Sisters were the willing seller. Sipple acquiring it was the point it was presumed not [for sale]. There is tons of precedent for eminent domain being used in numerous contexts. It would have been very appropriate at the point that Meyer failed and the land was presumed locked in for development. You should know this; you are an attorney.

FW:  Have you even spoken with Sipple, to ask if a price tag may just exist for buying it now? Nothing is built yet; it appears the land is being prepped and they might just start the low income housing first. Is there a price -- say, $9+M, that Sipple would accept to halt work and sell beyond the low income housing? The State discovered hundreds of millions in surplus this year. The price difference would be virtually negligible in comparison.

Oh wait, we forgot -- it's going to be spent on men taking months off from work on maternal leave. That is just soooo much more important than saving our natural environment and quality of life, right there with fighting lead paint chips. Nice!

FW:  BT said: "It wasn't possible to "override" Meyer or the County, particularly once state legislative session was over."

This is completely absurd, and if true, then the State needs to re-write its laws of governance. What happens when other crisis' arise, and "the legislative session is over?" What happens when any other emergency funding authorization is needed during this time? What if there was any other emergency, and they had to vote on something during this time? Is everyone just SOL, even left to die in an extreme case, just because "the legislative session is over?" That argument is a complete non-starter, Bryan.

And yes, Meyer could have been over-ridden, if from no one else, the Gov's office. If he can't, then NCC is autonomous and what's the point in having the State? What good are you, then? NCC's laws of governance are even written and applied from the State's code, and that tells anyone with a brain who has ultimate authority and veto power in extreme circumstances at least.

FW:  BT said: "DNREC's own law in the Delaware Code forbids this kind of acquisition via eminent domain"

Again, fail. True -- for conservation or open space protection. Under the context of public use, eminent domain for the purpose of a regional park facility -- for a region that does not have one and now never will -- is allowable and right in line with what's permitted. [DE Title 29]

BT:  Frank, your legal analysis is incorrect, as are the conclusions you are drawing about what happened. I appreciate your passion, I enjoyed working with you on this project, and I regret deeply that we were not successful and regret that you have decided to take the slash-and-burn approach

We sincerely appreciate Sen Townsend's polite decorum in this discussion and on his page in general. However, his acute ignorance and denial of how the Govt operates (and/or should operate) in terms of priority and jurisdiction is sad and troubling. Saving the Orphanage Property was anything but impossible from the State side -- either through emergency legislative intervention in Exec Meyer's flubbing of the buyout, or the State going it alone via eminent domain or emergency provisions in the Bond Bill. None of this is without precedent. Yet there is nothing more Townsend would like right now than to "move on" from STOP and hope it fades from memory. That simply isn't possible and Advocates and Constituents alike will continue to remind him of that for the duration of his political career.