Love endorses Murphy for supervisor

Chadds Ford Township Supervisor Deborah Love, who failed to get the Republican Party endorsement to run for another term, is endorsing Frank Murphy, the party’s chosen candidate.

Citing demands in her personal life and career, Love said she is ready to move on to other challenges. She has decided to bow out graciously at the end of the year and not contest her party’s pick.

“Before I stepped aside, though, I felt I had an obligation to the great people of Chadds Ford to make sure that whoever was chosen to run as a candidate for the Republican Party was truly a person of integrity and dedication who would put the needs of the township first. It is with pleasure that I support and endorse Frank Murphy to succeed me as candidate for Chadds Ford supervisor,” Love said in an e-mail announcing her decision.

She said Murphy, a member of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board and former Aston Township commissioner, knows the issues that affect the area and understands the workings of a municipal government.

“I am thrilled that Frank Murphy has agreed to run for supervisor and I will do everything I can to help him win because I believe he has the skill set, integrity, and experience to work with all the citizens of Chadds Ford,” she wrote.

In a telephone interview, Love thanked the people of Chadds Ford for entrusting her with two terms as supervisor. While she has no plans for another political run — “It’s too soon to think about that now,” Love said — she would like to stay active in the community. She specifically cited staying involved with cleanup day and other local events.

Beyond that, “There’s nothing on the horizon.” She called the last few weeks, during which she considered her options, a time of “soul-searching.”

Reflecting on her 12 years as supervisor, Love pointed to a number of accomplishments in which she’s been involved. She mentioned bringing public sewers to areas of the township in need of them and with getting grant monies for the township and for spearheading the creation of the township manager position.

Yet, one accomplishment stands out above the rest, the opening of the northwest section of the loop road, Brandywine Drive from Hannum’s Harley Davidson at Route 1, through Painters Crossing to Route 202 across from State Farm Drive.

It was significant to her, she said, “because neither of my colleagues wanted to move forward with that. I was new and thought it was just the right thing to do.”

(The eventual vote for the township to take dedication of the road was 2-1, with Love and George Thorpe prevailing over former Supervisor Jim Shipley.)

She plans to continue her efforts to get a change of post office addresses for township residents who have West Chester zip codes. Love said last year that people in that situation have difficulty getting services from Delaware County because the county thinks they live in Chester Country.

Her two terms in office were also a learning experience. Love, who has a master’s degree in business and another in nursing, said she was able to apply leadership skills learned in her professional life.

“What I’ve learned to manage groups, to manage people to help get them to consensus, I could take from my professional life and adapt it to a municipal role,” she said.

Love believes that supervisors need to run the township like a business. “It’s a business; it’s not just people talking across the fence. It’s a business, not just for the bottom line, but also from an organizational perspective. I don’t think a lot of people in our community believe that.”

The 12 years in office also provided her with some self-realization.

“I think I developed leadership skills, a leadership style, that I guess I never thought I had,” she said.

As things stand now, Murphy will run unopposed in the May Republican primary. Whether or not he’ll have an opponent in November is still not known. The Chadds Ford Democratic Party has not announced a candidate for supervisor. The last time they did was six years ago when Rhona Klein challenged Love.

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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