Have you ever had that moment when you knew you had to do something and doing nothing was not an option?
In 2016 and 2017 I was being asked by people to consider running for Pequea Township Supervisor. People both inside and outside of the township. One was even on the Lancaster County Republican Committee.
I will be using my website to share you with my personal thoughts. I don’t represent the Board of Supervisors when I write here. I represent my own views that I want to share with you. I will share my thoughts about issues, the public meetings and minutes, and answer questions you may have of me (unless prohibited for legal reasons).
Here is the truth about me… I love politics and I love the rich history of our country. While I have not served in elected office before, I have a rare set of experiences:
- Military – As a Chaplain I was trained to be both bold and thoughtful as a leader and someone responsible for thousands of soldiers under my care. I’m also a U.S. Navy active duty veteran.
- Business – I had to learn the hard way over fifteen years how to fight and persist for success while cutting my teeth, and ultimately achieving all my business goals as an entrepreneur.
- Non-Profits – I served on a United Way board, church boards, as well as a successful professional fundraiser for two non-profit Christian ministries.
- Government – I have served on healthy, local boards and know what it is like to have a group of people working together for a common cause.
- Education – I’m only a few classes away from completing a Masters’ degree in Political Management from George Washington University.
The more I learned about what was happening in our local government the more I felt the need to throw my hat in the ring.
I started attending Pequea Township Supervisor meetings in late 2017. I have never seen the kind of disfunction that I have witnessed over the last seventeen months. From a Supervisor screaming and cussing at people in the audience to getting in the face of the Chairman of the Board in a threatening manner… and that’s not even the worst part.
The Worst Part…
If the open hostility among members of the Board of Supervisors and towards the public wasn’t enough, I learned about several issues that were beginning to take its toll on the township’s reputation and/or budget:
- The road crew was experiencing a hostile work environment and felt forced to unionize.
- The Southern Regional Police Department was prematurely disbanded and brought back to Pequea Township, significantly increasing the expense to resident taxpayers.
- The two township fire department’s were being forced into consolidation, creating open and unnecessary hostilities.
- The Board of Supervisors sued their own Zoning Hearing Board unnecessarily and spent approximately $35,000 of taxpayer money.
- Right to Know Requests totaled approximately $14,000 in 2018.
In January 2017, I began studying the township budget and here is what I discovered – since 2014 the legal expenses went up from approximately $14,000 to $113,010.
That’s the cost of moving the police from the SRPD to Pequea Township, the unionization of the road crew, suing the Zoning Hearing Board, Right to Know requests, and issues I can’t even talk about.
On April 8, 2019, LNP ran an article titled: Pequea Township spent $300K on legal fees from 2016-18, 4 times as much as the 3 years before.
This illustration says it all:
Where was the Leadership?
Every month that went by in 2018, I kept asking myself; where is the leadership?
How did we get into this situation?
Who was fighting for the resident and taxpayers whose money was literally going up in smoke?
It was apparent there was no leadership, vision, direction, or accountability on the Pequea Township Board of Supervisors.
That’s why I ran for Township Supervisor.
Someone has to stand up and say that enough is enough.
Currently, there is little money in the general fund budget to pay for the road improvements that need to be made across the township in 2019. While there will be some road work, most of it will be paid for out of the State Highway Fund which is woefully inadequate for our all of our needs.
When I took my seat on the board in January, I knew that 2019 wasn’t going to be an easy year. I couldn’t have been more right over the first four months of this year.
Change is not easy and it’s not for the faint of heart.
Part of making change is understanding where the problems are at and tackling them one at a time. Some don’t like my solutions. I get and respect that. While I wish it were possible, I know I will never get 100% support. Nor should I to be honest. Part of a healthy, functioning board and community is having a say in their local government and that means not everyone will agree.
Since mid-2017, I have talked with over a thousand of my fellow residents about the issues in Pequea Township and how they feel about their local government. The overwhelming majority are not happy and nor should they be.
In the 2018 campaign, I ran on three key issues:
- Fighting to stop reckless behavior and restoring leadership to Pequea Township
- Putting a stop to out of control legal spending
- Creating a responsible budget we can all afford
I am fully committed to these tasks. It won’t be easy thanks to those who believe nothing is wrong or who want to defend the failed policies of the last three years.
We have a long road in front of us but with your support we can turn Pequea Township around and head in a new direction. We have started the turn and we have a bright and hopeful future.
Unfortunately, the high legal fees are not going to go away in 2018 or maybe even 2019.
We will be dealing with the consequences of the last three years for a few years.
With that said, come this fall we will be diligent, smart, and thoughtful about the 2020 budget as we start to put train back on the tracks.
As I said, the more I learned in 2017 and 2018, the more I knew it was time for me to take the skills, common sense, and experiences I’ve acquired over the last 30 years to serve our community.
It hasn’t been nor will it be easy.
I’m working hard for you! I’m asking questions and I’m fighting for what’s right. I’m the first one to admit that right now it isn’t pretty and it’s certainly not fun. However, I will do what I have to do to prevent from what has happened over the last three years from happening the next four years and beyond.
It’s my sincerest desire that 2019 will end better than it has begun.
If you want to contact me, I’m accessible two ways:
- Phone: 717-584-3071
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
While you’re always welcome to our public meetings the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm at the New Danville Fire Department… don’t wait until then to contact me if you have a need or desire to do so. I want to hear from you.