Final Land Development Approval Sought at Planning Commission Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17 for High School Expansion Plan + Proposed Parking Lot on Irish Road — Will Stormwater Runoff be Adequately Managed for the Neighborhood?

On the Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission agenda for Thursday, Oct. 17, 7 PM is the preliminary/final land development application for the Conestoga High School expansion. The proposal expands the existing high school (216,000 sq. ft.) with a two story addition (approx. 40,500 sq. ft.)

For those that live in the area of the high school, this is an important meeting to attend — as another component of the T/E School District’s expansion plan includes a new parking lot (with 128 spaces) on Irish Road plus a bus pull-off.

We know that rainwater does not percolate into impervious surfaces but runs off instead. The proposed parking lot requires the removal of many trees from its wooded lot. Imperious surface is the primary contributor to stormwater runoff and is a major contributor to flooding … what stormwater impact can neighbors expect as a result of the proposed parking lot? Will the stormwater runoff from the parking lot be adequately managed? And going forward, who has oversight of the stormwater situation once the parking lot is completed – the school district or the township?

Residents in the high school area (particularly Irish Road, Lizbeth Lane and Oak Lane) have suffered with major stormwater and flooding issues for years – if you know the area, many homes in the neighborhood sit downhill from the proposed high school expansion project and parking lot. Such a large land development project, which includes the removal of many trees, is certain to impact a community already impacted by stormwater runoff problems and stormwater issues.

Residents are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission and make their concerns known. Mitigating and preventing flooding and erosion of their properties must include stormwater runoff as a critical part of the approval of the high school expansion project, particularly the parking lot component. Neighbors cannot afford further damage and possible devaluation of property as a result of severe stormwater runoff issues.

In addition to increased stormwater runoff issues related to the proposed parking lot on Irish Road – residents need to bring their safety, traffic, lighting, etc. concerns to the Planning Commission meeting. The proposed expansion plan and parking lot needs to be fully vetted by the planning commissioners before granting final land development approval.

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T/E School District goes from a $1.5 Million Deficit to having a $4 Million Surplus Four Months Later – A $5.5 Million Discrepancy! How is this Possible Mr. Business Manager?

How is it possible that in June, the TESD Business Manager claimed a projected deficit of $1.5 million for the 2018-19 year and then based on that, the taxpayers received a 3.91% tax increase for 2019-20?  Then fast forward less than four months later and this same Business Manager tells the school board at the Finance Committee meeting this week that not only did the District not have a deficit for the 2018-19 year but instead it magically had a $4 million surplus — A $5.5 Million discrepancy! How is this possible?

In the T/E School District, residents have faced annual tax increases for the last fifteen years.   If you recall, in mid-December 2018, the District first presented the 2019-20 budget with a proposed 6.1% tax increase and that 6.1% increase hung over taxpayers heads for six months! Finally in June the proposed tax increase was lowered and the school board approved a 3.91% increase. And with the 3.91% tax increase, our school district received a special distinction … we had the second highest tax increase in the Philly region!

Do you fully understand what happened?  To recap … from December 2018 to June 2019, taxpayers were faced with a 6.1% tax increase. In June 2019, taxpayers ended up with 3.91% tax increase due to a projected deficit of $1.5 million. Now four months later, the taxpayers are told that the District didn’t end up with a deficit after all. Nope, actually the 2018-19 year ended with a $4 million surplus. Again, I ask why is there a $5.5 million discrepancy and and why did taxpayers receive a 3.91% tax increase?

I don’t know about you, but as a taxpayer I find the “fuzzy math” approach wholly unacceptable! And let’s not forget, the Business Manager received a new 5-year contract starting July 1, 2019 with a base salary of $210K plus annual raises and bonuses.  Oh, and he is also the responsible party for the $1.2 million accounting error from the year before; which to date remains unresolved (although the Board voted to have the Business Manager make the correction months ago).  As a top-notch school district, don’t the taxpayers of T/E School District deserve better?

Although I did not attend the Finance Committee meeting, I watched the video (the District does not tape Finance Committee meetings but fortunately residents now do!) Neal Colligan did attend the meeting and provides the following commentary.

It appears to me that taxpayers should have received ZERO tax increase. And somehow the District’s update of $4 million “found money” and the $5.5 million discrepancy was not worthy of making it on to the Financial Committee agenda. School board, where is your outrage?

From Neal Colligan —

The Finance Committee meeting started with a quick review of minutes and a presentation of year-to-date financials.  The committee received an update on Special Education costs.  Seemed to be on track but this report was not posted in the Agenda so I can’t comment on the details (for fairness, the report should make the Agenda for future meetings).

The next section of the meeting was the most eye-opening.  Couched under the item Capital Planning- the Board was informed that their 2018-19 projected deficit (last year) of $1.5 MM is now a $4 MM SURPLUS. 

It was difficult to follow the Business Manager’s explanation of the changes (and I watched the video twice – thanks Doug Anestad and BUILD T/E).  Seems to be greater revenues of $1.6 MM-increased interest earned, State revenue increase, transportation subsidy received and increased State funding for Special Ed ($500,000).  On the expense side another $1.6 MM in savings in non-instructional items under the categories of supplies and repairs and a savings in Special Education purchased services of $760,000.  I know this doesn’t add up to a $5.5 MM swing but the details were not complete and not included on the Agenda items.

The discussion was centered on “what to do with this new-found surplus” but certain Board members (Murphy and Sweeney particularly) seemed surprised (as was the audience) at the BIG swing from deficit to surplus in the just completed (June 20, 2019) fiscal year.  Mr. Sweeney correctly noted that this knowledge in real-time would have certainly influenced his vote on the last tax increase (3.91%).

Some of the discussion on what to do with this money and “below-the-line/above-the-line” differences, transfers to other funds (Capital), and the relation of the surplus to authorized spending was a bit painful to watch … but I’m speaking as an accountant so I know these are easier concepts for me.  This decision will be tabled for another meeting but, IMHO, the Board needs to quickly become familiar with the process here as it relates to what they can do with their surplus after the year is completed.  They can be forgiven as they are not “financial” people but they’ll have to get up to speed fast on the rules.  Not a single Board member (although Sweeney touched on this) considered the taxpayer in this discussion (i.e.: could surplus be used to offset future tax increases).

The final part of the meeting briefly touched on the Committee’s goals going forward.  Mr. Sweeney had suggested changes to the budget process as well as additional detail be required from the Administration to help the Committee understand the District finances.  This was also tabled for a future meeting.  Mr. Dorsey supported the discussion of changes in the Board/Finance Committee process and the importance of this initiative.  Comments from the audience included: getting real-time financial numbers from the Administration; on-going busing issues and suggesting a format for review of Budget variances over a longer historical time frame.

Thank you Neal! Here’s a link to the Finance Committee video.

Make sure to watch the video to the end for the resident comments.  Sadly, some District parents are still experiencing transportation issues – young children sitting on the buses for a long time, including on school grounds. Parents continue to ask the District for a tracking app (for buses) which “may” happen at the December Finance Committee meeting.

The “kick the can” mentality is allowed to continue with no sense of urgency. Where is the accountability and demand to fix the busing problems … right, the Transportation Director reports to the Business Manager. Why is it that so many issues in this school district lead directly the Business Manager (and then sadly, HE is allowed to prioritize).

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Trust’s 15th Annual Historic House Tour Raises $35K for Historic Preservation!

On behalf of Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, I am thrilled to announce that our 15th Annual Historic House Tour this past Saturday raised $35,000 for historic preservation and the completion of the Jones Log Barn – Living History Center.

There are many people to thank but first we thank the owners of the “Stars” of the tour, the wonderful historic homes in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships featured on the tour — “Blackburn Farm”, “Deepdale Farm”, “Brook Wood”, “Sarah Fry House”, “Brookside” and St. John’s Presbyterian Church and Carriage House.

A wonderful day with perfect weather (for those that are counting, that’s fifteen straight years!), I also thank the Trust Board of Directors, who were assigned to the houses and had oversight of the volunteers (all of who are so appreciated!). Speaking of volunteers, I’m proud to say that we had 28 student volunteers from Conestoga High, many whom are seniors and members of the National Honor Society.  There were two additional students who volunteered their musical talent (piano and violin) at the library for house tour ticket pick-up.  PA State Representative Melissa Shusterman (D-157) presented the Trust with a House citation in honor of our 15th Annual Historic House Tour.

And finally, I thank the generous sponsors of our annual historic house tour  — we applaud their support of historic preservation in the community and them for their financial contribution. Please review the following list of sponsors and thank them when you see them! Without the sponsors, the volunteers and the wonderful historic homeowners, the historic house tour would not be possible — much thanks to all of you!

Pattye Benson
Chair, 15th Annual Historic House Tour
President, Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust

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15th Annual Historic House Tour – Tomorrow! Saturday, Sept. 28, 12 PM – 5 PM Tickets Available!

Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 15th Annual Historic House Tour is tomorrow Saturday, Sept. 28, 12 Noon – 5 PM.  It looks like the weather gods will allow for another perfect house tour day — if so, it will be fifteen straight years! Houses located in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships.

The house tour is always held the last Saturday of September and this year the Paoli Blues Fest moved its event up a week so it too is tomorrow!  But good news folks — you can do both, go on the house tour first and then take in the last hour of the Blues Fest from 5-6 PM. Having served as one of the three organizers and board member for the Blues Fest, we saved the best for last — grand finale during the last hour. 

Tickets for the house tour available online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org . All ticket sales support historic preservation and help complete the Jones Log Barn – Living History Center at Duportail. Hope to see you tomorrow!

And here’s a photo of the manor house at Blackburn Farm, one of the featured stops on the 15th Annual Historic House tour!

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The Wheels on the Bus … are Late!

We all understand that it’s the first week of school and that there are bound to be glitches.  But some of the stories I am hearing from parents about the bus situation in T/E are unacceptable and scary!

Part of the problem with transportation issues may have to do with the changes in school start times. Back in April the school board approved the change in start times as a result of adolescent sleep needs. The changes are as follows:

High School: 7:50 AM – 2:50 PM (previously 7:20 AM – 2:20 PM)
Middle Schools: 8:27 AM – 3:10 PM (previously 7:50 AM – 2:33 PM) Elementary Schools: 9:10 AM – 3:45 PM (previously 8:45 AM – 3:20 PM)

For some working parents, the later start times created schedule issues but they had four months to make necessary adjustments. The transportation department of the District also had four months’ notice to adequately adjust the bus schedules and routes as needed.  Not sure exactly what happened during the summer months but  there seems a huge disconnect between the  Krapf Bus Company and its drivers, the District’s administration and transportation department and the parents and their children. 

I want to be clear that no parent who contacted me was expecting the system to work perfectly the first week but they sure deserved better than what some received!

Unsettling information about the District’s bus transportation includes late buses, repeated changes in schedules (one mother reported three schedule changes occurred last week), poor or non-existent communication from the transportation department and/or administration, unanswered phone calls and emails. Where is the accountability to the District’s parents?

As an example, here’s one disturbing story – bus #32 in the Glenhardie area was scheduled to pick children up at Valley Forge Elementary School at 3:45 PM. For those that don’t know, VFES is located on Walker Road, extremely close to the homes of the students. The VFES students on bus #32 did not arrive home until 6 PM, after spending hours on the bus!

One of the parents of children on bus #32 reported that the driver was lost in the neighborhood and that the older children on the bus were attempting to direct the driver – with the younger children upset and crying. It was reported that the driver actually became stressed herself and told the children that she was lost and didn’t know where she was going.  Eventually the bus driver made her way back to Valley Forge Middle School with the children – yep, took the kids to the middle school! The children sat on the bus without air conditioning while they waited for a Kraft Bus Company ‘trainer’ to arrive and transport the children home. Isn’t there a dry run of bus routes before school starts – this should not be an “on the job training” position!

With safety a high priority in schools (remember we have all our schools fenced in!) one can only imagine how distraught the parents and children became as the hours dragged on. But the worse part – the District apparently invested in a new software system, TE All-Call, which was to notify the parents of bus delays. The parents received NO notification from All-Call and NO notification from the District. Parents had no idea where their children were for hours! The problems with #32 route continue with the driver picking up students at incorrect stops, late arrivals, etc. Parents described feelings of disappointment towards the lack of communication regarding when their children would be home –  there has been no follow-up apology or explanation from the District.

I want to be clear, the problems with bus #32 and its driver is not an isolated transportation situation in the school district this week. I had another parent mention that none of the blinking bus caution signs were turned on in the District. This becomes important when children who walk to schools are crossing busy roads and drivers need notification that schools are open.  It was also reported that the Krapf driver of bus #29 at New Eagle Elementary School had similar problems as bus #32 driver with getting the children home late due to confusion with the bus route.

At Monday’s school board meeting, a parent from Paoli commented that their bus stop location had changed and now requires the children to stand in a busy road to wait for the bus. She reported having contacted the District’s transportation department but there was no response.

Again – we all get that this is the first week of school but some of these reports were avoidable! Why do Krapf bus drivers not know their routes? Why isn’t the TE All-Call system notifying the parents of bus delays? Why are the blinking school lights not turned on? And why isn’t the school district responding and/or communicating to the parents?Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Partisan Vitriol over Tredyffrin Interim Supervisor Appointment – Local Politics Should Set a Better Example

For many years I have attended Tredyffrin Township supervisor meetings and for the most part, they have been relatively congenial. Sadly, last night the behavior of some does not represent the community that I know and that I love.

It was painful to sit in the audience and watch the partisan battle waged over who should fill the District 1 (East) vacancy left by the resignation of long-serving Republican supervisor Paul Olson. The interim appointed supervisor serves 4-1/2 months, until the end of 2019.

Four qualified residents applied for the interim supervisor seat – Julie Gosse (D), Raffi Terzian (R), Judy DiFilippo (R) and Bryan Humbarger (R).  Democrat Gosse and Republican Raffi are the endorsed candidates for the District 1 (East) and will appear on the November ballot. All four candidates were interviewed by the supervisor personnel committee (Murph Wysocki (D), Kevin O’Nell (D) and Heather Greenberg (R)) in a public meeting a couple of weeks ago. The Board of Supervisors currently holds a Democrat majority that would not change with the selection of a Republican interim supervisor.

It was obvious from the moment that we arrived, that the results of the interim supervisor appointment were known before the vote was taken.  With a Democrat majority board, of course the vote count would go to the D candidate. And conversely, if the Board of Supervisors was in the hands of the Republicans, undoubtedly the vote would go to an R candidate. Therefore the selection of Democrat candidate Julie Gosse for the District 1 (East) interim supervisor seat was assumed.

As an Independent (and a realist) – I was actually OK with the knowledge that the selection process had already happened before the meeting started – that’s politics. What was not OK was what happened next. From the moment that the chair of the Board of Supervisors Murph Wysocki made the motion to appoint Julie Gosse as interim supervisor the meeting quickly spiraled into a political battle.

It would be impossible for me to explain the partisan vitriol and the back and forth. Looking around the room, it was obvious that other residents had the same uncomfortable feeling watching as myself. Our community deserves better and our elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

America’s national political scene is rife with polarization and dysfunction but I naively thought that here in Tredyffrin Township we all get along. As the Republicans and Democrats battle over national concerns, guess I believed that at the local level we are all neighbors and friends first and political party second. After witnessing the partisan attacks at last night’s meeting that view is forever changed. Candidates should be evaluated on more than the D or the R after their name. Local politics should set a better example.

I encourage everyone to watch the video of the supervisor meeting and draw your own conclusion. Here’s the link and the interim supervisor appointment begins at timestamp 46.03.

https://tredyffrin.viebit.com/player.php?hash=6sWR0GtJz5q0#Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Ice Cream & Conversation w/ Chester County Commissioners at Handels — Thursday, Aug. 22, 6:30 – 8 PM

Perfect weather for ice cream with our Chester County Commissioners – Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terrance Farrell — Join them on Thursday, August 22, 6:30 – 8 PM at Handel’s, 576 Lancaster Ave, Berwyn. Ice Cream & Conversation is a perfect nonpartisan opportunity for local residents to ask questions and share concerns with our Commissioners.

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Backlash Continues over T/E School District’s 3.9% Tax Increase – Some on School Board Defend Annual Increases

Since the publication of the Philadelphia Inquirer article regarding local school tax increases last week, there has been much discussion on social media — with at least two currently serving school board directors defending T/E School District’s tax increases on Facebook.  In T/E School District residents have faced annual tax increases for the last fifteen years.  And for the 2019-20 year, our District has the second highest tax increase (3.9%) in the Philly region.  Not a distinction many of us want.

Unlike some places, we are fortunate to have an abundance of educated and engaged residents in our community — and many with knowledge and expertise in finances. As examples, Ray Clarke, Mike Heaberg and Neal Colligan are residents with financial backgrounds who attend most school board meetings and routinely offer financial advice and comments.

Although school board members encourage attendance at its meetings, it has been my view that many of the comments and/or suggestions by residents are either ignored or not seriously considered. I believe that you should “play to your strengths” and would encourage the school board to take advantage of the financial expertise that some of our qualified residents are offering.  Everyone cannot be an expert in all things, so school board, why not take advantage of the high level financial skill set which exists in the community.

Following the publication of the recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, one of our financial gurus Neal Colligan wrote a letter to the T/E School Board.  The communication addresses the District’s finances and Neal has generously agreed to share it below:

Greetings School Board,

I’m writing to you on financial matters.  While I may appear to be a “broken record”, the financial decisions of the T/ESD affect everyone in our District whether they have children in the schools or not.  The Inquirer recently did a story on School Tax increases.  In this article, you may notice that T/E had the highest dollar increase in school taxes in Chester County for THIS year, for the past 5 YEARS and the last 10 YEARS.  It adds up and is, obviously, a burden to all property owners.

Next year, you will have to decide on a new teacher’s contract.  This is the largest (by far) municipal contract impacting our community.  A multi-year contract could well approach a Quarter of a Billion Dollars…it’s very important.  So, before you get into that issue, it may well be a time to look at recent financial decisions to see if we can learn anything about our process that could/should change in the future.

As you’re well aware, this past Budget season you learned that the District had filed erroneous State Financial Disclosure forms increasing your taxing authority beyond what it should have been. I believe you have begun to deal with the correction of that issue…I applaud those of you that moved to “do the right thing”.

Just this last year you approved a $30 MM bond issue even though you had no use for those funds for two years. You were convinced that “rates were at or near their low and that it was a good time to Borrow”.  We may want to examine that decision.  The Carry on that borrowing is substantial, for the two years that the money is unused it amounts to about $2.4 MM ($30 MM x .04% x 2 years).  Was that a wise move?  Rather than rates going up, as you were led to believe, rates have plummeted well over 100 basis points on the 10-year (the statistic that the bond seller used to compare).  This also has financial impact…in a simple calculation: $30 MM x .01% x 10 years…or $3 MM dollars!  That’s a possible interest savings of well over 5 MILLION DOLLARS.  That kind of money, even over a 10-year period, could fund a lot of educational expenses.

Those decisions have been made and we can’t go back even though we may wish we could.  The important take-away, IMHO, is your decision making process.  Are you getting the information you need to make good decisions, do you trust the “data” you are being given???  I suggest; we can do better.

Are your BEST people; Administration and Board representatives; in charge of formulating your strategies???  Do you need other professional voices; hired or volunteer; to help you make these large fiscal decisions.  If YES; and I think you would agree the answer is YES: now may be the time to get your “Process” in order.  Your coming up on another large Borrowing for the expansion of the High School, you’re coming off an accounting issue that was obfuscated and denied for a long time (by both your key Admin people and your key Board members), and you have in front of you the renewal of the LARGEST municipal contract in our community.  Those are BIG items; we’re counting on you to make good decisions.  Give yourself the best chance to do the right things by changing your Process if it helps.

Members of this community are always here to help.

Neal Colligan

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T/E School District Ties for Second for Highest School Tax Increase in Philly Region & Delivered 37% School Tax Increase to Residents in Last Decade! Is This Sustainable?

Last week I was contacted by Laura McCrystal, a writer with the Philadelphia Inquirer asking about TESD’s recently approved tax increase of 3.9%.  Although she was very aware of our District’s ongoing saga over the $1.2 million accounting error, Laura was clear that the article she was working on was specific to greater Philadelphia area school districts and a comparative analysis of school taxes.

For the record, the $1.2 million accounting error caused by the District’s delayed payment of a special ed invoices remains an open issue. Although the school board acknowledged and voted to correct the error with the PA Department of Education, as of the last school board meeting it had not yet been done.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published its article, “How much are your school taxes increasing? Here’s a district-by-district look at the Philly region” which is a fascinating read — and analysis of tax increases in the region. Although the T/E School District generally like to come in at first place, on the tax increase list we tied for second highest increase! Yes, our District received the distinction of the second highest tax increase (3.9%) in the greater Philadelphia region – second only to Morrisville School District in Bucks County with a 6.7% tax increase.  (If you recall, the T/E School Board had originally passed the proposed final budget (5-4 vote) in late April with a 6% tax increase which was later reduced to 3.9% in June.).  Below shows the highest tax increase school districts:

In discussion with the Philadelphia writer, I was asked about the impact of rising taxes on the community. As was stated in the article, I worry “ about a lack of scrutiny on the school budget and its rising taxes because so many residents move to the district so that they can send their children to its high-performing schools. “There are some who are inclined not to be concerned about the taxes that are being paid because they feel like the value they get offsets that,” she said. “But I think part of the problem is that as a result of people moving here for the school district … the budget process is not scrutinized as much as it would be.”

I expressed concern that our school district tax increase is not an isolated one year increase – but that we should look at our tax increases year after year. As was stated in the article, I have been tracking the tax increases in T/E School District for the last 15 years and you need to go all the way back to the 2004-05 year for the last zero tax increase! Looking at the chart above, you see that our District has had an 18% tax increase over the last 5 years and a whopping 37% during the last 10 years.

I excerpted neighboring school districts Unionville-Chadds Ford, Upper Merion, Phoenixville, Great Valley and Downingtown from the Philadelphia Inquirer chart.

Looking at nearby Great Valley School District, they are keeping taxes significantly lower than T/E with a 1.2% tax increase for 2019-20 school year, 8% increase for 5 years and 18% increase for 10 years. Great Valley is another high achieving school district with similar performing students, special ed needs, rising pension costs, etc. so what accounts for the dramatic tax difference between GVSD and T/E?

But look at Downingtown Area School District! According to Niche, Downingtown Area School District has 12,656 students in grades K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 15 – 1 and according to state test scores, 69% of students are at least proficient in math and 85% in reading.

Some will argue that Downingtown Area School District is not in the highest performing echelon of area school districts (like T/E, Unionville-Chadds Ford, Lower Merion or Great Valley) but they operate ten elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools and somehow manage to have a ZERO tax increase for 2019-20, ZERO tax increase for the last 5 years and only 7% tax increase for the last 10 years.

Downingtown is operating a large school district that has rising pension costs and increased special ed expenses like all the other school districts, yet successfully delivers zero tax increases to their residents year after year.

I’m not suggesting that we all move to Downingtown School District but there should be some kind of balance — why is it that as residents of the T/E School District we are faced with significant tax increases year after year?

Families move to the T/E community for the school district and are generally satisfied as long as the high test scores are maintained. As a result, there is a certain complacency when it comes to the District’s budget and our ever-increasing taxes. Guess the question becomes, how long are these yearly tax increases sustainable by the District’s taxpayers?

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Tredyffrin District 1 Supervisor Vacancy: 4 Residents Apply – Julie Gosse, Raffi Terzian, Judy DiFilippo & Bryan Humbarger – Public Interview Monday, August 5, 7 PM

The recent resignation of long-serving Republican supervisor Paul Olson in Tredyffrin Township District 1 (he was first elected in 1976 and served 43 years!) requires the appointment of an interim appointment. Persons interested in the interim supervisor appointment were asked to submit letters of interest (with resumes) through Friday, July 26 to Tredyffrin Township.

On Monday, August 5 at 7 PM at Tredyffrin Township municipal building, the Personnel Committee of the Board of Supervisors — Murph Wysocki (D), Kevin O’Nell (D) and Heather Greenberg (R) – will interview the interim supervisor candidates in a public meeting. Following the interview, Wysocki, O’Nell and Greenberg will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and the Board will vote on the appointment at its Monday, August 19 meeting.

With the District 1 (East) seat on the November ballot, the interim appointed supervisor will serve 4-1/2 months, until the end of 2019.  Julie Gosse (D) and Raffi Terzian (R) are the endorsed candidates for the District 1 (East) seat and were expected to apply for the interim supervisor position.

Gosse and Terzian did apply for the District 1 interim supervisor appointment but they are not the only candidates!  Twenty year veteran of the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors Judy DiFilippo (R) has applied for the interim position as has Bryan Humbarger (R), an active Berwyn Fire Company firefighter/EMT since 1994.  Both previously elected township officials, former supervisor DiFilippo and township auditor Humbarger are interested in the District 1 interim position but are not on the ballot as candidates in the general election in November.

There is much on the agenda for the Board of Supervisors this fall. Included, but not limited to:

  • 2020 budget process and capital improvement plan
  • Long-term sustainable funding solutions for Fire/EMS
  • 2020 Comprehensive Plan
  • Historic Preservation Ordinance
  • Storm Water management issues
  • Update on zoning ordinances – including digital billboard signage!

The above is but a sampling of the important issues facing the township in the upcoming months.  An interim supervisor appointment of four months is not sufficient time for someone to learn on the job — the public deserves an interim District 1 supervisor who can hit the ground running on day one.

 All four candidates are qualified but who of the applicants (Gosse, Terzian, DiFilippo or Humbarger) has the relevant background, experience and expertise to fill the leadership vacancy?  

It is in the hands of the personnel committee – township supervisors Murph Wysocki and Kevin O’Nell and republican Heather Greenberg to recommend the candidate that can best serve the residents when appointed as District 1 (East) interim supervisor on August 16.

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