Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Established June 2, 1997
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March 16, 1998

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News for January and February, 1998

Tuesday, February 17, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, February 16, 1998
The second meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald were present as well as Robert Wert, who was recently appointed by the Vacancy Board as a replacement for Robin Kohn who resigned his position in January of this year.
Mr. Sauser introduced and welcomed Mr. Wert to the board and Mr. Wert announced that there is now a need for a new President of Charlestown Townwatch and for an Emergency Services Director, two township posts he previously held.
Mr. Sauser then asked for nominations for Vice-Chairman. Mrs. Ewald suggested the Board re-elect all officers and nominated Mr. Wert for Chairman. Mr. Wert declined, Mr. Sauser then nominated Mr. Wert for Vice Chairman, Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Cheryl Atkins-Lubinski and William Davison were re-appointed for six-year terms on the Planning Commission.
There was a continuation of the Sprint Spectrum Conditional Use Hearing and a new Environmental Impact Study was presented to supply additional information in summary form. The material stated that while it is impossible to completely screen a 150' monopole tower, the applicants have attempted to mitigate the visual impact. They have opted to "tuck" the monopole behind Devault Foods, back towards the PA Turnpike, but have had to stay out of the steep slope area due to township ordinances. They will place it against the tree line so as to hide the base. Mr. Wert expressed his concerns with the legal document as it related to the potential for the applicant to impose unreasonable burdens on any co-locators (other mobile carriers leasing space on the monopole). The primary goal in allowing four antennas on the tower was to mitigate any additional towers in the township. Counsel for the applicant addressed these concerns. The Township Land Planner, Thomas Committa prepared a study of the offsite visual impact the monopole would have along Whitehorse, Reese, Union Hill and Charlestown Roads. He suggested plantings to help protect the viewsheds in these areas. Mrs. Ewald stated that the antenna is being constructed to aid in communications along routes 29 and 202, most of which is outside the Township, yet we were stuck with looking at it, so everything should be done to protect the viewshed. Mr. Sauser expressed his concern with the Township's ability to legally make improvements (tree planting) on neighboring properties. Mr. Wert said he wasn't nearly as interested in protecting the viewshed of people driving down the roads as he was in protecting the surrounding residents who now had to look out their door every day at this new addition to their neighborhood. Mr. Wert asked that the Planning Commission solicit neighboring property-owners and address their concerns and asked that the applicant, in good faith, work with the surrounding property-owners and the president of the Planning Commission, Bud Zeigler, to resolve any viewshed issues. The matter was continued until the next meeting.
DHR LTD. made a request for roadway modifications to the main road in their development off Howells Road. This development, which enters through Charlestown Township, has all of its houses in Tredyffrin Township. The changes would effect the first 100 feet of roadway off Howells Road and would allow them to reduce the amount of "cutting" (earth removal) necessary to bring the road to the specified grade. This would result in increasing an already steep grade. The applicant pointed out that they would be willing to release the Township of any liability that resulted from this change. The Board, however, pointed out that they presently have no liability since the approved plan was the result of a court order. They would, however, consider changes to the road if the applicant would be willing to address long-standing concerns over water runoff that will ultimately end up in Howells Road. The primary concern of the Supervisors has been that the road has a northern exposure and this, along with the steep slope, creates a hazardous condition for cars coming down the hill and sliding onto Howells Road in the winter. The applicant was requested to come back to the board with a more detailed and creative solution to the problem.
The Township Solicitor reviewed the Whitehorse Meadows subdivisions Homeowners Agreement and Escrow Agreement, and the board granted approval for the developer Michael Main to proceed.
The Cellucci subdivision along Phoenixville Pike requested a two-year extension on subdivision approval, and that was approved.
Old Business:
Janet Baldwin was re-appointed to the Historic and Architectural Review Board.
It was announced that the balance of the Township Re-organization meeting would be held at the next scheduled Township meeting.
Next meeting Monday, March 2nd at 7:30pm at the Charlestown Elementary School.
Tuesday, February 17, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Special Meeting
Charlestown Vacancy Board
Sunday, February 15, 1998
On Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3:30PM the Charlestown Township Vacancy Board met at the Great Valley Nature Center to select a third member of the Board of Supervisors. The vacancy was due to the resignation of Robin Kohn.
Gia Farrow, the newly appointed Vacancy Board chairwoman, called the meeting to order. There were close to 50 people in attendance. Mrs. Farra commented that the choice they were there to make should be based on the qualifications and the ability that one has to do the job, not which side they are on.
Mrs. Ewald nominated Wendy McLean. This motion was not seconded. Mr. Sauser nominated Robert C. Wert. Mrs. Farra seconded it. Mrs. Ewald asked for discussion and if there were any other nominees. There were none. The motion passed and the vote taken. Mr. Wert was elected by a two to one vote.
The meeting was adjourned and a resident asked if there could be discussion about the choice. Mrs. Farra commented that it had been discussed enough, and she had reviewed some resumes and viewed a tape.
The meeting took approximately ten (10) minutes.
Thursday, February 12, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting
Charlestown Planning Commission
Monday, February 10, 1998
Present were Michael Allen, Bud Zeigler, Charlie Phillips, Vincent Kling, Michael Churchill and Surender Kohli.
Motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the January 13, 1998 meeting.
The Campbell subdivision plan consisting of four (4) lots at 4154 Howells Road was approved subject to further review of Township Engineer Surender Kohli's formal recommendations.
The ordinance amendment concerning water resources was tabled as the Township Land Planner, Tom Comitta, was not ready to proceed.
Mr. Panizza, the applicant in the sketch plan on the Pyle/Coryell tract at Valley Hill and Yellow Springs Roads did not appear until after the meeting was adjourned. This matter did not proceed as a result of that.
Chester Valley Engineers engaged in discussion on the Derkas sketch plan which consists of a three (3) lot subdivision on Sycamore Lane. Changes were made from the original submission and all members agreed to the new concept. The applicant needs three (3) variances and one (l) conditional use. Issues discussed included structural integrity of a bridge on the property, obtaining a waiver concerning a 50 foot walnut tree currently in the right of way area and changes to the drive. The zoning hearing board will hear the case later this month.
Additionally, the Burch subdivision was discussed. This project consists of five (5) lots on 26.2 acres on Blackberry Lane and contains a conservation easement, an area of land consisting of 6.5 acres of undeveloped open space. The discussion focused on visual impact issues, potential drainage problems and solutions and parking areas.
Mention was made of a letter received by the board from Cellucci, Inc., a company asking for an extension on an application concerning a proposed office building on Phoenixville Pike.
A second meeting has not yet been scheduled for this month.
Tuesday, February 3, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, Fbruary 2, 1998
The first February meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald were present. The third member of the Board has yet to be appointed to replace Robin Kohn.
Minutes of the January 5th Reorganization Meeting and the January 5th & 19th 1998 Business meetings were approved. The Treasurer's Report covering January 1-31 was approved as corrected and the February 2, 1998 Accounts Payable was also approved.
Written reports were accepted from the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal, Parks & Recreation Board and the Valley Forge Sewer Authority with no additional comments.
At the first Citizens Forum, Paul Schulze asked about the proposed re-zoning for the Pyle-Coryell Tract, and Mr. Sauser suggested that his questions would be better answered when the agenda item is discussed under old business. Michael Churchill thanked Mrs. Ewald for holding public meetings to interview prospective candidates to fill the vacant seat on the board.
Bids were received for repairs on the salt shed roof, and Meadowbrook Builders were the low bid at approximately $3,100 to complete the work.
In an attempt to fill the vacant Supervisor seat, Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald made formal nominations for the following individuals: Mrs. Ewald - Charles Phillips, Steven Schlicter, Louise Cantrell-Kehoe, Liz Willow, Rich Huey and Regina Notar. Mr. Sauser would only nominate Bob Wert. All nominations died for lack of a second. The decision is now in the hands of the Vacancy Board, chaired by Gia Farra, who has stated publicly that she will not simply rubber stamp Mr. Sauser's choice.
One resident questioned Mr. Sauser for nominating someone who at a public meeting told all in attendance that "they did not deserve his time". Mr. Sauser stated that Mr. Wert was misunderstood. A resident inquired if the Vacancy Board meeting was public and would be advertised. Mr. Sauser said that it was a public meeting for which the Township was required to give 24 hours notice. However, he indicated that he would like to see the meeting held next Monday, February 9th.
Michael Main, the developer of Whitehorse Meadows, which is between the Whitehorse subdivision and Ashenfelter Road along Whitehorse Road, informed the Supervisors that he had successfully completed the Escrow Agreement and Letter of Credit. Additionally, he presented the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, which outlines easements for Equestrian Trails as well as easements to preserve existing farm stone walls on the property. Mr. Main was requesting final approval so he may begin construction immediately. However the vote was postponed until the Supervisors have a chance to review the document he presented.
John Panizza the developer of Deerfield, the Pyle-Coryell Tract along Yellow Springs and Valley Hill Roads, presented his preliminary plan for the property. Mr. Panizza worked with a sub-committee of the planning commission to develop a plan that would protect the view shed along Yellow Springs Road but at the same time provide the housing density permitted under present zoning. Mr. Panizza presented a plan that indicated that under a maximum build-out the 100+ acre tract could support 42 homes. He then presented a plan that he said the Township would approve for the tract that would allow for a build-out of 39 homes. Lastly he presented the plan he would like to construct. This plan has a density of 42 homes, however, the plan also preserves a total of 37 acres of open space.
In order for this plan to be approved, a zoning change would be required so the houses could be constructed on one-acre lots vs. two-acre lots. He further indicated that he would prefer on-site septic and public water, but he could just as easily build the development with on-site water and septic. The main road into the development would be across from Hollow Road and would exit the development on Valley Hill Road just below Green Lane. Vincent Kling, a member of the Planning Commission, stated that the township must consider looking at smaller lots and public water and sewer so as not to stress the land. Two residents expressed their concern that extending the laterals for public water and sewer would only serve to escalate development in the Township, to which Mr. Kling disagreed.
Some residents were concerned that re-zoning for one-acre lots would set a dangerous precedent in the Township. It was pointed out that this proposed zoning change does not allow for a greater number of homes on a tract of land, it just allows for smaller lots in exchange for more open space. Mr. Panizza was encouraged to continue working with the planning commission to further improve his plan.
In the final Citizens Forum, Ellen Behrle of Sycamore Lane asked the Supervisors if they would look into six dead Sycamore trees on the lane that died after the Township had an underground storm sewer line put in a number of years ago. Mr. Sauser said he would look into the matter, as he is also concerned about the safety issue.
The next meeting is Monday, February 16th at 7:30pm at the Great Valley Nature Center Barn. Parking is limited near the barn so we ask those who are able to park in the lower lot on Hollow Road.
Tuesday, January 27, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Public Interviews for Township Supervisor
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors
Monday, January 26, 1998
On Monday, January 26th, the second set of special interviews were held for candidates for the vacant Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors seat created by the resignation on Jan. 5th of Robin Kohn. The meeting was chaired by Irene Ewald, the only supervisor in attendance. The meeting began at 7:45pm. There were 20 people in attendance.
Two candidates were interviewed - Regina Notar of Blackberry Lane and Charles Philips of Hollow Road. Each candidate was given a list of four mandatory questions, and each was asked to pick one additional question from a list of 7.
Regina Notar, a four and one-half year resident of the township, was raised in King of Prussia, is a graduate of Edinborough University and has an art certification from Tyler School. She is the mother of three, teaches and has taught in Philadelphia as well as private schools. She has coached soccer for five years, is a school volunteer, a PTO volunteer and helps with fund raising.
She feels the Board of Supervisors actions should reflect the needs and desires of the residents. She feels there is a real need for problem solving and getting non-political. Living in King of Prussia in their development phase, she can appreciate how important it is to have a good development plan in place and would try to work around the pit falls from poor development. She says she can appreciate what Charlestown has and wants to preserve the character of the Township. She feels that water wells, enforcing our zoning and land planning are three issues of concern for the residents and says she sees a need for a Township building to consolidate records. She feels the structure should reflect the character of the Township. She thinks that Roberts Rules should be followed as the procedure for running the Board of Supervisors meetings, and that the present format imposed by Chairman Sauser is not a true implementation of those rules.
Charles Philips, has been a resident of Hollow Road since 1980 and is formerly of Lansdowne, Delaware County. He is a former teacher and is presently employed by Shared Medical Systems as a Sales, Marketing Executive in Strategic Programs and is a referee in the Big East Football Conference. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Nature Center, is the newly elected Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission, on the HARB (Historical, Architectural Review Board), and has been on the Board of the Baptist Children Services for the past 25 years. He worked as a volunteer at the cemetery and trails along the river and was chairman of the Township Renumbering Committee. His wife is also active in the Historical Commission.
Mr. Philips unsuccessfully ran for supervisor six years ago against Irene Ewald and believes he would bring independence to the decisions he would face as supervisor. His experiences would lend well to the process and he would be able to listen to people. He did disclose that he would have some time conflicts over the next four to six months and may have to miss some meetings. However, he would be flexible. He believes water ordinances, making sure we do the right developments, and being sensitive to the development needs of the township residents are three issues of concern among the residents. He also believes in getting people to work together. He feels the Township development plan we have in place is fine for right now, but we need to look at ordinances and make sure they fit in today's society. Looking at more creative ways to develop might better preserve open space; i.e., a possible cluster approach. He too, feels that Roberts Rules should be used at the public meetings, but that the meetings are not being run accordingly. He thinks people should not be stifled and Roberts Rules as written allow for opinion and discussion.
There was some discussion of water aquifers and commercial ground water extraction. Mrs. Ewald expressed her thanks to the participants and briefly discussed the appointment process from this point. The Supervisors have until Feb. 5th to make a decision on the third board seat. If this cannot be done, the Vacancy Board representative, Gia Farra, has 15 days to either second a nomination made by either board member or come up with another name which one or the other supervisor can agree to. In the event that at the end of the 15 day period there is still no choice made, then the matter would be turned over to the Court of Common Pleas, and the residents could petition the Court to appoint a candidate of their choice.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held on Monday, Feb. 2nd at the Charlestown Elementary School. Residents are urged to attend.
Tuesday, January 20, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, January 19, 1998
The second January meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald were present. The third member of the Board has yet to be appointed to replace Robin Kohn.
The Treasurer's Report was approved.
Mr. Douglas Rudenko, a Senior Geophysicist from Vibra-Tech, presented their findings with respect to the blasting activity at the Devault Crushed Stone quarry. Numerous residents were in attendance for the presentation that lasted approximately one hour. The study was contracted by the Township and paid for by the quarry after numerous complaints were logged at the Township office. The conclusion by Vibra-Tech was that while the vibrations from blasting may feel more substantial than in previous years, they are in compliance with Federal and State regulations. Mr. Rudenko explained that critical elements of the perceived vibrations are related to frequency. The frequency of the blast and the natural frequency of surrounding structures are similar enough to actually increase the perceived shock. The recommended solution is to alter the blasting to adjust for this frequency similarity, thus reducing the shock perception of the blasting. William E. Corson, from Devault Crushed Stone, assured residents that the quarry wants to work with the residents to develop solutions that will mitigate the problems. He stated that already they have changed back-up alarms on equipment to reduce that noise and asked that anyone wishing to tour the quarry and/or express their concerns should contact him at (610) 296-1390. While he assured residents the quarry would likely be there for at least another thirty-five years, they will consider utilizing Vibra-Tech's services to assist in reducing blasting vibration.
A number of escrow releases were requested for Charlestown Hunt. Since Mrs. Ewald is recused from voting on this project and the Township lacks a third Supervisor, Judge Wood was asked for his opinion on how the process should proceed. Judge Wood informed the Township that if one Supervisor and the Township Engineer approved the escrow release, that would be sufficient. Mrs. Ewald raised the subject of the emergency access road which the developer, Realen Homes, has been delinquent in completing. Mr. Sauser said he would personally contact Robert Dwyer, the project engineer, and express his dissatisfaction. Mrs. Ewald suggested that Mr. Sauser contact Mr. Dwyer's supervisor, to which Mr. Sauser agreed, but said he would attempt to resolve the issue with Mr. Dwyer first.
A Zoning Ordinance Amendment Hearing was held for the purpose of permitting Flex Space as a Conditional Us in the Neighborhood Commercial (NC) District. The applicant, J. Loewe Associates, is requesting the change which would allow them to offer more flexible alternatives to tenants in their corporate park off Route 29, between Able Brothers Towing and the Charlestown Saloon. The definition of Flex Space is 30% for office space and 70% for assembly, storage or warehousing. An example of a printing company was used as a tenant that could fit this description. The outside look of the corporate park would not change significantly, and if anything, traffic would likely be reduced. The plan was already approved by the Planning Commission and was unanimously approved by the Supervisors.
An announcement was made that Leon and Carol Altemose were denied their appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a curative amendment which would allow them to construct an 870 unit apartment complex on their 58 acre parcel at the corner of Whitehorse and Ashenfelter Roads. When asked about the likelihood of an appeal to the US Supreme Court, Township Solicitor James McErlane said it was very unlikely.
In other business, Mr. Sauser requested a nomination from Mrs. Ewald for a replacement for Robin Kohn, and she stated that she had a total of twelve potential prospects, three of which had yet to interview. She also expressed her disappointment in Mr. Sauser's absence from last Monday evening's meeting to meet with prospective candidates and invited him to attend next Monday's meeting to which he said he had a prior commitment. When asked by residents why he would not consider anyone other than Bob Wert, Mr. Sauser stated that Mr. Wert, in his opinion, was the best qualified for the job. Numerous residents criticized Mr. Sauser for nominating someone who at the last Supervisor's meeting told all in attendance that "they did not deserve his time". After numerous heated exchanges, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15pm.
Next meeting is Monday, February 2nd at 7:30pm at the Charlestown Elementary School.
Tuesday, January 13, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Public Interviews for Township Supervisor
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors
Monday, January 12, 1998
On Monday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. a special meeting was called by the Board of Supervisors for the purpose of interviewing potential candidates to fill the vacancy on the Board caused by the resignation of Robin Kohn. Post cards were mailed to every household in the township by Irene Ewald, the senior member of the board of supervisors, recently re-elected to a six (6) year term.
The meeting was called to order. In attendance were Mrs. Ewald and over 30 residents. John Sauser, board chairman did not attend. Gia Farra, who was recently appointed as the Vacancy Board representative, who previously agreed to attend, also did not attend.
A resident expressed concern that the absence of Gia Farra from the meeting was an indication that Mr. Sauser's nomination of Bob Wert at the last township meeting was likely to be seconded by her. There was some discussion, and another resident suggested that all concerned residents contact Mrs. Farra and voice their opinions and give suggestions of candidates, thereby giving her an opportunity to make her decision based on the public's input.
Mrs. Ewald explained that the two (2) remaining supervisors had 30 days to make a decision as to who would fill the vacant seat. In the event that an agreement could not be reached, the Vacancy Board representative would then have 15 days to either agree with one supervisor or find an independent party which one of the remaining supervisors would then agree to. Either way, there would have to be a majority vote with the Vacancy Board representative having the third vote. In the event that a decision is not made in 45 days, it then becomes a matter for the Court of Common Pleas to decide. Whoever is appointed will serve until the next Municipal election which will be in 1999. Mrs. Ewald also explained the importance of having the public input in the process even though the decision was not a public one.
There were five (5) interviews conducted, and the same list of four (4) questions was circulated and asked of each applicant, after which each was asked to select one question from an additional list for discussion if he/she so desired. The applicants were as follows:
Rich Huey of Buckwalter Road is a four (4) year resident, formerly of Phoenixville and a graduate of Villanova with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is employed by Lockheed-Martin. He is married with no children but does plan to have a family and intends to be a long time resident of the township. He says he cares about and wants to have a part in making the decisions which affect the township. He enjoys the diversity of the different areas and would like a role in protecting the good things here. He wants to help to make things better and make an effort to preserve open space.
Louise Cantrell-Kehoe of Country Lane has been a resident for over a year, and relocated from Michigan She is a college graduate with a degree in Communications Studies and was previously employed full time She is now a stay at home mother, married with two (2) children. She was on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Michigan in a community similar in size to Charlestown which also had some of the same issues as we are facing today. She says she is civic minded, dedicated and willing to take an active part in the community. She says her family chose Charlestown because of its rural characteristics and open space. If elected supervisor she would like to preserve the beauty of the rural area. She plans to be a long term resident and has a need for a meaningful challenge and believes in giving back to the community.
Wendy McLean lives on Yellow Springs Road. A Villanova University graduate, she is a lawyer with a varied practice and also teaches land use planning. In her legal practice she has the opportunity to represent both land developers and those opposed to land development. She is married with two (2) children and teaches. She is also on the Board of the Great Valley Nature Center. She does a lot of civic work in other townships and would like to apply these same talents she is using elsewhere to the role as supervisor in this township. She feels that this is an important time in our township's history and with her background in law and environmental science, she can be helpful in getting us through this difficult period.
Steve Schlicter lives on Jamie Lane. Formerly of Manchester, Maryland, a farming community, he graduated in l978 from Drexel University and works as a financial planner. He is on the board of the International Association for Financial Planning and works with the Youth Soccer League. He has been married for ten (10) years and has two (2) children. He says as supervisor he could help to protect the land planning development balance and feels that his background in financial planning would aid him in this process. He says he is willing to make whatever time commitment is necessary to do the job.
Liz Willow lives on Sycamore Lane. A 20 year resident, she retired ten (10) years ago from the Evening Phoenix Newspaper where she was a photographer. She is a past Board Member and member of the Green Valley's Association, Board Member of the Charlestown Play School, member of the Nature Center, member of Charlestown Green, and member and Vice President of the Sycamore Lane Protective Association., She is also a cub scout mother. She is married with two (2) children. She expressed that her interest in volunteering for the supervisor seat was motivated by not wanting anyone to think that the township was lacking volunteers willing to do the job. She feels she can do the job and will make the time commitment.
When asked to identify three (3) issues of concern to residents:
Huey - Development, Township Services, Traffic.
Cantrell-Kehoe - Historical Preservation, Quarry blasting and expansion of business, Traffic management, Hunting.
McLean - Traffic Control, the completion of road improvements, Sewage treatment plant being out of capacity and an expansion project, Improving zoning in the FR District to allow for more open space as opposed to houses on larger lots.
Schlicter - Coordination of Development, Water use i.e. commercial withdrawals, making the supervisors board work well together.
Willow - More hands-on projects, roadside, parkside neighborhood cleanup projects.
For the discussion questions, the applicants chose the following topics -
Huey- a township building
Cantrell- Kehoe - the need for an auxiliary fire station
McLean - the importance of and the impact of a sustainable watershed management system
Schlicter - the importance of regional planning, but not necessarily the Landscapes 2000 plan currently offered by the county
Willow - the feasibility of an auxiliary fire station
When asked how much time each applicant thought the supervisor position would take each week, all applicants agreed that they were willing to make whatever time commitment was necessary to do the job.
In light of Mr. Kohn's admission that his resignation was due to no longer being able to handle the stress of the division of the other two board members, a resident asked how each applicant felt he/she would fare if appointed to that position.
Only two (2) applicants chose to answer -
Cantrell-Kehoe - indicated that she would not take anything personally and did not feel it would prohibit her from doing her job.
Schlicter - feels it would be a challenge, but he may be able to facilitate an end. He would like to see the chairman practice the golden rule as opposed to Roberts rules and the gavel approach.
Questions were asked of Mrs. Ewald by the applicants concerning levels of problems and conflicts of interests which may occur, and what is the policy if these should arise. A question was posed to Wendy McLean by a resident concerning possible recusal as a result of conflict of interest.
A resident was asked if the applicants had opinions on the petition which is being circulated for a referendum to increase the board from 3 people to 5 people.
Cantrell-Kehoe and Schlicter were in favor. McLean was not in favor.
A resident asked to make a statement in which he chastised John Sauser and Gia Farra for not attending the meeting stating "Mr. Sauser has insulted us again, this time with his absence." He commended Mrs. Ewald for her efforts. The meeting was adjourned.
The next Public Interviews will be held in two (2) weeks on Monday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. There are two (2) interviews scheduled so far for that time.
Tuesday, January 13, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Public Interviews for Township Supervisor
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors
Monday, January 12, 1998
On Monday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. a special meeting was called by the Board of Supervisors for the purpose of interviewing potential candidates to fill the vacancy on the Board caused by the resignation of Robin Kohn. Post cards were mailed to every household in the township by Irene Ewald, the senior member of the board of supervisors, recently re-elected to a six (6) year term.
The meeting was called to order. In attendance were Mrs. Ewald and over 30 residents. John Sauser, board chairman did not attend. Gia Farra, who was recently appointed as the Vacancy Board representative, who previously agreed to attend, also did not attend.
A resident expressed concern that the absence of Gia Farra from the meeting was an indication that Mr. Sauser's nomination of Bob Wert at the last township meeting was likely to be seconded by her. There was some discussion, and another resident suggested that all concerned residents contact Mrs. Farra and voice their opinions and give suggestions of candidates, thereby giving her an opportunity to make her decision based on the public's input.
Mrs. Ewald explained that the two (2) remaining supervisors had 30 days to make a decision as to who would fill the vacant seat. In the event that an agreement could not be reached, the Vacancy Board representative would then have 15 days to either agree with one supervisor or find an independent party which one of the remaining supervisors would then agree to. Either way, there would have to be a majority vote with the Vacancy Board representative having the third vote. In the event that a decision is not made in 45 days, it then becomes a matter for the Court of Common Pleas to decide. Whoever is appointed will serve until the next Municipal election which will be in 1999. Mrs. Ewald also explained the importance of having the public input in the process even though the decision was not a public one.
There were five (5) interviews conducted, and the same list of four (4) questions was circulated and asked of each applicant, after which each was asked to select one question from an additional list for discussion if he/she so desired. The applicants were as follows:
Rich Huey of Buckwalter Road is a four (4) year resident, formerly of Phoenixville and a graduate of Villanova with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is employed by Lockheed-Martin. He is married with no children but does plan to have a family and intends to be a long time resident of the township. He says he cares about and wants to have a part in making the decisions which affect the township. He enjoys the diversity of the different areas and would like a role in protecting the good things here. He wants to help to make things better and make an effort to preserve open space.
Louise Cantrell-Kehoe of Country Lane has been a resident for over a year, and relocated from Michigan She is a college graduate with a degree in Communications Studies and was previously employed full time She is now a stay at home mother, married with two (2) children. She was on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Michigan in a community similar in size to Charlestown which also had some of the same issues as we are facing today. She says she is civic minded, dedicated and willing to take an active part in the community. She says her family chose Charlestown because of its rural characteristics and open space. If elected supervisor she would like to preserve the beauty of the rural area. She plans to be a long term resident and has a need for a meaningful challenge and believes in giving back to the community.
Wendy McLean lives on Yellow Springs Road. A Villanova University graduate, she is a lawyer with a varied practice and also teaches land use planning. In her legal practice she has the opportunity to represent both land developers and those opposed to land development. She is married with two (2) children and teaches. She is also on the Board of the Great Valley Nature Center. She does a lot of civic work in other townships and would like to apply these same talents she is using elsewhere to the role as supervisor in this township. She feels that this is an important time in our township's history and with her background in law and environmental science, she can be helpful in getting us through this difficult period.
Steve Schlicter lives on Jamie Lane. Formerly of Manchester, Maryland, a farming community, he graduated in l978 from Drexel University and works as a financial planner. He is on the board of the International Association for Financial Planning and works with the Youth Soccer League. He has been married for ten (10) years and has two (2) children. He says as supervisor he could help to protect the land planning development balance and feels that his background in financial planning would aid him in this process. He says he is willing to make whatever time commitment is necessary to do the job.
Liz Willow lives on Sycamore Lane. A 20 year resident, she retired ten (10) years ago from the Evening Phoenix Newspaper where she was a photographer. She is a past Board Member and member of the Green Valley's Association, Board Member of the Charlestown Play School, member of the Nature Center, member of Charlestown Green, and member and Vice President of the Sycamore Lane Protective Association., She is also a cub scout mother. She is married with two (2) children. She expressed that her interest in volunteering for the supervisor seat was motivated by not wanting anyone to think that the township was lacking volunteers willing to do the job. She feels she can do the job and will make the time commitment.
When asked to identify three (3) issues of concern to residents:
Huey - Development, Township Services, Traffic.
Cantrell-Kehoe - Historical Preservation, Quarry blasting and expansion of business, Traffic management, Hunting.
McLean - Traffic Control, the completion of road improvements, Sewage treatment plant being out of capacity and an expansion project, Improving zoning in the FR District to allow for more open space as opposed to houses on larger lots.
Schlicter - Coordination of Development, Water use i.e. commercial withdrawals, making the supervisors board work well together.
Willow - More hands-on projects, roadside, parkside neighborhood cleanup projects.
For the discussion questions, the applicants chose the following topics -
Huey- a township building
Cantrell- Kehoe - the need for an auxiliary fire station
McLean - the importance of and the impact of a sustainable watershed management system
Schlicter - the importance of regional planning, but not necessarily the Landscapes 2000 plan currently offered by the county
Willow - the feasibility of an auxiliary fire station
When asked how much time each applicant thought the supervisor position would take each week, all applicants agreed that they were willing to make whatever time commitment was necessary to do the job.
In light of Mr. Kohn's admission that his resignation was due to no longer being able to handle the stress of the division of the other two board members, a resident asked how each applicant felt he/she would fare if appointed to that position.
Only two (2) applicants chose to answer -
Cantrell-Kehoe - indicated that she would not take anything personally and did not feel it would prohibit her from doing her job.
Schlicter - feels it would be a challenge, but he may be able to facilitate an end. He would like to see the chairman practice the golden rule as opposed to Roberts rules and the gavel approach.
Questions were asked of Mrs. Ewald by the applicants concerning levels of problems and conflicts of interests which may occur, and what is the policy if these should arise. A question was posed to Wendy McLean by a resident concerning possible recusal as a result of conflict of interest.
A resident was asked if the applicants had opinions on the petition which is being circulated for a referendum to increase the board from 3 people to 5 people.
Cantrell-Kehoe and Schlicter were in favor. McLean was not in favor.
A resident asked to make a statement in which he chastised John Sauser and Gia Farra for not attending the meeting stating "Mr. Sauser has insulted us again, this time with his absence." He commended Mrs. Ewald for her efforts. The meeting was adjourned.
The next Public Interviews will be held in two (2) weeks on Monday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. There are two (2) interviews scheduled so far for that time.
Tuesday, January 6, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors
Annual Reorgnization Meeting

Monday, January 5, 1998
The Annual Reorganization Meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. All members were present. The purpose of the meeting was to select the slate of officers and to appoint numerous other positions, both paid and volunteer in the Township.
The meeting was attended by more then fifty residents in light of Robin Kohn's announced resignation. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Kohn stated that he was resigning because he does not feel he has been effective in the position. He agreed to participate in the reorganization meeting as his last official act and to make the essential appointments only.
Mrs. Ewald requested that instead of electing new officers the Supervisors concentrate on selecting Mr. Kohn's replacement so the "new" board could together select the necessary positions. Mr. Sauser denied her request and proceeded with the reorganization process.
Mr. Kohn again nominated Mr. Sauser for the position of Chairman. Mrs. Ewald objected based on Mr. Sausers' unwillingness to work with other board members in the past year. The motion carried 2 to 1.
Mr. Kohn nominated Mrs. Ewald for the position of Vice Chairman and she declined the nomination and again requested the board concentrate on selecting Mr. Kohn's replacement. In light of her declination, Mr. Kohn accepted the position of Vice Chairman.
Linda Csete was re-appointed as Township Secretary / Treasurer and her salary was set for 1998 as per the 1998 budget.
Jim Thompson was re-appointed as Roadmaster and his salary was set for 1998 as per the 1998 budget.
Surender Kohli was re-appointed as Township Zoning officer / Building Inspector.
The law firm of Lamb Windle & McErlane, P.C. was nominated as Township Solicitor. Mrs. Ewald amended the motion to read that rather than the name of the firm, that James E. McErlane be appointed as Township Solicitor, and the amended motion was approved.
Emory J. Todd, Jr., CPA, was appointed as Independent Auditor.
Gia Farra was appointed to the Vacancy Board. This is the individual who decides who will succeed Mr. Kohn in the event Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald can not agree on a candidate.
Resolution 528-98 was adopted setting depositories for the Township accounts.
Resolution 529-98 was adopted providing Fire, Ambulance and Police Protection for the Township.
Appointments to the following positions were tabled until Mr. Kohn's successor is identified: Land Planner, Animal Control Officer, Fire Marshal, Planning Commission - 2 appointments, Parks & Recreation Board - 1 appointment, Valley Forge Sewer Authority - 1 appointment.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30pm.
Tuesday, January 6, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, January 5, 1998
The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at approximately 8:30pm. Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald were present. Mr. Kohn, having just resigned at the prior reorganization meeting, was not in attendance.
Michael Churchill, Democratic Committeeman and Chairman of the Planning Commission, requested the Board of Supervisors rearrange the evening's agenda and move the Citizens Forum to the beginning of the meeting since the extremely large crowd in attendance were there in light of Mr. Kohn's resignation from the board. Mr. Sauser agreed and numerous comments and questions were raised by residents.
Mrs. Ewald requested recommendations from the public for Mr. Kohn's replacement and the following were offered: Robert Wert, Stephen Schlichter, Liz Willow, Dorando Faggioli, Kevin Kuhn and Joseph O'Brien. Both Kevin Kuhn and Joseph O'Brien declined the nomination. Additional discussion ensued and Mr. Sauser tabled the issue until later in the meeting.
The minutes of the December 1st and the December 15th Board of Supervisors Meetings were approved with minor corrections.
The January 5th Accounts Payable were approved subject to review of the roadwork invoice.
The Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal, Parks & Recreation Board and Valley Forge Sewer Authority reports were all accepted with no additional comments.
At the Citizens Forum numerous residents again voiced concern over the status of the Board of Supervisors and Mr. Sauser's unwillingness to consider anyone other than Robert Wert as Mr. Kohn's successor.
Kevin Kuhn, President of The Charlestown Green, read the following prepared statement:

"In light of recent developments on the Board of Supervisors and in an effort to promote better government for all residents of the Township as well as to eliminate what appears to be constant gridlock between our Supervisors, Charlestown Green is recommending that the Board of Supervisors be increased from a three member board to a five member board.
On Sunday, January 4, the board of directors of Charlestown Green approved a motion to petition the Chester County Board of Elections to place a question on the ballot at the next municipal election asking voters to decide if they would be in favor of increasing the number of Supervisors in Charlestown Township from three to five.
Charlestown Green supports this concept and will actively encourage residents of the Township to sign the petition for a referendum."
Old Business: Robert Wert, Director of Emergency Services for the Township explained how the Emergency Services Control Center was relocated from the Charlestown Elementary School to the Great Valley High School. He further explained the benefits of the new site over the old one and assured the board that the move, made without the Supervisors approval was not intentional but an oversight with the primary concern being the welfare of township residents. Mr. Wert went on to explain that his work schedule of 70 plus hours a week and his commitments to two other charitable organizations left him little time to devote to the issues facing a Township Supervisor.
Under New Business, Signal Service Inc. was again confirmed as the contractor for maintenance of the one traffic light in the township at the intersection of Phoenixville Pike and Route 29.
The Agricultural Security District Hearing was postponed. However, Mrs. Ewald volunteered to sit on the Committee as the local government representative and requested that Janet Baldwin take the position of township resident and that she submit to the Board of Supervisors three local farmers to also sit on the committee as required by the statute. Mrs. Baldwin agreed.
Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #2 - Phase IV, #2 - Phase V, #2 - Phase II, #2 - Recreation & Fitness Center and #9 - Phase I.
The second Citizens Forum again heard numerous residents express their concern that Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald commit to working together to resolve the vacant Board position so as not to force the decision on the newly appointed Vacancy Board.
Mrs. Ewald suggested public weekly meetings at which continued discussions could be heard and asked that post cards be sent to all township residents notifying them of this. Mr. Sauser disagreed and stated that notification could be done adequately through the newspapers.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:30pm
Next meeting Monday, January 19th at 7:30pm at the Great Valley Nature Center Barn. Parking is limited near the barn so we ask those who are able to do so to park in the lower lot on Hollow Road.

Continued in Archives


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