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About the Civil Rights Action Against Tullytown
Following the Tullytown Council meeting of September 2 it should be no secret that current Councilmen Ed Armstrong and Ed Czyzyk, along with unsuccessful council candidates George Fox and Robert Campanaro have filed a court action against Tullytown Borough for an unspecified civil rights violation.
The legal action, a Writ of Summons, is not an actual lawsuit but rather allows the four plaintiffs to gather evidence and depositions that will either confirm or deny their civil rights violation charges. Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Proceedings Rule 4003.8. Pre-Complaint Discovery reads, “(a) A plaintiff may obtain pre-complaint discovery where the information sought is material and necessary to the filing of the complaint and the discovery will not cause unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, burden or expense to any person or party.” More to the point, this lessons the economic burden on the Borough, something that Armstrong and Czyzyk as active councilmen, and Fox and Companaro, as residents, believe is in the best interests of Tullytown Borough.
Recent communication between the plaintiffs’ attorney, Larry Otter, and Tullytown Solicitor Michael Sellers reveals that the action has to do with alleged surveillance of the plaintiffs by the Tullytown Police Department during the 2013 primary election. The allegations came to the plaintiffs’ attention several months following the election. The plaintiffs say the practice violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
tullytownnews.com will continues to provide updates as this matter unfolds.
Update: It has been confirmed that Tullytown Solicitor Mike Sellers has referred the matter to Tullytown’s insurance company; this will reduce Tullytowns’ direct costs.
Sidewalk Protesters Receive Rude Welcome
From Tullytown Council
Protesters who peacefully and respectfully rallied for Rt. 13 sidewalks received a less than warm welcome from Tullytown Council-members Rick Adams, May Kucher, Matt Pirolli and sister Holly Pirolli. The group, from Sidewalks Are For Everyone (S.A.F.E.), a not-for-profit group formed by Sharon Rearick, a mother whose son was killed by a hit-and-run driver on New Falls Road two-years ago, came to the council meeting pleading to allow PENNDOT to install free-of-charge sidewalks along their portion of Rt. 13. Council would have none of it, let alone listen to the pleas.
Mr. Rearick was in the middle of speaking when council president Rick Adams abruptly and rudely said, "Sit Down! You're in the wrong township!" Adams and the other mentioned council-members made comments that were clearly meant to spell out TULLYTOWN RESIDENTS ONLY can speak. Problem is, Tullytown residents won't be affected by the lack of sidewalks.
Persons walking northbound from the direction of Haines road will be forced off of sidewalks and onto the shoulder of the road about 100 yards before the jug handle into the Levittown Shopping Center near Home Depot. Tullytown pedestrians will have safe crossing at the Levittown Parkway intersection with countdown timers and a 14-foot wide safe haven on the median if they don't cross before the countdown ends.
Council's comments that the Delaware Canal towpath could be used rather than sidewalks was answered with a reminder that walking in that desolate area is something most pedestrians, especially women, would rather not due. Then there's the issue of the towpath not being cleared of snow.
With a comment that would astound any intelligent person present Adams stated that, "Well, if a pedestrian is walking along the sidewalk a car might jump the curb and hit them." Apparently he feels the shoulder of Rt. 13 is a safer area. Last years excuse by council was that they, "couldn't afford the upkeep of the sidewalks", all 1/10th mile of them. Never mind the close to $50,000,000 surplus Tullytown has in their coffers.
Surprisingly Tullytown Solicitor Michael Sellers sat silent during most of the exchange. It's this writer's and the opinion of some legal experts that with council being made vividly clear about 22 deaths in 20 years along Tullytowns stretch of highway, including a plea from a former Tullytown Council-member whose son was killed by a drive on Rt. 13, that the borough's sovereign immunity from law suits will be lost, that the council is acting with willfull neglect. Certainly their insurance carrier will likey claim foul when the next pedestrian gets injured or killed.
What Were They Thinking?
In Tullytown, officials recently rejected a PennDOT proposal to construct sidewalks along very busy Route 13. The walkway was to be part of ongoing renovations of one of the ugliest and most hazardous roads in Bucks County.
If you’re thinking “What the heck?!” we’re with you. It remains mystifying why council members would not embrace a safer walking route than the shoulder of a highway where traffic routinely breaks the sound barrier. Given all the folks who walk to and from the borough train station, not to mention the adjacent Levittown Shopping Center, this would appear to be a no-brainer.
Who knows, maybe that gigantic landfill hovering over the borough has affected the drinking water. Or maybe it’s all the highway fumes. Either way, some officials don’t appear to be thinking right. Take this week’s council meeting.
Hoping to get officials to reconsider, members of Sidewalks Are For Everyone (SAFE) argued that pedestrians walking on the shoulder of the road risked serious injury or death. Nobody made the point more dramatically than Bristol Township resident Sharon Rearick. Her son, John, 23, was killed when he was walking along the shoulder of nearby New Falls Road.
“I’m begging you,” Rearick said sobbing. “Put in the sidewalks!”
Council President Rick Adams responded that sidewalk maintenance and snow removal demands could jeopardize the safety of the Tullytown road crew. Huh?
Adams didn’t explain that tortured analysis. And what followed was not a discussion of the issue, but a devolution into personal and political bickering, ending with Adams ordering Rearick’s husband to sit down. “(You’re) talking to the wrong township,” Adams said. He didn’t explain that one either.
Your council at their rudest.
Meeting video coming soon.
Please check again on Sunday, September 21