Willistown Supervisor Candidates: MacQueen and Smith
Democrat Chris Smith is challenging incumbent Republican Norman MacQueen for a seat on the Willistown Board of Supervisors.
The Nov. 8 ballot will include two candidates for Willistown Township Supervisor:
- Norman MacQueen (R) - incumbent
- Chris Smith (D)
A profile of each candidate is below. For sample ballots and poll locations, click here.
Norman MacQueen is the current board of supervisors chairman and is finishing up his first term as a supervisor.
An investment advisor, MacQueen has lived in Willistown since 1996 with his wife, Carol. Before being elected supervisor, he served as township auditor and as a member of the planning commission. He also sits on the board of trustees of InFaith, a Christian missionary organization.
His top priorties as a supervisor include continuing open space preservation, particularly in the north end of the township, attending to an aging sewer system, and making progress on the Paoli Rail Yard project. MacQueen serves on the Paoli Rail Yard Task Force, and he said ground could be broken at the site during the next six-year supervisor's term.
"If we do it right, with the correct traffic improvements, the project should be a win all around," MacQueen said. "If we do it wrong ... it’s going to be a problem."
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Thus far in 2011, MacQueen has been involved in township decisions affecting Greentree Park, Applebrook Meadows development and GCVSA soccer field lighting, plus the annual police awards.
In the League of Women Voters guide, MacQueen wrote: "I believe in limited government. At the local level, that means we should focus on providing only the basic services and only at reasonable costs. ... Borrowing should be limited, and proper financial management and cash reserves should be in place."
Chris Smith is a real estate agent who has lived in Willistown for six years.
Smith is a real estate agent with an office in Exton, but he has a legal background. He said he attended Georgetown Law at night while working full-time during the day. After receiving his J.D., he worked as in-house counsel at a title insurance company.
"I decided I like doing business more than I like doing law," he said.
He has volunteered with US Fish and Wildlife service and sits on the board of Friends of John Heinz Wildlife Refuge. Within Willistown, he has served as treasurer on other campaigns, and he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the township's environmental council.
"I finished the term, and the supervisors decided not to renew my membership, and I wasn’t given an explanation," Smith said.
Smith said one of his primary goals is greater openness and accountability. He said he's had difficulty in the past obtaining public records, including financial reports and meeting minutes, from the township.
"It got to point where the commonwealth had to force Willistown to supply reports to me," he said of a 2008 request for financial reports.
Regarding the recent decision to uphold regulations against lighting Greater Chester Valley Soccer Assocation fields, Smith thinks the board should have brokered a compromise to allow lighting with restrictions.
"We need to have more opportunities for children in our area to be outdoors, engaged in physical activities. Lighting the field would help," he said.
Smith also said the township could benefit from increasing the number of supervisors from three to five.
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In the League of Women Voters guide, Smith wrote: "In tough economic times, no expenditure should escape consideration. Special care should be taken to preserve services vital to residents’ present and future welfare while minimizing the financial burden on those least able to shoulder it."
[Edited 11/3/11 to reflect that MacQueen is a current, not former, member of the Paoli Rail Yard Task Force.]