State Police fees: an idea whose time has come

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times So…so much for putting a stop to writing about stuff. Despite an ill-advised detour into politics and some mild, annoying and decidedly non-life threatening health issues, not writing was beginning to feel increasingly like not breathing, so here I am again. For now — and obviously everything on this green Earth is really “for now” — I’m going to return...

GOP Congressman laud tax bill, Democrats decry ‘gift’ for wealthy, donors

The U.S. Senate last night passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — a sweeping revision of U.S. Tax code, that depending on who is talking is either a spark for job and wage growth or a massive, deficit busting giveaway to the rich, political donors and corporate America. The House voted Tuesday to approve the package, but will have to revote Wednesday because of three provisions in the original bill...

Maybe I’m paranoid, but it seems like local Congress members are out to get me

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times By nature, I’m not really a paranoid guy, but it is starting to look like U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello (R-6), Pat Meehan (R-7) and Lloyd Smucker (R-16) have it out personally for me and my family. Okay maybe not personally — I’ve had cordial, even friendly relationships with some of them, and certainly interesting and insightful interviews...

Is a ‘cross-fire hurricane’ bearing down on the 6th District?

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times “I was born in a cross-fire hurricane And I howled at the morning driving rain But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash It’s a gas, gas, gas” — The Rolling Stones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It’s pretty clear that politics over the next 18 or so months will be anything but calm,...

Time for Costello to show just a hint of courage

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times Sometime later this afternoon, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6) will hold a town hall meeting. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s holding it in Historic Courtroom 1, limiting it to 100 people, it was announced Thursday and filled up within minutes — and no one can record the video. Some sort of modern-day Stasi will be at the door, demanding “papers,...

County to hike property taxes 4.95% for 2017

First increase since 2014 WEST CHESTER — The Chester County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2017 budget this week. The budget calls for $460,094,845 in operating expenses and $87,504,129 for its capital budget. “Led by our strategic priorities, including public safety and balanced growth, Chester County continues to invest in projects, programs and services that will benefit our residents...

Letter: When will Rep. Lewis pay for the budget?

To The Editor, Monday, Governor Tom Wolf announced that he would allow the bipartisan, compromise budget to become law without his signature by midnight that night unless he had an honest package with sustainable, recurring, and sufficient revenue to sign before that time. That did not happen. The General Assembly has a constitutional responsibility to pass a sustainable revenue package to pay...

Chesco touts 10 years with AAA bond rating

WEST CHESTER — With the announcement this week of the reaffirmation of all three Triple-A bond ratings, Chester County marks 10 years as a government entity that has earned – and maintained – the highest possible rating status. It is the only county in Pennsylvania that holds the three Triple-A rating distinctions, and is one of just 43 counties nationwide. Favorable market conditions combined...

Merry @#$% Christmas: Senate sends Wolf last-minute budget

Gov. won’t say whether he’ll veto budget without pension reform, liquor fixes By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times The State Senate sent Gov. Tom Wolf a most unwelcome gift — a $30.2 billion budget bill similar to one he vetoed earlier this year, after a compromise that would have included pension reform and changes to how liquor is sold collapsed, amid a bizarre series of events in...

Despite Chesco Reps revolt, budget talks stall

GOP House members leave for holiday, no clear path ahead By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times T’was the day before the day before Christmas, When all through the (State) House, Various angry politicians were heard to espouse: “Ghost voting,” “vote to reconsider” “insurgent” and “Twitter fight” As legislators sought to finally get a state budget right… Local State Reps (clockwise...