East Penn Township is in financial trouble. So we were told at the Feb. 1 supervisor's meeting. And the blaming has begun. Blaming allows us to feel like we're problem solving, but it's not constructive action. Blaming also means we don't have to ask if we contributed to the problem. In reality it creates resentment and distances people.
The financial health of the township is the responsibility of all the supervisors. Today's money problems are not the result of any single mistake. They are a symptom of a larger problem.
The board of supervisors has long been in trouble because there is no expectation that all who serve take responsibility for two things. 1. Know what's going on. 2. Share the information openly with other four board members.
They have lost the idea that they are all there to solve problems, using all five board members. They are side tracked with bickering and personal agendas. Diversity of opinion, respected dialogue and open sharing of information is discouraged.
Is this the atmosphere supervisors can say "I didn't know."
Healthy boards see diversity of ideas and opinions as an advantage. That's true for the Zoning Hearing Board and the Planning Commission as well. Filling all the boards with like minded thinkers limits the ability of each member to view an issue fully and thoughtfully.
Board members should ask themselves:
1. Do I share information without being asked?
2. Do I create an atmosphere where all board members feel comfortable asking for information?
3. Do I ask for and encourage others to share their opinions?
4. Do I make decisions without talking to the group?
5. Do I spend time blaming others or do I get about the business of solving problems?
I'm asking the voters of East Penn Township to think about this when you read the paper or attend township meetings. And ultimately, think about this each election day.