The Quakertown Dolphins Summer Swim Team recently had the opportunity to host the Championship Meet for the Suburban Swim League of the Greater Lehigh Valley on Saturday, July 26, 2008, for the first time in nine years. On behalf of the swimmers, coaches, and parents, I would first like to thank The Free Press for coverage of both this event as well as throughout the entire summer swim season. Especially in an Olympic year, with such a strong U.S. team representing our country in Beijing, it is wonderful to see swimming highlighted in our own community.
Thanks also go to Borough Manager, Scott McElree, and Administrative Assistant, Barbara Stoneback, for their interest and support in making this event possible. It is a pleasure to note that this truly was a "community" event - many local businesses purchased ads in our program book and several donated items for our silent raffle or our concession stand. The Quakertown Soccer Club, Richlandtown Fire Company, and Richlandtown Parks and Recreation also supported the swim team in our hosting of the championship meet.
A final note of thanks goes to the team: our swimmers, whose dedication and determination resulted in our first undefeated season AND first place team trophies at both the Best of the Rest and League Championship meets, our excellent coaching staff, our supportive parent volunteers, the hard working QSST Board, and the incredible QSST Champs Planning Committee. Without this team effort, we would have never had such an unforgettable season! As a team, we are proud to have had the opportunity to represent the Quakertown community.
Milford Township QSST Board President and
At his summit on public financial matters on July 30, Richland Township Supervisor Rick Orloff proposed creating a public safety authority to consolidate fire and police departments in the six local municipalities.
If Mr. Orloff is serious about his proposal, he should call a summit of the affected police and fire companies so that he can explain his ideas about consolidation.
Robert L. Leight
QCSD Lacks Credibility
On July 30, Richland Township was privileged to host a "Tax & Spending Summit" to share ideas on achieving better fiscal performance for elected officials, and help all taxpayers. Representatives from seven municipalities, two water authorities, QCSD, Senator Wonderling, and Rep Clymer attended. Unfortunately, press coverage after the event seemed to focus on a single disagreement with certain school personnel, rather than many areas of agreement between town leaders.
Initially, I had requested QCSD to host this presentation at their meeting. But they insisted that the content and opinions be subject to Superintendent Andrejko's prior "review." Similarly, Andrejko had refused to allow directors Alfonso and Stepanoff to present their research on school issues. This was an opportunity for them to speak without censorship.
Among the ideas presented were (1) more efficient and effective collection of Earned Income Tax on a school district-wide basis, since it appears that about $1.2 million was being under-collected; (2) efficiencies in the delivery of fire and police service, and (3) developing a comprehensive Asset Management System through sharing licenses, saving millions in capital dollars. Accounting practices that blur costs and revenues need to change in favor of accounting that would make financials transparent to boards, the press and the public. If you cannot see bad financial activities, it's impossible to fix them.
Also proposed, was an initiative to develop a regional "Cash Management Co-op and Trustee" to achieve higher investment yields - more available money without higher taxes. Information was presented noting how in the past QCSD had poorly managed investment income, particularly noting that, in 2003, Richland Township, with $3 million in revenue, earned more in interest than QCSD with revenues of about $53 million!
The municipal representatives all agreed that this type of face-to-face discussion was valuable, and should be continued. But the response of QCSD's personnel in attendance - director Nancy Tirjan and business manager Sylvia Lenz - was basically to call us liars, despite the fact that all of the facts and figures in the presentations were DIRECTLY from THEIR financial audit and treasurer's reports. Our calculations were provided to The Free Press to verify the accuracy and source. [Editor's note: Which we have yet to do!]
QCSD has lost its' credibility: Math survey cover-ups, fiscal mismanagement, midnight teacher contracts, ignoring complaints of grade inflation, and repeated attempts to downplay the fact that we have the lowest SAT scores in Upper Bucks. The documents we provided to The Free Press will add to that legacy.
Richard Orloff, CPA
Richland Township Supervisor