Dr. Gary Ledebur joins UMASD Forward Team

The Upper Merion Area Democratic Committee announced today that Rosemont College professor Dr. Gary Ledebur has joined the UMASD Forward team and is running for School Board in Region 3. Dr. Ledebur replaces Dr. David Karen who has served on the school board since 1999, and withdrew from the race earlier this month.”After initially agreeing to run for a fifth term, I reevaluated my decision this Spring and Summer” Karen said. “I feel after 16 years, it’s time for me to retire and I am confident that Dr. Ledebur will make an excellent school board director.” Ledebur said “I am honored to run for David’s seat and look forward to the fall campaign. I have a lot to offer the Upper Merion Area School District and as I have talked with voters, they are encouraged  by my campaign and are eager to help out.” Upper Merion Area Democratic Committee chairman Tom Kohler added, “To lose a board member with such a background as David’s is tough, but to have the opportunity to replace him on the ballot with someone equally as qualified is exciting. It goes to the depth of quality individuals the Democratic Party has in this community and we are thrilled that Gary is willing to serve. Across our entire ticket, both locally and county wide, we have the most qualified ticket in every race. We pride ourselves on the high level of candidates we elect to our local and county government.” Dr. Ledebur will be running in Region 3, which consists of the following precincts: Gulph 1 &2, King 1 & 2, and Roberts. He is running with Robyn Briggs who is the...

UPPER MERION AREA DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE ENDORSES CANDIDATES FOR 2015 RACES

UPPER MERION AREA DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE ENDORSES CANDIDATES FOR 2015 RACES The majority party in Upper Merion, Bridgeport, West Conshohocken offers highly qualified and diverse ticket Upper Merion Township, PA—The Upper Merion Area Democratic Committee is pleased to announce its 2015 slate of endorsed candidates for various municipal government races. The slate represents one of the most qualified and diverse tickets ever assembled for the majority party in Upper Merion, Bridgeport and West Conshohocken. “We have a very strong team at the county level with our Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh leading the ticket, along with highly qualified row office and judicial candidates,” said UMADC Chairman Tom Kohler. “Our county party has challenged local Democratic committees to field candidates of the same caliber, and I am extremely proud that the Upper Merion Area Democrats have risen to that challenge with a great mix of experienced leadership and fresh perspective that will lead our communities forward.” The UMADC ticket is led by the Democratic duo of Bill Jenaway and Greg Waks, who are each seeking a second term as Upper Merion Township Supervisors. Under their leadership, Upper Merion Township has followed the county commissioners’ example of fiscal responsibility and reinvestment. The all-Democratic Board of Supervisors has both consistently opposed income taxes suggested by their Republican predecessors and worked to prevent property tax increases. While holding the line on taxes, the Board has been able to invest in the future by combining township resources and working with state-elected officials to secure funding for a major expansion to the township’s trail network. Additionally, the long-awaited Community Center opposed by previous Republican boards...

Debunking UM Fox News (AKA “UM Revealed”) – 3.21.15

So it’s been a while, but the secret motivation behind Upper Merion Fox News (AKA “Upper Merion Revealed”) is back, anonymously attacking the Democratic Upper Merion Supervisors. Now the fig leaf for the local Republican Party is claiming that an organization which was created when the Board of Supervisors was majority Republican is ruining Upper Merion. The UM Republican Party (aka “UM Fox News” aka “Upper Merion Revealed”) claims that a copy of the King of Prussia Business Improvement District Report was “sent in from a resident” claiming that the “KOP District has influence over the leadership of the township.“  The KOP District was created to re-position King of Prussia as a premiere location for business in the Philadelphia region. Given that over 55% of the tax base is commercial, the future of Upper Merion is dependent on remaining a commercial hub. The work done in the district’s first five years has included creating the successful Beerfest Royale, the beautification of the 202 median, and advocating for mass transit alternatives such as theConnector and promoting the long desired extension of rail service to King of Prussia. (Rail service has been proposed to serve King of Prussia as far back as the township’s 1985 comprehensive plan). Many of the projects that have been promoted by the KOP District were championed by Upper Merion Republicans for years, until they lost power and became desperate to regain it.  Now the KOP BID is being used by them as a wedge issue in a desperate attempt to become relevant to voters. They did this in the 2013 election campaign as well, though ironically it...

Democrats Jenaway and Waks Announce Re-Election Bid

Incumbent Upper Merion Township Supervisors Bill Jenaway and Greg Waks are pleased to announce that they will be seeking re-election to the Board of Supervisors. Upper Merion has progressed phenomenally over the past few years. What was a struggling local economy is now unquestionably one of the most vibrant in our commonwealth. The unemployment rate in the township hovers around 3%, we have maintained our AAA bond rating, and we have not raised taxes. We have also eliminated the costly mistakes of the past by substantially reducing the amount of litigation against the township, including the all important settlement of the decades old golf course case. The ongoing restructuring of office space will prevent the need to expand the township building, which will save millions of taxpayer dollars. We have made major infrastructure investments, including a new community and senior center and construction of a trail linking Heuser Park to Valley Forge National Park. We have passed ordinances that protect our residents from unwanted commercial solicitors, excessive noise and discrimination. Additionally, for the first time in years there is a healthy and productive relationship with the school district and the unique Board of Community Assistance Scholarship Program has helped make college more affordable for dozens of deserving local students. By revamping our archaic zoning codes and working with redevelopers, the long desired construction of senior housing can come to fruition, and what was an antiquated business park will soon see new life. Public safety and traffic mitigation issues have taken precedence like never before. Equally as important, the culture of the Board of Supervisors is vastly improved. Both the...

Debunking UM Fox News (aka “UM Revealed”) – 8.10.14

The hypocrisy from “Upper Merion Revealed” is now in full force. If you haven’t heard of this page, its the new right wing propaganda arm of the Upper Merion Republican/Tea Party. A few nights ago, they thoughtfully promoted the King of Prussia Business Improvement District’s annual event known as KOP BeerFest.         However as they continue to praise the business community in an attempt to appear business friendly, “UM Revealed” works to undermine their efforts to transform the commercial base in our township. Just days ago they bashed a commercial proposal that would benefit the BID and its vision for King of Prussia. To claim that “developers are following ‘marching orders’ to build so close to the road” (have you seen how close Sullivan’s and Plaza Azteca are to the road – both built long before this board was constructed) is utterly laughable and grossly misleading. So the propaganda machine slams the business community for trying to change the sprawl approach to development that has existed for 50 years (under exclusive Republican rule) but then suggest you attend their event and support the changes to the sprawl approach to development that has existed for 50 years (under exclusive Republican rule). It must be that they change their tune depending on what they want certain groups to hear.  They want residents to think the UM GOP/TP abhor development, but want the business community to think they don’t hate it so they can save face at the BID’s various networking events. After decades of costing taxpayers millions in wasteful litigation, neglecting our zoning code that would allow unchecked development, and publicly advocating an income tax, the UM...

Debunking UM Fox News (aka “UM Revealed”) – 8.7.14

This was posted on the new “Upper Merion Revealed” GOP/Tea Party puppet site: The Supervisors have very little control over what happens at the Village at Valley Forge because of the lawsuit settlement that was worked out by Greg Waks and Realen Properties, the master developer of that site. However, development in OTHER areas of the township are subject to current zoning and the usual reviews and approval. In speaking with Mr. Vinas and his team, this is what the Supervisors indicated that they had in mind for that area, so that’s what they have planned. Be aware that the re-zoning being done currently may have a lot of this type of development allowed. Vote on it is planned for September. The first part of the first sentence is true.  The Supervisors have very little control over the golf course.  However it is because of a state supreme court settlement from over ten years ago when the BoS was all Republican. After wasting millions of dollars in litigation, the township was deemed to have acted against the law in preventing the zoning of the golf course.  The settlement referred to by this post between Realen and the township actually SAVED taxpayers from paying civil damages to the property owners that resulted from the lengthy litigation under the failed Republican leadership of the 1990’s. Further more, the township cannot and does not dictate to developers to build or not build. The free market decides where things get built.  So the influx in development that we have seen is not because the Supervisors chose for it to happen, but rather its because our...