This past weekend it was a who’s who as political candidates stormed the area to ask residents for their support.
The Democrats Day of Action, Saturday, Oct. 22.
Before the Democratic candidates had a chance to storm Haverford Township’s streets in an effort to gain votes, they gathered at the front steps of the township building to make speeches to rally their troops at 9 a.m.
But before they gave fiery speeches of a need for change in the area, Judith LaLonde, the director of the Haverford Township Democratic Party, explained to the Haverford-Havertown Patch what the Day of Action was about.
The Day of Action was coordinated by the state’s Democratic Party to bring awareness of the importance of the elections and the ability for voters to voice their opinions by voting, she said.
Darin Hayton, the 5th Ward candidate who is competing with incumbent Jeff Heilmann, said one of his messages that he planned on spreading when he and his fellow Democratic colleagues were going door to door on Saturday was to improve communications between the township and the residents.
Hayton said the township’s website was outdated and not user friendly, adding that the site should also include ward-specific pages that would have information for that section of Haverford Township.
In addition, ward commissioners should have multiple channels available for residents to be able to reach them and that elected officials should invite the people to speak to them about various topics, Hayton said.
“Communication is not what is said but what is heard,” Hayton said, who is also a history professor at Haverford College.
While gathered at the steps of the township building and speaking to about 20 people in attendance, many those seeking the seats of township, county and state positions gave passionate speeches of the changes they want to make and why they should be elected.
“When you continue to elect your local officials from the same pool of political cronies, it creates this culture of a lack of accountability. And we really have an example of that in Haverford Township and Delaware County. If you heard me speak, you heard me say that we’ve had three district judges since 2009 arrested here in Delaware County and also you heard me talk about the fact of how the township is being sued for $6 million for a civil right violations for a suit that never should have made it to district court,” Lozano said, speaking about the lawsuit filed by Janet Watson, who is currently suing the township and the police department for alleged police abuse.
Recently, attorney Ken Sexton representing Watson informed the Patch that there were no new developments in the case.
“The consequences of not having accountability in our court rooms and in our local officials, the consequences are severe for Haverford Township,” Lozano continued.
After the speeches were made, Tom Shiffer, the 1st ward commissioner candidate, said he was more hopeful of winning this election than he was back in May during the primaries, when he stated to Patch that he, “It’s an off year election and Democrats historically do not participate. I wish there was some way to excite them, but residents seem not to know or care.”
But five months later, Shiffer is a bit more optimistic, who is facing incumbent Steve D’Emilio.
“I’m hoping that today with everybody getting out and knocking on doors and getting the information out on all the candidates that will change. From what I’m hearing and from what I’m seeing, I think our changes will improve greatly,” he said.
During his speech and speaking with Patch afterwards, 7th Ward Commissioner candidate Larry Chrzan stressed that commissioners should not be taking campaign contributions from people who do business with the township.
When asked why he does not have the expense reports for fellow Democrats on his blog, Chrzan stated that it is a lot of money just to get the records from county courthouse for Republicans alone and that he has invited his colleagues to post their reports on his blog, which they have not done so far.
Some of the township candidates who attended were:
McGarrity’s Fundrasier, Sunday, Oct. 23
Come Sunday at the American Legion at 2200 Grasslyn Ave. the Republicans came out to show their support for James McGarrity.
At a beef and beer fundraiser for McGarrity, at one point nearly 100 people, from residents to local and county politicians, to offer their support for the incumbent 7th ward commissioner.
McGarrity told Patch at 2 p.m. that while the proceeds will be going to his campaign, the fundraiser was two-fold, where it highlighted the other Republican candidates, such as Jane Hall, who is running against Democratic opponent Jeff Miller for the soon-to-be empty 3rd ward seat once Robert Trumbull steps down.
One of McGarrity’s supporters, Melody Masciantonio, whose husband Rob is a committeeman for the commissioner, said that she is supporting the incumbent because “He’s been good to us and we want to show our support.” And that was the general statement many said about McGarrity.
Once the band and DJ took a break, McGarrity gave a fiery speech that was sprinkled with a few jokes.
“You people have given me the inspiration to go out there and do what I got to do and that’s to beat this clown down the street,” McGarrity told the crowd, referring to his opponent Chrzan.
McGarrity told the crowd that the only person he would fear in a race would be his own wife, Fran, because she would get more votes than him, which Heilman, who was in attendance, said he would vote for her over McGarrity.
While Hall was not there at the time of the speech, McGarrity was praising her and urging people to vote for her, at which time Burke came up to the 7th ward commissioner and planted a kiss on his cheek.
But at one point Burke was handed the microphone.
“We have a good team here and we’re working hard and getting the job down,” he said, as he thanked the crowd’s support.