Democrats and Republicans Finalize Slate of Tredyffrin Supervisor and T/E School Director Candidates

For candidates for the T/E School Board and the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, March 12 is the last day to circulate and file nomination petitions at Chester County Voter Services for Pennsylvania’s May 21, 2013 Primary Election.

T/E School Director candidates must file a petition signed by at least 10 qualified voters of the school district for the political party with which the petition will be filed.  Generally, school board candidates cross-file.  To cross-file in a primary election (that is, to run on both parties), a registered Democrat or Republican must circulate a proper petition for the other party.  The petition must contain signatures as previously mentioned.  If elected on both party ballots in the May primary, a candidate will appear on both party ballots in the general election in November.

The candidates for the May 21, 2013 Primary Election are as follows:

The Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidates for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Tredyffrin, East – Region 1:  Pete Connors
  • Tredyffrin, West – Region 2:  Rich Brake **

The Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidates for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Tredyffrin, East – Region 1:  Kevin Buraks **
  • Tredyffrin, West – Region 2:  Scott Dorsey

In addition to the Region 1 and Region 2 seats in Tredyffrin Township, Easttown Township, Region 3 has two school director seats up for election.  I have not confirmed whether incumbent Democrat Anne Crowley will seek a second term or Republican Betsy Fadem will seek a fourth term as School Board Directors from Region 3. I will update the Region 3, Easttown Township candidates for the T/E School Board when confirmed.

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Supervisor at Large:  Michelle Kichline **
  • Supervisor at Large:  Trip Lukens
  • District 2 Middle::  EJ Richter ** (a)

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Supervisor at Large:  Murph Wysocki
  • Supervisor at Large:  Mark Freed
  • District 2 Middle:  Laurie Elliott

** Incumbent

(a) Currently serving as a Tredyffrin Township At-Large supervisor, Evelyn Richter will seek re-election; not as an At-Large candidate but as a candidate in the Middle, District 2 race.  The current Middle, District 2 supervisor Phil Donahue has decided not to seek a second term.

In a review of the slate of candidates, there are some familiar names and some not so familiar names among the list. Republicans Michelle Kichline and Evelyn Richter are seeking re-election to the Board of Supervisors and Democrat Kevin Buraks and Republican Rich Brake to the T/E School Board. Another couple of recognizable names on the list …Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee have endorsed former candidates, attorney Murph Wysocki for an At-Large Board of Supervisors seat and pastor/administrator Scott Dorsey for the School Board in Region 2.

Also familiar is the current chair of Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission, Republican Trip Lukens, endorsed by the local Republican Committee as an At-Large supervisor candidate.  If you recall, Tredyffrin Planning Commissioner Tory Snyder, a Democratic candidate in the last election, lost by a handful of votes to Republican incumbent Paul Olson, for the District 1 East supervisor seat.  For those that regularly attend or watch Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors meetings, you may have seen Laurie Elliott at the microphone. A Glenhardie area resident, Elliott has been involved in the Trout Creek Overlay District and the Richter property development project, and now seeks to represent residents as a Middle, District 2 supervisor.

Unfamiliar names on the list (at least to me) are At-Large Board of Supervisor candidate, Democrat Mark Freed and Tredyffrin, East – Region 1 School Director candidate Republican Pete Connors.  A quick Google search indicates Mark Freed is an attorney and shareholder at Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, PC in Philadelphia. Freed concentrates his practice in the areas of environmental and toxic tort law and litigation.  Republican Pete Connors of Wayne is the founder and President of Remcon Plastics, Inc. a plastics manufacturer in the custom molding, material handling and safety products industries headquartered in Reading, PA.

As I have done in the past, I will be posting the resumes and/or bios of the supervisor and school board candidates, at some point.  I should point out, that there’s still time if you are interested in having your name on the May Primary ballot — remember, it only takes 10 signatures to run for the School Board.  Click here for a link to Chester County Voter Services for information.

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13 Comments

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  1. Thanks, Pattye for providing this information. Hopefully , improving awareness will drive more voters to the polls. The truth is that the election of our local supervisors and school directors directly affects our quality of life and the desirability of our community as a place to live and work, yet many residents don’t know who they are or what decisions they’ve been making.

    I hope people decide this year to take the time to consider what each of the candidates can contribute to the direction of our township and schools. We are not a one-party town. We have two active local parties reflecting an almost even split in affiliation. Republicans in Tredyffrin now outnumber Democrats by only 5%- with 15% registered Independent.

    It’s long past time that we elect boards that reflect the make-up and orientation of township residents. But achieving this balance will require that people VOTE.

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  2. Any school board member that supports the outsourcing of TENIG workers will not have have my vote. If Buraks, Brake, Fadem and Crowley want another school board term, they should remember that many of the TENIG workers are township residents.

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  3. John knows I agree with much of what he says, but I will come down to this: PARTIES DON”T RUN THE SCHOOL BOARD. Elected members do. Get to know the candidate you consider. Don’t vote for them unless you have some basis to support them. Stop looking at the D and R. Look at the candidate. Ask them substantive questions. This is not about party rule. This is about COMPETENCE. You can be disgusted by the party endorsement process, but when you pay any attention to an endorsement, you are simply allowing someone else to cast your vote. Don’t make this Washington DC — where party control has destroyed our government’s ability to function. In a representative government, the board member will cast a vote on your behalf. Be sure you are giving that privilege to someone you trust.

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    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Hey, I’m in the room!!!
    This is one of the best and most enlightening discussions I’ve read on CM. Obviously many of you a have “Real World” experience and I learn a lot from your posts.
    I do voice my opinion on the SB but it’s just that…my opinion. I know you understand that John and you didn’t infer anything different. My little journey began when the EIT Study Group was formed. I was as asleep as anyone escrowing my taxes via my mortgage payment and not paying it much mind. I wasn’t picked to be on the EIT panel but I watched carefully as the case was made for a new tax. I didn’t see it’s necessity and it never went to a referendum but it was my first taste of SB operations and budgets. From there I got interested in the annual cycle of SB budgets and finances. I listened to what was said but did my own analysis of the information publicly available. What I found was that the public pronouncements did not always agree with the financial realities…or that we were only given a part of the story. Assuming that other citizens would be interested, I tried to put some information out…here, in the paper and at the meetings themselves. To be sure, I have a objective…continued excellence in our public school system without unfairly burdening the taxpayer… It’s a balance that, I believe, we’ve lost. That process continues.
    Along the way, I did join the TTRC. No great political objective. Like many volunteers I fell into the job…knew the nice lady at Church who needed the help..had some golf buddies who applied some pressure…that’s how I started. I’m not very good at it.
    Enough biography only put it in to let you know I’m pretty new at this stuff. To me, the parties certainly have an interest in winning elections and as a consequence, controlling local governing Boards. But, I think the policy is still made by individuals. Doesn’t seem to me to be a Party line on many local issues. No one ever told me what to say/write/investigate nor would I accept direction. My choice..my opinions. If those in a party elect to agree…it can become their policy. When I talk to people around the area..sometimes I know their political affiliation, sometimes not, sometimes they are committed and active members of the other political party. Still, after a few minutes on a local topic, we can usually agree on 80-90% of the issue…the other 10% we may compromise/agree to disagree/leave it to another time when we can approach it again fresh. I guess the point is, I don’t feel a big political divide locally…elections cycles may be a bit different but they pass quickly.
    Maybe it’s a chicken or egg argument…do people make the parties…do the parties use their influence to change their people particularly if they need the party’s help…is there room for independence inside a party…?? Hard to come to just one conclusion. Again, I really, really liked the discussion.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    I agree Neal – Parties have an interest in winning elections but decisions are made by individuals.

    If the R.s are concerned with fiscal responsibility, (re school board) how is it salaries, pensions and benefits are the biggest cost driver in the budget with a 39% increase in salaries over the last 5 years? Please don’t tell me it’s market driven. How did administrator raises and bonuses get slipped in a consent agenda if the R.’s are so concerned about fiscal responsibility? Only one R (Rich Brake) cast a dissenting vote.

    IMO this is not about political divide. Brake and Crowley, (D) cast the only 2 dissenting votes in the Chambers matter and administrator pay raise fiasco.

    Whoever controls the perspective controls the perception. Knowledgeable citizens have to be willing to share their personal experiences, and indepth understanding on issues of importance to them and elected officals have to be open and humble and willing to listen with intent.

    The chain of command structure does makes it difficult for citizens to influence board members. The board doesn’t seem to want to hear information and the structure in place for collaboration with board members actually isolates board members from citizens. Comments or questions from the public are allowed at the end of meetings where all participants are tired and the comments are treated like unwanted intrusions instead of helpful information. The longer serving board members are the most difficult to influence. They believe they understand how the system works, when in reality they have become completely in service to administrators, township managers solicitors, etc, You only have to look at the only segment in the school district to get raises in these wretched economic times to know who controls the perspective and therefore the perception.

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  4. It’s a shame we never see anyone running independently from the local party system.

    Readers should be aware that anyone registered as an Independent can file nomination papers by August 1 to run in the general elections in November.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thanks Sean — yes, you are absolutely correct re Independents. Independents are not included in Pennsylvania’s Primary Election, either as candidates or as voters :(

    Other than Bill DeHaven, has anyone ever run for the BoS as an Independent? And is memory serves me correctly, after Bill’s unsuccessful attempt as a Independent, he was successful when running as a Republican candidate. But maybe times have changes enough around here, that an Independent candidate could now get elected. Of course, anyone registered as a D or R, could change their registration to an Independent by August 1, get the necessary signatures and then appear on the November ballot. What about you my friend — it’s been 4 years, are you ready to run again?

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    John,
    My comment was certainly not intended to put Sean on the spot. My guess is that Sean probably had enough of the political process 4 years ago, but who knows? But your question did get me thinking. If I could pick the perfect candidate for either the Board of Supervisors or the School Board, what qualities would I choose?

    Let’s see, I would want that person to have a thorough understanding of the issues of the community and a vision for the future. That shouldn’t mean that the person only gets involved or attends meetings because now they are a candidate — it should mean that they keep current on what’s going on in the community on an ongoing basis. I would want the person to be passionate about this community, decisive and a leader; someone who is independent-minded and not beholden to a political party but a person with new ideas and perspectives. But most importantly, a quality that I think is absolute and one that is missing in some of our elected officials — communication skills. Communication is crucial and I want elected officials who are willing to speak to the citizens about what concerns them, instead of us having to seek them out. I want the elected official to truly ‘represent’ the voices of the community that he/she was elected to serve.

    My perfect elected official would be someone understands that they are accountable to the citizens who elected them and govern with transparecy in their actions and their decisions. As a resident and a taxpayer, I don’t know why it has to be so difficult to find answers. Everything should not require right-to-know requests. Just my ‘pie in the sky’ wishlist …

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  5. So I repeat–ignore the party. It is irrelevant. pick your candidate. No lazy straight ticket punches. And some more have to,step up and run. Tea Party vs. Incumbents? Not a lot of independent thinking available.

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  6. What you need to run with is a message of candor and honesty. Stop the platitudes. Kevin B was not the strongest candidate on paper, but he went door to door and answered questions. He beat an endorsed R who I think was more qualified. I understand the politics, but I also understand personal contact. Kevin G. ran against the TTRC incumbent and won — because he had a message. Yes — they spent money, but with social media and blogs, I don’t think is as critical. Maybe I am naive, but when I ran, the party spent zero, and I spent $100 on signs I used again and again. Easier to be sure, but I ran against people every time. And I don’t have thick skin.
    You need to support a candidate for a reason, and then stand behind them if you don’t agree with a decision but believe in their candor. Our problem is that we have lost faith that we even influence the decisions. I don’t think these people are bad guys — but the bashing from the sidelines by newcomers and people who have undisclosed gripes can be wearing. No one wants these jobs…John calls it sense to steer clear, but I think it is the Catch 22 problem — people smart enough to do the job are obviously smart enough to know it’s a no win situation nowadays.
    We need to make serving the public something we appreciate. Otherwise, who wins?

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  7. John,

    With Dems like you, who needs enemies? Time for a party change perhaps? While you’re entitled to your hyper-critical and self-righteous bloviating about the “lucky” elected official of the month, you should know that no one is taking your bait for a reason. Your tone is toxic. There’s no chance of having a civil debate with you because YOU always know better and must have the last word.

    I’m trying to remember when – if ever – I saw you in attendance at a school board meeting. People who serve with good intentions and dedication get nothing but venom from you – as if you’d dedicate yourself for 4+ years to the effort required and do a better job. Laughable! (Let’s not even touch upon the subject of who would vote for you…)

    There is a whole community of people out there who do care about the quality of T/E schools and the townships they live in. They’re neither clueless nor unconcerned. They appreciate what public service entails, can take exception with a particular decision, vote or tactic, and still respect the commitment and time given. Unlike you, others in T/E manage to keep the big picture in perspective.

    I’m not alone in rejecting your tiring and entirely predictable mud-slinging . Look in the mirror, John. Your devotion to “truth-telling” my be a cover for something far less admirable.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    Kate,

    John can be brusque and I agree with what you say on caring TE citizens and volunteer elected officials.

    However, I do believe John has some good points and I was wondering if you would comment on the Buraks, Chambers, administrator pay hidden in a consent agenda issues. As a representative of the Democrat Party, do you agree with Mr. Buraks decisions? Is it enough that he is a Democrat and President of the school Board so you support him?

    As I have revealed, I am not a political person. I vote, but I always vote the person which have been D’s and R’s alike.

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  8. wow Kate. I have to admit that in the past I rarely agree with you, but your response above was brilliant and your points obvious to all but maybe one. Well said.

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