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Candidate Spotlight for the 156 Legislative Race

Bret Binder

INNOVATION, INTEGRITY, IMPACT

LAWYER

Bret is the founder and managing member of Binder & Canno, LLC, a boutique law firm located in East Bradford Township. Before founding his law firm, Bret was law clerk to Justice Sandra Schultz Newman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He credits his interest in the law to his father, David F. Binder, Esquire (author of “The Hearsay Handbook” and “Binder on Evidence”).

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER

As a small business owner, Bret has created jobs, provided security for a number of families and contributed significantly to the economic growth of his community. Bret has been part-owner of “Pudding Lane Brookline” a gourmet rice pudding emporium in Haverford Township, and was previously part owner of Strikes Bowling Lounge. He was the general partner of Seamazing, LLC, a real estate investment firm, and a member of Darby Station Apartment Associates, LLC and Cambridge Princeton Properties, LLC, both real estate investment companies.

COMMUNITY AND FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

Bret is an avid bowler and baseball player. A star pitcher, he was the ace of two semi-pro baseball teams from 2005 to 2009. He has played semi-pro ball every season since 1997. He has bowled in a league with his family every week since he was a teenager. Bret has tutored many students in SAT’s, LSAT’s, GRE’s and GMAT’s. He has rehabilitated historic homes and revitalized vacant homes and buildings in troubled communities. Currently, he is restoring his 1710 home located in East Bradford Township, Chester County.

EDUCATION AND POLITICAL AFFILIATION

A lifelong Pennsylvanian, Bret graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics (with minors in mechanical engineering and mathematics) and went on to Villanova Law School where he became interested in politics.

Recently, Bret was instrumental in developing the Constitutional argument against the preliminary redistricting plan which butchered the 156th district by carving out half of West Chester Borough from the district thus significantly reducing the chances of a Democrat recapturing the seat. He, along with Mayor Carolyn Comitta and Rich Miller, a graduate student at West Chester University, testified against the plan before the Reapportionment Commission in Harrisburg.

Bret is seeking office because, as a legislator, he will use his experience in the law to protect the vital interests of the community, clarify and streamline existing legislation, and work on legislation to promote the economy, job creation, education, and the environment.

Governor Corbett’s Budget Will Lead to Large Property Tax Increases

THE BIG PICTURE:

— An overall decrease in spending of about 3 percent.

— About $27.3 billion in taxes, fees and other state revenue.

— No increase in the state income or sales tax.

REVENUE

— Projected general revenue growth of $1.1 billion, or more than 4 percent, in 2011-12, including transfers from the national tobacco settlement and other special funds.

— A projected $586 million surplus at the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

— The continuation of the scheduled phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax on businesses, now scheduled to expire in 2014. The rate drops from 2.89 mills in 2011 to 1.89 mills in 2012.

— No tax on natural gas drilling.

SPENDING

— A 52 percent reduction, or $625 million, for the 14 state-owned universities in the of Higher Education, plus Pitt, Temple, Penn State and Lincoln.

— A 10 percent reduction, of $550 million, in funding for K-12 instruction in public schools.

— The elimination of $484 million in “accountability” grants for public schools and reimbursements to school districts for the loss of students who transfer to charter schools.

— A 7 percent increase to $11.2 billion for the Department of Public Welfare, which includes health care for the poor, child care and services for the disabled.

— $1.95 billion, no change, for the Corrections Department.

— A 9 percent increase, to $1.1 billion, for debt service payments.

STATE JOBS

— 1,550 state positions eliminated, including 1,211 from the Department of Public Welfare

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

— Creation of the Liberty Loan Fund, to consolidate existing private-sector financing programs, and Pennsylvania First, a $25 million competitive grant program.

Who will pay for this irresponsible budget? You and me through property tax increases!

Republican Controlled School Board Raises Property Taxes 2.83%

On Monday, May 24th, the Republican controlled West Chester Area School Board has once again decided to raise property taxes after promising austerity. Newly elected school board members Heidi Adsett, Sean Carpenter, Maria Armadi Pimely, and John Wingerter campaigned as fiscal conservatives. These candidates promised to cut wasteful spending and hold the line on property taxes. Ironically, one of those candidates, Maria Armadi Pimley,  proposed an amendment to the board to raise taxes for the 2010-2011 budget by 2.83%. Also voting in favor of this amendment were board President Jim Seagraves, John Wingerter, Jim Davison, and Ricky Swalm. Voting against the budget were board members Sean Carpenter, Heidi Adsett, and Vice President Terri Clark. Board member Jim Smith was absent.

In March, Jim Scanlon, Superintendent of the West Chester Area School district, proposed cutting the the districts director of elementary education position. This cut, according to district Communications Director Rob Partridge, would have saved taxpayers $100,000 per year. This position would have been handled by other administrators but the cut was denied by a 5-4 vote. The new elected school board members that voted against this cut were Heidi Adsett, Sean Carpenter, and Maria Armadi Pimley. Also voting against the cut were Ricky Swalm and Terri Clark. The members that voted to eliminate the position were Jim Smith, Jim Davison, John Wingerter, and Jim Seagraves.

It seems that the local Republican controlled school board has made promises it cannot keep. This isn’t the first time that members of  the school board have been in over their head. In October of 2009, then school board candidates Adsett, Carpenter, Pimley, and Wingerter released a flyer to the public entitled “School Board News”. In it, they criticized the school board for the 5.9% increase in taxes for the 2009-2010 budget. A little ironic, don’t you think? As taxpayers, we have to ask why the tax increase after promises of holding the line? Why does the director of elementary education position still remain when the Superintendent said it should be cut? The answer is it’s just politics as usual!

Environmental Advisory Council (EAC)

The meeting schedule is subject to change. To verify a meeting date, please contact the Township Office at (610) 436-5108

Special meetings and work sessions are advertised in the Daily Local News as required by the Sunshine Law.

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL (EAC)

The EAC shall consist of a minimum of five members who are appointed to a term of 3 years.  Members must be residents of the Township and donate their time to the township for monthly meetings and work sessions as needed.  The EAC is to be advisory to and shall coordinate its activities with the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Board, Open Space Review Board, Historical Commission and other such Township entities.  The EAC advises the Board of Supervisors regarding the identification of environmental problems and conditions and makes recommendations on plans and programs to promote the conservation of the natural resources for protection and improvement of the quality of the environment within East Bradford Township. 

Environmental Advisory Council (EAC)
Robert G. Struble, Jr.  12/31/07
Jeffery J. Cantwell  12/31/07
Bruce Molholt  12/31/05
Mark Piazza  12/31/06
Margaret Van Gilder  12/31/06
Steven I. Werner  12/31/06
Seth B. Whitelaw  12/31/05

Regular Monthly Meeting
4th Monday of each month, 7:00 P.M., at the Township Building

This document was compiled from information researched and gathered from the East Bradford Township website.  For additional information, please visit the East Bradford Township Website at: http://www.eastbradford.org