Palmer Township Reply on Palmer Elementary Right to Know Request

Palmer Township Seal

In September 2019, I filed Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) requests against both Easton Area School District (EASD) and Palmer Township concerning the delayed construction of Palmer Elementary, the stormwater situation, and their eminent domain threats against the Adams family.

Documents from Palmer Township are in the below list. Click on the link to view the PDF. Feel free to share any of your thoughts on them below.

I am also releasing for the first time the 32 emails EASD provided post-appeal here. I did not release earlier due to privacy concerns of some EASD taxpayers’ personal data. See my post here and here for free access to the remainder of RTKL documents I have.

Where is the Pidcock review of Adams’ engineer’s findings?

Note that on page 43/273 on June 2, 2018, the EASD attorney, Mr. Faul, asks Palmer Township’s engineer, Mr. Dillman of the Pidcock Company, for a copy of Pidcock’s review of Keystone Consulting Engineering’s (KCE) report. KCE is Eric Adams’ engineer who found that the proposed changes to the stormwater system (ie to dump the water in a boulder field in Adams’ yard) were unnecessary and not helpful.

Mr. Dillman’s replied on June 4, 2018 that Pidcock’s “position is unchanged.” However he made no mention of his review letter of KCE’s report. If Pidcock’s position is unchanged, then Pidcock should have refuted the findings of the Adams KCE report in a formal document to the township.

Now, if we check the EASD invoice from Pidcock (pages 23-26 here) of the school district’s RTKL first posted here, I find that Pidcock charged EASD over 15 hours of engineering time to review the KCE report.

So where is Pidcock’s written review of Keystone’s report? This would be the written review requested by Mr. Faul, the school district’s attorney and which Pidcock charged at least 15 hours @$126/hour for preparing.

Now, I don’t have it, and since it should have been a record responsive to my original request, I will file another RTKL request to Palmer Township to obtain it.

If the township maintains that the document does not exist, then we’ll know that Pidcock charged the school district about $1900 for nothing.  Recall that Pidcock is currently being accused of charging developers unfairly and roadblocking Traditions of America in the Bethlehem Township lawsuit filed in October 2019.

For some background, Eric Adams’ family has been threatened repeatedly by EASD for about 22 months. The EASD, in cooperation with the Palmer Township government, threatened the use of eminent domain to seize and destroy a good portion of his family’s property to dig up his yard to install 400 feet of sewer pipe, destroying some massive trees and installing a large boulder field, known as a rip rap apron, that would lead to the routine flooding of his property. Ostensibly, they have claimed this work, which would likely cost school district taxpayers an estimated $1 million, is needed for the new Palmer Elementary School, but engineers hired by Adams concluded the new stormwater system is totally unnecessary as I highlighted in my September 25, 2019 post “Palmer Family Defies Easton School District’s Wanton Spending Plans.”

On December 9, 2019, EASD decided to redact 235 emails or about 98% of the records they have stated exist as they finally responded to my appeal on a Right-to-Know Law request as described in this post, “Easton Area School District Redacts 235 Records Related to Delayed Construction of Palmer Elementary School.” The EASD RTKL appeal continues as I took many of the documents found in the Palmer RTKL and used that as a basis in part that the EASD search was not thorough as covered in “Easton Area School District Fails to Disclose 98 Documents in Delayed Palmer Elementary Construction Right to Know Law Request.”

You can view and listen to the EASD engineers’ January 7 update to the school board here. Included in the footage is Eric Adams addressing the board and myself informing the board of the issues I have been having with my RTKL requests.

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