Yeadon Borough officials desperately want to show the positive side of the tiny borough, but their monthly meetings only reveal a community rife with schisms.
Last month’s meeting lasted more than three hours and featured a lot of contention and refusals to vote on agenda items
One point of contention centered on protective gear for Yeadon police. Councilor Delores McCabe wanted approval for $3,600 worth of police equipment but Councilor LaToya Monroe said she hadn’t time to adequately review the proposal and moved to table it. Using the same explanation of receiving borough reports late, Monroe, again, proposed tabling paying borough bills, a move that prompted the need for a separate meeting a week later.
Councilor Clara Johnson said she was also denied adequate time to review reports, so both councilwomen abstained from voting on other agenda items. That forced Mayor Rohan Hepkins to schedule a special meeting the following week for an official vote to pay borough bills.
A second flashpoint occurred during the approval of meeting minutes from May through June. Monroe asked about approval of April’s minutes.
“Just a housekeeping issue, where are the April minutes?” Monroe asked. “They weren’t posted on the website and nothing here says which minutes were approved so I’m taking issue with moving forward to approving minutes that may not be sequential; it just says ‘approval of minutes’, but it doesn’t say which minutes.”
Borough Manager Majovie Bland said the exact minutes were listed on the agenda. Council President Sharon Council-Harris also agreed, adding that Council can only vote on items listed on the agenda.
“We cannot take action on those that are not listed,” Council-Harris said.
An added wrinkle came from Councilor Clara Johnson who, during the minutes’ discussion, took issue with Councilor Tahlia Jones-Waters being allowed to participate in the meeting by telephone with a microphone hovering over the speaker.
“That’s not the way this is supposed to operate…she can’t hear the community,” said Clara Johnson, “and clearly there is a problem with this.”
“It’s her phone,” Bland replied, speaking into the phone to see if Waters was still on the line.
Waters said she was there, was able to hear and Council-Harris reiterated the item Council was voting on to which Waters voted to approve.
From a stir in the audience caused by the discussion, came a chuckle, “It must be (a) Metro PCS (phone).”
Monroe wanted to table approving the meetings, claiming she received them late and didn’t “have a proper chance to review them.” but in the end, the minutes from May through June were approved.
Yeadon resident Deanna Miller sparked another flare-up.
She asked Council to refer to the Handbook for Council Procedures involving motions on items, drawing fire from Council-Harris who told her she can only speak during the meeting’s Citizen Forum segment and after the meeting. Miller again referred to the handbook.
“As a taxpayer, I can interrupt when a motion is being put on the floor,” Miller said, raising the handbook over her head.