Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Paoli Business Professional Association

Just in . . . Paoli Business & Professional Association Supports Reinstatement of Fire Company Budget Cut

I am on the Board of Directors of Paoli Business and Professional Association and I am pleased to report that our organization has approved the following statement of support for the reinstatement of the fire company budget cut. A copy of the statement will be emailed to each member of Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors.


Dear Tredyffrin Township Supervisors,

Our organization supports the Paoli, Berwyn and Radnor Fire Companies and the volunteer firefighters. Our support does not include Tredyffrin Township’s proposed 5% reduction in contributions for local fire and emergency services. We ask that the Board of Supervisors maintain the 2010 fire company funding at the 2009 level.

Board of Directors
Paoli Business and Professional Association

Strategic Realty Investments to be Master Developer for Paoli Rail Yards

I just received notice from State Rep Paul Drucker’s office with the following press release from Harrisburg. Strategic Realty Investments has officially been named as the master developer for the Paoli rail yard redevelopment project. I know Peter Monaghan personally, one of the principals of Strategic Realty Investments, and I appalud the choice. Peter is a wonderful, community-spirited person and this project will be greatly helped with him at the helm! This is good news for the community.

Developer chosen for Paoli rail yards

HARRISBURG, Dec. 16 – State Rep. Paul Drucker, D-Chester/Montgomery, said today that Strategic Realty Investments has been selected as master developer for the Paoli rail yards, a 20-acre site located in Tredyffrin and Willistown townships.

The developer will team with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Amtrak, the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Tredyffrin and Willistown townships, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and numerous stakeholders to create a new mixed-use development on the former brownfield.

The site will be home to the new Paoli Transportation Center, which is expected to include a modern train station to accommodate hundreds of daily riders and a state-of-the-art garage.

“I believe there is no more important initiative in the Paoli area that could simultaneously help business economic development as well as improve the quality of life for local residents, and it is encouraging to see progress is continuing,” said Drucker. “This announcement is the latest indication that all our hard work is paying off and that the new station and surrounding development will become a reality.”

“Transportation infrastructure is the heart and soul of economic development and this project is a prime example of how public transportation is a vital part of local economies,” said state Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny, chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “My sincere thanks and congratulations go to Representative Drucker for bringing this important project to my attention, and for his enthusiastic support and persistence through the process.”

Drucker said funding for the project is expected to come from private and public sources, including potential American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding.

With Police Escort, Paoli Fire Company Delivers Santa!

With lights and sirens blaring, Tredyffrin Township police cruiser escorted a Paoli Fire Company firetruck down Lancaster Avenue, turning in to the Paoli Shopping Center. Singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town and other Christmas carols with the Noteables, the children watched in fascination as Santa climbed down from the big red fire engine. The kids were so excited they could hardley contain themselves. With hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies in hand, the crowd followed Santa in to the Paoli Hardware Center. Seated on a big red sleigh with 2 elves to help, Santa listened as each child gave Santa their Christmas list.

Paoli Business & Professional Association president Marie Thibault had the vision for the day . . . and the community thanks her. Below are some photos from Santa’s arrival:

Onboard Paoli Fire Company fire truck, Tredyffrin Twp Police provides escort for Santa

Santa Arriving at Paoli Hardware Center

Christmas Carols provided by the Noteables

Santa listening to child's Christmas List

Economic Times Create Challenges for Local Business Community

As a member of both the residential and business communities of Tredyffrin, if elected to the Board of Supervisors I plan to build upon this balanced relationship and be a bridge between them. I fully understand the affect that our country’s current economic situation has cast on small businesses such as mine, the Great Valley House, a historic bed and breakfast. Having enjoyed an interesting way of life as an innkeeper and small business owner for 25 years, I have also witnessed first hand the downturn in our nation’s economy and its effect on my business. Back in the 1980’s, I did postgraduate work at London School of Economics, after completing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CalState-Fullerton. My thesis work at LSE included a “Comparative Analysis of Job Satisfaction in the Workplace between the United States and Britain”. The British government was particularly interested in this analysis as the two nations were very comparable in their ‘double-digit’ unemployment rate and the resulting downsizing in the workplace. My work became ‘dated’ in its theories as the US began to turn around and regain a degree of healthiness. Britain on the other hand, was far slower in its recovery and as a result the similarities between the two countries lessened during the next decade.

Fast forward 25 years, and you find that 2008 ushered in a similar era of economic downturn, massive corporate layoffs and high unemployment rates which is effecting Tredyffrin Township as it is across Pennsylvania and the nation. It is interesting to view this situation through the eyes of a small business owner but likewise I understand the economic woes and downsizing challenges facing large corporations. My husband has been employed by Unisys for 30 years, a major township employer. Like so many other technology firms, Unisys has endured falling share prices, lowered profit margins and the impact of our nation’s economic crisis.

I would like to look at various ways our township government may be able to assist and encourage our local businesses. Perhaps a review of township contracts to utilize the services of our local business community whenever possible. By keeping the flow of business “in the neighborhood,” everyone can play a vital role in regenerating the economic growth of Tredyffrin. I would like to see our community come out of the “survival” and in to the “growth” mode, ready to focus on the future again. The ripple effect will benefit the township and beyond. Supporting the business community of Tredyffrin Township supports everyone! Serving as a board member of the Paoli Business & Professional Association allows me the opportunity to understand the ongoing need for revitalization and encouragement of our township business community.

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