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Source: Chestnut Hill Local
Date: March 31, 2005
Byline: Barbara L. Sherf, Flourtown

Letter: Ousting Kreilick a step backward

I speak now publicly and not as part of any committee or subcommittee of the Black Horse Inn Advisory Council (BHIAC). Perhaps after hearing my statements at the March 22 meeting of the advisory council and reading the content of this letter, our Springfield Township Commissioners will have another back door meeting and decide to oust me from my minor role chairing the BHIAC's Use Committee. Perhaps I'd be better served if they would put me out of the highs and lows of this cause — and trust me, the events that unfolded that evening were a real low.

At the start of the meeting, BHIAC chairman Scott Kreilick read a statement saying that he found out earlier in the week that our Springfield Township Commissioners had voted, behind closed doors, on a personnel issue. The "issue," we later learned, was to oust Kreilick from his role as chair of the advisory committee they had appointed him to.

When pressed after Kreilick read his statement and left the meeting, commissioner Bob Gilies said the reason the board gave for its decision was that they felt there was a "conflict of interest" since Kreilick had sent a "letter of interest" for possibly renting a fairly minimal space at fair market value. As chair of the Use Committee, I felt obligated to ask Gillies a key question: "Did anyone ask Scott to either withdraw his request or step down?" The answer was a sheepish "No."

Those of us who were at the Feb. 22 BHIAC meeting are clearly aware of the philosophical difference between Kreilick and Gillies on the issue of keeping to fairly high historic standards during the restorations efforts. What many don't know is that by bypassing those standards, we could lose up to $400,000 in state and federal grants — not an insignificant chunk of change in this whole saga.

While there was a heated exchange on this topic at the last BHIAC meeting, I for one felt that a consensus had been reached that everyone could live with. Then, lo and behold, this scenario unfolds.

I really thought we had come along with a process — and clearly the process has broken down. It didn't have to.

As a group, this recent single action by the Springfield Township Commissioners has pretty well alienated a slew of volunteers in this community and set this project back significantly. And for people who never did "buy in" and become a part of the process, they have solidified their very worst fears.