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Board selects Zurl to fill vacant post

01/31/2017 10:57AM ● Published by Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

London Grove Township resident Steve Zurl was selected by the four current supervisors on Jan. 26 to fill the open slot on the board left vacant when Raymond Schoen resigned from his post on Dec. 29, 2016.
Zurl, 57, who had also chaired the township's municipal authority, was chosen from a field of five potential candidates, each of whom were interviewed privately by the board in 20-minute intervals. The other candidates were Kevin Runey, 39, a director of operations for a health care organization; Douglas Ward, 42, an in-office appraiser for an insurance firm; Steven Annan, 63, a retired former federal employee; and Lee Irwin, 42, a software analyst.
Zurl was chosen unanimously by the board during a public meeting that followed the interviews. Hewill serve on the board for the remainder of 2017, and if he chooses to extend his time on the board for a six-year term, he will have to announce his candidacy on the November ballot.
The board chose Zurl largely on his experience, which included an interim term as a township supervisor, membership on the township's municipal authority, and as a former board member for the Avondale Borough.
“Steve has past board experience both here in London Grove and in Avondale, so when you talk about an appointment, you want to have someone who can sit down on Day One and make an informed decision, and he can do that,” said supervisor Dave Connors.
"Steve has been involved in the township for many years," supervisor Mike Pickel said. "What I liked most about him was that he feels political party has no place on a local level.  He also was very up front on issues he did not necessarily agree with in the township, but knew that he did not have all the information to make judgment on current or past board members." 
Zurl said that his experience on the township's municipal authority gave him a great vantage point to chart the course of the township's growth.
“When I started on the municipal authority, we essentially operated out of a shoebox, with a few hundred customers and a person who read the meters, manually,” he said. “We brought in an office manager who took charge throughout this growth period, to where our service has become huge, compared to 15 to 20 years ago.”
Among the many issues that Zurl expects to see the board tackle this year, two remain at or near the top of the list: Whether or not to consider linking the township to the newly-formed Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, and the future of the township's relationship with the 55-acre Inniscrone Golf Course, which the township purchased for $750,000 in 2009.
“It is a focal point and a feature of the entire Inniscrone Development, and the municipal authority owns the spray rights to it, which limits what you can do with the ground,” Zurl said. “It's not losing money. In fact, it's around the break-even point and even been slightly profitable, so what would it cost you to get rid of it? Because it's not costing us anything right now, the best decision will be to try to maintain it.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.



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