Tredyffrin’s Republican Candidate for State House 157 Withdraws from Race . . . Leaving me with the Question, Where is the Integrity and Honesty in this Township?

I have really struggled for the last 2 days as to how write this post.  On Wedneday night the TTRC held a straw poll which included the State House 157 race.  There were 3 candidates — Judy DiFilippo, Warren Kampf and Ken Buckwalter.  As a result of the straw poll, Judy did not feel that there was support from the Republican committee for her to continue in this race. 

Challenging myself to remain fair and balanced on issues, I feel compelled to speak out on this topic.  Sure, Judy and I have been the best of friends for nearly 20 years, so I openly admit to bias when I say that many Republican committee people of Tredyffrin Township simply ‘got it wrong’ on Wednesday night.  It escapes me why you would not support the person with the highest level of integrity, honesty and commitment of anyone that I know.  Judy is the kind of person who governed with honesty and fairness, as she did for 20 years as a member of the Board of Supervisors.  Judy doesn’t look at issues based on a political slant, or make decisions based on how many votes that she may ‘win’ or ‘lose’.  Judy didn’t just ‘serve’ the township, she was one of us . . . she loves this community and its residents, not because it was her ‘job’ but because she believed in us! 

But instead, many of the township Republican committee people cast their vote for Warren Kampf. Have you not been watching the actions of Mr. Kampf for the last 2 months; his decisions in regards to the BAWG report, the $50K cash offer from St. Davids, the political ‘cardboard check’ for the firefighters rather than restoring funding to the township budget, and then his latest decision . . . casting out policies and procedures of our local government in lieu of  ‘making up the rules’ and setting precedent for special treatment for a  country club. 

I know many of the Republican committee people personally so I am left wondering, when did integrity, honesty and commitment to this community and its voters stop mattering?  With her withdrawal from the race, Judy is no longer a choice for the Republican committee members. Before you take your vote to Chester County Republican Committee meeting on February 20, I would encourage you to seriously review the actions of Mr. Kampf on the Board of Supervisors (particularly during the last 2 months).  After review, I think that you should then look at Republican candidate Ken Buckwalter from Phoenixville.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ken and he represents that same type of commitment to the community as Judy.  He believes in serving all the residents with equal and measured leadership.  I want to see a May primary between current State House Rep  Paul Drucker (D) and Ken Buckwalter (R); they both represent experience, honesty and integrity.

Even as Judy makes the disappointing decision to leave the State House race, she does so with her brand of honesty and truthfulness.  Below is an email sent to her supporters:

Dear Friends –

As many of you know I have been seeking support as a candidate for the 157th State House District.  I am writing to you to let you know that today I have officially withdrawn my name from consideration. 

A straw vote taken last evening showed that the majority of the Republican Committee members have decided to support one of two other candidates.  I have called both of them and wished them well as they endeavor to win a recommendation or an endorsement.

 I want to let you know how much I appreciate the support you gave me through your words of encouragement, by your willingness to allow me to use your name on my letterhead, or by saying, ‘How can I help?’.  

 I know not what the future holds, but I know I have been blessed with your friendship.

With deepest gratitude,


According to Dan Kristie of the Daily Local, Supervisors Olson and Lamina Think Only Democrats Care About the St. Davids ‘Deal’

The following article by Dan Kristie in today’s Daily Local is an absolute must-read for the residents of Tredyffrin Township.  Apparently in addition to Supervisor Olson’s stance that St. Davids sideswalks go to nowhere (tell that to the Mt. Pleasant residents), he and Chair Lamina believe that the only people that care about the St. Davids issue are the Democrats!  I don’t know about you but I am outraged at the notion that some of our supervisors make decisions based on their political party affiliation and then proudly broadcast that to the media.  It is obvious that 3 of our supervisors (DiBuonaventuro, Kichline and Donohue) do not feel similarly, however I assume that Supervisors Kampf and Richter share the sentiments of Supervisors Olson and Lamina.  Remember, this is not about sidewalks, it is about policy and procedures and our local government.  Even their fellow Supervisor DiBuonaventuro claims, “The biggest problem I have is that this was done in the dark.”

I think everyone needs to understand this situation . . . the Kings of the kingdom (Lamina, Kampf, Olson, Richter) have laid down the law.  I hate party politics and I believe that it has no business in the running of our local government.  Dan’s article says it all, not only do we have 4 rulers in this township (Lamina, Kampf, Olson and Richter), they will rule with complete disregard to those who are not Republicans.  I don’t care if you are an Independent, Democrat, Republican, or ‘party of purple’ – you should be outraged at this behavior.  Is this how you want your community ‘governed’ (sorry ‘ruled’)?  These 4 people and the unprecedented decision they made over St. Davids is just the beginning . . . !  Read the following article, and you come to your own conclusions.

Reminder that the the next Board of Supervisor Meeting is this Monday, February 8, 7:30 PM at the Township Building.  I have checked the agenda and there is not much on it — which, if you recall is where the ‘Kings’ do their best work.  Don’t put the issue on the agenda, hope for a low turnout and then take your majority vote and break the rules, change the rules or throw out the rules, all in the name of ‘government’!

Return of funds raising eyebrows in Tredyffrin

Published: Friday, February 5, 2010
By DAN KRISTIE, Staff Writer
TREDYFFRIN — The supervisors on Jan. 25 passed a resolution that, according to some township officials, directly conflicts with township policy. The supervisors voted 4-3 to release to the St. David’s Golf Club from a $25,000 escrow agreement. St. David’s, however, had not formally requested the return of this money. The township has always required developers and landowners to formally request the release of escrow funds, officials said. This, they said, marks the first time the township has released a land owner from an escrow agreement without having received a formal request from the landowner to do so.The $25,000 was supposed to cover the cost of installing a sidewalk along the north side of Upper Gulph Road, in the area between Strafford Avenue and Old Eagle School Road. Several years ago, St. David’s agreed to build the sidewalk in exchange for permission from the township to expand its clubhouse. St. David’s was supposed to have completed the sidewalk in 2008 but never began work on it.

Supervisors Vice Chairman Paul Olson made the motion on Jan. 25 to free St. David’s from the $25,000 obligation. Olson said that the residents along Upper Gulph Road had told him they didn’t want a sidewalk along their street. In light of this, he said, he believed there was no reason to require the golf club to build a sidewalk. “The sidewalk was projected to cost $50,000,” Olson said. “It’s just ridiculous to throw $50,000 along the side of the road for a sidewalk that starts nowhere and ends nowhere.” Some officials have estimated that the sidewalk could cost $80,000.

Mark Rhodes, the president of St. David’s, said that the golf club members have long been opposed to the club building sidewalks along Upper Gulph Road. He added that the golf club had made no formal request to the township to be relieved from the $25,000 obligation. Rhodes also said that he had “no knowledge that Paul Olson made any motion.” “We had no agreement with Paul Olson in any regard,” Rhodes said.

Tredyffrin requires all land holders that undertake new construction to build sidewalks along the roads that line their projects, and it has long been township policy to increase the amount of sidewalks and bike paths in the township. But Olson and several other supervisors are opposed to covering Tredyffrin with sidewalks. Olson said he believes sidewalks belong around schools. But, he said, installing them throughout the township would then require the township to expend additional taxpayer dollars for sidewalk mantainence.

Supervisor John DiBuonaventuro, who voted against Olson’s motion, said that the supervisors who voted in favor have effectively suspended the township’s procedure regarding escrow money. “This was not an issue of sidewalks — this was an issue of good procedure, and we circumvented that,” DiBuonaventuro said. “There was no procedure followed. None.”

Unlike some Chester County municipalities, Tredyffrin traditionally puts all escrow releases on its public meeting agenda. But the St. David’s release was not on the agenda. Rather, it came as the result of a motion that Olson made.

“The biggest problem I have is that this was done in the dark,” DiBuonaventuro said. He said that if St. David’s wanted the money back, it should have formally come before the supervisors and asked for the money. DiBuonaventuro added that he believes there is now nothing to stop developers from ignoring their escrow agreements with the township — or, from expecting the township to release them from land development obligations.

Township Manager Mimi Gleason said at the Jan. 25 meeting that returning the money to St. David’s would be precedent-setting. Olson, in an interview conducted this week, said he does not agree with this interpretation. “Just because you do it for someone doesn’t mean you have to do it for everyone,” he said.

Olson added that he believes only Democrats are concerned with the St. David’s deal. Supervisors Chairman Bob Lamina, who also voted in favor of the deal, concurred. All of the Tredyffrin Supervisors are Republicans. DiBuonaventuro said he believes the St. David’s deal has nothing to do with party affiliation. “Three Republicans on the board made the right decision,” DiBuonaventuro said. “This isn’t about being a Republican. This is about sound judgment.” Voting yes with Lamina and Olson were supervisors Warren Kampf and Evelyn Richter. Voting no with DiBuonaventuro were supervisors Michelle Kichline and Phil Donahue.

Another Angle on St. Davids Escrow Desision . . . STAP (Sidewalks, Trails & Paths) Committee Member Weighs In

Molly Duffy, member of the STAP (Sidewalks, Trails & Path) Committee looks at the recent Board of Supervisor decision in a different light.  What does this decision say to its residents about the future walkability of our community?  The STAP Committee thought that the supervisors shared their vision for a walking, biking landscape, but do they? Below is Molly’s letter to the editor that appears in this weeks edition the Main Line Suburban Life newspaper.

Tredyffrin supervisors missing the big picture

To the Editor:

Five years ago a handful of concerned Tredyffrin residents got together to talk about how we could make the township more walkable and bikable. The township agreed that this was a worthy goal. After all, 78.5 percent of residents who responded to the 2004 Parks Recreation and Open Space survey stated that they would be likely to use an interconnected townshipwide trail system in Tredyffrin designed for pedestrian, runners, skaters and bikers.

Later in 2005 the Board of Supervisors formally created the STAP (Sidewalks Trails and Paths) Committee and charged it with the mission of identifying priority trail and sidewalk areas, determining appropriate trail and sidewalk types, and researching funding options. This very committed and energized group of volunteers did just that. The township’s Green Routes Network can be viewed at As a member of STAP I’m proud to say that our highest-priority sidewalk project will be under construction within a few months. New sidewalks will connect T/E Middle School, Conestoga High School, Daylesford Train Station, the YMCA, the Easttown Library and the village of Berwyn. Residents will no longer have to walk on the road and risk their lives to get to any of these locations, and the school district may be able to eliminate the cost of operating a few buses. Because of the dedication of STAP and the township’s very talented and effective staff, the township received a $2.8-million grant that will pay for this project. If STAP and the Board of Supervisors had not had the vision and patience to move ahead with this project, it would not have been shovel-ready and consequently it would not have received ARRA grant funds.

The Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 25, 2010 vote to forgive St. Davids Golf Club’s obligation to build a path along Upper Gulph Road, which is part of the Green Routes Network, makes me wonder if the township still cares about its future.

Transforming Tredyffrin, largely developed in the car-centric 1950s and 1960s, into a walkable, bikable community is no small task. A best-case scenario estimate would put completion of the Green Routes Network at 15 years. Nevertheless it is a task we must complete if we want Tredyffrin to be a place where people want to live and work in the future. Yes, it will cost something. Perhaps it will be grant-funded. Perhaps it will not. Regardless, it is a wise investment in our future.

It is standard practice for new developments in Tredyffrin and elsewhere to include sidewalks in their plans. For many reasons people don’t want to rely on their cars to take them every place they need to go. People of all ages call Tredyffrin home. Many are too young to drive, some are unable to drive, and many more just want another option for getting from here to there. The ability to walk to school, church, work, the library, the dentist’s office or shopping gives us all, young and old, a sense of independence and some decent exercise.

The Green Routes Network will never include every street in the township. Instead it strives to connect residents to popular destinations. In the next few years, the Chester Valley Trail will cross our township on its way from Downingtown to Valley Forge. If we plan proper linkages, many Tredyffrin residents will be able to safely walk or bike to the trail from their front doors.

Recently the national news has focused on studies showing that while real-estate values have dropped, homes with a high walkability score have dropped much less. It is becoming standard for real-estate listings to show a home’s “walk score” because many homebuyers want to be able to walk or bike to a destination. You can find your home’s walk score at

If we don’t begin to implement the Green Routes Network that the board of supervisors recently approved in the updated Comprehensive Plan and reaffirmed in the Green Tredyffrin Resolution, we’re taking a step backwards and depriving our children and grandchildren of a livable, desirable community.


Molly Duffy, Paoli