Gerrymandering in WSSD
To the Editor:
Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board candidates for Region 2, Damon Orsetti and Bob Kelly, came to the Nether Providence Elementary School’s PTO meeting on Wednesday, October 4, to introduce themselves. Both candidates are qualified to serve on the board and are upstanding members of the community.
As an NPE parent, I’d love to see someone whose children attend my kids’ home school to serve on the school board, so I’d love to cast a vote for Mr. Orsetti on November 7th. But I can’t. I am not eligible to vote in Region 2; my home is zoned Region 1. All of Ward 7-1 of Nether Providence is zoned separately from the majority of the population who attends NPE. This split has led to a gross inequity in the school’s representation on the Board.
NPE has not had representation on the school board in nearly a decade. Mr. Kelly contended that pointing this out “pits the schools against each other.” This glosses over the inequity that has resulted from these regional lines.
I hope that Mr. Orsetti will have the chance to give NPE parents and children a voice on the school board. I also hope that the unfair practice of splitting the NPE community’s votes across multiple regions will be reconsidered and eliminated.
If we are not voting for direct representation, why bother with the regions at all? Why not cast ballots for any and all vacancies? The current structure saddles potential representatives of the NPE area with the handicap that comes with gerrymandered voting lines. I understand that the lines were drawn according to population and without intent to disenfranchise NPE-area voters, but the impact cannot be argued. We need representation, and the current region categorization splits the votes. This cannot continue.
Jessica Stillman Lloyd
‘People before politics’
To the Editor:
A few weeks ago, I received a magnet in the mail from a township commissioner candidate with the words, “People before politics.” Then I imagined what this might be like here in Delaware County.
Perhaps our county would get a health department, a health department! One that would be available to serve all of our residents. Or perhaps our county would join the rest of the counties in Pennsylvania that always have one member of the County Council from the minority party in the council. We don’t have this minority rule, and we have had one-party rule here in the county for decades, which has led to no transparency, to intimidation at the polls, and to an inefficient government that has not addressed the needs of its citizens.
Maybe if “people before politics” were enacted, we wouldn’t have the chairman of one of the Delaware County parties (also the secretary of his party in Pennsylvania, and an elector for Donald Trump) as a lawyer representing Sunoco in the battle between the Mariner East 2 Pipeline versus concerned Middletown community members. Perhaps protecting the residents from the possibility of hazardous liquids extremely close to their homes and schools, would be the priority, instead of a leader of one of the political parties going to bat for Sunoco.
In less than a month, on Tuesday, November 7, we will have the right to go to the polls and voice our opinions. And it matters. Here in Delaware County, it really matters.
Businesses support CRC
To the Editor:
Our local businesses do so much to support our community! I would love to acknowledge the Inn at Swarthmore, Swarthmore Barbershop, Harvey Oak Mercantile, The Plant Hospital, Kandy Kids, Swarthmore Flower Shop, Hobbs, Blonde Sugar & Honey, Compendium Boutique, and Poco Loco for their generous support of the Chester Ridley Crum (CRC) Watershed Association Annual Silent Auction.
Your contributions of beautiful and useful goods, as well as gift certificates, will help CRC plant more trees along our waterways and engage more people in caring for our local natural resources. Another great reason to shop local!
CRC board member