A few years ago, some Bridgeville officials were so displeased with video cameras and audio equipment in council’s chambers that the borough solicitor stood up moments before a public meeting and unplugged Bridgeville.org’s tabletop microphones.
Your local government has come a long way since then.
Starting next year, the borough will publish an annual newsletter/directory of commonly requested resources—the trash schedule, phone numbers, how to obtain permits, and other frequently asked questions
The borough’s only cost will be the price of postage. Otherwise, the newsletter will be written, edited, and published by Municipal Advertising Consultants, which will sell advertisements within the pages of the publication. The same company creates a newsletter for Ambridge, where Bridgeville manager Joe Kauer worked until recently.
“This is just another way to communicate,” councilwoman Virginia Schneider said last month. “Especially with those residents who don’t have access to the internet.”
This newsletter/directly is in addition to Bridgeville’s two-page “community update” mailed to residents each quarter.
Borough council is also reviewing proposals to install an LED message board in the vacant lot adjoining the municipal building on Bower Hill.
For people who follow the minutia of local government, however, the most notable development is that the borough has begun preemptively publishing the monthly reports that councilmembers review prior to each meeting.
Want to see how many arrests the police department made in August? That information is available.
Want to see what code violations warnings were issued? That info is also available.
So are reports from the borough manager, public works department, engineer, and more.
We say that the borough is “preemptively” publishing this information because it wasn’t that long ago that medieval dentistry was less painful than extracting information from Bridgeville Borough.
We once had a file a Right to Know request just to see a building permit to write a story about a cool renovation project happening on Washington Road.
But now it’s 2020 and in the midst of the bleakest timeline, Bridgeville is voluntarily shining a light on itself and making it a little bit easier for taxpayers to keep tabs on their local government.
Obviously, Bridgeville.org—which earlier compared your local leaders to 14th century dentists—is not an official arm of the borough government. As such we continue to maintain our own, unofficial archive of borough meetings, news, and other information.