Date – October 31, 2011

Supervisor Candidates asked the most important issue facing Tredyffrin Township – Snyder, Wysocki & Duffy Respond

We know that local elections and the choices that voters will make on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8 are important. I sent a three-part question to Tredyffrin’s 3 Democratic supervisor candidates and the 4 Republican supervisor candidates.

Following the League of Women Voters debate on October 24, I received responses to the question from the Democratic candidates; however, the Republican candidates declined to participate.  Below is the question and the responses from Democratic candidates Tory Snyder, Murph Wysocki and Molly Duffy.  A similar question was posed to the Democratic and Republican school board candidates and those responses will be posted tomorrow.

Dear Supervisor Candidates:

Local elections are important. As a candidate for Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors in the upcoming election, I hope that you will participate in the following Q&A on Community Matters.

In 200 words or less, please respond to the following questions. Incorporate all three parts of the question into your response and please be specific in your answers.  Supervisor candidate responses will be posted on Community Matters in the order that they are received.

(1) In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing Tredyffrin Township?
(2) If you were elected, what would you do to help solve or improve this issue?
(3) Tredyffrin Township needs problem-solvers; what in your background or job experience qualifies you to help solve this important issue?

Democratic District 1 Supervisor Candidate

The largest issue facing Tredyffrin is how to provide public services that our citizens expect given falling revenues. The basis of solving this problem has to lie in economic revitalization that strengthens our tax base. Only by ensuring highest and best use of our properties, can we maximize property values and stabilize our budget. Compared to other communities in our area, Tredyffrin is financially an easy place for businesses to locate — we have neither an earned income tax nor a business privilege tax.

If I were elected, I would make it even easier for businesses to locate or expand here.  Specifically, I would recommend updating our zoning code to remove, reviewing our fee structure and making sure our Township is properly staffed to provide prompt project reviews and permitting.

I have a Master of City Planning degree from Penn and have planned for County, local and private clients. I am also a ten year Tredyffrin Planning Commissioner. As a Planning Commissioner and active Township volunteer, I have seen and understand firsthand the barriers to redevelopment in Tredyffrin. I have the depth of education and experience to draw from in knowing how to remove them.

Democratic At-Large Supervisor Candidate

The most important issue facing Tredyffrin Township today is money, how to best manage revenues and expenditures for the benefit of Tredyffrin’s taxpayers.

As supervisor, I will explore public/private partnerships, grants, pooled purchasing, and other sources to tackle our funding challenges.  I will exercise sound fiscal management to ensure that Tredyffrin taxpayers receive best value township services for their tax dollars.

I will vigorously pursue economic revitalization.  Economic revitalization means a broader tax base, additional revenues, and tax stability for all Tredyffrin residents.  If elected, I will work tenaciously, with vision and leadership that we have not seen from Tredyffrin supervisors, to bring economic vitality to Paoli by moving forward on the stalled Paoli Transportation Center/Town Center project.  I will seek a new beginning for the Chesterbrook Village shopping center.

As a commercial real estate attorney with thirty-nine years of experience in supervising, structuring, negotiating, and closing large, complex financial transactions, I know how to get people to “yes.”  I understand project budgets and the coordination of complex financial arrangements.   If elected, I will work with Tredyffrin residents and my fellow supervisors to ensure Tredyffrin’s financial strength and economic vitality.

Democratic At-Large Supervisor Candidate

The biggest issue facing Tredyffrin is keeping our taxes low by growing the tax base, and managing our tax dollars in a responsible way.  To create more revenue, we need more taxpayers.  To attract more taxpayers we need to be constantly working to make Tredyffrin the kind of place businesses and families want to locate.  There are also ways in which our expenses could be better managed that are not being pursued by our current board.

If I were elected, I would work tirelessly on economic development and revitalization.  I would forcefully support the Paoli Transit Center and town revitalization as a catalyst to more private development in the area.  I would pursue more federal, state or private grant money to continue to provide more of the kinds of amenities that make Tredyffrin attractive to families and companies who want a great place for their employees to live.  I would pursue joint efforts with other municipalities to create development corridors, and consider purchasing pools to reduce costs.

I am an attorney with a focus on environmental, land use and transportation issues.  My work as the past chair of the Environmental Advisory Council and current vice-chair of the Sidewalks, Trails and Paths committee, advisor to the Paoli Professional and Business Association in its work to develop a business improvement district and member of the Paoli Rail Task Force  has shown that I am a leader and catalyst who can complete projects that benefit all Tredyffrin residents.


State Returns $1.3 Million to TESD — Restore Educational Program Cuts or Add to Fund Balance?

In reviewing the summaries of the T/E school board committees, I was interested to learn from the Finance Committee report (below) that almost $1 million is coming back to the fund balance due to lower than expected medical claims.  That’s good news!

Also it was confirmed at the Finance Committee meeting, that the state would be returning $1.3 million in funding back to the school district.  Now there’s a question for school board candidates — what would you do with the $1.3 million?  Would you restore some of the educational programming cuts in the district?  If so, which ones?  Foreign language in the elementary schools?  Maybe Latin in the middle school?  Or, would you suggest that the $1.3 million go into the fund balance?

Finance Committee, Chair: Kevin Mahoney
Prepared by: Administrative Liaison

The Finance Committee met on October 17, 2011. The Committee reviewed a draft copy of the District’s 2010-2011 ending fund balances provided by the local auditors. The administration explained how the fund balances are required to be shown as committed, assigned or unassigned on the audited financial statements according to new GASB regulations. The Committee reviewed the fund balance commitments and agreed with the amount shown in the medical stabilization commitment and the fund balance from the athletic fund should be committed. The administration explained that due to lower than expected medical claims spending from the self funded health benefits plan, expenditures would be about $947,000 less than projected resulting in an addition to fund balance.

Next the administration presented the results of the September Treasurer’s report. According to the report the District will be receiving $1.3 million more in State Revenue during the 2011-2012 fiscal year than was originally anticipated and budgeted. All other revenues and expenditures are within the budget amounts. The Committee discussed how the additional State revenue would be used which included possibly reinstating cuts made to the educational program to balance the 2011-2012 budget or using less budgeted fund balance to balance the fiscal year. The administration presented the proposed reinstated budget cuts that they were approved by the Education Committee. The Finance Committee asked that the proposal to reinstate these budget cuts be presented at a future Board meeting.

The Committee also reviewed the budget calendar, paying special attention to the due dates that relate to the Earned Income Tax (EIT) Study Group and discussed how EIT revenue sharing with the Township would work. Finally the Committee reviewed the budget projection model and asked the administration to make a few changes to the assumptions for future review of the model.

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