Karl Romberger

Easttown Township Supervisor Candidate Question: What is the single most important issue facing Easttown Township? Candidates Respond

On November 5, 2019, Easttown residents will be voting for two Easttown Township Supervisors. The following is a list of the supervisor candidates:

Easttown Township Supervisor Candidates

Beth D’Antonio (D)
Alessandra Nicolas (R)
Karl Romberger (R) Incumbent
Michael Wacey (D)

The candidates were asked, “In your opinion, what is the single most important issue facing Easttown Township; and what in your background, experience or education prepares you to help with this specific issue?”  I appreciate their willingness to respond quickly and hope that voters will find the information helpful in making their supervisor  voting decisions. The responses follow (in alphabetical order by last name):

Beth D’Antonio Response:

Easttown Township is at a very exciting point in history, with unprecedented growth throughout Chester County. I believe the single most important issue facing Easttown is how our township officials and their appointees ensure that opportunities for growth respect the priorities of the citizens. We are fortunate enough to live in a highly desirable township with an incredible quality of life and vibrant and active community. As outlined in the comprehensive plan the responsibility of the supervisors is to ensure the vision of responsible measured growth that improves upon our existing responsive government services with transparency and put the needs of the community first. I am an Easttown native, small business owner, operations executive, mother of two elementary school age children, and have a deep understanding and investment in the responsible growth of our township. I have over 20 years of experience managing multimillion dollars budgets, providing transparent leading edge operational solutions and innovations in infrastructure. I am adept at building meaningful relationships and synergies across stakeholders and have a passion for my home and neighbors. I am a dedicated volunteer and servant leader in the community and look forward to collaborating and giving a voice to all Easttown residents.

Alessandra Nicolas Response:

For the last 7 years, I have had the joy of volunteering my time with Easttown Township on various Committees and Boards focused on financial and civic matters. Throughout those years, I have had the privilege of seeing several issues of importance to the Residents of our community. At the moment, I see the convergence of multiple interrelated matters arriving at the doorstep of the Board of Supervisors.

As I have spent time talking to many Residents, what I have heard to be most important can be summarized in the following 5 areas;

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Increased Transparency
  • Responsible Zoning
  • Collaboration between Township and School Board
  • Ensuring Funding for Fire/EMS

As a Resident, Mother, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Neighbor, Accountant, Finance Exec, Landlord, Easttown Library Trustee, Easttown Citizens Advisory Committee Member, Hilltop House Committee Chair, Village of Berwyn Parking Study Member, I have devoted a large portion of my charitable time working on issues and projects that matter to our Township and Community.  My goal is to continue to listen to the needs, wants and ideas of the Residents that make up our wonderful Township.

Karl Romberger Response:

We need to be able to talk to each other.  We can’t make lasting, impactful, positive change any other way.  The issue is about getting it done.

A Supervisor needs to develop strong, community-supported consensus on the way forward.  The current major zoning and land development initiatives are prime examples.  Reasonable minds can meet about the scope, size, and pace of change.  If we don’t come to agreement, whatever we do today will be undone tomorrow.

I spent an entire professional career listening to competing concerns, knowing the law that controls, and either finding a solution or making the case for why the result should favor a position.  There’s more right ways than one to a solution.

I’ve been a Supervisor for two years.  The recent Devereux conditional use dispute is an example of my quiet leadership.  Hearing about new facts at a Board meeting, I suggested the zoning officer needed to reconsider the conditional use.  That solved a major issue for neighbors, without going to court.

Michael Wasey Response:

Easttown is a great place to live and raise a family. Lately, we have had very strong community concern over development in Devon, development in Berwyn, and the upcoming use of the Devereaux facility. The root cause of these becoming major issues is a lack of transparency and a focus on doing the minimum required by our current board of supervisors.

My background in consulting to Fortune 500 companies has set me up to address this issue. I work with the leaders of major companies to bring their interactions with suppliers, customers, and other partners into the 21st century. This involves leveraging technology to make it possible to interact whenever, wherever, and however they want. This results in transparency and a focus on the partner’s needs.

The citizens of Easttown deserve the same. Some examples are:

  • If a citizen cannot get to the supervisor meeting, it should be broadcast.
  • If a citizen is busy during a township meeting, they should be able to see it on YouTube.
  • Notices should not just go to the minimum required but should be available to everyone.

We live in a great township, but it can be better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T/E School Board Candidates:

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

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

T/E School District Voting Precincts:

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

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

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

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

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

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Easttown Township Supervisor Appointment Goes to Local Attorney Not Third Place Finisher

At Easttown Township Board of Supervisor meeting last night, the board vacancy was on the agenda. The supervisor appointment was announced and it did not go to Michael Wacey (D) who received the third highest number of votes in the November election.  Rather, the decision was to appoint Republican Karl Romberger, an attorney to the Board of Supervisors.

Although the supervisor appointment was to be made by the four remaining members of Easttown Township’s Board of Supervisors (all Republicans), it should be noted that they were split in their decision with Jim Oram and Betsy Fadem voting for Michael Wacey and Marc Heppe and Chris Polites voting for Karl Romberger.  In the case of a tie, 2-2, Easttown’s Vacancy Committee (Kim Richards) was to cast the deciding vote.

After I wrote the initial post on this issue, I was contacted by a member of the Easttown Township Democratic Committee – she wanted to explain the timing of Brandon Adams departure, the election results, etc. I asked her if it was true that Mr. Adams was aware (prior to the General Election) that he would not be able to serve if he were elected. I had previously heard this information and wanted to verify and she said yes, that his company had been acquired and that employees were not permitted to serve in this capacity. Fair enough; through no fault of his, the candidate would not be able to serve and it was too late to have his name removed from the ballot prior to the election.

What I did not understand (and stated it to the Easttown Dem representative during our phone call) was why didn’t either the candidate or his political party make a public statement prior to the election to notify the voters.  All voters may not have received the message prior to the election but it certainly would have been a more open and transparent way to handle the situation. In my opinion, had the public known that Brandon Adams could not serve if elected, it is quite possible that Democrat Michael Wacey would have moved into second place when the votes were counted and would now be sitting on the Board of Supervisors.  (I did not want to mention this point on until after the Easttown Board of Supervisors had made their decision so as not to taint their decision in advance.)

Do I think that Michael Wacey should have been chosen as the replacement supervisor? Yes. His running for  public office proved his interest in sitting on the Board of Supervisors and he received nearly 1,400 votes. But at the same time, I hold the Easttown Township Democratic Committee somewhat responsible for the outcome of the situation.

Good for Betsy Fadem and Jim Oram, both Republicans, who stepped up and voted to appoint Democrat Michael Wacey, rather than letting partisan politics govern their decision. And lastly, congratulations to Karl Romberger on his appointment to Easttown Township Board of Supervisors.

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