Letter to the Editor:
On Oct. 8, I attended a League of Women Voters meeting with the candidates for the upcoming Kennett Board of Supervisors election, where they answered questions submitted from the audience. The winning candidate will replace retiring board chairman Michael Elling.
Township voters are obviously in a mood for reform, so both Mr. Leff and Mr. Przywitowski are running on a reform platform. Both candidates are claiming to be non-partisan and are promising to change the way the township is governed: on the surface, their platforms sound so similar that the decision must be based on who will actually deliver on their promises of more open space, recreational trails, financial transparency, long-range planning and bi-partisanship.
After Scudder Stevens' 2011 election victory, his attempts at much-needed reform have been repeatedly frustrated by chairman Elling and board member Bob Hammacker, who are both Republicans. Stevens is a Democrat. Voters who have seen the mismanagement of the current board, want to elect another reform candidate to work harmoniously with Stevens to accomplish the reforms.
Leff is a township resident who has also volunteered with many organizations in both a personal and professional capacity, but who has not previously been associated with Kennett Township government. Przywitowski has considerable volunteer experience, much of it specifically with the township.
The problem with Przywitowski's long township experience is that he obviously witnessed the board's most egregious actions over the years and yet did nothing to challenge or question them. Despite his talk of reform, this fact leads voters to believe that his election to the board would result in more of the cronyism and questionable decisions from the past two decades.
Leff, on the other hand, has the advantage of not being a board "insider" and is not beholden to the "old guard." He will be responsive to the voters. He also enjoys the full support of Supervisor Stevens, making it likely that they will work very well together to make the board an effective agent of much-needed change.
In his comments during the meeting, Przywitowski chose to attack Stevens, calling him "divisive" and implying that he is somehow responsible for the current dysfunctional township government. The actual dysfunction is the result the current board majority, who maintain the unfortunate and ineffective status quo.
Przywitowski is telling the voters what they want to hear about reform and change, but his strong support of the policies of the current "old guard" will undoubtedly have a heavy influence on his actions.
Kennett Township voters elected Stevens in 2011 to make the reforms that are so obviously necessary. With the addition of Leff, the board could accomplish these tasks that have been frustrated for so long by the current entrenched majority.