Municipality: Marple Township
Running For (include district/ward if applicable): Marple Township 2nd Ward Commissioner
Positions Held Previously/Years in Office: Township Commissioner 16 years
What are the larger issues facing the township and how would you like to see them resolved?
The township’s 2013 adopted budget shows projected expenditures of almost $2 million dollars over the projected revenues so we have a real spending problem that needs to be addressed. My recommendation is to start a zero-based budget program where each expenditure has to be justified each year. Our residents are still recovering from the downturn of the economy and this is not the time to engage in new township spending plans, such as new multi-million dollar government buildings.
We need to work with our neighboring towns for responsible planned development in Marple. The latest proposal of a Giant supermarket and gas station near the Blue Route interchange and the proposed developments in Newtown Square could make West Chester Pike a parking lot without a regional plan for traffic.
We need an active town watch, increased use of security cameras, and a more visible police presence to combat home and car break-ins and vandalism.
Would you welcome more transparency with the taxpayers? How could you make that possible?
Yes, we need to allow our residents to have free and open access to all public documents. The commissioners already receive their information electronically and all non-confidential material should be placed on the township website at the same time. All agendas and minutes of the various board meetings should also be on the web. The public forum at the meetings should allow an exchange of ideas between the public and the board, rather than, the “no follow-up questions or rebuttal policy” for residents. And everyone should be treated with respect. There should not be an hour “executive” session at every meeting and the actual subject matter should be disclosed in accordance with the Sunshine Law.
Residents should be able to sign-up for email notifications of changes to the website. The public meetings should be available by streaming video and also stored for future viewing by residents without cable TV. I also plan to continue my 2nd Ward Newsletter ”The Marple Voice” and my website.
If elected, what changes would you like to see in the township or what is working well and you'd like to continue?
- Allow residents to vote on multimillion dollar expenditures for new government buildings and to have full public disclosure on proposed construction, operating costs and future tax implications.
- With bipartisan support, I started the single stream recycling program. We need to increase the recycling rate which is still in the low 30 percent range. We should be much higher with the weekly pickups and our sanitation workers should not collect recyclable material in the trash. This would allow the township to save on disposal fees and to receive higher state recycling grants.
- All township equipment should be permanently marked with the township logo to help prevent inappropriate use.
- A work order system that would track work being done and residents could see the status of their requests.
- A joint compressed natural gas station at the county transfer station, so towns could convert their trash trucks to natural gas to reduce fuel costs and air pollution.
- The proposed budget should be presented in October before elections and not like this year on Nov. 12. At the commissioners meeting, a monthly report should be given on the budget. There has not been a Finance Committee meeting this year and none scheduled.
- I will work with the Marple Newtown Schools to re-establish the annual senior citizen holiday luncheon which I, the students and the senior citizens enjoyed for 12 years.
Why should residents give you their vote?
I will be a responsible fiscal steward of our tax dollars as I have been in the past. I will continue to find savings and new revenues to keep our tax rates down. I have been an independent commissioner and watchdog and always vote for the betterment of our residents and community. I have always worked with a bi-partisan board and being semi-retired, I have the time to devote and give the residents the service they deserve. I have continued my involvement by attending the commissioners meetings and by filling out “Right to Know” forms when I was refused information to advocate for the betterment of our community. I am the vice president and a founding member of the Preserve Our Pennsylvania Towns a statewide group which advocates the control of billboards and the group is still working to prevent the seven highway-size billboards proposed for Marple. I care about the town where I live and will work to preserve its natural beauty and charm.
On Nov. 5, I would be honored to receive your vote to allow me to continue to serve our community of which I have been a part for 44 years in partnership with the public. And I will always be available to address your concerns.