John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Featuring content curated from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. The insights/opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Lower Dolington Trail & Village at Newtown Shopping Center Traffic Study Updates

At the September 22, 2021, Newtown Board of Supervisors public meeting, Township Engineer Leanna M. Colubriale gave updates on two projects: (1) Lower Dolington Road Multi-Use Trail and (2) Brixmor/Village at Newtown Shopping Center Traffic Study. View the Youtube Video of Ms. Colubriale's for details.

Wawa Wanted Extra Fuel Pumps and Signs Facing Bypass. DENIED!

At its September 20, 2021, meeting, the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) voted 4-1 to grant a special exception for the Wawa convenience store/gas station, which the Township did not oppose, but DENIED ALL VARIANCES - including 8 fueling stations where 6 are allowed, and signs facing Newtown Bypass - by a 3-2 vote. Read more details in the Newtown Patch.

From - Sep 22, 2021
At the September 22, 2021, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, several residents of Delancey Court - including HOA Board members - commented on the Toll Bros All Saints Cemetery proposed settlement plan.

The purpose of the plan is to settle Toll's appeal of the denial of the September 9, 2020 decision of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) denying Toll’s conditional use application seeking to develop 45 single family homes on approximately 158 acres of the All Saints Cemetery property located along Twining Bridge Road near its intersection with Durham Road (S.R. 413). See the plan here:

Commenters complained that they were not given adequate notice. Specific complaints included: (1) the planned access to Durham Road via Municipal Drive was unsafe, (2) a 2008 traffic study said the preferred access should be at North Drive, and (3) the Township should not be giving up public land to allow access to Municipal Drive.

More details, including videos of comments...

A Bucks County program that aims to give residents support and services beyond police response during mental health and drug abuse emergencies is expanding.

Late last year, the county launched the co-responder program in Bensalem with the goal of getting residents the help they might need beyond an initial 911 call. Under the two-year pilot program, two co-responders, who are licensed social workers, go out to various calls, including those about aging concerns and those that are often rooted in mental health and drug abuse issues.

The Bucks program began with a partnership with Bensalem Police last year. With the new grant, the county is able to hire two more co-responders that will work in Falls and Middletown. The two will work in tandem between the two townships, according to Marseglia. One will be based in each department.

John Mack's Insights:

Karen Downer, Bucks County NAACP President, explains how the Bucks County Mental Health Co-Responder Program helps police give residents support and services beyond police response during mental health and drug abuse emergencies. Her remarks were made at the Bucks County Community College sponsored September 17, 2021, Constitution Day Forum: "Community Policing 2021: Preserving Public Safety and Civil Liberties"

Also speaking was Fred Harran, Bensalem Township Director of Public Safety. Bensalem is one of only three Bucks County police departments that work with co-responders. Listen to Ms. Downer & Mr. Harran in this 4-minute audio excerpt from that meeting.

From - Sep 8, 2021
In a comment to the BOS at its September 8, 2021, public meeting, Newtown Grant resident John D’Aprile, was of the opinion that the township should not spend money on hybrid meetings so that “lazy” residents can attend. “Why should we cater to someone who is lazy and does not want to come to meetings?,” quipped Mr. D’Aprile.

John Mack's Insights:
At the August 25, 2021, BOS meeting, resident Terry Christensen, Chairman of the Board of Friends Village, said that he supports the hybrid option, as many of the Friends Village residents are not able to attend meetings in person anymore, but are still very eager to participate in local government matters.

View video of Mr. Christensen's comments...

From - September 22,2021
You might have been tempted to attend the in-person September 21, 2021, Newtown Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting to learn more about “Economic Development projects for 2022 budget” – which was an item on the publicly advertised agenda.

This was the first mention I have seen of the 2022 budget in ANY official agenda for a public meeting. Not even supervisors know what projects will be in the proposed preliminary 2022 budget, which will not be presented to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) until October 18, 2021.

However, the EDC discussion actually focused on the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC) REVISED proposal for Planning Services to Develop an Overlay District to the LI and OLI Zoning Districts.

Learn more about what is planned for the overlay of these districts...

From - Sep 13, 2021
In Pennsylvania, 734 of 1,540 law enforcement agencies reported a total of 81 hate crimes. Among the reported incidents, 59 were race, ethnicity or ancestry related. The number of reported hate crimes in our state increased last year compared with 2019, when 45 hate crimes were reported.

Most Prevalent Bias Type:
  • Anti-Black or African American: 29
  • Anti-other race, ethnicity or ancestry: 13
  • Anti-Jewish: 11
  • Anti-Asian: 8
  • Anti-White: 4
  • Others: 16
See the full 2020 data report for Pennsylvania...

From - Sep 15, 2021
On September 9, 2021, Francis Hanney, Senior Manager - Traffic Services Division/ADA Coordinator at PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) - hosted an online meeting with residents to discuss road improvements to facilitate access and egress to the recently approved Arcadia Green development at the intersection of Newtown Bypass and Buck Road. For background, read “Newtown Residents Lash Out Against Arcadia Settlement."

Listen to Mr. Hanney's comments...
John Mack's Insights:

Mr. Hanney offered a more detailed summary of PennDOT's rationale for the above position in a September 16, 2021, letter sent to the Township and participants. The letter responds to the community's concerns and clarifies why certain alternatives are not acceptable and provides additional information about each alternative and reasons for why it is or is not acceptable.

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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