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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  Supervisor:

  • Norman MacQueen (R) - incumbent
  •  Chris Smith (D)

A profile of each candidate is below. For sample ballots and poll locations, click .

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Norman MacQueen is the current board of supervisors chairman and is finishing up his first term as a supervisor.

  • Background:
         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.
  • Issues: 
         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."
  • More information:
         Thus far in 2011, MacQueen has been involved in township decisions affecting , development and GCVSA , plus the annual .
         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."

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Chris Smith is a real estate agent who has lived in Willistown for six years.

  • Background: 
         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.
  • Issues:  
         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 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.
  • More Information:
         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.]

cynthia sherbin November 03, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Well, it is obvious that Chris Smith is a great candidate. A Democrat on the Board of Supervisors would be a bonus for fiscal responsibility. One party rule (currently controlled by the Republicans) leads to sweetheart deals and approved overpaid salaries for cronies. Two party rule allows all voices to be heard in a community as well as true fiscal balance.
guest12 November 03, 2011 at 02:54 PM
McQueen & Mike Devine building their dynasty in Willistown? Multiple government Offices sought by both. Is this New Jersey? Others need not apply in McQueen's Willistown GOP. Is McQueen's Willistown GOP modeled after the New Jersey Democrats?
guest12 November 03, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Mcueen's partner Mike Devine cancelled seniors use of meeting rooms and the pool in Marple Newtown. How bad will McQueen & Devine hurt seniors here. Big Township Real Estate tax increase coming after the election in Willistown Twp got to wonder Read more here http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2001/12/26/today's%20stories/2842650.txt?viewmode=fullstory
Dog Lover November 04, 2011 at 12:33 AM
I'd like to the see the full township budget put online. What are they hiding? It can be done. Tredyffrin township's budget is online.
Jim Frank November 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Mr Smith, any compromise of soccer field light issue means that the we have less natural space. How about a real compromise? Maybe the soccer parents could compromise by not fertilizing their lawns (run off is a major polluter), not cutting their grass, inviting wild life closer to their homes. My guess they should have built the soccer fields closer to their own backyards rather than "developing" our little natural open space.
guest12 November 07, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Election literature says McQueen is running for County Controller. Why elect him to a 6year Supervisor office.tomorrow. Who will replace him Mike Devine? Why elect him him to a 4yr School Board. Mcueen Devine duo Multiple offices for both according to McQueen? These guys shuffle offices between friends & family faster than rigged card game dealer. Is this the New Jersey Democrats?
RHoney November 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM
To cynthia sherbin: "fiscal responsibility" Really??? That phrase is not associated with Democrats. Never mind fiscal responsibility or deficits, just spend away. That's the Democrat way. Chris Smith isn't fooling anyone by falsely campaigning on fiscal responsibility and traditional values.
guest12 November 08, 2011 at 04:03 AM
The duo Devine on the pension committee & McQueen Supervisor ran the Willistown funds into distress according to State rankings. Cronyism you decide! Go South Advisors? The State ranks them distressed meaning the pension fund McQueen manages with Devines advisory guidance is only 65% funded. Losing $1.6 million on $7 million McQueen wants to continue great work for another 6 years & bring also his skills? as County Controller The larger County pension fund would be the beneficiary of McQueens expert guidance. McQueens expertise @ 65% funding beat out Atglen at 52% but was bested by East Whiteland @84%, West Chester Borough @ 76%, Phoenixville @ 76%, & Coatesville @ 89%. Note to voters when Democrat controlled townships are doing much better than Willistown the problem might be Devine & McQueen expert guidance. See the independent state rankings @ http://www.perc.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/perc_home/2513/act_205_distress_scores/735168
Jim Frank November 08, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Moximan- you are right, that was silly of me to think that my comment about not cutting crass would be understood. You see, I talked of natural space while you talked about open space. I am thinking of what provides habitat for other species, while you are writing to utilze (defined as to use for advantage) open space. If you think of my comment in terms of natural space it might not be quite so silly. And I likely should not have put my comment on this article about the candidates. Your other comments about effective management and fiscal responsibility are much more on topic. Those are the issues that I will vote on today.
Hugh November 09, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Wow you Dems really get upset when you don't win and then you add to your problem by putting out false information. Thank goodness Mr. Smith didn't go to Washington....I mean Willistown.
guest12 November 09, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Be ready for McQueen running for County Controller. Big pension fund for him &Devine to mismanage! Go South Advisors!

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