Pattye Benson

Community Matters


Supporting Corbett’s Budget, Rep Kampf claims it a “Victory for All Taxpayers”

I received an official email from Rep Warren Kampf supporting the newly approved state budget and claiming that it a “victory for all taxpayers”. Included in the email was a YouTube video of Kampf’s remarks presented last night in Harrisburg. The 4 min. video contains something for everyone . . . I encourage you to watch it and look forward to your comments.

Hear my Floor Remarks from Last Night’s Budget Vote

I heard you.
Last night was a victory for all taxpayers because after eight years of uncontrolled spending and borrowing, we have brought fiscal discipline back to state government.?

View my remarks

This budget recognizes the financial burdens we’ve placed on our families and reverses these trends by reducing spending and rejecting tax increases when people can least afford them.

I also knew we could do a better job prioritizing spending than the governor did in his proposal, and we have. Local schools will receive millions of dollars more than proposed. For example, we were able to restore $1.276 million to the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District alone.

Countdown to Primary Day, May 17 . . . Presenting Tredyffrin Supervisor Candidate Resumes

The Pennsylvania Primary Election is 30 days from tomorrow — Tuesday, May 17, 2011. As was previously announced on April 11, I will provide all the candidates resumes on Community Matters using the following schedule. I hope that by providing in-depth information on local candidates will encourage increased voter turnout for the Pennsylvania Primary Election. Historically, voter turnout in Tredyffrin Township has been low for the Primary Election, (particularly in a non-presidential year) — here’s hoping that trend changes next month.

In Pennsylvania, only registered Republican and Democratic voters are permitted to vote in the Primary Election. As a reminder, this year in addition to the Primary Election, there is a Special Election in Tredyffrin Township — Independents, as well as Republican and Democrats can vote in the Special Election race.

The Special Election will fill the vacancy in the office of the Board of Supervisors caused by the resignation of Warren Kampf. The vacancy was temporarily filled by the interim supervisor appointment of Mike Heaberg. As required by the Township’s Home Rule Charter and the Pennsylvania Election Code, a Special Election will be held and voters will choose between incumbent Mike Heaberg (R) and Molly Duff (D). The individual elected will fill the remainder of the supervisor term, ending on December 31, 2011.

  • Monday, April 25: Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisor Candidates
  • Monday, May 2: Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board Candidates
  • Monday, May 9: Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01 Candidates
  • Wednesday, May 11: Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Special Election Candidates
  • Tuesday, May 17: Pennsylvania 2011 Primary

According to the schedule above, today is for the Board of Supervisor candidates. I have received resumes or bios on each of the candidates listed — click on the candidate’s name and the link will take you directly to the individual candidates information.

I encourage you to review the information that the candidates have provided and welcome your thoughtful comments.

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisor Candidates:

** Incumbent

Pennsylvania Primary, May 17, 2011 – Community Matters Schedule for Candidate’s Resumes

In advance of the Pennsylvania May Primary on Tuesday, May 17, last month I contacted chairs of the local political parties — Mike Broadhurst, TTRC and Dariel Jamieson, TTDEMS. I requested (and received) the resumes of candidates for the TESD School Board, Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, Chester County Magisterial District Judge and Board of Supervisors Special Election.

Providing a discussion forum on Community Matters as I did for the Tredyffrin Township interim supervisor’s appointment process in February, I will provide the Republican and Democratic candidate resumes for each of the May Primary races. Using the following schedule, I hope that by providing in-depth information on the candidates, will encourage a greater voter turnout for the Pennsylvania Primary on Tuesday, May 17.

  • Monday, April 25: Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisor Candidates
  • Monday, May 2: Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board Candidates
  • Monday, May 9: Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01 Candidates
  • Wednesday, May 11: Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Special Election Candidates
  • Tuesday, May 17: Pennsylvania Primary

All candidates in the May 17, 2011 Primary

Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board Candidates:

  • Region 1: James Bruce (R) **
  • Region 1: Tara G. LaFiura (R)
  • Region 1: Karen Cruickshank (D) **
  • Region 1: Jerry Henige (D)
  • Region 2: Kristine Graham (R)
  • Region 2: Elizabeth Mercogliano (R)
  • Region 2: Scott Dorsey (D)
  • Region 2: Jenny Wessels (D)
  • Easttown, Region 3: Peter Motel (R) **
  • Easttown, Region 3: Craig Lewis (D)

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Candidates:

  • At Large: Michael Heaberg (R) **
  • At Large: Kristen Kirk Mayock (R)
  • At Large: Molly Duffy (D)
  • At Large: Ernani (Ernie) Falcone (D)
  • District 1 East: Paul Olson (R) **
  • District 1 East: Victoria (Tory) Snyder (D)
  • District 3 West: John DiBuonaventuro (R) **
  • District 3 West: No Candidate (D)

Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01

  • Jeremy Blackburn (R) **
  • Analisa Sondergaard (D)

Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Special Election Candidates:

  • Michael Heaberg (R) **
  • Molly Duffy (D)

** Incumbent

It’s Official . . . Announcing Candidates for Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors & Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board!

Tuesday, March 8th was the deadline to file petitions for Pennsylvania’s May 17, 2011 primary election.

Special thanks goes to Mike Broadhurst, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee and Dariel Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee for providing the names of candidates for the Board of Supervisors and the Tredyffrin Easttown School Board. Mike and Dariel have agreed to supply the bios and/or resumes of each of the supervisor and school director candidates which I will provide in a future post on Community Matters.

Note on School Director candidates: To become a school board candidate, you must file a petition signed by at least 10 qualified voters of the school district for the political party with which the petition will be filed. It is my understanding that all school board candidates are cross-filing. To cross-file in a primary election (that is, to run on both political parties), a registered Democrat or Republican must circulate a proper petition for the other party. The petition must contain signatures as previously mentioned. If elected on both party ballots in the May primary, a candidate will appear on both party ballots in the general election in November.

The candidates for the May 17, 2011 primary election are as follows:

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

  • Region 1: James Bruce **
  • Region 1: Tara G. LaFiura
  • Region 2: Kristine Graham
  • Region 2: Elizabeth Mercogliano

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

  • Region 1: Karen Cruickshank **
  • Region 1: Jerry Henige
  • Region 2: Scott Dorsey
  • Region 2: Jenny Wessels

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

  • Easttown, Region 3: Peter Motel **

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

  • Easttown, Region 3: No Candidate

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

  • Supervisor at Large: Michael Heaberg **
  • Supervisor at Large: Kristen Kirk Mayock
  • District 1 East: Paul Olson **
  • District 3 West: John DiBuonaventuro **

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

  • Supervisor at Large: Molly Duffy
  • Supervisor at Large: Ernani (Ernie) Falcone
  • District 1 East: Victoria (Tory) Snyder
  • District 3 West: No Candidate

For Tredyffrin Township Auditor, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Bryan Humbarger

For Tredyffrin Township Auditor, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • No Candidate

For Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Jeremy Blackburn **

For Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Analisa Sondergaard

** Incumbent

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.

Lower Merion, Tredyffrin Townships Struggle With ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Manipulation . . . Where’s the Transparency?

Mother Nature caused the cancellation of tonight’s interim supervisor interviews. Fortunately the Personnel Committee was able to reschedule the interviews for tomorrow night. Although the interview process will only include 3 supervisors (Kichline, Donahue, Lamina) rather than all six supervisors, I am accepting that it is a step in the right direction. I know each of the candidates, Eamon Brazunas, Mike Heaberg and Kristen Mayock, personally and the residents of Tredyffrin would be fortunate to have any one of them serve as interim supervisor.

Regardless of the candidate ultimately chosen, I do believe that we need to continue to encourage greater transparency from our elected officials. Similarly to Tredyffrin Township, Lower Merion Township is involved in the process of filling vacancies of elected officials. In Lower Merion’s case, two Commissioners have resigned. Residents have questioned the appointment process in Lower Merion; concerned by an orchestrated effort to manipulate the outcome behind the scenes. Many residents feel that the Commissioner replacements are predetermined — some suggest the replacement Commissioner is known before the vacancy is publicly announced! Some in Tredyffrin have suggested that a similar situation may exist.

Audrey Romasco of Bryn Mawr offers her opinion in Main Line Times on Lower Merion’s appointment process . . . and Lower Merion officials who can stay within the law, but manage to disregard transparency and civic participation.

Ms. Romasco’s letter ends with “In 2011, a year of municipal elections, it is time for citizens of Lower Merion to demand a level of transparency that both fulfills the law and fosters civic participation and to consider how well that demand is met when they enter the voting booth.” Many readers of Community Matters would probably agree with Ms. Romasco. If you don’t approve of the way things are done, make your voice heard through your vote. As you read the letter below, replace Lower Merion Township and their Commissioner vacancy with Tredyffrin Township and our interim supervisor vacancy.

Transparency more than letter of the law
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
By Audrey W. Romasco, Bryn Mawr

Over the past four weeks the residents of Lower Merion have learned a very important lesson: it is possible to follow the letter of the law, enacted in the Sunshine Act, and still deprive the citizens of transparency.

I am speaking of the Machiavellian handling of the serial resignations of Commissioners Reed and Taylor. By Bruce Reed’s own account, he had been considering resigning for the past year. Mr. McGuire also stated that Reed approached him “two or three months” before his resignation. Yet Reed waited to publicly disclose his intention until just before the close of business on Dec. 23, the last day before two shortened holiday weeks.

In other words he timed his resignation to deliberately attract the least attention from the public and to minimize the possibility of developing interest from candidates other than Mr. McGuire whom he had chosen to fill the vacancy. This goal was furthered by the very compressed scheduling of the deadline for applications.

The First Class Township statutes in Pennsylvania state that the Board of Commissioners must fill a vacancy within 30 days of the vacancy occurring. In Mr. Reed’s case, the vacancy did not actually occur until the close of business on Jan. 19. The board thus had until Feb. 18 to name a replacement. Instead, hard on the heels of residents returning to non-holiday mode, applications were due by Jan. 6. This week Lower Merion experienced déjà vu. Commissioner Taylor announced that he was resigning as of Feb. 15. Again, though the Board of Commissioners by statute has until March 17 to fill the vacancy, it has instead rushed the process forward, anticipating interviews on Feb. 9, which would require applications to be submitted by Feb. 3, a mere 13 days after Taylor tendered his resignation. Taylor was cannier than Reed. He demurred when asked about his replacement, saying he had talked to several people. However, the foreshortened timetable can only lead one to believe that a predetermined successor has been identified.

All of the above is strictly legal. It even has precedent in Lower Merion politics. It is also bad government.

First, the voters of these two wards had an expectation when they went to the polls three years ago that their elected representatives would complete their terms barring health issues or relocation. Such was not the case with Messrs. Reed and Taylor. Rather than transparently announcing well in advance that they would not seek re-election, they merely decided that they wanted to “reprioritize” their lives: that they didn’t owe their constituents the last 10 months of their “contract” with their ward residents. This sheds an entirely different light on all the votes they cast in the last several months, a context that was completely hidden from the Lower Merion citizens.

Second, by grooming specified replacements well in advance of announcing their resignations, they have denied a level playing field to all applicants. Several commissioners noted that Mr. McGuire was more “up to speed”; small wonder when he had three months to prepare. And while the commissioners had time to privately interview the candidates for Ward 13 (indeed several Democratic commissioners had already committed their vote to Mr. McGuire before the application deadline), few constituents were afforded enough time to meet them, perhaps in a venue such as a civic-association interview.

Third, they have cunningly influenced the elections playing field. They have discouraged what otherwise might be a vigorous primary contest in May by investing one candidate with the advantages of incumbency.

Finally, and by no means least, they have once again done damage to the concept that civic participation is a virtue. Their premature resignations suggest they consider only their own self-interests, an all too common perception of elected officials. The truncated appointment process signals predetermined results. A commissioner purportedly telling a citizen not to waste their breath supporting Stuart Ebby chills all citizen comment.

The National Constitution Center’s 2010 Pennsylvania Civic Health Index shows that only 11.2 percent of Pennsylvanians contacted or visited a public official and only 8.8 percent attended a meeting where political issues were discussed. That ranks Pennsylvania 29th and 38th respectively among the 50 states. As appalling as these numbers are, it can hardly be surprising when some of our elected officials do everything in their power to discourage transparency and citizen participation.

In 2011, a year of municipal elections, it is time for citizens of Lower Merion to demand a level of transparency that both fulfills the law and fosters civic participation and to consider how well that demand is met when they enter the voting booth.

Interested in Filling Anticipated Vacancy of Supervisor Warren Kampf? Send Your Resume to Mimi Gleason by 12/31/10

A couple of announcements in the Supervisors Agenda for Monday, 12/6 caught my attention. Here they are:

The Township has scheduled a public meeting for the SR 252/AMTRAK Grade Crossing (Bridge/Intersection) Project. The meeting will be held on December 8 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Delaware Valley Friends School Auditorium on East Central Avenue in Paoli.

With the recent election of Mr. Kampf to the PA General Assembly, the Board of Supervisors anticipates a vacancy in the near future. We would request that all interested citizens wishing to be considered to fill the unexpired term created by this prospective vacancy submit their resumes to the Township to the attention of Ms. Mimi Gleason. We would ask that all interested parties submit their resumes no later than December 31. The formal process under the Home Rule Charter for filling a vacancy will not occur until the time of the actual vacancy.

I thought it would be good to look up the exact wording from Tredyffrin Township’s Home Rule of Charter. Here is the applicable information relating to vacancies on the Board of Supervisors:


A. The office of a Supervisor shall become vacant upon death, resignation, removal of place of residence from the Township (or, in the case of a District Supervisor, from a District represented), legal certification of mental disability, or forfeiture of office as authorized by law or this Charter.

B. The office of Supervisor shall be forfeited if he is declared by any Court of this Commonwealth to lack any qualifications for the office as prescribed by law or is convicted of any crime classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree or higher under the laws of this Commonwealth, or is convicted of any comparable crime under the laws of any state or of the United States.

C. Whenever a vacancy exists in the office of Supervisor, the vacancy shall be filled under the following procedures:

1. At the next election, primary, municipal or general, which takes place sixty days or more after such vacancy occurs, a special election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term will be held. The special election shall be conducted in accordance with election laws of this Commonwealth. The person elected to fill the vacancy shall assume the office on the day following certification of the election results.

2. The Board shall, at its first regular or special public meeting after the vacancy occurs, give notice that a vacancy exists and shall state that it will make an interim appointment to fill the vacancy at its next public meeting which occurs not less that thirty days from the meeting at which the vacancy is announced. Following such notice, the Board by a majority vote of its remaining membership shall appoint a qualified elector of the Township, and in the case of a vacancy in the office of District Supervisor, a qualified elector of the District in which the vacancy exists, to fill the vacancy until a duly elected successor is sworn into office.

3. If the Board shall fail to fill a vacancy within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, upon petition of any individual Supervisor, or upon petition of ten or more qualified electors of the Township, shall make the interim appointment to fill the vacancy until a duly elected successor is sworn into office.

4. In the event that sufficient vacancies exist so that the Board lacks a quorum necessary to do business, the remaining members of the Board shall immediately make an interim appointment or appointments to fill sufficient vacancies in the position of Supervisor from the Township at large to form a quorum. Thereafter, the remaining vacancies shall be filled as otherwise provided herein.

5. In the event that all of the positions on the Board should become vacant, the Court of Common Pleas shall immediately, upon petition of ten or more registered voters of the Township, make interim appointments to fill the offices of Supervisor from the Township at large. Thereafter, the remaining vacancies shall be filled as otherwise provided herein.

Moving Past Tredyffrin’s 2010 Election Cycle

The political signs have gone. The phones have stopped ringing. There are no more calls reminding us to vote or asking who we like in certain races. There’s no one knocking at the door urging us to vote. It’s nice and quiet. What we have left are the victors and the losers. The numbers settle it all, once the votes have been counted.

Locally, the dust has begun to settle post-election 2010. After a heated, and at times very negative mud-slinging campaign between Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf, a victor emerged in the State House 157 race. Warren Kampf will take his new office in January and State Representative Paul Drucker will complete his term on November 30. In the aftermath of any election there is always discussion as to what ‘went wrong’ or what ‘went right’ with the campaign. Campaign insiders are left to ponder the future.

I think it is unfortunate that politics has increasingly begun to feel like a game, but one that is very often played outside the bounds of civility. During this past local campaign cycle, my reaction to both sides was often profound sadness and disappointment. Winning at all costs became the focus, and that it did not appear to matter what it took to get to the winner’s circle.

Last night I was picking up Chinese food in Berwyn and walked past the window of Fellini’s Restaurant on my way to the car. In the window, I saw Paul and Robin Drucker and stopped in to say hello. Paul was with some of his campaign staff; my guess is that in the near future, many of these young campaigners will disburse in their separate directions. Looking at the group gathered, I reflected on the idealism and passion of being a political campaigner; and of being 20-something.

Regardless of their associated political party, there is an unwavering commitment to political candidates by the often young campaign staff. These young people have placed an importance on local politics. They support their local legislators with the understanding that these officials make decisions that affect our daily lives. These things matter.

Looking ahead, maybe there is hope for the future . . . that the grassroots optimism and idealism of youth can help create a civic landscape with great vibrancy for which we can all be proud.

Election Day 2010 . . . The Day After

Driving many voters to the polls across the country in yesterday’s election was the theme of anxiety and disappointment. Just about everywhere, Election Day 2010 felt far removed from 2008. Two years ago, after all, there was no Tea Party. The rise of the conservative Tea Party movement added a new element to the election cycle, boosting little-known and inexperienced candidates into national media spotlight and in some cases, ultimate victory over mainstream political figures. Guess the jury is out whether the Tea Party movement will remain a lasting force in American politics.

Two years ago, the nation was in financial shock. Now hard times are all too familiar. I heard one report that 30% of all voters yesterday had first-hand experience with unemployment; with an immediate family member currently out-of-work. With such difficult economic times, it was particularly depressing to read that this long and bitter campaign season cost more than $3.5 billion. How many better ways could these billions of dollars been spent in this country?

These past two years, politics across America has been fueled by turmoil – town hall meetings that dissolved into shouting matches, persistent questions about the motives of leaders on both sides and a non-stop partisan battling. Enough negativity and nastiness existed to spawn last weekend’s rally in Washington with John Stewart, all in the name of restoring sanity in America.

The disappointment and helpless sentiment was not hard to find across the country in an election that took place against a backdrop of persistently high unemployment, no sign of real improvement in the economy and divisive politics. Everywhere you look, people seem to be looking for someone or something to blame – whether the President, Congress, a political party, etc. Finding someone to blame would make things a lot easier to accept; but I am not entirely sure that is realistic.

Locally, in the State House 157 race, Warren Kampf defeated incumbent State Rep Paul Drucker. As a current sitting supervisor, Kampf will be vacating his Tredyffrin seat for his new job in Harrisburg. His departure from Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors is only an assumption . . . maybe there is no requirement and he can be both a state representative and a township supervisor.

Many have been let down, including myself, about the partisan divide and what seems unwillingness for people to work together and move forward. There is much work to be done in the country, the Commonwealth and here in Tredyffrin Township but . . . I remain hopeful for the future.

Open Land Conservancy Board Member Troubled by Republican Political Signs on Trees in Their Nature Preserve!

Apparently, in the last few days, over zealous Republican campaigners have stepped over the line again. If you recall, there were Republican signs on a tree in township property — the Swedesford Road Open Space Park. Within hours of my post on those signs, the township staff quickly removed them. We have a new problem as reported by Ray Clarke, Board of Director member for Open Land Conservancy of Chester County.

The George Lorimer Preserve is beautiful 88 acres of meadows, ponds, stream and trail system that has managed to provide wildlife in a wonderful rural setting. How sad that this nature preserve in Malvern is marred by political signs! Open Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization and does not have the people nor the equipment to remove these signs.

I certainly hope that the local Republican Party will have these signs down tomorrow! So sad! Here is Ray’s note — thank you for providing the photo and here’s hoping that the signs, like Election Day 2010, are a memory tomorrow!

OK, those trespassing republican tree climbers are at it again.

This time a trio of signs listing republican candidates are stapled on a tree in Open Land Conservancy’s Lorimer Nature Preserve. Now, we don’t have the resources to get ladders and remove the signs, so I’m hoping that the republican officials who read this this site will have them removed forthwith.

What are they thinking? In a Nature Preserve?

~ Ray Clarke, Open Land Conservancy of Chester County

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