Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Brazunas, Heaberg & Mayock Interim Supervisor Interviews

I attended the supervisor interviews last night with approximately 20 other residents. The three candidates, Eamon Brazunas, Mike Heaberg and Kristen Mayock were interviewed for the interim supervisor position. The Personnel Committee, supervisors Bob Lamina, Phil Donahue and Michele Kichline, interviewed the candidates individually. The interviews consisted of 7 questions and candidates were allotted 30 min. for each of their interviews.

The Personnel Committee took turns asking the supervisor candidates the prepared questions. Although I have previously stated that I believed that the interview process should include all six supervisors rather than only three, supervisors Lamina, Donahue and Kichline came prepared last night and are to be congratulated for their efforts. These supervisors were prepared, focused and respectful of all three candidates.

To this post, I am attaching copies of the three candidates resumes. – Eamon Brazunas resume, Mike Heaberg resume and Kristen Mayock resume. Bob Lamina provided me with a copy of the interview questions. Following each interview question, I have provided a brief summary of the candidate’s responses.

Question #1: Tell us a little about yourself.

Each of the candidates responded to this question with biographical information, including professional and personal information. I am not going to address this question, as it is best served by a review of the candidate’s resumes.

Question #2: If not already answered as part of Question #1, can you share with us some of the relevant experiences you have that you believe will help you contribute to the Board of Supervisors, or – How does your professional and/or personal background make you a good candidate to the Board?

Brazunas response: He will bring a different perspective to the Board of Supervisors on how the community works; based on serving as a volunteer firefighter for the Berwyn Fire Company. Fire companies are serious business, not like the old days, and Brazunas spoke of appreciating the recent $15K award to Radnor Fire Company. In his professional work with Radnor Fire Company, he has to make difficult decisions. He has personnel experience and as a firefighter has experience in dealing with volunteers, particularly in disaster relief efforts.

Heaberg response: Heaberg has a desire to give back and serve the community. He remarked that there is a fantastic quality of life in Tredyffrin which includes great schools and libraries, public safety, volunteer organizations and citizens who make volunteer commitments through time and/or money. His three children are grown and out of the house and he has the time to necessary to commit to serving as a supervisor. His professional experience includes working with taxpayers so has empathy for the other side of government. Heaberg understands that the role of government is to be respectful when spending others money. As a small business owner, he works with payroll and budget, health care benefits, leasing space and hiring people – all qualities required as a supervisor. He is good at decision-making and with conflicts of interest; looking at the biases and potential conflicts of interest of those providing information or presenting their opinion as fact. Heaberg commits to the necessary research to better analyze the problem and apply judgment in the decision.

Mayock response: Mayock believes that her experience on the township’s Zoning Hearing Board and her legal experience in zoning would be helpful to the Board of Supervisors. She worked for Thacher Longstreth for 5 years and was involved in constituent services and budget negotiations for 5 Philadelphia budgets. In her role as Deputy Attorney General, Mayock represented Gov. Ridge. She thinks that her background lends itself to government and budget.

Question #3: What do you think the biggest challenge is for Tredyffrin Township as we move in the future?

Brazunas response: Brazunas focused on three issues: (1) taxes – how does the township maintain the successes of the last decade; (2) develop or die – wants to work together with the Planning Commission for the future redevelopment of the community, citing the Valley Fair shopping area and the Walker Road/Richter property as examples; and (3) public safety budget – how to maintain services and keep the budget fair for citizens

Heaberg response: Heaberg believes that the township is good shape financially. He observed that due to the economy, Tredyffrin faces the challenge that it may not be able to expect the same level of support from State and Federal agencies as in the past. According to Heaberg, the township should not expect a windfall coming; there is unlikely to be large real estate transfer revenue and not likely to be a lot of new development. There will be a challenge to expense control, specifically on employee benefits.

Mayock response: Anticipating that she would be applying for the Board of Supervisors, Mayock has asked local citizens about their concerns. People generally seem to be happy and had to be pressed to respond. She reported that transportation and traffic concerns was the issue most named. Other responses from citizens included the desire to enjoy the quality of life but not raise taxes. Mayock thinks that the township needs to encourage new businesses to come to Tredyffrin. She believes that if they work in Tredyffrin, they will purchase homes in Tredyffrin and that will increase transfer tax revenue.

Question #4: What do you believe is your greatest strength and your biggest weakness?

Brazunas response: Brazunas views his strengths as persistent and dedicated;and that he does not give up easily. He feels that his biggest weakness is learning how to take a day off; how to force a breather from work and volunteer life. Brazunas referenced being a new father (of 2 wks) and that he has already found that having a baby changes your life. Being a parent is making it easier for him to take a break and come home to be with the baby.

Heaberg response: Heaberg views his judgment ability as a personal strength and that he does a good job at researching and analyzing issues. He views himself as thoughtful and that he learns from his mistakes. With regards to weakness, Heaberg responded that he is not always patient.

Mayock response: Mayock believes that her negotiation talent is her greatest strength. As an attorney, she explained that negotiating is what she does for a living; taking two people and getting them to work together. Her weakness is that she has a difficult time saying ‘no’ and needs to learn how to turn down volunteer opportunities.

Question #5: Can you share with us a challenging situation you’ve had to overcome, what was the specific example, what outcome, and what did you learn from the experience?

Brazunas response: Brazunas cited a particularly challenging personnel matter where he was forced to facilitate the process, and ultimately let a person go that he knew personally. He was proud that he did not let a personal bias interfere with the decision-making process but handled the situation positively by doing what he believed was right under the circumstances.

Heaberg response: Heaberg answered this question by explaining that the early years of his career was slow. To encourage new business in his line of work of financial advising, requires the individual to be a good salesman. Heaberg reported that he was not as successful as he might have been in the early years because the sales side did not suit him. He had to accept that you cannot get 30 years of experience in 1 year. His challenge was how to feed his family in the early years and the greatest lesson was that there are no shortcuts if you are going to do it right.

Mayock response: Mayock responded to this question by claiming that she has a ‘blessed life’. However, a personal challenge as a teenager was the loss of her best friend. Her best friend was diagnosed with brain cancer at 16 and went on to live a few more years. As a result of her friend’s cancer, Mayock helped found ‘Katies Kids for the Cure’ with her friend’s family which raised money for families living with brain cancer. The organization raised $500K which was given to the Wistar Foundation and is now part of the Alex Lemonade nonprofit. Although she was challenged in the loss of her best friend, something very positive came as a result.

Question #6: If appointed you have 3 months on the Board of Supervisors before the primary election. What do you see as your priority as a new supervisor?

Brazunas response: Brazunas thinks it will be important to get up to speed with the other members of the Board of Supervisors. If appointed, he would ask for a sit-down with each supervisor so that he is not walking in and making decisions blindly.

Heaberg response: Heaberg believes that it is important to be receptive and respectful, especially to the citizens. He understands that the Board of Supervisors are putting their faith in him; that they are making the choice. However, just because the voter did not pick him does not mean that what the citizen desires is any less important. Heaberg does not anticipate any hot issues in the 3 months. Believes that he will be thoughtful and thorough in making decisions.

Mayock response: Although Mayock stated that 3 months is not long to get much done, she gave a list of important issues of interest: Pennsylvania Turnpike expansion and sound walls and Rt. 202 expansion and sound walls. Mayock thinks that these projects have been dragging on for a long time. Due to her Great Valley Association involvement, she said that these are particularly important projects. Mayock spoke of the importance of economic redevelopment and is interested in seeing helping businesses expand or relocate to the township. She is troubled by the empty storefronts, particularly in Paoli and views that Paoli Transportation Center as important in the revitalizing of the community.

Question #7: Do you have any questions for us?

Brazunas response: Before answering this question, Brazunas responded that he did not receive pressure from anyone and that he did not interview with anyone. As a Democrat, he stated that the understands the political realities. He makes a bi-partisan commitment to serve the public. His question for the supervisors was to ask what are the hot topics facing the Board of Supervisors. Some of the issues named by the supervisors include: upcoming collective bargaining agreements, encouraging better community communication, financial – where do we find the money, how to redevelop properties and bring business back to Tredyffrin Township – the township needs to be able to compete.

Heaberg response: Heaberg asked the supervisors what they view were the greatest challenges facing Tredyffrin. The supervisors listed collective bargaining, benefit structure, budget, re-development of the community, how to support employees financially and how to pay for it as examples of township challenges.

Mayock response: Mayock asked the supervisors to name their strengths/weakness. Lamina responded that keeping taxes low and delivering A1 service was a strength and being an active listener. Kichline responded that when she became a supervisor a year ago, it required her to make difficult decisions and was proud that she did. Additionally she mentioned that serving in an economic difficult time and still bringing in budget with no tax increase as challenging. Donahue stated that there was learning curve in serving as a supervisor. Since becoming a supervisor, he believes that there is a greater sense of professionalism in the township, including the hiring of a new finance director. He is proud that there was no tax increase as contrasted to other townships.

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  1. I have just emailed all of the Supervisors, imploring them to appoint Eamon Brazunas to the interim position. Not only has he served the township admirably for many years, he is a Democrat – and our township consists of comparable numbers of registered Republicans AND Democrats.

    Such an appointment would go a long way toward convincing many of us that the BOS is truly interested in representing all of Tredyffrin’s citizens – not just those who are party members or who supported them in the election.

  2. Patty,
    Thank you. You really have provided a service for the community. I appreciate all your hard work. You have my respect.

  3. As someone who attended the interviews last night, I must say that all three did a very admirable job of representing themselves. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that since the spot being vacated is a republican spot, that a republican should fill it. That being said….I believe Eamon Brazunas to be a great candidate and I sincerely hope he runs again for supervisor. That leaves two candidates, Kristen Mayock and Mike Heaberg. While I believe both would be able to fill the role, there is no question in my mind as to who is the better candidate. That candidate is Kristen Mayock. She has a history of public service, professional experience that lends to the role of supervisor and an open mind that is able to see both sides of an argument, something of a rarity in this day and age! In each of the three interviews, each was asked what was the most pressing matter for the township moving forward. While all had good answers, I found it exemplary that Kristen said that she took the time to ask the citizens of the township what could be improved upon. To me, that speaks volumes….Lastly, in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to point out that I have a bias. I have worked as a republican committeeman along side Kristen for the past two years. Still, as many on this blog may know, I don’t say things to toe the party line. I speak out for Kristen Mayock because I believe she would best serve the community’s interests.
    Jim Bailey. Republican Committeman M-4

    1. John, Sadly, the answer is no. There hasn’t been a committee vote nor has there been any inquiries or input from those other then officers of the TTRC. From what I gather, this is standard protocol for this scenario. I don’t believe Mike Broadhurst to be a “dictator”, as you call him. He has been a stand up guy for his tenure as chairman of the TTRC and he is well respected by the committee. That being said, this situation has me scratching my head. Kristen is obviously qualified, has put in her dues, and is well thought of within our committee. She has all the attributes one would want on the Board of Supervisors yet we are looking outside the committee for an unknown. The question should be…………..why……..Honestly, I don’t know why………..I wish I did. There may be other oppotunities for Kristen to be a Supervisor down the road but why should she have to wait. Why shouldn’t the most deserving candidate be the supervisor now? If you think my position is based on my friendship and respect for Kristen Mayock, please take the time to review their resumes above and see what you come away thinking. Lastly, I want to make it known that I have no problems with Mike Heaberg. He has obviously been successful running a business and seems like a fabulous family guy As someone in his industry, I have the utmost respect for what it takes to build a clientele and pay the bills at the same time. That being said…. It’s my opinion that he needs some “seasoning” before he should be “recommended” for the board while someone like Kristen is waiting in the wings and ready for the job on day one.
      Jim Bailey Republican Committeeman M-4

      1. I appreciate your remarks Mr. Bailey. However, I would like to point out that Evelyn Richter is a TTRC committee person who came up through the ranks to the BOS. Not to suggest that Ms. Mayock as a TTRC committee person is similar to Richter but the community has experienced a committee person promoted to BOS. Ms. Mayock’s background and experience stands on its own – seperate and apart from her position in the TTRC. In Richter’s case, her only experience was TTRC committee member and that promotion from within worked for her! The citizens would have been better served had the TTRC gone ‘outside’ their inner circle of committee people.

        Personally, I like the idea of a non-TTRC person. I serve on the board of FLITE with Mike Heaberg and I support him.

  4. I respect Mr. Baileys comments, I would like to meet you sometime, you seem very honest. Not like Joey Zazza, Badda bing!! He got his!!
    A couple of things seem to be staring us all in the face.
    Bruti and the sea haggs seem to think they are entitled to do as they please. “the people” mean nothing. When you have selfish elitist types who think they have power ” the people” get screwed. Those who think they know better then everyone else, but are to afraid that the democratic process would change the out come of their selfish wants. (socialist behavior if you ask me and Giuliano they are not)
    You can’t be half pregnant. You either respect democracy and trust its outcome or you don’t. Hypocrisy is the word of the day here. To many who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
    This whole thing leaves me scratching my head. Why would one person have the arrogance to do this especially one apparently in a leadership position. Is this how these people are lead? Cut out of the process and disrespected. My way or the high way. Nobody cares or respects their opinion. Who would take that. I wouldn’t.
    No matter it’s obvious someone out there has a personnel grudge against Kristen Mayock and is doing what they can to try to block her candidacy. If she is part of that committee then she should be promoted by the leadership just as others in the past have been. That’s not the case…..why? Why? Why? Who has the ……. to answer. Where is “capo di pinnochese” off convincing the next poor slob to come and betray his own committee members…who is this guy?
    I know how Sonny would of handled this….if Lucca Bratzi were still around. May he rest in peace my brutto guloso pisano…tu capito. Buona notti amici, ciao

    To B.S.
    “I Claudius”
    allow them to see what you want them to see…ah but was he the clever one in the end ;)

    1. Literary greats from across the pond have much with which to inform this discussion! We can recognize a good proposal from Caligula in my descendant Robert Graves’s aforementioned I Claudius:

      “I now honor this noble house by appointing Incitatus, the greatest race horse in the Empire, a member of the Senate.”

      Who is today’s greatest race horse? The good news is that the candidates are quite distinct from one another. The key questions for the BOS:
      – Who can bring the most to the issues of the next three months?
      – With whom will it be easiest to work?
      – Who would they like to see as their colleague for the next 3 months, then likely the next 6 months and then (for returning incumbents) likely the next 2 or more years?

      1. Just to finish the thought, sorry.

        Will Caligula be appointing the racehorse, or will the decision be based on the merits?

        And a question for those in the know: is there a litmus test for anointment by the TTRC, and if so what might that be?

        1. Bill Shakespeare
          I thoroughly enjoy your commentary and am impressed by your literary knowledge…keep it coming its like a fresh breeze. Wher i come from Giuliani is a bigger hero than Garibaldi..I know you understand this. We admire the same things.
          On the issue – “the die has been cast” no choice or free will for the majority. They show respect where it is not deserved. How sad. ” The key questions for the BOS:”
          unfortunately falls upon mostly deaf ears.
          “she has offended the great King and so the Prince punishes her”.
          No merit, no litmus test just personal acts of revenge for old wounds. Just like Moe Greene, Tutaglia, Bazzini and that no good turk got. Tutti morte a la vendetti.
          Vendetta’s end only when none are left, blood for blood tu capetto?
          This is “di origine“….garantita…su tutti viso!!
          Buona Notti mi amico, grazzi

  5. What no spell check? LOL
    I loaded the italian with mispellings. Oh… how dissappointing.
    Even though I can’t spell :) I can read and read I did, all the resume’s. Kristen Mayocks was by far more impressive. I don’t understand.
    “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”
    International Imobilliare on its face looked like a legit business though it was loaded with serpeants. You know III was pretty great too.

  6. Maybe some are just tired of putting lawyers on boards where being a lawyer can create confusion over who is in charge.

    1. ‘Give it a rest’ wrote…being a lawyer can create confusion over who is in charge. Who is in charge? I believe that would be the people who are supposed to be represented by all of the supervisors on the board. Why would you presume to think that any supervisor who happens to be an attorney is in charge? Most of the current board members are not attorneys and quite frankly I do not see why that is relevant. The members of the board of supervisors are charged with selecting a qualified person to represent all of the people in Tredyffrin Township regardless as to whether that person happens to be an attorney or not. The members of the BOS have one thing in common. They are all Republican and I believe most of them can analyze what is best for the community and hopefully make that decision on their own and disregard party leadership directives that entries to this blog have suggested. Mr. Brazunas or Mrs. Mayock should be chosen in my humble opinion.

      1. Perhaps it’s the devil you know…..
        If both are qualified, then clearly there may be more pieces to any puzzle. I personally appreciate the candidates stepping up and enduring all this spiteful analysis. They are at the mercy of what 6 elected people decide — regardless of who is pulling strings. Choosing either candidate does not mean your string was pulled — it means you made a judgment about filling an empty seat….perhaps some prior statements on position relating to topics not part of this discussion are relevant. I’m good with any of the 3. I’ll vote for MY choice when I get my turn.

  7. Anonymous, Evelyn Richter was not appointed to the board by the TTRC. She was e l e c t e d……. That’s right, there was a vote and she won. I think she’s done an admirable job on the board and certainly does not me to defend her record. If you have a problem with her, the first step would be to let her know and use your real name when you do it. As well, take it up with the citizens of the township as they put her in her seat. However, please don’t use a straw mans argument to promote Mr. Heaberg. Your comparisons of Richter and Mayock are absurd.

  8. “I think she’s done an admirable job on the board”

    — how? Seriously, please point to something that she has done that is ‘admirable’? I rarely miss watching a BOS meeting and I am clueless how her performance in the last 12 months is anything more than ‘predictable’.

    Mr. Bailey, I appreciate your disclosure as a TTRC committeeman so I guess that it would be inappropriate if you did not support your fellow committee people. You are right about one thing — serving on the TTRC is the ONLY thing that Mayock and Richter have in common!

  9. Anonymous, You have gone completely off topic AND are trying to put words in my mouth. I never said the only thing Richter and Mayock have in common was their involvement in the TTRC. YOU said that. Please leave EJ Richter out of this discussion as you seem to have an axe to grind with her. Remember the topic. The discussion here is who should be the next supervisor. EJ already is one.

  10. Is there any discussion suggesting that whoever takes this seat is in a “no win” position (St. Davids and sidewalks) and that the primary may be the best place to start a political career in Tredyffrin? Perhaps some are advocating for either person to SPARE the other applicant? Doesn’t analysis and strategy play into this?

    1. give it a rest.

      Doesn’t analysis and strategy play into this?
      Only when those involved think that way. Not when they are driven by personal pay back. I am sure you in particular see that. There could be a good solution to this, but “capo di pinnochese” refuses and so,…. you’ll see.

  11. It amazes me the arguments now being made about a TTRC vote.

    If the TTRC were to suggest one of these two candidates over the other, this blog would be on fire with people talking about how the TTRC controls the BOS.

    Now, with the TTRC taking no action on this, people are claiming in some way they should — when they shouldn’t.

    The process in place — FOR THE PUBLIC — is that the ELECTED BOS chooses the replacement. Not a political party, etc.

    I am not naive enough to believe that members of both political parties have not communicated their desires to members of the BOS (even on this blog people have pushed each of the three choices based).

    However, the TTRC shouldn’t take a vote and by not doing so they show they understand this — even if people on this blog don’t.

  12. have to weigh in here if only from my experience. When I was ready to leave the school board — I didn’t give the board any advance notice, but I did ask some neighbors and some committee people if they had any one they knew was interested in the seat. Quite honestly, there is a natural tendency to “protect the seat” until you are sure there are capable people interested in taking over. Once I learned some of the people who would be willing to step up for consideration, I announced my resignation for a date in the future. The board accepted it, and then advertised for someone at the time my seat would be open. As I had said earlier, the solicitor advised us in previous efforts that it was all in public. We asked for resumes. I did not attend the interview for my seat but was appreciative that people would step up for it.
    SO — all this noise about who decides and what the behind the scenes talk is is more hyperbole than reality in my experience. The Elected BOS makes the replacement. If they are influenced by their political supporters, that’s just part of the calculation behind the decision…Since a few sitting BOS will be running this year (though Berwyn Banter tells us Lamina will not), perhaps the TTRC has a different level of influence on this choice….but that’s politics too, not back room dealings.

  13. I think we see the difference between how the school board operates and the BOS then, and based on things said here, I’m not surprised.
    But as we’ve seen before – John was the appointee and it didn’t assure any primary victory, so I don’t see this appointment as being as strategic as you want us to.

  14. Excerpt from Main Line Banter last week:

    ‘In Tredyffrin it’s my opinion that longtime supervisor Bob Lamina will not stand for re-election this spring, and the TTRC will present two new candidates for supervisor seats as well as back incumbents Paul Olson and John DiBuonaventuro to retain theirs. The new faces on the Republican side will be the person who will be named next week to fill the vacancy created by Warren Kampf’s “ascension” to the state house. The other will be someone to replace Lamina. It’s a good possibility that one of the new faces will be a woman. The township Dems, of course, will be eager to put four names in consideration on their side of the aisle in mid-May’s primary, all of whom would run in November. I look for one familiar Dem name from previous elections not to be one of those four. More in future columns.’

    Any buzz or updates Pattye?

    1. Re Hoffman’s Banter page — it is my understanding that this is Bob Lamina’s last term on the BOS; that he is not seeking re-election. Lamina’s position is at-large — as is the supervisor vacancy which will be filled tonight. Because the seat was held by a Republican (Warren Kampf) the appointee will probably be either Mike Heaberg or Kristen Mayock. Whichever one is appointed will undoubtedly run in both the ‘special election’ in May and the regular May primary. The other Republican candidate not appointed will probably be the 2nd at-large candidate. From the west, is JD seeking re-election and from the east is Paul Olson seeking re-election. The TTRC could have others in the wings that I am not aware of — but in my opinion. I would say the 4 Republican candidates are Olson, DiBuonaventuro, Heaberg & Mayock.

      Can’t say that I have much to offer on the Democratic side — not sure what Hoffman means by “one familiar Dem name from previous elections not to be one of those four”. Don’t know where Hoffman got his information — think alot will depend on tonight’s BOS meeting.

      For Democrats and Republicans petition signing will get underway shortly and I think it has to be completed by March 9. With that in mind, the slate of Democrats should be forthcoming. On the other hand, Independent candidates do not participate in the May primary. Independent candidates have until August 15 (?) to collect signatures on their petitions and declare their candidacy.

      Tonight could be interesting . . .

  15. No surprise with the pre-packaged appointment tonight. The Republican committee tension was palpable. How uncomfortable did Sup. Donahue and Sup. Kichline look? The partisan rhetoric that continues to spew from Bob Lamina’s mouth is discouraging to the entire Tredyffrin voting population. Newsflash Bob…Democrats and Republicans exist in Tredyffrin. Whether you like it or not you represent all people and all political labels on the Board. Please reconsider and decide to run on this platform for re-election. Sorry Pattye, but let’s call a spade a spade here. When will Bob control his mouth? Does he not respect the fact that he represents all and not some? The answer…NO!

  16. Well now we know who got appointed, and I can assure you based on personal knowledge that it was not uncomfortable for at least one of the two supervisors you mention above. So enough innuendo. It was a strategic decision, and if the political calculation was to support Mr. Heaberg because of pressure from the local party machinery, isn’t that part of politics? What I know for sure is that Heaberg is NOT part of the political machinery, so let’s hope he’s not a pawn. (and if they think he is, they will be very surprised at the independence that I can assure you he will assert). Does anyone even know for sure the he will run ?

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