Because I’m replacing Jim Higgins after a special election, I was sworn into office in June of 2018, and have had less than six months on the job so far. In such a short amount of time, I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made for the First Ward and the Township. I’m also excited about my goals for 2019, my first full year in office:
- Finishing the North Wayne Flood Mitigation Project. Our third-party contractor, Meliora, is presently completing a survey to determine which areas of Gulph Creek are appropriate for flood plain restoration. Once that’s well in-hand, I look forward to working with residents and the Township to secure easements and begin work on the project.
- Repair the Sewers in the First Ward. Stormwater grabs headlines in the First Ward because of disasters like the August 13, 2018 flood. But our sanitary sewer is more than a hundred years old, and, in the First Ward, composed principally of decaying terracotta pipe. In 2018 we already experienced a multi-million dollar failure that required emergency repair; the cost of a significant failure in the First Ward could drive the Township badly into debt (not to mention the human cost involved in toilets that don’t flush for weeks on end!) In order to forestall that eventuality, I will be working closely on an update programme for the Township’s sewer system in 2019.
- Continued scrutiny for the Super Wawa. The Super Wawa will, most likely, come up for a vote in 2019. The Board needs to be ready when it does.
- Traffic controls. Plenty of residents have complained to me that problem drivers race down residential streets, creating a danger to residents and their children. I worked with Chief Flanagan on a few spots in 2018 to increase speed enforcement, and look forward to continuing that effort in 2019, particularly on the streets connecting Lancaster and Conestoga.
- Small scale flood mitigation projects. The North Wayne Flood Mitigation Project takes up a lot of my time and space in newsletters. But we’re still working on smaller-scale flood mitigation projects in the business district, Windsor and Banbury, and even in North Wayne too. We’re going to be planting trees, cleaning stormwater grates, and cleaning out existing stormwater management controls.
- Financial Planning. Historically, the Township has started budgeting for the following year during the fourth quarter. As a result, the Board was surprised to learn this year that staff was projecting a significant deficit in 2019, and we had little time to course correct. This year, we’re starting the 2020 budget process in January of 2019, and will spend the entire year holding extra meetings to find new revenue streams and cut costs.
- Your suggestions! My own plans and goals are largely the result of feedback I receive from residents and staff. If you have a project that needs work, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let me know about it.