Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This is YOUR government UPDATED including response from Tony

Nick Meduho submitted a Right To Know on February 22, 2017 and received this response on March 1. Nick can file an appeal with the Office of Open Records, but what is the point of that? Mt. Lebanon will just take him to Court of Common Pleas if the OOR rules in Nick's favor. Today, Nick emailed the municipality these questions and received no response.

“Does anyone know who has possession of the trail cameras that were used during the archery hunt that were billed to the taxpayers?

Where exactly are they now?

Anyone??”






































Update March 10, 2017 9:09 AM Sorry to report that this update does not include answers to Nick M.'s questions. What I wanted to share is The Almanac's article Deer sharpshooting operation ends in Mt. Lebanon. When information from the municipality is scarce, residents tend to cling to every word, looking for answers. Here is what I got out of Luke Campbell's column.
“I don’t think anybody was expecting 70 degree weather in February,” municipal manager Keith McGill said. “When it gets that warm the deer are less attracted to the bait because they don’t need to expend as much energy. There is also a whole lot more human activity.”
As I pointed out previously, "volunteer" archers started hunting in September, in warm weather and no bait, and killed 36 deer while Tony DeNicola charged us $9,000 for non-existing trail cameras, plastic bags, and zip ties. That came to $250 per deer, using "volunteers."

Campbell goes on to report:
The goal of the commission was to ultimately reduce the deer-vehicular collisions by 50 percent over the course of five years only grew further away with 122 accidents reported to Mt. Lebanon police. Those crashes in 2016 increased in every month other than two – October and December – in 2015 when only 73 collisions were reported.
Again, the "five year" window seems to be subjective. Are we in Year 2? Year 3? Year 4? Whatever it takes to sell the program. Repeatedly, I have been asking for the percentage of deer/car collisions to total collisions - a true measure. We get nothing.

McGill explains:
“The number one thing has always been safety,” McGill said. “Residents have requested an aerial survey but deer don’t recognize borders and don’t stay in one place. Accessibility is the question.”
but in the next paragraph:
density of deer remains high in certain parts of the community according to DeNicola.
Our manager tells us that deer don't stay in one place, while the charlatan claims that deer do stay in one place - mostly within Virginia Manor borders.

Meanwhile, the manager, PIO, and commission continue to blacklist residents.

Update March 12, 2017 6:29 PM Nick M. emailed Tony DeNicola today and got some answers. Our commission could have easily done that. Our manager will probably intervene again and tell Tony to direct all emails to him, as he has in the past. Your  power plays are getting really boring, Keith and commission.
Email correspondence from Tony DeNicola in reference to trail cameras.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't goods or services purchased by the municipality have to be put out for competitive bids?

E. T. Gillen said...

Yes, 12:30 AM. Tony was the only contractor to bid. From the MTL website:

"The June 22 meeting on deer management will feature several speakers who are considered to be experts in various methods of deer management that have been used in Pennsylvania or might be considered for use here in the future,"

At that June 22, 2015 meeting, it was never indicated that Jody Maddock worked for Tony DeNicola.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

This looks so bad on so many levels. First, being that the municipality bought some equipment and there is no proof that it even works or used, and they don't have to tell who possesses it currently.
I say get the Auditor General or Attorney General involved, but seeing how little support you got from Harrisburg on your RTKs it appears to be a waste of time.
The last resort... throw the bums out top to bottom at the polls as fast as possible!
It's obvious they learned nothing from Trump's election.

Jason Margolis said...

As history and the current political landscape teaches us, you can only hide the truth for so long.

The question is--who will be the MTL Snowden?

- Jason

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "our" government!
Does anyone else see the irony?

The Public Information Office offers us info articles like this one:
LEBOLIFEFOOD/DRINK
SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
Plant One On Me
Written by Aimee Girod
It’s hard not to notice the media attention and discussion around eating more vegetables. Numerous studies and even movies about Americans and their diets have explained how we need to eat more vegetables and grains and less animal products."
Yet in a feel good spin to promote culling deer and fawns the PIO tells us the deer meat is shipped off to feed the poor and homeless.
If ever there was a segment of the population that needs better diets, the homeless are it, wouldn't you agree Aimee?
Do we suffer from a "Let them eat cake" syndrome here in the bubble?
Would we be better citizens by packing off DeNicola and his exorbitant bills and "IF" we must cull use our own volunteer archers?
Perhaps we could set up a program where the volunteers are allowed to sell the meat to restaurants or legal food processors for their own gain or donate to police charities.
Our volunteers by the way were almost as efficient as DeNicola's very expensive sharpshooters.

Anonymous said...

DeNicola, professional deer slayer couldn't even figure out where to place trail cameras to get photos in an area where getting pictures of deer should be (if we can believe his estimates on deer population) should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Commissioners, end your association with this guy.

Anonymous said...

https://mobile.nytimes.com/1998/11/30/nyregion/in-suburbs-deer-sprawl-meets-the-deerslayer.html

"The marksmen [White Buffalo] prepare a site several weeks ahead of time, placing bait daily in safe locations, using infrared detectors on deer trails to record the hour when they pass, and then shooting from tree platforms or from trucks when they pull up to a baited site."

Ummm, if DeNicola already had "infrared detectors" why did we have to buy trail cameras? Didn't we hire him to direct and oversee the archery volunteers?

Anonymous said...

1:07, the question you ask is exactly the reason for filing the right to know. In other words, why are Mt. Lebanon taxpayers paying for equipment that DeNicola should already have? In addition, where is the video footage? I believe too, under the right to know act, video footage by third party contractors used in conjunction with a taxpayer funded project is covered under the right to know act just like any statement, document or bill, however, it needs to be asked for by the agency. Bonnie Cross did not make an effort to contact anyone for the footage, otherwise it would have been noted. An appeal will be filed.

Nick M.

Anonymous said...

Nick, agreed but I'm left to wonder what DeNicola's duties were in the archery cull. The volunteer archers were supposed to be competent and skilled deer hunters and I would think we could trust the officers to be honest about their skills and especially knowledgeable about firing a weapon in our neighborhoods.

Plus, the archers did a good job, if you consider the culling effort good, for a lot less money than WB sharpshooters.

Anonymous said...

Hi 2:38, the archers did a good job, they only did what they were told to do. Here's my concern.

Imagine hiring a contractor into your home who specializes in replacing wood floors. He does a beautiful job in which you are 100% satisfied with. A few weeks later you get a bill in which you notice that you were billed $500 for a Dewalt compound miter saw. Wouldn't the first question be "why am I being billed for a saw that the contractor should already own being that this is his specialty?"

Can you imagine going to a mechanic and paying for a socket set that he needed to replace your muffler with?

One would think that our elected and appointed officials would ask these questions for us being that they have a fiduciary responsibility, but they don't, they just get raises. Manager McGill was under contract to receive $125,000 in total compensation in 2016. He was actually paid $132,585. What on earth did McGill do to earn an additional $7585? And this is the same man who can't pay $12 for a pancake breakfast that taxpayers also had to pay for. I won't mention the cell phone bills.

Every taxpayer should be outraged at this nonsense as it just keeps getting worse and the commissioners do nothing about it, they just keep on approving it.

Nick M.

Anonymous said...

There should be at least one image available as a test to confirm those cameras were working whether on the camera itself or at a remote location. If there isn't how do the commissioners even know if the cameras were used in Lebo!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree Nick @3:26.
One would think a professional would come with the tools of the trade as you wrote.
As we are paying the bills it should be our right to see proof that someone isn't padding the bill.

E. T. Gillen said...

It is like the Mt. Lebanon CIA leading covert operations. That is what the deer "management" program has turned into. We don't know who, what, where, when, why, or how.

No images
No locations of killing operations
No specific times
No specifics on bait
No answers from commissioners
No paper trails
Incomplete data for total car collisions or percentage of deer/car collisions to total
Residents blacklisted

What the hell?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Elaine, you don't need to know!
Just smile, believe the universe revolves around Lebo, keep quiet and by all means pay all your fees and taxes. (Unless of course you have connections and park for free)

Anonymous said...

There's a lot to be said about going to work for a paycheck versus going to work for the betterment of the organization, in this case the betterment of our community called Mt. Lebanon.

Nick M.

Anonymous said...

What is this blacklist and should those on it be seeing a big star or something on their coats?
I thought Mt. Lebanon was all about unity!

E. T. Gillen said...

No stars. You can usually pick us out during school board or commission meetings. Eyes roll when we speak. We're interrupted when we speak, eating up our time at the microphone. The time clock is watched instead of listening to us. Our emails go unanswered. Responses to our RTKs are usually late and fruitless. We are passed up for board appointments. Children have been pegged. Services or projects are delayed. You must be one of the cool kids, if you haven't experienced this.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Don't question anything and you will be fine. Otherwise you will find yourself in court. I am not alone.
Elaine