Op/ed: Barbone disappointed over endorsement

I was disappointed in Save the Valley’s decision to endorse Alan Horowitz for the supervisor’s election in Chadds Ford considering they have never spoken to me and seem to have ignored my work on behalf of Chadds Ford.

Their endorsement refers to some unspecified “questions” that my opponent answered to their liking; what seems peculiar is that they never asked me any questions. They seemed to have made a decision based on something other than involvement in the township or responses to neutrally asked questions. I had hoped for a more open process from an organization that has criticized others for lack of transparency.

I believe I have the vision to protect Chadds Ford from over-development, and equally important, I have actually worked to protect the township for more than seven years while Mr. Horowitz has been absent.

Here is my record:

• For more than seven years I have served on the Historic and Architecture Review Board to work to preserve and protect Chadds Ford’s history. I have attended almost every meeting over that seven-year period.  I do not recall Mr. Horowitz attending any meetings.

• For the past two years I have been a member of and chaired the township’s Strategic Advisory Committee. During that time I have worked on a number of projects including drafting a storm-water management ordinance to reduce the impact on our environment that any future development might have. Mr. Horowitz never attended any of the Strategic Advisory Committee meetings nor did he offer any comments on the Storm Water Ordinance.

•  I chaired and organized the first ever Visioning Workshop to bring together all stakeholders to address the township’s Comprehensive Plan, a critical document to guide decisions related to development and land use. Despite being present when the workshop was approved and scheduled by the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Horowitz did not attend.

• For more than one year I attended multiple supervisor’s meetings and public hearings on the proposed Hovnanian townhome project and spoke out against changing the zoning to permit townhouse use.  I urged the supervisors not to permit high density housing in that location, saying: “Not every township needs to turn into a city” and “It’s okay to say No.” Mr. Horowitz remained silent and indeed admitted to Chadds Ford Live he rarely attended any township meetings.

• I attended the crucial Planning Commission meeting held recently where the proposed fourth leg of the loop road project was being advocated for by a private developer.  This loop road will alter traffic patterns in Chadds Ford and may be the most critical decision facing the next Supervisor upon taking office. I have devoted the time to understand this important project and its impact by reviewing the plans and attending both this Planning Commission meeting and a recent Painter’s Crossing Community meeting where the loop road was discussed. Mr. Horowitz has been absent.

Mr. Horowitz was appointed to the township’s Open Space Committee some years ago. My understanding is that he attended only handful of meetings at most, and then after missing meeting after meeting was removed as a voting member for attending less than 70 percent of meetings [a township attendance a requirement]. He was then asked to participate as a non-voting member. However, Mr. Horowitz was again largely absent choosing not to serve his community. Is this track record of absence the type of leadership that will benefit Chadds Ford?

I understand that people of good conscience can disagree on who to vote for, who to support, or who to endorse. What I do not understand is how anyone can ignore my record of service to Chadds Ford; while making Mr. Horowitz’s absence from any involvement in the township a basis for endorsement. Chadds Ford deserves better than an absentee Supervisor. Chadds Ford needs a Supervisor who is committed to our Township, has served our community, understands the issues, and is ready to make decisions that will help protect Chadds Ford.

I am proud to be ready to take additional action to protect and preserve Chadds Ford and I ask for your support on Nov. 3.

Noelle Barbone,
Republican Party candidate for supervisor
Chadds Ford Township

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One Response to “Op/ed: Barbone disappointed over endorsement”

  1. Rob Gurnee says:

    I reached out to Noelle on two occasions but she never responded. I explicitly stated that I wanted the opportunity to talk about her qualifications for and commitment to preserving open space in Chadds Ford. I expressly stated that Save the Valley was assessing whether to endorse candidates in the upcoming election, without regard to party affiliation, and that any endorsement would be based solely on what candidates would most likely to be effective in the battle against unwanted development. I was further dismayed when I heard that she refused to engage the issues in a debate.

    I did speak with Noelle at the polls during the primary and came away feeling that she was not passionate about open space and not particularly well informed about strategies to protect it.

    Rob Gurnee
    Save the Valley

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