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Chester County Press

Candidates vie for East Marlborough Board of Supervisors

10/31/2017 08:30AM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

When Robert Weer, Sr., retires from the East Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors at the end of his term, it will open a vacancy on the board that is being fought over by three candidates – Democrats Robert McKinstry and Julia McGovern Lacy, and Republican Tom Simpers.

Board member Eddie Caudill is also up for re-election to his seat, and is facing the same challenge from the three contenders.

The candidates are:

Robert B. McKinstry, Jr.

 A graduate of Yale Law School (J.D. 1979) and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (M.F.S., 1979), and Swarthmore College (B.A. 1975, with honors), McKinstry is now an environmental lawyer with 40 years of experience. He is also a former Penn State Goddard professor of forestry and environmental resource management, where he focused on development of state environmental and natural resource policy. He is a member of many non‐profit, municipal, county, regional and state boards and committees. He lives on five‐generation family farm in East Marlborough where he grew up.

Among the issues he would address as a supervisor, he would review all of the township’s ordinances, including its land use ordinances, to require that environmental impacts of all significant actions be identified, adverse impacts be avoided where possible, and, where not possible, be minimized and mitigated. He would create a Citizens Environmental Advisory Council to review and advise the supervisors and township staff on the environmental impacts of all proposals before the township, and expand the township’s efforts to conserve its open space. He would seek to remove any barriers in township ordinances or the provisions of homeowners’ organizations that limit installation or use of solar panels, ground-source geothermal, and other alternative energy or energy conservation measures. McKinstry would also seek to increase the transparency of township decision making, and increase regional solutions for land use regulation, police and other government services.

Julia McGovern Lacy

 Lacy received her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware and continued her education with post-baccalaureate courses in environmental policy at the University of Florida. She is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with more than 20 years of experience in township engineering and project management; water resources, stormwater and flood control; and land development design, permitting, enforcement and compliance. She is emergency management trained and experienced, having worked with FEMA and local emergency management agencies. She has been a resident of East Marlborough Township for more than 12 years.

Among the issues she would address as a supervisor:

“Recently, the East Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors has been required to produce a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP), and adopt a new Floodplain Ordinance mandated by FEMA,” she wrote. “I have the in-depth knowledge and understanding of these topics which will be required to implement these actions in the near future. However, the top issue in East Marlborough that I look forward to taking on as supervisor is the proposed development of several parcels to be townhome communities. My experience, unique among the candidates, gives me a perspective of the possible issues and obstacles that may arise, and how to bring about solutions that will ultimately serve the greater good of our township community.”

Tom Simpers, Jr.

 I was born and raised on the same farm in East Marlbourgh. I have been self-employed for 52 years on the same farm I currently reside on the same farm. I've been a member of the local Rotary Club for 48 years, with 46 years of perfect attendance. I've been a member of the Township Planning Commission for 20 years, and the chairman of the Township Zoning Commission for 20 years.

I have a deep interest in orderly development in the township. Safety on our roads to very important to me. As development increases, our small roads are very stressed. It is important that our township oversee the safety of our residents.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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