TTRC

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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Another Tredyffrin Supervisor Candidate Drops Out . . . and then there were 3!

On January 13, I wrote the following on Community Matters:

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.

I was so convinced that the Board of Supervisors would make the ‘right’ choice . . . the non-political appointment of John Bravacos, that I made a bet with a close friend.  I lost that one-dollar bet!  Yesterday, John Bravacos decided to withdraw his application for consideration to fill the interim supervisor vacancy. In John’s confirmation to me of his withdrawal, he offered that a recent change in his work travel schedule precipitated his decision. Bravacos served on the Board of Supervisors, two as chair, and the only candidate to state that he would not be on the Special Election ballot in May. 

A few weeks ago, there were five candidates and then we learned that candidate Joe Muir withdrew his application.  Now two days before the Personnel Committee interviews the candidates, John Bravacos decides that he too will leave the supervisor appointment process. Three candidates remain for consideration, Republicans Mike Heaberg and Kristen Mayock, and Democrat Eamon Brazunas.

What I had hoped the appointment of John Bravacos to the Board of Supervisors would achieve is no longer possible. Sadly, with Bravacos out of consideration, it now appears obvious that there is political party influence in the selection process. Coincidentally the change in the Sidewalks Subcommittee presentation to February 7 corresponds with the appointment of the interim supervisor.  The new interim supervisor is to be announced on February 7.  Once appointed, the interim supervisor will be in a position as the possible ‘swing vote’ on the land development authority ordinance. 

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Are Tredyffrin Supervisors Politically-Motivated over Land Development Authority . . . Is it all about St. Davids Golf Club?

I attended Tredyffrin’s Planning Commission meeting last night. The last agenda item was “Draft Amendment to the Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance”.

As one who understands the importance of community volunteers, it saddened me to listen to the discussion on changing final land development authority from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors.  The Planning Commissioners are experienced, skilled and committed residents who spend countless hours in this volunteer position. They are dedicated to working together, collaborating with developers, architects, builders, etc. and making nonpartisan decisions.  These volunteers are now discouraged and confused by the motive of the Board of Supervisors to take away their final land development authority. Regrettably, many believe that the desire by some supervisors to take back land development authority is politically motivated and personal.

One commissioner reported that there has only been one unhappy applicant in his many years of service on the Planning Commission. Unfortunately, the one unhappy applicant is St. Davids Golf Club.  Three times this applicant came to the Planning Commission and each time the commissioners voted in favor of the land development plan, including the sidewalk. 

The Planning Commissioners are not necessarily opposed to the Board of Supervisors taking final land development authority; but all seemingly question the ‘timing’ and the political motives behind the need to change the ordinance now.  Although there is a liaison assigned to the Planning Commission, it was reported they have rarely seen their supervisor-assigned liaison attend a meeting.  Which begs the question, if there is no interest in attending the Planning Commission meetings, why do they want to take on the entire job of land development review?

Do the supervisors have any idea the length of time that land development reviews will consume?  Although Mimi Gleason pointed out that the township is about built out, as the economy improves there will be an increase in commercial redevelopment plus the significant Paoli Transportation Center land development project on the horizon.  The Planning Commission has experienced professionals volunteering their time – planners, real estate developers, attorneys, etc.  Our Planning Commissioners are volunteers with the specific skill set and willingness to commit the necessary time to the process . . . do we have supervisors with similar profiles?

Planning Commissioner Bob O’Leary has concern that changing the land development authority to the Board of Supervisors is going to increase staff time and the staff is already understaffed.  If the ordinance is changed, an applicant will first go to the Planning Commission for review and then the applicant will have a second review by the Board of Supervisors.  This double review procedure would be for both preliminary and final land development approval; doubling the work and expense of township staff.  In addition, doubling the efforts of all land development applicants.

Tory Snyder, Planning Commissioner and a member of the Sidewalk Subcommittee will be making the Sidewalk Subcommittee’s presentation on Monday to the Board of Supervisors.  The supervisors know that the sidewalk at St. Davids Golf Club is on the subcommittee’s map as a recommended site — part of the Green Routes Network.  Three supervisors, Phil Donahue, Michele Kichline and EJ Richter were members of the Sidewalks Subcommittee.  All three supervisors attended the last meeting of the subcommittee and voted in favor of the committee’s recommendations, including St. Davids Golf Club sidewalks.

Planning Commissioners believe that the Board of Supervisor’s desire to change the land development authority is directly related to their St. Davids Golf Club decision.  As Bob Whalen, chair of the Planning Commission said, ‘We voted on the issue three times unanimously; we didn’t vote on what was political, but voted on what was right”.  Whalen said that he does not intend to waste any more time on the ordinance.  He views the proposed ordinance change as a “Slap in the face to the Planning Commission.  I know the difference between right and wrong.”

I hate the thought that the Sidewalks Committee and the time and efforts of the volunteers was nothing more than a charade . . . all leading up to the St. Davids Golf Club decision and Board of Supervisors change to the land development authority.  No doubt, some supervisors expected the Sidewalks Committee recommendations would echo their desires; making it easier for these supervisors to deliver good news to the country club. These supervisors probably thought that by handpicking the members of the Sidewalks Committee would somehow guarantee the appropriate outcome.

I salute the members of the Sidewalks Committee who engaged community members through public meetings, accepted input from interested citizens, created maps and conducted a township-wide survey to get a consensus on sidewalks, bike trails and paths needs throughout the township.  However, their thorough, thoughtful and independent analysis did not deliver the outcome desired by some supervisors.

 Another group of volunteers ‘on hold’ is the Sidewalks, Trail, and Path (STAP) committee.  If there is sufficient support from some members of the Board of Supervisors, the time and talents of these volunteers may also no longer be needed.

There is a curious element to the land development authority discussion that cannot yet be calculated.  I was told by several sources that the current vote is 3-3 among the supervisors on the question of land development authority.  Three supervisors want the authority to remain with the Planning Commission and three supervisors want the final authority to shift to the Board of Supervisors.

However, here’s the interesting twist . . . The Board of Supervisors will appoint a supervisor to fill the supervisor vacancy prior to the March public hearing on the land development authority.  With the current supervisor vote count at 3-3, that new supervisor could be the tiebreaker! Wonder what supervisor candidates John Bravacos, Kristen Mayock, Eamon Brazunas and Mike Heaberg have to say about the land development authority?  I think that would make for a very interesting question at next week’s candidate interviews.

In summary, the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, January 24, 7:30 PM is important.  Please plan to either attend or watch from home.

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Chester County DA Race is Heating Up . . . Candidates Taking Off the Gloves

Following November’s mid-term election, I wrote of news in the Chester County District Attorney’s office . . . District Attorney Joseph Carroll decision to run for Common Pleas Court judge seat and not seek re-election as the county DA.  At the time of the announcement, there was speculation about possible DA candidates including Tredyffrin’s solicitor Tom Hogan among others.  

Fast forward, a couple of months and the district attorney race is now in full campaign mode. Three candidates, Tom Hogan, former prosecutor and partner in Lamb McErlane law firm; Assistant District Attorney Pat Carmody and Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kelly are vying for the endorsement of Chester County Republican Committee and it appears that the candidates are taking the gloves off for this race!

The GOP is conducting interviews with the district attorney candidates at various locations throughout the county.  So far, the organization has held three straw polls and the voting of the committee members is as follows:

West Chester area: Carmody 47 votes; Hogan 24 votes; Kelly 10 votes
Tredyffrin area:  Hogan 51 votes; Carmody 16 votes; Kelly none.
Southern Chester County area: Hogan 31 votes; Carmody 30 votes; Kelly 18 votes

If my math is correct, the current vote count has Hogan leading with 106 votes to Carmody’s 93 votes and Kelly’s 28 votes.  There are two more straw polls this week leading up to the Chester County Republican Convention on February 15 that decides the candidate endorsement.

I do not typically weigh in on county politics, (there is more than enough going on with Tredyffrin and our neighboring townships to keep me busy) but I will make an exception with the district attorney race.  The Sunday Daily Local ran an article on the district attorney race that caught my attention.  In the article, the writer claims that during a GOP interview, DA candidate Hogan suggested administrative inconsistencies and the need to ‘clean up’ the district attorney office.

I was surprised by the immediate defensive reaction to Hogan’s criticism of the district attorney office by District Attorney Carroll and Assistant DA Carmody.  I believe citizens prefer placing their confidence in a district attorney, like candidate Tom Hogan, who is willing to take a stand to improve the process and to make government better.  There is nothing wrong with Hogan suggesting there is room for improvement in the DA office.  You set your goals, ever-increasing the level of standard, and then work to achieve that objective. As taxpayers, isn’t that what we should expect and what we want from our elected officials?

We know that change can be difficult for some; people get comfortable with doing things the same way they have always been done; my guess is that the Chester County District Attorney office is no different.  From my association with Tom Hogan over the last few years, his approach does not simply accept status quo but rather an approach that seeks to make government more accountable, and more efficient.  ‘Raising the bar’ by raising expectations makes for good government.

Yesterday, I received an anonymous email in regards to the district attorney race from a concerned Chester County resident.  Attached to the email were several Carmody campaign-related documents, including his campaign business card.  The individual who sent the email was concerned that candidate Carmody was using his personal cell phone number on the literature. I did no appreciate the individual’s concern until I opened the attachment containing the official telephone contact list from the DA office.  Curiously, the same cell phone number that Carmody uses on campaign materials is also his office contact number in the District Attorney office. 

So what does this mean?  Is Carmody’s cell phone personally owned or county-issued?  Regardless if the phone is county owned property or personally owned by Carmody; it is interesting that he uses the same telephone number in his campaign literature and his county office.  Would this imply that Carmody takes campaign calls at the district attorney office? Is this but a small legal campaign detail overlooked by a person running our legal system? Does this suggest that the district attorney’s office doubles as his campaign headquarters? If nothing else, Carmody’s actions make me wonder about what line is drawn between campaigning and working for the people of Chester County.  The merging of political activities with the people’s work is a fine line. 

Certainly, I lay no claim to understanding the inner-workings of the District Attorney’s office but as a response to Carroll and Carmody over Hogan’s criticism of the DA’s office, I am reminded of a line from Hamlet . . . “you doth protest too much me thinks”. Perhaps, Hogan’s criticisms were hitting a little too close to home. 

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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.
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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.

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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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