Sunday, February 19, 2017

We're using the wrong matrix UPDATED with invoice

A friend reminded me of the deer management presentation* held on June 22, 2015 at the Fine Arts Theatre. The presentation is still available on the municipal website. Here is one page that confirms what we have been saying all along. Mt. Lebanon has bad drivers.


Instead of looking at number of deer/car collision numbers, we need to concentrate on the percentage of deer/car collisions over the total number of collisions. According to the June 22, 2015 slide above, we're at around 8%. The rate of total collisions has sky rocketed, yet deer collision rates are 8%. We shouldn't be measuring deer/car collisions without considering the TOTAL amount of collisions. Figures don't lie and liars figure. And cost us thousands of dollars. 

*The same presentation where we weren't told that Jody Maddock worked for Tony DeNicola.




Update February 20, 2017 1:33 PM Sorry, Mt. Lebanon, but you are deceiving the public. Mt. Lebanon deer archery statistics lower in 2016 Keith McGill was quoted as saying

“We’re hopeful that we will start to see a reduction in the deer-vehicular accidents,” McGill said. “That has always been the goal of the program.” 
How about concentrating on reducing the total crashes while looking at the percentage rate of deer-vehicular accidents against that total? Of course there has been an increase of deer-vehicular accidents! The total crashes are increasing at an alarming rate, yet the percentage of deer/car collisions seems to be around 8% per year.

Paul Curtis was the bozo who estimated that we have approximately 800 deer in Mt. Lebanon, based on the number of accidents. Curtis had to be told how big Mt. Lebanon is, and never stepped foot here.

Cornell's Paul Curtis and DeNicola's buddy

WE HAVE BAD DRIVERS!

Update February 21, 2017 5:19 PM Three person days @ $1500/day. 2017 White Buffalo Archery Program Invoice Seven returning archers from 2016 (some were off-duty police officers) were re-trained for $4500. From the municipal website:

Controlled Archery Hunt: 2016-2017 Season: White Buffalo, Inc., a wildlife management firm, was hired to screen, train and manage the archers who conducted a bow hunt last fall. The archers were required to show experience through harvest verification and were required to have a Bow Hunter Education Certification before beginning. The hunt took place on the following public properties: Conservation District (Connor/Terrace Road), Golf Course, McNeilly Park, Twin Hills and Robb Hollow Park as well as the adjacent public works property. Off-duty police officers were the only hunters permitted to hunt on public properties. In addition, interested residents worked directly with White Buffalo to donate their properties for the program. A total of 36 deer were removed through this program. Total cost: $9,000. 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

A question, does anyone know how much, if any money, is being spent to reduce the number of hit and runs occurring along Washington Road and in the municipal parking garages? But hey, we're spending $100,000 chasing deer the experts can't find!

Read the police blotter, two or three happen almost every week and replace a door, gender or bumper can easily run a thousand dollars or more.

We're probably racking up more property damage in a week in our parking spaces than we do with deer accidents and landscaping damage. Let's not even talk about DUIs.

Jason Margolis said...

The only thing they are really killing this year is home values.

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course, Elaine. Please never lose sight of the original stated analysis of deer/car collisions. The PERCENTAGE has consistently been low---around 9% on average for the past several years. (Before Tony began his killing.) The commission's goal, as stated by them, was to have the deer killed so that the 9% number may be cut in half over a five year period. They have made no mention of how the municipality intends to deal with the other 91% of vehicle accidents that do NOT involve deer.

Sylvia

Anonymous said...

For those involved in the insurance business, don't home & car break ins, vehicle accidents/hit and runs have an impact on your insurance rates?

E. T. Gillen said...

Keith McGill wrote:

"The overall objective of the deer management program is to reduce the number of deer vehicular incidents. As such, the metric would be the number of these types of incidents. In 2016 this number actually increased compared to 2015 which means the objective has not yet been met."

"During a presentation last year the Commission was advised that at least three years of data are necessary in order to accurately assess the results of a deer management program. The municipality has been through one full cycle of archery and sharpshooting and the 2016/2017 controlled archery hunt program was recently completed. The related sharpshooting phase will be concluded no later than the end of March."

Three years of this insanity.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Still trying to figure out what the "favorable outcome" of the 2015-16 cull was?
It certainly wasn't a reduction in deer/vehicle accidents!

E. T. Gillen said...

6:00 PM or anyone else,
Why don't you email Keith McGill since the commissioners never respond? His email address is kmcgill@mtlebanon.org

Let us know what you find out by posting it anonymously.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

The response I get is that there are fewer deer, no incidents, and a majority of people favor getting rid of more deer!

Oh and the program can't be judged a success or failure by one years results.

E. T. Gillen said...

But there were incidents! Two unrecovered deer showed up in Castle Shannon, but the CS residents weren't permitted to attend and speak at the commission meeting because they were not residents of Mt. Lebanon.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

The survey on the PG website showed that the majority were against the deer killing. How can Mt. Lebanon make that claim? I am not aware of any other polls. Are they going by emails? That isn't very scientific. Or are they relying on what Tony, the charlatan, I mean contractor, is telling them?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Polls and petitions don't hold water in Lebo.

Expect to see a majority favoring PAYT too.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that if one deer is culled then the program will be successful ? Expenses will remain the same for 12 days - the only variable being supplies and carcass processing @ $84 per deer !

E. T. Gillen said...

Yep, the less deer killed, the more successful the program. At least that is how Tony is measuring the success of the archery program.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

If we exterminated every last deer in Mt. Lebanon today we'd still have a deer problem tomorrow.
The deer didn't come here for the schools, field turf or the business district.

Anonymous said...

"Who made the decision to cull the herd? Did the public have input? Mt. Lebanon’s elected officials voted to cull the deer herd after extensive study. Residents have commented at virtually every Commission meeting over the past several years."

Notice they don't make any attempt to show the break out of those resident comments!
Were they 50% pro culling and 50% anti-culling? Shouldn't the numbers be public information if they're as transparent as they claim to be?

http://mtlebanon.org/DocumentCenter/View/14630

E. T. Gillen said...

Of course they're not being transparent. That is why I'm hoping that the State Supreme Court will hear my case. Unfortunately, it is costing me thousands of dollars and costing MTL nothing.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

I sure wish some foundation will help me out with the funding.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

The slide showing a constant percentage of car collisions attributable to deer, and an increase in total car crashes is called data. The Commissioners have never been impressed with data. That is, 'don't confuse me with data (facts).' The same mantra applies to the spendthrift School Board, which, incidentally, probably owes a report to the taxpayers on the tax dollars spent on the fund raising.

Anonymous said...

4:58, they don't feel they owe you anything and we'll re-elect them proving them right.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how that conference call with Paul Curtis [Cornell's Dept of Natural Resources (DNR)] was set up. I'm guessing that DeNicola in his efforts to close the deal on another 100K bait-and-shoot deer killing program couldn't explain why the car-deer collisions went up during/after his bow-hunting and bait-and-shoot killing programs, and so he told Keith McGill to sch. a conference call with (his buddy) Paul Curtis from Cornell.

Cornell's Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) faculty, Paul Curtis, Bernd Blossey, and Jay Boulanger, are well known pro-hunting/culling advocates who are partners with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) (the DEC is the equivalent state agency as the Pa Game Commission). Cornell's DNR dept. does pseudo science white papers, most of which are not peer reviewed, that promote lethal methods of deer mgt. Their studies of non-lethal methods, i.e. sterilization and contraception are intentionally sabotaged so they can report that they aren't effective. Anyone with any basic knowledge can review their studies and pick them apart as completely unscientific and invalid. This Cornell dept is as biased as the NY DEC and the Pa Game Commission is with promoting hunting and lethal methods. Just about everything they say is total BS. Of course, they have the Cornell name-brand and so they are automatically believed. So Paul Curtis does a favor for his buddy Tony DeNicola and secures him a $100K windfall for the next 4 years (ad infinitum) at Mt. Lebanon taxpayers expense. BTW, what the hell does Curtis know about Mt. Lebanon or the deer in Mt. Lebanon to make any informed comments. DeNicola isn't stupid. He recognizes a bunch of gullible Commissioners that are more than willing to do what ever he tells them to do. He's the ultimate con man. So Mt. Lebanon is duped again into basically giving DeNicola a blank check for the next 4 years+.

I guess it's too much to ask the Commissioners to do a little home work and recognize the bias and conflicts of interests of agencies and vendors that are giving them advice.

Anonymous said...

If we the taxpayers paid for trail cameras, shouldn't we get to keep them?

Or better yet, why didn't we negotiate with team DeNicola in that we would buy the trail cameras and we take ownership in exchange for a lower price?

Nick M.

Jason Margolis said...

Each line item in that invoice smells like a rip-off.

As an administrator myself, I would never permit such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

You can buy a dozen carbon hunting arrows for $60/dozen, trail cameras can be had from $40 and up. I have no idea what tackle is comprised of.
It would be nice to see invoices for exactly what was purchased and that the equipment is returned to the municipality and inventoried so that it is available should we use archers again.

Anonymous said...

With 800 deer (ha, ha) in Mt. Lebanon and private property owners testifying that multiple deer are on their property why in heavens name do we need trail cameras.
Any deer hunter worth their salt can figure out where deer are!

Anonymous said...

That invoice is robbery in plain sight, in collusion with financial misconduct on Mt. Lebanon's part.

If 3 person days @ 1,500 a day ($4,500.00) isn't bad enough, the charge for unitemized archery supplies, trail cameras, and tackle for $4,500.00 is a total scam. There is NO WAY in the world that DeNicola spent $4,500.00 on these supplies. What archery supplies - arrows? Trail cameras aren't expensive, and why didn't they use the one's they paid for last year? Does Mt. Lebanon have to buy new trail cameras every year? Tackle? What the hell is tackle. This was just a $4,500.00 tip on the taxpayers. There is no way that these unitemized invoices should be an acceptable practice in Mt. Lebanon. Who is accountable for this violation of the public's trust?

That said, the real tip for DeNicola is the $85K killing contract. DeNicola wouldn't get out of bed to manage Mt. Lebanon's bow hunting program with out getting the $85K bait-and-shoot contract.

E. T. Gillen said...

9:22 AM, I think the tackle is for when they go fishing at Cedarhurst Lake. :)
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Right 9:27 am. I remember a couple residents testifying of 12 deer in their driveway and 6 on their roof, and piles of deer poop so high they couldn't get out their back door. Of course, there were never any photos. And so now they need trail cameras to find the deer in their "donated" yards. BTW, you'd think if any trail cameras were needed, that DeNicola would have just supplied them.

Jason Margolis said...

Would receipts for things charged in the line items be something subject to a Right to Know? Just curious.


Anonymous said...

Yep 9:50, you'd think the Great White Hunter DeNicola would have all the tools of his trade to earn his $9,000 fee. At the very least know where to get the best prices.
You can buy tree stands at Walmart and Cabella's for less than $100.
Plus wouldn't these expert volunteers have their own bows or are we buying them new ones on the taxpayers' dime.

It like providing cell phones to municipal employees, has anyone ever audited there usage to see if they're really necessary?

E. T. Gillen said...

Jason, this was from a RTK. They will tell you that is all that is available. They would never go above and beyond to get details.
Elaine

Jason Margolis said...

If that's all that is available, then we have a serious problem in terms of the people who are controlling a huge amount of (our) money.

E. T. Gillen said...

Something is upbetween Tony DeNicola and Keith McGill. Keith is the one who answers all the residents' questions. He won't put anything about White Buffalo in any of the weekly Administrative Reports, yet every other contractor's progress is explained in the ARs. Nothing was written about the archery beginning or ending. Nothing was written about the baiting or when the shooting was to begin. It is almost like Tony is blackmailing Keith with photos. It is the most bizarre arrangement I have ever run across. Or is Keith getting paid on the side? Very fishy. Everything is a secret. Nothing is ever questioned. No details ever.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Jason and Elaine...I filed a right to know for all receipts, statements and invoices that DeNicola has in his possession for all purchases related to the controlled archery hunt. I'm interested in two things, what exactly we paid for and how much did DeNicola walk away with without leaving his house. I'll send whatever I get to Elaine once I get them.

Nick M.

Anonymous said...

Do you really expect a municipal manager to delve into receipts when they are the same person that accepted a deer population estimate from a guy that has no idea how big Mt. Lebanon is or ever set foot in it!

Anonymous said...

Surcharge:
Accountability of Officials for Misuse of Public Funds

Pennsylvania law provides a system by which the actions of municipal officers and employees, in the context of expenditure or use of public funds, may be “checked” or questioned by other elected officials, taxpayers, and the courts. While there are limitations on this system, it serves as a powerful tool to ensure the accountability of elected or appointed municipal personnel.

http://www.lgc.state.pa.us/getfile.cfm?file=/Reports/deskbook14/Issues-Governance07-Surcharge-Accountability-of-Officals-for-Misuse-of-Public-Funds.pdf

Although it doesn't provide much information as to how taxpayers chose about checking or making officers accountable.

Anonymous said...

If McGill has no idea where the culling is occurring how can he determine if any arrows, trail cameras or tackle was used?
How does he know the 36 deer were killed in Mt. Lebanon? Maybe the archers hunted somewhere else and said thedeer were taken here?
Without a check who's to know the trail cameras were ever used here?

E. T. Gillen said...

I would think that trail camera footage should be subject to Right To Knows. Merlin Benner used trail cameras - his own. He never charged for them. He had also left a camera behind in Bird Park. We saw it when we were helping Kelly Fraasch clean up the remaining bait in Bird Park. We never touched it and was later retrieved by Benner's guys.

Will we be charged for more trail cameras for the "sharpshooting" phase?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Probably $5,000 to $10,000 for bullets, silencers and cleaning rods!
And maybe red cups... gets chilly out there after dusk.

Anonymous said...


http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2016/11/07/Mt-Lebanon-advised-to-rethink-deer-archery-sharpshooting-cull/stories/201611110025

"“We’re still getting calls from homeowners who are just inundated with deer,” said Tony DeNicola, the founder and president of White Buffalo, a non-profit wildlife management company."

SO WHY DID THEY NEED TRAIL CAMERAS?

Anonymous said...

A "non-profit wildlife management company" charging $1,500/day and $4,500 for archery supplies, trail cameras and tackle.

Looks like somebody may be making a profit somewhere.