Ted Moxon: Campaigning on the need for another kind of voice
● By J. Chambless
Republican Ted Moxon and Democrat Whitney Hoffman have both declared their candidacies to occupy the seat soon to be left occupied by long-time Kennett Township Supervisor Robert Hammaker, in an election to be held on Nov. 3. Recently, the Chester County Press sat down with both, to get a glimpse inside their respective campaigns
By Richard L. Gaw
When he knocks on the doors of the
people who live in Kennett Township during his campaign for township
supervisor, Ted Moxon has heard a lot of what he refers to as
Some, not all, tell Moxon that they don't see the transparency that was promised in the campaigns of Chairman Scudder Stevens and Supervisor Dr. Richard Leff. Some don't appreciate what they see as an agenda pushed upon the township by Stevens and Leff.
Moxon did not imagine himself being in the crossfire of conversation related to how the township is governed. Running for the board wasn't his first choice, but the local Republican guard was searching for the right persons to represent the Republican side of the ballot.
“This opportunity found me, rather than me seeking it, actively,” Moxon said. “I felt a real need, based on what's transpired in the township in the last two years, to ensure that there was going to be a voice on the board to represent voices in the township who were being ignored.”
Moxon, a member of the township's Communications Committee, knows that if he is elected on Nov. 3, he is expected to become the opposing vote on a board that has voted 2-1 most of the time on key decisions regarding township ordinances and initiatives for the past two years.
“I'm not running against Whitney Hoffman. I'm running against what has become the perceived status quo that's been created,” Moxon said. “I have no agenda other than to make and keep the township a place where residents can continue to live without stress, without being angry with the fact that their township may be doing something they are not in agreement with.”
When asked to assess the state of the board over the last two years, Moxon, a frequent attendee at board meetings, said that he agrees with about 80 percent of the way business is conducted, and that if he is elected, he predicts he would join with Leff and Stevens on the same percentage of decisions.
The other 20 percent of board business, he said, is done in a “Helter Skelter fashion,” in a way that requires Stevens and Leff to backpedal through ordinances that ends up with them getting their hands slapped in violation of township and ethical code.
“I don't think there has been a strong enough voice in those executive sessions to try to steer [Stevens and Leff] away from making snap judgments and shoot-from-the-hip style of governing that is not in the best interest of the residents,” Moxon said.
One of the agenda items he feels is being conducted incorrectly is a proposal that Stevens is pushing that would require that a trails ordinance be incorporated in all township acquisitions of open space. Moxon feels that the insistence to have a trail placed on all township property is wrong, and may serve to lessen the future acquisition of open space in the township.
He or she may back away from that, and we may end up not preserving that space, and that's a travesty,” he said. “There are also trails being developed on open space that are not first being reviewed by the general public.”
Another key issue Moxon would like to address if elected is considered by many in the township to be a “happy problem.” Currently, the township's total assets sit just to the north of $25 million – a healthy sum in any municipality – but it has created a surplus Moxon believes requires the need to lower township taxes, whether through a referendum, an ordinance, or through the assistance of the Pennsylvania legislature.
“The surplus is one thing, but the thing that created the surplus is what really needs to be addressed, and that is the simple fact that we're taking more tax money than we need,” he said. “We need a way to stop this.”
Ted Moxon (Republican)
Family: Wife Monica, five children, one grandchild
Length of Residence in Kennett Township: 6
Related Experience: Environmental Planner, Chester County Planning Commission. Republican Committee representative and member of the Kennett Township Communications Committee.
Agenda: To preserve open space; to protect open lands from future development; to support the creation of trails and trail networks, without impinging upon the privacy of adjacent property owners; to ensure fiscal responsibility with taxpayer funds; to support maintenance of township infrastructure.
Quote: “I'm a small government person. When you try to use the powers that you have to manipulate the laws of your local township, and to force an agenda on everyone, you're potentially creating a structure that's going to create a demand of money that a township like us shouldn't have and probably won't have.
“The level of financial difficulty being experienced by the state and federal government is an outcome of trying to please everybody. The township has a basic command to maintain local roads, make sure that development happens in a way that is intelligent, and that ordinances are followed and buildings are built smartly. That's the focus of local government.”