Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Where Election Politics and Policy Intersect

Photo of the planned improvements to the intersection of Route 663 and 73 presented last night to the New Hanover Township supervisors.

As is so often the case, the shocking news from the New Hanover Supervisors meeting last night was not on the agenda -- unless one considers "comments from citizens" to be a likely source of shock.

Several potentially newsworthy items fizzled.

The agenda item to confirm a new police contract with withdrawn.

A review of the legal matters involving the quarry turned out to be a review of things nearly everybody already knew.

There was some new information about plans to improve the dog-legged intersection of Routes 663 and 73, which involves a traffic signal and left turn lanes, but that was not the item which made everyone sit up and take notice.

Ross Snook, who was recently appointed to the newly revived environmental advisory board, took to the microphone to make several announcements.

One was that he is running for supervisor.

The second was that Marie Livelsberger, appointed about one year ago to replace former chairman Doug Muller, had been knocked off the ballot by a judge.

And the third was his call for the candidate who filed the petition that knocked her off, Shawn Malloy, to withdraw from the race for being an even worse offender of the same technicality that knocked Livlsberger off.

It seems that in addition to filing election petitions with the elections board in Norristown, as well as financial disclosure forms, that those financial disclosure forms also have to be filed with the township.

And it seems, according to Snook, that Livelsberger's were four days late, which was the technicality that convinced a judge to bump her from the ballot.

What no one told the judge, again according to Snook, was that Malloy's forms were filed with the township even later than Livelsberger's -- about 10 days.

Snook also called for the resignation of the person who "orchestrated" the matter, but did not state a name.

There are three seats up for election and, given that Democrats rarely run in New Hanover, the matter is usually decided in the Republican primary.

The two seats up for six-year terms are currently occupied by Livlsberger and Andrew Kelly, who is not seeking reelection. The third seat, with two years left in the term, is occupied by Kurt Zebrowski, who was appointed to the seat after Ralph Fluharty stepped town in July.

Zebrowsky is opposed by Brian Hemmingway in the Republican primary.

With Livlsberger knocked off the Republican line, only Snook and Malloy remain for the two seats with six-year terms, unless Livlsberger decides to run a write-in campaign.

As the meeting wound down, Livlsberger said she has "no personal agendas and I am disheartened to see how the election process has brought out those personal agendas in others."

Supervisor Charles D. Garner Jr. said he regrets that Livelsberger was knocked off the ballot by a judge for "technical issues" because it will deprive voters of a choice in the election.

We'll be looking into this a little more deeply I suspect. In the meantime, here are the Tweets:

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