Tredyffrin Township Political Notebook Returns

After a few months off, John Petersen has returned to blogging. John presents his blog Tredyffrin Township Political Notebook as a way to hold our government, political parties, elected officials and candidates accountable with straight talk – not influenced by any political party or ideology. John has an interesting insight in to the fact vs. fiction of issues in our local political community. 

Main Liners Sound Off on Upcoming Election

 Letters to the EditorMain Line Suburban Life newspaper’s Editorial section included Letters to the Editor from community members offering opinions on Tredyffrin Township’s school board and township candidates. Please read the Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor 10-8-09

Paoli Sings the Blues . . . a perfect day!
Far from ‘singing the blues’, Paoli was alive and energized for the first ever Paoli Blues Fest this past Saturday. Co-chairing with Marie Thibault, this exciting community event far surpassed our wildest dreams. The day started with threatening dark skies and a weather report to match. The stage crew, tent rental company employees and the fest volunteers worked as the light rain began to fall. As if on cue at noon, as the musicians warmed up, the clouds parted, the sun began to shine, the temperature soared and memories were created.
Working with our fellow Paoli Business & Professional Association members and volunteers over the past year, this event was an opportunity to showcase our hometown spirit and the big heart of the community. With an $8,000 grant from the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau to get us started, we are grateful to the many individuals, businesses and corporate sponsors including Malvern Federal Bank, The Big Easy, Paoli Hardware, Matthews Paoli Ford, Main Line Today, Harvest Financial,, to name a few, who believed in us, our vision and the community.
People arrived by car, by train and on foot to enjoy the special blues bands at the five stages set-up along Lancaster Avenue. Fifteen different bands performed all afternoon at Malvern Federal Bank, Paoli Hardware Center, Paoli Design Center, 1776 Center and the main stage at Paoli Village Shops. It’s hard to have an exact count on how many attended; we know the number was high and in the thousands; streets, sidewalks and parking lots were full and overflowing. With the economic difficulties facing our local business community, the 1st Annual Paoli Blues Fest created an opportunity to introduce our local businesses and give the public a reason to come back to Paoli.
We thank the music committee, the tireless volunteers, the sponsors and most of all we thank the public for spending a magical, special afternoon in Paoli for the first ever Paoli Blues Fest. The memories of this day will last long after the music stopped and I was thrilled to be a part of it!

Pattye Benson
Co-Chair, Paoli Blues Fest
Director, Paoli Business & Professional Association

Paoli Sings the Blues – BluesFest Saturday October 3rd

I am co-chairing the upcoming Paoli Sings the Blues with Marie Thibault, president of Paoli Business & Professional Association. The Bluesfest will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2009, Noon – 6 PM, rain or shine! The festival will feature 15 different live blues bands performing on 5 stages spread throughout Paoli. The main stage will be bluesfestart1located at Paoli Village Shops and there will be fun for all the ages — in addition to music, there will be 60 food and local business vendors, activities for children including miniature golf, stiltwalker and magicians. Exotic and antique cars will be on display as well as Harley Davidson motorcycles.

This special free community event was made possible by a group of dedicated volunteers and generous sponsorship by local businesses and organizations. A starting point for fundraising to support the Bluesfest was created with a grant from Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau. On behalf of the Paoli Business Assocation, I wrote the successful grant and was thrilled that CCCVB supported us and provided the $8,000 grant will gave us the needed ‘seed money’. Their grant also validated our community event and provided added incentive for the local businesses to help.

5th Annual Historic House Tour a Success!

As President the Trust and chair of the Annual Historic House Tour, I would like to thank the special homeowners who allowed us to feature their beautiful homes on this year’s 5th Annual Historic House Tour. It is wonderful to live in a community that has people who cherish their historic properties and then allow others the opportunity to enjoy them!

The annual house tour provides an opportunity for our historic community to showcase their neighborhood architectural heritage and demonstrate how historic homes can be a perfect fit for our modern lives. Old houses tell wonderful stories, and this year’s featured homes did not disappoint. Under the vibrant blue sky and perfect summer-like temperatures, these generous homeowners opened their doors to Tredyffrin’s past to over 150 guests. As one of the Trust’s most anticipated annual events, we are extremely grateful to our historic homeowners who by sharing their extraordinary homes allow us to better understand Tredyffrin Township’s significant and unique history. I would like to thank also the many community volunteers and Trust Board members who volunteered their time and talents to help make this another successful Trust event.

After the house tour, I received many emails and calls, but think the following excerpt from a guest’s email probably best sums up the house tour for her and other visitors —

“. . . The Historic House Tour was superb, a beautiful day for touring with friends, and each house unique in its history and presentation. From small cozy rooms to a vast master suite, from springhouse to media room to “his and hers” pub space, all of it was fascinating. The grounds of each house were manicured and lovely and it was nice to find chums along the way. . .”

A sense of history and preservation of our historic resources is just one of the many reasons that Tredyffrin Township is a special place to live. Continuing to protect and honor our historic and architectural heritage will remain important to me should I be elected to the Board of Supervisors.

Memorial Day . . . A day of remembrance

Memorial Day . . .a day of remembrance. Words, symbols, heated rhetoric and clever argument all pale when measured against the brilliance of the white of marble and the emerald carpet of living grass. Dignity, honor, respect and a day of remembrance is all that they ask now of us. Especially, remembrance. From their dark and silent graves, these men and women give honor to our Nation. With fields and fields of flags upon their graves, we bear quiet witness to the precious, eternal value of the sacrifice of these Americans. Whether in combat, or fifty years later surrounded by only the memories of comrades long since passed, the men and women resting forever under those flags once marched proudly under that banner. They have earned nothing less than the unqualified respect of a grateful Nation, and her grateful people.

“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, …and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Memorial Day… a day of remembrance. Honor the Day. Honor Them!

Low Turnout Afflicts Primary Day

This was my first primary election in Tredyffrin Township as a candidate. Knowing that all candidates for the Board of Supervisors were endorsed and that the election was uncontested, I guess I was still surprised. On Tuesday, May 19, I arrived early at my polling location (W2) at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli with the memory of November 2008 Election Day still fresh in my mind. That autumn day the voter line stretched through the parking lot, on to the sidewalk and down the street. The wait to vote was nearly 1-1/2 hours but the festive, party-like atmosphere made the wait even more exciting!

With memories of the last Election Day swirling in my mind, I enthusiastically looked forward to 2009 Primary Day (and my first as a candidate). After morning and lunch-hour rushes that looked more like a trickle, I remained the eternal optimist. Until the polls closed at 8 PM, I visited the township’s 17 voting locations and met many volunteers and voters. The day provided a wonderful opportunity to see many old friends, and to meet new ones.

The polls closed and the votes were counted. The voter turnout was low . . . a history-making low for Tredyffrin Township. We had 12-15% of our registered Tredyffrin Township voters participating in this year’s primary. In the days since the primary, I have reflected that the election was probably overshadowed by the attention-grabbing presidential campaign of last year; many voters were still feeling the ‘burn out’ from the politicking of 2008.

Thank you to the voters who voted in the primary. Remember, for local government to be effective we all need to participate in the process. I am looking forward to an exciting Election Day 2009 – Tuesday, November 3 when our vote can make a difference!