Election Day 2013 is 4 weeks from tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5. If you are not registered, today is the last day to register to vote in the Municipal Election. Applications from Pennsylvanians registering for the first time, those changing their address or changing their party affiliation must be postmarked or delivered to Chester County’s board of elections by the close of business today, October 7. Chester County’s board of elections is located at Government Services Center, 601 Westtown Rd., Suite 150, West Chester, PA 19380. Their phone number: 610-344-6410. Office hours: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Do you know the candidates for the Board of Supervisor or the Tredyffrin Easttown School Board? What issues facing the township and school district are important to you – do the candidates share your concerns, your opinions? How likely are you to vote on November 5?
If you are a voter in Tredyffrin Township, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the Board of Supervisors candidates. The League of Women Voters is holding a supervisor debate on Saturday, October 19, 2-4 PM at the Tredyffrin Township Building. There are three contested seats on the Board – two for supervisor-at-large and a district supervisor for the middle district. Seeking one of the two at-large supervisor seats is incumbent Michelle Kichline (R), Trip Lukens (R), Murph Wysocki (D) and Mark Freed (D). Current at-large supervisor E.J. Richter (R) is opposing Laurie Elliott (D) for the middle district seat.
In recent years, the League of Women Voters also has held a debate for the TE School Board candidates. Unfortunately, the volunteer organization will not hold a similar debate this year for the school board candidates. This is an important time to know your candidates – what are their backgrounds and experience, where do they stand on issues, etc. etc. So … why no debate for the school board candidates? Do you know who the school board candidates are?
On the Tredyffrin side of the school district, we have Democrat incumbent Kevin Buraks being challenged by Republican Pete Connors in Region I. In Region II, Scott Dorsey (D) opposes incumbent Rich Brake (R).
On the Easttown side of the school district, there are two seats available in Region III. For personal reasons, neither Betsy Fadem (R) nor Anne Crowley (D) is seeking re-election. I attend almost every school board meeting and I have not met any of the four candidates vying for the two open Region III seats. The candidates are Republicans Doug Carlson and Virginia Lastner and Democrats Maryann Piccioni and Jean Kim.
School board candidates Pete Connors and Scott Dorsey have each stated that they want the opportunity to discuss school district issues and are interested in pursuing a debate forum with the other school board candidates — Neither knows why a debate was not scheduled as in prior years. Because of my discussion with Connors and Dorsey (and the interest from the public in learning about the school board candidates), several options are being explored. However, with only 4 weeks remaining until Election Day 2013, it does not leave much time to organize a ‘meet your school board candidate’ forum.
If the past is any indication, the political war for control will rear its ugly head over the next 30 days with school board and supervisor candidates door knocking, campaign mail pieces hitting our houses and the robo-calls that invariably come at dinnertime. Voters need a reason to go the polls on November 5 – they need to know the issues and which candidates support their views. Everyone should be interested in the election because the future of the township, the school district and the community are dependent upon strong, issue-focused leadership. The issues are complex and the School Board (and the Board of Supervisors) must work as a team united (with the community) to find effective solutions.