Colwyn will not have Fred Lesher to push around anymore. The embattled Council president abruptly stepped down at Thursday’s Council meeting, and Vice President Patricia Williams was elected to take his place.
When Williams took the president’s seat, she said former Borough Manager Paula Brown is no longer allowed to talk during the meetings.
“And Miss Paula Brown, you are not a Colwyn resident, so you need to sit there and be quiet,” Williams told Brown. “Be seen and not heard!”
In announcing his resignation, Lesher said this month’s meeting will be his last, and he is once again brought up accusations of corruption against former Councilwoman Tonette Pray, current Councilwoman Martha Van Auken and Williams.
The former president who was also recently accused of being a slumlord by a tenant in a rental property he owns, claims the three councilwomen wanted to increase taxes in 2012 to “fund corruption.”
Lesher also complained that the Act 47 team who was present at the meeting, “ran the whole deal.”
“If anybody can’t see that, they’re a fool,” Lesher asserted. “And if anybody says that Council ain’t gonna be a bunch of puppets, they got something else coming.”
Colwyn remains under investigation by the Delaware County district attorney and its government has been taken over by the state through the Act 47 Distressed Municipalities legislation.
“They are all politicking at the meetings,” Lesher said of the Act 47 Recovery Team and interim Borough Administrator Michael O’Rourke.
“I’m done,” Lesher said. “I’m going right back out on the outside and doing the letters and everything I did, because this group has to get out of here.”
Despite his past assertions that Paula Brown makes trouble, Lesher conceded that she helped Colwyn accomplish things.
He said the same people are still on Council who, prior to 2014, wanted to generate money to keep the borough running instead of giving the money back to the people.
“This gang ain’t never gonna lower taxes,” Lesher said.
After the meeting, Lesher spoke with Marita Kelley, from the Act 47 Recovery Team, and sarcastically told her “she did a good job politicking in Colwyn.”
“Good job taking us back down the same road we were already on,” Lesher told her.
He accuses the state of sending bureaucrats who want to take the four-block municipality down the same road with more spending that the borough does not need.
Lesher questioned Kelley about how much money it costs to keep the team at the meeting that night.