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Hereford Citizens Organize Over Tree Ordinance
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            If you're driving on Gravel Pike and enter Hereford Township through Chapel, you will be greeted by a number of signs bearing a large red X and the website

            On Tuesday, May 31, approximately sixty township property owners gathered at the Hereford Gun Club to discuss ways forward in getting ordinance 2021-1, which outlines the process of removing dead trees in Hereford, repealed.

            Organizer John Yanan introduced new attendees to the meeting with progress already made by the group, including two citizens' meeting and appearances at Board of Supervisors" meetings.

            The organizers had created an eight-point agenda for the evening's meeting.

            Yanan said that he had called board chairman John Membrino to ask if the committee could have a workshop meeting with the supervisors, but he said that Membrino said, no, to talk to them at a regular meeting, and that the gag order that had been imposed on them by their solicitor had been lifted. The supervisors would now be able to answer questions.

            Yenan said that Membrino stated that the problem is not the ordinance, but the trees. Yenan replied "I beg to differ."

            Organizer Matt Ferdock said, "The ordinance needs to go," but also said that in Pennsylvania a petition will not work to get an ordinance repealed.

            He further stated that township citizens should ask the supervisors to resign, and demand that the solicitor and engineer be fired.

            The group agreed that calling the supervisors' personal phone numbers was a next step, as the numbers are a matter of public record. Organizer Fred Saracino said that he had the numbers available.

            The citizens were also encouraged to continue calling state representatives, although so far it had not had positive results.

            Yanan asked the group for a "consensus on where we go next."  He said they need "enough critical mass, then commitment of cash, and then we can sue them."

            Former township assistant secretary Mary Jean Sell attended the meeting and filled in blanks on some township procedures.

            She said, "I've seen a of lot of shady stuff," for which she received a round of applause

            She noted that the supervisors have "behind the door meetings" where "it's already decided what to do."

            A township resident agreed. "There was collusion going on," and that the supervisors spoke outside meetings. "They acted illegally," he said.

            All the attendees were encouraged to attend the supervisors' meeting this coming Tuesday and "make all three of them feel uncomfortable."

            Sell spoke up about supervisor Keith Masemore. "Put him under pressure and he will fold. He blurts things out that he shouldn't."

            Attendees discussed why a similar ordinance in District Township had not been passed, and one resident stated that the group should "direct attention to the solicitor." Solicitor Eugene Orlando serves both District and Hereford.

            The group talked about approaching District supervisors to find out why they shot down the ordinance.

            Yenan said that the next citizens' meeting will be on Tuesday, June 28, at 7:30 at the Gun Club.






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