Paoli Transportation Center and economic redevelopment – Important community issues or simply political campaign fodder
Unfortunately, in between primary and general election campaign season, the [Paoli] train station is once again relegated to the backstage, waiting for its starring role on the next glossy campaign flyer. Does the transportation project only exist as a political campaign talking point?
Following-up on my last Community Matters post, I was looking forward to the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday night. I had emailed the Board of Supervisors requesting two items for the meeting agenda – (1) official public update on the Paoli Transportation Center project and (2) an update on the Economic Development Committee. Assured via email from the township manager that, “Both items will be addressed during the meeting. If they don’t come up earlier, Bob will raise them during BOS comments” , I looked forward the public status report. Although neither item was listed on the agenda, I was confident that these important topics would be discussed during the meeting. Further, Mimi copied the seven supervisors on her email to me, so everyone was seemingly on the same page.
The meeting progressed with no mention made of either topic. There was approval for a community initiative grant for zoning ordinance update but no discussion of the Economic Development Committee that was approved back on April 4. Look around at the empty storefronts, the vacant box stores and leasing agent signs on many corporate buildings . . . Tredyffrin Township is no longer exempt from the economic woes of every other community in the country. But where is the importance and priority from our elected officials?
The Paoli Transportation Center . . . there was no update, no discussion, not a mention. Does the transportation project exist simply as a political campaign talking point? Do our community leaders only discuss the transportation center and place an importance on the project during campaign season? Where is the advocacy and enthusiasm for the train station project and economic redevelopment from our elected officials?
How many local candidates over the last two decades have used the train station project in their campaign promises to voters? The answer . . . many! The Paoli Transportation Center project deserves more attention than use as campaign fodder. And remember, what is most significant is what you do with those campaign promises, once elected!
The last substantial movement on the Paoli Transportation Center project was June 21, 2010 with then State Rep. Paul Drucker’s announcement of $1 million in state funding for the project. On Community Matters that day, I wrote . . . “Today’s announcement signifies a new beginning for Paoli and for the larger community . . . a day to celebrate!” After fourteen months, shouldn’t the public expect a progress report?
Immediately following the Monday’s supervisors meeting, I asked Mimi for an explanation as to ‘why’ there was no update on the train station (and the Economic Development Committee) when she had previously said there would be — her response, “I guess Bob forgot”.
How does one forget these important issues? The other supervisors — did they likewise ‘forget’, was theirs a calculated political decision or worse yet, do they simply not care?
Unfortunately, in between the primary and general election campaign season, the train station is once again relegated to the backstage, waiting for its starring role on the next glossy campaign flyer.
The update on the proposed sidewalk ordinance and sidewalks at St. Davids Golf Club from Monday’s Public Hearing to follow.