In her last official moments as Tredyffrin Township Manager Mimi Gleason and members of the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors came under fire in two pointed, blunt and direct no-holds-barred public statements Monday night.
The statements were made by Community Matters Blogger Pattye Benson and former three-term Tredyffrin Easttown School Board member Andrea Felkins. Felkins is a Republican who has lived in TE for three decade.
Benson ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Board of Supervisors as a Democrat in 2009. That is relevant to the story because the letter at the heart of the First Ammendment controversy was posted on the township's taxpayer funded website by Board Vice Chairman John "JD" DiBuonaventuro. He is a Republican. In his letter DiBuonaventuro took political shots at Benson on official township stationary on the township's website.
Monday night the plot thickened even further when Benson recounted the story of a telephone call she received from now-retired Township Manager Mimi Gleason. Gleason, who officially stepped down as Township Manager Monday night, said she was on the phone with Tredyffrin Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo.
Benson told commissioners she felt and still feels intimidated by the call and she said she did not want to hear from Gleason ever again unless it was first in the form of a written apology.
Click on the video to see Pattye Benson's entire statement from Monday night's meeting.
Felkins assailed the decision to post the letter on the township's website and essentially lambasted the Chairwoman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for using public resources to go after a private citizen. (Benson is not running for any office).
Click on the video to see Andrea Felkins' entire statement from Monday night.
Before either Benson or Felkins spoke, Board of Supervisors Chair Michelle Kichline also read a prepared statement. In her remarks Kichline stood behind Vice Chairman DiBuonaventuro and the decision to post his letter on the township's website.
Kichline also said the Board and township would review policies about what should and shoud not be posted on the website to come up with clearer guidelines for the future.
Click on the video to watch the Board Chairwoman's entire statement.