There will be a primary election held on Tuesday, May 19th. There are four seats up for election on Conshohocken’s Borough Council, but only one contested primary. The contested primary will be between Colleen Leonard and Matthew Breidenstein (pictured left) on the Democratic Party side in Ward 7.
We sent each candidate the same questions and below is the response from Breidenstein. Leonard’s response was published earlier this evening. The responses were not edited in any way and the corresponding photo was provided by the candidate.
Ward 7 – Primary Questions
How long have you lived in Conshohocken?
I moved to Conshohocken in 2013.
If you are a newer resident, how did you land in Conshy?
I moved to Conshohocken to pursue a deep personal mission of mine, to help those who are fighting blood cancer and to support funding lifesaving blood cancer research by working with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The organizations main office was based in Conshohocken. Although the organization is no longer based in Conshohocken, I could not bring myself to leave. I am convinced that Conshohocken is the best place to call home in the area and I am running for Borough Council to preserve everything that makes Conshohocken such a great place to live.
What hobbies, activities or community organizations are you involved in?
It is an honor to be in trusted to lead the Conshohocken Plymouth Whitemarsh (CPW) Rotary Club as the club’s President and work alongside a stellar group of club members who care deeply about our community and work hard to make it better. I also sit on the Borough’s Environmental Advisory Council and the Pennsylvania’s Environmental Council’s Schuylkill River Towns Program. I am member of the Conshohocken Dog Park, Conshohocken Community Garden and the Conshohocken Running Club. As for hobbies, I love to run and compete in ultra-marathons which are foot races that are farther than a marathon or 26.2 miles.
How many public Borough of Conshohocken meetings have you attended in the past year? If you did attend, what issue or concern drove your attendance?
Too many to count. I first started to attend Environmental Advisory Council Meetings as pollution has always been a concern of mine. I started to attend Borough Council meetings to stay up to date on the proposed developments along the river.
What is the single most important issue in Ward 7?
My neighbors want to live in a clean, safe, drug free and convenient community where they have easy access in and out of the borough. The proposed “One Conshohocken” development will significantly increase traffic congestion at the worst intersection of the borough, Fayette and W. Elm. This is not just a major issue for those living in ward 7 but a major concern to everyone living in the borough.
The property involved in the proposal to place a Wawa and now an unknown convenience store with gas pumps is located within Ward 7. Do you believe that Borough Council was correct in rejecting the proposal? If you do not support that decision, what is/are your reason(s)?
I believe in well thought-out development that serves the community. Wawa’s request for the Borough to rezone that parcel of land was not the correct approach and I believe Borough Council made the right decision to reject their request. I am concerned that placing a Wawa in that location would lower property values, increase traffic congestion, and consequently hurt the small businesses that give Conshohocken its home town feel and character.
Keystone Properties is proposing to build three 200’ buildings (one hotel and two office buildings) near the corner of West Elm and Fayette. The intersection is rated a “F” due to the existing traffic. The borough owns the property where the hotel is proposed. What is your position on rezoning this area to allow for larger structures?
I do not support the rezoning simply because doing so would have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of those living in Conshohocken. The current infrastructure of the borough does not have the capacity to withstand the large increase in automobile traffic that will be a result of building large office complexes at that intersection.
Full disclosure, Matt Breidenstein is the President of the CPW Rotary, which MoreThanTheCurve.com works with to produce the Conshohocken Beer Festival. We have also sold the Rotary an advertisement the past few years.