There will be a primary election held on Tuesday, May 19th. There are four seats up for election on Conshohocken’s Borough Council, but only one contested primary. The contested primary will be between Colleen Leonard and Matthew Breidenstein on the Democratic Party side in Ward 7.
We sent each candidate the same questions and below is the response from Leonard. Breidenstein’s response will also be published this evening. The responses were not edited in any way and the corresponding photo was provided by the candidate.
Ward 7 – Primary Questions
How long have you lived in Conshohocken?
I have lived in Conshohocken 58 years. I am a lifelong resident , as is my husband David. We reside in the home I grew up in on East 12th Avenue.
If you are a newer resident, how did you land in Conshy?
What hobbies, activities or community organizations are you involved in?
Over the years I have been involved in many Community organizations. I was president of St. Matthews CYO and coached girls volleyball for over ten years. I also worked on the committee for the Conshohocken Fun Fest for several years and volunteered for Conshohocken Little League in many different aspects. I am a manager for my brothers at our family business (Murray Kia) , giving back to the community has always been important to us as a business and family. We spent many years volunteering at events like the Soap Box Derby, Car Show, etc.
One of my favorite activities the last several years has been playing softball with my grown children in the Spring and Fall. It is fun spending time with all of the young people and surprising them a little that I can actually still play. Lately I do volunteer to watch my grandsons while they play ,there is nothing better than that and only play when I am needed. It is also nice to let the young people see that you can stay in shape and still do things when you get a little older. I also do take classes at the Fellowship House. I am excited to see there are many new activities being planned for the Fellowship House.
How many public Borough of Conshohocken meetings have you attended in the past year? If you did attend, what issue or concern drove your attendance?
I have attended eight meeting at Borough Council since September. One of the main reason I have been attending is so I can keep the residents in my ward aware of everything that is occurring in Conshohocken, communication is a huge issue for me and would like to see it improved not only in each ward but from Council in general to all it’s residents. The other concerns are the traffic in the downtown area .
What is the single most important issue in Ward 7?
One of the main issues in my Ward is parking both on the streets and in the alleys. The other main concern has been communication with Borough Council and its residents.
The property involved in the proposal to place a Wawa and now an unknown convenience store with gas pumps is located within Ward 7. Do you believe that Borough Council was correct in rejecting the proposal? If you do not support that decision, what is/are your reason(s)?
One of the questions I have been asking the residents in my ward is there opinion on the WaWa. In general most residents were in favor of the WaWa. Many of the residents are aware that WaWa involves themselves in the communities they are located in and will continue over the years to maintain and upgrade their locations. The residents that were not in favor had concerns over traffic and safety of the children at the A Field, these are very legitimate concerns and will have to be addressed no matter what goes in that location. I have not yet had the chance to speak with the resident who lived closest to the location, but will be doing so in the coming weeks.
None of the residents were in favor of Condos or Apartments. The biggest complaint is that they were not asked their opinion or communicated with during the whole process. I think Borough Council should have communicated all of the pros and cons to its residents , not just the opinions of a few. This is truly of the the largest issues in Conshohocken, communication, it truly needs to be changed. On a personal note , I lives two blocks from the location of the WaWa , having it there is not an issue for me, but I will still be listening to all of the residents in my ward.
Keystone Properties is proposing to build three 200’ buildings (one hotel and two office buildings) near the corner of West Elm and Fayette. The intersection is rated a “F” due to the existing traffic. The borough owns the property where the hotel is proposed. What is your position on rezoning this area to allow for larger structures?
This is something Borough Council has chosen to do, this property went out for bid the same time as the property where the old Bell telephone is located. I personally think before any development is done there, the traffic issues need to be addressed and corrected. I also think the builders should have more responsibility in dealing with this issue. Conshohocken cannot afford to look the other way on this problem. The new transportation bill for the state was approved in 2014, the Borough should be seeking our fair share of the transportation,