This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On the Road to Ruin

First, the school board...We have a school district that just sold a property for $1.7 million when they still owe $5 million on the bond.  The sale price included the mineral rights.  The district has had to tap into their reserve fund to make ends meet.  Several residents have been watching the business affairs and feel that there is a concerted effort to run ”in the red”.  The current superintendent has a record of questionable business practices here and at her previous school district.  What will happen when our school district becomes distressed?  Will a private enterprise, such as Resource Development and Management move in to save the day?

Now on to Ligonier township...The township is following a similar path.  They have doubled the expenses for office staff, duplicated job descriptions, passed a very poor zoning ordinance BEFORE a comprehensive plan was developed and are now faced with the real danger of going bankrupt.  The debt will be incurred through litigation without insurance.  You see, our township manager (newly hired a year ago) has managed to change insurance companies for liability while conveniently neglecting to tell the new insurer about pending litigation.  Now there is no insurance and the taxpayers will have to cover the costs!  This seems to have been done for the purpose of bankrupting the township!  Everything has been carefully orchestrated to enable that Ligonier Township Municipal Authority will HAVE to sell its water to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County in order to relieve debt. How convenient for those who want to buy it!

And guess what?  There is a common denominator - the past treasurer and president of the school board is currently a township supervisor.  He is also the township's secretary-treasurer.  And...wait for it...he serves as the Vice-chairman of Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County!  The members of the Ligonier Township Water Authority do not want to sell the township water to MAWC, but will probably be forced to do so, due to a cleverly contrived township budget crisis.

Both the school board and the township supervisors blindly follow the advice of one man.  They respect and fear him, for he has, reportedly, gotten jobs and contracts for them and their family members.  One supervisor, who recently resigned, even accused him of “blackmail” during his resignation speech.  The local media, of course, did not publish that comment. 

Oh, and did I forget to mention that Resource Development and Management can also “rescue” a distressed municipality?  It’s what they do. They currently
manage the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.  How convenient!

A Conspiracy Theorist