Get Coatesville’s house in order or shut the doors and turn out the lights

Huge sigh.

While I don’t agree with the grandstanding that occurred Wednesday night at a special meeting of Coatesville City Council, I get that there are concerns about the financial health of the city.

I’m sure it came as a shock to some people that without approving tapping into the reserve fund the city by Monday will be unable to pay its bills.

According to reporter Eric Smith’s story, City Council voted against a withdrawal of $2.2 million from the trust fund for the third time in recent weeks during the special meeting on Wednesday. Without those additional funds, Finance Director John Marcarelli recommended that council not approve a list of bills during its regular meeting on Monday, because the city will not be able to pay them.

This sounds to me like when the state government or federal government threatens a shutdown because there isn’t an approved budget. But there have been times when the operations have grinded to a halt.

And while I don’t think Coatesville on Monday night WON’T approve the withdrawal of the funds, the fundamental problem that got us here will not have changed.

There are perceptions about a couple of things in Coatesville that I feel hurt the city and its effort to revitalize. Those problems (real or not depending on who you would ask) are crime and education.

The problems of the city’s police force are now well known. And we are kidding ourselves if we think the bad guys don’t also know. When the police force is in turmoil then the bad guys win by default. That’s just a fact.

So the sooner that mess gets cleaned up and we get a permanent full time chief, the better.

In terms of education, like it or not the Coatesville schools have a reputation issue. It may or may not be true but perception at times can be the reality. I’m certain that there have been people who have been reluctant to move into the area and send their kids to Coatesville schools. And that’s a shame because there are plenty of good kids and good teachers and good things going on.

Honestly? The crime issue spreads to the schools and therein lies the issue.

According to Eric’s story, City Manager Kirby Hudson said he is hopeful that council will approve the withdrawal on Monday night. He said he expects employees to show up to work on Monday.

But one never knows. It wouldn’t surprise me if a good number DON’T show up. Would you? Perhaps a message sent to City Council that people are tired of this mess would be a good thing.

And why the heck Kirby Hudson stays is beyond me. This guy has been beat up worse than an amateur fighter taking on Mike Tyson in his prime. It’s difficult at times to watch the nonsense in Coatesville as Kirby tries to stay afloat and keep things going. No one should have to deal with what he has had to deal with in his tenure in Coatesville.

As for how the city will continue to run for the final three months of the year without the additional funds, Council President David Collins said that is unclear at this time.

“I will have to talk to Kirby Hudson to see what we can do to keep things going,” Collins said. “We may have to look at making sacrifices. The city has been extremely generous to a lot of departments.”

Now there can be lots of sacrifices but that won’t ultimately solve the larger issues.

So here’s a blueprint for improvement:

Withdraw the money from the fund.

Hire the RIGHT police chief.

Work with the schools.

Start an active campaign promoting Coatesville.

Stop the politics and private agendas.

Elect council members who actually show up for meetings and are accountable.

Hold peoples’ feet to the fire and cut the crap – please.

If most of these things happen Coatesville has a shot.

If the city keeps ignoring the real problems then shut the doors, turn off the lights and say goodnight Gracie.

— Andy Hachadorian


About fromtheeditorchair

I am the editor of the Daily Local News.
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3 Responses to Get Coatesville’s house in order or shut the doors and turn out the lights

  1. Matt Baker says:

    Andy – interesting blog. Your points about what are needed are more common sense and certainly can be executed if you had actual person(s) to drive them. Since the City doesn’t it won’t happen. The City Manager in my opinion was a poor choice. There is a reason he’s still there and it’s because he couldn’t get hired anywhere else or he would have left. Also the last time I checked Kirby Hudson is the City Manager and should be the point man, leader, catalyst, visionary, hammer that gets these things done. He’s the boss but acts instead like it’s more of the same – shoulda coulda woulda. Just like Rawlings, Reed and Walker. My family lived there for 5 years and recently got out after working countless hours with residents trying to make things better in Coatesville. I dealt with him all the time. A lot of grandiose plans – but not much substance to be frank. Ask him what his contingency plan is about this currency crisis situation and his answer is that expects employees to show up on Monday. Really? Wow talk about wishing in one hand and crapping in another and seeing which one gets filled first. Next the presentation from the Finance Director last night that I read was poor in the DLN leaving City Council Members frustrated and confused on where the City is financially. Now if the presentation was confusing shouldn’t the City Manager have reviewed and scrubbed the presentation prior to help facilitate any question answers from City Council prior to going out to Council with the goal that the measure be approved? Shouldn’t the City Manager then have discussed in public the strategy and contingency plan if the measure isn’t voted in on Monday? One would think but Hudson instead does the awww shucks and expects employees to just show up instead. That’s not what leader does – a leader leads and expect others to follow. You say Hudson has been beat up worse then an amateur against Mike Tyson in his prime. I’m sorry but that is a such a incredibly disrespectful statement. You know who has gotten beaten up worse Andy – the taxpayers and residents that live in Coatesville. The ones that love the City and want to stay but get crapped on daily. Who can’t afford to leave and are afraid to go out at night due to robberies, shootings, etc. But I guess Hudson has it much worse while he drives back Delaware. Does he reside in Coatesville? No – does he pay 2.5 EIT to live there? Does he have to listen to gunshots, loud music, cars racing on main street? No. Is he a taxpayer – NO. So While I appreciate your constructive feedback on the situation I think your points are misguided. The fact of the matter is that the trust is becoming the albatross for the City. Best thing to do is get rid of the trust and force the state to come in because all the problems listed above are not being fixed because someone is making money off them. However nothing will change in the VIle because that’s the we they want it there. A handout City that bitches and moans about change only when it suites them.

  2. Reblogged this on chestercountyramblings and commented:
    Great editorial, and well worth a read

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