This website is maintained by Worcester residents who are concerned about our community and its future.
Its purpose is to inform all Worcester residents about matters of interest and concern.
At a special meeting on March 30, Worcester's Supervisors accepted Jim Garrity's resignation as Township Solicotor, a position he has
held since 1990. He was replaced by Robert Brant, who has served as the attorney for Worcester's Zoning Hearing Board since 1989. (That
position will now be given to someone else.) No reasons were given for this change, although Township Manager Tommy Ryan was quoted in
the Times Herald as remarking that the "very high" legal bills for the Township were $250,000 over the last 12 months.
As we have noted previously, a substantial percentage of Worcester's legal bills is due to Jim Mollick, who apparently continues to believe that every action taken or not taken by the Township's staff and elected officials is another opportunity to waste taxpayer dollars by initiating another lawsuit. Whether a different solicitor can handle these actions at lower cost, or can change the relationship beteween Jim Mollick and Worcester, remains to be seen. Presumably, that effort is at the top of the township's to-do list for the new solicitor and we wish Mr. Brant the best of luck in that endeavor!
As required by state law, Worcester held its annual reorganization meeting on Monday, January 4. What is usually a routine affair this year resulted in a complete reshuffling of the roles of our three supervisors. Newly re-elected Supervisor Susan Caughlan is now Chair, Steve Quigley is Vice-Chair, and Art Bustard is a Member – thereby ending Mr. Bustard's long service as Chair.
Why the change? Nobody knows for sure. Based on her consistently thorough knowledge of the facts about issues before the Board, Ms. Caughlan has certainly earned this position. But, the turnover may be more a result of the tumultuous 2015 endured by the entire Board. There was a contested conditional use hearing regarding the development of Center Square Golf Club, which the board rejected based on what it concluded was a thinly disguised attempt to justify a very high density residential development by defining the development as a "life care" community. The protracted and contentious conditional use and legal battle over installation of lighted fields at Methacton High School ended in 2015. There was ongoing resentment about the sewer installation project in the Hickory Hills subdivision, with some residents complaining about every aspect of this project and insisting that the system should be paid for by the Township out of its taxpayer-supported general fund. Some residents refuse to accept the fact that this was not going to happen. As is commonly the case in communities around us, sewer systems in Worcester are paid for by fees from users of the systems, not by general tax revenues.
2015 also saw the ugliest election for a seat on our Board of Supervisors in Worcester's history. Republican Committeeman Jim Mollick ran a nasty and negative primary campaign against Susan Caughlan in May. When he lost, he ran an equally offensive write-in campaign for himself in the general election – an action which was totally inconsistent with his position as a Worcester Republican Committeeman. (A basic responsibility of committeepersons is to support the election of their party's candidates.)
Finally, 2015 saw the continuation of Jim Mollick's ongoing assaults on nearly every action taken or not taken by the Board of Supervisors, leading to increasingly confrontational election-year public meetings and endless legal challenges requiring the expenditure of many tens of thousands of dollars of OUR tax dollars in legal fees.
So, perhaps we need to do nothing more than look back at 2015 to understand the change in Township leadership. We are sure that 2016 will continue to bring new challenges. We wish the very best for each of our supervisors, and we ask EVERYONE to renounce in 2016 the ugly and destructive behavior that dominated 2015.
The Worcester Supervisor race was between incumbent Susan Caughlan, who won the spring primary election as the endorsed Republican candidate against
Jim Mollick, who ran what must certainly have been the nastiest campaign in Worcester's history.
Caughlan also won a spot on the Democratic ballot as a result of her successful primary election write-in campaign. (Democrats did not field a candidate
It is worth noting that the Democratic party included Caughlan's name on their yellow voting sheet, although they did
not HAVE to do that.
Caughlan won with 1679 votes, about 79% of all votes cast. (See THIS LINK.)
As a Republican Committeeperson, it was Mollick's job (and the job of all Committeepersons) to support Republican candidates in the general election. Instead he mounted a last-minute write-in campaign for himself, announced in a campaign mailer as ugly as his literature during the primary campaign, and in an October 30 email to his supporters. Obviously, not all of the recipients of this email were his supporters because two readers sent us copies.
"From: jim mollick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Jim Mollick <email@example.com>
Sent: Fri, Oct 30, 2015 8:57 am
Subject: Jim Mollick Write In Campaign for Supervisor November 3
I am announcing my Write-In Campaign for Worcester Supervisor. I have kept this a secret until now so that my opponent would be caught off guard and have very little time to react and to get organized. Hopefully I have put all of her supporters to sleep and I can rally you guys to come out to vote for me and we can pull it off.
Since I am not on the Ballot, you will have to write me in. It will take a little more time and effort but certainly better than having to hold your nose and casting your vote for Susan Caughlan..."
Clearly, the Caughlan campaign was not caught off guard and her supporters were definitely not sleeping on election day. Mollick lost even at his own polling place, where he beat Caughlan in the spring primary election.
We appreciate the fact that our system of government allows individuals to mount write-in campaigns for elected office when they have been ignored or turned down by the political establishment. Committeepersons can seek their party's endorsement for ballot spots in primary elections, and they can run in the primary election if they do not get that endorsement. (In the Worcester Republican Committee's endorsement process for Supervisor early this year, Mollick received only his own vote.) However, party committeepersons forgo this right when they lose a primary election. At that point, supporting party candidates in the general election is the essential part of the job description and any committeeperson who doesn't want to do that job should resign. We now wonder what the Republican Party will do about a committeeman who refused to do the job he was elected to do.