A sneak peek at Santa’s list for Unionville

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

It’s the time of the year for wish lists and as we close in on Christmas — I thought I’d offer a few peeks in what I suspect might be on some local school and elected officials lists for Santa Claus.

For our local elected state legislators: Chris Ross (R-East Marlborough), Steve Barrar (R-Upper Chichester) and Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester): the wisdom to calmly work through what will be troubled waters in 2011 — as the state faces at minimum a $4 billion budget deficit. With a Republican majority in the legislature and a new Republican Governor — Tom Corbett — the years of deadlock in Harrisburg should be over. But charting a path to financial responsibility may prove painful. Here’s hoping Santa brings an extra dose of insight and wisdom to all three gentlemen to help guide them through what will be a difficult and sometimes painful process.

For both the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board and the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association: a contract settlement proposal that both sides can swallow hard and live with for the long term. I don’t think that there’s a person in the district who wouldn’t like to see this get done and as fairly to all sides as possible. As things are probably going to get a bit harder, economically, in the short term, getting this done so teachers, administrators and board members can work together to get the district through the current financial crisis and maintain the high educational standards would be a gift to everyone in the community. A scarier prospect: contract talks dragging into the political season of the early spring and becoming a free-for-all.

For Superintendent of Schools Sharon Parker: a corporate sponsor for her Food For Thought sessions. While I (and I assume any number of other people) appreciate her attempts to make the lunch meet-and-greet with the public cost-free to the district, the thought of needing administrators to make sandwiches seems a bit out of kilter. Personally, I’d rather see them working on what they do best, educating kids, rather than slinging the Dijon mustard. Let’s see if we can find 10 or so local companies that will each pick up the tab to cater lunch for these sessions. And yes, The Unionville Times volunteers to pay for one of the sessions — and yes, the session will be considered off the record. Okay local businesses: will you step up and join us?

For the Unionville Recreation Association: More fields, more money and more volunteers. In 2011, it looks like the URA will have to again turn local kids away because there aren’t enough fields to go around. The planned Unionville Park will be a blessing, but, still will leave the URA very short of what it needs to house programs for of the kids who want to play. With all of the concern about the health of our kids, we need to do everything possible to get kids up and playing sports. Along with the need for fields, URA could use money — expenses keep climbing while revenue from registration is kept as low as possible to allow as many kids to play as possible. Here’s another place where a few more corporate sponsors could make a big impact with a few dollars. Finally, great organizations such as the URA thrive because of people who spend time and passion working to make them great. URA could really use more helping hands — and it’s a great way to make a major impact on your community.

For local township supervisors: the well-deserved kudos for smart management that keeps things running each and every year with less and less money. The Unionville area is blessed with a good group of smart, caring elected township officials who manage to put aside politics and make tough decisions for their towns. They are often the first folks to get grief from angry residents and very rarely do they get the much-deserved pat on the back for their many hours of hard work for lousy pay. The tax rates and general lack of tax increases — despite steep drops in income — is testament to their strong management and hard work.

For all of our readers: Getting The Unionville Times up and running and finding so many enthusiastic supporters and readers so quickly has been humbling. In terms of readership, we are light years ahead of where I thought we’d be by the end of 2010 and it is impossible to convey how much the many warm words of encouragement have helped to fuel this process. To all of you, who make this worthwhile and fulfilling, I wish you the merriest of Christmas, a happy, healthy and prosperous new year — and the firm hope that 2011 is a year filled with much more joy and happiness than 2010.

From all of us: Merry Christmas.

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