Talk Host, Fans Take on PASD

The Phoenixville Area School District responds in a statement to Patch after declining an invitation to go on the show.

Talk Radio Host Dom Giordano brought his show to Meadowbrook Golf Course Friday morning to take on the PASD decision to acquire the nine hole golf course by eminent domain.  Photo: Bob Byrne
Talk Radio Host Dom Giordano brought his show to Meadowbrook Golf Course Friday morning to take on the PASD decision to acquire the nine hole golf course by eminent domain. Photo: Bob Byrne
The acquisition of the Meadowbrook Golf Club by eminent domain has more than the family, members and fans of the nine hole course tee'd off.  It has Philadelphia-based talk host Dom Giordano taking a verbal nine iron to the heads of the Phoenixille Area School District.

Giordano brought his 1210 WPHT Talk Radio show to the Meadowbrook Golf Club for three live hours on Friday morning.  Throughout the show, Giordano took swings at District administrators and school board members, especially  Superintendent Dr. Alan Fegley and Executive Director of Operations Stan Johnson.

Giordano spent much of  the first hour of his show on the topic, not only focusing on Meadowbrook but on the wider issue of municipal governments, school districts and states using eminent domain to take property out from underneath land owners.  Giordano also spent the first segments of each of the second two hours of the show on the topic.  In each segment he invited Fegley to come on the show, offering to silence himself "with the portable straight jacket if needed" so that Fegley could speak his peace and respond to charges from the public and club supporters.  Amon the allegations is that the district took the land without conferring with Meadowbrook Manager and Co-owner Bruce Campbell or his family. 

While the superintendent  and other members of the district administration declined the invitation to be on the show, a district spokesperson did provide the following statement to Patch following the broadcast:

"On November 14th, the PASD School Board of Directors voted to acquire the Meadow Brook Golf Course property via eminent domain.  This vote followed a full year of extensive property search and evaluation of 95 different potential properties in the District.  

Meadow Brook Golf Course Owners approached the District in May 2013 expressing an interest in selling their property to the District.  The location, size, and developable nature of the property make Meadow Brook an ideal site.  The District obtained a highest and best use appraisal of the Meadow Brook property to determine a fair market value of the property.  

The appraisal valued the property at $3.725 million.  During numerous negotiations both in person and writing, the Owners remained firm on their asking price of $8 million.  The District negotiated in good faith, and offered $5 million, significantly more than the appraised value, which the Owners declined in a letter dated October 24, 2013. In that letter, they restated their desire to sell to the District.  

With an impasse in negotiations, and recognizing their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to not overpay for a property, the Board voted for eminent domain as a means to determine a fair market value for the property.  With our elementary schools already bursting at the seams, and a steady increase in enrollment predicted over the next several years, it is crucial to move forward with the much needed process of building a new early learning center and elementary school for the District. 

The District is committed to a fair outcome for all involved—the Meadow Brook Owners, the taxpayers, and the students of PASD."

Both on the air, in public statements and in multiple interviews with Patch Bruce Campbell and other members of the family have strongly denied ever expressing an interest in selling the 55 acre property to the school district.  In fact, Campbell says he expressly had told the district that he is not interested in selling the land or retiring from the business.

Giordano pledged to stay on top of the story and urged the crowd to keep pushing back on the school district board who voted unanimously to take the land by eminent domain.

Monty Burns December 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM
One more week and the land belongs to the residents!
Wendy December 06, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Thank U Dr. Fegley for NOT RESPONDING to this joke...seriously I listened to some and it was so one sided I really couldn't tell which was the clown the announcer or the story...
Pete Mitchell December 06, 2013 at 11:28 PM
I don't know the details about what was offered before or whether the owners ever really did indicate an intention to sell. All I know is that there's a similar plot of land over on Route 113 next to the fairgrounds that would make a nice golf course. And it comes with an insurance policy - no school district would dare possess it again. There's only one reason for the owners of the so-called golf course to invite the media over for a hate fest, and that's to drive up the price. Dum Giordano has played right into their hand. Believe me, none of us who know them have any love for Dr. Fegley or the PASD school board, but this stunt wasn't an effective way to get the community to rally against them. When the dust settles, the school will own the land, and the only ones who will have suffered will be the taxpayers. Why we aren't all picketing the golf course is beyond me.
William Hagar December 07, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Love how all of the comments are one-sided. Moderation is lack of free speech editor. Anyway, wait until someone takes your homes without paying your asking price. There will be plenty of whining then for sure.
William Myers December 07, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Does the school district need 55 acres ? What are they planning for the land they do not need ? Are not the buildings on the property considered historical ? How much will it cost the taxpayers to develop this ? 55 acres sold to a developer at today's prices is at least 100,000 .00 per acre , not sure where they came up with these appraisals . Why is the truth always not known when dealing with these situations ?
Gilligan December 07, 2013 at 11:01 AM
William Myers. I am against eminent domain, but here are some facts for you. The district is keeping the historic buildings, stream and wetlands. I don't think they need 2 huge buildings plus all the ballfields, but that's another argument. No builder will touch that property because Schuylkill township won't let them develop homes there. Not a prayer even if the schools weren't already overcrowded. No builder can match anywhere near what the school district is offering. And has anyone noticed the superintendent lives in New Jersey, wants to rip apart our town, and gets a free pass on all the animosity? He could not live here without his house getting picketed and 100 angry discussions at the wawa every day. They're picketing the volunteers on the schoolboard when the superintendant can make this disappear in a second. A new school should be a happy scene, not this hot mess...
William Myers December 07, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Potters pond was a deed restricted property that was developed , they were never going to develop the Andersen property and then did , that land is worth more than the school is offering and they looked at 95 properties in the last year ? Come on , I wonder how much that cost . The fact is that when money and government is involved anything can happen and usually does and as far as the superintendent is concerned he is just another inadequate hire . Our teachers and administrators should come from people that have stake in our community not idiots that only look at appearance and numbers
Monty Burns December 07, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Dr. Fegley had been great for this school district. I suspect those who feel otherwise have no kids in the district and aren't aware of the improvements and successes.
harryfinster December 07, 2013 at 06:30 PM
has the district shown they have the ability to use the land properly or will it wind up like kimberton, a big waste of school money and also destroy a historic property at the same time
harryfinster December 07, 2013 at 06:35 PM
i am always amazed that a school entity that supposedly teaches math and science never uses either when they attempt to operate their buisiness process
dwayne roberson December 08, 2013 at 07:22 PM
A right thing, done the wrong way, can only be a Wrong thing. It is amazing how adults can justify what is in essence theft. Be it partial theft or whatever, I thought the PC trend was anti bully. What if it was your family that would see the bulldozers in a few weeks. Also, enough about Dom and Meadowbrook being one sided. The School Board did not offer an explanation before or after the election. They will take the property in a few weeks and expect you to shut up about it. I'm afraid that is exactly what happens next. Indian tears again.
harryfinster December 08, 2013 at 11:16 PM
the school only voted to start process via legal process,surely meadowbrook has ability to legally fight back,or do phoenixville people just role over and allow a small town inept school administration steam roll them
harryfinster December 08, 2013 at 11:19 PM
harryfinster December 08, 2013 at 11:24 PM
here,s a scholarship done in phoenixvilles name ,how many poor and needy have benefited from it ? https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2013_04_EO/23-2685317_990ER_201012.pd


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something