Free feel to use this space to tell readers about yourself and anything else you want to share.
I announced my candidacy early September not knowing I would be running earlier this year. While I may have been late to the race, voters should know I did it because I care deeply about Plymouth Township, where I have lived for the past 27 years. As an immigrant from Peru who came here and lived on the same street my entire life (with the exception of college and living abroad for a 2 years), I wouldn’t be where I am today without the wonderful opportunities Plymouth has given me. I went to elementary school at Epiphany of Our Lord, attended the Colonial School District and have played Baseball in the Little League. This is my home, and the last few years I’ve been very disappointed with the direction our Township has taken. I’m running to gibe back to the community which has given me so many opportunities to me.
What is the most important issue in your ward and how would you address it if elected?
The direction I speak of in the above is about a Council which seems to care more about their political donors than the residents of our community. We’ve seen this with our School Board which plays political games with the taxpayers, and more importantly and unfortunately, the children of our school district. The school board has obviously gotten much needed attention over the past year, but I would like voters to know the same is happening on the Township level as well.
The same pay-to-play politics which turned what is supposed to be a non-political position like the school board into a Jason Salus funded agenda is happening with many members of Plymouth Council, including my opponent here in Ward 2. I will not stand for ordinances such as the Responsible Contractor’s Ordinance, which eliminates the opening bidding process and favors donors. In turn, this would drive up costs for us taxpayers, which is something no one is in favor of. As I go around speaking with voters, it’s important to make voters aware that it’s not just the School Board which is being affected, but right here in our ward, in this Township. I will fight on behalf the resident’s and not large PACs or Jason Salus.
How have you funded your campaign and who are your five largest donors?
My biggest donor thus far has been the Plymouth Township Republican Committee. I have also recvieved donations from friends and family in the last week. I am proud to say I am not funded by Jason Salus unlike my opponent, or large PACs.
In 2018 Plymouth Council’s discussed the need to renovate or replace the township building. Selling the sewer system was one of the ways under consideration to fund the project. What are your thoughts on selling the sewer system to fund the renovations?
I’ve attended many Council meetings and I understand that the need for renovations is necessary. I also understand we can do this without selling our sewer system, or unnecessarily raising taxes to a degree which will hurt families. I am completely against it. It has been done in Springfield and Limerick, and their taxes skyrocketed. Don’t take my word for it, read about here: https://www.inquirer.com/philly/business/new-pennsylvania-law-private-water-sewer-acquisitions-aqua-pennsylvania-american-20180905.html?fbclid=IwAR1V-kmDEBvxhQTVHOxO6ADtQbjQHr6yLTVmqyMai7d5bEK5uvsr4OHcFQI
The Colonial School District recently underwent a bidding process for a new middle school. The bids received under its “Responsible Contractors” policy resulted in just two bids and both were over budget. After the school board waived the policy for the general contractor and rebid the project, it received double the number of bids and was able to secure a general contract at a savings of three to four million dollars. If elected, would you support reviewing the ordinance and consider repealing it?
I am completely against the Responsible Contractor’s Ordinance. We can fund our projects without having to raise taxes to such a high degree, that will ultimately hurt taxpayers. As I went canvassing this past weekend, I spoke with an elderly woman who said if her taxes increase by a lot, she will have no choice but to leave her home on Sheffield Drive, where she has lived for nearly 40 years. We need to be fiscally responsible and seek reasonable options that can address an old Township building, without having outside special interests groups benefit from our dollars. The Council members which have voted for this policy only care about one thing: Making their donors happy. An elected Democrat Supervisor in Whitpain warned of the same thing.
There is a growing concern among the public about the environmental and quality-of-life impact of the Covanta plant located in the township. Are there any alternatives that you would support in regards to how the township disposes of its trash? Since alternatives may drive up the cost of trash disposal, how would you incorporate those factors when making a decision?
As a Boy Scout, I enjoyed hiking in Valley Green and learning about the negative impacts we can have on our environment. I care deeply about the air quality of our community and will always seek ways we can improve on making Plymouth Township more Green. I believe individuals and families can make a difference on their own, simply by recycling and using the proper disposal bins. That being said, if elected to Council, my goal would be to improve our environment while also being fiscally responsible.
As many people know, The Convanta plant which has been in operation for the past 27 years recently experienced a malfunction, which caused a malodor for many residents in the area. This has caused many people to worry about potential health issues and poor quality. I believe the need for a trash disposal like Covanta is essential in keeping taxes low and delivering good services. What I will not tolerate and deem unacceptable, is that the company doesn’t take responsibility for what happened.
If elected, I will ensure that I along with my colleagues work with Covanta to ensure issues like this never happen again.
An October 2018 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a rising number of arrests for marijuana in the suburbs, especially involving African-Americans, and Plymouth Township statistics were utilized to document the trend. Representatives of the NCAAP attended a November 2018 meeting of Plymouth’s Council and offered concerns it had about the issues outlined in the Inquirer article and submitted a list of requests. What would you to address these concerns?
As an immigrant from Peru and a minority, I feel racial injustice must always be addressed. I am thankful to have grownup in a community, where personally I have never experienced discrimination. However, any request to make our community better should always been taken seriously. I commend our new Police Chief John Myrsiades for holding Townhall Meetings that address our residents’ concerns. As a Hispanic American, I hope to be elected and represent a diverse community.
Philadelphia Inquirer – https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/weed-marijuana-legalization-arrests-pennsylvania-new-jersey-african-american-20181004.html-2
Times Herald – https://www.timesherald.com/news/plymouth-faces-allegations-of-racism/article_e4baf4de-e909-11e8-828f-6b4cd74c8df2.html