The Coatesville Side Bar

A closer look into Chester County's only city.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Police Special Programs Coordinator Fired -- Or Is She?

This might have everyone scratching their heads.

Donna Walton, special programs coordinator for the Coatesville Police Department, was told recently that she would no longer be working for the department because a grant funding her salary had run out.

The problem is, as far as Walton knew, her salary was originally funded through a state Weed & Seed grant, but as of June 2006, her salary was funded through the police department's budget.

(Scratch head.)

Police Chief William Matthews, under the direction of administrators, told Walton that her last day would be Friday. Matthews was under the impression that the grant had run out and the city was too broke to cover her salary.

Not only was Walton confused because administrators thought she was being paid through a grant, while she understood that her salary is a line item in the police budget. But, she was also confused because the city can afford to pay part-time employees in administrative offices, but cannot afford to pay her full-time salary. In addition, Walton was confused because the new police chief has touted his community policing plan, but wanted to eliminate the position that assists with numerous youth and community programs.

(Scratch head again.)

Later -- late Thursday -- the chief communicated with the city's human resources office, and learned that there were issues with the initial information administrators presented him with. And, as of Thursday, it was unclear to him whether Walton was getting paid through a state grant or the city.

Because of this uncertainty, Matthews said Thursday that he will inform Walton that she may remain with the police department until the issue is straightened out.

While with the department, Walton has helped coordinate the Youth Aid Panel, community support projects like CSI Camp for kids, and National Night Out. And most recently, she and Community Relations Officer Jim Audette compiled the city's annual Weed & Seed report. In addition, Walton is part of Coatesville's "rapid response team" for Chester County's Domestic Violence Center.

One would hope this confusion would get straightened out soon given that someone's employment is on the line.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ice Cream Festival

This Saturday the Graystone Society will hold its Annual Victorian Ice Cream Festival on the grounds of the Graystone Mansion. Admission is free. The gates open at 10 a.m. until the City of Coatesville Concert and Fireworks at 5 p.m.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer Vaca

The Side Bar operator is taking a break and so the site will not be updated again until Monday, July 9. That means no comments posted after today will make it to the blog until Monday, July 9.

But note that the next City Council meeting will be Monday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Over the next few days look out for articles on:

-- Coatesville's Curfew
-- C'ville PD's Narcotics Enforcement Team
-- CSI Camp
-- City looking for state's help with financial management

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Switching Back

Go here for an exclusive blog posting. (This is my way of getting you to go back to the old Side Bar.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Technical Problems?

If you're having technical problems, as I've heard some are, you can still access the same information at the Side Bar's old site. You can still post comments there too. Some of you have already been doing so.


If you haven't seen them, check out the community videos posted on Coatesville's Home Page.


There will be a rally Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall as an effort to prevent bus service suspension in Coatesville.

Assistant City Manager Kirby Hudson said Tuesday the suspension could be devastating for Coatesvillians, and potentially cause residents to lose their jobs if they're unable to catch a bus to work.

The evening Link service on the Krapf A takes passengers to Exton. Under the possible suspension, passengers would no longer be able to go to and from Exton after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays or after 5 p.m. on weekends. The bus service to Parkesburg would also no longer be in service.

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