Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Appreciating the small things

Appreciating the small things

To the Editor:

It was with pride that I read the recent article in the August edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine highlighting what most of us already know: Swarthmore is a wonderful place to live and a great place to retire. However, it is easy to take for granted the things that make life here so special. We have often mentioned the many volunteer groups that help add to the richness of our community, but I think it is important to also recognize the public sector personnel and governmental officials that keep this town running so well.

I’ve worked closely with the Borough Manager and the borough office staff for many years and know first-hand how responsive they are to issues that are brought to them by residents. Obviously, keeping everyone happy is never possible, but they are always willing to listen and try to address issues affecting the community.

Borough Council and its many committees and commissions work tirelessly in discussing and deliberating the numerous community issues that are brought to them. The recent concern over parking in the downtown is only one example. Council members have spent hours in committee and council meetings, along with discussions with the police, trying to come up with reasonable solutions to the various parking concerns. This is how they deal with so many of the issues that are bought to their attention. They are deliberative and thoughtful in reaching decisions and respectful of resident concerns.

Swarthmore’s police department is a model of efficient and effective law enforcement. Our officers consistently prove themselves both capable and sensitive in dealing with many difficult situations. In working closely with Chief Ray Stuflett, I find him forward-thinking and always open to discussing suggestions in dealing with the job of policing in Swarthmore.  

We have an outstanding public works crew that goes out of their way to keep Swarthmore functioning on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s watering planters in our downtown, clearing clogged sewers, coming in during the middle of the night to keep our streets plowed, caring for our public parks, picking up leaves or delivering mulch, it would be hard to find a community so well served by their public works department.

Without overlooking the hundreds of other volunteer workers and leaders who also make incalculable contributions to the quality of life in our town, I just want to thank these folks for the jobs they do and for helping to make Swarthmore worthy of recognition.

You can read the Kiplinger’s article in the magazine at the library or by logging on to the Swarthmore Town Center website at If you have trouble finding it, just email me at and I can send you the link.

Marty Spiegel, Mayor

Take responsibility; take action

Tree City, eh?

Tree City, eh?