Chester County Democrat Committee Nominating Convention Endorses Paul Drucker in his Reelection Bid for the 157th Legislative District

I spoke with Paul Drucker last evening and extended my congratulations on his 157th Legislative District endorsement at the Chester County Democrat Committee Nominating Convention held yesterday in West Chester. 

From what I understand from those in attendance, Paul delivered a rousing speech to the audience; a speech filled with passion and enthusiasm for the work that he is currently doing in Harrisburg and a desire to continue to represent our community.  A longtime Paoli resident and a former member of Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors, as our current State Representative, Paul understands first hand the challenges and concerns of our community. The best of luck to Paul in his reelection campaign.

Just In . . . No Endorsement from the Chester County Republican Committee for the State House 157 Race . . . There Will be a Primary!

This just in . . . Chester County Republican Committee has completed their voting for the Pennsylvania State House 157.  The committee voted not to endorse either Warren Kampf or Ken Buckwalter.  To receive an endorsement requires 60% of the votes; the voting went as follows:

  • Round 1: Kampf 32 votes; Buckwalter 26 votes
  • Round 2: Kampf 31 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes
  • Round 3: Kampf 29 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes *

* It is my understanding that 2 Tredyffrin committee people left before Round 3 vote.

As a result of the voting, the Republican Committee has made the decision to recommend both candidates (neither candidate receives an endorsement).  So there will be a Primary race between Kampf and Buckwalter; both candidates will appear on the ballot.  Paul Drucker’s Republican opponent for the State House race will be decided by the people on Primary Day, May 18, 2010. 

Interesting that we will have a Republican Primary between a Paoli candidate and a Phoenixville candidate . . . wonder when the last time that happened?  Has there ever been a non-Tredyffrin Township State House Representative?  Exciting local political news!

Questions Continue Regarding the St. Davids Golf Club Decision by Supervisors Lamina, Kampf, Olson & Richter

In discussion of the gray area surrounding the St. Davids decision by the Board of Supervisors (Lamina, Kampf, Olson, Richter), several residents inquired about our township solicitor, and how does his judgment weigh in on the legalities of this decision.  Tom Hogan of Lamb McErlane PC, (township’s contracted law firm) was absent on Monday night (due to knee surgery, not vacation as earlier suggested).  Another attorney from his firm attended the meeting in his absence. 

Tredyffrin has a contractual agreement with Lamb McErlane but I was not clear on the duties of the township solicitor. In review of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors website, I was able to locate the township solicitor’s job description (which I have included below). On one hand, in Section 1101 it is clear that the ‘township solicitor serves at the pleasure of the board of supervisors’ but then on the other hand, in Section 1102, it states that the township solicitor is to have control of all legal matters. Section 1103 does state ‘The township solicitor shall furnish the board of supervisors, upon request, with an opinion in writing upon any question of law.’  Do you suppose that Supervisor DiBuonaventuro, Kichline or Donohue could individually ask for a written opinion from Mr. Hogan? 

 If we consider the St. Davids Golf Club decision, is it possible for the township solicitor to serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors if those same supervisors may (or may not) act in a legal manner?  A township solicitor may advise the board of supervisors on legal matters but the supervisors have the right to make the final decision for the township (apparently, even if the decision is questionable).  So as far as the St. Davids decision is concerned,  the township solicitor is responsible only to the supervisors. Further, I am not clear what counsel was given to the supervisors in Executive Session on the St. Davids GC escrow matter, prior to the supervisors meeting.  In the end, I guess it does not matter, the supervisors remain the final word.   Bottom line, if we want this latest Board of Supervisor decision to be challenged . . . it is not the job of the township solicitor. 

I am not satisfied with the St. Davids Golf Club decision on many levels but I need help as to where we go from here . . . just think that if this decision is allowed to stand, what will be next?  The Board of Supervisors meeting which was scheduled for Monday, February 1 has now been changed to Monday, February 8.  Coincidentally (?), the February 8 is the  important TE School District Finance Committee Meeting (2010-11 budget discussion).  Remember what happened this week . . . many residents attended the TESD meeting and not the Supervisor Meeting (because if you reviewed the BOS agenda, there was no mention of St. Davids Golf Club) and we saw what happened!  One can only wonder  what the ‘Block of 4’ (Lamina, Kampf, Olson, Richter) have  planned for the February 8 meeting of the Board of Supervisors (that won’t appear on the agenda) .

ARTICLE XI TOWNSHIP SOLICITOR

Section 1101. Township Solicitor.–The board of supervisors may appoint and determine the compensation of a township solicitor. The township solicitor shall be licensed to practice law in this Commonwealth and may be one person or a law firm, partnership, association or professional corporation. The township solicitor serves at the pleasure of the board of supervisors.

Section 1102. Solicitor to Have Control of Legal Matters-The township solicitor shall direct and control the legal matters of the township, and no official or official body of the township, except as otherwise provided under law, shall employ an additional attorney without the assent or ratification of the board of supervisors.

Section 1103. Duties of Solicitor.–The township solicitor, when directed or requested so to do, shall prepare or approve any bonds, obligations, contracts, leases, conveyances, ordinances and assurances to which the township may be a party. The township solicitor shall commence and prosecute all actions brought by the township for or on account of any of the estates, rights, trusts, privileges, claims or demands, as well as defend the township or any township officer against all actions or suits brought against the township or township officer in which any of the estates, rights, privileges, trusts, ordinances or accounts of the township may be brought in question before any court in this Commonwealth and do every professional act incident to the office which the township solicitor may be authorized or required to do by the board of supervisors or by any resolution. The township solicitor shall furnish the board of supervisors, upon request, with an opinion in writing upon any question of law.

House Majority Policy Committee is Bringing Harrisburg to Tredyffrin . . . State Rep Paul Drucker to Co-Chair Redistricting Reform Hearing on January 28

I spoke with State Rep Paul Drucker this morning concerning State House Bill 2005.  Rep Drucker introduced this legislation which would reform the legislative redistricting process in Pennsylvania.  The proposed bill would change the redistricting process by reducing the opportunity for “gerrymandering”; ensuring compact and contiguous legislative and congressional districts; and provide for competitive elections throughout the state.

What is “gerrymandering”? Gerrymandering is the process of diving a region in which people vote in a way that gives one political group and unfair advantage. According to the League of Women Voters, Pennsylvania is the second-most gerrymandered state in the union.

State Rep Drucker’s legislation would establish a nine-person committee made up of the top eight legislative leaders from the House and Senate and one chairman appointed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Under the bill, the chairman would have to be a registered voter in Pennsylvania for at least two years, would not hold federal, state, or local office and would not have held a position within a political party in the previous 10 years.

State Rep Paul Drucker will host a House Majority Policy Committee public hearing on Thursday, January 28 at 2 PM at the Tredyffrin Township Building to discuss redistricting reform in Pennsylvania. Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster will co-chair the hearing with Rep Drucker.  The public is not only encouraged to attend but also to offer comments.

Judy DiFilippo Makes Her Decision Official — She Will Run for State Representative

It is now official.  Many of us knew that when Judy DiFilippo decided not to seek re-election to Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors, she had already begun to consider a run for the State House.  Now it is official — Judy is in the race for State Representative from the 157th district.  Stay tuned as the Primary campaign season begins to unfold; I think it’s going to be an interesting ride!

Below is the official press release announcing Judy’s bid for the state house which appears in today’s Main Line Suburban Life newspaper.

    DiFilippo sets sights on state house

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

By Blair Meadowcroft

Shortly after stepping down from her position on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, a position held for the past 20 years, Judy DiFilippo has announced her candidacy for state representative in the 157th Legislative District. DiFilippo decided to run in the Republican primary for state representative after being asked, and so far the response to her candidacy has been positive.

“There is a lot of support out there, which is nice,” said DiFilippo. “The experience so far has been very good.”

With a background rich in diversity, DiFilippo feels her various experiences have prepared her for the position of state representative. “It’s important to have someone who understands local government because some of the decisions they make up in Harrisburg really impact local government and school districts,” said DiFilippo. “My experience is at the township level as well as the county level through working with the Planning Commission. I have also worked with various supervisors in municipalities from the smallest township to the larger ones.”

A life-long volunteer, the list of organizations and committees that DiFilippo has given her time to, as well as the various positions she has held, is endless. Perhaps one of the experiences on DiFilippo’s résumé that will best prepare her for this new position was her time spent working for former 157th District State Rep. Carole Rubley for more than two years starting in 2003. “Through that experience I have been able to establish a relationship with some of the other state legislators, which will prove useful,” said DiFilippo.

 Although just at the beginning of her campaign, DiFilippo continues to make phone calls, a task she began before the holidays. Additionally she is beginning to put her committee together. If elected, she plans to address the “really tough issues” in Harrisburg.

According to DiFilippo, based on talking to people, most of the concerns being expressed revolve around the economy and health care as well as local issues with traffic. “I can take these concerns to Harrisburg and try to find ways to resolve some of them,” said DiFilippo. “So far people are very willing to listen to me as well as share their concerns with me, which I appreciate. I need them to understand that I am willing to take those concerns to Harrisburg to work on ways to address them.”

With the support and encouragement of her family, friends, neighbors and colleagues in the 157th District, DiFilippo said she is excited at the prospect of continuing her public service at the state level.

“I am willing to commit to this position full-time,” said DiFilippo. “I want to bring my knowledge of the community and local government to Harrisburg and work on the issues that we all care about – the economy, jobs and quality-of-life issues like the environment, education, health care, rising energy costs and traffic.” DiFilippo’s plans for the upcoming months are to continue to meet with the voters in the 157th District.

 “I look forward to meeting with the voters to discuss our common concerns and to earn their support for my election,” said DiFilippo.