In 6-2 vote the Rachel Kohl Community Library Board of Trustees voted to approve the installation of the Ballot Drop Box. The Board received 12 emails and 1 in person comment in support of the measure with no opposition communications provided at the meeting.
The bone of contention appeared to be the fact that installing a ballot box has become a polarizing political issue which is what forced Brian Doherty and Randall Ehman to vote "No" .
It was clear from the discussion that many emails and conversation have taken place prior to tonight's meeting among the board members. Each had conversations with their municipal leaders about this decision and were prepared to vote.
The most reasoned contribution was given by Mr. Derek Lloyd who noted, "Political concerns aside as we are always looking for new ways to have the library relevant and the library to help people . (This is) a great way to prove the libraries usefulness and relevance to the community. From that perspective it’s a great idea. If this was a year and a half ago this would be and easy decision to help the community. "
The most troubling was the conversation recalled by Randall Ehman when he met with Dom Pilleggi and John Gillespie. For some reason they thought it was important to impart upon Mr. Ehman that "As far as us meddling with the library board that is not going to happen. You guys are independent and make your own decisions there will be no ramification for that from the council."
To not obscure facts, in this conversation between Mr. Ehman, Mr. Pillegi and Mr. Gillespie it was noted that they simply felt like it was too soon and they didn't want to be Guiney pigs a month before the election.
Mr. Chestnut affirmed my public comment and offered that Chester Heights do not own their municipal building and cannot host a box and would welcome a drop box close to Chester Heights and he was therefore in favor.
Made by Jean MacKenzie and Seconded by Greg Chestnut
“I move that the Rachel Kohl Community Library Board of Trustees approve installation of a Delco Board Of Elections ballot box on library property for a period of 5 years or until canceled as stated in the agreement provided by the Board of Elections and signed by an authorized Rachel Kohl Community Library authorized person.”
Amended with The board president is authorized to amend the agreement.
Amendments and Review
Greg requested a revision in the contract that would add "if and when it is terminated by either party the box be removed within 30 days of the agreement at the expense of the bureau."
Greg also noted that the Chester Heights Borough Solicitor, Jerry Montella, offerEd to review the contract for the board.
The board wants to incorporate changes to the contract that have been negotiated by Thornbury Township with the election bureau.
Per Jean MacKenzie Thornbury Township is scheduled to vote on the ballot box contract at their next public meeting.
If contract changes are material the board will revisit the discussion.
YES - Derek Lloyd -Bethel
NO - Brian Doherty -Bethel
YES - Jennifer Panaro - Chadds Ford
YES - Greg Chestnut - Chester Heights
NO - Randall Ehman - Concord
YES - Mary Alice Peeling
YES - Saleem Shaik Concord
YES - Jean Mackenzie Thornbury
NOT PRESENT - Brenda Orso Concord - Not Present
Brian – Voted No because he believes the library should not be involved in partisan issues.
Randall – Said he’d thought about it carefully and also agrees with Brian
The Library approves the Ballot Drop Box 6 to 2.
Subject to possibly incorporating the changes negotiated by Thornbury on their contract and review by the Chester Heights Borough Solicitor, Jerry Montella. If contract changes are material the board will revisit the contract.
The meeting was held via zoom and recorded by the Board of Trustees and all the above quotes can be verified with that recording. The Board publishes the meeting minutes on the Library website after they are approved by the board.
Thank you to all the board members for their consideration of this community service.