As the very existence of this website might suggest, I feel strongly about ensuring that Schuylkill Township is a great place to live, work, and play. I am particularly worried that the views of the growing younger population, regardless of party affiliation, are not being fully represented under the status quo.
As you may be aware, the board of supervisors in Schuylkill Township currently consists of 5 Republicans. A fairly homogeneous group thus makes all the decisions on infrastructure planning, residential/commercial/other development projects, and on how our local taxes (not including school board property tax) are spent within the township.
The issues discussed at the monthly board meetings affect us all. Whether it be alleviation of traffic diverted into our neighborhoods due to backups at intersections on Rte 23 or approval of major projects to expand retail and commercial opportunities along our main thoroughfares to take advantage of the heavy thru traffic that comes from Tredyffrin, East Pikeland, and beyond, the board has a part to play in it.
From my vantage point, there appears to be an unfortunate lack of technical expertise on the board. It is worth noting, of course, that most have been longtime members of township councils and, admittedly, have a general understanding of the topics at hand. However, I hope that my youth will inject a voice that is seldom heard in government organizations. I would like to encourage younger citizens in our township to get involved early on in political happenings. Additionally, my education as an engineer and my professional experiences have informed my analysis process and ensure that I always dig for facts and the best possible solution.
My aim is to be a supervisor who can take the suggestions of our various commissions and has the expertise to raise technical objections when necessary rather than rubber stamp agenda items before moving on. I also desire to review the budget with the rest of the board and make sure that we’re not only maintaining your current local tax levels, but also ensuring that tax revenues are being utilized efficiently and effectively and managed transparently.
Our citizens deserve to be informed. I believe that a reassessment of how information is communicated to township residents is warranted. In January, a reference was made in the monthly board meeting to low/no attendance at the budget meeting in December, though notifications were duly-posted in the Pottstown Mercury. I can’t help but be reminded of a few lines from early in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.
I honestly had no clue where to look for such notification until after the point was moot, and I am a resident who takes great interest in township affairs. I would like to better utilize the township’s social media accounts to keep residents informed in a timely manner, possibly with integration of a live iCalendar feed and an active Facebook page. The demographics of Schuylkill Township are changing, and my experience and perspective would add a fresh voice to the Schuylkill Township board of supervisors. With your support, I hope to find myself on the other side of the table come January 2018.