Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Analisa Sondergaard

Election 2017: Candidates for Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, TESD School Board & Magisterial District Judge, District 15-4-01

The 2017 Election campaign season is officially underway for Tredyffrin Township supervisor, TE School District directors and Magisterial District Judge candidates.

All candidates who wished to appear on the Democratic or Republican ballot in the Primary Election needed to have filed their “nomination petitions” along with a “statement of financial interests” with Chester County Voter Services. The nomination petition documents required the signature of registered voters, who are enrolled in the party of which the candidate sought nomination and reside in the electoral district of the office sought. The statement of financial interests requires the candidate to provide information regarding the filer’s source of income.

Below is the list of our local candidates for supervisor, school board and magisterial district judge – best of luck to all those taking the journey! Regardless of party affiliation and stance on specific issues, we thank you for your time, effort and willingness to serve!

The last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions is March 22. The Primary Election date is May 16.

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors

There are three Tredyffrin Township supervisor positions available – two at-large and one in the middle district. Currently serving at-large supervisor Mark Freed (D) and middle district supervisor Evelyn Richter (R) have chosen not to seek reelection. At-large supervisor Murph Wysocki (D) is seeking a second term. Terms are four years.

Three attorneys, a physician, corporate CEO and real estate agent will vie for Tredyffrin Township’s three available supervisor seats.

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Supervisor at Large: Raffi Terzian, MD
  • Supervisor at Large: Robin Bond, Attorney
  • District 2 (Middle): Beth Coppola, Real Estate Agent

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has announced the following candidates: (official endorsement meeting not yet held)

  • Supervisor at Large: Matthew Holt, Attorney
  • Supervisor at Large: Murph Wysocki, Attorney *
  • District 2 (Middle): Kevin O’Nell, CEO, Peoplelinx

* Incumbent


TE School District School Board

For the 2017 election, there is a change to the election districts in the TE School District. The regional election districts in the TE School District were approved for realignment last year to address changes in population that had resulted in disparity among the voting regions. The new regional election districts take effect with the 2017 voting cycle. Terms on the school board are four years.

Voting Precincts: (Representatives will serve through December 31, 2017.)

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

Voting Precincts Beginning with the 2017 Election:

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

The Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Region 2: Doug Anestad, Senior Technology Consultant

The Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has announced the following candidates for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director: (official endorsement meeting not yet held)

  • Region 1: Scott Dorsey, Pastor, Director of Children’s Services *
  • Region 2: Kyle Boyer, Educator

* Incumbent

Incumbent school board director Scott Dorsey (D) is seeking a second term on the TE School Board. The Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has chosen not to oppose Rev. Dorsey in the Region 1 school board race.

Incumbent school board directors Doug Carlson (R) and Virginia Lastner (R) are seeking reelection for a second term in Region 3. Carlson currently serves as the President of the TE School Board.

UPDATE: Candidates Tina Whitlow (D) and Heather Ward (D) have filed to run for TE School Board for Region 3.

The Region 2 school board race will be interesting. Republican Doug Anestad, a computer consultant, attends many of the school district meetings and is an active resident participant – most notably outspoken in his opposition of the VF Middle School fencing project (which the current school board elected to install). Anestad’s opponent in the school board race is candidate Kyle Boyer (D) who is a currently a TESD social studies teacher at VF Middle School. I do not recall when we have had a candidate for the TE School Board, who was a current TE School District teacher. This could prove to be a delicate balance for candidate Boyer – employed as a teacher in the school district where he seeks to serve on its school board.


Magisterial District Judge, District 15-4-01

Incumbent Analisa Sondergaard (D), an attorney is seeking her second 6-year term for Magisterial District Judge, District 15-4-01. Opposing Sondergaard is Liz Mercogliano(R), attorney, realtor and RN.

Unlike the school board and supervisor candidates, where only 10 signatures are required on the nomination petitions, the magisterial district judge candidates are required to have 100 signatures. As is the case with school board candidates, those seeking district judge position, can cross-file and appear on both Republican and Democratic ballots. To appear on both Republican and Democratic ballots, a school board candidate would need to have a minimum of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats signatures and a magisterial district judge candidate would need a minimum of 100 signatures from each political party.

Chester County Magisterial District Court Race . . . Analisa Sondergaard to Challenge Incumbent Judge Jeremy Blackburn

Last month, in anticipation of the Primary Election on May 17, I produced a schedule to review the candidates for Tredyffrin Township Supervisor, T/E School Board, Chester County Magisterial District Judge and the Special Election. Each of the candidates has been asked to submit either a resume or a bio and I have linked Community Matters to this information.

The Primary is a week from tomorrow and today’s topic is the Chester County Magisterial District Judge race for District Court 15-4-01. District Court 15-4-01 has jurisdiction over precinct W-1, W-2, W-5, M-2, M-3, M-4 and M-7. Incumbent Judge Jeremy Blackburn will face challenger Analisa Sondergaard for the magisterial district judge position.

Sondergaard is endorsed by the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee.

Last month I sent an email to Judge Blackburn asking for his resume or biographical information and did not receive a response. However, I sent another request this morning and if I receive the information, I will post it.

The District Court 15-4-01 includes my precinct and I thought it would be interesting to have background information on the position and responsibilities of a magisterial district judge. From the Chester County government website, below is a district justice overview.

The magisterial district judges are part of the unified judicial system of the Pennsylvania court system and are governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Court as promulgated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On a local level the nineteen district courts within Chester County are under the supervision and direction of President Judge Paula Francisco Ott. Each magisterial district judge is elected to a six-year term of office and serves within their magisterial district. Magisterial District Judges hold hearings on the following:

  • Summary cases (both traffic and non-traffic related matters).
  • Civil and landlord/tenant cases not exceeding $8,000.
  • Criminal cases. and
  • Preliminary hearings on misdemeanor and felony cases.

Additional duties include:

  • Financial reporting including receipt and disbursement of funds to the county, state, local municipalities and school districts; in order to provide accurate case management and public awareness.
  • Presiding over hearings relative to Protection From Abuse (PFA) matters, issuing search warrants, setting bail, conducting marriages, holding preliminary arraignments both during office hours as well as during scheduled night duty sessions.

In addition, the magisterial district judges are assigned to a rotating schedule of Night Duty. The Pennsylvania Rules of Court require that a magisterial district judge be available at all times after established business hours of the Court of Common Pleas. Therefore, a schedule exists which indicates the on duty magisterial district judge for nights, weekends and holidays.

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