Mister Hylton's Folly
I supported a previous school board's action plan to create a campus within the Washington Street Corridor for all grade school students. Further, the plan proposed to sell off present elementary school properties to be primarily used for senior housing built by independent investors. This and an additional economic stimulus would come from the placement of the new campus in an area of Pottstown desperately needing a physical upgrade. Combining both economic stimuli the financial viability of this action plan was well within the budget parameters set by the school board. A win-win in every sense of the word, our younger students would have won by having a state of the art facility to learn at and our town would win by reversing the downturn of Pottstown property assessments we are now experiencing.
Mr. Hylton railed against this plan and fanned the flames of opposition especially among the weak unsuspecting who love to be against any change since they desire to be led rather then to be informed. Tom carries the"Cross"of walkable schools beyond reason which clouds his vision for the future.
He tends to slant statistics in his favor, as he behind the scene, has surrogates inflame the public, those with little knowledge and who are very easily herded along.
Don't get me wrong, on balance Pottstown is better off that Mr. Hylton lived here and advocated his positions even though I disagree with some of them. Primarily he championed the planting of shade trees in the borough, a true asset.
Tom Hylton is a gifted writer and an avid walker. It is sad, in my way of thinking that he, who could have been a renaissance man, allowed himself to be caught up in a time warp that he could not escape. A loner, he lacks social skills necessary to engage in normal conversation which has a way of tempering a person's thought process. The public's perception of Tom seems to be that he is arrogantly self centered and thinks he is better than you are. This has been personified in his elected term on the School Board where each meeting is a battle, as well as, his dismissal by Pottstown's Borough Council from the Shade Tree Commission and the Planning Commission.
Influence for the good of the whole is admirable but when used by a zealot to promote a personal agenda it is counter productive. Governing has, in the end, always leaned toward compromise limiting the far out extremes in favor of the middle ground. Public characters come and go and leave their imprints on history for good or bad. Perception carries the day in real time, although, the scorecard of history generally discounts it in favor of understanding the truth seen through the lens of time.
"Hope rests eternal", I've heard said often so to you who have read this keep up hoping that our town survives its turmoils.
Ronald C. Downie