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Chester County Press

Candidates line up for East Marlborough board seat

05/05/2015 11:38AM ● By J. Chambless
With the May 19 primary only a short time away, two candidates have lined up in a race for a seat on the East Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors. Christine Kimmel and Richard Hicks are both Republicans. Hicks is a former supervisor. Kimmel is a longtime member of the township's Planning Commission.
Kimmel has lived in East Marlborough Township and worked in Chester County for the past 18 years and is the endorsed candidate for township supervisor. She is an attorney with the West Chester law firm of Buckley, Brion, McGuire & Morris LLP. She has served as a member of the Unionville Regional Planning Commission, the Longwood Cooperative Planning Project, the Kennett Area Regional Planning Commission, and the Unionville Park Planning Commission. If elected, she would be the first woman supervisor in the history of the township.
In her response to questions e-mailed last week, Kimmel wrote:
 Q.: How did you decide to run for the supervisor position?
A.: I have served on the Township Planning Commission for 12 years and recently became the chairperson. During that time, I have worked closely with the Board of Supervisors on many issues. As a zoning and land use attorney, I have appeared before many municipalities across Pennsylvania and I’ve seen how effective a well run township can be in improving the lives of its residents. I want to bring that experience to East Marlborough. I think the township is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and I would like to serve the township in a greater capacity.
Q.: If you win, what will your new position mean for the Planning Commission?
A.: Two members of the Planning Commission – Pat Montague and MaryNell Ferry -- have been serving as long or longer than me and will maintain continuity. With their guidance and with the fresh perspectives offered by Charles Streitweiser and our newest member, Jane Donze, the Planning Commission will continue to give excellent input on development and planning issues.
Q.: What skills would you bring to the table as a supervisor?
A.: As a zoning, land use and municipal lawyer for almost 20 years, I understand the challenges faced by local governments, and how to balance competing interests. Having served on state, regional and local boards, I understand the necessity of collaboration to solve problems. As a business lawyer, I know the importance of listening to, and working with, the business community to stimulate economic growth. As a partner in a law firm, I understand what it takes to make a payroll, pay the bills and stay within budget.
Q.: What's the timeframe of your campaign? Did you just get started? 
A.: I’ve been talking with residents and visiting neighborhoods, asking voters their concerns, since March. At the same time, I am the mother of a very active (and talented) high school sophomore, so I make time to see his events and volunteer in the community as much as possible. 
Q.: What are the challenges facing East Marlborough Township?
A.: The primary challenge facing East Marlborough and most other townships is how to provide essential services efficiently while keeping taxes low. To do this requires leaders who are keenly sensitive to public needs and open to creative solutions.
Q.: What are some of the issues you would be looking forward to tackling if elected?
A.: As I have been out visiting residents, many of them have expressed concerns about smart growth in the township. My background is particularly suited to address this. Other issues include funding emergency services and supporting the school district in maintaining excellence and keeping children safe.

In his reponse to questions e-mailed last week, Hicks wrote:

 Q.: How did you decide to run for the supervisor position?
A.: I believe there is an immediate concern in regard to development in the area that is going unattended by the majority of our current Board of Supervisors.  This proposed development will have a major impact not only on our area roads that already suffer disrepair, but on the infrastructure that would support it. 
Q.: What skills would you bring to the table as a supervisor?
A.: I have been a resident of Chester County all of my life; living in East Marlborough for the last 50 years and before that in West Marlborough Township. My family is firmly rooted in the area, and has been for more than a century, predominantly in the farming/agricultural industry. I believe strongly in the concept of preservation and the necessity of making responsible decisions. I was instilled with a strong sense of community involvement, and subsequently have been an active volunteer firefighter for the Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company since 1970, where I currently serve as president. 
Previously I was honored to represent East Marlborough Township as one of its Township Supervisors, a position I held for 12 years.  Through my tenure, I endeavored to seek out the necessary knowledge and information which would enable responsible, informed and educated decisions.  I made myself as familiar as possible with zoning, land development, and the Municipal Planning Code by taking advantage of continuing education courses in these fields.  I currently hold a certificate as a Master Planner through an in-depth course for which I took sole responsibility in pursuing.
Also during this time, I was able to represent East Marlborough Township as a member of the Kennett Regional Planning Commission, and the Chester County Association of Township Officials, becoming president of the later organization in 2011. 
I am well versed in codes regarding building, zoning, and municipal requirements.  I have been employed as a Municipal Building Codes Official and Zoning Officer for over 20 years, and previous to that I managed my own contractor business.  I believe my experience has provided me with a well-rounded basis for understanding what and how possible development may impact our taxpayers.  
Q.: What are the challenges facing East Marlborough Township?
A.: There are continued plans in place to develop Kennett Borough and adjoining municipalities, has anyone thought to ask how this will impact East Marlborough Township? Where will the traffic go? The obvious answer is through the adjoining developments, or to continue through our country roads. These roads were not meant to carry the amount of traffic that will be generated from these developments combined with pending development in East Marlborough Township, which is looking at the addition of 100-plus homes located on Walnut Road, and possibly Schoolhouse Road. Another matter is the Old Fire Hall in Unionville, which the township recently purchased.  Nothing has been done with this building, which could be a viable asset to the township if put to good use; instead it continues to deteriorate due to lack of attention while the taxpayers prepare to pay the bill.  And remember the bike path? What happened to that, and what was the final cost to the taxpayers?
Q.: What are some of the issues you would be looking forward to tackling if elected?
A.: I am in favor of development, as long as it is responsible development.  Responsible in that all avenues of possible impact are discussed and reviewed ahead of time, to resolve issues at the onset of development.  I believe that the developer should be made to be responsible for infrastructure repairs and upgrades rather than the taxpayers.  
I believe I have the experience and the desire to see that East Marlborough Township maintains its position of a great community to live and work in, without being a detriment to the taxpayers.  With your help I can make that happen.  

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