I am writing in response to Mr. Sweeney’s glowing assessment of Republican control in Tredyffrin. He gushes about the “outstanding accomplishments” under one-party rule and urges voters to “reward success” on Nov. 8.
However, those who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid see a different reality, and I urge those voters to take a closer look.
Taxes, fees and budget deficits have in fact increased under Republicans. And the quality of essential township services has declined as cuts to police, fire, libraries and township maintenance of roads and parks have taken their toll. The township is so understaffed that it takes months in many cases to get a response.
One-party rule for over 300 years has meant no effective pushback. A handful of people have run this community with no pressure to improve openness or responsiveness to resident concerns. It has been clear on many occasions that some supervisors felt a responsibility to serve only fellow partisans. And in the case of St. Davids Golf Club, they ignored the law in doing so.
Voters need to look below the surface. Tredyffrin supervisors have been content to cut the budget to the bone and wait out the economic downturn. Making smart investments in our future has not been on their agenda. And since tax revenues are declining as property owners continue to seek lowered assessments, only an unlikely boom in property sales can reverse this decline.
It is clear we need forward-thinking leadership committed to broadening our tax base, or we will suffer further decline in services and be unable to move forward with projects that will enhance the quality of life in Tredyffrin.
The Republicans have chosen a two-pronged strategy in this local election year: 1) paint a rose-colored view of the state of Tredyffrin, and 2) mislead voters that an earned income tax is a ballot issue. Neither is accurate or honest. No candidates and neither party are proposing higher taxes. And no tax question is on the November ballot.
Before casting your vote on Nov. 8, please do your homework and get the facts. Vote to bring the glare of sunshine to local government.
KATHLEEN E. KEOHANE
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Ed Sweeney’s letter last week. He extols the yellow signs appearing throughout the township showing Republican “messages.”
The first sign is “No Earned Income Tax – Vote Republican.” It is curious to see the Republicans are urging you to fight a tax that is not even a choice in 2011. The School Board cannot institute an earned income tax (EIT) without a public referendum. If the board proposes a referendum, it cannot happen until May 2012. So no worries: if you don’t want an EIT, you can vote against it in 2012.
The next sign thanks the Republicans for our top-ranked schools. We do have great schools, but not as top-ranked as they used to be. Pension liabilities and funding cuts enacted by Republican-controlled state legislatures under Republican governors (first Ridge, now Corbett) have put school districts across the state in dire financial straits. We still have great students (should we thank the Republicans for the gene pool?) with affluent, highly educated parents who push them to excel, and great teachers and administrators. But we have cut school budgets to the point we could easily destroy our great schools. If you care about the children of this community and your own property values, perhaps it is time for a change.
Last is fiscal discipline. Republicans run every year on the promise to “hold the line on taxes,” but the truth is that taxes, fees and deficits have gone up every year for the past five years. Many of the penny-wise pound-foolish steps taken in this township have not been prudent. For example, in the past few years, we spent $6 million to build an addition to the Strafford Library. This year we begin $1.5 million of work to repair its roof and HVAC systems (oops). But its hours have been cut and it is no longer open seven days a week. Not the “best bang for the buck” as Sweeney purports.
If you believe false rhetoric is not the answer, you should opt for change. Vote Democratic.
Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee