Tom Farrell, owner and president of Alternative Computer Technology in West Chester Township, was appointed trustee in March 2013. He previously served for 10 years on Liberty Township’s zoning board.
Why are you running?
In life you have choice when it comes to your community. You can either help write the book that defines your community’s future or you can read it. I was taught by my parents and teachers at an early age to get involved in your community and be the authors of the book. Liberty’s future looks bright but execution of current strategies and creation of future strategies will impact this Township for generations to come.
I want to use my experience in both business and local government to make sure we execute the correct strategies at the correct time in a fiscally responsible manner. My background will clearly attest to my commitment to the community and my longevity to my commitments, I believe that my passion, vision and dedication will be an asset to Liberty Township both now and in the future. One of the smartest things I ever did was to move to Liberty. It truly is a great place to raise a Family and it’s a wonderful time to be in Liberty Township.
What makes you the best candidate?
What makes me the best candidate is my background and my commitment to this community. My background is not one in politics but one dedicated to Family, business and community. In my opinion that is an excellent foundation for a public official. My intentions are pure and without a personal agenda, my goals are achievable and realistic and I will represent the residents of Liberty as a whole to continue to make this a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.
Few local public officials have the resume that I have. My education, 30 years of business experience, and my community service position me as the best candidate. The last 10 years in Liberty zoning I have proven my ability to do what’s best for the residents in a fiscally responsible way, with the residents needs as my number one priority. It is about making decisions that are best for the residents of Liberty Township both short and long term and I feel I am best equipped to do that.
What specific services are you willing to cut?
I have proven over the years that I am willing to cut any service or services that are not necessary to maintain the safety and quality of life that Liberty Residents expect and deserve. The key is to make sure that all service that the township provides its residents are held to a high standard while being fiscally responsible, if it is not it would be cut. All township expenses need to be reviewed regularly to make sure that expenses are in line with services provided. If the expenses outweigh the benefit to the residents than the service needs to be eliminated.
What fees or taxes are you willing to raise in order to keep or expand government services?
I am not willing to raise any taxes. Financing a Township is not an easy task it takes a great deal of coordination and hard work between Residents, Elected Officials, Staff and each and every department. The townships number one source of revenue is property taxes. I believe that the best way to increase revenue for the township is to increase property values. If we increase property values than revenue increase as a percentage and therefore revenues increase without increasing taxes. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to bring in high quality businesses like Liberty Center and Children’s Hospital’s new proton therapy facility. It is crucial that we continue to be proactive and continue to look for additional high quality Township businesses. We are all working very hard to make Liberty the best township to live, work and play, if we accomplish that while maintaining financial responsibility property values will increase and additional taxes will not be necessary.
What services are you willing to share with other governments?
Sharing of services is something that is happening state wide not only in government entities but also in private business, and many service sharing programs are very smart for business. In my business we have used shared service to combine purchasing power in our industry and it has been very lucrative. There are no services at this time in the Township I would not consider sharing, but service sharing needs to be thought out and we need to take into account not only the financial side but we need to analyze both sides of all decision. What we cannot do is compromise our resident’s rights or safety to save a few dollars. Liberty Township needs balance in everything it does. If balance can be achieved Liberty will be a great place to live, work and play.
What are Liberty Township’s three largest hurdles and how would you work to overcome those issues?
The three largest hurdles facing Liberty is balancing the budget, infrastructure and zoning.
Zoning is always a hurdle for townships, but it is one I am very familiar with as I have spent 10 years working on zoning. In zoning it is very difficult to balance the rightes of individuals and the township as a whole, we need to continue to be objective as we look at zoning and make sure we keep small business, large businesses and residnets all in mind as we make descisions that affect their lively hood and property values.
Regarding a balanced budget, I would like to keep Liberty Township a bedroom community without having to pay bedroom community taxes. For roughly every dollar of services we use as residents it cost the township $1.50 and businesses are the reverse of that. So it becomes very obvious that we need a good mix of business and residential to balance the checkbook. I believe that the best way to increase revenue for the township is to increase property values. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to continue to bring in high quality businesses like Liberty Center and Children’s Hospital’s new proton therapy facility. It is crucial that we continue to be proactive and continue to look for additional high quality township businesses while maintaining our local small business activity, this will decrease our tax burden and increase our property values. At the same time we need to make sure our infrastructure needs are addressed as we bring in these new businesses.
Liberty’s future looks bright but execution of current strategies and creation of future strategies will impact this Township for generations to come. I want to be the person who creates and executes these stategies.