Thursday, February 27, 2014

Converse With A Commish, or 3

Tonight is the Montgomery County Commissioners' Town Hall at Municipal Hall at 7 pm. Yes, it's going to be cold out and you'll feel like you'd rather stay home, nice and cozy, watching TV. But this is important.

Still, if you CAN'T come in person, you can still participate. The meeting will be live-streamed using a Google Hangout at . You'll even be able to submit questions, but registration is required for that, and a Gmail account is necessary. They're easy to set up, but do it now and don't wait until 6:59 pm or your questions will go unanswered.

You can also submit questions by email to . They'll be answered in the order they're received, so again, you can't wait until 6:59 pm.

I'm going to the meeting because I have redevelopment questions. When I attended the Montco Planning meeting a few weeks ago, they talked in a perky, isn't-this-going-to-be-awesome manner about, essentially, filling in every empty space in Norristown with apartment buildings. I asked who was going to pay for the extra infrastructure needed for the increase in population. I never got an answer. Norristown needs homeowners and businesses to increase tax revenue, not more rental properties. Especially when the construction of apartment buildings inevitably means the use of public funds--developers getting rich using our tax money while Norristown keeps getting poorer.

And if the plans submitted by Elon for the Montgomery Hospital property are any indication, the apartment buildings we'll end up with will be 4-story wooden firetraps, poorly designed and cheaply constructed to maximize their profit.

But there will be other topics tonight. Commissioner Josh Shapiro said, "These conversations with the commissioners are another in a series of ways we are trying to keep residents informed about what we are doing," I think we can all agree that most of us have no idea what the commissioners do, or how what they're doing effects Norristown. We think of ourselves as being governed by Norristown Council and have no idea where the county fits into the scheme of things. We only know that, often, Norristown is treated like a poor and not very bright relation, and that we're sick of it.

So please, leave your cozy home tonight and come out to the meeting. If you can't, watch it and participate through the link above.

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