Derry Supervisor 2015

I tried. Again. I failed to get elected. Again.

Thanks to all my supporters, especially the 35 donors who made small dollar donations; all but 3 of $100 or less, all resident humans in Derry:

Amy Allen & Jeff Sigel
Mary Averill
Sandy & Rich Cappelli
Karen & Michael Carvell
John Coleman
Tracy McNulty & Chris Dawson
John & Judy Dunn
Phil Freidrich
Nancy & Gary Garver
Amalie Gingrich
Carol & David Gisselquist
Mary Ann & Duward Gregory
Fran & Phil Hrenko
Phil Jurus
Rachel & Michael Mark
Gary Marks
Marie McAndrews
Celeste Miller
Nancy Miller
Adrienne Mohn
Janette Murray
Sue Myers
Gail & Victor Peracchia
Anne & Tom Searer
Kathy & Chris Sicher
Stephanie Sopcak
Krissy & Scott Steele
Richard & Mary Gregory Suminski
Richard Tobias
Jan & Randall Waybright
Matt & Jan Weir
Janice & Paul Wessell
Yuefeng & Zhen Xie
Gail & Robert Zelis
Charleton Zimmerman

Also to the Derry Township Democratic Committee, which also only took cash from resident humans in Derry to that point, and all its donors. You were central in helping Sandy and I try to represent you, and you will be central to our efforts forward.

Whether or not I try to get elected again, I will never stop trying to clean up my government.

Both broken parties. At all levels:

Pennsylvania

F grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation

Tied for 44th among the 50 states.

It only matters if We The People care enough to fix it. So far, it looks like we don’t.

My comment on the original article:

“As Margaret [commenter from Philly] and Gene [commenter from Adams County] below correctly document, PA’s 2,600 municipalities and 67 counties suffer the trickle down effect from this unaccountable government stealing our money. The effect knows no bounds: large and small areas, Dem and GOP control. It makes no difference. And We The People re-elect our incumbents over 90% of the time, so we are our own worse enemies.

Here in Derry Twp, Dauphin County (GOP controlled, about 24,000 citizens), I have done everything I can to expose and weaken no-bid giveaways, RTK abuses, and the total control that non-constituent money has on the selection of local leaders:

For years and years. All to little effect, as the big money drowns out the tireless footwork on the campaign trail, and candidates who vaguely and noncommittally promise ‘low taxes, a vibrant downtown and great jobs’ sail to victory.

Wake up PA. Or don’t. But this is as much on our inaction as it is on the blatant, in-your-face corruption.

Join me. Or I’ll go alone.

Peace.

~ Steve

###

MY MISSIONS, PLEDGES AND REASONS FOR RUNNING:

First and foremost – Change The Guard!

I believe that Derry needs Sandy Ballard AND a Board majority, so that she is selected by that Board as its leader. Returning Sandy to the minority of two members will not accomplish that. Only voting for both of us will. If the rules were changed tomorrow, and I could only vote for one (instead of the two we can), this candidate – Sandy’s competitor – would vote for Sandy Ballard. But, since we have two votes, vote for the only candidate who has pledged, in The Sun four times and via mailing to almost 5,500 households recently or very soon, that:

“I will nominate re-elected Sandy Ballard to Chair our Derry Township Board of Supervisors.”

Because most citizens of all politics and demographics support her, as I have and do.

~ Steve Todd, PE
Candidate for Derry Township Supervisor

TreeVitalize Derry 2015

TreeVitalize Derry 2015

TreeVitalize is one of the crowning achievements of the Derry Environmental Action Committee I founded, with Sandy Ballard and Matt Weir and many others. You have since elected both of them as your Supervisors.

Daisey Scouts at Gemma's

Daisey Scouts at Gemma’s

For the second year in a row, the Gemma’s Angel’s garden, at the Penn State Hershey Med Center receives gracious donations from Daisy Scout Troop #11032 of Hershey.  This year, they plant tomatoes, lettuces and earthworms.  As chair of the Gardening Committee, I can attest to the approximately 50 lbs of tomatoes we got off their plants.  Let’s see what we can provide our local kitchens and shelters this year.

Swatara's Ward vs At Large Court Hearing

Swatara’s Ward vs At Large Court Hearing

Here in Derry, our At-Large system may have outgrown its effectiveness. I have been carefully following Swatara Twp’s case, where 4 of its elected officials are fighting in a bipartisan fashion (shown with me are GOP Commissioner Ed Troxell and Dem Commissioner Tom Connolly, with their pro bono attorney Alan Kennedy-Schaffer) against 5 elected Republican Commissioners. I will examine a Ward representation system, where each citizen votes specifically for their own local Supervisor, to better ensure all rapidly developing areas of Derry are always represented.

Represent US

Represent US

I continue my fight – most often all alone – to End Derry’s “No-Bid Rewards Program” to political campaign donors, by advocating for an Anti-Corruption Resolution, or a ‘Conflict of Interest Procedure’, as DTSD has recently done. We can no longer afford such largess; it was wrong even if we ever could afford it.

MY ONE PAGE SUMMARIES:

Please share far and wide:

Todd Handout  (last revised May 4, 2015)

Todd One Pager  (last revised Oct. 21, 2015)

Todd Postcard (original)

If elected, I pledge to:

1) Use any budget surplus to FIRST decrease Occupational Tax.

2) Ensure no Tax Increment Financing (TIF), unless it benefits ALL residents…in the long term.

3) Ensure Zoning Hearing Board adheres to its Mandate by the Municipalities Planning Code.

4) End Derry’s “No-Bid Rewards Program” to political campaign donors.

To that end, I carry forward the pledges Matt Weir and I made to you in 2013:

• Eliminate No-Bid contracts for all projects costing over $75,000.00
• Publicize all major projects as Requests for Proposals to enable the township to work with the broadest possible range of qualified professionals
• Accept campaign funding only from Derry Township residents

5) Examine Ward representation system, where each citizen votes specifically for their own local Supervisor (vs our current At-Large system).

TODD NABS ENDORSEMENTS:

~ By Derry Township Supervisor Matt Weir

Weir Endorses Todd !

Weir Endorses Todd !

~ By the Derry Township Democratic Committee

Logo_screen

DTDC Endorsement

~By Central PA Building and Construction Trades Council

pbctc

CPBT Endorsement

Central PA Building and Construction Trades Council is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Building Trades & Construction Council, AFL-CIO. Its affiliates include 16 Regional Councils and more than 115 local unions from 15 International Building Trades Unions.

http://www.pabuildingtrades.org/localbuildingtradescouncils.aspx

~ By the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats (CRSD)

CRSD Logo

I am proud to join Judge Anne E. Lazarus, Judge Alice Beck Dubow, Todd Eagen for Commonwealth Court Judge, Dashell Fittry, Tom Connolly, Eric Gutshall, Brad Koplinski, Brian Ostella, Keontay Hodge, Danielle Prokopchak, Cyndie Zalek, Cole Goodman,Cornell Wilson, and many others as endorsed by the CRSD for the 2015 municipal and judicial elections!

CRSD Endorsement via PennLive

We at CRSD advocate equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity:

http://www.capitalstonewall.org

Here is my application and questionnaire for CRSD endorsement:

http://www.capitalstonewall.org/media/Steven_Todd.pdf

I am proud to have joined dozens of CRSD members, allies and endorsed candidates on Tuesday, 4/28, 5 pm’s “Rally to Show Support for Marriage Equality and to End LGBTQ Discrimination”, in front of the US Federal Courthouse For The Middle District Of Pennsylvania, 228 Walnut St, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101 (between 2nd and 3rd Streets)

…And Now That I Have All Your Attention…:

Sure, I would be honored to have your support. I have already received over $4,000, from ONLY Derry Twp, Dauphin County, PA residents.  All but four donors gave less than $100, and ten have given $35 or less.

I am not setting up a PAC this time. Too much trouble, for no benefit that I could see.

Please make your checks or money orders out to me, Steve Todd, but please put “Supervisor 2015” in the memo line.

Send to my home:
629 Bullfrog Valley Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036-9743

Thanks!

Some guidelines:

$50 or less your name is not reported.
$51-$249 I must report your name and address.
$100 or more can not be cash, check needed.
$250 or more, I must report name, address and occupation.

Why No PAC this time?

In the case where a surplus is anticipated or even at all likely, I can see the perceived problem. Otherwise, I am an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of guy, and a PAC for a small race seems like doing just that. It is added work, for no benefit to the candidate, contributor or elections regulators. For example:

Please note that, having done both ways, whether personal or PAC, the campaign finance reporting is exactly the same. A PAC adds a Treasurer’s signature, which in my case, is me. Yep: two notarized signatures by the same person. On the same page even.

Limiting myself to humans in Derry, I will never take in more than I will need to spend. Last time, my opponents raised at least $20k, plus Mike Musser’s various PACs spent over $10k on them. So if I were to form a PAC, I would just end up “forgiving” my own debt to myself. That always seems like a silly bureaucratic step.

Also, a business checking account is $15 per month when under $1,000 balance. Trust me: that is almost every month for a local race, except when I “loan” myself money, specifically and only to avoid the $15. Another step that adds nothing and takes resources.

It will take two separate campaign finance reports, when candidate donates or loans his own PAC money. And forgives or pays back his own debt. And to terminate. All serving the same purpose as the one report would, when I run my own funding.

==== > > > RUNNING CAMPAIGN BLOG < < < ====

Friday, October 30 – Mom: “HOW to Go About Doing it”

After watching the League of Women Voters’ forum, in which all four candidates answered the same questions side by side, my Mom said: “I thought everyone presented themselves in a very complimentary manner. And it does sound as though you are all on the same track as to what needs done – it is just HOW to go about doing it!“

Indeed, Mom. That ‘HOW’ is the main thing that separates us as a nation. Unfortunately, that seems to be a growing, not shrinking, difference. Some still cling to the notion that letting folks who already have plenty accumulate more will (somehow, someday) trickle down.  I am convinced, after seeing us try it for almost all my life, that it can not and will not ever happen.

And so it goes. We’ll know in 5 days what Derry Twp wants.

Tuesday, October 27 – One Week Out

When a Derry Township Voter Asked for Info on Campaign Donations in Derry Twp, I told them. Leaders do that, even when it makes folks uncomfortable or unhappy.

Coverage and Thoughts on the League of Women Voters of PA Forum for Derry Twp Supervisor Candidates 2015

Thursday, October 22, 7 – 8:30 pm  League of Women Derry Township Voters’ Forum

I look forward to a vigorous examination of all our platforms, as I join Sandy Ballard, Marc Moyer and Susan Cort at the Derry Township Municipal Building.  Our moderator will be George Porter, a local attorney and former Derry Supervisor.  A representative from the LWVHA will open the meeting and introduce Attorney Porter, who will explain the format of the meeting to the audience.  Each candidate will be given two minutes to describe his/her background and qualifications for the position of township supervisor.  The Forum will, then, be open for questions from the audience, with responses from the candidates, lasting up to one minute each.

October 18 – Who Cares?  These Outsiders Do…

A Few of the Long List of Outside Donations to Derry Candidates

October 15 – Another Letter in The Sun Opposing TIF

Bravo to Kevin Ferguson.  His excellent letter joins a long line of letters from citizens opposed.  I can’t recall a letter in favor.  Kevin’s ends with the following fair and common sense statement:

“every candidate up for election (school board, supervisor and county commissioner) should be asked what their position is on TIF and defend it.”

Yes we should.  I long ago announced my opposition to the TIF in no uncertain terms.  The other candidates for this office may or may not agree; I am not aware that one other candidate has taken a firm position.

I have personally invited Kevin to come out to the LWV candidate forum (above), and ask that question.  If he does not, I do hope someone does.

September 6 – Derry’s Right-to-Know

PA enacted a Right-to-Know law, to ensure citizens could access our public documents.  Rich Suminski has been stymied by our Twp staff in his pursuit of exercising the rights ensured therein.  I am following this development closely; our democratic republic can not represent us, if we can not know what it is doing.

August 19 – Bravo on Citizen’s Call for Roundabouts Versus Four-Way Stops

Great letter in The Sun, from Herb Dimmock!

As one who lived in New England for many years, I know how efficient they are, once folks learn to drive them.  And Smart Growth will be easier to institute when we put an experienced land development engineer on our Board of Supervisors (that’s me)!

###

The Sun
Letters to the Editor
August 20, 2015

“Recent articles and letters in The Sun advocate four-way stop signs. Quite frankly, that is no where near the best solution.

The best solution is to build roundabouts.

Roundabouts reduce accidents by 78-82% (source: NY Times) Roundabouts calm traffic. Roundabouts save fuel. Roundabout ameliorate traffic problems.

Building a roundabout only cost fractionally more than installing a traffic signal. And, unlike traffic signals, once they are built roundabouts have no maintenance costs.

Near where I live there is plenty of land (and plenty of need) for roundabouts at three spots on Wood Rd (at Bullfrog Valley, Waltonville Rd and at Middletown Road). We sorely need a roundabout at the intersection Sandhill Rd and Fishburn Rd. A roundabout should be included as part of the about to be constructed (new) Park Blvd.

And, that’s just a start.

The Sun article in the Aug. 6 paper about the roads being realigned in Hershey included the intersection of Sandhill and Fishburn. There is abundant open land there and that new intersection would be ideal for a roundabout. The master plan speaks of a probable traffic signal there — that would be an unfortunate retro solution. A roundabout would be safer and cheaper and, unlike a traffic signal, would have no maintenance costs.

Our community is full of smart people. I, for one, would like to see smart solutions implemented on the traffic issues in our community. And, talk about incentives: it’s a win-win-win-win. Safer, more efficient, cost effective and lower maintenance.

T. Herbert Dimmock”

July 13 – My PennLive Op-Ed Responds to PIOGA’s Louis D’Amico’s…Misinterpretations of Our Desire for a Gas Severance Tax

“Bravo, then to Wolf representing us against Royal Dutch Shell, PIOGA and British Petroleum. It is what he is supposed to do.”

July 2 – TIF District: “… Vote AGAINST Unnecessary Risk”

Derry Township supervisor candidate Steve Todd, in a statement sent to The Sun this week:

“At the TIF meetings of May 20 and June 11, we were shown a concept of public investment – and the risk that entails – with a potential payoff in 20 years. The same data claimed that if we invest nothing and take on no risk, our tax base still does very well.”

“This investment does not benefit most of Derry, who live miles from the proposed TIF district,” Todd said, “… vote AGAINST this unnecessary risk.”

My Quote in The Sun

My entire statement to The Sun:

From: steventodd@hotmail.com
To: news@thesunontheweb.com
Subject: LTE Request – RE: TIF District – 250 words
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2015 18:19:56 +0000

At the TIF meetings of May 20 and June 11, we were shown a concept of public investment – and the risk that entails – with a potential payoff in 20 years.  The same data claimed that if we invest nothing and take on no risk, our tax base still does very well.

I was relieved to hear none of the previous ‘preventing blight’ talk.  Meeting facilitator Chris Brown correctly called them “Grade A Chocolate Ave properties,” this time around. 

This investment does not benefit most of Derry, who live miles from the proposed TIF district.  So I implore my elected supervisors Marc Moyer, John Foley, and Matt Weir; and my elected School Board members Chris Barrett, Bruce Hancock, and Brian Shiflett to vote AGAINST this unnecessary risk.

Anyone who wishes to develop must do “public improvements”.  TIF seems an end run around those requirements.  It’s not to prevent blight; the debate has matured to that level.  So why?

At the June 11 meeting, the failsafe rational was offered: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  We’ve just suffered decades of Trickle Down policies.  The unprecedented wealth hasn’t lifted all boats, because it can’t.  TIF will lift the boats of those eligible for it.

If Derry is to assume risks, then we become shareholders.  I suspect we might want smaller businesses, which actually need assistance.  

My preference is that we not provide assistance to for-profit ventures.  But if we chose to invest, our leaders must secure us proportionate control over our investments.

May 7 – Swatara Students Run Township Commissioners’ Meeting

As reported in PennLive, once every year for 40 years, eighth graders take over a Swatara Township Commissioners meeting.

This is an awesome idea, and an incredible way to get our young men and women into their local government. Bravo, Swatara.

I would love to pursue something like this in Derry.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/05/eighth_graders_take_over_swata.html

April – Todd Joins Neighbors to Raise Tax Concerns

Please see my blog post, :

Derry Citizens Raise Concerns Over Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

March 12 – $50,000 Map…Only in Government

Grotesque overspending of our money to reward campaign donors isn’t limited to Derry.  Look no further than Dauphin County’s neighboring Swatara Township. Supervisor chairman Andrew Moyer states the costs to redraw its voting districts would be $30,000 to $50,000. At the point he said this, a draft map was very, very far along, with several options long reviewed and discussed:

$50,000 Map?  In 2015?  From Where?

Did Moyer mention whether the $30,000 to $50,000 cost to redraw the lines was with a competitive bid to do it, or did he just ask one firm for a price? As a licensed municipal engineer, that sounds high as heck, and I know that asking a few different folks for prices can really drive the price down.

Did he mention that at one meeting, as the cost was mentioned, fellow Commissioner Ed Troxell held up the beginnings of a map he had drafted out for free by himself? Surely that firm that needs $30 to $50k to do it could drop the price by using that map (or the big one on the wall at that meeting) as a starting point, and come back with a lower price. If not, Twp staff or volunteers could do it themselves, using free public census data and free software.

Doing it herself, using free public census data and free software is what school teacher Amanda Holt did when she didn’t like our General Assembly’s terribly expensive map, prior to her appearance before PA Courts. That court ruled her map more constitutional than the one the “experts” had done. More on that below.

A Computer Alone can not Gerrymander

The point being: it doesn’t cost the 2015 world $30 to $50k to draw a map. Except in government. Governments at all levels have got to stop throwing our money at these “professional service” providers. Especially the ones that donate to the campaigns of those approving such expenditures. And if elected, I will do that, because I will not have taken a nickel from those who charge these exorbitant prices.

March 10 – And It is (Un)Official

Five candidates, and choose up to five (5) for School Board. Two candidates each party, and choose two (2) for Supervisor.

If this holds, no primary challenges for Supervisor, and the school board race is over before it began.

Derry Primary Ballot 2015

March 10 – It’s Not Just Me

Steve’s announcement, 195 likes since Feb 27:

FaceBook Announcement

March 2 – Money, but Never for Nothing

2014: top 100 donors nationally gave almost as much as 4.75 million people.

2% of US adults gave to campaigns, 0.3% gave over $200

#BrokenSystem

http://www.tribdem.com/news/latest_news/consultant-reforming-finances-pudner-pushing-for-changes-after-mccord-scandal/article_c144e374-b58d-11e4-8c35-5bef1a18d2b8.html

I always promise not to take money from non-constituents when I run. That way, any given union member and corporate boss in that jurisdiction is still free to exercise their personal rights. I have no desire to weaken that. But here is how it currently works. Following is a more detailed look at the local example I covered in my last attempt to beat back this onslaught of outside cash. You can mirror everywhere there is money to be controlled:

https://steventodd.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/funny-money-in-derry-township/

On 6/10/13, Mike Musser’s Better Govt PA or Bressler, PA (outside of Derry Twp) reported the following donations incoming:

Full Name of Contributor RANDY & REGINA HEIMOS 115 EAST PALMETTO AVENUE HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS FL 34737 $50.00 on 5/10/13
ECKERT SEAMANS PA GOVT. PAC 600 GRANT STREET 44TH FLOOR PITTSBURGH PA 15219 $2000.00 on 5/17/13

Of all donations BGP reported that cycle, a grand total of one (1) came from Hershey, Hummelstown or Palmyra (all the possible addresses a donor from Derry Twp could have) :

DAVID FEIDT 732 FERRIS WAY HERSHEY PA 17033
$2000.00 ob 5/15/13

This is the same address listed as “Moving Derry Forward (MDF),” a PAC whose address is Derry GOP Committee members David and Amy Feidt.

On Oct 25, 2013, MDF (home of Feidt’s address) reported a total of two (2) donations, both from one (1) donor: from Musser’s BGP, for $5,250 ( = $10,500) on Oct 4 and 21 of 2013. It spent ALL but $188.00 of that ( = $10,312) on postage and printing, between that time, when all our mailboxes were being inundated with mailers touting Engle and Stough. Ours got many, and I was running against them.

My running mate, Matt Weir, and I of course were also “free” to shell out $10k+ on postcards. We, of course, did not have that, and had no way to get it, without promising things to folks in Florida and Pittsburgh. We wouldn’t do that, so we didn’t get the ca-ching.

There are tons more examples from BGP, going back years. They cover many major races in Dauphin County, and pretty much all in any place where there is significant cash to be exchanged, particularly for “professional services” for which I am on record begging my Supervisors to stop overpaying…particularly to HRG. HRG-PAC contributes generously and regularly over those years to BGP.

I used to work for HRG. On my first day, when filling out all that HR paperwork (taxes, work comp, etc) there was a form to join HRGPAC and have “contributions” auto-deducted from my paycheck. I am strong enough to have declined, but from the looks of HRGPAC finance reports, many employees are not that strong to resist what I saw as blatant intimidation, and contribute regularly, or did last time I downloaded one of those reports.

Again (as always) this is not a Dem vs GOP thing. I have always gone to great lengths to say (and write, which you can verify) that BOTH of the only two teams allowed at the table are broken by this. Indeed, that is the only way it works. I am a Dem and a liberal and proud to be both. But it will take GOP and conservatives working with me to solve it. Just as neither side could perpetuate the scam alone, nor will either side fix it alone.

Having said that, I have to salute the Derry Twp Democratic Committee. All their money that I’ve been able to trace has come from actual, human beings…all of whom have Hershey, Hummelstown or Palmyra addresses (again, all the possible addresses a donor from Derry Twp could have). I have and will proudly accept their support, should they be kind enough to offer it.

As I always do before I run for office, I invite my opponents and the Derry Twp Republican Committee to set similar standards for their own fund raising.

March 2 – Dauphin County Gaming Grants…Say What?

As if we need $25 grand, for the M.S. Hershey Foundation. More than Reed Township’s total haul, for all projects. The Derry FB page says: “It is for the Mitlon (sic) & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at the Gardens. You can read more here: http://www.hersheygardens.org/support/conservatory“.

I need a little help to cover my annual expenditures, but am alas ineligible for DC Gaming Grants. Private Foundations should be too, unless it is for something to help us all. And without help from lobbyists, who make generous campaign donations, I’d bet they would be. Of course no private foundation could even apply for a DC Gaming Grant without a municipal sponsor. MSH is, of course, our own Derry Twp.

We The People of PA agreed to allow gambling in our Commonwealth – something I oppose as disproportionately predatory on the weak and desperate, but which I accept, if it is our collective will – to reduce our property taxes. It has not yet done so in any significant way. While buying fire equipment can be seen as an acceptable reason to reneg on that promise (but also might not be), funding the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at the Gardens, for a private foundation which holds $36M in assets, is not.

Do We The People of Dauphin County need a Conservatory at the Gardens, or know what one is? If not, and the Foundation is a little light and the Trust feels it needs that, couldn’t the Trust just give them more? I’m sure that one way or another it was originally the same money.

Jim Roxbury, of Roxbury News, the only news source to cover the Gaming Board to any substance, told me that the Board’s solicitor asked the Trust why they don’t just take it from their huge trust fund during the hearing. He didn’t recall much of an answer.

Mike Musser sits on the Gaming Board that decides who gets what…by wild coincidence. Must have been the most qualified dude for the job. Musser, you may recall, funnels outside money into local political races. That often swings them the way those generous donors in Florida and Pittsburgh want. Not that those folks should care how our races go, but they for some reason do. Big time.

At any rate, the Dauphin County Commissioners pretty much go with that. I believe that they could theoretically override it, but seeing how Musser is the campaign manager of all three incumbent Commiss’s, that isn’t very likely. Roxbury tells me it meets “publicly” behind locked doors at night, and decides. I’ve certainly never heard of one of these meetings.

Here’s the meeting of final award…note the complete lack of any audience outside of The Political Class. That’s Musser in the back, beside Skip Memmi…being thanked profusely for his volunteerism and passion.

http://www.roxburynews.com/index.php?a=7301

Feb 27 – It Ain’t Real Until It Appears on @PennLive

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/02/steve_todd_announces_candidacy.html

As with last time, all I want from this – win, lose or draw – is to debate issues of substance. Agree, disagree, even prove me wrong. To compete to be GOP-lite seems pointless.

My theme is: “Derry – More Than Just Downtown”. I believe we are.

My goal is simple, but huge. It isn’t to move us left, right or center. It is to fix our #BrokenSystem, by first acknowledging that it is broken.

February 26, 2015 – Here We Go Again!

Today, I announce my candidacy for Derry Township Supervisor, first in our hometown newspaper, The Sun:

Announcement 2015

Announcement 2015

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2015-02-26/Community/Todd_Enters_The_Race.html

DERRY – MORE THAN JUST DOWNTOWN

Steven Todd Announces 2015 Derry Supervisor Campaign & Platform

We The People of Derry need fiscally responsible leadership. First and foremost, this requires saying no to those who don’t need help, in favor of we taxpayers, who by and large do.  DHA and the village have plenty of representation on our Board of Supervisors, to ensure its best interests are spoken for.  Those of us in our most rapidly growing areas, have less.

When I ran for this office in 2013, I finished within 161 of over 4,000 voters casting over 8,000 votes.  My running mate and dear friend, Matt Weir, won a seat using our combined platform of real issues.  This while our opponents enjoyed a 1.5 to 1.0 registration advantage, and outspent us by far more than 2 to 1.  We appealed widely across party lines.  I pledge to pursue the following if elected:

1) Fight to decrease our terribly regressive Occupational Tax (OT) prior to granting any new tax breaks.  OT was increased by 25%, in one fell swoop, several years ago. The deficit was caused by frivolous expenditures, of little benefit to those most hurt by OT’s increase.  That wasn’t right, and we need to fix that first.

2) Ensure no Tax Increment Financing (TIF), unless it benefits ALL residents…in the long term.  Not just land owners and developers who can take advantage of it.  We are potentially giving the recipients a lot of cash, that we will have to make up.  I will ensure we do not, unless it is good for all.

3) Ensure our Zoning Hearing Board adheres to its mandate by the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), or examine options to appoint new members.  We grant almost every request for zoning relief; I believe outside the intent – if not the language – of MPC’s very rigid and specific requirements. We pay the price in more stormwater runoff, and development adverse to what our ordinances limit.

4) End Derry’s “No-Bid Rewards Program” to political campaign donors, by advocating for an Anti-Corruption Resolution, or a ‘Conflict of Interest Procedure’, as DTSD has recently done.  My long-documented belief is simple, fair and most fiscally conservative: I don’t believe any non-constituent should be able to give cash to someone else’s elected official, because that obligates that official to someone they have no right to represent.  Non-constituents currently do, and are rewarded handsomely with our tax money for it.  For example, Philadelphia bars individuals who give $2,901 from getting a no-bid contract of more than $10,000.  You and I spend far more than we have to on professional services, which are exempt from commonsense protections against anticompetitive practices the rest of us must adhere to.  I will put a stop to it, because I will not owe the very few outside Derry who benefit.

5) Examine a Ward representation system, where each citizen votes specifically for their own local Supervisor, to better ensure all rapidly developing areas of Derry are always represented.  Our At-Large system may have outgrown its effectiveness.  Candidates for this office do best in the Precincts we live in or near, for good reason.  I do best in the streets on which my family walks our dog and jogs and talks to neighbors.  Votes in our Board tend to break along regional lines as well.  For example, the recent vote to change automotive service land uses focused on a significant impact on an area outside the village.  The votes split bipartisan both ways: those opposed live outside the village, those in or near downtown voted for it.  Running for this office At-Large has become too expensive for most to do, without well into five figures of financing.  Running for a much smaller Ward, competing with a close neighbor, will put this office within financial reach of more candidates.

6) Support Supervisor Matt Weir in his ongoing efforts to fulfill our 2013 combined platform here:

Todd:Weir Platform

Most urgently needed are:

• Eliminate No-Bid contracts for all projects costing over $75,000.00
• Publicize all major projects as Requests for Proposals to enable the township to work with the broadest possible range of qualified professionals
• Accept campaign funding only from Derry Township residents

ABOUT ME:  I have lived in Derry since 2000, with my wife Jeanine and our son, Derek.  I am a self-employed civil engineering consultant, and a municipal affairs reporter for The Sun.  I sat on the Derry Township Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board, and previously served on the Derry ad hoc stormwater committee.  I co-founded the Derry Environmental Action Committee, and chaired it for over two years.

May 23, 2014 – Previous Promises Kept:

“Right now, I will focus on finding good progressive candidates, or announce intent to run, for Derry Twp Supervisor next year and improving our leadership in our Dauphin County (Democratic) Committee.” ~ Me on my blog, May 23, 2014, immediately after counting the write in votes in my attempt to run for PA House seat.

I have since become Chair of the Derry Twp Democratic Committee. As such we interviewed five potential candidates to run for Supervisor. I am now running for that office.

Lot’s of politician talk the talk…for those few months around election time. I walk the walk…all year long, and you can independently verify that.  For example: every candidate for every office has always promised “low, low taxes,” right?  Well, ask them: what SPECIFIC cost cutting or revenue enhancer do you PLEDGE to do.  They almost always shut up.  I don’t.  I tell you: I will stop wasteful overspending on no-bid contracts to campaign donors.

November 7, 2013 – Predictions Made:

“As one Republican leader put it, “Two years from now, a Ballard-Todd team could bring Dems to control Derry Supervisors.”” ~ The Sun, November 7, 2013

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2013-11-07/Front_Page/Wheres_The_Party.html

2 Responses to Derry Supervisor 2015

  1. Pingback: Derry Township 2015 Primary Update‏ | Steve Todd – Passionate about things that matter.

  2. Pingback: Derry’s Right-to-Know | Steve Todd – Passionate about things that matter.

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