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Supervisor Ellen Jarvis Publicly Resigns from Office

Township administrators will seek written confirmation from Jarvis regarding her unexpected decision at the end of Thursday's meeting.

Thursday night's relatively routine supervisors meeting, which included the final approval of the development plans for a long anticipated Wawa, ended with the surprising declaration by a visibly frustrated Supervisor Ellen Jarvis that she was resigning her seat.

During the supervisor comment session at the end of the agenda, Jarvis had brought up an issue regarding the compenation of township tax collector Barbara Loftus. She believed that Warminster had overpaid Loftus for her services and wanted to have a public discussion on the matter placed on the next agenda.

Township solicitor Mary Eberle stated that she and township manager Richard Manfredi had investigated the matter and found no discrepencies.

Eberle's explanation was enough for the rest of the present supervisors, who denied Jarvis' request for the agenda addition. The vote proved to be the catalyst for Jarvis to publicly announce her resignation.

Manfredi said that he will need written confirmation from Jarvis that she is leaving her seat, rather than making a heat of the moment decision that she may wish to take back.

According to Manfredi, if Jarvis decides to make the resignation official, the board of supervisors will have 30 days following the acceptance of her written decision to find a replacement. If the remaining four supervisors are deadlocked over a candidate, the chairperson of the township vacancy board will cast the deciding vote.

The evening began on a much more positive note when the township supervisors welcomed Head Coach Steve Devlin and the five captains of the state champion Archbishop Wood football team. They each received commendations from the township and thanked the community for their support.

Later on in the agenda, representatives from Wawa and its architectural design firm presented its final plan for the development of a new location on Street Road, next to CVS and across from Norwood Ave.

Following concerns vocalized the night before at the Planning Commission meeting by residents who live on Orchard Ave., directly behind the site, the Wawa representatives offered to dim the street lights along the rear access driveway to the minimum requirement to decrease chances of illumination shining into the neighborhood. They also pledged to increase the size of the landscaping along the fenceline on Orchard and ensure no deliveries are made between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

All parties agreed that the traffic situation will have to be closely monitored once the Wawa is up and running. As the configuration now stands, the Street Road access point will be a right in/right out and left in entrance, meaning cars exiting through that driveway will not be able to turn eastbound onto Street Road.

Customers that need to travel in that direction will have two options. They can exit through the rear driveway, behind the CVS and make a right onto Mearns, which will be widened to add a second left turn lane. Drivers can also attempt a left turn at the unrestricted Brandow exit, about 40 yards west of the Wawa exit on Street Road.

Michael Viscuso, real estate engineer for Wawa, said that pending other approvals from the state, he expects construction on the new store to begin this fall.

P. Krenshaw February 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I will be happy when the township gets a written letter from Mrs. Jarvis resigning from the board. Hopefully this isn't a stunt and she changes her mind.
Irene Lennon February 18, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Ditto to P. Krenshaw's comment about a letter of resignation from Ellen Jarvis
Pete Krenshaw February 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM
While I agree with the gist of what you are saying, couldn't you find a less awkward way of saying it? I think you mean to say you hope she doesn't change her mind. If you are going to use my name, do it justice! :-)
Irene Lennon February 19, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Mr. Krenshaw, please explain your comment dated Feb. 19th @ 12:00 a.m.
Irene Lennon February 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Thanks Rich, even though I attended the meeting, I wanted to watch the replays & couldn't remember the time or the channel.
Pete Krenshaw February 20, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Irene - I am just pointing out that "P. Krenshaw" is not me.
Irene Lennon February 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Now I am really confused. Are P. Krenshaw & Pete Krenshaw two different people?
john fitzgerald February 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM
The township would need to account for any type of overpayment. An independent party should be called in to review the books. Then there can be no questions regarding these budget issues.
john fitzgerald February 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Seems to be somewhat of the same issue regarding the money for the skate park in the budget's capital expenses. If funds are truly from an independent source and/ or private fund raising, then why was it a line item on the budget? Those funds should be held in a separate account, not in the township's coffer. Monies for specific purposes such as storm water management, etc. should remain in that fund and not moved or borrowed for other expenses. When you rob Peter to pay Paul you only get yourself into trouble.
Pete Krenshaw February 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Irene - that is exactly what I am saying. "P. Krenshaw" is an imposter, not me. Just click on his name and you will see all of his posts (you can do this with any user). I noticed someone else using my name on the intelligencer website too. I have posted no comments there. It makes me wonder who would do such a thing...
Denis J.Cooke February 22, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I expect Ms. Jarvis will not resign, this is management by theatrics. I would prefer someone with some business sense, not someone prone to nonsense. Independent third party review is necessary at times, but let's not pick and choose the times it is applied. Let's not lose sight that there was no consideration of an independent review of the biggest snow job in Warminster history, The William Tennent House. Ms. Jarvis accepted and approved "historic" research without the consult of a professional historian. When confronted with fatal flaws in the research, that is reliance on hearsay from one page from a book written in 1976, and one page from a pamphlet written in 1986, her reaction was to allow the group to dump a hundred plus more pages of irrelevant material on the Township website to mask the incompetence. To date, the only description the group offers as proof are general terms like "truckloads of evidence" or "ample evidence". All negative positions were kept off the website. It is still an open question whether Christ Home is actually going to be a "free" transfer of this property to a nonprofit, or that Christ Home is bartering with Warminster in exchange for a free transfer of property from Christ Home to the nonprofit. So while the worry is about $40,000 related to the tax collector salary today, let's not forget the pending transfer of Christ Home property that could potentially cost the residents of Warminster hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.
Pete Krenshaw February 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Ellen - We will not miss your theatrics and personal vendettas. You have tried to lead with a chip on your shoulder which was painfully obvious to all of us watching. The biggest question we all have is how did you dupe so many people and actually become elected? You talk about fiduciary trust and responsibility as if you actually care about such things but you merely use them as tools of misdirection for personal issues. How about the time you decided to not pay your insurance premiums and attempted to sweep it under the rug? And don't even get me started on the numerous attempts of defamation against Bobby Loftus, our trusted tax collector who has done nothing wrong. Your biggest mistake was not resigning earlier. This last year especially you have made a mockery of our local government, wasting tax payers time and money on your personal issues instead of taking care of the business of the people of Warminster. We will not miss you but I hope you find some peace in your newly found solitude. We will not miss the large shadow your presence has cast on our wonderful township. Let's hope the damage you have caused can be rectified without additional burdens on the tax payers and our public employees.
Denis J.Cooke February 25, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Specifics. A man who writes in code(?) wants specifics.Ms Jarvis and WTHA would like to fool the public into believing that Warminster is no longer part of the transfer of property between Christ Home and WTHA. The property value is about $500K, the repairs needed about $1 m. Jarvis and WTHA point to the legal form of the transaction,that is,what the deed will read, but want us all to forget that this was a negotiated transaction requiring 4 members of township government behind closed doors. What did Warminster promise Christ Home in order for Christ Home to agree to a $0 sale to WTHA? Warminster is the constructive owner of the property, not the legal owner of the property as WTHA does not have a dime. The group promise that it will not cost the township any money is empty . No one should be required to ferret out the group's "hundreds of pages". The group's only source is hearsay. This group use of Mr. Marshall and Mr. Noble are grossly misleading. No one has endorsed the group's research other than Jarvis/Savona. No other state or local historical society has endorsed the "research " performed by this group. It fails as a third grade book report. My focus has been in making sure this group does not con and ripoff any private, local, county, state, or federal funding source. I think it best for all that WTHA members chip in and buy it with their own money. My interest is not over merely because Jarvis/Savona were successful at helping this group avoid scrutiny.
Irene Lennon February 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM
What does WTHA stand for?
Denis J.Cooke February 26, 2012 at 12:55 AM
I apologize Ms. Lennon, I am limited by space on the comments. WTHA is William Tennent Housing Association (Norristown) formed around Oct 2011. This is the new entity that Christ Home will transfer the property in question. New name, same people that started this business in September 2011 calling themselves the Friends of the Tennent House. In 2004, when this group first started pestering Christ Home it was through the Millbrook Society (Hatboro). The sat on this baloney for 7 years. In 2011, they split off from Millbrook and called themselves Friends of the Tennent House, but papers with the State were never filed. After the Jarvis/Savona negotiations with Christ Home, Mr. Savona explained that the property would be transferred to a yet unnamed and unknown entity. It did not make sense to me at the time, but I believe WTHA had to be formed in order for Jarvis to distance herself from the Friends Group as she acting as member,writer, and spokeswoman for the Friends group, I suggested it to be a conflict of interest. I suggested that she recuse herself from this matter, she got insulted. By forming another nonprofit, Jarvis can plausibly deny she is no longer a member of the new group, WTHA, acquiring the property. Don't be confused by all the entity name changes. The legal form changes but the people stay the same. I refer to them as “the group” or “ Friends Group", now, WTHA. It is confusing, I know.
Irene Lennon February 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
This Sat. the 25th I left a comment re:Peter W. Brunner's comment, where I pointed out that my deceased husband Jack Lennon was also involved with the Warminster Tricentennial. My comments was never published. Can you explain why Mr. Boyle?
James Boyle (Editor) February 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
We had some issues with the commenting over the weekend. Mr. Cooke also had some difficulty posting. The only explanation I have right now is that someone at HQ released the gremlins from their cages.
Denis J.Cooke February 28, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Recall the main topic of this discussion is Ms. Jarvis resignation over the need to investigate, first,the tax collector's pay. Second, let's not to forget another item is the transfer of property by Christ Home to WTHA. I think from the back and forth there is clear disagreement. WTHA maintains the transfer is free, I maintain it is a disguised sale where Jarvis/Savona instructed Christ Home to make the deed directly out to WTHA in exchange for an undisclosed amount. For example, I would like to know whether Warminster waived the collection of any current or future fees or assessments due from Christ Home in exchange for the free transfer to WTHA. There was an outstanding balance of $346,000 owed by Christ Home due to noncompliance with the tree ordinance. Our former township manager was not at the meeting with Christ Home discuss the weather. After 7 years of refusing to sell to this Group without payment, there is reasonable cause to investigate whether the township is really paying for this property in some other form, other than a check cut from the operating account. If our township had nothing to do with this transaction, our officials at the meeting would not have been suggesting anything. Mr. B is not aware of the content of the emails between Ms. Jarvis and I about her conflict of interest regarding the former entity, believe this is a reason for the new entity. I would like to put all my materials on the township website as a counterpoint. Unsuccessful to date.
Richard Luce February 28, 2012 at 02:03 AM
This thread has gotten away from the subject, but I keep getting emails from the Patch about the so called WTHA, the house on Christ Home's property, and some motives of our residents. . I have the highest regard for Denis Cooke. As a township supervisor, I worked with Denis on a few projects and also I worked with him professionally on non-Warminster issues. If he believes there is an aspect of this "deal" which needs to be addressed, then he's probably right, and we should shed some light and make that happen. Some transparency is required here. . This group who want to refurbish the house on Christ Home's property has very few Township residents associated with it which is an issue. Where is the accountability and oversight over this group? I have often wondered about its funding. Already the former president quit the group. . In my career, I've refurbished 7 or 8 of these historic homes. This is a VERY EXPENSIVE proposition. In our case, We had the financial backing to bring these homes up to livable standards so they could be placed on the market for sale. I do not want to be involved here – I gave at the office. . Where is this group's action plan to proceed? Where is the money coming from? I certainly DO NOT want my tax money used here. Nor do I want the Township to lose revenue in the process. Where's the transparency?
Sarah Ronzelli February 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Denis, Ms. Jarvis calls for an investigation of the tax collector's pay! This is so very interesting to say the least. Ms. Jarvis who has committed fraud by taking HEALTH CARE benefits wih the Township and chosing NOT to pay for them until she was caught wants an investigation of Ms. Loftus. Come on folks, does Jarvis have any standing in this community to ask for an investigation of anyone? Ms. Jarvis clean your own house before you attack another individual. Since Ms. Jarvis has decided to set herself up as a perfect person, who thinks she can say anything about another person, let us set the record straight. Jarvis still has a balance due the taxpayers on her health care benefits. Is this case going to the District Attorney's office for fraud? If not they why not?? Committing fraud is a crime. Ms. Jarvis I want an investigation into your case to show the public that one just can not do what ever they want in the PUBLIC ARENA and get away with it.
Denis J.Cooke February 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I think Christ Home would be the better party to explain it's conduct, not WTHA. It's not love of history at issue here, but the misleading information and tactics employed to acquire property. The point of requiring an independent third party review of this deal was that it had to be accomplished by bypassing sound management practices. I can't set up a sawmill next to my house without checking with the zoning board. I can't submit historical property proposals without review by the historic preservation board (HPB). Jarvis/Savona structured this deal to avoid review by both the HPB and review and approval by the Board of Supervisors. Now WTHA wants to turn a blind eye to knowledge of a structured deal and only point to its legal form to claim it is now a private transaction. Who came to the BOS Sept. 22, 2011? The purpose of HPB review is to ensure 1. historic authenticity, 2. financial capacity and viability; and 3. management capability. WTHA has escaped this entire review. This group will require 200K plus annually to accomplish this in 5 years. As of this date, WTHA will not be able to buy property insurance upon transfer.
Pete Krenshaw February 29, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I thought the historic portions of Hartsville were in a historic overlay zoning district. I don't know of any review boards though.
Richard Luce February 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Brenner is wrong again. As a member of the Planning Commission, I worked with Lynn Bush's staff at the BC Planning Commission in developing the Township Comprehensive Plan. At that time the comprehensive plan had not been touched in over 40 years. The new comp plan recommended 2 historic districts in Warminster Township. One in Hartsville and one in Johnsville. . As a supervisor I had the pleasure of voting to accept the comp plan as an official document for the Township. If you look at the current zoning map of the Township the historic houses are in red, and the Historic overlays are shown as a red hatch pattern. The comp plan recommends that a HARB be set up to consider alterations to structures in the overlay districts. To the best of my knowledge, that step has not been taken by the township.
Richard Luce March 02, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Peter, if you want a copy of the CP, drop me a note, I have a digital copy around here somewhere. It's in the public domain. Rich Luce
Denis J.Cooke March 04, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Sorry, Mr. B. you miss the point. I have had discussions with the former instructor of the course you mention, and the former head of the HPB since this issue began in Sept 2011. Based on your last comments, I take it as an admission that you, your group, and Ms. Jarvis knowingly and willfully proceeded to exploit a management weakness in our township that permitted your group to avoid review by the absence of functioning HPB in Warminster. You should know better! Questions remain as to why this proposal was not submitted to our HPB in 2004/2005 when it existed, or why it was not submitted to the Tri-Centennial Committee in 2009. Perhaps because the proposal would be rejected. You can’t just arbitrarily explain away the absence of the “William Tennent” house in the CP as a “mistake.” If anything, this demonstrates your group’s sloppy approach to handling information, that is, dismiss anything unfavorable. Your claim that this transaction will be no cost to the township is empty and meaningless. Your group has no money, and you plead ignorance when pressed to explain how Jarvis/Savona brokered this deal to get WTHA the property for “free”. Does not add up. The group information put on the township website was so Ms. Jarvis could control any information I received as it was "township business". This was gamesmanship not cooperation. WTHA has never explained itself to this day. And if Savona is still providing services to WTHA, this issue stinks even more.
Denis J.Cooke March 04, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I think Mr. B, this issue at hand is not what properties I have been involved, but what is the financial capacity and management capability of your group to undertake a restoration of this size. You keep namedropping places like Moland House, but I have reviewed their financial filings from 1997 to the present, and I don't see where you or any of your group were responsible for costs equivalent to the installation of one of the bathrooms (I am being generous). Your group is certainly taking credit for the entire restoration, but I think the people that actually restored places like Moland House and Craven Hall would actually take exception. I have no interest in the property other than making sure Christ Home is, in no way, forced to sell its property, and that Warminster Township has full information to avoid a long term financial burden being imposed upon it, by a few irresponsible people from outside the township. As for my appraisal, since the property is now smaller,even more reason,your group should pool your own money and buy it yourselves, it is more affordable now. I have 15 years exp. with auditing federal housing programs which include everything from the renovation of a single house to large complexes to back up my numbers and concerns. As a resident of Warminster, I feel Jarvis/Savona worked overtime to serve the interests of people outside the township. This is not about history,but using history to save a few people from using their own money to buy a house.
Denis J.Cooke March 05, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Where did Mr. B.'s comments go?
Pete Krenshaw March 05, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Denis - My guess is his comments went the way of Ellen Jarvis' comments... You must have hit too close to home and he probably decided the crawl into his hole to get out of the spotlight you are shining on the "William Tennent House" situation.
theghostoflincoln March 06, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Peter Brunner...yep just another irresponsible outsider looking to do harm to your beloved township Mr. Cooke and Mr. "Krenshaw". Peter Brunner has no reason to crawl into a hole EVER. I have to say, I don't think I've ever witnessed such obnoxious, mean spirited disrespect with a carelessness about who you might be addressing. A high level of decorum should be required in these arguments and disagreements. Warminster, in case you wondered or care, http://warminster.patch.com/announcements/the-service-of-peter-w-brunner
Denis J.Cooke March 07, 2012 at 03:29 AM
To the Ghost. Not meanspirited. Seeking answers. The purpose of this thread was to discuss the lack of due diligence shown by Ms. Jarvis when she raised allegations about Ms. Loftus, and a reminder that Ms. Jarvis was showing an equal, if not more, lack of due diligence when it came to this “William Tennent” project on behalf of WTHA. Mr. B was defending Ms. Jarvis and WTHA. I remain concerned that Christ Home was forced to sell it property needlessly, and that Warminster Township traded something with Christ Home in order to induce the sale for $0 to WTHA. The victims here are Christ Home and the Township, not Mr. B. What Ghost attempts to do is play on emotions and deflect from the main issue. When the questions get hard, Jarvis, Mr.B. and WTHA really never answer. I am aware of whom I am addressing, and, as I explained to Ms. Jarvis, who questioned my qualifications, it does not matter whether I have a 4th grade education, as a resident of this Township, I have a right to answers, no matter how many titles are thrown at me. A resume does not justify the present conduct. This group knowingly exploited a weakness in this Township’s management system. Christ Home should not proceed with its transfer of this property. WTHA should be subject to review by an expert including: historic authenticity; financial capacity, management capability, and other cost effective alternatives. Mr. B. and his group can submit their resumes for evaluation as part of the review.

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