OP-ED: Don't compare New Freedom to North Codorus

Andy Bobby
New Freedom
New Freedom Borough Council candidate Andy Bobby speaks as community members gather to meet candidates in New Freedom, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

I am writing regarding your editorial, "It's right to question police spending."

You wrote an opinion piece that is incorrect on many of the New Freedom points and flagrantly against the new candidates running in New Freedom. Using the weight of your paper to spread such obvious bias is somewhat repugnant. 

Our little meet and greet was a kick-off for our campaign. To put our names to our faces.  To introduce us to the people. 

I agree with you 100% that council should question the budget on all line items, police included. If elected to council, any of us running would do the same. 

Never did our borough council say that the Southern Regional Police Department was too expensive or the budget is not sustainable and here is a less expensive alternative. If they had, many people would have been very pro council. New Freedom is not North Codorus. 

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New Freedom Borough Council told the people, and I quote, "Leaving SRPD is not about the money." In fact, using Southwestern was going to cost New Freedom more money and have a 25-minute response for police back-up: more money and less service. Two hundred people heard this.

Borough council eventually told us they were threatening to leave to get the other municipalities to pay a bigger share of the police budget. One council member said, "We were just holding their (other municipalities) feet to the fire." To compare North Codorus to New Freedom may look like apples to apples, but it is not.

New Freedom officials did ultimately back down, as you state. But the rule they violated was not criticizing police, it was trying to silence the citizens in the building the citizens pay for and maintain. To be sure, the SRPD issue got people's attention. But they stayed because their questions were not answered.

The candidates you are maligning have plans. Those plans include an internal audit to identify potential cost savings. To listen to the citizens and find answers to the tough questions. It is also to work and play well with our sister municipalities without threat of fire. It is to modulate the "good ol' boy cronyism" you refer to and to create a borough that will be financially solvent in the years to come. We also plan to record and YouTube council meetings to get more citizen awareness.

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e are not trying to push the current council out; we are trying to put citizens on council who will work with other citizens. No one will rubber stamp an item, but we will provide a reason for our choices and decisions when asked.

Hopefully the people can make up their minds on the issues and facts. If I make news, please report it. But don't assume to know me or others or lump New Freedom in with North Codorus. There is nothing cryptic about "giving the citizens a voice" when those citizens are told to shut up by a sitting councilman (witnessed by hundreds). The phrase has definite meaning.