Upcoming Haverford Township elections point candidates' eyes toward area's future

Home to Main Line staples Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Havertown, the Haverford Township elections will determine who will lead the township on its key issues in the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth wards. Republicans currently occupy six of the township’s nine wards, and for this year’s race, three incumbents represent the party. The fourth commissioner, Democrat Robert Trumbull, is not seeking reelection.

Neighbors spoke to several township residents and leaders and found key issues revolve around the aging township:

  • Many of the township’s municipal buildings continue to deteriorate and outgrow purposes, including the Haverford Township Free Library and the Public Works Department building.

    “A lot of people think the township needs to move forward with things for the long-term,” Haverford Civic Council President Chris Whiting said, adding that long with insufficient infrastructure, many of the township’s major buildings are spread out.

    But an even larger concern for Haverford taypayers, Whiting said, is making sure the price tag for these improvements isn’t too high.

  • After the growing success of the Bala Cynwyd trail, the Friends of Haverford Trails will work to create new paths to add to the connectivity of the township as well as preserve older trees – but preserving nature and using it efficiently costs money.

If you live in area and have your own concerns about the direction of the township, add your thoughts in our comments section below. We’ll be sure to ask the commissioners at the upcoming candidates’ forum.

Ward Races:

First elected in 2003, Republican Commissioner Steve D’Emilio represents Ward 1. His opponent, Democrat Tom Shiffer, is a familiar one: Shiffer lost to D’Emilio in 2007.

Ward 3 is the only race welcoming newcomers: Democrat Robert Trumball, who was elected in 2003 and again in 2007, is stepping aside, and the two candidates vying for his spot know each other well: Fellow Haverford Civic Council board members Jane Hall (R) and Jeff Miller (D) will go head-to-head.

A ward caught in the middle of the area’s billboard crisis, the two candidates vying for the Ward 5 commissioner spot are current Republican Commissioner Jeffrey Heilmann and Democrat Darin Hayton. This is Hayton’s first campaign for Haverford Township, where he is an assistant history professor at Haverford College.

After losing to Republican Commissioner Jim McGarrity in 2007, Larry Chrzan continued to question McGarrity’s expense report practices publicly, and reignited the Haverford Blog to keep track of all candidates’ campaign contributions. In his fifth term as commissioner for Ward 7, McGarrity is a lifelong Haverford Township resident.

Democrat Patricia Loomer faces Commissioner President William Wechsler, who is in his first term serving Haverford Township’s Ward 9.