The following is a letter printed in full that was read by councilman Mike Sobel prior to the beginning of Tuesday's 311 W. Main St. Task Force meeting:
To the 311 Task Force, I just wanted to start our meeting with a short statement from your very grateful chairman.
We have all been donating time and working diligently to take on a huge task. This task has been and will continue to be a sometimes-contentious issue within our borough. Sixteen-thousand residents are looking to us to help guide borough council’s decision on what to do with a borough-owned building in the heart of our downtown.
We can’t just let it sit untouched as a monument to past failures and oversights. What’s done is done, and again, I’m not going to sit here and try to lay blame on anyone. Others may do that if they desire.
We all sit in long meetings and hear suggestions and ideas from citizens who are in attendance. We’ve listened to proposals from architects. We’ve toured the facility. We are seeking qualified, professional help. We are gathering all of the information we can to make informed decisions.
This Task Force will make a recommendation to council that is also fiscally responsible, especially if it involves seeking public funds. This Task Force will be more complete and comprehensive in its efforts than the standards borough council tasked us to accomplish.
This Task Force continues to work to be well informed so that we can knowledgably sift through what is a true, feasible idea and what is a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream. I’ve read Plato. I understand his concept of an ideal plane of existence. Everything there is perfect and moves along in absolute harmony. It would be a great place to live, but unfortunately, like all of you, I live here in the not-so-ideal plane.
Some recent social media postings are mere distractions and attempts to get attention. The ideas presented are Platonic idealisms, not real solutions to a highly complicated, yet solvable situation. I, like all of you, am here to do some good for my community. I am not here for me, just as you are not here for you and your interests. I do not count my successes on whether or not my name gets printed in a newspaper, nor do I sit and count how many times it’s printed if the press so desires to publish it in an article.
This Task Force should be thanked and respected for what they are taking on and are not deserving of electronic snipes and unfair and unfounded criticisms taken by persons who claim to be for Lansdale, but yet are unwilling to show up for a public meeting.
With that, I would like to personally thank Doug Pett, Lindsay Schweriner, Bob Willi, Amy Rims, James Collins, Charles Booz & Dawn Harvey. I would also like to thank Nancy DeLucia from the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; Brian O’Leary from Montgomery County; my fellow council members Mary Fuller, Denton Burnell, Matt West; and our members of staff: Carl Saldutti, Stacie Maile, Timi Kirchner, Rick DeLong & John Ernst for your work so far and your continued effort on behalf of our community.
We will succeed. 311 West Main Street will become a downtown destination for a revitalized !
Lansdale Borough Councilman, Ward II
Chairman, 311 West Main Task Force