A "Letter to Tredyffrin Citizens from Vice Chair DiBuonaventuro" posted on the Tredyffrin Township official website leads to an obvious question: who has final say on what is posted on the Township's official, taxpayer-funded, site.
The answer comes in an email to TE Patch from outgoing Tredyffrin Township Manager Mimi Gleason:
The Manager has final say on what is posted to the website. In the past, there have been statements from the Board of Supervisors on the website, . (Editor's note: the referenced announcement is attached to this article as a pdf) There will be a similar statement when they select the next manager.
It is unusual to post a statement from an individual Supervisor, but given the inaccurate and derogatory statements and innuendo publicly made about John DiBuonaventuro, I decided to approve the posting of Mr. DiBuonaventuro’s letter on the Township website. In this case, he was the subject of baseless public speculation simply because he is a Tredyffrin Supervisor. The circumstances justified the use of the website to publicly defend him, carrying with it the implicit endorsement of the Township to the accuracy of his statements. It is important to note that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and the Township Solicitor agreed that it was appropriate for the letter to go on the website.
The letter will remain on the website through the weekend to give residents and the press an opportunity to see it. We will take it down on Monday. If anyone would like a copy after that, they can contact me.
Gleason announced over the summer that she is stepping down from her post on September 17 after ten years with the Township, the past seven as Township Manager.
As indicated in the Township Manager's letter, the contents of DiBuonaventuro's letter carries the "implicit endorsement of the township."
The letter that has the township's official endorsement includes blatantly political attacks, including a mocking tiatribe against Pattye Benson. Benson is a private citizen/blogger who is also former Democrat candidate for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.
In his letter, DiBuonaventuro says of :
"..What is more important for our community to realize from this example is the disturbing trend which has developed with most of the internet elements of legitimate newspapers and the tabloid formatted blogs like "Community Matters." That trend is that there is apparently no accountability for those that feed on the topic or person of the week that happens to get thrown into the "chum tank" of anonymous commentators. Additionally the "Community Matters" posts about Tredyffrin Township Government appear to be an on-going effort to discredit our government and its efforts to serve the citizens by creating and fostering an environment of conspiracy and misrust among its limited readership. The irony is that some who continue this campaign are the same who at one time, so eagerly aspired to be your elected representatives in that same government, only to fail in absolute defeat."
In his letter, (attached to this article as a pdf) DiBuonaventuro clearly states in the first paragrpah that he is responding to opinion. "I write to the citizens of Tredyffrin regarding the recent article that appeared in Main Line Suburban Life and the subsoquent opinion blog posting and comments on "Community Matters."
A few paragraphs later DiBuonaventuro, who is also Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman, takes issue with Main Line Media News and its reporter for inaccurate reporting and for failing to ask him for comment on the story.
The root of DiBuonaventuro's letter surrounds the arrest of his former girlfriend on charges of public drunkeness and disorderly conduct. The woman, Suzanne Pratowski, is a also a member of the Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board. She was arrested in an incident outside her ex-husband's home. She was ultimately found not guilty when two Tredyfrrin police officers failed to appear at a summary hearing in a Tredyffrin Township district court.
Tredyffrin Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo issued a press release saying a clerical error had been found to be the reason the officers missed the court appearance. A copy of the press release is also attached to this article.
The Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors next meets on Monday, September 17. It will be Gleason's last official event as Township Manager. The agenda, which is not yet published, will include time for public comments.