made the charge at a meeting of residents of the State Line Road
area off Concord Pike, north of Namans Road, which he convened
to discuss highway and sewer matters relative to the large
age-restricted community planned for just south of there on what
has been known as the Mousley Farm tract.
that representatives of the Departments of Special Services and
Land Use and the county executive's Community Governing Office
had been barred by County Executive Tom Gordon and Sherry
Freebery, the county's chief administrative..
Gordon administration has decided to punish me. That is why they
are not here," Weiner said.
Freebery said the reason Weiner's
request for their participation was denied was that he did not
follow proper procedures, which call for him to channel such
requests through her, Gordon or the
manager of the respective department.
"Mr. Weiner is just whining about
absolutely nothing. All our departments very much want to assist
all county representatives," she said. The problem in this
incidence was that Weiner and his administrative aide, Louis
Hinkle, approached 'rank and file' county employees, she
"Mr. Weiner is not talking to the
county executive or myself and recently he has stopped talking
to the general managers," she said.
Weiner, however, displayed a sheaf
of papers which he said were print-outs of e.mails
Weiner (second from left) talks with residents of the
State Line Road area after the recent meeting. James Hanby
is at the left in the photo.
he had sent
county officials in regard to the State Line Road meeting and on
other occasions, all of which, he said, reflected his having
observed proper protocol.
the pettiness involving participating in the meeting on July 24
was illustrated by his having been denied participation by the
land use department only to have the department "call my office
two hours before the meeting to say someone would be here and
then call back an hour before the meeting to say [no one] would
said requiring that requests for county personnel to participate
in meetings be property channeled has a practical purpose. "Council [members] are all
scheduling meetings and we try to accommodate them all we can,"
she said. But, she added, there has to be controls because of
the necessity to pay employees overtime for evening affairs and
a desire not "to keep them way from their families every night
of the week ... after [having] worked all day."
exchange was the latest in a series of public displays of bitter
feelings between the Republican councilman and the Democratic
administration. He and Freebery have traded barbs at several
Council committee meetings and during her testimony at Council
sessions. As Delaforum has previously reported, the relationship
had deteriorated far beyond political differences and is now
lodged well within the realm of personal animosity.
the scenes, there is a growing feeling that the dispute will
have adverse repercussions on community projects and activities,
according to several civic leaders. "We're all afraid this sis
going to come back and hurt us," said one who agreed to discuss
the situation with Delaforum on a not-for-attribution basis.
happened, both Weiner and Freebery agreed on that point.
Speaking about the lack of county government participation in the
meeting, Weiner told the State Line Road residents, "If it can
happen to this community it can happen to all the others as
well." Blaming Weiner's intransigency for blocking such
participation, Freebery said, "What bothers us is that it's the
people in the communities who are going to be hurt."
Line Road resident Wayne Brasure told the meeting that he has
been having difficulty approaching the special services department
about providing sanitary sewers to the community as an adjunct
to the development of Mousley Farm, "They've really got their
heels dug in," he said. Freebery said that Weiner was interested
in "pushing a favored developer ahead of everybody else [in
northern Brandywine Hundred] waiting for sewer capacity." The
community is to be developed by Joseph Setting.
said that special services general manager Joseph Freebery has
been unresponsive to a community request to attend a meeting on
the topic. "I don't feel they have the right to tell us we
cannot have a meeting," Brasure said. Joseph Freebery is Sherry
who was supportive of Gordon and his administration in its early
years, began to openly criticize it after reports emerged of an
investigation by the U.S. attorney of activities by county
officials and employees during the campaign leading up to the
primary election in September, 2002. That reached a climax when
Weiner circulated an electronic-mail letter containing
disparaging information about a county employee. More recently,
it has flared over Weiner's initiation of an effort in the
General Assembly to enact legislation restoring the county
executive power to appoint department directors, a move said by
some to be an effort to enable the next executive to replace
'merit system' general managers. Weiner has indicated an
interest in seeking that position in the 2004 election.
dispute with the administration, Weiner has received vocal
support from at least two people who previously have vehemently
opposed him on other matters.
hack for Bob as we have crossed swords in the past and most
likely will in the future," said James Hanby, who ran against
him when Weiner won his Council seat. "Once the voters have spoken,
we have to look to our duly elected officials to represent us
and we have a right to expect that they will be allowed to do
exchange of e.mails during the recent dispute over locating a
ballfield in Woodley Park along Mount Lebanon Road, state
Representative Greg Lavelle, who previously clashed with Weiner
over some civic issues, chided the Gordon administration
for apparently excluding Weiner from participating in the
decision-making process. "While they are not required under law
to like Mr. Weiner, they should recall that he does represent
the area and that residents of the area turn to him for
information about county issues that impact their communities.
Refusing to keep Mr. Weiner informed about issues of
significance does not serve the residents of the area well and
is yet another black mark on how New Castle County operates," he