Letter: Responding to comments

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To The Editor,

Letters1I have reviewed numerous replies to submissions I have made to The Times. I believe that I must respond to some of the comments. First my family and I moved into Pocopson Township in 1957. I have lived here ever since. My education consisted of two years of parochial school in Wilmington, followed by four years in the Unionville School (it was a 1-12 facility at the time), followed by six years at Tower Hill School. I received a BS from Trinity College in Hartford CT. and a Master of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I have no desire to capitulate to Mr. Knauss’ suggestion that I could move.

I served for about ten years as a Pocopson Supervisor. I was first appointed to an unexpired term and then was twice elected to the position. I left early, as I could not support the development of a potential Superfund site, an old apple orchard contaminated with arsenic. During my time on the Board, the Township population increased by approximately 150 new residents and there was little, if any, new construction. I also convinced the other Supervisors to support and institute two one-mil reductions to our property tax rate. These could be the only property tax reductions in the Township’s history. I developed a recycling program for the Township that has generated about $60,000 over the last 20 years. Finally I volunteered to serve on the Kennett Area Regional Planning Commission for 20 years. The Commission composed of representatives from six local municipalities
worked on solving regional problems and addressing mutual concerns. I continue to be involved in some Township matters.

I started to attend the School Board’s public meetings in 1995 and their work sessions after I resigned as a Supervisor. I have also occasionally attended subcommittee meetings. Finally, I assisted in the development of two six-year plans for the district.

I agree with Mr. Knauss that people who send e-mail messages should sign these submissions and not use pseudonyms. However, I find it very ironic that Mr. Knauss also uses a pseudonym at times when he desires. It appears to be common knowledge that “Open Eyes” is really Keith Knauss. How hypocritical can he be?

For those of us who remember the “Efficient Education” diatribes issued by Mr. Knauss and Mr. Hellrung before they were elected to the UCF School Board, or perhaps are even lucky enough to still have copies of these papers, they will dearly see how completely hypocritical Mr. Knauss is.

Mr. Knauss criticizes my call for larger class sizes in the High School that currently averages around 16 students. What I was proposing was that the High savings. Why have policies if you are not going to follow them?

Mr. Knauss also states “It is interesting to note that the (TE) District last had a zero percent tax increase was budget year 2004-05, a decade ago …. I find it even more interesting that the last time the UCF District had a zero percent tax increase in Chester County was budget year 1996-97, almost two decades ago. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

It would be far better if all bloggers stuck to the facts and not opinions, speculations, and hypotheticals. Much more appropriate progress could be made if this concept was adopted by all. I make every effort to provide the public with facts and to always present the truth.

Bruce B. Yelton
Pocopson

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16 Comments on "Letter: Responding to comments"


Guest
Kristin Hoover
1 year 3 months ago

UCFSD has become a richer version of Coatsville’s School District. You can read what is happening there and see that it is the same thing. They have inappropriate texting by an Assistant Superintendent, but UCFSD has a worse problem….a Superintendent who made a deal to allow education theft! They have a cover-up by the Board who have used intimidating tactics against those who disagree. UCFSD has the same thing. Now the Chester County DA is involved and has castigated the Coatsville Board. I think people need to contact the Chester County DA.

Guest
Kristin Hoover
1 year 3 months ago

The 50th anniversary of an important Supreme Court decision has just passed (New York Times v Sullivan) and we would all do well to remember the following which is excerpted from that case: “Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 369. “[I]t is a prized American privilege to speak one’s mind, although not always with perfect good taste, on all public institutions,” Bridges v. California, 314 U.S. 252, 270, and this opportunity is to be afforded for “vigorous advocacy” no less than “abstract discussion.” NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 429. [p270] The First Amendment, said Judge Learned Hand,

presupposes that right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many, this is, and always will be, folly, but we have staked upon it our all.

Guest
Keith Knauss
1 year 4 months ago

E Resident is correct. The investigation by the CCIU is not completely independent. The district and the CCIU have a financial relationship that could bias the outcome. Therefore, all the Hoover/TE Resident/Yelton/Manzone/Rafferty conspiracy theorists will discount the results.
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In fact, any investigator the district hires will have a financial tie to the district and will be labeled as biased by the conspiracy group. What we really need is for the conspiracy group to hire and pay for their own investigator. Are you in??

Guest
1 year 4 months ago

No, that’s not what we need. We need Board Members to serve the citizen tax payers they were elected to serve and not the administration which in reality, is who they do serve. The Board has used tax payer money to hire 2 lawyers to keep citizens from learning about information in this case. This money would be well spent hiring an independent investigator instead.

Inflammatory, dramatic statements by you Keith do not work. They never did. There are plenty of independent investigators the district could hire to do this job and you know it. How about forming a citizens committee to come up with a plan to hire one? Bur you would never do that, would you? Heaven forbid a tax paying citizen gets a say in the decision.

Guest
Keith Knauss
1 year 3 months ago

Again, TE Resident has missed the point. Any investigator the district hires will not be independent in the eyes of the conspiracy group. There will always be a remote financial tie or a distant relationship (e.g. 3rd cousin) or some other inane excuse to discount a report favorable to the district.
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Let’s see how the conspiracy group reacts to the thoroughly independent Office of Open Records as they rule in the district’s favor. Could it be that the OOR has interpreted the law and correctly ruled that the requested information is protected and not a public record? Well, no. TE Resident has already told us how she will react – ” The Board has used tax payer money to hire 2 lawyers to keep citizens from learning about information in this case.”

Guest
1 year 3 months ago

Again, Keith is wrong. I did not miss the point. Again Keith ignored part of my comment so he could push his own personal agenda while also twisting the truth to create a perception that he desperately tries to control.

Form a citizens committee. Allow the committee to choose the independent investigator. Allow a collection of tax paying citizens with different backgrounds, different experiences different attitudes, opinions and beliefs to come together and choose one investigator that everyone agrees with.

Keith, you’re bitter. You were many things but bitter was not one of them.

Guest
1 year 4 months ago

Since the UCFSD along with the TESD and other Districts fund the CCIU, this makes the investigation an internal investigation – not an independent third party investigation. The CCIU works for the 12 districts in the county who fund it. They have incentive to rule in favor of the Board of Directors and no incentive to rule otherwise.

If Kieth and other Directors truly wanted an independent investigation they would spend money to hire an independent third party to investigate this matter.

As far as Dr. Sanville making decisions on RTK requests: Keith was a Board member before Dr. Sanville was hired. Keith hired Dr. Sanville. Keith and Dr. Sanville are friends.

Guest
Open Eyes
1 year 4 months ago

I most assuredly am not Keith Knauss. My desire to remain anonymous should not be misinterpreted as fearful – rather I am exercising an option readily available to me (and others- TE Resident, had enough for example). Interesting that only my pseudonym is mentioned when there are multiple folks posting here anonymously.

Facts are often in short supply here but sharing opinions is a time-honored democratic tradition and as long as everyone remains civil and appropriate where is the harm? Discourse is the hallmark of an open and engaged public.

Mr. Yelton must remember that his views, and those of his friends are not legitimized simply because they are published in self- produced letters and manifestos. Their misinterpretation of data, including my identity, has fallen prey to hysteria and perhaps a little paranoia. Is it really so hard to believe that there are taxpaying residents who do NOT think that the residency ‘issue’ is worth all of the negativity being produced by the angry few (and at least two are not UCFSD residents)? Sheesh.

Guest
Kristin Hoover
1 year 4 months ago

You misunderstand the issue. Education theft was the original issue of importance. However, it was the HANDLING of the matter by Sanville and the subsequent use of lawyers to justify a deal coupled with the treatment of Dr. Manzone and of Sean Rafferty’s RTK request in an attempt to cover-up these actions that people find offensive. It is the use of lawyers to fight a taxpayer and the disregard for the Open Records law that is particularly maddening and ironic given that RTK apparently means one thing before you are elected and the opposite afterwards when you have something to cover-up. All of this is at taxpayer expense! Snarky comments made by the Board against members of the public are not helping. It simply is all wrong.

Guest
Observing
1 year 4 months ago

Ms. Hoover: let me reply to what you represent as “facts” as follows:

“Educational theft” according to whom? Certainly not 11 of 12 SB Directors or the Superintendent. STRIKE ONE. But let’s wait and see what the CCIU says.

“Treatment of Dr. Manzone” The Board did not approve of Dr. Manzone playing “gumshoe” and staking out a family’s home. She resigned, making a big stink about her own purity while she was, coincidentally, running for another political office (she lost).

The RTK request: currently under review by the Open Records Office. Obviously, one cannot request protected information from the school which would identify a child or his/her family. RTK requests are not available for such things such as a student’s report cards, address, etc. However, let’s see what they RTK office says. We know that they SIDED with Keith years ago only to be reversed by a Judge. Keith does not make a RTK decision for the district – Dr. Sanville does, so I don’t know why you reference his history.

As to your “snarky comments” reference, you are certainly one to talk! For too long I saw your behavior on full display at School Board Meetings and on these very comment boards. The School Board Directors are human beings volunteering their time and worthy of being respected, not derided as you always seem to do. They are NOT your personal Pinatas. I personally like it when the Directors comment to engage in rebuttal, debate and discussion – standing up to bullies is a GOOD thing.