May 27, 2010

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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
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2009© Chestnut Hill Local
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Not scared yet?

The Mayor is right on insisting that the city live within its means and, if City Council won’t hold hearings on the revenue-producing sugar tax, to make the necessary cuts in services.

But he is wrong to hold the libraries, police and fire departments hostage yet again instead of sharing the pain fairly across all city departments and constituents.

Philadelphia is not an island nation. If the spillover effects of our national addiction to both oil and the Iraq and Afghan wars-devastated coastlines and terrorist incidents being just a couple of the more recent ones in addition to our constantly beggared cities — are not enough to change our direction, what will it take? Perhaps we are not yet terrified enough.

Brian Rudnick
Chestnut Hill


All responsible

Our community, like any other, is faced with a number of issues. In order to deal with these effectively and in a manner that addresses the needs of the community as a whole, and in the long term, we must define and clarify these issues, research the facts and let those facts be known so that members of the community can more easily contribute to their resolution.

Like it or not, we are all responsible for what happens in our community.

It is long past time for individuals and institutions to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions or of their inaction. Angry and baseless accusations, the mischaracterizations of individuals serves no one and only obscures the issues facing us and the possibility of finding solutions.

Ann Ward Spaeth
Chestnut Hill


Problem with primaries

We have completed the 2010 Primary Election, but there is still some doubt as to who won. This problem is caused by our current method of determining the winner of an election. In Pennsylvania, we now use a plurality system for deciding who wins.

Many other countries, use a system called Instant Runoff Voting, in which each voter ranks their top three candidates for each elected position.

If none of the candidates earns a majority in the first round, the candidate with the least votes is removed from the ballot and his or her votes are awarded to the candidate chosen as second by the individual voter.

This process continues until a candidate has earned a majority of votes.

The May 18 primary election for a Democratic party candidate in State House Seat 194, which includes Roxborough, Manayunk, Wynnefield and East Falls in Philadelphia, and parts of Montgomery County is a good example of the problem with our system.

Five candidates were running for the party nomination, and a winner was declared with only 33 percent – one third – of the total votes cast. This raises a serious problem. Two thirds of the voters desired a candidate other than the one declared winner.

In the General Election on Tuesday, November 2, voters in House District 194 will again have a choice. The Democratic Party candidate – business owner, CEO, and consultant – will have to face an organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 152. Hugh Giordano, born and raised in District 194, will be the Green Party candidate in that election. He represents a party that stands historically for Instant Runoff Voting, a type of election in which winners really are elected by majority.

Chris Robinson
Northwest Greens


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