Karen Tutino is the Democratic Party candidate to represent Ward 1 on Conshohocken’s Borough Council. The same questions were asked of all candidates, however, they were slighting altered for the lone incumbent (Karen Tutino in Ward 1). All answers are as provided and unedited by MoreThanTheCurve.com.
Describe your background and why you chose to run.
My husband and I have lived in Conshohocken for 15 years. We are raising our son, Dominick Jr., here and want Conshohocken to be the kind of community where families will want to come to raise children, while also having access to first-class amenities and recreation. During my short time on Council, I have focused on priorities that put Conshohocken First – holding developers accountable, improving our recreational facilities, investing in infrastructure and keeping our taxes low. I want to continue pursuing these goals during my next term on Council.
In September 2015 Borough Council sent its solicitor to endorse a development project before the Zoning Hearing Board. Do you support this action? If so, why was it necessary? If not, why did you not support it?
It is exceptionally rare that Council sends an attorney to the Zoning Board to advocate in favor of a proposal. In this case, the borough was advised that this was part of an effort to attract a global tenant to Conshohocken. I see it as unlikely that this set of circumstances will occur any time soon.
What is the biggest misconception about Conshohocken?
I am not aware of misconceptions about Conshohocken. This is a great community with a rich history and promising future and I want to continue doing my part to ensure that we stay on course to make positive change that will result in Conshohocken continuing to be a desirable place to live, work, play and raise a family.
Since 2010, three members of Borough Council have resigned before finishing a single term. How committed are you to remain a resident of Conshohocken and your ward specifically?
Not only have my husband and I lived in Conshohocken for 15 years, but we initially lived on West 10th. When we needed more space we built a new home on Maple Street. We’re staying put.
The redevelopment of the publicly owned property at West Elm and Fayette hasn’t moved forward since a developer was selected in 2013. What are your thoughts on the process that led to the selection of the developer?
Inasmuch as I was not a member of Council at that time, I am not in a position to pass judgment on the process. However, I do applaud partnering with the County’s Redevelopment Authority – I think whenever there is opportunity, and it makes sense, for different levels of government to cooperate, then we should pursue those kinds of partnerships.
The outgoing president of Borough Council referred to Conshohocken as “semi-urban” in a 2014 interview with a tech blog. Do you think that is an accurate description or at least where Conshohocken is heading? If you do not feel it is an accurate description, what term would you use to describe Conshohocken?
Conshohocken is one community. The only label I would use is “great.”
Council members usually have one area of local government they are especially passionate about. What has been the one issue you have been be most passionate about?
I am passionate about quality of life issues, my focus has been on pursuing a “Conshohocken First” agenda – whether it’s repairing our roads, improving our recreational options or keeping taxes in check.