Kennett Township Supervisor Candidates speak out about Trails and Open Space
● By Steven Hoffman
With the local elections for Township Supervisor fast approaching, candidates Whitney Hoffman and Ted Moxon were eager to present their perspectives on the future of trails and open space in Kennett Township. In response to questions about the current proposed 10-12 mile Kennett Greenway loop that is in process, both candidates expressed favor in this future trail system and desire for preserved open space and agree that trails and open space will bring value to the community. However, the candidates’ approach to the trail’s success differs.
Candidate Hoffman feels that the trails are crucial to a thriving and healthy community by not only connecting the community, but by providing a safe, alternative mode of transportation and attracting visitors to bolster the local economy. She says “By interconnecting trail segments and enhancing trail surfaces in areas, the trail system will provide a safe route for pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists throughout our community, whether the purpose is recreational or simply a great way to get from one location to another.” She adds that, “Having a completed greenway will…enhance the area’s desirability as one of the best areas in the region to work, live and play.” She feels that the township Supervisor role is crucial by making success a high priority.
Candidate Moxon also greatly supports the trails initiative, but is more hesitant to make such broad claims, stating that, “The creation of new ordinances or resolutions that alter current laws or promote specific initiatives must be done with the full input of all stakeholders including the Planning Commission, local residents, Township Committees, local interest groups and public and private consultants.” While all would agree that broad input is necessary, transparency is required and individual rights must be considered, Moxon’s approach to supporting trails could lengthen or even halt the process of the trail initiative.
Both candidates do adamantly agree that collaboration is key to the success of a connected trails system and preserved open space.
When asked about their ten year vision for open space and trails, Moxon’s desire is for maximum preserved open space and he feels that it is the township supervisor’s role to support this while working with local property owners. He states, “Supervisors should support the creation of public access trails where they are consistent with overall trail planning objectives and are proposed in harmony with local property owners. It would be gratifying if ten years from now, other municipalities could look back on the Kennett initiatives as a model for them to enhance the livability of their communities.”
Hoffman’s vision for the next ten years for trails and open space is a bit more expansive. While she also feels that the Supervisors play an important role in making sure the project meets deadlines and cost projections, as guardians of public funds, she also sees the Supervisors playing a public relations role in helping ensure the community knows about, understands, and takes advantage of this resource. She states that “The ultimate success of the Greenway as a community-wide resource will depend on the Supervisors, and adoption of a vision that keeps the greater community’s long term needs in mind.”
While their approaches differ, Kennett is fortunate to have two candidates both of whom demonstrate such strong support of the trails and open space initiatives. Please consider the issues carefully and vote on November 3rd.