I t should be noted that after spending months, and taxpayers dollars, in this personal attack on the police, Springfield Township Board of Commissioners does not have any legal right to do so.
This past Wednesday, April 13, I attended the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners meeting. My only purpose was to learn why members of the BOC were attacking the police department.
It was clear from the outset what direction the meeting was being manipulated in. President Graham stated that speakers should keep remarks at two minutes, and that we should be respectful of the speakers. It should be noted that Springfield Township residents were required to stand in the hall and sit on tables to attend, while numerous nonresidents sat.
Mr Graham then announced several names of those who would be offering their statements with their political or group affiliations. Those speakers, none identifying as residents, spoke for well past the two minutes, some as long as five minutes or more.
After a group spoke, obviously supporting Mr Graham, it was announced that any further public opinion would be held until after the business meeting. I argued against this to no avail, at which time several people began to leave. Nearly all the pro Graham speakers left the room.
Others who are pro police, and not just when the police do what they are told, also left, believing that they would not be heard or were not able to stay for hours.
Those who stayed were eventually able to speak, some several times. Mr. Graham decided to look at his phone, or sometimes sit with his head down, some wondered if he was asleep.
At one point during a pro police address, Mr. Graham was heard saying "my God.” On several occasions, he interrupted speakers and made decisions that were overruled by the solicitor. It was very clear to those who stayed and spoke that Graham and his cabal of Grahamites would not be deterred.
It should be noted that after spending months, and taxpayers dollars, in this personal attack on the police, Springfield Township does not have any legal right to do so. Let’s not let a little thing like the law and freedom of speech get in the way of a contrived controversy.
Mr Graham has demonstrated that he does not represent the interests of the residents of Springfield Township, and clearly does not support the dedicated officers of the police department.
I call on the BOC to immediately replace Mr Graham as president. I also request that the BOC start a review process for the township solicitor to determine why the BOC was not advised months ago that their activity against the Police Benevolent Association was outside legal boundaries and could result in a lawsuit. When asked, the solicitor stated that he had not researched it yet.
It is not an oversight that I waited to identify myself. It is my hope that people would read my words first, hear my thoughts and consider my ideas before simply shutting me down; unlike those who attended the meeting on Wednesday night, who spoke about having a conversation and exchanging ideas and then walked out without hearing me.
My name is Ray McMahon, I have lived in Springfield Township since 1971, after being discharged from the US Army. A combat veteran of Vietnam, I served for 30 years in the Springfield Township Police Department as a dispatcher, patrol officer, detective, patrol corporal and I retired as a sergeant.
The views expressed in this missive are mine and only mine, unlike the “Grahamites” who profess to speak for the many, or the scared, or the intimidated. I am confident and not afraid to support the police and love the greatest country in history. I am determined to persevere when the actions of some would sully the good intentions of the many.