Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mt. Lebanon is on a roll UPDATED 2X

Now that Mt. Lebanon has learned to appeal the PA Office of Open Records' final determinations, they are on to ignoring the PA State Ethics Commission requirements.

Besides not permitting residents to copy Statements of Financial Interests, besides ignoring the five day requirement to respond to Right To Know requests, besides accepting deficient statements of financial interests, and collecting those statements after the mandatory deadline of May 1, we now see how some are permitted to skip submitting those statements entirely. Included are some from those on the Hospital Board, the Pension Board, the Planning Board, the Library Board, the Zoning Board, Board of Appeals, Mt. Lebanon Civil Service Board, and the Economic Development Council. Not all members submitted their SFI, as required. Then there is the Sports Advisory Board, including Mr. and Mrs. Franklin [encouraged the commissioners to take me to court over the archery RTK] and Chip "He Who Shall Not Be Named" Dalesandro [see Bullied again], who arranged for $250,000 in donations and got the commission to spend over $750,000 for artificial turf, as well as the Historic Preservation Board, who spent $25,000 on a Virginia Manor remodeling guide. A member of the Historic Preservation Board frequently writes for mtl Magazine and gets compensated $25 per article as a "volunteer" blogger. She submitted this and will receive a $25 check for writing it.
The Top 10 things you learn as a volunteer in Mt. Lebanon. Oh....number five!!!!

7 If you believe your cause is the most important thing on the board agenda or in the municipal budget, you haven’t read the agenda or the budget
LEBOMAG.COM

Why nothing from the SAB or the Historic Preservation Board? It is who you know around here.

I never did hear from Bonnie Cross. I was able to get copies from another citizen. Here they are.

MTL 2016 Statements of Financial Interests for the year 2015

Dale Cowher is deficient plus submitted his SFI on May 12, 2016.
Michele Galati's SFI is deficient.
Andrew Kicinski submitted his SFI on May 4, 2016.
Christopher McMahon's SFI is deficient.
Mark Mistretetta submitted his deficient SFI on May 4, 2016.
Susan Morgans gets a 0% rate on her credit card. Isn't she special?
Christopher Musuneggi submitted a deficient SFI.
Samuel Ray submitted a deficient SFI.

And on to our commissioners.
  • Dave Brumfield never signed or dated his SFI.
  • Coleen Vuono shows no real estate interests and left her sources of income blank. When I was trying to verify her address when she was moving from her Ward 3 home on Woodland, and wouldn't disclose her new address, I came across an old address for 53 Academy Avenue. The Allegheny County website indicates the owner name is VUONO FAMILY 2008 IRREVOCABLE PENNSYLVANIA REAL ESTATE TRUST. Coleen also stages homes for real estate agents with Howard Hanna. See this post. Caught in a lie again.
  • Kelly Fraasch resides at 53 Academy Avenue. She works for Howard Hanna. See Coleen Vuono.  Oops, Coleen!
Historically, Steve Feller would make pdfs and email statements of financial interests at no charge in a timely fashion, no questions asked. Vice President of the Commission Dave Brumfield is the one who has a problem with that. See his emails in the Lebo Citizens blog posts, After doing the math and Mt. Lebanon aims for transparency

I am slowly updating my blog to include past published posts. Mt. Lebanon will do as they want, when they want. The rules never apply to them. Now you know why Bonnie Cross stalled when asked for SFI. They were still coming in as late as May 12, 2016. But Mt. Lebanon is not held accountable. There is a new sheriff in town and our commissioners are asleep at the switch.

Update May 27, 2016 3:58 PM Additional email exchanges with Manager McGill:

From: Keith Mcgill <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>
To: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Sent: Fri, May 27, 2016 11:10 am
Subject: Re: Statements of financial interests

Thank you Elaine. You as well.
Keith

On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 11:06 AM, egillen476@aol.com <egillen476@aol.com> wrote:
Thanks, Keith. Have a good holiday weekend!


-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Mcgill <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>
To: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Sent: Fri, May 27, 2016 10:42 am
Subject: Re: Statements of financial interests

Good morning Elaine,
The Municipality is the location where the State required Statements are filed.  To help facilitate filing, we will typically send the required form to the relevant personnel.  We also have sent reminders on occasion.  We generally do not verify the accuracy of the forms, as we do not believe we are required to do so under State law.
As far as who needs to file, that is set forth in the Ethics Act.  I will add that the one area where questions seem to arise is with our various boards.  The Ethics Act exempts members of advisory boards that have no authority to expend public funds and who cannot exercise the power of the Municipality.  This exemption encompasses many of our boards, as they do function in an advisory capacity only, and cannot expend Municipal funds.
Keith

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM, egillen476@aol.comwrote:
Hi Keith,

What methodology is used when collecting SFIs from staff, boards, and authorities? Who is subject to submitting SFIs? 

Who verifies their accuracy or deficiencies?

I never did hear back from Bonnie as to when my RTK was ready for pick up. Fortunately, David Huston went up for me and waited twenty minutes while Bonnie printed them.

Elaine Gillen

From: Keith Mcgill [mailto:kmcgill@mtlebanon.org]
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 10:46 AM
To: Nicholas Meduho,
Subject: Re: sfi forms

Good morning Mr. Meduho,
Mr. Brumfield will be submitting an amended form. As to other forms the Municipality is the location where the State required Statements are filed.  To help facilitate filing, we will typically send the required form to the relevant personnel.  We also have sent reminders on occasion.  We generally do not verify the accuracy of the forms, as we do not believe we are required to do so under State law.
Keith



On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 9:11 AM, Nicholas Meduho wrote:
Mr. McGill,

In reviewing the SFI forms that were recently submitted, many of them were filled out improperly but Dave Brumfield’s form stands out the most with no signature and no date.

Will he be asked to submit a new form or amend his current form? What about the other folks, especially the ones who claim no income from Mt. Lebanon in 2015.

As the manager, will you please take the lead on this and get this fixed.


Thank you,

Nicholas Meduho
Mt. Lebanon, PA

Update June 7, 2016 11:30 PM The following people didn’t report their income from Mt. Lebanon in 2015.

Susan Morgans $108,259
Aaron Lauth $118,166
Bonnie Cross $93,129
Nicholas Schalles $98,613
Steve Feller $159,574
Kelly Fraasch $3600
Tom Kelley $41,417
Steve Silverman $3600
Joseph Senko $9000
Nicholas Sohyda $118,932
Coleen Vuono $2400

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine, thank you for posting the SFI's. In a quick review I see that many of the forms might be considered deficient. In addition to what you pointed out, I see that Bonnie Cross, Susan Morgans, Aaron Lauth, Nicholas Schalles and a few other claim "no" income. Heck, they even checked off the box claiming "no" income. How can that be when these folks are getting paychecks and W-2's from Mt. Lebanon? Big checks too!!

Nick M.

E. T. Gillen said...

Good catch, Nick! It is commendable that Lauth is putting his life on the line by donating his time, but he should really be compensated. Susan Morgans, not so much. Bonnie Cross, being HR Director, Assistant to the Manager, or whatever she is calling herself these days, should know how a statement of financial interests should be completed. Glad she is donating her time too. What are we talking about in salaries here, Nick? Half a million dollars that aren't being reported?And then there is Brumfield and his gang that don't have to play by the rules.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Well...let's take a look.

Susan Morgans $108,259
Aaron Lauth $118,166
Bonnie Cross $93,129
Nicholas Schalles $98,613
Steve Feller $159,574
Kelly Fraasch $3600
Tom Kelley $41,417
Steve Silverman $3600
Joseph Senko $9000
Nicholas Sohyda $118,932
Coleen Vuono $2400

All unreported income for 2015.

As far as the specific instructions listed on the SFI in relation to Brumfield's form:

THIS FORM IS CONSIDERED DEFICIENT IF ANY BLOCK IS NOT COMPLETED OR
IF SIGNATURE OR DATE IS MISSING

Nick M.

Richard Gideon said...

Government everywhere is on a roll! The prevailing attitude of government, from the national down to the local level, is that "we'll do whatever the hell we want!" No longer are elected persons respectful of the law (even the ones they pass themselves), the press, or the people who elected them. We are all William Graham Sumner's "Forgotten Man."

E. T. Gillen said...

I updated this post with a series of additional emails from the manager. Bottom line, write anything you want on SFI's. Nobody checks them because they are not required to.

The Athletic Supporters and the Virginia Manor Remodeling Guide Committee either collected funds, spent $25,000 on a remodeling guide, or persuaded to spend $800,000 to artificially turf our best field - a want, not a need.

Yes, RG, we truly are all William Graham Sumner's "Forgotten Man."

Did I mention how I hate this place? There are eight houses on the market on Hoodridge in Mt. Lebanon. I've never seen that before. I guess I'm not alone.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers in Mt. Lebanon should be angry that $25,000 was literally wasted on nothing more than a remodeling guide (that went absolutely nowhere) without someone doing some homework first. Apparently someone, or a group, decided "they" would decide what was best for those residents. What an absolute shame.

Maybe we need to have more of those taxpayer funded wine and dine appreciation dinners and pancake breakfasts.

Nick M.

E. T. Gillen said...

It has been pointed out to me that our new assistant manager/municipal planner, Ian McMeans, did not submit a statement of financial interests.

Sloppy. Very sloppy. But they get away with this crap because nobody stops them.
Elaine

Lena Horne said...

Just curious, Elaine. What about the Mt. Lebanon Partnership? Actually, the better question is WHAT is the Mt. Lebanon Partnership? I'm assuming, but could be wrong, that its members do no have to submit statements of financial interests.

E. T. Gillen said...

Here is a link to their website, Lena. Mt. Lebanon Partnership

I was glancing over mtl Magazine over the weekend. ugh. I saw that Mark Quealy is MTL's parking enforcement supervisor. He did not submit an SFI.

What about the golf course? Is anyone associated with the golf course suppose to submit an SFI?

Mt. Lebanon refuses to publish the names of board and authority members. I guess I should look up the names who were invited to the volunteer appreciation dinner. I know that consistently, not all members of the groups listed, submitted SFIs.

I see some families who donated their properties for killing deer are featured in this issue. Isn't that just perfect? Donors, my ass.

Elaine