TTDEMS

Pennsylvania Primary, May 17, 2011 – Community Matters Schedule for Candidate’s Resumes

In advance of the Pennsylvania May Primary on Tuesday, May 17, last month I contacted chairs of the local political parties — Mike Broadhurst, TTRC and Dariel Jamieson, TTDEMS. I requested (and received) the resumes of candidates for the TESD School Board, Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, Chester County Magisterial District Judge and Board of Supervisors Special Election. 

Providing a discussion forum on Community Matters as I did for the Tredyffrin Township interim supervisor’s appointment process in February, I will provide the Republican and Democratic candidate resumes for each of the May Primary races.  Using the following schedule,  I hope that by providing in-depth information on the candidates, will encourage a greater voter turnout for the Pennsylvania Primary on Tuesday, May 17.

  • Monday, April 25:  Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisor Candidates
  • Monday, May 2:  Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board Candidates
  • Monday, May 9: Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01 Candidates
  • Wednesday, May 11: Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Special Election Candidates
  • Tuesday, May 17:  Pennsylvania Primary

All candidates in the May 17, 2011 Primary

Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board Candidates:

  • Region 1:  James Bruce (R) **
  • Region 1:  Tara G. LaFiura (R)
  • Region 1:  Karen Cruickshank (D) **
  • Region 1:  Jerry Henige (D)
  • Region 2:  Kristine Graham (R)
  • Region 2:  Elizabeth Mercogliano (R)
  • Region 2:  Scott Dorsey  (D)
  • Region 2:  Jenny Wessels (D)
  • Easttown, Region 3: Peter Motel (R) **
  • Easttown, Region 3: Craig Lewis (D)

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Candidates:

  • At Large:  Michael Heaberg (R) **
  • At Large:  Kristen Kirk Mayock (R)
  • At Large:  Molly Duffy (D)
  • At Large:  Ernani (Ernie) Falcone (D)
  • District 1 East:  Paul Olson (R) **  
  • District 1 East:  Victoria (Tory) Snyder (D)
  • District 3 West:  John DiBuonaventuro (R) **
  • District 3 West:   No Candidate (D)

Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01

  • Jeremy Blackburn (R) **
  • Analisa Sondergaard (D)

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Special Election Candidates:

  • Michael Heaberg (R) **
  • Molly Duffy (D)

                                                                                       ** Incumbent

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Sidewalks on Tredyffrin’s Supervisors Meeting Agenda: Translation . . . Does St. Davids Golf Club Build its Sidewalks?

The agenda for tonight’s supervisors meeting in Tredyffrin will include a presentation by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike regarding the start of 202 construction and the Rt. 29 slip ramp construction. The slip ramp construction got underway last week so I look forward to a review of the time for that project and for 202.

The agenda lists the scheduling of two public hearings, (1) an ordinance to create new regulations for historic preservation and (2) to consider amendments to sidewalk requirements in subdivision and land development plans.

Members of the township HARB and Planning Commission have worked on creating an ordinance to protect historic properties in the township for two years.  In reviewing my HARB minutes, there was discussion as early as March 2009 recognizing the need.  Much discussion and many joint meetings has taken place between HARB, Planning Commission and township staff.  I am thrilled to see the work of many community volunteers now move forward.

Scheduling of the other public hearing – amendments to sidewalk ordinance.  It’s fascinating that 16 months post-BAWG report and St. Davids Golf Club, the mention of sidewalks in Tredyffrin reminds us of the open St. Davids sidewalk issue.  Recalling the history, the land development agreement between St. Davids Golf Club and the township requires the building of sidewalks.  Rather than enforce the land development requirement, the supervisors decided last year to create a sidewalk subcommittee to examine the needs and interest in sidewalks in Tredyffrin. 

Fast forward to April 2011 and where does the township stand on sidewalks and the open issues surrounding the land development agreement with St. Davids Golf Club to build sidewalks?  Last month, the sidewalk subcommittee presented their results, which included an overwhelming resident interest in sidewalks, trails and bike paths in the township.  The sidewalks subcommittee confirmed the Green Routes Network plan included sidewalks at St. Davids Golf Club.  The results of last month’s public hearing to consider changing final land development authority from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors included a supervisors vote for the Planning Commission to retain this authority.  So where does the township stand on St. Davids Golf Club sidewalk requirement?  What really has changed in the last 16 months?  

This morning, I was copied on a public email from John Petersen to township solicitor Tom Hogan (which also copied the Board of Supervisors and Mimi Gleason) inquiring on the “status of St. Davids”.  Petersen’s email included the following:

“ . . . St. David’s has always had the obligation to build the sidewalks. At best, over the past year, there has been a forbearance on that obligation. It would appear that the status quo is firmly in place. By that, I mean that the sidewalk plan as promulgated in the master plan is still in effect. Second, the PC [Planning Commission] has retained full land development authority. That said, the St. David’s obligation was always in place. i.e., it was pre-existing contract. Therefore, no matter what was done on a prospective basis, it would have no effect on the St. David’s obligation. The same conclusion would have applied a year ago. . . St. David’s has two choices. 1 – build the sidewalks per their land development obligation. 2 – pay the township the full cost to build the sidewalks as per the land development obligation . . . So again I ask, what is the BOS going to do?”

I am curious to see if the elephant in the room (St. Davids land development agreement) is discussed at the supervisors meeting tonight.  As much as some people would like the sidewalk issue at St. Davids Golf to just ‘go away’, unless there is a decision, the issue remains open.  Will our elected officials enforce the land development agreement with St. Davids and require the sidewalks to be built . . . ?   As Petersen says, “. . . What is the BOS going to do?” 

The community needs closure on the St. Davids sidewalk issue; will that happen at tonight’s supervisors meeting? Stay tuned.

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Tredyffrin’s Interim Supervisor Vacancy No More . . . Mike Heaberg Appointed

Attending last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting was much like attending a wedding.  Entering Keene Hall, I found members on the bride’s side of the aisle there to support Republican Kristen Mayock as the interim supervisor.  Left of the aisle, the groom’s side contained those gathered to support Republican Mike Heaberg.  Representatives from both sides promised that their candidate was the right one to lead the township. 

The audience heard from supporters of Mayock and Heaberg, as well as for the Democrat candidate Eamon Brazunas.  Friends and political allies praised Mayock for her personal, business and civic achievements.  Some of the words used to describe her were skilled negotiator, creative as well as committed and very intelligent.  A former Republican committee member and fellow attorney at her law firm, Scott Reidenbach spoke eloquently of Mayock . . . describing her as someone who ‘gets it’ and that she, “understands people and understands this township”.

Others rose to the microphone to extol Heaberg’s virtues, describing him as smart, talented, community-minded . . . the “ultimate selfless person who is seeking public office for all the right reasons”.  Sandy Gorman, a fellow FLITE board member and friend, said three words described Heaberg . . . integrity, reliability and thoroughness.

There is a part in a traditional wedding ceremony, when the officiant says, ‘if anyone objects . . . let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”   Like those words in a wedding ceremony, chair of the Tredyffrin Democrats, Dariel Jamieson took the microphone to make a case for the all-Republican Board of Supervisors to choose a Democrat candidate to fill the vacated Republican seat.  Supporting interim supervisor candidate Eamon Brazunas, Jamieson described the volunteer firefighter as committed to service and to the community; as someone we trust with our lives.  In her support of Brazunas, Jamieson explained that Brazunas had run twice before for the Board of Supervisors and represented broad appeal to both parties, having only lost the last election by 71 votes. 

Jamieson offered that 45% of the residents of Tredyffrin are registered Republicans and that the other 55% of the township population is not, so perhaps a Democrat should be appointed to add balance to the board. Unfortunately, Chairman Lamina’s partisan response to Jamieson was far from satisfactory; telling her that he could never vote for someone unless they were a Republican.

Elected to serve all the people . . . Republicans, Democrats, Independents . . . I found Lamina’s remark, particularly as chair of the Board of Supervisors, to be both inappropriate and offensive.  This kind of remark has the potential to continue to push the political wedge between members of this community.  And for what purpose . . .  for what political gain?  Tonight Lamina formally announced that he would not be seeking re-election; so why not try, in the last remaining 10 months of your term, to bring people together rather than continuing to separate and divide.

The five members of the Board of Supervisors (Paul Olson was on vacation) took a vote on the interim supervisor appointment.  As some expected, DiBuonaventuro supported Mayock and the other four voted in favor of Heaberg.  Mike Heaberg was elected 4-1 to fill the interim supervisor position and will be sworn in at the next Board of Supervisors meeting.

The supervisor appointment is over; but are the hard feelings between the Republican Committee people still there?  Will the two opposing factions come together to support and work with the newly appointed Mike Heaberg?  Can the badly split Republican Committee manage reconciliation for the sake of the ‘party’? On the other hand, if the fences cannot be mended, does this now create a permanent party divide?

Looking ahead, will Brazunas challenge Heaberg in the Special Election?  Will the Republican Committee endorse both Heaberg and Mayock as the two at-large candidates for the May Primary?  Will Brazunas enter his third bid for election to the Board of Supervisors?

Summing of the Board of Supervisors meeting . . . as someone who believes in ‘people’ and ‘issues’ and not partisan politics, I found the meeting disturbing.  As possibly the lone ‘Independent’ in a room filled with political stakeholders, the talk of Republicans and Democrats was both uncomfortable and unsettling.  And I cringe that our elected officials are discussing party politics from the dais.  Appoint the right ‘person’ and leave the party politics at the door. And once elected, we want them to set aside their ‘R’ or their ‘D’ and simply govern and serve us all.

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Tredyffrin’s ‘Personnel Committee’ to Interview Supervisor Candidates

Here is the latest installment on the Tredyffrin’s interim supervisor appointment . . . I feel like keeping this interview process transparent has become my life’s work.  With so many things going on in the world, why is it so important that this township process work correctly?  Because it just is.

So where does the interview process currently stand?  Well, here goes.  I emailed our township manager Mimi Gleason (and copied township solicitor Tom Hogan and the Board of Supervisors) the link to the specific Community Matters post, along with reader comments. In my email, I addressed the issue of the supervisor’s Personnel Committee conducting the candidate interviews vs. the Board of Supervisors. I suggested “. . . the appointment of an elected official is not a personnel matter.” Further suggested that the “. . .  situation could be easily remedied if all the supervisors were in attendance on January 26 and participated in the interview process.”

Here is Mimi’s response to that email: 

 Pattye,

The full Board must vote on the appointment of the interim Supervisor in a public meeting and will do so. 

There is no problem with the Personnel Committee, or any other subcommittee of the Board, interviewing the candidates.  The Home Rule Charter does not require the Board of Supervisors to interview the candidates.  However, in the interests of full transparency, the Board has chosen to have interviews conducted by the Personnel Committee and has invited the public to the interviews.  The Board is going beyond the minimum requirements of the Home Rule Charter and the Sunshine Act in order to provide even greater public access to this process.

I’ll be around all afternoon.  Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mimi

After receiving this email, I still had questions for Mimi and sent the following email (copying Tom Hogan and Board of Supervisors):

Mimi –

Thank you for your response, however I do still have a few questions.

(1)   You say that the Personnel Committee, or any subcommittee of the Board of Supervisors can interview the candidates, then why the ‘Personnel Committee’ vs. the Finance Committee or any other subcommittee? If appointing an elected official is not a personnel matter, why choose the ‘Personnel’ Committee for the interviews?

(2)   Bob Lamina stated at the Board of Supervisors meeting that the candidates would be interviewed by the supervisors.  By having a ‘committee’ rather than the Board of Supervisors interview, is this really meeting the objective?

(3)   I appreciate that there is no requirement for the Board of Supervisors to interview the candidates in public; however, didn’t that option go away when the township advertised and solicited resumes for the vacancy; which was then followed by Bob Lamina’s statement that the supervisors would interview the candidates.  Bob made a commitment to the residents that the supervisors would interview the candidates – there was no caveat from him that the interviews would be conducted by a subcommittee, Personnel Committee, etc.  The implication of his words was ‘all the supervisors’ would interview.

(4)   If only 3 of the supervisors are going to interview the candidates in the Community Room (without it being televised) how is that the other 3 supervisors (Olson, Richter, DiBuonaventuro)  will know the candidates responses to the questions.  If this interview process is public, will there be minutes taken of the meeting?  How do the 3 supervisors who conduct the interviews discuss the matter with the 3 supervisors who do not attend the interviews, without breaking the Sunshine Law.  I understand that the vote will be in public, but how can the supervisors discuss this matter prior to the public vote if 50% of the board does not participate in the interviews?

Mimi, you say that the supervisors are going beyond the requirements to provide transparency.  If that is the case, then why not just have a quorum with 4 supervisors present for the interview process and remove doubt and questions about the process.  The Board of Supervisors have an opportunity to make this process right. 

I will put off posting information related to this topic on Community Matters until after business hours today. It is my hope that all supervisors appreciate the importance of the interview process and will be encouraged to participate . . .  or at a minimum, one more supervisor beyond the 3 supervisors currently onboard.

Pattye

Rather than emailing her responses, Mimi called and we talked through my questions/concerns.  Here is where we stand . . . the Personnel Committee, consisting of three supervisors (Lamina, Kichline, and Donahue) will conduct the supervisor interviews on Wednesday, January 26 at 7 PM; the public is welcome.  Neither Mimi nor any other township staff will be present for the interviews and there will be no minutes of the meeting taken.  The three candidates conducting the interview will apparently brief the other three supervisors on the interview process and the candidates.

Mimi explained that it was difficult to find an available date for all supervisors for the interviews.  I asked if that was the reason there were only three supervisors instead of all six supervisors attending the interviews and she was not sure why.  I suggested that an easy scheduling solution would be for the interviews to be conducted before or after the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, January 24.  Presumably, all supervisors could attend and since it was a public meeting, there would be a record of the meeting with minutes.  I was told that this option was considered but not accepted . . . it was thought the interview process would take too long and they wanted the candidates to have sufficient time.

Although I encouraged a fourth supervisor should attend the interview process to have a quorum, at this point that appears unlikely.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one of the other three supervisors, either JD, Paul Olson or Evelyn Richter, stepped up and agreed to participate in the interview process on January 26?

The appointment of an interim supervisor is a serious duty of our elected officials (even if only for a few months) and I do not want to see the process manipulated by politics.

What do I mean manipulated . . .Only one of the four supervisor candidates, John Bravacos, has stated that he will not be on the ballot for the Special Election in May.  Presumably, the other three candidates, Eamon Brazunas, Mike Heaberg and Kristen Mayock, all intend to participate in the Special Election required to fill the vacancy. 

To be clear, I am not questioning the credentials of these three candidates but the only non-political appointment for this interim supervisor position is John Bravacos.  Additionally, John Bravacos is a former township supervisor and former chair.  To appoint one of the other three candidates would be politically motivated and give an advantage to that individual in May’s Special Election.  For the record, a Republican (Warren Kampf) held the vacated seat and John Bravacos is a Republican.

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And Then There Were 4 . . . Tredyffrin Interim Supervisor Candidate Drops Out

I have learned that Joe Muir has withdrawn his application from consideration for the interim supervisor vacancy.  Mr. Muir was a member of Tredyffrin’s 2009 Budget Advisory Working Group (BAWG).  He has a Marketing and Finance degree from Susquehanna University and his career has been in sales and sales management in the healthcare industry and is currently employed by IMS Health.  I do not know the reason for Mr. Muir’s decision to withdraw as an interim supervisor candidate.  I also do not know whether Mr. Muir will be a candidate in the Special Election.

Currently, there are four remaining interim supervisor candidates for consideration by the Board of Supervisors:  John Bravacos, Eamon Brazunas, Mike Heaberg and Kristen Mayock.  The deadline for submission of resumes to township manager, mgleason@tredyffrin.org is Monday, January 10. 

Following the candidate interview process, the Board of Supervisors will vote and appoint a supervisor on Monday, February 7.

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Tredyffrin Interim Supervisor Candidates . . . Bravacos, Brazunas, Heaberg, Mayock, Muir

Because of Warren Kampf’s resignation from the Board of Supervisors, there is a vacancy for an ‘interim supervisor’.  The interim supervisor will serve on the Board of Supervisors until the Special Election in May.

At this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting the vacancy was formally announced and interested residents were asked to send their resumes to the township manager by Monday, January 10.  Because the vacancy was anticipated, the interim supervisor position has been advertised on the township website since early December.  Residents who have applied for the interim supervisor position is public information and I contacted the township manager for the list of candidate names.

After receiving the names, I sent an email to each candidate explaining that I would be writing an article and would be including the candidate names.  As a means of keeping the selection process transparent and open, I offered to include a “summary of experience, brief bio or a personal statement” with the article if provided by the candidate. 

The following individuals have submitted their resumes to the township manager for consideration as interim supervisor. 

  • John Bravacos
  • Eamon Brazunas
  • Mike Heaberg
  • Kristen Mayock
  • Joe Muir

John Bravacos, Eamon Brazunas and Kristen Mayock responded to my email and supplied their resumes, bio, etc. and that information is available below.  Information was not provided by Mike Heaberg or Joe Muir.  However, I have attempted to find background information to include for these candidates.

John Bravacos

Email received from John Bravacos with his resume. (Click here for  John Bravacos resume.)

Pattye,
Below is what I sent to Mimi for the vacancy.

Additionally, I have provided this to Board Members and other interested people. I would like to fill the vacancy only until the Special Election to:

1.  Move the Rt. 252 Amtrak bridge forward;
2.  Work with Willistown to create the joint municipal authority;
3.  Start the discussion about the future of the Paoli Library and its lease which ends soon;
4.  Help position the Board for the upcoming contract negotiations; and
5.  Briefly enjoy the opportunity to serve the Township residents again. 

I am not seeking election as there are excellent candidates for the Special Election and for the Primary that have the fresh perspective, enthusiasm and specific plans necessary to sustain them for the full term.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to talk with you.

John G. Bravacos, Esq.
___________________________________________

Mimi,

Attached is my resume.  I am interested in filling the vacancy on the Board of Supervisors created by the resignation of Warren Kampf.  Having served on the Board for eight years and lived in the Township for more than 40 years, I believe I can provide valuable service during the brief duration until the special election.  As I am not interested in being a candidate in that special election, my time can be focused on the needs of the residents and not electioneering.

John G. Bravacos, Esq.

Eamon Brazunas

Click here for Eamon Brazunas cover letter to the township manager and resume.

Mike Heaberg

With more than 25 years in investment services, Mr. Heaberg co-founded Axiom Asset Management in 2003 and currently serves as the company’s managing director. His previous experience was with Prudential Securities and PaineWebber. Mr. Heaberg is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and is a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.  An original board member of FLITE, Mr. Heaberg continues to serve on the organization’s board of directors as chair of the Finance & Investment Committee.

Kristen Mayock

Email received from Kristen Mayock with her resume. (Click here for Kristen Mayock’s bio and click here for her resume.)

Pattye:

Pursuant to your request, I have attached my bio and my resume. 

I am committed to serving Tredyffrin Township because I believe it is the ideal place to live, work and raise my family.  The surroundings are idyllic, rich in history, accessible, safe and affordable.  Our Township services and schools are among the best in the region.  By serving as a member of the Board of Supervisors, I hope to preserve and improve upon the unique quality of life that Tredyffrin offers to the individuals and families who live here.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my background, experience and commitment to our great Township with Community Matter.

Sincerely,
Kristen Mayock 

Joe Muir

Mr. Muir was a member of Tredyffrin Township’s 2009 Budget Advisory Working Group (BAWG).  He has a Marketing and Finance degree from Susquehanna University and his career has been in sales and sales management in the healthcare industry and is currently employed by IMS Health.

______________________________________________________________________

Sometimes elected officials find it easier to embrace open government in theory than to facilitate citizen access.  By keeping the candidate process in the public’s eye, I hope the supervisors will be open, transparent and accountable to the residents of Tredyffrin as they interview the candidates and ultimately choose the interim supervisor.

The intention of this post is to provide information to the public.  Although I will accept comments on this post, I ask that your remarks be thoughtful and accurate.  As a former political candidate myself, I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of negative campaigning and misrepresentation of issues and I do not wish to see these candidates have similar experiences!

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Election Day 2010 . . . The Day After

Driving many voters to the polls across the country in yesterday’s election was the theme of anxiety and disappointment.  Just about everywhere, Election Day 2010 felt far removed from 2008.  Two years ago, after all, there was no Tea Party. The rise of the conservative Tea Party movement added a new element to the election cycle, boosting little-known and inexperienced candidates into national media spotlight and in some cases, ultimate victory over mainstream political figures. Guess the jury is out whether the Tea Party movement will remain a lasting force in American politics.

Two years ago, the nation was in financial shock.  Now hard times are all too familiar.  I heard one report that 30% of all voters yesterday had  first-hand experience with unemployment; with an immediate family member currently out-of-work.  With such difficult economic times, it was particularly depressing to read that this long and bitter campaign season cost more than $3.5 billion.  How many better ways could these billions of dollars been spent in this country?

These past two years, politics across America has been fueled by turmoil – town hall meetings that dissolved into shouting matches, persistent questions about the motives of leaders on both sides and a non-stop partisan battling.  Enough negativity and nastiness existed to spawn last weekend’s rally in Washington with John Stewart, all in the name of restoring sanity in America.

The disappointment and helpless sentiment was not hard to find across the country in an election that took place against a backdrop of persistently high unemployment, no sign of real improvement in the economy and divisive politics. Everywhere you look, people seem to be looking for someone or something to blame – whether the President, Congress, a political party, etc.  Finding someone to blame would make things a lot easier to accept; but I am not entirely sure that is realistic. 

Locally, in the State House 157 race, Warren Kampf defeated incumbent State Rep Paul Drucker.  As a current sitting supervisor, Kampf will be vacating his Tredyffrin seat for his new job in Harrisburg. His departure from Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors is only an assumption . . . maybe there is no requirement and he can be both a state representative and a township supervisor.

Many have been let down, including myself, about the partisan divide and what seems unwillingness for people to work together and move forward.  There is much work to be done in the country, the Commonwealth and here in Tredyffrin Township but . . . I remain hopeful for the future.

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Negative Political Campaigning Needs to End . . . Election Day 2010 Cannot Come Soon Enough!

Tuesday cannot get here soon enough!  Turn on the television and you are certain to see a barrage of negative campaign ads from various candidates attacking their opponents.  With Election Day 2010 just days away, households across America are being attacked by negative political ads.  Without an invitation, the negative attack ads are finding their way into our homes, by way of television, robo-calls, on our computers and in our mailboxes. 

Everyday someone says to me they cannot wait until Wednesday when it’s over, and Election Day 2010 will be only a memory.  The amount of time, energy and money spent on negative sound bites feels eternal… and maybe it is.  With unlimited dollars (both domestic and foreign) buying airtime, it takes a persistent and dedicated voter to ferret-out all the paid-for misinformation. People complain and say they hate the ads, the mailers, the political phone calls and the mudslinging that we see in the news articles and the opinion pieces.  But they must work.  After all, it is amazing how much money is spent on these political campaigns.

Look at the contents of the political ads on TV and in the campaign mailers.  The distortion, the exaggerations, the misleading claims – the blatant lies.  True or false? Fact or Fiction?  Most of the campaign ads are more like half-truths, half-falsehoods – and a lot of embellishment. 

But do these negative ads actually work . . . do they influence decisions?  I would like to hope that they don’t work and that they don’t influence voters.  I want to believe that voters are smarter and more informed and that they rise above the distortions and exaggerations. Unfortunately, psychological research has shown that the brain processes negative information more deeply than positive information.  Guess political campaigners support the scientific research and have decided that negative ads do work – at least better than positive ads. 

By the time the calendar hit mid-October, the viciousness of the negative ads had picked up momentum.  And it is no surprise that the closer the individual race, the more negative the ads. Research suggests that negative campaign ads work even though people hate them.  I think the potential also exists that people just get tired of the negative campaign season and that this feeling can actually drive the voter turnout down.  Eventually, after being influenced by the candidate’s negative campaigning, is it possible that a voter would just stay home on Tuesday, thinking “why bother?”

Negative ads can have a powerful impact; people tend to remember them. . . . Isn’t that why bad news always enjoys more ‘play time’ on TV than good news. I would bet that none of these ads tells the whole truth – the truth you would accept as a reasonable person. Almost all the negative ads are partial or biased on one way or another or just misleading. In a perfect world, positive ads would have as much an impact as the negative ones. What would happen if someone ran an issue-based campaign with no mention of the opponent and no mudslinging?  Would an issue-based campaign ever be possible in today’s society?  Would it even work?

Where does all this leave us for Election Day; what is a voter to do?  There are no campaign enforcement police making sure everyone is telling the truth. My hope for all of you who hold the privilege to vote is to think for yourself.  Do a little research and use that developed human brain of yours.  Please try not to be influenced by the negative campaign ads. Your vote is worth more than a nay saying ad or a half-truth campaign mailer.

I hope that residents in our community have enough sense and reason to make logical decisions and can only hope that others beyond Tredyffrin will do the same.  I would ask that you stay informed by multiple sources.  Think for yourself, beyond what your neighbor, your friend or co-worker favors. Know the candidates and support those who have shown ethical behavior.  Exercise your right to vote in a sane, thoughtful manner and make your vote count this Tuesday!

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Do Political Campaign Signs influence your vote? How About in the Drucker vs Kampf election?

Do political campaign signs make a difference in in election results?  Do they influence individual voter decisions? Do how many signs a candidate has, or conversely a perceived lack of signs by individual candidates have any effect on voters? 

In driving around the township yesterday, there certainly is a plethora of political signage. At least now, the leftover campaign signs of former Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidate Daryl Metcalfe are no longer alone.  Metcalfe came in a distant third in the May primary but his red and white signs remain ever-present in our community 5 months later!  Which begs the question, which is responsible for removal of the signs post-election . . .  the candidate, the political party, volunteers?

Political signs display grassroots support. When voters display your political campaign signs in their yards, it shows neighbors that they believe in you enough to temporarily alter the landscape of their property. Recognizing the power of that association, does that influence other voters? 

Among the traditional campaign signs, I noted a new political sign, ‘Republican for Paul Drucker’.  As a Democrat and incumbent State House Representative Candidate, Paul is looking to gather support from the registered voters of the opposing party.  Do we expect that the Warren Kampf campaign will likewise use signage touting registered democrat voter support?  With the growing ‘Independent’ party affiliation among voters, is there signage claiming ‘Independent for Drucker’ or ‘Independent for Kampf’ on the horizon from either candidate?

Voter turnout was very low in the primary and historically Tredyffrin Township has not fared much differently in the general election (especially non-presidential election years).  However, with the Governor’s race at stake this year, can we hope for a better than average turnout.  Low voter turnouts make is easier for single-issue candidates and candidates with narrow but deep support make a good showing.  If you are one of those folks, than you probably don’t want to tell the public when the election is.  However, if you are a serious candidate with broad appeal than why not tell the public when to vote. 

To inform the voters, and build interest in the fact that there’s an election date coming, why not some signs stating Election Day November 2 or at least on Tuesday, November 2, signs that say “Today’s the day”. 

As a registered voter hoping for greater voter turnout, Election Day signage is something that I could support!  I’d like to make a suggestion that the township as a public service could set-up those temporary sign boards to notify the public of the upcoming election.

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Quick Response from Township Manager & Public Works . . . Political Campaign Signs Removed from Township Park

I received a response from township manager, Mimi Gleason thanking me for me email and explaining that the township would take care of the removal of the political campaign signs from Swedesford Road Open Space Park.  Within minutes of receiving the email, a public works truck and  two township workers arrived at the park.  A township worker stood on the top of a tall ladder and  a garden rake and his long reach were required to remove the signs.  Good news . . . quick response from the township and  the political campaign signs are down . . . bad news is that is that it required township time and money for the removal.  

I’m sure that township residents don’t want their taxpayer dollars spent this way; I ask that political candidates instruct their campaign volunteers not to use our township parks for political signage.  Thank you Mimi and Steve Norcini for your quick response!

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