Wednesday, December 31, 2008

State Police To Patrol Wallace at Midnight Tonight

State Police will begin patrolling Wallace Township tonight at midnight. Here are some interesting links and phone numbers to familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania State Police. Residents should still call 911 in case of emergency, but now have the option of contacting the State Police directly at 484-340-3241.

Phone Numbers:
Fire/Medical Emergency/Police Emergency: 911
Police Emergency/PA State Police - Embreeville: 484-340-3241

State Police Website
PSP's CALEA Certification
Wallace will be patrolled by: Troop J out of Embreeville, PA
PSP Aviation Unit (PSP has 7 Bell Jet Ranger helicopters and 5 "High Wing" airplanes)
State Police Find Many Child Safety Seats Are Improperly Installed

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Township Eliminates the Property Tax ($771.45 per family)

This past Monday the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to eliminate the property tax. Yes, you heard it right. Your property tax bill is $0. That is 0 mils. Nada property taxes. With the economy floundering this is good news for Wallace Township residents. As our previous post calculated this will save the average family in Wallace Township $771.45 per year. The budget also includes a $100,000 surplus and sets aside funds to restore the historic Indiantown Schoolhouse.

Wallace Township 2009 Budget

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eliminate the School Property Tax

Here is an interesting site that supports legislation to eliminate the school property tax. We agree with those that say this is a great burden on families, especially seniors in our community. It is not fair that those who have worked hard their whole life to pay off there home still have to essentialy pay rent to the government to remain in their home. Home ownership and property rights are the back bone of this country. Something does need to be done about property taxes accross the board in the state of PA.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Wallace Voters! Check out this great skit about an Inn Keeper named Stuart who discovers something strange is going on in his barn.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Imposing Open Space Tax will cut your taxes?

The proponents of an open space tax have always argued that imposing an increase in taxes via the open space tax will in the long run lower overall taxes for our Township. While there are other arguments that could support and open space tax, like preserving valued scenic vistas and preserving historic farms and sites, imposing an open space tax is not going to drop your overall tax bill. This argument is at best inconclusive and more probably just the opposite.

First let's present the proponents position: If you impose the open space tax you will save money in the long run on infrastructure costs and services and have fewer kids utilizing the school district as well. This will in turn lower your township property tax and your school district tax. Basically, less people, less taxes.

Next, let's tackle the school district claim. The obvious flaw in this argument is that the school district includes eight different municipalities many of which have been growing at a very rapid pace. So while Wallace has grown less than 6% in population since the year 2000, the school tax has ballooned from 17.750 mils to 24.850 mils. That is a 40% increase. The slow growth of Wallace did not translate into a savings on the school tax bill, because townships like Uwchlan, Upper Uwchlan, West Bradford, and East Brandywine have been pumping lots of new students into the Downingtown School District. Wallace could lose residents and the school property tax would still go higher and higher. We are too small a piece of the pie.

So, does a smaller population translate into a township having lower township property taxes? Logically, this does not even hold up. Many of the services a township provides require certain facilities, equipment, and personnel whether the township is big or small. Just to run a township there is a minimum amount of each of these categories that is required; the more population the more income taxes and property taxes to spread across many of these areas of the budget.

Let's pause for a moment, remember we are dispelling a property tax proponent myth here, we are not proponents of more development. In fact like just about everyone in our township we would have liked to shut the door on development right after we moved into the Township. That might have precluded many of you from moving in. Sorry, but you get our point.

Notably, before discussing the local property tax versus population, 4 of the 5 highest taxed townships in the county have the open space tax - EAST BRANDYWINE TWP (2.5), FRANKLIN TWP (2.75), SCHUYLKILL TWP (2.9),
LONDON BRITAIN TWP (3.52). Next, when you look at township taxes for the townships in Chester County, more specifically the Downingtown School District you will find there is not a definitive correlation between population and local real estate taxes. Other than the fact that by far the two most populous townships West Bradford (18,430) and Uwchlan (12,146) are by far the least taxed 0 mils, and .09 mils respectively. Meaning West Bradford has no property tax and Uwchlan for all intents and purposes has such a low millage rate they also have no property tax; whereas, East Brandywine (6,485) and Wallace (3,433) townships, with fractions of the same population, have the highest taxes 2.5 and 2.4 respectively. Now thankfully the BOS has eliminated property taxes going into 2009. But, these are 2008 statistics and they show that the supposed tax savings that the property tax proponents claim as gospel does not hold up when you put the numbers to it.

So we can resurrect the debate, but let's not resurrect the old illogical argument that raising taxes will saves taxes.

The Other Great Debate

Interesting debate on whether there are benefits to having local township governments or larger consolidated governance:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Valhalla challenge fails to gain footing

Not sure what all the hubbub is about with Mr. Heim recusing himself. He pretty much did. In fact the board voted 2-1 to appoint a hearing officer to overhear the zoning hearing challenge so neither Mr. Heim nor any of the other members will be voting on anything substantive in the complaint. It doesn't seem like a conflict for him to vote to remove himself from the hearing, which he did. So any decision that comes down will be free of any supposed bias. The only strange thing we observed was that the alternate was sitting at the table and even was asked by the zoning hearing board solicitor if he wanted to vote. So he did. If any thing was unprecedented at this hearing it was the alternate voting when all of the other zoning hearing board members were present.

The Great Open Space Debate (It Was Civil)

The issue of an open space tax has been thoroughly debated in our township. It was a good, fair and civil debate. Both sides vigorously presented their view of the tax. Both sides acknowledged that each had the resident’s best interests at heart. They just disagreed fundamentally on how those interests should be addressed. That's ok. It seems now when people disagree with the BOS or their supporters it is because the BOS is bad and has bad intentions. They feel the need to attack them personally and even try to suppress any information that would support the BOS view. We feel here that the more information available on either side of an issue the better. And, we are ok if you disagree with us. We will not attribute some intellectual or ethical depravity to you; we will just acknowledge our disagreement and continue to argue our side of the issues.

There have been some rumblings as of late, that an open space tax could have helped to stave off the Valhalla project. The idea that the 2 million bond that may have been available due to the open space tax could somehow purchase enough land to stop this project is absurd. The various tracts are rumored to range anywhere from 30million to 50 million dollars. Even using the 2 million to buy development rights would not have gone very far. The project was originally on about half of the acreage anyways. The Heim and Comstock tracts were added later. On top of that it is doubtful that the open space proceeds would have ever been used to purchase the Industrial portion of the project which is where the main portion of the project resides. Besides, we are not convinced that most residents would be ok with handing their hard earned money to a wealthy land owner to keep on living on their property as they always have, just a lot richer. We don’t mean to impugn the land owner who may sell development rights. We believe they would have the best intentions as well. Wanting to preserve their land for generations to come. But, still the idea of taking from the poor to give to the rich still seems a little backwards. Meanwhile, even though residents are essentially paying a tax to this land owner they can’t step foot on the property. This all assumes that any of the money would have ever gotten spent on open space.

In East Brandywine on February 21st, 2007 the BOS voted to spend much of their open space money on their new building. “… $665,000 of the proceeds from the 2003 Bond will be changed to help pay for the new Township buildings. Mr. O’Neill stated that $65,000 would be used to reimburse the open space funds for interest costs and $600,000 would go towards completion of the construction“. They have yet to pay back the money. They do not ever have to repay the money.

Enough said for now, besides much has been said already. See the top ten reasons against the open space tax at our old site:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

DLN exchange on Gambling

The Following is an exchange on the DLN blog following the latest Guardians article. There is some back and forth about gambling that we thought you might find interesting. As with anything we post, especially from other blogs we are not endorsing any of the following opinions or stated facts, just bringing this conversation to your attention.

Guardians Gambling wrote on Dec 17, 2008 9:38 AM:
" Im sorry to see this resort come if it does get developed. i think it stinks. but i disagree with the guardians tactics. the supervisors have done the best they can to limit this development and protect our resources. there is only so much that can be done by law. this ordinance contains leeds certification, audubon certification severly limits density to the housing (aprox 275) and hotel rooms (approx 190). in addition the supervisors have stood firm that they will make as a condition that gambling must be forever taken off the table. now if the guardians win there zoning challenge and greenfield comes back without the PCCC and with a vengence you will see a 1000 hotel units and gambling. and 600 homes. Nothing will stop him then. the only conditional use he will need then is the golf course portion. he cant be stopped on that he has more than enough land and he will be in no mood to take gambling off the table. gaurdians, thanks for the gamble, and thanks, maybe, for the casino. "

Casino hotel golf wrote on Dec 17, 2008 12:17 PM:
" The likelihood of any of this happening in the near future is slim to none.In case you missed it, Trump Resorts missed interest payments on the loans for its casinos. That business is in a slump. Ask any hotel owner how business has been lately. Also in the crapper. The golf course business is as bad or worse.Anybody who thinks these businesses, which rely on discretionary spending are coming back soon had better pick up a copy of the Financial Times. New home sales are stalled, and values are dropping. Frankly I have no clue why anybody with a brain would be thinking about building something like this now, or where they would find anybody dumb enough to invest in it. "

Gaurdians Gamble wrote on Dec 17, 2008 1:05 PM:
" the hard economic times for housing etc is exactly why greenfield might turn to gambling financers who see a cheap place to throw slots. look around gambling is expanding in PA. they even tryed to get it into historic gettysburg. when he cant sell houses he will slam hotels in and gambling and nothing outside of the PCCC can stop him. the PCCC is the only thing that limits the hotel units and that will via conditional use lock out gambling forever. when we get our slots we will know who to thank. "

Crazy wrote on Dec 17, 2008 1:19 PM:
" If gambling comes to Wallace, you'll have no one to thank but the BOS and PC who are accommodating this developer. The PCCC does nothing to stop gambling!!! You can't zone against gambling. Nice try.Place blame on the right people - those who accommodated a single developer to the detriment of the citizens of Wallace Township. This is illegal. Even if Valhalla Brandywine is the best we could get, the process by which we find ourselves here is wrong and tainted. Government needs to be held accountable to the people as do the individuals responsible for this. "

Gaurdians Gamble wrote on Dec 17, 2008 2:46 PM:
" the PCCC does not zone against gambling but as a part of the conditional use proceding the supervisors have made it clear and so has mr. greenfield that they will deed restrict the property with the township and 3rd partys which will lock out gambling forever. if the PCCC is overturned then the next conditional use would only be for use on the golf course section of the property so their will be no leverage and no incentive for greenfield to give up such rights on the industrial portion of the property. "

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zoning Hearing Challenge Continued

The parties (and non parties) to the zoning hearing challenge agreed to continue the zoning hearing challenge until the January 27th Conditional Use night. They are trying to come to an agreement that might stay the whole challenge until after the Conditional Use is completed and a decision is reached. It remains to be seen whether all of the parties (and non parties) will agree.

Grass-roots battle over zoning law in Wallace

The link below is a daily local article about the zoning hearing meeting tonight at the township biulding at 7pm and the "Guardians of the Brandywine" challenge to the PCCC ordinance.

New Site

We hope you like the new site and find the new format helpful. For those who like to dialogue you can still comment in the comments section at the bottom of each of our articles. We hope you find this integrated approach more effective then the separate blog and news site. We are also going to try to pull together helpful information to the right of the news to keep useful township info and links at your fingertips. Thanks for stopping by.

Police seek help in labor dispute

The following story appeared today in the Daily Local. The quote from the Wallace Township Solicitor pretty much sums up the article from Wallace's perspective:
"Notably, however, the specific violations enumerated in the charge of unfair labor practices primarily relate to the hiring practices and conduct of East Brandywine Township in connection with East Brandywine's newly formed police department."

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The following are posts you will no longer see on Wallace Voice, as they are busily censoring anything that does not follow the party line:

On Lawyer Fees:
On the old Schoolhouse:
On the budget:!-tp1651573p1651573.html
Just Funny:

One has to ask. Why are they so afraid of a free exchange of ideas. Why censor divergent opinions.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Many of you have already taken advantage of Verizon's new FIOS service for Internet and Phone over their fiber optic network. For now residents cannot get the TV service offered by Verizon because the franchise agreement between Wallace Township and Verizon is being negotiated. This is the same type of franchise agreement that Comcast already has with the township for providing TV services. This agreement among other things will impact how much you will pay on your bill in Franchise taxes, so it is important to get things right. As well these contracts usually have very long terms so it will be a long time before the Township has an opportunity to negotiate this contract again.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Caroling and Bonfire - SUNDAY DECEMBER 14TH 6:00 P.M

Sounds like a fun time, and a great way to get together and take a break from the township politics for a little while. From the township Website:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wallace Voters Blog Open For Business

Well we couldn't have a homeless Mud Loppy. Since Wallace Voice has banned this fearless little salamander we thought we would give him a new home. Stop by and introduce yourselves at the newest blog in Wallace. Where if we disagree with you we won't delete you. We'll actually let the debate take care of itself. So try to keep it civil, not personal and to the point.
==> Enter Wallace Voters Blog

Trouble in paradise (Continued)

Update: We have started keeping track of the history rewrite on Wallace Voice in our blog, see the blog link above. We didn't want to keep taking up valuable home page space.

This one is really amusing. They deleted the two posts found here:

Then once the posts that exposed the truth were neatly hidden away from public view then they pick up the thread like they were never there:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BOS Saves each household a much needed $1,063 a year.

For the past year the Voice and their cronies have been bashing the BOS on what they promised to be a 50% or more "Tax Hike" for 2009. As with much they say, it wasn't true and never happened. At the same time they have remained critical of some on the board opposing the open space tax in 2005. What has really happened? Well, in these tough times, because of the boards 2009 budget and past opposition to the open space tax, each household in Wallace Township will keep $1,063 more of their hard earned money1. That is a $1,063 less taxes every year going forward as long as the property tax is not reinstated and the open space tax is never passed. We say it is pretty obvious they have kept their campaign promises to hold the line on taxes. Here are just a few of the examples of the rush to judgment:

When Bryan McDonaugh ran for supervisor there was a lot of talk about tax hikes. There was the "tax mistake" where taxes were tripled by moving a decimal the wrong way. The communication by the supervisors then was inadequate to say the least and it paved the political path for McDonaugh to become supervisor. Then there was the formation of the by Rob Jones to combat the open space referendum. They were fighting a tax increase of "50%" to preserve open space. Well, the open space referendum was defeated, open space is pretty much gone now anyway, yet our taxes were doubled or raised 100% for 2008. Now 2009 sees a tax rise of at least "50%." Where are these voices against tax increases? Here is what Rob Jones said in his bid for supervisor: "I pledge to do what it takes to hold the line on property taxes at the local level. I am tired of seeing the residents stretched to the limit and even some forced to move out because they can no longer afford to live in Wallace Township." Well you know what, I am stretched to the limit with my local taxes, it would be much cheaper to move where the taxes are lower and there are plenty of municipalities that have lower taxes than Wallace. We need to get back to holding the line on tax increases!
Catherine Poole

It's ironic. I remember a former supervisor walking Bryan around, from home > to home, door to door, talking about the issues facing Wallace Twp. The one cardinal sin they both agreed on was raising taxes.
John Potts

1Household saving's calculations:

Wallace Township Households: 1065

Property Tax Savings:

Projected BRPD $ 921,800.00
Projected 2009 Surplus $100,205.00
Amount to be made up by property tax increase $821,595.00
Yearly Per Household Property Tax Savings $771.45

Open Space Tax Savings
Projected 2008 Income Tax Revenue $621,000.00
Total Open Space Tax = 50% of current income tax 50%

Open Space Tax Revenue $310,500.00
Yearly Per House Hold Savings $ 291.55
Total Savings Per Year Wallace Households $1,063.00

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Response to Catherine Poole's Article

We thought we would use today's post to dissect a recent article by Catherine Poole in the Daily Local. Below in blue are Catherine’s quotes and red is our response. Note that Ms. Poole originally blogged that she was supportive of going to State Police. That was until the BOS began to move in the direction. Then it became a bad idea.

A tough decision has been made for Wallace residents. No longer will they have the neighborhood police, the Brandywine Regional Police to come to their aid. They stand to lose the lifesaving response to a call for medical assistance before the ambulance arrives, speed enforcement, and regular patrols that invoke a sense of real security.
In fact State Police respond to all calls for medical assistance and are as well trained as local police. Secondly, State Police will perform speed enforcement per the request of the township in problem areas that arise. They also have the advantage of radar which local police are prohibited from using. Lastly, State Police will perform regular patrols in the township, as the township will be added to a zone with other townships that are patrolled 24 hours a day by State Police. Once again lots of misinformation being thrown out to scare residents and tarnish the BOS and the State Police.

Instead, without a public vote, the supervisors have chosen the state police to cover the township 24/7.
Ms. Poole has attended many meetings where it has been made clear that in Pennsylvania you cannot add this type of question to a ballot. We do not live in California where you can add anything you want as a referendum on a ballot. Again, this is to make the perception that the BOS is somehow trying to sneak something through without public input. They only held many public meetings, a police hearing and 2 open houses on Police services. Not exactly trying to shut the public out.

The state police will be there for 911 calls only. How fast they respond depends on their call load and location. We don't have a choice, so hopefully it will work out.
State Police will respond to every call for police, just as the BRPD do now. And, as with the BRPD, of course it will depend on their call load and location as to how fast they will respond. Again, this statement is meant to leave you with the impression that you are going to call for police one day and they won't show up. Scare tactics.

The sad reality is that neither side brought in an outside mediator to resolve the longstanding differences. Regional police makes sense for the communities where we live.
What interest did East Brandywine have in a mediator? They had the building; they had Wallace paying for it. They had 2 votes to 1, so controlled every decision. They have a large tax base to keep paying for a larger and larger department. It seems clear to us they were telling Wallace pay up or get out. How do you negotiate, mediator or not, with a disinterested party? Regional police makes sense for communities where we live. Really? How do you come to that conclusion? Seems to us it might not have been the best fit.

Does this type of rhetoric really help the township? Or does it just cause needless hurt, fear and bitterness between residents, who might otherwise join together to make this township a better place.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

BOS Eliminates the Property Tax!! Chooses State Police.

Last nights meeting was one for the history books. The Board of Supervisors eliminated the property tax and projected a $100,250 surplus for 2009. How did they do it? They got us out of a terrible deal with the Brandywine Regional Police and have chosen State Police Coverage for 2009. Had the board remained with BRPD taxes would have been raised another 50% on top of the last boards doubling of taxes last year!! That would have tripled the taxes in the span of 2 years. Instead the real estate tax is no more. See the current budget ==> Wallace Township 2009 Proposed Budget.

Useful information...

For those of you who love numbers and research we thought it would be valuable to collect a bunch of documents that have been made available by the township over the last year:

==> Wallace Township 2009 Proposed Budget
==> Wallace Township 2008 Budget
==> Police Services Open House Packet (Great Stats on Police Service and Expenses)
==> Guidelines for the number of police officers to patrol Wallace Township (Great Data on Calls for Service)==> Police Study Group Report
==> Police Study Group Report Attachments

We're Back (REPOSTED FROM July 25th)

We reposted the post from July 25th, because unfortunately not much has changed, so that is why we are back to get the facts out to the residents and combat the lies. And, we thought this previous post was a good launching pad...

There have been a lot of rumors and accusations floating about these days. So we thought it was time someone started putting out the true facts about some of the issues facing our township. Unfortunately there are those who think slander, personal attacks and erroneous claims are helpful in a civil debate. We would like to use this site again to cut through the personal attacks and false claims in order to present facts and let you decide for yourselves. We would like to present a few facts tonight on the current police issue. Keep checking back, we will be posting more information on the police issue for now and will break out to other issues as they take precedence.

Oh, one more thing, you won't find anonymous posters here throwing out erroneous claims with no responsibility for their accusations. You won't find personal attacks. You won't find facts that have not been verified from credible sources. So if you send us information please know that we will not post it unless you source the information or are ready to stand behind your statements with your name. We think everyone deserves respect in this community, we are all neighbors. We're not going to let people be slandered and ridiculed, especially by faceless accusers. We want to see civil debate and people discussing and comparing the facts, etc. You won't find Oliver Stone type conspiracies here either. If you were looking for all of these things, sorry, you must have mistyped when you were entering the URL. This is the factual site, not the local National Enquirer site. One more note, if you do find errors with any of our facts please email us and let us know so that we can get them corrected.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

The proposed plans to develop a resort community in Wallace Township has left some uneasy as to its impact on the community. While others seem to welcome the supposed increase in property values and tax revenue that may come from this proposed plan. In any event the projects scope of a country club golf course, 275 residential homes, and a spa resort in the industrial portion of the property seem clear. What is not clearly known is what industry would develop the industrial portion of the property if the proposed spa resort does not materialize? There are many uses which certainly would have a negative impact on our quality of life, many times worse than the most ardent opponent to the spa resort has painted. As opposition seems to be getting organized to this spa resort, will their gamble pay off? It didn't for this community ==> (Click here to read)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Old Wallace Voters Site - Past Police Posts

We may integrate some of these into the current blog to help find older articles and information, but for now you can link to the old site to older posts on police issues ==> Police Issues