Dave Hughes Resign as Exeter Township Supervisor
Dave Hughes Resign as Exeter Township Supervisor
Why this petition matters
As individuals who care about the Exeter community, we are inviting you to sign this petition requesting Mr. Hughes resign as Township Supervisor. Mr. Hughes was elected in November 2021 and began serving his term this January. Our experience as Township Supervisors has given us insight as to what is currently transpiring with the Board of Supervisors. We are appalled at what is occurring and feel the time is right for us to speak out. We understand that the typical resident is not well-informed when it comes to township business and feel it is necessary to inform the public.
Please understand, this is not a disagreement about issues. It is about the environment he has created and the way he has treated the Township staff. We encourage you to watch one meeting and count the number of times he says “I” instead of “we” or “Exeter.”
Included are 24 reasons why he should do the right thing for Exeter Township and resign.
Thank you for your consideration,
Former Supervisors: Jeff Anderton, Vinny Biancone, Greg Galtere, Daron O’Donald, Jack Piho, Dave Speece, Joe Staub
1. Mr. Hughes has created a toxic environment which has led to the resignation of Supervisor Chairperson Carl Staples and Supervisor Dianna Reeser.
2. The toxic environment created by Mr. Hughes has affected the township’s ability to hire a township manager. As of Thursday, April 28, the township had only one candidate.
3. Administrative staff morale is incredibly low due to the treatment of staff members by Mr. Hughes. He has stated at a meeting he has no problem badgering the staff to get answers. You can use the April 28 meeting as an example of his badgering. His treatment of Becky Richards, Parks & Recreation Director, was uncalled for, as has been his treatment of other staff members during his tenure.
4. Mr. Hughes claims to be transparent and believes in transparency. However, he did not disclose that he had filed an ADA complaint against the township involving a stairway at Reading Country Club. At the February 28 supervisor meeting, he voted to authorize the township to engage in the mediation of the complaint. Not only should he have disclosed that he was the complainant, but he should also have abstained from voting since this is a clear conflict of interest. He also used this complaint as justification to vote against Clarence Hamm being named Interim Township Manager, again not identifying himself as the complainant.
5. Mr. Hughes shows a lack of professionalism especially on social media. Here is his response to individual who questioned why the board would not take up a motion to waive usage fees of a baseball field that was requested for use by a team of 100% Exeter kids for a few games. The fees had been waived by previous boards. “The township does support the organizations….the fees are to cover costs only. Maintenance of the fields. If you want complete 100% government subsidized lifestyle….try Russia.”
6. Mr. Hughes has not been supportive of the volunteer fire company. He has stated that the fire company has a lot of work to do before he will support giving them anything.
7. Mr. Hughes voted to change the leadership of Reading Country Club without having a succession plan in place. Since the change, 3 staff members have left their positions at RCC. The course is also not being as successful financially.
Here is the data for the first 3 months in 2021 and 2022:
8. Mr. Hughes voted to cancel the contract with Morningstar Golf to run the restaurant operations. Currently, a new operator is not in place. This decision has resulted in no restaurant for the community. The township has also lost 4 months and counting of wedding revenue due to this decision.
9. When making appointments to the Planning Commission, Mr. Hughes used social media postings and past election support to justify not voting for candidates rather than their qualifications.
10. Mr. Hughes voted against waiving a $300 fee for the family of a disabled person who also had economic issues. A non-profit had agreed to build a ramp for the family at no cost.
11. Mr. Hughes voted against creating a second entrance at Trout Run. Without a second entrance, traffic would have to be rerouted through Crestwood if there were additional problems with the Norfolk Southern owned railroad underpass tunnel.
12. Mr. Hughes did not support a community review of KCBA architect’s drawings of the municipal complex proposal, even though the township had already paid $60,000 for it.
13. Mr. Hughes does not have what is good for the community at heart. He has voted against items such as improvements at Pineland Park.
14. Mr. Hughes is more concerned with what has happened in the past rather than moving forward. He wants to have a forensic audit of township finances without a specific reason. A forensic audit of this nature would cost the township over $100,000. At a community forum concerning township priorities, his first comment dealt with investigating the Exeter – RCC Partnership.
15. Prior to becoming a supervisor, Mr. Hughes wasted over $100,000 of township money on Right to Know requests and his appeals. He made 15 appeals in 2021 and was unsuccessful in 13 of the 15. An additional appeal was partially granted.
16. Mr. Hughes has a double standard with regards to finances. He will vote “no,” stating it is not in the budget for items like waiving a permit fee; but then will want other items not in the budget paid for, such as a forensic audit and a printed township newsletter.
17. Mr. Hughes has made accusations at township meetings of the township and the state being “corrupt.” He has offered no evidence to support his assertions.
18. Mr. Hughes did not support allowing the school district to use the Promenade property as a location to park buses during the bus garage construction. This action did not encourage inter-governmental cooperation and the result is school buses parked throughout the community.
19. Mr. Hughes has been unsupportive of the Food Pantry. He has complained about the pantry’s use of the Promenade for food distribution during the pandemic when the distribution could not be done indoors. When the Pantry requested using the Dunn Center to prepare food items, Mr. Hughes advocated for an unnecessary traffic study. After the use of the Dunn Center was approved, Mr. Hughes did Right to Know requests seeking “warehouse permits” for the use of the Dunn Center by the Food Pantry.
20. Mr. Hughes has posted racial slurs on social media in the past. This does not represent the values of Exeter Township.
21. Mr. Hughes advocated removal of Mr. Bartlett as Township Manager with no succession plan in place. Now the BOS is talking about possibly hiring a Temporary Manager from an employment firm at a cost of over $1000 a day. This is not a prudent use of tax dollars.
22. Prior to becoming a supervisor in 2022, Mr. Hughes often accused the supervisors of violating the Sunshine Act. At a recent township meeting, he revealed that he and two other supervisors toured township facilities together. Unless they had no discussion about the facilities, which seems unlikely, that is a clear violation of the Sunshine Act.
23. The board voted 3-0 to not support a request for $300 to the Veterans Coalition of Pennsylvania. This was after Mr. Hughes made the motion to allow discussion and vote. He then voted against the motion stating that he wanted “to make a point.”
24. Mr. Hughes wanted to transfer $12,000 from the Parks & Recreation department to Reading Country Club for the festival of lights which is a free program for township residents. The department should know there would be a charge before they plan the program to determine if it fits within their budget. Certainly, a boost of $12,000 would make Reading Country Club look more profitable.