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Just two years into his retirement, Tom Shiffer is seeking a new job.
Shiffer, 73, is running for Haverford Township’s 1st Ward Commissioner on the Democratic ticket. His opponent in the race is Republican incumbent commissioner Steve D’Emilio.
Shiffer said people should vote for him because he’s honest.
“I’m honest and fair and would give the same service to all the residents of Ward 1,” Shiffer said.
A pension administrator for 46 years, Shiffer has lived on Annabella Avenue in Haverford Township since 1973, when he moved there from Newark, New Jersey, for a new job with the now-defunct Providence Mutual in Philadelphia.
During his career, Shiffer also worked for Prudential Insurance Co. in Newark, at the start of his career, and after Providence Mutual, he worked for four small consulting firms in the Philadelphia area before retiring in 2009.
The husband and a father of two adult sons keeps busy as a volunteer: cooking for fundraisers at Trinity Lutheran Church in Havertown, and working for the pet adoption league PALS (Pet Adoption & Lifecare Society), where he helps PALS find new homes for stray and abandoned cats and kittens.
Shiffer said he and his wife Ann also volunteer for the Life Center of Delaware County, collecting food and drink donations from Starbucks and Chipolte Mexican Grill in Wayne, and then delivering the donations to the homeless shelter in Upper Darby, which serves dinner to 170-175 homeless and needy Delaware County people each night. Any extra donations go to the Salvation Army, Shiffer said.
Shiffer said he has never held an elected position before but he decided to run for 1st Ward Commissioner because “We wanted to give the Democrats a visible presence. I think it would be helpful to the people of Haverford Township.”
“Everything has been controlled by one party,” at the township and county levels, Shiffer said, referring to the Republican party.
“We’re just starting to get a two-sided presence of political ideas and hopefully, we’ll get along better than the national parties,” Shiffer said.
For Ward 1 residents, Shiffer said he thinks traffic is an issue of concern.
“Traffic is horrible in this area,” Shiffer said. “The Blue Route has been wonderful for travelers but it’s horrible for people getting around.”
A new concern related to the traffic problem will be the YMCA that is being built in Havertown at Eagle Road and Lansdowne Avenue, Shiffer said.
Shiffer said if he was elected, he would sit down with traffic experts to discuss how to address the traffic problems. He said the community also needs a township plan and that plan should include how to deal with traffic.
Shiffer said he could think of no other issues of concern to Ward 1 residents.
“The services in the township are really very good,” Shiffer said.