Aida Montanez Pretends Ordinance She Asked for Was a Surprise to Her
There is a lot to unpack from the October 7, 2019 Borough Council meeting. This is one of a series of articles examining some of the astounding developments during that marathon, out-of-control meeting. As you know by now, in September, the Council voted 7-0 to adopt an "Excessive Police Calls" ordinance, which charged retailers for the numerous calls to their businesses. The ordinance, endorsed by the chief of police, and approved by the Borough solicitor, was first circulated to Council in December of last year. It was cobbled together by Council Member (and attorney) Tom Ford from a very successful ordinance adopted several years earlier by East Lampeter township. At the October 7, 2019 meeting -- barely a month after voting in favor of the ordinance, Council member Aida Montanez voted to rescind it, implying that she never asked for an excessive police calls ordinance and had no idea where the ordinance she approved the previous month came from:
Montanez: "In November of 2018 I had made a request to find out whether it would be legal for us to initiate a fine for citations written within the Borough . . . to help us offset the cost of the police calls. That was never addressed and then we received this ordinance" (referring to the ordinance based on the East Lampeter ordinance)" (click the quote to listen to her statement) In fact, after the November meeting last year, Montanez asked Tom Ford to pattern an ordinance for Mount Pocono based on the East Lampeter one. Following up on her request, on November 19, 2018, Montanez sent Ford a facebook message linking to articles about excessive Walmart police calls and specifically the East Lampeter ordinance:
Why the change? Since Aida's explanation contradicts the facts, she likely has a reason she doesn't want to state in public. The facts are that Montanez asked for an ordinance based on the East Lampeter one, and that's what she got. Why she pretends she didn't have a hand in it now, we can't fathom. What we do know is that the police chief liked the idea as Walmart (and another major retailer in town) were using his force to subsidize store security (at YOUR expense), the Borough solicitor said it was a good one, and she voted for it a month ago. The reversal this week helps Walmart, hurts the Borough, and was excused by her on false pretenses. (PSA - She is on the ballot Nov 5).