Op/Ed: Why I endorse Whitney Hoffman

While every election is an important event, an opportunity to renew our individual commitment to our individual and community values, this election in Kennett Township is especially so. This is a year where the electorate nationwide is confused and frustrated. Outsiders with bombastic promises and outlandish charges promise unrealistic and inappropriate change. This approach at the state and federal levels is foolish and dangerous; it is equally so at the township level, where the choice is between vision and empty charge.

Beginning four years ago, and particularly during the last two years, responsive and open government re-emerged in Kennett Township. Let me mention four of many examples. I campaigned on the concern that township finances needed to be addressed. You will recall the nonsense of the non-audit. Since that time, this situation turned around. Transparency and openness are the rule, professional support and guidance the practice. A “real” audit occurred for each of the past four years, and the recommendations of that auditor, and of the Business Advisory Committee (also a new innovation), were implemented. That included setting up and following a true reserve system to define and fund for the future infrastructure needs of the township. As a consequence, the unstructured and uncommitted pool of cash is substantially gone, left with a significantly reduced but adequate surplus reserve for unanticipated needs.

While Whitney Hoffman supports this fiscal prudence, Ted Moxon irresponsibly riles township residents, telling them that we hold $20 million in cash, which, of course, we do not.

The current board instituted a plan for open space and conservation easements. It defined what the priorities of the township were and began the implementation of this vision. It included sidewalks and trails, a necessity for a well-managed community. As a consequence, a significant easement purchase occurred that supports the vision of a “green” township, open to the use of the community, a vision of a connected regional system. Additional purchases are planned. The reality of that vision can be experienced by walking or biking along Chandler Mill Road and contemplating the forthcoming re-opening of Chandler Mill Bridge.

Whitney Hoffman shares this vision of open space, conservation, and sidewalks and trails. Ted Moxon opposes this vision and interferes in the ordered process mandated by law.

Your current supervisors have committed to a plan for sensible development in the township, one that includes both thoughtful managed residential growth, but also economic and commercial growth. Ways Lane needs to be addressed, and new businesses encouraged. But that growth should not overburden the infrastructure, and should not unreasonably tax the school system. This plan is designed to increase the tax base but not increase the tax burden.

Whitney Hoffman supports managed growth in the township and offered a well-reasoned and documented approach for high-speed Internet availability to support the township plan. Ted Moxon offers nothing.

At the outcry of the residents of the township against unregulated shooting, this board of supervisors investigated the concern and enacted an ordinance for the safe use of firearms. While it grew out of the expressed concern of the township residents for a reasonable standard for gun use safety, it also followed the example of other thoughtful Pennsylvania municipalities, which also faced a need to address unfettered gun use in a non-rural and populated community. That “expressed concern” grew out of numerous public discussions.

Whitney Hoffman was one of the many residents who supported enacting a reasonable safety standard. Ted Moxon, one of three or four opposed to any standard, consistently espoused the NRA mantra, blindly ignoring resident safety.

Much has happened in the past four years in Kennett Township, but much remains to be addressed. This continuing progress will depend on who is elected as supervisor this November. I write to endorse Whitney Hoffman. I believe she is the most capable of the two candidates. I believe she has the most heart and commitment to serve. I believe she has the vision and understanding to embrace the challenge. She is the person I want to sit with me as Supervisor of Kennett Township.

Scudder G. Stevens, Chairman
Kennett Township Board of Supervisors



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