I got two phone calls telling me Rev Strand mentioned me in his Sunday sermon. Apparently, he wants his parishioners to beware of me in city council because I wrote bad things about him in the past.
I don’t know Rev Strand and have never talked to Rev Strand. I don’t remember writing anything about him. So, I did a search on ChesterBlog.com and I found the post I think he’s referring to – ‘Doctor Strand Calls Chester Ignorant.’ In the post, I detail the frustration people have with the monthly fees and with the lack of understanding what a stormwater authority is and does. I offered my services to do videos of him or someone on his staff explaining what the stormwater authority is all about which I would promote on this blog and YouTube page.
That post is from June 1, 2018, so Rev Strand definitely holds grudges for a long time. He never commented on the post or took me up on my video services but suddenly felt compelled to bring it up in church on this past Sunday.
I wanted to watch the sermon before commenting on it but I can’t find a website or Facebook page for Faith Temple Holy Church in Chester, PA. If anyone knows the real name of his church or where to find last Sunday’s sermon, please send me the link.
Most of the people who complain about what I write never say I lie, so it never bothers me when they complain. This particular post was a review of an article in the SPIRIT newspaper. On page 1 of the May 30-June 5, 2018 ‘The Spirit’ paper, they write that Rev. Doctor Horace Strand, the Chester Stormwater Authority director, said this about his agency being sued by over 50 Chester businesses and residents…He blames “community ignorance” for the filing of the suit.
When I write these posts, I write them on behalf of the citizens of Chester, not the people running these organizations. He’s the one who labeled the community as ignorant. I didn’t make that up. It came straight from the paper. Maybe that’s why ‘someone’ took it upon themselves to remove all the SPIRIT newspaper boxes from the streets of Chester. Folks just can’t handle the truth around here.
I heard that Stand told his congregation I never write about the good things the Stormwater Authority does like get $40 million in grants and hire a bunch of people. Obviously, Strand doesn’t read the blog because if he did he would have read all the press releases sent to me by the City of Chester (not the Stormwater Authority) touting the stuff they want you to know the Stormwater Authority is doing.
No much has changed in the 3-years since that blog post. Here are the most popular gripes with the Chester Stormwater Authority that still exist today:
1. The $8.50 monthly fee (or tax as he calls it in the article). From what I hear, a lot of people don’t pay.
2. The fact that they can get $40 million in grants and still hit the poorest people in the county over the head for $8.50 a month with no opportunity for reduction or waiver.
3. From what I understand, there are still a group of businesses who have an outstanding court case on how their rates were determined.
4. When residents think of stormwater, they related it to their flooding basements after every rain storm. Chester Stormwater Authority is not installing sump pumps or French drains in homes and businesses. But, they are cleaning stormwater inlets so the streets flood less. They are putting in fancy natural filters in the parks to send cleaner rain water to the creeks. Folks don’t get too excited about those things and the Stormwater Authority has done a poor job telling us why we should be excited about paying for those projects.
5. Salaries appear to be quite high for executives at the Stormwater Authority in comparison to other businesses and government entities in Chester. The paid Board of Directors seem to be recycled city employees and elected officials – not a single expert on Stormwater or engineering. Bad debt is close to a half million dollars. Billing is done by a company in Texas charging a quarter million for their services.
The Chester Stormwater Authority are obviously here to serve a purpose, albeit vague and questionable. They’re obviously here to stay. When the soccer stadium folks said the stormwater folks played ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ with them for what was behind door #1 – some land to build a basketball facility – we were told that was all legit business talk. They’re quite happy existing in the space they’re in as a quasi city authority although the city always claims they have nothing to do with the Stormwater Authority while somehow strongly claiming to own the Chester Water Authority.
I don’t write about, or mess with, Rev Horace Strand. If I did, I would have long ago made comments on this little issue that always comes up when his name is mentioned… https://www.chesterresidents.org/reverend-horace-strand-chester-environmental-partnership-covanta-embezzlement-corruption/ . His response is that it’s all a big lie. Who am I to argue?
I’ll be happy to continue to keep Strand’s name out my mouth if he keeps mine out of his pulpit.
Maybe when I’m in City Council, I’ll get to join the Board of Directors of the Stormwater Authority to bring a water expert and engineer on the team. Maybe I’ll get to know Rev Strand better at that point and learn and write about all the great things going on there so the citizens of Chester can begin to embrace the Authority as an asset to the city.