BOS 11/19/2008 – Follow-up

Well the minutes reported by the Township were accurate if somewhat incomplete (wasn’t that what I was accused of?)   Here is the text from the meeting minutes:

Excerpt of 11/19/2008 Lower Nazareth Township Meeting Minutes (Comments Follow):

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Lower Nazareth Citizens Website Issues (Manager’s Report)


Mr. Tenges expressed his displeasure with the tactics employed by Mr. Green regarding his website. He stated he felt that it is extremely unfair of Mr. Greene to sit through a presentation or discussion of the Board, and not ask a single question regarding a particular topic and then proceed to post the subject on his website along with conjecture and innuendo about the topic. Mr. Tenges indicated that if Mr. Greene would simply asked a question regarding any subject he would be provided with a thorough explanation. Mr. Tenges mentioned that the Board provides ample time throughout every meeting for the public to comment or question them or the Manager regarding any subject being discussed. The point was made that Mr. Greene apparently chooses not to be thoroughly informed about the subject matter of the Board so that he can then pose the questions on his website and paint a negative picture of the Township. The theory presented by Mr. Tenges was that there ‘would be very little to discuss on the website if in-fact Mr. Greene did have interactive discussions with the Board and Manager regarding the subject matter. He feels Mr. Greene twists things to imply the township is doing something underhanded. Mr. Tenges commented that he has tolerated these tactics long enough and felt is was time to speak out about them.  Mr. Tenges indicated he felt Mr. Greene was doing a disservice to the Board and Township constituents by utilizing this divisive tactic. Mr. Tenges did acknowledge that it clearly is Mr. Greene’s right to do what he is doing. Mr. Tenges mentioned how very disappointing it is that an individual who claims to be a friend of the community will conduct themselves in this manner.

 

Mr. Tenges acknowledged that for the sake of expediency during meetings that he only elaborates on those topics that need to be elaborated on. Obviously, if queried, he will provide as much information as is necessary to satisfy the question. He also mentioned that it is customary for reporters from the local print media to query both him and the Board at the end of a meeting to make sure they have a thorough understanding of the subject matter and that this is done so that they can provide fair and accurate reporting. He indicated that Mr. Greene never has done that.

 

Mr. Greene stated that he volunteered to send in advance anything put on his site so that Mr. Tenges can screen prior to it being posted; however Mr. Tenges never took him up on the offer. Mr. Tenges said that he doesn’t have time to edit and screen everything Mr. Greene posts on his site. Mr. Tenges said that he has no qualms whatsoever and that it is clearly Mr. Greene’s prerogative to disagree with an action of the Board or him and that he can report and comment accordingly. That is not a problem. The problem is the conjecture and hypothesis promoted without a thorough understanding of a matter and no effort to gain that information.

 

Mr. Greene wanted to know what happened to the website that was funded last year and reiterated the importance of it for the citizens. Mr. Tenges recognizes the importance on the website and stated that it is close to being done, but is not quite completed. The fact that it is incomplete, Mr. Tenges admitted is his fault, but stated that unfortunately other issues take priority; such as matters that had just been dealt with by the Board and the Manager.

 

Mr. Greene also stated that he told Mr. Tenges that if anything on the site is untrue he will remove it immediately.  Mr. Kucsan remarked that his statements are not necessarily untrue; it’s the innuendos behind the statements. Mr. Greene discussed the difference between a website and a blog. He said the blog was created in order to move the conjecture and opinions off the website and allow the website to focus on facts. Mr. Tenges questioned why, if Mr. Greene is working for the good of the residents, he doesn’t ask for items such as the Fire Company Report. To which Mr. Greene stated that funds limit what he requests from the township.

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 One of the comments Mr. Tenges made during this discussion which is not reflected in the minutes was that he (Mr. Tenges) was the author of the post on the News Over Coffee Blog criticizing the Lower Nazareth Citizens Forum website. (It was posted anonymously)  He also stated that “my buddy” subsequently removed it.  I had been actively monitoring that thread on News Over Coffee (NOC) and recalled it well.  I checked when I got home and it was still in the old posts section, I have included here –> Lower Nazareth Township News  this is the original post at News Over Coffee along with all comments. I would be very interested in the community’s  comments on this one.  At the end of the original post is an example of how questions from the public or the press are handled.

 

 Also during the discussion I had asked for a couple examples.  The only one provided was regarding a Blog entry (on this site) under the title Updates and Comments (Nov. 6, 2008) Item #3 which reads as follows:

 

Hmm, now that I am looking at the 11/05/08 agenda, I’m not sure if LNT is advertising FOR a CPA  to do the audit (a bid) or advertising that they are going to use one.  If the latter, how will they be selected?

 

He asked why I didn’t ask for clarification at the meeting.  I explained that as noted in the Blog entry, that I just noticed that line as I was making my post.  The original post Item #3 has been updated with the answer provided by Mr. Tenges.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Responses to “BOS 11/19/2008 – Follow-up”

  1. NazoRanter says:

    Keep up the good work and keep their feet to the fire.

    Somebody should hand Tenges a copy of the Constitution, and specifically the First Amendment.

    If he pushes on this, or tries to take any legal action, I am sure the ACLU (as much as I dislike them) would be more than happy to take him to task.

    I grew tired of watching the personal attacks on citizens of LNT by this man and the BOS and it is time that they get shown for what they really are.

    Tenges, you should resign or be fired for this latest act.

  2. STILFX says:

    As I’ve posted at NOC:
    Transparency will set you free LNT!

    I applaud you for the time and effort you are DONATING to the township.

  3. amused says:

    It has been my experience that Mr. Tenges and the Board of Supervisors do NOT answer ANY questions posed at the meetings. They do nothing more than acknowledge that a question has been posed, in some cases snickering at the person asking the questions. Half of them look down at something suddently very interesting on the paper in front of them, one of them appears to be sleeping most of the evening, and several have the audacity to snicker in a demeaning manner. If they REALLY don’t like what is being questioned, they pull out the egg timer and dismiss the person without affording them ample time to get their point across. I applaud you for the time you have put in and the stomach to endure these clowns at work.

  4. amused says:

    For Mr. Tenges:

    When you hold a public position, such as the one you have, you will always have members of the public you serve disagree with you. If you cannot handle the heat— GET OUT! You clearly forgot just who you work for.

  5. Dave says:

    No one should act surprised that Mr. Tenges is acting like he is. This is a man who was given the job by his buddies on the Board and has little or no oversight. Mr. Tenges, surely, feels that he is entitled to do what he believes is “best,” regardless of what those in the community may feel. The same things happen in Hanover Township (Northampton County), for very similar reason, but without a watchdog.

    And amused is correct, he who holds a public position should expect to be questioned and expect to have some disagree with their position on different policies. As taxpayers – and ultimately the people paying Mr. Tenges salary – isn’t that the right of the public?If a public official cannot accept this then they should resign.

    What Mr. Tenges and Mr. Finnigian (in Hanover) are proving is that these small townships are places where corrupt public officials have been able to exist outside of public scrutiny. That needs to change.

    Keep up the good work and try and find someone in Hanover to do the same as you do in LNT.

  6. Scott says:

    I don’t recall the specific LN issue I was looking for a few months back, but it did ultimately lead me to your websites.

    I won’t complain about the manager or BOS and the jobs they are doing, but do expect that they know that their positions do come with accountability and I thank you for providing it.

    The official township website has been a joke and could/should be a clearinghouse of community information. If they are unable to do it, they should not be complaining if someone else picks up the torch and does it themselves.

    And then to complain about the contents and views of the site is doubley absurd.

    Keep up the good work.