Letter to the Editor:
On Nov. 5, either Richard Leff or Jim Przywitowski will be elected to replace Michael Elling, retiring Kennett Township supervisor.
Mr. Elling has become an increasingly unpopular and divisive figure of late, and Przywitowski is his long-time political ally. Therefore, Przywitowski is now seeking to downplay his extensive connections with Elling and the township’s ‘old guard.’ Instead, Przywitowski is emphasizing his long-time township government volunteer experience which he claims makes him “hands down the most qualified person to serve as our next supervisor.”
But experience alone is not a qualification – you also need to show effective results. Sadly, Przywitowski’s ‘experience’ has not always led him to act in the best interests of the township. For example, Przywitowski has long served on two of the township’s key committees, the Land Conservation Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission. As a matter of public record, he:
1. Said nothing in 2008 when Elling arbitrarily “fired: the Kennett Land Trust, which had managed all of the township’s open space, including the highly successful acquisition of Stateline Woods. As a result, the township acquired no new Open Space for four years, a period when land prices were at historic lows.
2. Conducted a seriously flawed assessment of the recent Schmidt and Berndt easements which Elling then used to justify paying wildly inflated prices for them. Fittingly, Przywitowski campaign signs now figure prominently on both these properties.
3. Said nothing when Elling subsequently stripped trails from the Schmidt easement after a signed agreement clearly specified a trail easement, and despite strenuous complaints from concerned citizens. The township still paid the same inflated price.
4. Agreed to eliminate both trails and sidewalks from the recent Granite Ridge development. As a result, children attending school just one mile away will walk or bike along narrow roads with virtually no shoulders, or else be driven to school, increasing traffic.
5. At the request of Supervisor Scudder Stevens, the Land Conservation Advisory Committee committed to develop a formal, detailed Open Space acquisition process, and after 18 months no process exists.
6. Objected to the recent firing range ordinance because he felt the planning commission needed more time to ‘study’ the issue. Meanwhile, local residents were living in mortal fear of stray bullets, while our police chief said his own hands were tied for lack of even a very limited ordinance.
Furthermore, as a candidate, Przywitowski has publicly stated that he:
1. Supports Chester County’s plan to create a widened two-lane bridge at Chandler Mill, which local residents oppose. This would effectively create a dangerous shortcut to the planned Wal-Mart in New Garden Township and require significant road improvements that the township will have to pay for. It would also virtually kill existing plans for the Red Clay Greenway trail system.
2. Believes the township’s policy for trails should be to first acquire Open Space easements without trails, and then negotiate for trails later. This undercuts long-range planning for trails and imposes additional costs and delays for obtaining trail easements. For the record, all township Open Space easements before 2012 included trails.
3. Views Kennett Township as the best example of well-run local government in the region. This despite years of documented financial mismanagement by his allies, the current Board of Supervisors majority.
I am quite sure that once the voters understand Przywitowski’s actual public record, his claims of experience will ring hollow, and few will see him as the “most qualified person to serve as our next supervisor.”
By comparison, his opponent, Richard Leff, has no ties to the township’s ‘old guard’, and promises to bring fresh ideas and energy into township government. His well-documented experience includes raising and allocating the $3 million annual budget of a local charity, plus decades of spearheading the development of new pharmaceutical products. For more information on Richard Leff’s impressive background and his outstanding achievements, please visit his website, leff4supervisor.org.
Leff 4 Supervisor campaign manager