Derry Township Supervisor 2013

November 7, 2013 – Already the Prophetic Decree

Front page, above the fold, in The Sun today: “As one Republican leader put it, “Two years from now, a Ballard-Todd team could bring Dems to control Derry Supervisors.”

I’d bet more than one Dem leader has had similar thoughts, might one to be asked 😉

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

November 6, 2013 – 2013 Election Results…and Call to Action

The new Supervisors of Derry Twp are Justin Engle and Matt Weir. Congratulations to Justin and Matt. And Sue Stough ran a heck of a race as well.

One R and one Dem will make our Board 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Our divided town accurately reflects itself, with vote totals all over the place by precinct.  Derry’s Precincts 1, 2, 3, 9 and 12 were Todd & Weir Team wins. So hats off the extra diligent voters at Grace United Methodist Church, All Saints Episcopal Church, Hershey Volunteer Fire House, Crest of Hershey Clubhouse, and (my own neighborhood) St Paul’s Lutheran Church.

As documented in my Nov 1 blog entry below, I will continue to fight this #1 threat to our democratic republic: the buying of our elections by non-constituents in The Political Class. And to speak up each time our money is wasted on campaign donor pork. I welcome any and all allies, of any political party, and of no political affiliation. This isn’t a Democratic or Republican problem, and it isn’t a PA, Dauphin or Derry problem. The Political Class is broken and disconnected from its constituency. We begin right here, right now, to fix it.  My Inbox this morning is full of folks interested in joining this fight, so our efforts were not for naught.

This election’s results show that you have heard us. 13% between first and last place…can’t get much closer. Other regional races fueled by non-constituent money finished similarly: huge cash either barely carving away a win, or being rejected.

Justin ENGLE 2175
Matthew A. WEIR 2057
Steven TODD 1907
Sue STOUGH 1900
Write In 1

15 out of 15 Reporting

http://www.dauphinc.org/vote/NewViewRaceForm.aspx?select1=Supervisor%20of%20Derry&select2=

BLOG FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL:

November 1, 2013 – Funny Money in Derry Township?

October 30, 2013 – Derry Supervisor Sandy Ballard tells @PennLive “I support Matt Weir and Steve Todd as the best candidates.” Thanks! 

I am flattered to receive Sandy Ballard’s endorsement in such uncertain terms. Sandy, Matt and I do not agree on all issues. But we share a common vision of how Derry moves forward, and of the changes necessary for the fairest treatment of all the people who live here. The voters of Derry Twp shared much of this vision, as we voted in record numbers, regardless of political party, for Sandy to be seated. We will fight for fair application of our laws, across the board. That is what Derry needs for a change.

http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/10/derry_twp_election_todd_weir_are_independent_of_hershey_interests.html

October 28, 2013 – Another Republican for Todd & Weir

File under “makes it all worth it”: Received the following from a dedicated Derry Republican today.

“Just to let you know I voted for not one but two Demoncrats today. First time ever.”

Yes, this voter spelled Dems this way, and I can assure you, normally has no love lost on our side of the aisle. Thank you for seeing beyond party and into what is best for OUR Derry Twp!

October 27, 2013 – Supervisor Sandy Ballard Endorses Matt Weir & Me for Derry Twp Supervisor!

I was flattered to receive Sandy’s endorsement in such uncertain terms.  Sandy, Matt and I do not agree on all issues.  But we share a common vision of how Derry moves forward, and of the changes necessary for the fairest treatment of all the people who live here.  The voters of Derry Twp shared much of this vision, as we voted in record numbers, regardless of political party, for Sandy to be seated.

Ballard Endorses Todd & Weir

Quoting Supervisor Ballard: “My biggest frustration as Supervisor is how long it takes to make improvements for residents (e.g., adding sidewalks, extending the bike path, reducing flooding, enforcing property maintenance, adjusting the Amusement Tax for inflation) vs how quickly things move for the Hershey Interests or developers (demolishing the factory, Chipotle, HERCO closing roads for events).

Finally, Matt & Steve are running a grass-roots campaign and are accepting only donations of $400 or less and are not funded by Hershey Interests or real estate developers.”

October 16, 2013 – Flooding Past and Present…Future?

Resident Jon Black has yet another well-thought-out letter in this week’s Sun, regarding last week’s flooding :

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2013-10-17/Letters

To which I reply:

Our leadership either doesn’t understand storm water, or won’t direct our paid consultants to follow our citizen’s desires. Our Twp is over $1M for design, permitting and inspection of stormwater control project, and it is not half done. All old-school big storm pipes, no new ideas seem to have been considered, despite numerous suggestions from We The Taxpaying Citizens. And we paid way too much to boot. We need leaders who will say no to The Important People, who also contribute heavily to political campaigns.

Our whole approach to this flooding mitigation is wrong, and an inefficient use of our money. We are about to apply the same outdated methods at the cloverleaf area. It will have the same predictable and disastrous effects: the cloverleaf will flood more as Bullfrog Valley is alleviated. It is 100% backwards, and I can NOT believe our professional consultants – HRG, with all its much-vaunted stormwater expertise – don’t know that. Further, these floods are only going to get worse and more frequent, until (or if) we address global climate change. But that is whole topic unto itself.

Old-school, pipe-it-to-the-guy-downhill approach to flooding. The same with the Bullfrog Valley to Cloverleaf area, which was shutdown due to flood damage on the night of the flood, at huge taxpayer inconvenience and cost. We are about to do the same thing there. Unless we take another look at this…and quickly.

In 2008, Derry spent overpaid the $50,000 by $19,000 to do, after I cautioned against this overpayment, and Chair Abruzzo told me (in the minutes) we would not overpay, on a stormwater study, to address flooding in which several residents’ homes were condemned. I began the study, as part of my duties as assistant to the Township Engineer. Upon its completion by HRG, I reviewed and offered the these Review Comments.

This weblink is the one linking the Storm Study Review:

https://steventodd.wordpress.com/derry-supervisor/

Storm Study Review:

https://steventodd.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/storm-study-review-comments.pdf

I do not know if any of my suggestions were considered as part of final design of our stormwater improvements, currently underway, despite my repeated attempts to find out:

HRG Page 2 reference iii-4: PROBLEM AREA NO. 2 – COCOA AVENUE SYSTEM. Further investigation must be conducted to evaluate the capacity of the downstream channel to ensure there will be no increase in flooding in the park, especially near the pool and ball fields.

To which my review leads to the following:

Page 3: ST: Might there be potential for storage and detention in the farm fields east of Cocoa (SR0743), south of Governor (SR0322)? If doing this could eliminate work in others’ Rights-of-Way, it might lead to decreased lead time from design to execution (quicker “shovel-ready”).

Then:

HRG Page 3, iii-10: PROBLEM AREA NO. 4 – COCOA AVENUE BETWEEN ELM AND AREBA AVENUES. The recommended system would be approximately 2,960 feet long and would be comprised of 24 inch diameter pipes. The system would run under Cocoa Avenue from Elm to Areba Avenues with branches on Maple and Cedar Avenues.

To which my review leads to the following suggestion:

ST: It appears that the area directly upstream (feeding this system) might be the field/flood control structure which is affecting PROBLEM AREA NO. 2 – COCOA AVENUE SYSTEM. This doubles the reasons to look at this field as a control measure; we might effectively improving two seemingly different problem areas, with possibly less new conveyance pipes.

We need a new plan of attack for our many and growing infrastructure challenges. I will bring that to the Board of Supervisors next year…but only if elected.

October 10 and September 27, 2013 – In The Hot Seat

Thank you, Derry Township League of Women Voters of the U.S., for holding yet another

wonderful debate/forum between we four Derry Twp Supervisor candidates, on September 27, 2013, at our municipal building. Former Supervisor George Porter moderated and kept the agenda moving, while residents asked challenging questions for just under an hour and a half. Many critical issues were raised. LWV always hosts one of these events. Depth of press coverage varies, but it gives you folks a chance to see what we are all about

The Derry Township Democratic Committee then hosted their annual Meet the Candidates night. This year’s was on October 9, at the Hershey Pucblic Library. Matt and I presented our platforms, along with judicial candidate Anne Gingrich Cornick, and Prothonatary hopeful Kelly Summerford. Both are incredibly intelligent, enthusiastic and motived for their offices, and each has my vote.

I was honored to have sat in The Hot Seat for both events. I learned a lot, and that is what this campaign has been about for me. Thanks to all who attended either event, especially our hosts, and those who asked the tough questions.

Derry Dems Meet The CandidatesJPG

September 19, 2013 – Chipotle…What’s it Going to Look Like?

Note: The plan I attach has been revised.  The bottom along the private alley (aka South First Street) has been widened, to assure traffic flow two ways.  That did away with what little screening those couple trees would have afforded the rear. I believe they are now gone.

Chipotle Plan

September 16, 2013 – Stormwater Management – Who Pays?  Who Says?

I took this picture in front of my home on Sept 12, 2013. The majority of the water can be seen coming off of Alpine Drive, a private roadway, closest to the photographer:

Bullfrog Valley Road and Alpine Drive

Alpine Heights and other developments up that roadway have been occurring over many years. The latest was since 2005, and there were stringent controls required. Much of the roof and pavement has been put in since there have been stormwater management ordinances and/or land development ordinances of some type.  To be fair, not all the runoff is from Alpine Drive; a good portion is from the public roadway and the homes upgradient on Bullfrog Valley, including Yours Truly’s. Those homes were all built decades before there were likely any ordinances with any teeth; cumulatively, ours are a big source of uncontrolled runoff. But as this zoomed in view clearly shows, much of it is from Alpine, and is not being managed properly:

BFV and Alpine closer

Here is another storm from 2009, note disproportionate amount of runoff coming donw the hill, along Alpine:

BFV from Alpine

Note the the inlets clogged after the storm.  It is often much worse:

BFV Inlet Blockage

After every storm like this, and we have had several this summer alone, our tax dollars come by shortly after. A street sweeper normally cleans up this blockage of our infrastructure. This time, on Sept 15, a Twp crew came out and prepped to modify the inlet:

BFV and Alpine Repair BFV inlet cutout

The taxpayer must recognize this, and support this tremendous cost: a rate payer for a sewer or water conduit would certainly support removing blockage to those systems, even knowing such activity comes out of the very rates that taxpayer pays. But a taxpayer must also demand that our leadership ensure a fair share of taxes are being borne for these activities. It is not clear to me that, in this case, this is occurring. To me, it seems the General Fund is arbitrarily fixing something caused disproportionately by one private roadway.

BFV Inlet Repaired

September 14, 2013 – Meet and Greet

An even mix of R’s and Dems today, as we discuss the issues most important to Pat’s Hill residents.  Matt and I learned a lot, and I think we left with more than a few allies.  Good time.

Meet and Greet

September 5, 2013 – Derry Township Had to See HersheyPark South Coming

https://steventodd.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/september-5-2013-derry-township-had-to-see-hersheypark-south-coming/

September 2, 2013 – Happy Labor Day…Get Out Your Wallets

Item E1-5 (page 6 attached) of our July 23, 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting awarded the equivalent of 1,090 hours of additional services at $100 per hour:

BofS Minutes with $109,000 Change Order

The attached minutes say this is required on a contract we are already into for over $1 million, “Because of progress schedule delays.”  With no bid for any part of it, no oversight by anyone with a clue how much this should really cost, and repeated testimony from me that it is costing too much.  Manager Negley has no experience designing or pricing infrastructure projects.  I have more than a clue how much infrastructure improvement cost, I have done it for a living for many years.  I will put a stop to the hemorrhaging…if you will put me in office.

August 30, 2013 – Decommissioning Three Mile Island or Local Development:
We need an engineer’s skill to see full life cycle cost analysis of our decisions

John Hanger summarizes a problem with development of all types, energy included: externalized cost, with privatized profits hindering true cost accounting, in his recent blog: “Radioactive Fact: Cost To Decommission Three Mile Island (TMI) Nukes Hits $950 Million But No Place To Take Waste”

http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2013/08/radioactive-fact-cost-to-decommission.html

The $900B+ price tag seems in line with Eric Epstein’s recent testimony:

Epstein Cleanup Funding Testimony

We must get better at quantifying and assessing costs of any development venture. While the cost of decommissioning TMI is covered by a fund well known by anyone experts in nuclear power. But We The People must become aware of ALL the costs of ALL options, or we can’t choose which to allow, promote or discourage. If the decommissioning fund is built up over the life of the plant, that means we (since I am one) rate payers of Exelon pay for it. We need to know that just shy of $1B of our expenditures go for that, when choosing our replacement.

Take Fukushima, Japan. It is well-documented to be leaking 300 tons of contaminated water flow daily into the Pacific Ocean of We The People of Earth…for 2 years…so far. What is the going rate to filter the Pacific Ocean of the resulting quantity of radionuclides? And who is going to pay that? These are questions we need to answer before the inevitable accidents, and before the IPO on energy stocks.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/02/fukushima-radioactive-plume-to-hit-the-u-s-by-early-2014/

Likewise – although at a much smaller scale of both potential loss, and revenue sources to cover it – our local development decisions’ cost to our pre-existing schools and infrastructure. What are those cost, and how do we fairly assess them? These are the questions we need to answer before land development approval, and before the developer rakes in profits or make a contribution to a political campaign.

As an engineer, I look at life cycle costs, including but not limited to quick infusions of Real Estate taxes. I have to, or my family doesn’t get paid. How much will the roadway and its appurtenances cost to repair, plow and replace, and what is their life expectancy? Does a new roller coaster add customers who drive to our roads? Does a fast food restaurant downtown?

Back to our TMI example for a moment: presuming the TOTAL decommissioning cost was properly factored in way back when, the average electric consumer wouldn’t need to know the specifics to compare costs. But the leading TMI watchdog, and good friend of mine, Eric Epstein, recently told our local news site, PennLive.com, that “The reality is the plant will never be decommissioned,” that the NRC and First Energy have neither the money, the technology nor anywhere to store the waste that would be generated by the cleanup. The most likely scenario, Epstein said, was that the reactor would simply be entombed and left as-is. That’s not a life cycle cost, that’s a band-aid. I hope it holds:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/08/tmi_reactor_to_remain_locked_a.html

We must get better at quantifying and assessing costs of any for-profit venture. Our leadership must get better. I can’t do much about TMI costs, but I will improve Derry Township’s ability to assess development decisions, by adding an engineer’s skill, including full life cycle cost analysis of our decisions.

August 29, 2013 – Koplinski Endorses Todd!

Brad Koplinski, Harrisburg City Councilman and Democratic Candidate to be the next Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania Tweeted, to at least his 1,356 Followers: “(Steve) keep up the good work. Derry Twp can use smart, progressive leadership.”  Brad boldly stood up to campaign donors and The Political Class to make sure Harrisburg was heard, while most of both parties tried in vain to rush Council Four along.  I am humbled.  Thanks, Brad.

August 21, 2013 – Hochendoner Endorses Todd!

Former Dauphin County Commissioner and former Deputy Secretary of PA Dept of Labor and Industry Larry Hochendoner reach out to me, unsolicited, by the way.  He told me today that: “You will do a wonderdul job for the voters and residents of Derry Township!”

I am honored and humbled to have Hochendoner’s endorsement.  Thanks, Larry!

August 14, 2013 – Speakers on Cranes…Could a Resident do That? JayZ Can.

IMG_1011

(Sorry for the rotated layout.  Free web host…I get what I pay for.  If you download it should be rightside up.)

Derry Twp Board of Supervisors’ Chair Chris Abruzzo said the township has considered a noise ordinance, but decided that “in a practical application they aren’t reasonable.”

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/08/jay_z_and_justin_timberlake_br.html

When did the Township consider this and who decided it isn’t reasonable? I follow things kind of closely for the past decade or so, but I could have missed that discussion. Every resident of Derry Township has a right to see this issue publicly debated at a township meeting, before we decide if a noise ordinance is practical and/or reasonable.

“Likewise, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company had to know the Jay-Z concert would be both loud and obscene. The good folks at HE&R need to address the issue before the township passes a noise ordinance that puts a real crimp in the company’s concert revenues.” ~ The Sun Editorial, August 22, 2013.

We heard JayZ the whole way out behind the Med Ctr! We had to shut our windows and run the AC. Small cost, but a cost nonetheless.

This is one very big cost, especially to those of you down in the Village, where all the storm water, traffic and noise also concentrates. Traffic is our big cost out this way: we can’t go anywhere even in that general direction for hours leading up to and after events.

Most of residents think HERCO could pay more taxes, but we all recognize the tremendous value of having Hershey entities in Derry. As Supervisors, Matt Weir and I will fight to ensure the costs and benefits match. Maybe that is a noise ordinance and/or a designated cutoff time, maybe a widening of HersheyPark Drive on HERCO’s dime, maybe it is raising the amusement tax, so we can lower our terribly regressive Occupational Tax back to where it was last year, or raise the $10,000 exemption to some living wage (I’ve suggested $25k in a Sun LTE recently).

There is a bright spot in all this: In just a few short months, Derry has a chance to elect two (2) more Supervisors – Matt Weir and myself – who have not taken one thin dime from any corporate entity. This, in addition to the one (1) currently sitting Supervisor who has not taken such contribution will give us – for the first time in the 13 years I’ve lived here, but probably for a bunch of decades longer – a voting majority not under such influence.

Please advise everyone you know about our campaign, and consider a small donation if you can. Matt and I will accept not more than $200 per candidate ($400 into our combined fund), and only from individual human residents of Derry Twp.

I wonder what our opponents Sue Stough and Justin Engle feel about this issue? I don’t know whether they will take such campaign contributions from non-constituents or not, but all discerning voters should be asking them.

August 7, 2013 – Not so Fast on Cost Increases…for Some

Tweeted today @stevenwtodd –

Former Derry superintendent Faidley recommends Boyertown end architects EI Associates’ contract. via @ReadingEagle

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=501164

Dr Faidley’s actions are due to cost changes from those originally contracted.

I applaud his actions, and if elected Twp Supervisor, I would end consultants’ current free-for-all on contract change orders.

Our Supervisors just approved another 6-figure change order for pipe replacements. This on top of at least one other 6-figure change order, which I opposed but was approved. The original contract was exorbitant I thought, and was awarded without competitive bid. No one currently on our staff or Supervisors are qualified to review the costs of major infrastructure projects or to oversee those services.

I am qualified to do both, and will save your tax dollars if elected. If I am not elected, I will almost certainly continue to be ignored on these issues, as I have for years.

August 2 – Todd – Weir Announce Slate

Matt and I have finally combined our complimentary and similar messages. Take a look at our new web site:

http://www.todd-weir-campaign.com/

Please note the Donate tab. If you are a human resident of Derry Twp, we will gladly accept up to $400 maximum donation. But no amount is too small!  I will gladly come to your home or meet you anywhere else to discuss issues.  I live and work right here in Derry.  Give me a call or an email: 717.534.0695 or steventodd@hotmail.com

Thank you for your rapidly growing support. I am enjoying walking around knocking on doors of those I hadn’t yet met. I am growing as I hear you concerns. Type and/or talk soon!

June 11 – “Corporations are not people” ~ Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

Nearly every day I am reminded of how critical this underlying weakness in our democratic republic is, and how desperately The Political Class fights to ignore it.  That is changing, as the links show.  I will take no cash from non-constituents, and corporations – being non-human – are not constituents.  Soon, this will no longer be an issue, but for now it is the central one.  Ask my opponents where they stand on accepting campaign contributions from non-constituents.

“Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose the Citizens United ruling and support a constitutional amendment to reclaim our democracy. Trans-partisan support is our path to victory.  This is not a progressive or conservative issue.  It is about our common vision as Americans of government of, by, and for the people. ” ~ http://freespeechforpeople.org

http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/7003/letter/?letter_KEY=633

https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/7003/images/01-03-11%20Hart%20poll%20for%20FSFP%20-%2079%20percent%20support%20an%20amendment.pdf

May 2 – Downtown Hershey = Hersheypark South?

Downtown zoning districts are now changed. Bigger hotels and fast food is permitted downtown, even if the infrastructure doesn’t appear to be. We The People of Derry must ensure that this is the course the majority of human residents want to set for ourselves. Let’s make sure it is not being set by corporate entities…with us holding the bills. The only way to do that is to elect leaders who pledge not to take corporate money. I so pledge.

With the pesky zoning ordinances amended to allow what the Hershey entities want and what numerous Hershey residents are on record as not wanting, it seems long-anticipated conversion is closer. Downtown Hershey is, in the words of The Sun’s owner and editor Dave Buffington, becoming Hersheypark South.

Buffington, a Derry Township resident, has been predicting this for years that: “inevitably, any other downtown interests…will be bought out or forced out”:

“Hershey changing again, this time into a tourist-oriented lodging, dining and entertainment district. It will be walkable. It’s just that the sidewalks will be full of tourists.” ~ March 21, 2013

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2013-03-21/Editorial/Big_Problem.html

“It is not a conspiracy. It is, however, inevitable. Downtown Hershey, the center of Sun Country, is becoming Hersheypark South. And if you’re one of those people who’ve been pining for a “walkable downtown” in Hershey. Well, you’re going to get it. Only the walkers will be tourists.” ~ September 27, 2012

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2012-09-27/Editorial/The_Walkers.html

“And, inevitably, any other downtown interests – like the car wash, the banks, the dentist, the chiropractor, the mini-mart and the pizza shop that all used to be downtown – will be bought out or forced out.” ~ May 19, 2011

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2011-05-19/Editorial/Hersheypark_South.html

April 20, 2013 – Endorsed for Standing for Human Rights and Decency

I am honored to have received endorsement from The Capital Region Stonewall Democrats (CRSD).

CRSD’S mission includes electing pro-equality lawmakers who will work toward equal protection and equal opportunity for all LGBT citizens.

I will appear and stand proudly beside CRSD at the Central PA Pride Festival in Harrisburg includes our Pride Educational Forum (July 24) and the parade/festival on the river front (July 27). Save the dates as more specific information will be available closer to the events.

http://www.capitalstonewall.org

CRSD

April 14 – PA Pay-to-Play and Derry Township

“But in Pennsylvania, people at engineering firms, law firms and many other businesses that win state contracts still give freely to the politicians who might be able to exert influence the deals. Government contracts are a leading source of corruption in state and local governments, and Pennsylvania would benefit from a strong pay-to-play law, Holman said. “You want to award contracts based on merits and not on campaign contributions.” ~ The Associated Press, April 13, 2013, 11:48 PM, as published on PennLive

AP goes on to say that Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware “said he does not see why business people would see a connection between their attendance at the fundraiser — the invitation suggested a $1,000 per person contribution — and their ability to secure grants, loans or contracts from the two agencies.”

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/04/post_558.html

If Senator Pileggi does not see a connection between political contributions, and their ability to secure profitable advantage, then the honorable Senator is an idiot. I will guarantee you the vast majority of folks I’ve talked to about this situation do. Campaign finance reports of office holders from the local level up to President of the United States show that the shrewd business folks who make up The Political Class do as well.

This practice is not only widespread, but the norm of doing business with any government entity, at any level. Both my own Democratic party and the only other team allowed at the table – the Republicans – partake, sanction and promote it with equal vigor; neither has any urge to significantly hinder it. This one is on We The People, people.

Within my first year as Derry Twp Supervisor, I promise to introduce an ordinance prohibiting anyone who does for-profit business – including lobbyists – with Derry Township from donating to a campaign or campaign committee of any elected official or anyone seeking an elected position within Derry Twp., or of any Derry Twp appointed official or staffer seeking any elected office.

I have already pledged to reject all contributions myself, except small-dollar contributions from individual human citizens of my jurisdiction (in this case, Derry Twp). I have also pledged to vote against award of any no-bid contract over $75,000.

This isn’t technically hard folks. It is very easy. We The People will, however, have to withstand insult and empty threats from The Political Class to do it. But that emperor really does have no clothes.

April 8 – Restating Pledge of Campaign Finance Ethics from 2011 Campaign

There is one Political Class. It has purchased the only two teams allowed at the table. Don’t take my word for it, open any of YOUR own elected’s campaign finance reports (from local on up to POTUS) and read it. That person’s shareholders will be listed, and most will be non-human and non-constituent entities. We must fix that before anything else, or the same non-constituents will just keep shuffling our leaders around. We must elect those who forswear this bribery. I have foresworn it…anyone else?

https://steventodd.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/campaign-finance-ethics-pledge/

March 27 – In response to Zoning change for old Hershey Chocolate factory

Last night, our elected officials approved a rezoning the former Hershey factory into Village Core (VC). Those of us in land development and municipal engineering call changing zoning with one or a very few land owners in mind “spot zoning”. It is an end run around the plans, and perhaps of the wishes, of the citizens; it most often has unintended consequences.

For example, our Downtown Commercial (DC) zoning district abuts and runs parallel to VC. It includes the parking lots for that same factory. DC was amended to allow the oversized hotel you now see shoehorned into the site of our former police station. This amendment was done mainly to ensure we could sell that parcel for enough money to cover the cost of our enormous new municipal complex on Hersheypark Drive, without those who approved its construction having to raise taxes.

While we all want sustainable, mixed-use downtown development, our DC district now allows larger, taller hotels right next door. Hotels generate a lot of traffic, trash and storm water. They have high water and sewage demand. We taxpayers know that we spend a lot of our time and money fixing those very things lately.

As we move together toward a walkable, sustainable downtown, let’s ensure our already stressed infrastructure is taken into account. Let’s ensure future zoning and other law changes occur with a comprehensive vision in mind. Spot zoning often benefits the few at terrific cost to many.

Our next shot at this is next week. On April 2, we consider spot zoning Fast Food without a drive-through window to become a different type of Fast Food. While the benefits to They The Few are apparent, we must be diligent that those not become another terrific cost to We The Many.

I have an active history in Smart Growth. I do not oppose development, I oppose getting stuck with the bills while a few profit. I oversaw and presented the 10-yr, multi-phase expansion of the PSU/MS Hershey Med Center, in or around 2007. It was – to my knowledge – the largest single land development plan in Derry history…maybe the Giant Center was bigger. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth. The lot adjustments to the First United Methodist Church, PennDOT work for the Hershey Story, storm water controls at Kentucky Fried Chicken: all me. I have long supported Smart Growth, including in Derry. Downtown Hershey needs sustainable development, the old factory included. But we historically patch things together very quickly and hope for the best. I support deliberate planning, with full public input. Many of us do, and that will be made evident in November.

We almost got stuck with the Patt Hotel, and only killed it by massive public resistance, which I fought for. We did not oppose development, we opposed getting stuck with the bills while a few profited…in this case an out-of-town entity, who nonetheless found time and cash to donate to our sitting Supervisors’ campaign funds.

March 21 – See where 3 of the balloted Supervisor candidates stand on Chipotle in today’s Sun:

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2013-03-21/Front_Page/Fast_Casual_for_Chipotle.html

March 20 – Corporations are not People…again…for now.

“There are no men or women defendants in the instant case; they are various business entities. … These are all legal fictions, existing not by natural birth by operations of state statutes. … Such business entities cannot have been ‘born equally free and independent,’ because they were not born at all.” ~ Washington County, PA President Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca in 3/20/13 opinion ordering unsealing records previously sealed to protect the privacy of several corporations.

http://pipeline.post-gazette.com/news/archives/25102-washington-county-judge-orders-marcellus-shale-development-settlement-records-unsealed

Summing up, the Court said “it is axiomatic that corporations, companies, and partnerships have ‘no spiritual nature,’ ‘feelings,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘beliefs,’ ‘thoughts,’ ‘emotions,’ or ‘sensations,’ because they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists… They cannot be ‘let alone’ by government, because businesses are like grapes, ripe upon the vine of the law, that the people of this Commonwealth raise, tend, prune at their pleasure and need.”

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15721-pennsylvania-court-deals-blow-to-secrecy-obsessed-fracking-industry

March 20 – The Zoning Ordinance has been proposed, to be amended to redefine restaurants. It is on the Agenda to discuss this law change Chipotle is driving, April 2 at 6 pm at the Derry Twp Municipal Building 600 Clearwater Rd, Hershey, PA (on Hersheypark Dr across from PA Water). The land development plan for Apple Retail Properties (Chipotle), Plat #1229, has been WITHDRAWN‏

http://www.derrytownship.org/images/stories/agendas/planning/agenda-pc-rev.pdf

If you have an opinion and are a Derry Twp resident, now is the time to be heard. I have posted the proposed Ord Amendments here:

Ordinance 632

And the recommendation of our Director of Community Development here:

Ordinance 632 Director of Community Development Memo

Several concerned citizens have commissioned their own review of the TIS.  Attached is the review letter.  It has 10-pages of concerns, which seems like an awful lot of review comments:

Chipotle TIS Review, ELA

The concerns raised by the consultant hired by local citizens and small business owners are stark.  More importantly, they are alarming when compared to the much cleaner bill of health our Twp staff & engineering reviews give this project:

HRG Initial Traffic Study Reviews #1 & #2 (Before Plank Submission)

Perhaps this is why Twp staff has told the Planning Commission that it believes “that it is in the best interest of the Township and the developer to have HRG consider those comments in the review of the land development plan and associated traffic study.”:

Staff Review To Planning Commission,3.22.13

Feb 21, 2013 – I confirm running for Derry Township Supervisor in 2013, incumbent Abruzzo confirms he’s out and another candidate joins the fray:

http://news.thesunontheweb.com/news/2013-02-21/Front_Page/Broker_On_the_Ballot.html

ABOUT US:

Matt Weir and Steve Todd – campaign white paper:

Todd-Weir Handout

Matt Weir and Steve Todd –  Biographies and Pictures:

Image from our campaign website. Please visit for more info:

http://www.todd-weir-campaign.com

Todd-Weir Pix and Bios

My individual campaign ad: Prior to enjoining a slate with Matt Weir, I was working on a campaign ad.  You’ll notice that it is virtually identical to my 2011 Write-In campaign ad…that’s because nothing I was running on has improved.  Here we go again.  Please join for the ride:

First Draft Ad

Who is the Candidate? Following links my various online activities, previously scattered hither and yon and drowning in the cacophony.

http://storify.com/steventodd/blogs-rants-and-signed-commentary

Advertisements

5 Responses to Derry Township Supervisor 2013

  1. Pingback: 2013 EarthDay | Earth Day Protest at Regional DEP Offices | Shale Justice

  2. Pingback: 2013 EarthDay | Earth Day Protest at Regional DEP Offices

  3. Pingback: Capital Region Stonewall Democrats 2013 Endorsed Candidates for the May 21 Primary Election | Capital Region Stonewall Democrats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s