Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Incumbents, challengers vie for seats on New Garden Board

10/27/2015 02:54PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

Drive, walk or run along nearly any of the many winding, twisting roads in New Garden Township and you are likely to see the campaign signs that include the names of the four candidates running to occupy the two seats on the township's Board of Supervisors, which will be decided in an election to be held Nov. 3.

Current board members Patrick Little and Michael Loftus are being challenged by Randy Lieberman and David Unger for six-year terms, all coming at a time when the township seeks to negotiate a proper balance between progress and preservation. As the following profiles indicate, striking that balance is on the front burner of every candidate.

The following profiles are listed alphabetically.

Randy Lieberman – Democrat

1. Why are you running for election to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors?

Lieberman: I have a love and passion for New Garden Township. Speaking from my own experience, it's definitely a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and serving on the Board of Supervisors would allow me to serve this township in a greater capacity.

2. What, in your opinion, are the key issues facing New Garden Township, and how do they meld with the key issues of your campaign?

Lieberman: I have a very balanced approach that I would like to help develop as a supervisor. It starts with stimulating opportunities for both economic development and open space, and I firmly believe that both can be achieved with the right management. It begins with the need to develop infrastructure. The most crucial problem in New Garden is the intersection of Old Baltimore Pike and Newark Road, and if we are able to improve that corridor, it would enable the next stage of economic development to begin, from Old Baltimore Road, north to Newark Road and all the way up to Route 1, including the New Garden Air Field and Modern Mushroom. If that became a viable lane of commerce, the township would be able to link it with more jobs, and thus be in a better position to manage and create its open space.

3. If you are elected to the Board, what are those issues affecting the township that you would most want to see either addressed, improved or removed from the township, at the end of your time on the Board?

Lieberman: I would like to see a viable, landmark company set up shop in New Garden Township, and offer white-collar employment opportunities, in order to add to the township's tax portfolio, while at the same time, create more opportunities for increased open space, in order to find that perfect balance. Achieving this would guarantee that New Garden Township will remain a great place to live.

Family: Wife Amy, two children

Age: 54

Years lived in township: 25 years

Previous Related Experience: Member, Board of Trustees, Landenberg Church; current President, Kennett Square Mushroom Festival; former treasurer, secretary and board member, Oxford Lions Club and Oxford Mainstreet.

 

Patrick Little – Republican

1. Why are you running for election to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors?

Little: Two years ago when I was first elected as a Supervisor, I would have had a harder time answering this question, but now I better understand where my business background is a benefit to working through the business of the Township. I feel strongly about our need to do a better job of being transparent with the residents, and that always means better communications. I proposed the starting of the Township’s electronic newsletter, as an example of better communications.

2. What, in your opinion, are the key issues facing New Garden Township, and how do they meld with the key issues of your campaign?

Little: The key issue is the mix of well thought out commercial development and our plan for more open space. Managing our budgets and expenditures is an ongoing concern. The Township just completed a proposal for a long term comprehensive plan. Implementing this plan is an issue that needs to be considered. Improving our roads both State and Township is a constant issue for the betterment of the Township.

3. If you are re-elected to the Board, what are those issues affecting the township that you would most want to see either addressed, improved or removed from the township, at the end of your time on the Board?

Little: In 2013, we had roughly ten thousand employees as part of New Garden's tax base. We're down to 7,000. Our tax base has decreased. The number of taxable buildings, the amount of taxable land, has decreased over the last seven years, while inflation has gone up 12 or 13 percent. If we want to be more rural, then we need to cut our expenses, if we want to keep these services, then we need additional well thought out development, and or increase taxes. In the short term we have a decision to make on the selling of our sewer system. If we do sell the system, we need to be far planning in our use of those monies. There's no attractive way to get in or out of New Garden Township. We need to start lobbying politically, in order to come up with a long-term plan to develop southwestern Chester County, and a part of that is to look at the main roads that come through New Garden Township.

Family: Two children

Age: 71

Years lived in township: 10 years

Previous Related Experience: Member of New Garden Board of Supervisors since 2014; past Vice Chairman, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County; former National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

 

Michael Loftus – Republican

1. Why are you running for re-election to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors?

Loftus: I am seeking re-election to continue the work started when I was appointed to the Board of Supervisors. I believe in the importance of being active on a local level and participating in local government to serve the needs to the community.

2. What, in your opinion, are the key issues facing New Garden Township, and how do they meld with the key issues of your campaign?

Loftus: New Garden is a diverse community comprised of families, a strong agricultural community, small and large businesses, and homeowners. All in the community are concerned with their economic well being, feeling safe and secure in their homes and in the community, and preserving the aesthetic Chester County countryside that attracted many residents to the area.  

Balancing how the township provides municipal services, resolves community issues, creates a place that is attractive to businesses, and preserves open space – is an ongoing process. As a current supervisor, I have worked with my colleagues on the board to strike a proper balance. 

3. If you are re-elected to the Board, what are those issues affecting the township that you would most want to see either addressed, improved or removed from the township, at the end of your time on the board? 

Loftus: I would like to see the township continue our efforts to preserve open space, as funds allow. Working as a board, we will continue to look to make the area more attractive to business. Public safety concerns are not just a problem for large municipal areas. For that reason, it is important that the township continue to evaluate our needs and provide the appropriate level of community based police service for the the residents and business of the township. 

Family: Wife Jan, three children

Age: Did not disclose

Years lived in New Garden Township: More than 21 years

Previous Related Experience: Current New Garden Township Supervisor; member, New Garden Township Planning Commission for more than 16 years, holding all positions on the Commission; past member, Kennett Regional Planning Commission; served 12 years as Northeast Regional Director of professional trade association, and on its board of directors.

 

 

 

David Unger - Democrat

1. Why are you running for election to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors?

Unger: I'm running because I feel the next 10 years in New Garden Township are going to be very important in terms of development and infrastructure. As Kennett Borough and Kennett Township continue to grow, there will be increased pressure on arterial roads that run through New Garden Township, that lead to these two locations. Addressing and improving transportation routes in our township is a crucial part of my platform.

2. What, in your opinion, are the key issues facing New Garden Township, and how do they meld with the key issues of your campaign?

Unger: I believe the key issue will be how to manage the township's growth moving forward. New Garden Township is a special place, with a country aesthetic and the ability to see the stars at night and yet with the opportunity to visit nearby Kennett Square, or Wilmington or Philadelphia.

It will be important to manage how we grow in the future, so that we can maintain all of that. We do not want to end up like Concord Township and Delaware County, where they have tended to pave everything over. We need to look strategically at where the township's assets are and create opportunities there, such as along the Route 1 Corridor, while continuing to maintain the rural areas of Landenberg and beyond.

3. If you are elected to the Board, what are those issues affecting the township that you would most want to see either addressed, improved or removed from the township, at the end of your time on the Board?

Unger: I would like to see more affordable housing built, the sort that is high density that allows you to have more housing in a smaller footprint, instead of homes that take up sprawling, large amounts of acreage. I'd like to see young professionals get a chance to live here and enjoy our resources, while still being able to commute to Kennett Square and larger cities. It would serve as a pressure relief valve to allow people to come in the area, but not take up as much open space. Smaller developments allow for increased millage rates, but are less of a drain on the school systems.

Family: Single

Age: 30

Years lived in township: 19 years

Previous Related Experience: has served on the New Garden Township election board since 2007; New Garden Township Judge of Elections, 2009-13; committee person for the Democratic Party in the township since 2009.

Website: www.democracy.com/ungerfornewgarden


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline