Conshohocken Post Election Analysis

Balance of Power

Four seats that were previously controlled by Democrats all stayed Democrat.  Democrats control the council 5-2.

Old Conshy vs. New Conshy

Newer residents have taken over Borough Hall.  The post-election make-up consists of the following members:

  • Paul McConnell (D) – Newer Resident
  • Eddie Phipps (D) – Long Time Resident
  • Raj Gupta (D) – Newer Resident (replaces other newer resident Jason Salus)
  • Matt Ryan (D) – Newer Resident (replaces long term resident Tony Tucci and defeated long term resident Bob O’Neill)
  • Ike Griffin (D) – Long Time Resident
  • Carolyn Maye (R) – Newer Resident
  • Bob Stokley (R) – Long Time Resident

So now newer residents control the council 4-3.  Why is this relevant?  While I haven’t attended many Borough Council meetings, the few that I have attended have shown me one thing, there isn’t much disagreement on most issues.  The only time there is contentious debate or votes is when personnel decisions are made (such as solicitor) or when one side is thinks it can gain political advantage by criticizing or bringing to light the decision of a previous council that was controlled by the other party.  No one is against dog parks or community gardens.

So since Democrat vs. Republican doesn’t come into play much, except for the areas I mentioned, do newer residents look at issues differently than long term residents?  The margin for the new vs. old is razor thin.  Matt Ryan defeated Bob O’Neill by just three votes.  It will be interesting to follow this potential trend.

I spoke to Borough Council President Paul McConnell about this and he stated that he has not experienced conflict between newer and long term residents.  He did notice that residents from the large apartment complexes on the river did not turn out to vote and that newer residents that are homeowners share the same concerns as long term homeowners.

How Many Votes?

The un-certified vote total for Borough Council races was 1,012.  There are somewhere between 900-1,000 registered voters in the 3rd Ward and there were an un-certified 210 votes in that ward.  That means approximately two out of 10 registered voters voted.

Upcoming Issues

The new council, which will sworn in just after the New Year, will have issues such as the proposed Super Wawa, what to do with the Verizon Building and the implementation of the redevelopment plan on their plate.