Worcester, Pennsylvania, Politics Online

Policy Statement

      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.
      We encourage and support efforts by our Supervisors and other groups and individuals to control development in our Township in a way that protects its rural heritage. For those of us who live here, Worcester is an island of tranquility and open spaces surrounded by a sea of traffic-congested development, both residential and commercial. Some commercial and residential developers, most of whom are not Worcester residents, see our home as a place to be exploited, not as a place to be preserved. A very small but very vocal minority of residents would like Worcester to look just like the other heavily developed communities that surround it. These groups favor eliminating Township funding for the preservation of open space and expanding municipal "services" that are not needed or wanted by the vast majority of Township residents. These groups also favor changing zoning ordinances in ways that will quickly cause Worcester to lose the qualities that differentiate it from the communities surrounding us on all sides.
      We disagree with these individuals. Worcester is different from other communities and we are committed to keeping it that way. Toward this end, we favor Township efforts to limit development while at the same time encouraging appropriate commercial activity in our existing village areas. We want the Township to enforce zoning ordinances that protect the open and peaceful character of our residential areas. We encourage the Township to work proactively with groups and individuals dedicated to preserving our open spaces and we support the use of public funds toward this end whenever appropriate. We support a small and efficient local government that limits our local property taxes (only a few tens of dollars per years for Worcester households, rather than the several hundreds of dollars more typical of other communities in Montgomery County) by limiting the services we ask our government to provide.
      We believe these are widely held non-partisan positions for our community and the role of local government. We endorse or oppose candidates for elected office based not on their party, but on their actions and their demonstrated abilities to represent the interests of the vast majority of Worcester residents. We are not affiliated with or supported by any group or organization in Worcester, nor are the contents of this website controlled by any group or organization.
      Questions and comments can be sent to webmaster@worcesterpapolitics.org. Comments will be posted entirely at our discretion. Posted comments will appear in their entirety, without editing unless noted otherwise. Comments can be posted anonymously, if you wish. We will never reveal any personal or contact information unless you specifically authorize us to do so. The reason for this policy is that, unfortunately, some members of our community regularly resort to harassment and intimidation of residents with whom they disagree. We do not wish to provide targets for those individuals. We admit that one unfortunate result of this policy is that you have to take our word for it that we are accurately reflecting the views of contributors — that we are telling the truth when we state that an e-mail is "reproduced in its entirety, unedited," and that the e-mail is genuine. This is a decision for you to make about this site, as is the case for political or other information from any source.

November 5, 2015: Election Results

We are using the close of this election cycle as an opportunity to "reboot" with a fresh start for this web page. We hope all Worcester residents will also consider a fresh start for working together to address the challenges facing our community.

      As everyone who gets mail or has a phone knows, this off-year election generated a huge amount of campaigning for many significant races. Countywide, Republicans suffered a near total rout from row offices on up. Their only bright spot was election of the highly qualified Risa Ferman, currently the Montco District Attorney, as judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
      The problems facing Montco Republicans are perhaps best exemplified by the fact that Joe Gale, going "rogue" on his party, won the single Republican County Commissioners seat over endorsed candidate Stephen Tolbert. (Election rules for this position mandate that no party can hold all three seats.) Gale was quoted by the Times Herald in its November 4 edition as saying "I think I'm a breath of fresh air, that it is healthy and refreshing for Montgomery County. I am not beholden to the party, to special interests, to law firms, to engineering firms. I am beholden to the people,... I had a different campaign strategy. I was never picked by the party and I was never treated as a nominee. The people selected me." Gale, in his 20's, has no prior service in any elected public position and no apparent qualifications or experience that would appear to be relevant to running Montgomery County. Whether he will be an effective representative for county residents remains to be seen.
      There were two races of direct interest to Worcester residents. Five seats (with three incumbents) were up for grabs on Methacton School Board. For School Board, candidates can cross-file to be on both the Democratic and Republican ballot. The spring primary campaign for a spot on the ballot featured the Montgomery County Republican Committee retracting Scott Misus' endorsement and removing his name from campaign signs that had already sprung up across the school district, because of his widely circulated racist and anti-semitic remarks on social media. It also featured formation of an entirely new group of five contenders, working together as a group, "Community Advocates for Responsible Education (CARE)." This group appears to have been started in response to the School District's clumsy handling of possible plans to close one or two elementary schools in the face of declining enrollment projections. They then mounted a high-profile and ultimately successful campaign to take over the School Board. Chris Boardman won a spot on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, so he was essentially guaranteed a spot on the Board. However, in a stunning result, all five of the CARE candidates (a majority for this nine-member board), won. Here are the School Board results from the Montco Voter Services website. The top five names will take seats on the School Board in December and the remaining four will not.

In Worcester, the School Board race played out differently. The incumbents plus Scott Dorn and Chris Boardman won the top five spots. Boardman won the top spot because he was cross-filed and there was a heavy Democratic turnout. But Worcester votes were outnumbered by Lower Providence votes.

      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 for Supervisor.) 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 <committeemanjimmollick@yahoo.com>
To: Jim Mollick <gyno@comcast.net>
Sent: Fri, Oct 30, 2015 8:57 am
Subject: Jim Mollick Write In Campaign for Supervisor November 3

Hi All!!
      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.