Horowitz won’t challenge Reiner

Alan Horowitz, the Democratic Party candidate for supervisor in Chadds Ford Township, wants to serve on the Board of Supervisors with incumbent Samantha Reiner and has switched his ballot slot so that he’ll face Noelle Barbone instead of Reiner in November.

“I think a Board of Supervisors that includes me, Samantha and Frank [Murphy] can make a lot of progress,” he said in a recent interview.

Horowitz has been impressed with Reiner’s performance on the board since she was appointed to replace Keith Klaver, who resigned for health reasons in January.

“I’ve watched the proceedings. I’ve listened to that board, and I’ve decided I’d rather serve with Samantha Reiner than try to beat her…The perspective she brings as a township manager in Edgmont Township is worthwhile. She asks tough questions and she’s thinking strategically.”

He said none of his comments in favor of Reiner should be taken as an indictment against Barbone.

“She’s a nice woman and has served the community well on the HARB and now the Strategic Advisory Committee, but I’d rather look at it from what I can bring to the Board of Supervisors. I think I can complement that team well by bringing a fresh perspective…I just think I’m a better fit.”

Reiner is not as enthusiastic about Horowitz and is banking on having Barbone as a fellow supervisor.

“I wish Alan Horowitz well. Unfortunately I don’t know him, having just become acquainted due to his recent attention to township matters,” she said

Reiner added, “Together, Noelle and I represent almost 50 years of living in Chadds Ford Township. Noelle and I have dedicated ourselves to service. We’ve both served on multiple boards, committees and associations for the residents of Chadds Ford and pledge to continue our good service with robust accountability. Our goals are harmonious, to unite people with our optimistic message.”

Barbone said she is eagerly anticipating the election.

“I have been a member of the Historical and Architectural Review Board since 2009 and am also chair of Chadds Ford’s Strategic Advisory Committee. Serving our township in these capacities has made me realize I am capable of serving our township even more. I am a 20-year resident who understands how our community feels about past and present events, and our concerns for the future of Chadds Ford. I am looking forward to the November election,” she said.

The jockeying for position became possible because someone had to run for the remainder of Klaver’s term. By state law, Reiner’s appointment was only good for the remainder of this year.

It was originally believed that Reiner would run for those two years and Barbone would run for a regular six-year term to replace George Thorpe who is not seeking re-election. However, the two changed positions.

Horowitz was originally slated to run for the six-year term against Barbone but, after learning of the change on the Republican side, ran a write-in campaign during the primary election so he could switch to the two-year term if he chose to. He said he made the decision to switch about two weeks ago.

As for the campaign, Horowitz said there was a bit of a summer hiatus because people were away, but he expects things to begin ramping up. He’s looking to hold another fundraiser and said he’s received some unsolicited support, at least verbally, from Republicans as well as Democrats.

One issue that continues to concern him is development, especially along the border with Concord Township.

“I am very close to believing that we actually need a moratorium on development…I think we need a time out,” he said, but added, “That timeout is limited because we can’t do much about the decision that Concord makes.”

He suggests talking with supervisors in Concord to understand their plans and see what shift in leadership they might have in the next few months.

“We need to take a step back and reflect on what type of community we want to be. My theme will be a walkable, drivable, livable Chadds Ford.”

However, Horowitz acknowledges a moratorium might not be possible and his thinking is just conceptual at this point.

“I do not believe the law is settled on this in the state. There is some case law from the late 1990s and early 2000s on this topic when such a moratorium was challenged in another jurisdiction.  There have also been bills proposed in this area that would explicitly authorize this type of thing. To be clear, I am not advocating anything that would violate the legal rights of developers,” he said.

The concept of a moratorium has come up before in Chadds Ford.

“The concept was actually raised, but at the time dismissed, during a special board meeting convened before a recent Planning Commission meeting. Samantha actually made reference to the concept,” he said.

Even if possible, Horowitz said, a moratorium should not last long, perhaps a three- to six-month halt, especially along the Route 202 corridor.

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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