I would be remiss if I did not congratulate the residents of Malvern Borough for taking the first steps to take back their town from developers and council people who have forgotten why they serve in the first place.
***And before I get into more, let me remind Borough Residents that somewhat hidden on the Malvern Borough website is the flyer for the next Transit Oriented Development or TOD meeting (ToDflyer11-19-13 ).***
Anyway…while some will coo over political party nonsense of it all, that wasn’t what the write in was about. It was about standing up for where you live and pay taxes and giving yourselves permission to say “NO”. This is democracy at its best.
Congratulations to David Bramwell, Todd Lexer and Matt Radano. They are new councilmen-elect. They crushed their competition on a write-in campaign that the existing regime obviously did not take seriously. And of course next election you can replace the rest of them too. My top pick for replacement next would be Mr. Woody VanSciver. The write-in three will have a real job ahead of them and I thank them in advance for taking on a largely thankless job.
Congratulations to the new mayor-elect David Burton. He won by a huge margin for a small town. He is a Democrat, but that is not what got him elected. What got him elected was the desire for change.
And that is what is so truly cool about this latest Malvern political tale. Much like when Betty Burke rallied the troops in the past, these people did it this time. It remains to be seen how things progress, but Malvern Borough residents can help by going to public meetings and participating in their future. But much like “back in the day”, this is a cautionary tale because Malvern Borough residents this journey is just starting. As they say, you have won a major battle but not the war.
Winning the war means showing some developers the door and sending T.O.D. packing. I mean how can they even talk about T.O.D. now when no one knows what SEPTA is doing? SEPTA stopped service at Paoli before, and they can do it again. And until that is all ironed out, why not just stop the emperor’s new clothes of it all?
I took a lot of flak as a borough outsider for expressing an opinion about Malvern Borough, but I think Malvern is a cool little town and I really hope it is preserved and not super-sized.
And I am really looking forward to my first Malvern Victorian Christmas as a Chester County resident this year – I have had conflicts on that Friday the past few years. Malvern Victorian Christmas is Friday December 6th from 6 – 9 PM, and Saturday December 7th from 10 AM – 3 PM.
I will also note again that Malvern Borough pulled a lazy-sneaky and did NOT add a NEW post for the upcoming Transit Oriented Development Meeting but they have it listed as Tuesday, November 19th, 6 PM at Borough Hall. Borough residents should join their new Mayor-elect and councilmen-elect there. An old political trick is always to try to shove things in or set them up to get in as one administration prepares to partially or totally turn over. (Why do you think Washington DC is such a perpetual mess?)
Here is some recent media attention on Malvern Borough – note I am only posting excerpts. Please go to Main Line Media News to read both articles in their entirety:
Main Line Suburban Life: Henry Briggs: Nov. 5, 2013: The day Malvern rebelled
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
By Henry Briggs
Columnist, The Scribbler
Democracy can be messy. It can be inspiring. It can be dividing or uniting.
Many people distrust their elected officials. It’s very American, in a way. But usually, the distrust is localized around, as the old saying goes, those whose ox is gored. If politicians can keep ox owners separate, they get away with it. If not, well…
Over the last few years, a number of ox in the little town of Malvern were being gored, but at first, residents on focused only on their own…..On election day, with T-shirts proclaiming “Do the ‘WRITE-IN’ thing,” Dave Burton and the ‘write-in’ candidates worked the polls all day. On a normal non-presidential election, about 320 Malvern voters show up. For this election, 799 showed up.
Dave Burton, Dave Bramwell, Todd Lexer, and Matt Radano won by a landslide.
Democracy can be messy. It can be inspiring. It can be dividing or uniting. Or it can be all of the above
Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By Linda Stein
In an example of democracy in action the voters in Malvern turned out in record numbers in the Nov. 5 to sweep out the incumbent mayor and three councilmen.
The pace and character of development in the borough was evidently the issue that brought voters to the polls, resulting in the successful write-in candidacy of three residents for seats on the council.
David Burton, a Democrat who won the mayoral race 509 to 266 against long-time incumbent Gerald J. McGlone Jr., said development was the issue on people’s minds as he knocked on doors this fall…..A challenge to a large group of residents who opposed more development was issued at the July 16 meeting by council members, who told them to run for election if they did not believe that Malvern Council represented the will of the people. That brought a write-in campaign, said long-time resident Danny Fruchter.
David Bramwell, Todd Lexer and Matt Radano, who took 68 percent of the vote, according to unofficial totals from Chester County. Incumbents William Macaleer, Robert Coughlin and Zeyn Uzman received about 10 percent each…“They were all swept out of office in a landslide,” said Fruchter, who said that officials who had gotten cozy with developers and were ignoring the borough’s comprehensive plan.