Chadds Ford hires new Twp. Manager

Serock to start Oct. 13; Oakland Road proposed development may get new approach

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


Amanda Serock will take over as the new Chadds Ford Township Manager, effective Oct. 13.

CHADDS FORD —  The township introduced its new Township Manager, Amanda Serock, at Wednesday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Serock, who replaces Judy Lizza, will formally take on the job Oct. 13. She is currently the Assistant Borough Manager in Swarthmore. In addition to being the new Township Manager, she will also serve as Sewer Authority Manager and Emergency Management Coordinator.

Supervisors chair Keith Klaver said he felt Serock has an excellent background and would be a good fit for the township.

Serock will be the township’s third manager in little more than two years, as Lizza replaced long-time Township Manager Joseph Barakat, first on an interim basis when he resigned in Dec 2012, before being hired on a permanent basis in the summer of 2013.   

In other news from Wednesday night’s meeting, John Snook, Senior Advisor, Brandywine Conservancy, presented changes to the J. Grace Company’s development proposal for Oakland Road.

This plan includes ½ to 1 acre plots, keeping the woodlands and historic overlay intact and further tweaks to buffer Webb Road neighbors’ views.

Supervisor Frank Murphy emphasized the early stage that the proposed development is in, noting that, “nothing has been approved by the Board of Supervisors.”  The decision is, “whether or not we recommend to the Planning Committee to consider a PRD-3 (plan) so that the Grace Company can then submit a plan that can go through the development process.”

Resident Samantha Reimer stated that a “PRD-3 is cumbersome to administer” and will create problems in the future when homeowners want to make changes, such as a pool or expand.  She suggested a plan that allows for more landowners rights.  Other residents expressed concerns about how the development will impact their view.  Snook reminded residents that “the public can be involved in the Planning Commission process.”

The supervisors passed the motion for the Planning Commission to evaluate the new approach.

The Board of Supervisors is negotiating the purchase of the 1381 Baltimore Pike property, near the Commons. This property has been vacant for many years. Klaver explained many benefits to purchasing this 1.7 acre lot, including open space, stormwater management, and additional township land (to use or not use in the future.)   The decision to purchase will be based upon environment study findings.

Klaver announced the following preliminary 2015 Budget items: no property tax increase, flat expenses (except cost of living), and proposing a stormwater study, increasing road and maintenance costs, and increasing building inspector costs.  There were more revenues than expenses in 2014, so the Township will be able to fund more in 2015.  A more detailed budget will be presented next month.

A representative from the Chadds Ford Civic Association invited township residents to its annual “Wine and Cheese” membership meeting on Oct. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Brandywine River Museum.

The Association will recognize Karl Keurner, Jr. as its “Outstanding Citizen of the Year.”  Keurner, Jr. and his son, artist and commentator Karl Keurner III, will participate in a panel to discuss Chadds Ford life during the 1930s through the 60s, including their relationships with the Wyeth family.  A book signing by Keurner III will follow.

Members are free, non-members can sign-up for $20.

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