Save the date — Home for the Holidays
To the Editor:
As has been a Swarthmore tradition for years, Home for the Holidays will again take place on the first Saturday, December 2. The events and festivities are being expanded this year.
This year will feature the inaugural Santa 5K Run/Walk through the streets of Swarthmore on the morning of December 2, at 8:45 a.m. (registration at 7:45 a.m.). Come dressed as Jolly Old St. Nick, his reindeer, or elves! All pre-registered runners will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt to commemorate their participation.
Starting at 2:30 p.m., a multitude of activities for the whole family kick off Home for the Holidays. There will be a food court in the amphitheater, children’s activities at various merchants throughout town, the ever popular scavenger hunt, a Swukestra performance, and even Olaf from Frozen will be walking through town handing out treats to the children. Horse-drawn carriage rides will run from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.
To promote an inclusive atmosphere to celebrate with all of our neighbors, there will be events such as learning the dreidel game, a West African dance circle, and Kwanzaa celebration, among other events. And of course, Santa arrives at 6:45 p.m.
We need volunteers for the day’s events, morning and afternoon. A lot is planned — we will be able to offer a truly fun filled day if we can get enough folks to help for an hour or two.
Details on how to sign up for the Santa Run, carriage rides, and to volunteer are available through the Swarthmore Town Center website, posters in merchant windows and instructions in the Swarthmorean.
So c’mon out and run a bit in the morning to get ready for a memorable day and evening, celebrating the holidays with all of your neighbors.
Swarthmore Town Center, Board Member
Support Soccer for Success
To the Editor:
This fall I am collecting new and gently used soccer equipment for the William Trippley Foundation.
Will Trippley was a promising young soccer player who played soccer at The Shipley School and in college .While home visiting his mother in Chester, Will was accidentally killed by stray gunfire. Will’s mother, Patricia Trippley, and some of Will’s friends started The William Trippley Youth Development Foundation in his honor.
The Foundation sponsors an annual free camp for approximately 150 youth and also provides a soccer program known as Chester City United. Recently, Chester City United collaborated with Soccer For Success to form Chester-Upland Youth Soccer.
The Foundation is in need of soccer gear (cleats, shin guards, socks and shorts, but no balls). All donations will be used to provide young people in the program with the equipment they need to play soccer.
The Foundation is also appreciative of any monetary donations (checks should be made payable to WTYDF). More information is available about the Foundation at www.wtydf.com. If you have equipment you’d like to donate, please leave your gear on my porch from now until November 15.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, please put any checks in my mailbox. My address is: 116 Cornell Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081.
Thank you for your help and support.
SHHS Class of 2021
Agents of change?
To the Editor:
As we close in on November 7’s election, it was heart-warming for this voter to attend the October 25 candidate forum at Trinity Episcopal Church, hosted by Indivisible Swarthmore: Moving the Needle, and learn about local issues from well-spoken, well-informed candidates for office. The room was full of area residents who had thoughtful questions, which candidates eagerly answered.
Delaware County Council candidates Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden argued that a decades-long Republican monopoly on county governance has led to higher taxes and a “pay-to-play” culture of government contracts. Breaking down effective tax rates as a combination of county millage rate and taxable property value, Zidek and Madden outlined how—under even the most conservative estimates—a Delco resident pays 52% higher county property taxes than a Montco resident living in a home with the identical market value.
Zidek and Madden stated that their priorities include increasing transparency of government operations, ensuring environmental safety of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, and directing financial investment in Chester to support local economic development by and for its residents. Taking advantage of existing state resources to minimize costs, they also hope to expand county services to include a public health department that would coordinate more effective interagency responses to challenges such as the worsening opioid crisis.
Kelly Eckel, candidate for the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, described her legal experience in neutral arbitration among her qualifications for a judicial position requiring impartial decision-making. She questioned her opponent’s ability to be similarly unbiased, given his long history of holding political office in the Republican Party.
Mary Walk and Joanne Phillips, candidates for Register of Wills and Controller respectively, explained the roles of their positions in managing documents essential for citizens’ daily lives and supervising financial affairs. Both experienced lawyers, they pledged their commitment to fair, accurate, and transparent service.
Candidate for Sheriff Jerry Sanders joined the other candidates in a passionate defense of women’s rights. Highlighting personal and professional experiences with promoting equality and women’s issues, Sanders spoke to the necessity of reaching out to all voters to ensure representation of diverse voices.
In addition to discussing county-level issues, the candidates urged a “no” vote on the statewide ballot question, which proposes a reduction in property taxes (currently used to fund education and emergency services) that is projected to lead to future increases in sales and income taxes.
Delaware County lags behind Montgomery and Chester counties in key indicators of child welfare, with much higher rates of children in poverty, teen births, and school absenteeism due to illness. Montco and Chesco have county health departments that receive state grants under Act 315 to improve local health. Delco, without a health department, doesn’t qualify. Our children deserve better. Vote Democratic on November 7.
Vote ‘no’ on referendum
To the Editor:
Before you vote November 7 go to vote411.org for the League of Women Voters nonpartisan voters’ guide to who and what will be on the ballot where you vote.
The “what” is a referendum on a proposed amendment to the PA constitution to end the universally hated property tax. It would authorize the PA legislature to enact legislation allowing local taxing authorities, like school districts, to exempt from taxation 100 percent of the assessed value of a property owner’s primary residence. Too good to be true? Yes.
If adopted, school districts could still raise taxes to retire existing debt, and local action is optional unless the legislature makes it mandatory on all school districts nationwide. More important, what will replace the income needed to operate public schools?
Our tax-averse state legislature cannot even agree on a plan to raise the recurring income needed to fund existing expenses — and with good reason. The state and local options are limited to sources like the flat income tax, the head tax, and the sales tax which, along with exemptions for pensions and Social Security, already make PA’s tax system one of the most regressive in the country.
Google the PA Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) to learn why eliminating the property tax would make the system even more regressive. Alternatively, PBPC’s Fair Share Tax Plan, by dividing the Personal Income Tax into a tax on wages and interest and a tax on wealth, would make the system more equitable, bringing in billions of new revenue while lowering taxes for many, without unduly burdening the wealthy.