Preserve Open Space
I have been a strong advocate for open space. In 2005/2006 I led the charge and campaigned heavily to convince the board of supervisors to run a referendum on the ballot. The result was a landslide victory with a record number of voters coming out to support this endeavor. This in turn lead to the creation of the Open Space Commission (literature, training, and all expenses all paid out of pocket). Since that time we have successfully acquired multiple large easements. This has been a net positive on many fronts for the environment and quality of life in our community.
The business case is simple, when buying down density we take pressure off of our schools and infrastructure by balancing development with commercial business and open space. In this event we get a township that remains beautiful without over-development. To date we have over five miles of walking trails that are now accessible due to the open space efforts.
I am still an active member of the Open Space Commission and we are currently working with multiple large property owners negotiating additional easements. I will continue this effort as Township Supervisor to maintain the character and quality of life in Schuylkill Township.
Prevent Over-Development of Schuylkill Township
Research shows that requiring developers to leave forested riparian buffers, trees and plants situated next to a body of water offers the best means of protecting and improving water quality in Pennsylvania. I am currently extremely concerned about an ultra-high density development in our township. This property is known as Sedgley Farm, located between the Moore Hall Dam and Whitehorse Road on Route 23. It is my belief that our board of supervisors was sold a bad bill of goods and our paid consultants could have done a much better job protecting us from the position we are now in. This property unfortunately was under agreement between the land owner and Pohlig Developers prior to the creation of our Open Space Commission and were therefor unable to acquire a conservation easement on this property.
We are working on an ordinance right now called, "Growing Greener", which has tremendous environmental benefits which will allow us to achieve additional valuable layers of protection in these areas. As Township Supervisor, I will remain committed to fighting developers on behalf of Schuylkill Township residents to preserve our environment and quality of life.
Continue to Advocate for Residents and Promote Transparancy
I've always been an advocate for the people. I have been concerned in the past that our residents have not been made aware of the significant potential changes in our Township which could impact their lives. In addition, when residents do come to the township meetings, I feel strongly that they should be heard and respected with an emphatic ear which has not always been the case.
As Township Supervisor, I would push to implement improved communication with our people that would be impacted by any potential changes in their neighborhoods. I would listen to the feedback and concerns of our residents to make well-informed decisions on their behalf.
Apply for and Gain More Grants While Reducing the Budget
There are opportunities to apply for and receive more grant money as well as reduce the budget in Schuylkill Township. As a successful local and national business owner, I bring a valuable perspective which would benefit the board in improving levels of efficiency and streamlining processes that are currently concerning to me.