ELECT ROBERT SCHENK
SOUTH HARRISON TOWNSHIP
Even though Iíve been on the Township Committee for 9 years now, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit where Iím from, how I got here, and why I still want to be here. After all, I donít get out as much as I used to, and the COVID makes that even harder. So for those who donít know me, below is a summary of who I am. But Iíll address the most important question first, why I still want to be here. Thatís because our township is doing GREAT, in an environment where that is very hard to do so, particularly financially. The past few years have brought unbelievable challenges to our town. Yet, we are not only surviving, but thriving to the point where other towns wish they were us.
This is in no small part due to the people who sit on the township committee who in cooperation bring great values, talents, and insights to our community to keep it steering in the right direction. Itís not an easy job. But everyone on the Committee works together with a common goal, doing whatís right for our town. After 9 years, Iím sure Iím a terrible politicianÖ Iím not a millionaire, havenít advanced up the political ladder to more lucrative positions, havenít made any friends in Trenton. Iíve just done whatís best for South Harrison.
If you re-elect me, Iíll continue to do the same poor jobÖ happily.
How I got here
Iím from Connecticut. As an adolescent, I lived in Germany for two years, and traveled with my family around Europe. As a young Marine, I was stationed in Spain, and traveled all over the Far East. After being Honorably Discharged from the Marines, I finished college and law school at Villanova. My travels have given me the ability to understand the diversity of people from all over the world. I will share with you the most important lesson that I've learned from that diversity...That most people want exactly the same thing I want; a safe place to live and raise our kids, with a minimum of people telling us how to do that.
I moved to South Harrison in 2004, with my wife Donna, and my sons Andrew and Robert. We had been living in a row home in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia which we outgrew. We became familiar with South Harrison through friends living here. South Harrison felt very familiar to me, as it is a lot like where Donna andI grew up in Connecticut. (Donna lived in a neighboring town in CT). My parents bought a home on a horse farm that had been converted to one acre lots. Moving here was a lot like coming home. We bought our home with the intention of it being our last home, and we are now 16 years into that dream.
When we moved, Donna quit her Job at Temple University's Admissions Office to stay home and raise our children. Mission accomplishedÖthey are now bigger than the both of us, put together. I continued to commute to Philadelphia to the law firm where I am a Partner. I defend large institutions like Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from Workers' Compensation lawsuits. Donna is also back at Temple now, and commuting part time (like me) until the COVID is over.
I love South Harrison Township, my neighborhood and my neighbors. My kids grew up riding bikes together, climbing trees, and playing in the playhouse. (Which was recently traded in for an above ground pool.) The grownups get together too, mostly on Sunday. (I go to Mass at The Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit) We get together for Football, New Years Eve, Christmas Cookie Exchanges, and any other excuse we can think up; currently, NASCAR.
Shortly after moving here, I started attending Planning and Zoning Board meetings, and Township Committee meetings. Primarily, I came out to meet my neighbors outside of my development. But, I immediately realized I could use my talents and skills to help the town. As an attorney, I argue in court every day, and I'm no stranger to public speaking. When I found out that someone wanted to put a used tire store on the corner of Rt. 45 and 538, I went to the meetings to speak out against it. I certainly could not see that kind of venture fitting into the homes surrounding the area, or the lifestyle of South Harrison generally speaking. The Board liked my arguments, and subsequently offered me a position to join them, which I did, in 2007. Iíve been involved ever since, and the experience has been invaluable. Iíve been participating in balancing growth in South Harrison, with the economic impact that growth causes. I want South Harrison to stay green, because Hornerís Farm is too beautiful to become a strip mall. (I am green myselfÖmy house is solar powered, and it charges my electric car.)
My love of this town is the reason I began to get involved in its affairs. I want it to stay exactly as it is, but that isn't possible. It has grown, and I want to see it grow in a manner that will ensure its charming character and farming history remains at its core. This is my continuing goal, and the reason why I sit on the Township Committee. I believe that my unique background, and skill set helps me achieve that goal. Itís not an easy job. Smart people with smart ideas are constantly at our Township's door, with smart ideas about what will make our lives better. On the Committee, I can evaluate the applicants to determine if their good intentions are supported by good ideas that are good for South Harrison. (Because everybody has good intentions.)
I'm also running for Re-election because I don't want to see our local politics become a microcosm of our dysfunctional national politics. I've seen firsthand, what happens when someone gets elected to our Board, and then uses their political position for personal, vindictive purposes. I want to see all the members of our board use their position for the best interests of our town and our town only. Most importantly, I want to see our local politics stay local. We know what is best for our town, not politicians in Washington, Trenton, or Elk Township. South Harrison has unique values and characteristics that mirror mine and my family's...and I want to see it retain those values and characteristics. I'm happy to stay on the Committee, if only to ensure someone who seeks political power or money wonít find it in South Harrison.
If you share my values, and believe I have the skills to achieve my goals, please come out and vote for me on Tuesday, November 3rd.
Elect Rob Schenk
South Harrison Township Committee