Letters: To the Members of CHCA

Posted 7/20/21

 I am Jim Seif and I write to ask your support for my candidacy and for other independent “non-Slate” candidates for the CHCA Board.

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Letters: To the Members of CHCA


 I am Jim Seif and I write to ask your support for my candidacy and for other independent “non-Slate” candidates for the CHCA Board. I am a retired lawyer who spent my entire career in environmental law and advocacy, in both the public and private sectors, including serving as the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania and as the EPA Regional Administrator.
I moved to Chestnut Hill last year and seek a CHCA Board seat as an independent candidate with experience and fresh ideas that could benefit the community. I believe the  other independent “non-Slate” candidates, have the same perspective. None of us coordinated our candidacies  beforehand, and none of us expected this to be a contested election or to face a “Slate.” 
The “Slate“ candidates have circulated their bios and platform to you, and given the short time left to vote (up to 5 PM on July 22, 2021,) I volunteered to raise some questions and give you some reasons to consider independent “non-Slate” candidates.
At the outset, I want to say that to my knowledge none of the “non-Slate” candidates have any objection to the qualifications of the “Slate” members or their platform. That Platform, though well-written, simply restates many of our Association's principles, and is not objectionable. 
I believe  that the current Board of CHCA has worked hard in all our best interests. I understand they intend to do a strategic planning process to better integrate the activities of all many fine groups working in Chestnut Hill. I think we need to do these tasks in a transparent way that is not dominated by any “Slate.” 

I also believe we need a stronger conflict of interest policy and term limits on Board members. Such a policy should require written disclosure of any appearance of a conflict of interest and a Board member should not participate in or vote on matters subject to such disclosure. The CHCA Board should also have a term limit policy so that new people and perspectives can join the Board. 
I ask all the “Slate” candidates to support these new policies. I invite them to respond to this letter by disclosing how they will proceed to make independent judgments on the issues that come before the Board. 
I encourage all candidates to contact all and their friends to confirm their independence. You can then vote based on what each candidate says and their individual qualifications.
In short, the Board must have the benefit of the valuable INDEPENDENT CIVIC JUDGEMENTS of Board members – but not their PERSONAL BUSINESS JUDGEMENTS, especially not if those business interests are not disclosed.
For your convenience, I am listing the “non-Slate” candidates: 
Graham Brent
David Caulk 
Jody Greenblatt 
Jason Pierce  
Hillary O’Carroll
Mathew Rutt
and myself  
Find their bios and instructions for voting at chestnuthill.org
Your vote matters and I appreciate your support. You are free to share this letter with your friends and urge them to vote for the best qualified truly independent candidates who will fairly consider a stronger conflict of interest policy and term limits for the CHCA Board.
Thank you!
Jim Seif