They don’t even make a meter large enough to register the epic failure of the people that run the Pottstown government.
ON THE HEELS OF THAT LAST POST ABOUT BRIAN PATRICK OF AFFINITY I HAVE TO ASK…
how did his activities go undetected by employees of the borough or…. did they go undetected? BRIAN WAS MOVING TENANTS IN WITHOUT INSPECTIONS, for one thing, frankly, a lot OF PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY KNEW he was up to no good.
Now this… I’ve been writing this blog for about 1 1/2 years. Here’s a disturbing observation:
It is primarily women and children who are suffering at the hands of heartless slumlords and a borough administration that is equally heartless and dysfunctional.
The Cockroach learned of a young woman a loving, frightened mother, Tiffany Horton-Stevenson, who recently became a single mom when her marriage ended.
Now, Tiffany is rearing two young children alone. One child suffers with asthma the other is autistic. Let me introduce you to the family:
When Tiffany realized the house she had rented at 716 Adams St. was not safe she began to see a change, for the worse, in the health and behavior of her children. She saw mold showing through the paint, in corners of baseboard, ceilings and the like, in fact, the house smelled like mold. Tiffany did what any loving mom would do…she called the landlord.
When it looked like they weren’t going to see eye to eye she called for help, that was this past Wednesday, May 1st….
Tiffany called Borough Manger, Mark Flanders around 3:30, 4:00 pm – he was in a meeting. Ginny took the information and kindly, (as always), referred her to Maria Bliele, Head of Codes. Tiffany left a message on Maria’s answering machine, Maria wasn’t at her desk either.
The next day, Maria phoned Tiffany. She said that another codes inspector would come check the property.
Today is Saturday and NOBODY came out from the borough – Nobody even bothered to phone Tiffany to say they were going to BLOW HER OFF.
We will obligate ourselves to account for all of our actions and accept responsibility for those actions. (boro mission statement)
IT WAS ALL A RUSE.
Tiffany called her ward representative, Joe Kirkland. Joe didn’t call her back – EVER. NOW that’s terrific representation, don’t ya think? Sorry Joe, what have you done to help make Pottstown a kinder, gentler place to live and raise a family?
IT’S A MISTAKE TO IGNORE PHONE CALLS FROM PEOPLE IN YOUR WARD JOE KIRKLAND.
The property owner, Al Dunn, did the right thing by registering his rental and having a rental inspection that set him back $75.00. WHY THE HELL DID THIS HOUSE EVER PASS INSPECTION- EVER – FOR AT LEAST THE PAST 10 YEARS? This house has been under par for a long time.
Would you like to know what that inspection entailed?
Codes Inspector, Charlie Weller, stuck a voltage thingy in the bathroom GFI outlet, he did the same in the kitchen, (one of those outlets had charred smoky stuff around it) – he tested 2 of the 5 smoke alarms – he glad handed the owner, chatted him up – His Job Was Done.
Why is Charlie still employed as a Codes Inspector? For that matter, why is Maria Bleile still the HEAD OF THE CODES DEPARTMENT?
Is Flanders blowing smoke up our collective derriere’s? We know council is. HERE’S A TIP FOR THE TERMINALLY DENSE UP AT BOROUGH HALL:
REPLACING CODES WITH REMINGTON, VERICK AND BEACH IS NOT A SOLUTION. <click>
Councilman DAN WEAD LIED ABOUT THE REASON HE SUPPORTS RVB, it’s not because he wants to make the codes department the best, I mean…how could RVB even remotely be misconstrued as competent professionals, given their bleak history of failures?
No, Dan has no ethics no scruples and Dan is campaigning for Joe Kirkland. TAXPAYERS these guys DON’T HAVE YOUR BACK, Dan has his own back and Joe must have Dan’s back too…This borough will not survive this kind of self-serving avaricious behavior.
Look at this Rental Check List – straight from the Borough’s own website:
• The property must be in a clean, safe and sanitary condition both interior and exterior.
DOES THIS LOOK CLEAN, SAFE AND SANITARY TO YOU?
HOW ABOUT THIS?
AND THIS – SPRAY FOAM, (a slumlords best friend), IN A LARGE CEILING CRACK…
HOW ‘BOUT A PLYWOOD INSERT TO BLOCK THE WATER TO THE CRAWLSPACE…WHEN THE YARD GRADES BACK TO THE HOUSE? Yeah that’s effective.
The bathroom floor IS A FRIGGIN’ SPONGE from being wet. Charlie must have stepped on it, as I did, to poke his electrical thingy into the outlet, eh?
Everything in that house was wet and yes….
there is mold.
After only a week and 1/2 in that environment the kids were not thriving. Mom, Tiffany, is a bright, thoughtful, well-spoken young woman. When it looked like she needed help she phoned Borough Hall, the Mercury and Channel 3 cbs Philly.
Channel 3 contacted Al Dunn and spoke to Tiffany too.
Finally things were resolved when The Cockroach took the bull by the horns.
Here’s Tiffany’s story in her own words, as sent to CBS and the Mercury:
After moving into a small home in Pottstown, Pa with my young daughters, ages 11 & 2 on April 22nd, I discovered the home is uninhabitable despite having been inspected by Charlie Weller from the Codes Department.
The inspection was inadequate and Charlie appeared to be chummy with the owner of the property, something that is quite common here. A zoning worker in the codes department was recently fired for accepting a personal check from a rental property investor, I believe this type of activity is common in our community.
Additionally, I learned there is a tax lien on the property. According to the borough’s own ordinance, the owner should not have been allowed to rent this property to anyone.
Mold that had been covered with paint began to bleed through the paint and rotted, mold covered, spongy floors threaten the health of my family. My eldest daughter has severe asthma and my youngest is Autistic this mold has been a big set back for both of them and they are suffering drastically.
Yesterday I had to flee the premises, leaving behind my household goods when the owner began tearing out walls and the home filled with mold and we began to feel ill.The owner, Al Dunn, said he would return my deposit so I can find safe shelter, but now, he’s refused. I have nowhere to live and I’m afraid for my family. As a single mother I don’t have a lot of money to seek adaquate shelter so we now share an air bed in a friends living room.
My request for help from local authorities have gone unanswered.
Yesterday I contacted the Pottstown Borough Manager, Mark Flanders, whose secretary told me to talk with Maria Bleile, the head of the Codes Department.
Maria called this morning and said that she would send another inspector today but, they have not. They have not called me to explain why. I feel I’ve been given the run around by the very people who are responsible for running this borough and I’ve nowhere else to turn.
I left a message for Councilman Joe Kirkland, Ward 7, this afternoon but have not received a call from him either.
Please help!!! I fear we will become homeless, or even. Worse my children will be taken away from me!!!
Tiffany L. Horton-Stevenson
In the end, yesterday, Al Dunn stepped up and gave Tiffany back some of the deposit/rent she had paid him so she can move BUT not without a struggle.
You see, once a renter hands over the deposit and rent money they are stuck and stuck is not a good place to be when you’re worried and your children are not well. Why do we have Codes Departments in the U.S.? To inspect buildings for safety issues… things that might harm people – right?
What’s the point of maintaining a useless department that doesn’t do what is necessary to help keep people safe?
Al made an effort to repair one area by opening the wall…that’s what drove the girls out of the house as the mold spores dispersed everywhere throughout the small home.
Wednesday night Tiffany had to buy an air mattress for herself and the girls to share on the floor of her pervious rental home, she could take nothing with her for fear it was covered with allergens. Tiffany’s gracious and concerned former landlady made sure the girls weren’t left homeless and they’ve been sleeping on the floor for three nights now, with very little real sleep for Tiffany.
MARK FLANDERS, MARIA BLEILE, CHARLIE WELLER went home, to the burbs. They settled into their clean, safe homes and comfy beds. Homes and beds that are bought and paid for by the Pottstown taxpayers.
They never gave another thought to the plight of Tiffany and her young daughters…they could care less.
Joe Kirkland didn’t muss a hair on his pony tail, surely he slept soundly with nary a care.
We will strive to uphold the public trust by conducting ourselves with integrity, setting high standards in our personal, professional, and organizational conduct. The new mission statement on the boro website. There’s no time like the present…
I’ll end this with a bit of wisdom that Tiffany shared with me, as told to her by her grandma:
SECRETS MAKE YOU SICK… the secrets that this borough is keeping are MAKING OTHER PEOPLE SICK TOO.
My grandma wasn’t quite as eloquent as Tiffany’s, as we sat in the shade of the old weeping willow. Grandma would lament:
“Well now, they’re about as useless as teats on a boar hog. Don’t ya know?”
THINK ABOUT IT.
Sunday Morning: Tiffany sent me a photo of the new book bag she purchased for her daughter.
She and the girls had to flee their rental house but, the mold and mildew didn’t take a holiday. She’ll use bleach and water to clean her water safe household items before moving them into a new place. But if you’ve ever had mold issues you know how invasive it is.
Not everything will be salvageable and there will be additional expenses and added work, for which there is no compensation.