Judy DiFilippo

Judy DiFilippo Honored for Community Service . . . Her Name Added to Tredyffrin’s Wall of Honor

Last night at the Board of Supervisors meeting, former township supervisor Judy DiFilippo was honored for her many years of community service.  Following the reading of the official resolution by Bob Lamina, the audience witnessed the unveiling of Judy’s name on the Wall of Honor plaque in the township building lobby. (Click here to read the complete text of the resolution.) 

Audience members and guests were invited to attend a reception in Judy’s honor sponsored by the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust.  A long-standing supporter of historic preservation in the community, members of the Trust’s Board of Directors join the community in thanking Judy for her many years of community service.  The next time you are in the township building, please take a look at the Wall of Honor. 

Congratulations Judy!

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Tredyffrin Shows Support for Historic Preservation

Last night was the annual In the Mood fundraiser for Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and I am pleased to reported that it was another successful Trust event.  The stone barn at King’s Grant Farm was transformed, 1950’s style for the evening.  Owned by Jeff and Cindy King, we thank them for their generosity and support.  In addition to the use of the barn for In the Mood, the Jeff and Cindy King Foundation has made a very generous donation to the Capital Campaign of the Jones Log Barn rebuilding project. 

It was wonderful to have many community members show their support for historic preservation —  the event attracted some of our former and current elected officials from the school board and board of supervisors.  Former State House Rep Carole Rubley, a member of the In the Mood committee, attended with her husband as did current State House Rep Paul Drucker and his wife.  Many local historic preservation supporters attended the Trust event as did guests from Exton, Bryn Mawr and Villanova. 

Setting aside politics for the evening, this was an opportunity for some real fun . . . whether answering trivia questions provided by DJ Dick Spindler,  dancing to 50’s music supplied by a wonderful vintage jukebox; demonstrating your expertise at the hula-hoop;  following co-chair Judy DiFilippo’s lead in the Bunny Hop or taking your turn to strut your stuff for  ‘The Stroll’ . . . In the Mood provided something for everyone.  Poodle skirts, pony tails, black leather jackets, letter sweaters and penny loafers were the dress for the evening!  One of the crowd favorites was Paoli resident Gio D’Amato and wife Fran, both dressed to perfection in vintage 50’s style! 

Judy and I thank the King’s for hosting the event, the Trust Board of Directors, our sponsors and contributors, the community members who attended and a special thank you to the volunteers of the In the Mood Committee — it was a magical night and thank you all!

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In the Mood . . . Poodle Skirts, Blue Suede Shoes & Rockin’ to the Oldies

Counting down to Friday night and In the Mood, the Trust’s annual fundraiser.  This year’s party is 50’s themed and the committee is working hard to make it a night to remember.  I am hoping to fill the remaining spots for the night – would you please consider attending.  You can visit our website, www.tredyffrinhistory.org to order tickets or send me an email at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com and I will add your name to the ‘will call’ list and you can pay at the door 

Be ready to shake, rattle and roll. Dust off your blue suede shoes, whip out your poodle skirt, roll up your dungarees, polish your saddle shoes, curl your ponytail, and grease back your hair . . . the evening promises fun, laughter and rockin’ to the sounds of the 1950’s.
 

Date:             Friday, October 22
Time:            7 PM
Location:       Barn at King’s Grant Farm,  869 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, PA 19355
Tickets:          $75   Purchase tickets online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org
Questions:     Pattye Benson, 610.644.6759 or Judy DiFilippo, 610.688.772.

The evening promises to be a great party and all proceeds of the event go toward a great cause – Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s Phase II of the Jones Log Barn reconstruction project at historic DuPortail.  Phase I that includes the barn’s foundation and stonework is completed and with the public’s help, we can complete the final phase of the project.  Once reconstructed, the Jones Log Barn will be living history museum for the entire community to enjoy for many years to come!  Will you help us with the final phase of the Jones Log Barn project . . . by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood?

I hope that you will show your support of the Jones Log Barn project and historic preservation in our community by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood.

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Judy DiFilippo . . . Leading by example to make Tredyffrin a better place!

Reminder:  Gazebo Dedication Today @ 3 PM — Please attend as Judy is honored!

‘Leading by example to make Tredyffrin a better place’  describes former township supervisor Judy DiFilippo and are the words chosen as the inscription for the gazebo to be named in her honor, at Wilson Farm Park.  The dedication and reception will take place this Sunday, 3 PM at Wilson Farm Park. This special recognition is to honor Judy’s work in creating Wilson Farm Park and also to thank her in a very small way for her 20 years of public service to the township as a supervisor.

My friendship spans 20+ years with Judy and I cannot imagine a more deserving person for this honor.  She may have retired from the Board of Supervisors, but her volunteer efforts continue . . . Judy is on the board of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and is helping raise the necessary remaining funds for the rebuilding of the Jones Log Barn at DuPortail.  Together, she and I will be again co-chair In the Mood, the Trust’s annual fundraiser (Friday, October 22).  

I hope that you will take a break from your summer activities and join me at Wilson Farm Park on Sunday afternoon to celebrate a very special person — my friend . . . Judy DiFilippo!

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‘422 Corridor Master Plan’ Overview is Coming to Tredyffrin on Monday Night

In checking the agenda for Monday night’s Board of Supervisors Meeting, I noted Chester County Planning Commission presentation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan.  Not being quite sure exactly what this ‘master plan’ entailed, I did some background research. Here’s a link for the 422 Corridor master plan if you’re interested.

On a schedule since the first of June, representatives from the Chester County Planning Commission, Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are presenting their 422 Corridor Master Plan outreach program to the various municipalities.  They are bringing their draft master  plan to Tredyffrin this Monday’s  Board of Supervisors meeting.  A new transit line, as well as tolls on Route 422 may be in the area’s future (albeit probably not in the immediate future). A possible train line is seen as an option to provide an alternative to travel by automobile — extending transit service beyond Norristown along an already-existing rail line.

The creation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan is to provide a comprehensive approach to planning development in the 24 corridor municipalities in Chester, Montgomery and Berks counties. The 422 Master Plan is a comprehensive land use and transportation infrastructure plan that looks at the entire corridor.  An important element of the master plan is how to handle growth, development and the ever- increasing traffic on 422.  The plan suggests the widening of 422 in addition to ramp and interchange improvements. 

Since the tolling of Interstate 80 has fallen through, the financing required for the 422 Corridor Master Plan would appear to be a bit in limbo.  Why does the fate of all local state improvement projects seem to lead back to I-80’s loss of tolling?  It is my understanding that the tolling of 422 is still considered a possibility to help offset the major land developments costs contained in the 422 Corridor Master Plan.

The county planning commissions are taking the 422 plan ‘on the road’  to each of the municipalities hoping that elected officials and residents will provide comments.  The township supervisors will be asked to consider adopting a resolution endorsing the master plan’s principles and strategies.  Looking to have the municipalities work together in partnership with the county planning commissions is probably the premise behind Monday’s presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting.  

State Rep Paul Drucker is on record as supporting 422 tolling and, as I recall, was later criticized by his state representative opponent Warren Kampf for supporting the project.  With the county planning commissioners seeking a partnership agreement with Tredyffrin’s supervisors for their 422 Corridor Master Plan, it will be interesting to hear Kampf publically voice his opinion.

On another note — the Board of Supervisors meeting agenda is the scheduling of the public hearing for student housing registration ordinance.  This is a first step in the process to manage student housing issues in the township (specifically in the Mt. Pleasant community). I am glad to see some positive movement in this direction and look forward to some resolution for residents with student rental issues.

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Daily Local Runs Article on BOS Meeting

I picked up yesterday’s Sunday Daily Local newspaper and was surprised to see that they too were running the story from last week’s Board of Supervisors Meeting.  Blair Meadowcroft’s article from the Main Line Suburban Life appears in the Daily Local newspaper in a slightly different version with a new headline. 

It has now been a week and I’m still fielding phone calls and emails from people, wanting more details about the Pitcairn Properties offer and an explanation of the difference between that offer and the solicitation of Comcast.  As I explained at the supervisors meeting, I believe that conceptually the Pitcairn offer is the same as the supervisor’s solicitation of Comcast and can offer the residents no further explanation.

Although the Trust board members were left with no choice but to accept the Board of Supervisors decision on Pitcarin in 2008; I have to admit several Trust supporters have suggested that the BOS decision might have been different if the public had been made aware of the offer at the time.  However, for the Trust, it is not about going backwards — we accepted and understand that we can not go back to 2008 and recover that offer from Tony Noce, of Pitcarin.  It is about 2010 and about the process and decisions of our Board of Supervisors. 

From my vantage point, questions remain unanswered by the supervisors responsible for the  Tredyffrin Township Supervisors Holiday Firefighters Fund Drive.  Other than bringing public awareness of supervisors Kampf, Lamina and Olson solicitation of companies doing business in the township or under contract negotiations (such as Comcast) what more can be done? 

Tredyffrin official responds to question about fund drive

By BLAIR MEADOWCROFT, Special to the Local News

TREDYFFRIN — Tension mounted at a township supervisors meeting after Pattye Benson, president of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, spoke about funding for firefighters.

Her comments came just after the end of the first quarter and the March 31 deadline for collection of the Tredyffrin Supervisors Holiday Firefighter Fund Drive.

Benson said that after budget cuts to township fire companies, three of the seven supervisors worked on the fund drive, which netted $23,200 for the fire companies.

“I voiced my concern about the solicitation by supervisors to companies that could be doing business with the township, and I cited a specific example from May 2008 and the Pitcairn Co,” Benson said.

Benson explained how in 2008 a vice president for Pitcairn Properties had offered an in-kind donation worth as much as $50,000 to the trust. But the trust later learned it could not accept it.

“The idea was that there could be a ‘pay to play’ perception because of a final review of the land development project between the township and Pitcairn,” said Benson. “Warren Kampf was chairman at the time and he was absolute that I could not accept this offer because this company was doing business with the township. I knew nothing about Pitcairn’s planning commission review, yet I could not accept the offer.”

That conflict of interest, Benson said, is similar to the fund drive in that supervisors were doing fundraising for fire companies.

“The very same people who told me I couldn’t accept the offer from Pitcairn were out soliciting money,” said Benson. “The way I see it is the only difference between the Pitcairn/Trust situation and the fire company solicitation is that one was an in-kind offer and the other was a monetary contribution; both could be perceived as benefiting the township.”

Kampf said township Solicitor Thomas Hogan had advised that the donation could not be accepted because Supervisor Judy DiFilippo was on the trust’s board, thereby creating a conflict of interest.

“The difference as I see it between the situations is that we are supervisors who are free as individuals and who are allowed to accept charitable donations,” said Kampf.

“I do not surrender my rights as a private citizen. When I see a problem that I can help with, I will. We went out, asked for help and were able to raise close to $25,000. And people were free to refuse to donate. There were some who refused, and that is fine; we wouldn’t hold that against them.”

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Update from Board of Supervisors Meeting

Last night’s Board of Supervisor meeting went very quickly.  A few updates — The newly formed Sidewalk Committee and the Stormwater Committee are both going to meet this month.  On the subject of the Sidewalk Committee, there were a couple of residents who live on Upper Gulph Road (close to N. Wayne Ave.) who spoke about sidewalks on Upper Gulph Rd.  Neither were fans of sidewalks on their street; explaining that their houses are very close to the road, and in one case a sidewalk could come so close as to effect the foundation of their historic house.  The gentleman with the historic home told the supervisors that a sidewalk would come within 5 ft. of his house and that if a sidewalk was planned for his section of Upper Gulph Rd. he would expect that the township purchase his house.  He distributed photos of his house to the supervisors to make his point.  He also mentioned some email circulating in his neighborhood about sidewalks on Upper Gulph and Paul Olson, . . . I didn’t understand that comment or its significance.  Perhaps someone can offer clarification.

Mt. Pleasant was discussed under new business by the supervisors.  In Mimi Gleason’s absence, Assistant Twp Mgr Tom Scott updated on Mt. Pleasant.  He explained that the demolition had started  for the Henry Ave. townhouse development.  It was obvious that Mr. Scott had not visited Mt. Pleasant because as I have previously indicated on Community Matters  all 4 vacant, abandoned houses are now down and rubble removed at the future townhouse site.  Discussion continues on the Mt. Pleasant Ave. vacant lot; Mr. Scott mentioned that the Chester County Health Department has been notified and there will be follow-up with that organization.  On the subject of the student housing ordinance, discussion is ongoing.  Supervisors DiBuonaventuro and Kichline both spoke about the ordinance and encouraged the residents to get involved in that process and to review neighboring municipality ordinances.  Mt. Pleasant residents Donna Shipman and  Christine Johnson both presented personal comments on their neighborhood; and thanked those involved for attending the town hall meeting.  There are positive changes in Mt. Pleasant and I am encouraged. As an aside, following the meeting, Bob Lamina thanked me for posting the photos of Mt. Pleasant; confirming my belief that pictures do speak a 1,000 words.

Another topic of discussion last night . . .  everyone should be aware of the upcoming clean-up Tredyffrin days on April 17 and 18, 9 AM – 3 PM.  I encourage everyone to get involved in your community. We all know that is was a very long, hard winter and major clean-up is required to get our neighborhoods back in order.  Even if you only have an hour or so to spare, please consider helping with this worthwhile community event . . . Tidy Up Tredyffrin Day!

One of the highlights of the Board of Supervisors meeting was brought up by Supervisor DiBuonaventuro.  On behalf of the Parks Board (he serves as the Board liaison) DiBuonaventuro asked Chairman Lamina about furthering the process to have the gazebo at Wilson Farm Park officially named for former supervisor Judy DiFilippo.  Some of you may recall, that upon the opening of Wilson Farm Park, the Parks Board had asked that the Board of Supervisors officially name the gazebo after  Judy for her hard work and dedication in making the park a reality.  At the time, the decision was made not to move forward on the dedication because Judy was a serving supervisor; rather they made the decision to postpone further discussion until the time Judy was no longer a supervisor.  I’m excited to report that the time has come . . . there will be a ceremony to dedicate the gazebo in Judy’s name.  Biased as I am, I am hoping that we can make the dedication in to a very special celebration!

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Judy DiFilippo Makes Her Decision Official — She Will Run for State Representative

It is now official.  Many of us knew that when Judy DiFilippo decided not to seek re-election to Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors, she had already begun to consider a run for the State House.  Now it is official — Judy is in the race for State Representative from the 157th district.  Stay tuned as the Primary campaign season begins to unfold; I think it’s going to be an interesting ride!

Below is the official press release announcing Judy’s bid for the state house which appears in today’s Main Line Suburban Life newspaper.

    DiFilippo sets sights on state house

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

By Blair Meadowcroft

Shortly after stepping down from her position on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, a position held for the past 20 years, Judy DiFilippo has announced her candidacy for state representative in the 157th Legislative District. DiFilippo decided to run in the Republican primary for state representative after being asked, and so far the response to her candidacy has been positive.

“There is a lot of support out there, which is nice,” said DiFilippo. “The experience so far has been very good.”

With a background rich in diversity, DiFilippo feels her various experiences have prepared her for the position of state representative. “It’s important to have someone who understands local government because some of the decisions they make up in Harrisburg really impact local government and school districts,” said DiFilippo. “My experience is at the township level as well as the county level through working with the Planning Commission. I have also worked with various supervisors in municipalities from the smallest township to the larger ones.”

A life-long volunteer, the list of organizations and committees that DiFilippo has given her time to, as well as the various positions she has held, is endless. Perhaps one of the experiences on DiFilippo’s résumé that will best prepare her for this new position was her time spent working for former 157th District State Rep. Carole Rubley for more than two years starting in 2003. “Through that experience I have been able to establish a relationship with some of the other state legislators, which will prove useful,” said DiFilippo.

 Although just at the beginning of her campaign, DiFilippo continues to make phone calls, a task she began before the holidays. Additionally she is beginning to put her committee together. If elected, she plans to address the “really tough issues” in Harrisburg.

According to DiFilippo, based on talking to people, most of the concerns being expressed revolve around the economy and health care as well as local issues with traffic. “I can take these concerns to Harrisburg and try to find ways to resolve some of them,” said DiFilippo. “So far people are very willing to listen to me as well as share their concerns with me, which I appreciate. I need them to understand that I am willing to take those concerns to Harrisburg to work on ways to address them.”

With the support and encouragement of her family, friends, neighbors and colleagues in the 157th District, DiFilippo said she is excited at the prospect of continuing her public service at the state level.

“I am willing to commit to this position full-time,” said DiFilippo. “I want to bring my knowledge of the community and local government to Harrisburg and work on the issues that we all care about – the economy, jobs and quality-of-life issues like the environment, education, health care, rising energy costs and traffic.” DiFilippo’s plans for the upcoming months are to continue to meet with the voters in the 157th District.

 “I look forward to meeting with the voters to discuss our common concerns and to earn their support for my election,” said DiFilippo.

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What is a Leader?

As we close out one year, and begin a new one, we all reflect on our lives.  As I watched the last few Board of Supervisor meetings, I reflected on the effect that Judy DiFillipo’s retirement would have on our community.  Having served this township as a supervisor for 20 years, I wrote the following ‘As I See It’ article for this week’s edition of Main Line Suburban Life newspaper to honor Judy and her leadership qualities that benefited the residents for 2 decades.  And as a means of full disclosure, . . . yes, Judy and I very close friends.

For those who do not receive the paper, here is my article:

    As I See It:

    Tredyffrin lost something special with DiFilippo’s departure

Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Pattye Benson

Year’s end is always a time of reflection. We look back over the last 12 months and take measure of where we are now in relation to where we were when the year began. As we begin 2010, the residents of Tredyffrin Township will have the opportunity to reflect on what will now be a “missing link” in our local leadership.

What makes a good leader? Not everyone is made to be a leader … there are leaders and then there are followers. Leaders come from all walks of life and economic backgrounds and from either gender. Leadership does not discriminate. For the last 20 years Tredyffrin Township was fortunate to have a “leader” in retiring Supervisor Judy DiFilippo. For many in the community, Judy represented what can and should be “good” about serving as an elected official. Whether you watched the Board of Supervisors meetings from home or sat in the audience, she possessed the ability to transform and command respect from others on either side of her.

Judy guided the township in an orderly and purposeful manner, even in situations of discontent and uncertainty in the community. As a supervisor she was tolerant of ambiguity and remained calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose… to serve the residents of Tredyffrin Township. We all knew that we could trust Judy; she governed as she lived her life, with honesty, integrity and strong internal guiding principles that she did not compromise. Judy “walked the talk” and in doing so earned our respect and the right to have responsibility for this community. Her “calming of the waters” approach to governing reassured us … we just all knew that it would be OK as long as Judy was guiding the ship.

Judy understood the importance of serving a wider community. We may not have always agreed with her decisions but we could be confident that the community’s best interests were at the core of her decisions. As a supervisor Judy could wade through difficult information, comprehend what is relevant, make a well-considered decision and take action based on that decision. Judy believed her purpose as an elected official was to serve all the community and did so with genuine concern for all of the residents. As a leader Judy inspired others to follow. She led yet people did not feel that they were being led. Judy served as a quiet leader without demanding recognition and praise, a quality that is quite rare among many elected officials.

I understand all too well her many attributes; our friendship goes back nearly as long as she served as a township supervisor. For close to 20 years our lives have been intertwined … standing next to each other as members of the Noteables; co-chairing the Tredyffrin 300 celebration as well as many other events for the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust; together producing the historical documentary, “Tredyffrin … The First 300 Years,” etc. For me Judy has been the one constant friend in my life who would listen first, counsel second and never judge my decisions (even if she did not always agree with them). A true sign of a gifted leader (and close friend) is someone who really listens; the fastest and most effective way to show that you care and that you are competent. Many of us are challenged by the concept of listening but not Judy. I envy this natural talent in my friend and just another quality that sets her apart from many in the world of politics.

A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. Judy not only maintained a high standard for herself but also was proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas. Just her presence makes those around her want to be better people.

How will we feel that the person who “set the bar” for 20 years, who created the real “gold standard” for Tredyffrin Township, is no longer sitting on the dais? Yes, we know that Judy will stay involved in our community, and yes, I know that she and I will remain the best of friends, but I fear that the residents of Tredyffrin Township lost something very special when Judy DiFilippo decided to retire from the Board of Supervisors.

Pattye Benson lives in Malvern.

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