Kevin McMonagle is the Republican Party candidate to represent Ward 5 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.
Hi, my name is Kevin McMonagle and I’m running for Borough Council in the 5th ward. I’m married to my wife Julie of 5 years and have two kids Jack (2) and Marty (6m). I’m a CPA with extensive finance and accounting experience in large companies such as eBay and Merck. I’ve participated in many process improvement initiatives during my career and believe I could use that experience to help the borough. My wife and I want to raise our children here and one of the main reasons I chose to run was to make Conshohocken an ideal place to raise a family.
In September 2015 Borough Council sent its solicitor to endorse a development project before the Zoning Hearing Board. Do you think that action hindered the Zoning Hearing Board’s independence? If not, under what conditions would you support taking similar action in the future?
It depends on the circumstances of why he was sent. There aren’t always clear cut conditions or rules that can be implemented for items like this, so I believe it’s best to take it on a case by case basis. I’m not sure how common these actions have occurred in the past and what the thinking was by council. Furthermore I do not think that action hindered the Zoning Board’s independence, part of the reason they are appointed are be outspoken by providing an independent judgement on the zoning topic at hand. Once elected I would like to evaluate the whole process to determine what the most effective and efficient process should be.
What is the biggest misconception about Conshohocken?
I believe the biggest misconception about Conshohocken is that it’s turning into a “renter’s” town. There is still a great small town vibe in the borough which is underappreciated. A key to keeping it that way is in finding ways to encourage renters to become home buyers in Conshohocken. In addition another common misconception is that there aren’t enough young families in the Borough. From what I’ve learned as a parishioner at St. Matt’s is that the number of baptisms have been growing at a very high rate over the last few years, which I think is a positive sign.
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?
I’m very committed to remaining a resident of Conshohocken and my ward. My wife and I purchased a home a few years back with the intent of raising our kids in this house. In addition my family has ties to Conshohocken dating back to the late 1800’s, and my grandparents were married at St. Matt’s in 1946. This is source of pride for my family and we’re excited to remain residents of Conshohocken for the rest of our lives.
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?
My understanding is that there were two proposals submitted and one was accepted by Council. I haven’t been privy to a full disclosure of all the information that went into that decision so I don’t want to comment until I have a full understanding of the facts. However what I will say is that there should be a diligent process for items like this were multiple bids are analyzed and reviewed in an effort to make the best decision possible.
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?
I believe Conshohocken is a “unique town” unlike any other in Montgomery County, and has a lot to offer. Residents have easy access to rail, highways, trails, restaurants, and shopping. It’s also home to a vibrant business community and maintains a good balance of transplant and life-long residents.
Council members usually have one area of local government they are especially passionate about. What do you see as the one issue you will be most passionate?
Parks and Recreation is the one area I’m most passionate about. By paying close attention to the needs of our Parks and Rec department we are able to provide services to the residents that they want and enjoy. This in turn becomes one of the main attractions to current and future residents.