Last EFCC recap before Summer break! A run-down of candidates for Falls’s election, and a copy of their “Memorandum” with PhillyU. PLUS — pointed questions and accusations about the Traffic Committee by an irate “Apalogean” (and kinda supported by our archives. D’oh!).
Wow June’s EFCC general meeting zipped by in record time, barely an hour! Everyone seemed ready to wrap till September — us included, to be honest. It’s been a lonnnnng ten months.
You may recall from last month that EFCC did not have a roster of candidates for their usual year-end election. So this meeting, they announced names for a Fall election. Council also handed out their four-page “Memorandum of Understanding” for PhillyU, and then some dude vigorously called out the Traffic Committee, and it seems he has a point. Shall we..?
First, elections. The three (appointed) EFCC members in charge of presenting the year’s election ballot announced the following candidates for officers & Executive Board At-Large positions for 2016-17:
PRESIDENT: Bill Epstein
1st VP/ZONING: Todd Baylson
2nd VP/EVENTS: Lisa Howdyshell
CORRESPONDING SEC’Y: Christina Spolosky
RECORDING SEC’Y: Heather Plastaras
TREASURER: Joe Leube
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES (Four positions, determined by the most votes):
After they read off the names, Sue Park (Calumet) nominated Emily Nichols for 1st Vice President, which was quickly seconded. Interesting…
Some folks we spoke with (off the record) feel this year’s roster reflects a swing against the tide of development for EFCC, who had been trying to appeal to younger, more progressive neighbors with plans for a new website and social media that failed to materialize.
There’s a sense Todd is being “ousted” — some speculate, because of Ridge Flats, and PhillyU, two efforts that have recently rolled ahead after years of waiting & negotiating. No comment on VP from us, all we can say is: *VOTE FOR MEG & BRENDAN!* We need conservative voices now more than ever, with so much development headed our way. Also, they’re so fun to video!
Onto EFCC’s “Memorandum of Understanding” for Philadelphia University, a hand-out at the meeting, you can read it here: PAGE 1 – PAGE 2 – PAGE 3 – PAGE 4
The memo covers noise, lighting, landscape buffers, traffic studies and parking, plus also outlines a resolution process in the event of future disputes:
At EFCC’s “Emergency” Zoning meeting earlier this month, some residents (including Meg!) expressed concerns that this agreement had “no teeth,” and would be essentially useless if the University failed to properly address grievances. What do you think? Are we sitting ducks for unwanted campus-spread?
Finally, Perry Tishgart’s a speedbump-hating neighbor on Apalogen who wants to know “under whose authority” EFCC’s Traffic Committee advocates for traffic calming measures — specifically a roundabout at Schoolhouse & Henry they floated earlier in the meeting.
“No offense, but making Henry Avenue one way in each direction is… ridiculous!” he tells Bill, who had offered his support for such an idea when Mary Jane Fullam complained about new bike lanes “cropping up” in driving lanes lately, confusing drivers and posing a danger for themselves & others:
Perry was adamant that serious traffic changes are being made to East Falls streets without neighbors input or consent. “The traffic committee in my opinion has run amok,” he said to an audience of about 30 neighbors, “East Falls is an experiment for every cockamamie idea that comes out of this traffic committee.”
He even said the “S” word — as in, SECRET meetings, supposedly going on between EFCC’s traffic committee and officials from Philly’s Streets Dept, and other traffic experts (such as the WHYY expert they’d just reported on this evening).
Bill strongly denied any such behind-the-scenes shenanigans, and Council member Roger Marsh piped up that surely the Schoolhouse/Henry roundabout has been up for discussion at previous meetings.
To the EFL Archives! We went thru all our meeting recap videos since Fall 2014, and although we found some vague references to roundabouts in a few of John’s Traffic Committee updates, we were unable to pinpoint anytime members were asked to vote or provide opinions on traffic calming. We did, however, find this interesting comment from March 2015 (above) — I’m sure there’s a difference between “not public” and “secret,” right?
We kinda hate the speed cushions, too, Perry. Living at Gypsy and Schoolhouse, we encounter them on a regular basis. And, frankly, makes us nervous to see Meg, Bill, Ray, etc. watching traffic on Henry and pointing… (nothing about this at meetings yet).
Wait, but it’s the CITY who’s put in all the speed bumps here, right?
SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER!!
In the meantime, come on out Thursday 6/16 for the next East Falls Forward meeting — special guest Lisa Howdyshell, crime analyst with Philly PD (and newest 2nd VP for EFCC — WOOT!), will discuss trends in the Falls and what we can do to avoid becoming a victim.
See you there! As always, beer, snacks, and great neighbors!