Paid for by Friends of Elaine Paul Schaefer

Friends of Elaine Paul Schaefer

PO Box 32

Broomall, PA 19008

on the

Elaine

Issues

Lack of Transparency and Accountability

First and foremost, we need to change the simple logistics of how the government is run so that residents can truly understand and participate.  Some of these changes are simple, some more complex. These changes would include:

  • Bidding out all public contracts over a threshold amount – including all contracts for professional services and insurance.

  • Publishing all financial information on the County website, including all expenditures, and posting the complete budget with every single line item included. Posting every budget for every fund, not only the operations/general fund budget.

  • Holding public meetings in the evening, when our working residents can attend.

  • Publishing the agenda with all supporting documentation on the County website   three days prior to every public meeting. The public should have access to all information that County Council has when making decisions, without the need to file a right to know request.

Lack of a Meaningful Open Space and Trails Program

Lack of a Meaningful Open Space and Trails Program

Our County is woefully behind in terms of investing in preserving our natural environment and recreational facilities.  Responding to a survey conducted in 2012 by our own County Planning Department, 80% of our residents stated that they support protecting open space as a priority.  However, while we have done a great job of planning on this front, we have failed to commit meaningful resources to implement this planning. On County Council, I will advocate to:

  • Explore all available options for a sustainable revenue source to be dedicated to open space protection, trail development and park improvement.

  • Consider an open space bond referendum to let residents decide for themselves if they want to make open space and natural resource protection a priority.  The recently approved $10 million for open space and trails is a great first step, but inadequate for our population and needs.

  • Support County staff in efforts to leverage County funding with local, state, federal and private dollars.

Lack of a

County Health Department

Delaware County is the only county in the collar suburbs to lack a health department, despite the fact that a 2010 Johns Hopkins’ study found that our population lags behind the nation, the state and the neighboring counties in critical public health indicators, such as asthma, drug induced deaths, drinking, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases and low birth weight babies. Further, the study found that clear health disparities exist and are most prevalent in underserved populations within the County. On County Council, I will advocate to:

  • Act upon the findings of yet another health study the County has undertaken to analyze this issue, currently due to be completed in 2019.

  • Support the formation of a County Health Department, in response to the issues raised in the 2010 John Hopkins report.

  • Aggressively seek state, federal and other support to offset the financial burden of a health department.  In Chester County, the director has estimated that after grants and fees, the Chester County health department costs each resident about $2 a year.

A Poorly

 Managed 

For-Profit Prison

Incarceration should not be a for-profit endeavor.  Our County has abdicated this essential government function to a private company, and our residents are suffering for it. The prison is overseen by an unelected board, and because the management is through a private company, the level of accountability and transparency of conditions is woeful.  Not surprisingly, a great deal of resident unrest surrounds this issue. On County Council, I will:

  • Work to change the structure of the Prison Board overseeing the prison.  Elected officials should be charged with the oversight of this annual $50 million expenditure of taxpayer funds.

  • Work to dismantle the for-profit model and move to government management of this function – like every other county in this state.

  • Focus on drug treatment and rehabilitation in this institution, as many if not most of the incarcerated individuals are in for a short time and will be reintroduced to our communities.

  • Improve the transparency of conditions, programs and budget of the prison.