I was born in Philadelphia and lived in Oreland until I was nine years old. My family moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where I was raised in a rural, tight-knit community. When I wasn't playing soccer or another sport, I helped out in the family lumber and hardware business. My parents taught me the value of working hard to achieve my goals.
For college, I came back to Philadelphia to attend Temple University and earned my degree in Physical Therapy in 1983. After graduating, I opened my first PT practice in Bala Cynwyd and lived on the Montgomery County side of City Avenue near Saint Joseph's. I enjoyed the community feeling and easy access to the city and western suburbs.
The early 90's saw tremendous growth along the City Avenue corridor. Traffic was on the rise and, for me, the quality of life was declining.
I chose to escape the urban sprawl that was encroaching on my neighborhood and moved to bucolic Whitemarsh Township because of its uncongested roads, open spaces, and natural beauty. It was nearby Fort Washington State Park and its quiet, hikeable paths along the Wissahickon Creek that were particularly appealing to me.
As a physical therapist, I spent most of my 30-year professional career in my own private practice, with my last office in Flourtown/Erdenheim. My father was a self-made man who taught me the virtues of customer service. I adopted his way of caring for people by listening to their concerns and requesting feedback on how to do better. I believe that, to be successful, one must be introspective and accept criticism. This is necessary for growth.
The healthcare industry changed drastically over the years and required me to adapt and negotiate the ever-shifting landscape. Through creativity and hard work, I was able to reinvent my professional self to succeed despite many formidable industry challenges.
I am an avid gardener and enjoy spending time outdoors no matter what the elements. The roots of my appreciation and respect for the environment stem from being an alumnus of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), where the primary philosophy for outdoor exploration is “leave no trace.” I served as a Penn State Master Gardener for ten years, and I will be participating in an upcoming Penn State Master Watershed Stewardship program. It is this lifelong interest in the outdoors and gardening that informs much of my environmental awareness.
Now retired from clinical practice, I've become even more interested in giving back to my local community through various forms of volunteerism. Participating in local government is another way I'd like to contribute.
I have made it a priority to become involved in Whitemarsh government activities over the past few years. This has included serving on the Environmental Advisory Board and regular attendance at Board of Supervisor, Planning Commission, Shade Tree Commission and Zoning Hearing Board meetings. I learned a lot by pulling back the Whitemarsh curtain.
Through these forums, I was alarmed to see that our Township Supervisors and the appointed paid staff have failed the residents of Whitemarsh. Our elected officials have not had a vision for the Township based on the desires and best interests of our citizens.
The more I looked, the more questions I had. I could not get the answers I was seeking. I asked honest questions that should have been given straight-forward answers. Unfortunately, much of the information I received was factually incorrect, sanitized, or sugar coated. I felt stonewalled.
My direct approach and attempts to engage in productive exchanges earned me the epithet of "caustic"** from one of the Supervisors. In reality, it is my drive to get the facts, speak out, and advocate for my community that makes others uncomfortable and hide from the issues.
So, with much encouragement from friends and residents and in consultation with my wife, I have decided to run for Township Supervisor in the November general election.
It's time for change.
*I'm A Happy Person, But An Angry Citizen" - (Lewis Black, Comedian)
**Caustic [kaw-stik] - severely critical, harsh or sarcastic
These are the key issues that I have become increasingly concerned about over the recent years and have prompted me to run for Supervisor.
Over-development In Whitemarsh
The surge of development over the recent years appears to be executed with a lack of big-picture planning and consideration for the residents of Whitemarsh. As a result, the health and welfare of Whitemarsh residents are being put at risk. It seems that every bit of open space is being developed with townhouses.
How does over-development affect us?
Lack of transparency & poor communication
Whitemarsh should conduct all business in a transparent and open way. This has not been the case.
Financial Waste & Belt Tightening
Planning and spending our dollars should be done in a mindful and measured way.
Development - Amend zoning to protect the health, welfare and property of our residents.
Lack of transparency & poor communication - How to do better.
Financial Waste & Belt Tightening - Making financial choices based on our Community's priorities.
*William Jeanes Memorial Library and Nicholas and Athena Karabots Center for Learning
Environmental Protection - Whitemarsh Township should set the example and be the environmental steward of our community.
Until now, I have been a life-long Democrat, where, in general elections, I have frequently split my ticket. I have always focused on the issues important to me and not the Party. The current Whitemarsh Democratic Party seems more concerned about party loyalty than about what is best for Whitemarsh residents. The current Board of Supervisors always seems to speak with one voice, yet there are five members. It is inconceivable to me that five individuals could be in complete agreement on most issues. Having public dialogue and debate over difficult issues and dissent almost never happens.
Whitemarsh Township deserves better. We deserve change.
I do not believe that party affiliation should preclude one's ability to serve as a community leader. I believe in “Community over Party” and so the most effective-way for me to initiate change is to run as an Independent candidate.
I will run a campaign that is fiscally and environmentally responsible. My campaign will be self-funded, and I will ask no one for monetary contributions. There is too much financial waste in campaigns, and I hope to get my message across in a personal impactful way. Additionally, I will put out some well-placed campaign signs that will be reused by me to build bird houses or other items that have a place in nature.
I will not inundate the voting public with mailers or other items that will wind up in the recycling bin or trash. That never made any sense to me and is antithetical to what I stand for. Instead, I will use digital media, primarily through my website and blog, to communicate my ideas and encourage Whitemarsh voters to engage with me directly.
I would like to meet with as many of the voting public as possible between now and November. My plan is to spend time listening and learning about the concerns of the constituents I look forward to representing.
It is my hope that residents will welcome me into their homes, share their thoughts with me, hear my ideas, and challenge me where we disagree. I am a big boy and can take it!