Chadds Ford Township Supervisor Noelle Barbone formally announced her plan to run for re-election during a township Republican gathering Thursday night.
Barbone was elected in 2015 to the fill the remaining two years of former Supervisor Keith Klaver's term. Klaver resigned from the board for health reasons in January 2015. He died a year later.
In a short interview before addressing the audience at Brandywine Catering, Barbone said she wants a full term on the board so she can see several projects come to fruition. She specifically mentioned the Hillman Drive extension, the planned residential development along Oakland Road and Walkable Chadds Ford.
In the interview, she said she and fellow Supervisors Frank Murphy and Samantha Reiner work well together while bringing their own experiences and expertise to the board and "provide a really healthy balance of perspectives."
"I bring private property rights, which is my focus, as well as people management. I have some development expertise through my real estate work, and Frank is an engineer and an attorney and Samantha has years of experience as a township manager [in Edgemont]," she said. "The three of us together provide a well-balanced look at anything that comes before us."
While Barbone has more than 40 years of experience in real estate, the past 15 months on the board has been a learning experience for her, a learning experience regarding others as well as about herself.
"Township residents really want to be heard and not everyone's opinion is the same," she said. "I learned that it takes an enormous amount of intensive listening skills to be able to hear all of the perspectives and try to figure out the right balance in order to keep our township moving in a forward way. That has been the most difficult learning experience."
She also learned something about herself.
"I learned that I can do this. I learned that I do have a good mind for being able to help people in this capacity…I learned my people skills — in how I interact and talk with people, how I listen — are really beneficial."
In addition to wanting to see certain projects come possible conclusions, Barbone said she also has a vision for the future of Chadds Ford, that to "create a village feel that could be beneficial and meaningful to our township."
She acknowledged that it won't be an easy task to accomplish, and that, now at least, it's still just a concept.
"It's not a reality and I really feel like I could be beneficial in helping to make that a reality," she said. "To be able to have a nice balance of housing as well. The village feeling should incorporate residents."
Speaking to the group, current Supervisors' Chairman Frank Murphy said Barbone's re-election is important.
"We all know Noelle, we all appreciate Noelle, so maybe we were going to take this election for granted in Chadds Ford because Noelle is going to be a shoe-in because everyone loves her. We can't do that. We have to work very hard for Noelle," Murphy said.
He went to praise her attitude on the board because, "When we're sitting there at meetings, Noelle says things like ‘How do we get this done?' She doesn't want to be bothered with the technicalities and [solicitor Mike] Maddren's advice. Noelle wants to solve problems. Noelle wants to make things better for everybody. That's why we need her to win again."
Barbone is the Republican Party-endorsed candidate and, so far, will have no opposition in the spring primary. Also to date, no Democrat has announced any intention to run against her in November.