Editorial: Our Wish List
● By Richard Gaw
In our role as a newspaper in southern Chester County, we need to be in several places at once, and a peek at our weekly editorial calendar provides more than enough evidence that we are, indeed, everywhere. We cover the news of four school districts and 17 municipalities, numerous police and fire departments, events from Chadds Ford to West Nottingham, and profile hundreds of local residents every year. Because the Chester County Press has just as much of a stake in the future of our coverage area as the many towns, entities and people we report about, we feel entitled every so often to share our ideas on how our community can be improved.
... for the Pennsylvania Real Estate Trust [PREIT], as it moves forward on its designs for the White Clay Point Town Center on Route 41, to elicit the ingenuity and creativity of the residents of New Garden Township and explore ways on how the town center can become a shining new star that serves both commerce and community, and not just another cookie-cutter concept that threatens to sap the lifeblood out of the area;
... for southern Chester County to establish a regional police department that combines the police units of West Grove Borough, Kennett Square Borough, and New Garden and Kennett townships, as a strength-in-numbers, unified force ... and that the regional department be housed at a state-of-the-art barracks, retrofitted into the New Garden Township Building;
...for Joe Scalise to have good luck and much success in his new position as the borough manager of Kennett Square borough;
... for the New Garden Growers Market to have a dedicated and permanent outdoor home with easy accessibility to routes 41 and 1, preferably on or near the grounds of the New Garden Township Building on Starr Road in Landenberg. Ideally, it would be under a protective pavilion that provides cover from inclement weather;
… for Kennett Township to move from its current three supervisors to five, in the hopes that a larger board will allow for more inclusion of fresh ideas and put an end to the brazen, two-to-one vote monopoly that has for years bottlenecked the township;
...for Avon Grove School District administration to continue the push to make the schools academically elite;
...for more commercial growth in the Oxford area to expand the tax base and provide more financial support for the school district;
... for a reconceived, and rebranded plan for the now-closed Landenberg Store, to make it more than merely a stop-off point for last-minute items and open it up to becoming known as the People's Store, one that develops an effective partnership between owners and residents, in order to reflect and accommodate the changing tastes and needs of modern families ; and
... for downtown Oxford to get the kind of critical mass of attractions and restaurants that will put it in the spotlight that Kennett Square enjoys. Oxford has several bright spots, but it needs to be the kind of place that draws people to shop, enjoy an art gallery and then stick around for drinks or dinner. That's what makes downtowns thrive, and Oxford seems to be unable to close the deal. Here's hoping for better luck soon.