Save the Valley endorses three in Concord

Save the Valley has again come out with endorsements for supervisor, this time in Concord Township. And again, as the group did with its endorsements for supervisor in Chadds Ford Township, those picks cross party lines.

Save the Valley is also seeking a post-election forum.

The organization, which has become known for its desire to promote open space in Concord, announced in an email that it’s endorsing Democrats Dan Foster and John Wellington, as well as incumbent Republican Supervisor Kevin O’Donoghue.

“Concord needs change, but it is not going to happen by succumbing to partisan political behavior… It is our position that the issue of open space transcends political parties…Voting for someone at the local level because of political ties only, while ignoring the urgency of the development issue, is a prescription for failure,” the email said.

They said of Wellington: “He lives directly adjacent to the threatened land in Beaver Valley and is running on a platform advocating for open space in Concord. He would provide much needed representation on the Board of Supervisors for residents living west of Route 202. He is willing to debate the issues with his opponents and engage in an open dialogue about the important issues facing the township. As a challenger, he does not have a voting record to assess. However, there is no question as to where John stands on open space.”

Regarding Foster, who has run before and is the head of the Bethel-Concord Democratic Party, “He attempts to bring transparency to Concord by filming and posting important township meetings. As a challenger, he does not have a voting record to assess. However, he has identified open space as an important campaign issue and one was one of a group of Concord residents to propose specific enhancements to the township code almost 18 months ago.”

O’Donoghue has long said he opposes development of the Beaver Valley area, and he has voted against such plans. Save the Valley said his votes are appreciated.

“He is the only supervisor that voted our way on the issue. In addition, he helped arrange a meeting of various interested parties to discuss funding for the purchase of the Woodlawn property,” the email said.

However, Save the Valley notes some disagreement with other O’Donoghue positions.

“Kevin is part of the township process that defines open space to include absurdities like cemeteries, golf courses, prison grounds and land directly under high tension wires. He and his colleagues on the board have not acted on common sense recommendations to upgrade the township’s ordinances. As head of the Concord Township Republican Party, he is responsible for accepting a large number of contributions from developers and others with interests that run counter to open space,” Save the Valley said.

Save the Valley is not endorsing incumbent Republican Gail Ryan, who is running with O’Donoghue. Ryan was appointed to replace Dominic Cappelli, who resigned from the board this past spring.

Noting that Ryan worked on land development issues while employed in Lower Merion, the group said, “Gail has shown no evidence of seeing the need to preserve open space in Concord. She does not even mention open space as an issue in the campaign.”

Despite the election outcome on Nov. 3, Save the Valley wants a post-election forum to discuss open space and zoning issues, and they want an open discussion:

“Currently, most citizen input in Concord is cut off by a gavel at a meeting, and almost always ignored, anyway. The incumbents rejected an election debate that we proposed…Concord deserves better, and we urge the candidates to participate in a forum once the election is concluded.”

Save the Valley had already endorsed Republican Samantha Reiner and Democrat Alan Horowitz for supervisors in Chadds Ford Township.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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