Paul Drucker

Will former State Rep Paul Drucker challenge State Rep Warren Kampf for the 157th District in 2012?

Is former State Rep Paul Drucker considering a 2012 run against State Rep Warren Kampf?  You be the judge.

In my post, ‘Tea Party Agenda by State Rep. Warren Kampf, so claims Former State Rep Paul Drucker’ dated August 27th, I included Paul Ducker’s recent ‘As I See It’ editorial from the Main Line Media News. 

Drucker claimed that Kampf was following the tea party agenda and gave examples of the education cuts in the state budget, the lack of taxing Marcellus Shale gas drilling and decreased state funding for social services.  In reading the editorial, it was obvious that Drucker did not agree with some of Kampf’s choices since taking office in January.  Although Drucker may not agree with Kampf’s governing approach, the article left me wondering what would he do differently?  I also found the timing of the op-ed of interest; questioning why Drucker decided to write it ‘now’. 

I came up with 6 questions for our former state representative and asked for a response by Wednesday, August 31.  As I wrote on August 27, if Drucker responded to the questions, I would offer his answers on Community Matters.  Below are my questions and Drucker’s answers.  I offer Kampf the opportunity to respond to Drucker’s comments.

1.    Why write the As I See It article ‘now’?

Representative Kampf has written a series of factually incorrect and misleading e-mails, which he has sent to residents of the 157 District, as well as opinion pieces for the newspaper.  These communications are nothing more than his parroting the tea party line on important issues facing the Commonwealth.  I felt it was important to correct errors and give context to the Republican majority’s priorities.

2.  What do you think are the most challenging issues currently facing the residents of the 157 District?

There are many challenging issues that negatively affect Pennsylvania residents, but I will restrict my answer to the most challenging issue locally, and the most challenging issue statewide.

You don’t have to be a savant to realize the most challenging issue facing the 157th.  This is obvious to anyone who drives through the commercial areas in the District or walks down Lancaster Avenue in Paoli.  Empty storefronts abound. The focus needs to be on jobs, jobs, and jobs by supporting and encouraging business development.  For example, the long awaited development of the Paoli Intermodal Train Station is a potential economic engine that will help turn us around and lead to an economic revival.  It will provide short-term jobs.  It will provide long-term jobs.  It will create new residential, and commercial space.  It will bring in new retail space, restaurants, apartments and housing.  It will create additional tax ratables on what is now worthless property.  It will create a TOWN CENTER.   In Phoenixville, the development of the old steel site is also critical to the economic health of the district.

The most challenging issue facing the Commonwealth is equally obvious.  We have a serious budget crisis.  But it is not a crisis caused solely by expenditures and can’t be cured by making draconian cuts to education and the social services.  The revenue side of the budget needs to be addressed realistically.  This means analyzing and utilizing potential sources of revenue.  Last year, the House passed a tax on Marcellus shale that was modeled after the West Virginia Marcellus tax. (I voted in favor of the bill)  The Senate refused to approve the measure and it died.  This year there is similar bill on the House floor that would produce $420 million in revenue in 2012.  This would go a long way to supporting education and needed social programs.  But at this point there is no Republican support, so the bill cannot even get out of committee.                   

3.   If you had been re-elected as state representative, what would you be doing differently than State Rep Warren Kampf to address these issues?

To support economic revitalization and development in the 157th, I would pitch my tent in the office of Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph.  I would make his office my satellite office. (Which is what I did when I was in the House)  I would make Trans. Secy Schoch and House Transportation Chairman Geist my nbff. (Which is what I did when I was in the House)  I would go to meetings. I would create meetings.  I would convince everybody and anybody of the reality, vitality and economic importance of the Train Station and the steel site development, not only to the 157th, but also to the entire Delaware Valley and to the Commonwealth.

To address the revenue situation, I would immediately sign on as a cosponsor to H.B. 33.  This is the Marcellus bill.  I would go to State Representative Benninghoff, Chairman of the House Finance Committee and try to convince him to release the bill to the floor. (In fact, a discharge motion to force this bill to floor was defeated.  Representative Kampf voted in lock step with his tea party cohorts to defeat the bill) I would talk to House Majority Leadership and attempt to get them to support the bill.  I would let it be known that this bill is vital to closing our budget gap, and vital to protecting the environment of the communities where the drilling is taking place and the water shed of the entire Commonwealth.                     

4.   Where do you think State Rep Kampf should focus his attention?   

See above.                  

5.    Do you think that the possible 157 District re-districting could play a role in the State Representative race of 2012? If so, why?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is going to get redistricted.  Among other things, Chester County gained 65,000 people since the last redistricting and will get an additional seat in the State House of Representatives.  Since the Republicans control the Senate, the House and the Governor, they control this process.

The only constitutional requirement is one of mathematics, one person, one vote.  As long as each district is within the standard deviation of the mean the district passes muster.  The district doesn’t even have to be contiguous.  (I introduced a bill, that didn’t pass, that required many other factors to be taken into consideration when redistricting.  This would have made the decision much more representative and made gerrymandering much more difficult)

There is no question that the Republicans will gerrymander any district they can if it will strengthen that district from a Republican perspective and if they can do so without weakening another corresponding Republican district.  Whether on not that will impact the 157th remains to be seen.

6.  Are you considering a 2012 run against State Rep Kampf?

This question is premature.  I can say that I have remained involved in the affairs of the 157th and intend to continue to do so.  I will support the citizens of this district any way that I can.

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Paoli Transportation Center Project Takes Big Steps Forward – A Letter-of-Interest Request Issued by Tredyffrin Township and Request-for-Proposal Issued by SEPTA!

Plans Afoot For Troubled Paoli Rail Yard, Can It Become A Transportation Center With Buses And Better Parking?”

This Philadelphia Inquirer headline above was not written this week, this month, this year — no, the article is seventeen years old, dating from September 14, 1994!

This years-old Inquirer article focused on the possibility of turning the “problematic Paoli rail yard into a sophisticated intermodal transportation center” which would accommodate “a transportation center, complete with buses and improved parking.” Can it be that the dream, this vision for the future may still be possible?  Maybe so.

At the last Board of Supervisors Meeting, I was disappointed that the supervisors did not update on the process of the Paoli Transportation Center.  There had been previous discussion about an upcoming issuance of a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) on the N. Valley/Central Avenue road and bridge improvement project (part of the Paoli Transportation Center project) and I was seeking an update — specifically was an RFP issued?  If so, what was the status, how many bidders, due date, etc.

Many of us have followed the saga of the train station for years, and remain interested in the progress (if any) on the project.  My intention in asking for an official public update was certainly not to step on the toes of either the township staff or our elected officials, but just to seek information.  What’s the old adage, “Ask and ye shall receive”? I was asking the questions, but I guess I wasn’t asking the right way or to the right people.

Although not listed on the township website, I discovered with some Internet research that the Tredyffrin Township Engineering Department has issued a ‘Letter of Interest’ for the “Paoli Road Improvement Project – Feasibility Study and Public Involvement Program”. According to the township’s Letter of Interest request, all phases of the Feasibility Study will be 100% state funded and that the township is encouraging responses from small firms and firms that have not previously done work for the township.

The township’s public Letter of Interest advertisement gives the full solicitation details on the Paoli Road Improvement Project and includes the following:

Tredyffrin Township Letter of Interest Request:

Paoli Road Improvement Project – Feasibility Study and Public Improvement Program

Tredyffrin Township will retain a PADOT qualified engineering and public involvement consultant team to provide a feasibility study and public involvement and outreach program to assess the traffic, roadway, infrastructure and community stakeholder needs, and identify potential alternatives for the existing local and PADOT roadway network located in Paoli, in the vicinity of S.R. 0030 (Lancaster Avenue), E./W. Central Avenues, Paoli Pike/ Greenwood Avenue, Darby Road, Plank Avenue and N./S. Valley Roads. The Township seeks a feasibility study that provides cost effective alternatives to allow for traffic calming, streetscape, intersection modification, and signal timing adjustments to address existing congestion and public safety concerns while providing for the needs of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, rail users and the overall vision for a multi-modal Paoli.

Alternatives included in the feasibility study should emphasize solutions that meet current PADOT design and safety standards, and the local stakeholder and Township vision for the Paoli Transportation and Town Center Districts. In addition to the Feasibility Study, an intensive coordinated public outreach and stakeholder involvement process must parallel the identified Feasibility Study phases to ensure final recommendations have been thoroughly discussed, stakeholder input received while ultimately working toward a consensus on roadway improvements for consideration and prioritization for future design and construction phases of the project.

The township’s Letter of Interest words, “. . .  intensive coordinated public outreach and stakeholder involvement process . . .” aligns with my request that the public remain ‘in the loop’ and informed on the process of this important community project.

The list of companies already registered to submit a Letter of Interest to the township on the Paoli transportation project is impressive!  To date, 50+ companies have registered, including local companies from Wayne, Malvern, West Chester, Collegeville, Exton and Kimberton and several companies from Lancaster, Gettysburg, New Jersey and Delaware.  Source Management Onvia of Seattle, Washington has also registered to bid the project!  Letters of interest are due by bidders to the township by 2 PM on September 15, 2011. It is my understanding that registration does not necessarily imply that all registered companies will submit a Letter of Interest.

According to the Letter of Interest advertisement by the township, the evaluation and selection process by Tredyffrin Twp is:

For the purposes of negotiating a contract, the ranking of a minimum of three (3) firms will be done directly from the Letters of Interest. Technical proposals will not be required prior to the ranking. Only the top three (3) firms will be requested to prepare technical proposals. The top three (3) firms will then be ranked based off the Technical Proposal and the top firm will be requested to submit a cost proposal.

In another big step for the Paoli Transportation Center project, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has issued a Request-for-Proposal, Proposal Number 11-091-DMH for qualified “Consultants for Architectural/Engineering Services for Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center”.

SEPTA’s A&E Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center RFP description states:

Consultant services include, but are not limited: the development of construction documents (plans and specifications) for the construction of the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center in accordance with the scope of work of this RFP and in full compliance ADA and other governing authorities.   The deadline for proposals is September 7, 2011.

The issuance of a Letter of Interest by Tredyffrin Twp and a Request-for-Proposal from SEPTA is positive and encouraging news for the community on the Paoli Transportation Center project and marks real progress in this long journey.

As Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

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For Whom the Road Tolls: Day of Reckoning for Rt. 422 Tolling Begins

The tolling of Rt. 422 was front-page headlines in Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Rising to the top of the local news charts, the tolling of 422 is not ‘new’ news for most of us. Unless you have had your head buried in the sand, you could not have missed this much discussed campaign topic during the last State House 157 election cycle.  There was much heated debate from both sides on the ‘to toll or not to toll’ 422 issue.

If you are one of the 110,000+ commuters who daily sit in parking lot gridlock, known as Rt. 422, it looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow (Monday), Barry Seymour of Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) will present agenda item, ‘US 422 Plus: A Proposal for Funding Improvements’  (click here for agenda) to the Governors Transportation Funding Advisory Committee.  The DVRPC $625K plan “would create a locally run authority to collect 11 cents per mile and keep that money to fund improvements such as new lanes”.  Seymour hopes his DVRPC plan will convince the advisory committee and ultimately Gov. Corbett of the value of the 422-tolling project.

If granted legislative approval, the project would become the first locally managed highway toll system of its kind in Pennsylvania . . . a ‘model’ for the state.  All of the revenue would be devoted to 422-corridor projects and DVRPC plan supporters believe that making Rt. 422 a toll road in Berks, Montgomery and Chester counties is the only way to pay for a new passenger-rail service to Reading and to finance the badly needed upgrades to the congested highway. 

Others voice opposition to the 422 tolling issue, including our own State Rep Warren Kampf.  Still standing behind his campaign promise to voters not to toll 422, Kampf believes that “Tolling is just another way of taxing people going to work in these hard economic times. They’re already paying a lot of money in gas taxes and other fees” and he doesn’t “think that this is something they want.”

Where does this leave the frustrated, brake-slamming, horn-worthy commuters who suffer the daily use of Route 422?  Maybe answers will emerge as the day of reckoning begins in Harrisburg tomorrow.

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Once a State Rep Campaign Debate, Could the Tolling of Rt. 422 be a ‘Model’ for Tolling Highways across the State?

 What’s the saying, ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around” . . . ? 

For most of the year 2010, voters of Tredyffrin Township had a front row seat as the ‘tolling of Rt. 422’ issue became a political football in the PA State House 157 race between incumbent State Rep Paul Drucker (D) and challenger Warren Kampf (R).  Some political insiders might even argue that Drucker’s stance on 422 tolling may have contributed to the loss of his state representative position last November.

Although a heated campaign issue, post-election the tolling of Rt. 422 has had nearly non-existent discussion.  That is until now. According to Pennsylvania Independent, an on-line news service, the 25-mile, four-lane US Route 422 will be promoted on Monday, June 6 as a potential ‘model’ for tolling highways across the state as a means to increase transportation funding. 

Gov. Corbett’s recently appointed 30-member Transportation Funding Commission will hear a presentation on how tolls would work on Rt. 422 in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties.  The executive commission is looking at a way to generate at least $2.5 billion in annual transportation funding for infrastructure needs and the ‘tolling of 422’ may serve as the state’s model for how to do it.

According to Barry Schoch, Secretary of Transportation for Pennsylvania and chairman of the commission, “Route 422 model would allow county or municipal authorities to form a ‘local taxation authority’ and keep the revenue from tolls and local taxes dedicated for local highways”. 

Construction of a local suburban commuter rail line was one of the possible uses of 422 tolls and a means to alleviate some of the highway traffic.  If you recall, the Philadelphia-based Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) created a Route 422 Corridor Master Plan and presented their findings in 2010 to local municipalities, including Tredyffrin Township.  Their plan, among other things, provided for a light rail commuter service and suggested tolling on Rt. 422 as a way of financing the project.

During 2010, the tolling of 422 provided a major talking point for the Drucker and Kampf political campaigns.  Drucker supported DVRPC and the Route 422 Corridor Master Plan, which included tolling of 422.  However, Drucker was specific that the tolling was for the commuter who was traveling the entire stretch of the highway on a regular basis, not the occasional user or those that would use it on-off. 

In response to Drucker, Kampf’s opposing position on the Route 422 Corridor Master Plan was simple.  On his campaign website, Kampf stated “My position on tolling Route 422 is clear: I oppose it.”  Remaining true to his campaign words, when asked to respond to the upcoming Transportation Funding Commission presentation to use tolling of 422 as a model for the state, Kampf said, “Tolling is another way of taxing people. . .”  He is opposed to using state and local funds to build, operate and maintain a commuter rail line that would benefit rail commuters at the expense of others. 

Like much of the country, many of Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges are in crisis; desperately in need of repairs. Although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on the infrastructure needs, they may not be as unified in the funding solutions.  No one has a crystal ball, but we now see evidence from Corbett’s Transportation Funding Commission that supports Drucker’s vision for the future . . . a suburban commuter rail line and the use of tolls to finance  infrastructure improvements.

Some could argue that State Rep Kampf battled former State Rep Drucker successfully on the 422 tolling issue, but it looks like Kampf could face a far greater challenge in Harrisburg . . . and,  from both sides.

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State Rep Paul Drucker Exits Harrisburg . . . Thank you for your service!

What was the voter’s message in November? Does this signal an acceptance, or rejection, of either party?  Does this message play similarly in Pennsylvania . . . and in the local 157th  district?

With “the economy, the economy, the economy,” being chanted by people across the country, many were engaged in the political system during this voting season . . . some for the first time.  We have now elected and re-elected many different types of people across our country.  The impact of our choices is already being felt.  Democracy needs the relentless participation of its citizens to be most effective.  With the electorate’s intense anger reverberating across the country, the anti-Washington, anti-establishment sentiment rejected many incumbents in November, including  State Representative Paul Drucker.

It does seem like our political problems should have clear solutions but often times do not.  Consider how hard it must be for someone to get their name on a primary ballot, win that primary, and then win a general election.   People holding any political offices are effective achievers who have support of family and friends but also have convinced a large group of strangers to believe in them. Paul Drucker was that person in 2008 and in November, voters of the 157th district chose differently. Were the election results reflective of Drucker’s job performance in Harrisburg? No, I think the vote spoke more to the intensity of the anti-Washington sentiment.  A personal defeat for Drucker when the votes were counted, his loss was not a statement to his personal accomplishments in Harrisburg.

Although I am a proponent of looking forward, I believe that there is merit to reflecting on one’s past.  Much can be learned from life’s experiences and this week, Alan Thomas for the Mainline Suburban Life interviewed Drucker.  The article, ‘Drucker reflects on work done and work not finished in House term’ is an exit interview . . . an ‘introspective’ of sorts. (Click here for full article).

Much like his re-election campaign platform, Drucker points to his list of most important concerns in the 157th district as jobs, education and transportation and sees the issues as inter-connected.  Drucker strongly supports fixing the state’s infrastructure and getting people to work.  He views the Paoli Transportation Center plan as a project to spur economic growth and as a means to create new jobs in the community. With a new Republican Governor-elect Corbett at the helm in Harrisburg, Drucker voiced concern for the Paoli rail yard project. With sign-off on the project required by Corbett, the future of this transportation center remains in peril.

When Thomas asked Drucker what changed during his two years in the House, his reply was, “Well, it’s changed me, I made a lot of new friends, new contacts. I certainly have a good perspective on state government. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. I’m going to stay active and involved in what’s important to me. I’m still recharging my batteries. It’s a 24-7 job. I have never worked so hard in my life.”

For the long hours and reduced pay that many candidates receive when elected, we need to stop and thank those that have served.  I thank Paul Drucker for serving as State Representative of the 157th district.  And I thank him for his commitment to important issues and for caring about the residents of our community.  

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Latest Interesting News from Harrisburg . . . Proposed Moratorium on 1.7% Raise, Rendell’s $1 Billion Spending Proposal & Carol Aichele on Corbett’s Transition Team

Here’s some interesting news from Harrisburg over the last couple of days.

If you recall last week, there was news that newly elected and returning legislators will get a 1.7% cost-of-living pay raise starting December 1, when the new Legislature opens for business, even though they won’t be sworn in until January. Many elections won by candidates based on fiscal conservatism, amid high unemployment numbers and screams to stop the spending, a pay raise discussion at this time was causing quite a stir by tax-payers.

Yesterday, Auditor General Jack Wagner called for a moratorium on the scheduled 1.7% cost of living adjustment for public officials.  He is asking that this be the first action of the new General Assembly in January – putting a moratorium on the 2011 increase.  He further states that the moratorium would save the state $3 million in 2011 and save $12 million over the course of the next 4 years. Hope that our local officials will support the Auditor General on the moratorium.  Every little bit helps and this is the right signal to send to Pennsylvanians!  

Second bit of interesting news from Harrisburg.  Governor-elect Corbett has put together a transition group of more than 400 business leaders, conservative activists (including 2 Tea Party people), veterans of past Republican administrations, legislators and is said to have included even a few Democrats.  The members will serve on 17 transition committees, which will examine 25 departments and agencies in state government.  They will help Corbett choose his Cabinet members.  Why is this interesting to Community Matters?  One of Tredyffrin’s own was named to the transition team.

Malvern resident and Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele was named as the co-chair of Corbett’s ‘Local Government Committee’ and also as member of the Commonwealth Committee that will look at the Office of Administration and Department of General Services.  Some suggest that by serving on the transition team, members may have an inside track to Cabinet positions.  So, next question – wonder if the next step will have Carol heading to Harrisburg as a Cabinet member?

The third recent item from Harrisburg that caught by eye has to do with Governor Rendell.  Apparently Rendell is planning to issue an additional $1 billion in bonded debt before leaving office!  If Rendell pulls this off, it will be history making as the largest lame duck spending proposal in Pennsylvania’s history.  If approved, the $1 billion new debt will actually cost the state’s taxpayers more than $1.6 billion over the next 20 years in the form of annual debt service payments of $82 million.

However, this proposal would require the approval of both the governor and either the Auditor General (Jack Wagner) or the State Treasurer (Rob McCord).  Based on Wagner’s statement about fiscal responsibility and the moratorium on the 1.7% cost-of-living increase for state officials, it is no surprise that he does not support Rendell’s proposal.  Treasurer McCord is the tie-breaking vote. However, before he makes a decision McCord is asking the advice of Governor-elect Corbett.

The state is facing a $4 billion+ debit next year, so this new proposal would challenge the state further, to more than $9 million.  As a historic reference point, in June 2002, the state held $6.1 billion in debt, which has since increased to $8.4 billion, a 39% increase.  For the record, the new debt would only cover projects which are already in progress or that the state had contractually agreed to complete.  It is possible that if funding were not provided for the contracted projects, developers could bring lawsuits against the state for breach of contract.  

I decided to find out which projects would be funded with the proposed $1 billion in new debt.  I was curious if the planned Paoli Transportation Center was on the list.  Looking at the following list, I don’t see anything that looks like it could include Paoli’s transit center – I’m guessing that it is too soon in the planning and development process for Paoli Transportation Center to be a RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) project, correct?  If you are interested, here’s the entire list of projects that would be included in the proposed $1 billion in new debt:

  • $400M public improvement projects (things like new state prisons, flood protection projects, high hazard dam repairs, renovations of state park facilities, renovations to military facilities and veterans homes, renovations to higher education facilities.
  •  $200M in bridge repair projects for structurally deficient bridges across the state.
  • $155M of the proposed $1B is for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) projects. Those RACP projects are for previously approved projects that have gone through the application and contracting process already and are for RACP projects currently under construction.
  • $114M in funding for transportation assistance projects to the local transportation agencies for upgrades and repairs to mass transit, rail freight projects and aviation projects. 
  • $76M for Pennvest grants and loans for repairs and renovations of local water and sewer infrastructure.
  • $30M for Growing Greener II projects for environmental reclamation and preservation projects.
  • $25M for Pennworks grants and loans for repairs and renovations to water supply and wastewater treatment projects at the local level.
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Moving Past Tredyffrin’s 2010 Election Cycle

The political signs have gone. The phones have stopped ringing. There are no more calls reminding us to vote or asking who we like in certain races. There’s no one knocking at the door urging us to vote. It’s nice and quiet. What we have left are the victors and the losers. The numbers settle it all, once the votes have been counted. 

Locally, the dust has begun to settle post-election 2010.  After a heated, and at times very negative mud-slinging campaign between Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf, a victor emerged in the State House 157 race.  Warren Kampf will take his new office in January and State Representative Paul Drucker will complete his term on November 30. In the aftermath of any election there is always discussion as to what ‘went wrong’ or what ‘went right’ with the campaign.  Campaign insiders are left to ponder the future.

I think it is unfortunate that politics has increasingly begun to feel like a game, but one that is very often played outside the bounds of civility.  During this past local campaign cycle, my reaction to both sides was often profound sadness and disappointment.  Winning at all costs became the focus, and that it did not appear to matter what it took to get to the winner’s circle.

Last night I was picking up Chinese food in Berwyn and walked past the window of Fellini’s Restaurant on my way to the car.  In the window, I saw Paul and Robin Drucker and stopped in to say hello.  Paul was with some of his campaign staff; my guess is that in the near future, many of these young campaigners will disburse in their separate directions.  Looking at the group gathered, I reflected on the idealism and passion of being a political campaigner; and of being 20-something.

Regardless of their associated political party, there is an unwavering commitment to political candidates by the often young campaign staff.  These young people have placed an importance on local politics.  They support their local legislators with the understanding that these officials make decisions that affect our daily lives.  These things matter. 

Looking ahead, maybe there is hope for the future . . . that the grassroots optimism and idealism of youth can help create a civic landscape with great vibrancy for which we can all be proud.

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Wow . . . Phoenixville Borough Faced With 24.7% Tax Increase in Proposed Budget

As the municipalities around us struggle with their 2011 budgets, there is depressing news from Phoenixville Borough.  Residents of Phoenixville may be looking at a whopping 24.7% property tax increase according to the proposed borough’s 2011 budget.

The 2011 budget deficit is approximately $619K and the Borough Council is faced with a tax hike or spending cuts.  Property tax increases have varied over the years – 2010 there was no increase; 2009 saw a 5.8% increase and in 2008 taxpayers received a 14.8% increase.  Certainly, nothing like this proposed 24.7% increase!   Although there has been discussion of police department cuts in the borough, so far that is only a rumor. 

Although on the surface, it would appear that Phoenixville is a success story . . . there seems to be a new restaurant, coffee shop or boutique on every corner, apparently that is not an accurate picture.  According to the Borough Council, corporate layoffs, reduced earned income revenue, slipping real estate transactions have all contributed to the challenges faced in the current economic climate.  Tomorrow is the Borough’s Finance Committee meeting; here’s hoping for an alternative to the 24.7% tax increase.

Looking ahead to 2011, Phoenixville like many municipalities is struggling.  Supporting revitalization is critical for future economics . . . effectively planning and implementing local economic initiatives needs to be a requirement and . . . stimulating local economies . . . all challenges to the newly elected in Pennsylvania.  Phoenixville is included in Pennsylvania’s 157 jurisdiction – I hope that the residents can count on help from their newly elected representative.

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PA State Rep. Paul Drucker Reports House Will Hold Voting Session Nov. 15

After much debate and discussion, PA State Rep Paul Drucker is reporting that the house will reconvene for voting session on November.  Here is the press release:

House to hold voting session Nov. 15

I am pleased to inform you that legislative leaders have announced that the state House will reconvene voting session on Monday, Nov. 15.

This means that the House will be able to complete work on important, bipartisan bills and send them to the governor for his signature. I am pleased that legislative leaders listened to rank-and-file members and are allowing us to finish the job we were elected to do.

As you know, my colleagues and I urged leaders to come back into session after voting session days that had been scheduled for Nov. 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16 were canceled.

Several House bills, including pension reform legislation, will now get the attention they deserve.

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PA Turnpike Update Open House – Tuesday, November 16

Public Invited to Turnpike Open House for Update on Six-Lane Widening Project West of Valley Forge Exit

  • Project Update
  • Open House Plans Display
  • Total Reconstruction & Widening Project, Mileposts 320-326
  • Future Rt. 29 Interchange – Valley Forge Interchange

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Clarion Hotel
(Valley Forge Ballroom)
480 N. Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission invites the community to attend a project update open house to view revised engineering design plans to rebuild and widen the Turnpike between Milepost 320 (Future Rt. 29 All Electronic Interchange) and Milepost 326 (Valley Forge Interchange) in Chester and Montgomery Counties.

Informative project displays and mapping will be available for public review and representatives from the community, the Turnpike and its consultant team will be on hand to answer questions.

Questions can be directed to Don Steele or Mimi Doyle at the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Eastern Regional Office (610-279-1645) 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. The meeting facility is ADA accessible; however, requests for special needs or accommodations to facilitate public participation should be directed to Mimi Doyle.

For Project Updates Visit www.paturnpike.com

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