The position Lew Wertley resigned on the board of supervisors in Honey Brook Township earlier this year is up for grabs this election, and Democrat Ronald E. Husband is challenging Tracy Ford-Olsen for it.
Ford-Olsen, a republican, was appointed to finish Wertley’s term in July, and she’s looking to hold onto the seat for a full term now. In the short time she’s been on the board, Ford-Olsen said she has felt a “cohesion and willingness to work together” with the other supervisors that is beneficial for residents.
At the same time, each member has taken on specific roles within the board, she said. John McHugh has spearheaded communications with residents through the town hall meetings while she and Joe Fenstermacher have worked with the Chester County Food Bank to help township residents in need.
Thanks in part to their efforts, Ford-Olsen said the food bank will now be setting up a mobile truck at the township maintenance building on a monthly basis to distribute food beginning in January.
“I would like to see zoning issues explained to the residents and enforced with common sense in mind,” she said. She pointed to a newly proposed sewage ordinance that will affect residents with on-lot septic systems as an example.
The ordinance will be discussed at the Dec. 12 town hall meeting. Ford-Olsen said the township will have experts in septic system design and maintenance on hand to help answer residents’ questions.
“The only way to make a positive change is to become involved and that is what I would like to continue to do,” she said. “And I need the voters’ help to do that on Nov. 5.”
Husband, on the other hand, says he can bring a more goal-oriented approach to township governance.
“I want to create a systematic approach to running the township where we would get out in front of things by setting goals and trying to reach those goals,” he said. “The way things are run now, there are goals, but they aren’t necessarily put in front of the public each year.”
An important part of this process is citizen input, he added.
“People have to be involved in the process,” he said. “I think it’s very important to be informed and to communicate with the citizens of the township so that local government doesn’t seem to be a burden so much as a benefit. That makes things more transparent and more interactive.”
He pointed to the comprehensive plan currently being considered by the township as something he’d like to get more community input on.
“If you can get out in front of that and set some clear goals, you can address those rather than being reactive. And that involves better communication with the public, also,” he said.