Skip to main content

Roll film, Mr. Leff

11/13/2013 01:37PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print


In the closing scenes of the 1972 film "The Candidate," starring Robert Redford, Bill McKay has just won election to the United States Senate, and in the aftermath of his victory, he is surrounded by a storm of well-wishers and various hangers-on.

As they descend on him, McKay pulls his political consultant, Marvin Lucas (played by Peter Boyle), from the swell of hysteria, and together they escape the melee and find a moment's peace in a hotel room. "Marvin?" McKay asks Lucas. "What do we do now?" As the crowd rushes in to the room, he asks the simple question again, and again, as the crowd moves in and the film ends.

For any politician, whether a senator, city mayor or, in the case of Richard Leff, a newly elected member on the Board of Supervisors for Kennett Township, the shift from candidate to elected official occurs in the blink of an eye, when a campaign platform is asked to remove its clever promises from a website and move about in the form of action. 

Leff's convincing defeat of longtime Kennett Township leader Jim on Nov. 5 may have signaled a seismic shift in the future of Kennett Township politics. It may have been the death knell to politics as usual in the township, one that began with Scudder Stevens' defeat of Alan Falcoff in 2011, and continues under Stevens' aggressive fight to turn the governance of the township from a back-office stranglehold of secrecy to one of openness and revelation.

And yes, Leff's election may be nothing more than the coattail residue of a township's willingness to slowly, election by election, redefine itself and its intentions. But no matter the speculations that surround Leff's recent victory, he is now beholden to the issues that served his campaign.

He has  stated that he wants to develop a ten-year strategic open space and trails plan for the township, one that will stimulate open space acquisition, preserve property, and allow for the development of a trail network throughout Kennett Township. Calling the $9 million sitting in the township's general fund an indication of poor money management on the part of the current administration, Leff wants to develop a ten-year financial plan that allocates portions of that reserve to meet present and future township needs.

On the heels of Stevens' calls for a more honest and open form of government, Leff wants to gather residents' concerns before the board pursues any action. Finally, he wants to make Kennett Township a vibrant economic center, one that preserves and protects its assets, and develops plans that protect its citizens from over-development and over-taxation.   

Beginning in January, Leff's election to the Kennett Township board of supervisors will no longer be about the campaign promises that allowed him to prevail in arguably the most important election in southern Chester County this year. Whether he succeeds in achieving these objectives, or whether he merely becomes an elected figurehead - a silent "second" to Stevens' growing agenda - will soon become known.

Unlike the campaign and ultimate victory experienced by a fictional character played by Robert Redford 41 years ago, however, Leff's election to the board is real. In his case, the film has just begun, and the question that begins the life of every elected official will soon beg to be answered.



kennett township board of supervisors kennett township editorial


You might also like

Carrying out Eli’s wishes

Editorial for the week of August 20, 2014.

Radio action

Editorial for the week of August 13th, 2014.

Township agrees to new ordinance

Kennett Township Board of Supervisors voted to adopt three ordinances into law.

  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/19/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


  • Goo Fest

    09/20/2014
    02:00pm — 05:00pm

    As part of North Star Orchard's Adventure in Flavor tasting series, you are invited to Goo Fest! ...


  • Brews for Books

    09/20/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Sample fine craft beers with friends and support public libraries at Brews for Books, a craft bee...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/20/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    09/21/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Writing Baseball

    09/21/2014
    02:00pm

    What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writer...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/19/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


Chester County High School Sports