Address: 113 Cratin Lane, West Chester
Running For: Willistown Board of Supervisors
Positions Held Previously: 1st time seeking elected office.
What do you think can be done to improve pedestrian travel in the area: While the infrastructure of towns like Malvern and Paoli are for the most part set, fairly inexpensive upgrades such as providing benches, restrooms, drinking fountains, artwork and other elements, can be used to create a more attractive environment for pedestrians.
In addition, while the town centers have plenty of sidewalk space, something as simple as erecting a barrier at the edge of the sidewalk can provide a friendlier and safer pedestrian area and can add to the appeal of the downtown areas.
Explain which issues motivated you to run: As the father of three small boys, my greatest motivation to seek a position on the Board of Supervisors was to help ensure a strong future for Willistown and let my boys know there is a larger world outside our home which requires public service to function properly.
That said, it is hard to miss that the current Board is not exactly a representative cross section of Willistown, with all three Board members living within about a mile of each other and two of the Supervisors, including my opponent, being brothers-in-law and living on what was once the same family property. One of the things that makes Willistown great is the diversity of the living area, from more town oriented living in the north to a greater number of planned communities in the south. The Board should be representative of this diversity so all the townspeople are represented on the Board.
Is there an area in which you think the current administration could have performed better, and how would you address that area: When it comes to fiscal responsibility, the current Board has made a number of missteps. In a time of historic stock market gains, the Willistown Pension Fund continues to be underfunded and lag behind the performance of our neighboring towns’ pension funds. This has real world consequences for the citizens of Willistown given the pensions are defined benefit obligations which must be paid regardless of the underfunding of the pension plan. The last thing the citizens of Willistown need is another “surprise” like the Board’s attempt to raise sewer rates by 37.5% over a three year period back in 2009. Of course, when faced with public outcry on the issue, the Board relented and approved a one-time lower increase of 25%, a huge increase, but one that did not resolve the issues which necessitated the proposed huge increase. The fact is, leadership cannot merely be reactive, it must be proactive.