Widener University, Chester Charter School for the Arts, and more than 40 city business and property owners took the Chester Stormwater Authority (CSA) to court and the judge ruled that things will remain the same for the time being.
I clearly don’t understand all the legal stuff, but it appears the case against the CSA was to request temporary relief from the alleged arbitrary fees being billed, particularly to commercial and industrial properties in Chester.
Unfortunately, the Delaware County Daily Times account has no detail on the judge’s ruling to help us understand why he decided in favor of the CSA. In all likelihood, the plaintiffs will continue to pursue legal challenge in some form.
What the Daily Times did provide are the closing arguments from both sides. The plaintiffs seem to focus on the haphazard nature of CSA’s formation and subsequent community engagement process being less than ideal. CSA’s best argument seems to be …
“Generally, a court does not have jurisdiction to address an action in law or in equity where an administrative remedy exists”
I honestly don’t know exactly what that means, but my guess is their defense is there’s no law against forming an authority. It reminds me of my executive days when I learned early on that it isn’t a crime to make a bad business decision unless that bad business decision is a crime.
What most property owners consider a crime is seeing the CSA acquire nearly $13 million and have shared no timeline for when or what is going to be done with it. No one has been hired, however, there’s a board of directors receiving handsome compensation for their work (or lack thereof). No shovel has broken ground anywhere and there’s no timeline when work will begin. And the conflict of stormwater activity between what CSA proposes to do and what Delcora is currently doing doesn’t seem to factor in at all.
Yet, property owners are receiving their promised quarterly bills on a monthly basis as if all this is legal. According to the judge, it is – I think.