"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."  ....Edmund Burke



***  We would see the Y built on open space Station Road.

***  We would see WB Homes building 100's of homes all over the Quakertown Swamp, instead of much fewer and in designated areas.

*** We would see 1000's of units going up behind the Q-Mart, instead of far, far less.

*** Mike recommended overturning the B10 age-qualified overlay allowing 22 units where previously one was allowed - it was therefore repealed. We would otherwise be seeing at least 588 units of garden-style senior apartments at Tollgate Road & Old Bethlehem Pike.

*** Mike assisted Hunters Crossing residents in having a voice with the many problems they were having in their development. First Orloff vilified Mike Z. for supporting the homeowners, then he admitted it was a good idea to meet with Homeowner's Associations, and he began meeting with them by himself. In addition, when running for office, Staats was with him. Mike's idea - they took it.

*** Mike Z. suggested a municipal golf course in an attempt to increase township income without creating a burden to township citizenry. Tamburri and Orloff scoffed at the idea at first, but later thought a feasibility study should be done. Mike Z. then rescinded his idea when he found that nearby East Rockhill Township already had a similar plan.

*** Mike Z. brought increased citizen awareness to issues pertaining to the environment, particularly the Quakertown Swamp, and he specifically opposed WB Homes' proposal to build on and adjacent to the Swamp. Mike said WB's proposal was only a good idea "in a vacuum."

*** Mike Z. behaves in a respectful caring manner with the citizenry of Richland Township, especially at township meetings, in sharp contrast to the inappropriate behaviors demonstrated by others.

*** Mike Z. is available and ready to listen to Richland citizens regardless of their party affiliation or religious beliefs.

*** Mike Z. has opposed the giving away of the Richland Township's Open Space in the case of the YMCA, which the Bucks County Planning Commission and the Quakertown Area Planning Commission also opposed. 

*** Mike Z. and Steve Tamburri did not like the idea of the township's Preservation Board spending over $5,000 for an historic sign.

*** Mike Z. has been in favor of working in a positive, friendly way with Quakertown Borough.

*** Mike Z. has remained a gentleman under the constant mean-spirited assaults and attacks from fellow-supervisors, from members of the township's boards, and the press.

*** Mike Z. openly questioned how and why Richard Woldow appears to be listening to BOS meeting tapes, when official policy is that no one can except the township secretary.

*** Mike Z. brought to the attention of the township and staff the definition of "spot zoning" - the illegal re-zoning of an area specifically to benefit one person or entity.

*** Mike Z. questioned the Township's police department, solicitor and fellow supervisors, as to the appropriateness and safety of having a convicted child molester involved with township business. They did not appear to mind.

*** Mike Z. protested the celebrating of Richard Woldow over his donating $750 to the township police department for the purchase of baseball-type cards of the policemen with Q-Mart advertising all over it.  


Zowniriw family dog, PACO. 

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Photo by Amy Zowniriw

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My Legal YMCA Brief

                                              By Mike Zowniriw


In early 2004, the judge assigned to consider the lawsuit brought against Richland Township for their decision to build a YMCA on Township Open Space, remanded the issue back to the Richland Township Board of Supervisors for their opinion. Township solicitor Linc Treadwell prepared the opinion for Supervisors Rick Orloff and Steven Tamburri. However, I did not share the opinion of my fellow supervisors, nor did I serve on the Board of Supervisors when their decision was originally made. The judge asked for all of our opinions, so I consulted my own attorney as to how to proffer my opinion as Township Supervisor to the judge. I was advised that I had the right to file an Amicus Curiae brief.





Amicus curiae is a legal Latin phrase, literally translated as "friend of the court", that refers to someone who volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of a case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it. The information may be a legal opinion in the form of a brief, a testimony that has not been solicited by any of the parties, or a learned treatise on a matter that bears on the case. An amicus curiae brief that brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties may be of considerable help to the Court.

There were not one, but two cases before two different judges involved in the lawsuit brought against the Township. Unfortunately, I sent my brief to the wrong judge. He sent it back to me. Realizing my error, I then sent my brief to the correct judge, which he kept. It was not illegal, as some politically motivated individuals would have you believe. This is the first time I have revealed this publicly.

The three-judge panel who ultimately decided this case shared the same opinion I did, that it was against our own ordinances to develop Open Space. Their decision was unanimous.

Orloff, Tamburri, and Pat Keller manipulated their public position to appear that if one was against developing Open Space, then one was against the YMCA. The real issue here was not the Y. It could have been any building or entity. The issue was that designated Open Space cannot be developed or given away. No one was against the Y, only against developing Open Space land and giving it away capriciously. I felt that leasing this land for $1 a year for 99 years with an option to renew for another 99 years was giving away Open Space to be developed. In addition, this would have set a precedent allowing all Open Space to be given away and developed.

Again, the three-judge panel who unanimously decided this case came to the same conclusion I did, that it was against our own ordinances to develop Open Space.

Plans are now in the works to use this Open Space as it was originally appropriated - as a Community Park. These plans are now years behind because of this litigation. The Community Park will be located on Station Road where a sign now marks the Community Garden which I established.



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