Ten Candidates for T/E School Board – Where do they stand on important community issues? Know before you VOTE – Responses to Community Matters questions (plus a question for Easttown Township Supervisor Candidates)

The four Community Matters questions and responses from the eight Tredyffrin Township supervisor candidates are now posted – I appreciate the candidates taking the time to respond and encourage voters to review.

I have been asked by several Easttown Township residents to include their supervisor candidates in the Community Matters Q&A.  Between the eight Tredyffrin supervisor candidates and ten TESD school board candidates (which includes Easttown candidates), the management of these 18 candidate responses has been challenging and I did not think I had time for other candidate races.

However, Easttown residents share the T/E School District with Tredyffrin residents and together we have many of the same issues. I have changed my mind and emailed the Easttown Township supervisor candidates the following question:

In your opinion, what is the single most important issue facing Easttown Township; and what in your background, experience or education prepares you to help with this specific issue?

Easttown Township voters will elect two supervisors on Election Day – The candidates are incumbent Karl Romberger (R),  Alessandra Nicolas (R), Michael Wacey (D) and Beth D’Antonio (D). Due to prior personal commitments, there is short turnaround for the candidates to respond and any responses received will be posted on Community Matters on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

In 10 days, local voters we will go to the polls to select six T/E School Board directors. People bring different backgrounds and qualifications to the job of school board director and as voters; we need to know as much as possible about the candidates to make the right choices on Election Day.

As elected school board directors, residents count on their leadership in overseeing the academic, legal and financial health of the T/E School District.  School boards are nothing less than the governing body of our school district. They are the bosses’ bosses representing the public interest and to this extent, they should serve the diverse values and needs of our community.

Aside from your child’s teacher, principal, and the District’s superintendent, school board members have the greatest influence on your child’s education because they decide on how to spend the District’s public school funds and set its governing policies.

T/E School Board Candidates:

  • Region 1: Incumbents Roberta Hotinski (D) and Todd Kantorczyk (D) are running unopposed.
  • Region 2: Four candidates are seeking two seats. Incumbents Michele Burger (D) and Ed Sweeney (R) are opposed by Doug Anestad (I) and Stacy Stone (D).
  • Region 3: Incumbent Kate Murphy (R) is opposed by candidate Sue Tiede (D). Mary Garrett Itin (D)* is opposed by candidate Nicholas Lee (R).

*Mary Garrett Itin was appointed to the T/E School Board in July 2019 (to fill the seat vacated by Heather Ward) to serve through the December 2, 2019 School Board Reorganization Meeting.

T/E School District Voting Precincts:

  • Region 1: Tredyffrin E-2, E-3, E-4, E-5, M-1, M-2, M-5, M-6, W-3, W-4
  • Region 2: Tredyffrin M-3, M-4, M-7 W-1, W-2, W-5
  • Region 3: Tredyffrin E-1, Easttown 1-7

Some voters may not be aware of a late entry in the school board race – Doug Anestad (I).  As a registered Independent, Anestad was not on the Primary Election ballot and only entered the race in August. He previously ran as a Republican in a highly contentious race against Kyle Boyer (D) in 2017.

Should Anestad win in 2019, he would make history as the first registered Independent to be elected to the T/E School Board. However, the District does have another registered Independent currently serving on the school board — School board president Scott Dorsey was first elected to the Board in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, both times as a Democrat. However, in advance of the upcoming election, Dorsey recently changed his party affiliation from ‘D’ to Independent.

To assist voters in the decision-making process, it is important for the public to know the candidates and where they stand on important community issues. To aid in the process, four questions were sent to the ten school board candidates.

Completely voluntary, the questions were chosen on what I believe are important issues and included public accountability, financial management and participation and input from the community. All ten candidates responded and their responses (in alphabetical order by last name) will appear on Community Matters one question at a time. The public is encouraged to review the responses and comment.

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12 Comments

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  1. Pattye,

    Thank-you for changing your mind and thank-you for emailing the Easttown Township supervisor candidates and asking them the following question:

    In your opinion, what is the single most important issue facing Easttown Township; and what in your background, experience or education prepares you to help with this specific issue?

    From SAVVYMAINLINE:

    Developers Cornerstone Tracy and Pohlig Builders want to knock down Handel’s, a strip center, an office building and an old warehouse in Berwyn Village and build Berwyn Square in its place. As currently drawn, the complex includes 120 apartments and two or three shops, including a new Handel’s Ice Cream and a mini town green.

    AND Devereux: from SAVVYMAINLINE:

    But if the goal is to change U.S. immigration policy, protesters are barking up the wrong tree, according to Devereux VP Leah Yaw. Devereux is trying to help kids, she insists, by getting them out of detention camps at the border and into safe and caring shelter while awaiting placement with U.S.

    These are only two issues facing EASTTOWN BOS’s.

    Thanks to everyone willing to serve.

    [Reply]

  2. Pattye,

    Thank-you for this:

    T/E School Board Candidates:

    Region 1: Incumbents Roberta Hotinski (D) and Todd Kantorczyk (D) are running unopposed.

    Pathetic and sad that Roberta and Todd are running unopposed. As an Easttowner, none of my business but really shocking given all the complaints about Business Manager Art McDonnell and his fraudulent budget “mistake” that served as the reason for a proposed massive 6%+ tax increase, the busing fiasco that still plagues the District and all the rest. Todd and Roberta support Art and the Administration in everything they do! If you want change and accountability, it starts here folks….with the School Board. Why do we continually vote in people who work against us?

    At least Todd treats citizens with more respect. The last few meetings I’ve attended, he was actually respectful to citizens as he voted against them rather than bullying, intimidating, and cruelly shouting them down into submission. I hope this new Todd sticks around the next 4 years. Todd’s learned that Directors don’t have to be mean and cruel to citizens while voting against them. Your vote counts either way and your decency while doing it is appreciated.

    [Reply]

  3. This is interesting:

    School board president Scott Dorsey was first elected to the Board in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, both times as a Democrat. However, in advance of the upcoming election, Dorsey recently changed his party affiliation from ‘D’ to Independent.

    Why did Scott Dorsey change his party affiliation to I? Actually, I kind of like it. Is this a sign he’s not in line with his (former) fellow D’s? I hope so.

    Refreshing. Thank-you Scott. That took courage.

    [Reply]

  4. And last but definitely not least:

    Region 2: Four candidates are seeking two seats. Incumbents Michele Burger (D) and Ed Sweeney (R) are opposed by Doug Anestad (I) and Stacy Stone (D).
    Region 3: Incumbent Kate Murphy (R) is opposed by candidate Sue Tiede (D). Mary Garrett Iten (D)* is opposed by candidate Nicholas Lee (R).

    School Board elections are generally minor affairs so citizens rarely know much about who their voting for. (teacher)Stacy Stone and (Administrator)Sue Tiede are ex District employees. Ex TE District employees should not be allowed to run for the School Board.

    How many of you who work in Corporations are allowed to run for your Board of Directors? How many of you negotiate your own salaries and grant yourselves raises?

    All you have to do is look at who current Director and former Valley Forge middle school teacher Kyle Boyer represents………Staff, and I appreciate that he is radically transparent about that and mentions it at meetings. He supports staff, and teachers. His words and his actions match perfectly and I really appreciate that.

    [Reply]

  5. Here’s another opportunity for the community to ask the school board candidate questions:

    BUILD T/E is sponsoring a Meet the 10 School Board Candidates on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 PM at the Tredyffrin Library, 582 Upper Gulph Road, Wayne in the public meeting room. The event is open to the public and is an opportunity to ask the candidates questions about important issues in the school district. Here’s a flyer that describes the event:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nEGTymWZ-ZPSPUYBE0njZo87RQ9BaRpB/view

    [Reply]

  6. Ask the candidates if they will use the district’s CAFR to make a tax retirement fund. taxretirement.com
    Every school district produces a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) every year. It lists the money and assets owned by the district. It includes bank accounts, investments and enterprise activities, and is typically 4 to 8 times the amount listed in the budget, which is the document most people are familiar with. In essence the CAFR is a second set of books. There is so much money there that a fund could be set up to end taxation forever.
    It is our money and we should take it back. Actuaries and mathematicians will be very interested in the CAFR. For more information go to taxretirement.com
    Great Valley School District CAFR: gfoa.net/cafr/COA2012/GreatValleySchoolDistrictPA.pdf

    [Reply]

  7. Not all taxpayers in T/E have children in the school district. My question is who of these candidates are really looking out for OUR best interests?

    [Reply]

  8. Great question Retired in Tredyffrin.

    Less than 20% of residents have children in the school district.

    80% of residents have no children in school.

    If someone could get the 80% together, it would be a powerful force.

    [Reply]

  9. Or did it?
    After the Blue Wave washed ashore into TE and created the first Dem. control of
    our school board, (we all wished them well), what, honestly, has occurred?

    Taxes Up?…Up, Up, Yes, consistently!
    Financial mess?….Yes
    Financial Accountability?….No, none at all!
    Leadership?….the $1.2 Million error has still not been resolved!
    The Business Director secured a 5 year contract with a raise.
    Oh, and mysteriously, a $4Million Surplus just showed up, after we were all told they needed to raise taxes by 6%!

    Why havent the Pres. (Scott) and VP (Michele) shown leadership and demand answers?! Why?
    Change party affiliations!!….Is Michele next?
    (On a personal basis, I like both, but the results are questionable).

    Easttowner, nothing personal, but I think you’re been in the TE bubble too long!

    Remember, TE schools have been consistently ranked high for years.
    And they will continue to be ranked high for years to come.
    Politicians may want to take the credit, but if you know anything,
    It’s due to caring, resourceful parents, focused students and dedicated,
    well paid, teachers. Don’t be fooled otherwise!

    [Reply]

    Easttowner Reply:

    Hold’n Out,

    Not sure what you mean by:

    “”””, nothing personal, but I think you’re been in the TE bubble too long!”””””

    TE is a top rated school District due to smart, hard working parents who demand excellence from their smart kids. It has nothing to do with well paid (over paid) teachers. Kids succeed in TE despite many of the District teachers and they succeed despite the Administration who engage in underhanded, street smart (I learned that term from them) tactics that model manipulation to kids that teach them to be cynical.

    It’s the same culture that allows Art to fraudulently inflate proposed tax increases for 11 months so Board Directors, who know exactly what he is doing, and who know exactly what is going on, have a reason to raise taxes to the max, only to “realize” after that there is actually a huge surplus.

    It starts with the Board. Todd Roberta and Kyle support Art and his fraudulent budget.

    [Reply]

  10. Easttowner—
    I believe we’re reading from the same book, but different pages.
    If you look back at your remark regarding the President of the School Board switching
    party affiliations just before this election cycle—-You might be right, he did it to distance himself…from the other D’s Who created this mess?

    I agree with the board members you named and their chosen roles.
    Certainly not representing the community.
    And I was told, no politics occur at TE’s school board—-disappointing!

    But you also have to go to the top. Where is the leadership?
    Not from the Pres. Scott, Nor VP, Michele.
    Otherwise, the $1.2 Million would have been discovered and resolved.
    There would never been a threat of 6% tax hike etc….

    There’s a classic Philly, soulful, song, “Wake Up Everybody”
    Only wish TE residents would…

    [Reply]

    Easttowner Reply:

    HOFAI TE,

    Where is the leadership? I think it’s clear “the leadership” feels helpless to do anything. I think Scott and Michele were two who voted to correct the $1.2 M error yet the error hasn’t been corrected and they are all silent on it. Number 1 on the agenda should be, Correct the $1.2M Error. Why won’t they correct the error? Why are they silent when citizens ask why the error isn’t corrected?

    What it demonstrates is who’s really in charge and it’s not the Board and it’s not taxpayers. Art and the Administration are in charge and the boldness
    with how they continue to operate shows they are enabled day after day by having so much power over kids, parents, and taxpayers, it distorts them. Ansolute power, and enough enabling by the Board allows them to get away with anything.

    Is Scott’s answer and response to distance himself from his party? How does that help students, parents and taxpayers? We need leadership to do the right thing and face the challenge head on, not run away and hide and leave tax payers, students and parents blowing in the wind.

    [Reply]

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