Morton (Mickey) J. Simon, Jr.

Democratic Candidate for Re-election
in Cheltenham's 6th Ward

Home Activities Personal Information Ward Map/Polls Government Links

 

 

 

 


Vision and Action in Cheltenham



Re-elect Commissioner Mickey Simon

Working together we can continue to make good things happen.

 

My Vision

 

What do I envision to make Cheltenham even greater than it is? Click on the links below to see my plans for Cheltenham.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concerts in the Park

This is a great Cheltenham program; it should be maintained and enhanced.

Eight years ago Mickey formed a citizens’ committee to make this happen. The Township strongly supports this concept and now, as a Commissioner, Mickey continues to work with the Parks and Recreation Department and the continuing citizens’ committee (which deserves the great thanks of the Township and several members of which live in the 6th Ward) to make it a continuing success.


Mickey wants to maintain and enhance this program. The Committee seeks to create broadly diversified programming which will appeal to a cross section of musical tastes. Unlike many concert series, this is free, and Mickey sees it as a means to bring the community together and to market the benefits of Cheltenham. Mickey works to try to get sponsorship so that costs to the Township are kept as low as possible. He wants to maintain and enhance this program and he and the Committee are always looking for input from the community on how to improve it.


Back to My Vision


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic development to enhance the “livability” and tax base


Cheltenham needs to continue to enhance its commercial districts and be more business-friendly to improve the non-residential tax base and be more attractive to present and prospective businesses and residents.


Before his election as Commissioner, Mickey worked hard as a member of, and ultimately vice chair of, the Economic Development Task Force and the Main Street Program which was part of the Task Force. This included work on the Commercial District Enhancement Plan which provided a vision of what development in Cheltenham might entail. These programs are beginning to make progress.


As a Commissioner, Mickey wants to continue the progress in making Cheltenham more business-friendly. He will continue to work hard to make the Commercial District Enhancement Plan a reality. Work is already moving along in the Glenside area, designs have been made for signage around the Township, and the East Elkins Park area in the 6th Ward is now under design contract. The Township is still largely a residential community and the Commissioners must be careful to maintain a balance between residential uses and commercial uses, but Mickey sees businesses as a means to make the Township more “livable” with more local restaurants and retailers making it possible to avoid leaving the Township for all of your retail needs. This also spreads the tax base and helps control taxes on the single family residences.

 


Back to My Vision



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free wireless Internet access

 

Mickey initiated this concept in Cheltenham this year, initially at Wall Park and the pools. Come out and use it – it’s free, no passwords, no ID required.


Mickey initiated the concept of free wireless Internet access, initially at Wall Park, and the concept now encompasses the two pools. Township staff worked hard to get the program up and running for this summer. The current three locations are intended to provide access located at both ends and the middle of the Township. The Township intends to keep the system in place all year at Wall Park and hopes to move it from the pools to Glenside library and Rowland Community Center/library after the pool season ends.


Mickey sees this program as adding to the “livability” of the Township, as an added benefit provided by the Township which will show the world that Cheltenham is at the cutting edge of technology and cares about modern technology. Like increasing local businesses mentioned above, this program hopefully will attract residents to the Township, but also possibly small high tech businesses which see what the Township is trying to do. Hopefully this program will attract some favorable publicity for the Township. While Mickey initiated, promoted and pushed the idea, he is happy to say that the Commissioners have all seen its potential and have voted unanimously to support it.


The program is brand new. The Township is trying to spread the word, and I would ask all of you who read this and have the wireless card capacity, go to Wall Park or the pools and try it, see if you like it. Take your children to the park or pools and if you do not want to surf the pool all of the time, surf the net, or do some work or communicate with friends and relatives by email. It is simple – there are no passwords or ID numbers required, and it is free so there are no accounts to open or access. All you need is a computer with a wireless card.


If the program gets substantial usage, the Commissioners may decide to expand the locations. The Wall Park location does not appear quite able to reach the Elkins Park Library in the 6th Ward and libraries have been facing considerable funding cuts from the State. Mickey believes that if there appears to be substantial demand, consideration should be given to providing this service to the Elkins Park Library and LaMott Library/Community Center where the existing demand for landline-based computer access is beyond the ability of the libraries to meet.


As the information age expands and more materials are available on the Internet just by clicking a mouse, increased availability of the Internet is a way to expand library materials without having to spend substantial dollars on hard copies and as residents become more competent with Internet research it may reduce demands on librarians’ time. Please let me and the other Commissioners know your thoughts on this entire program and its future, including use in the libraries.




Back to My Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We must support our parks

 

Cheltenham has a large and diverse park system ; it is of benefit to the Township to maintain and enhance the parks as much as prudently and fiscally possible.


Cheltenham has one of the largest park and open space systems in Montgomery County. The parks are very diverse in geography and in description. They are well-used by organized programs of both the Township and private organizations. They are also well-used by individuals who are not part of organized groups. While the parks are open to all, their proximity to our residents is very important.


When “Once upon a Playground” was being proposed for Wall Park, residents were saying that they did not want to have to travel long distances to find the type of park area activities they were seeking. That playground has now been open for just over a year (Thank you to the community volunteers who spent immense amounts of money, but especially effort, to make that playground happen) and it appears to be getting substantial usage. There is currently a feasibility study being done about other possible uses for Wall Park which is located right in the middle of the Township and Mickey looks forward to the results of that study and what possible additional improvement can be prudently made.

Back to My Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We must support our libraries as much as prudently possible

 

The Cheltenham library system gets very substantial and growing usage; our residents must believe in the system because they use it a lot.

Our residents use the library system a lot. The system is spread throughout the Township making it easier to use, especially for students who may have to walk or ride bikes. Statistics show that usage is also increasing substantially. Financial support from outside of the Township has been cut drastically although it is increasing somewhat.

Cheltenham is a highly educated community and many of its residents are attracted by the educational facilities. Even though the School District has just cut the last small number of public library dollars from its own budget, those educational facilities include the libraries. The Cheltenham Commissioners have supported the libraries and I have been strongly supportive of that. The Township cannot necessarily make up every dollar lost from all sources, but the Commissioners must consider the role of the libraries in making this a viable and attractive community and consider what financial assistance can be given to the libraries on a fiscally prudent basis.

One possible areas of support, mentioned above, is proving free wireless Internet access in the libraries. See the last paragraph of the section above about Internet access for further discussion.


Back to My Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing our great community to our residents and the rest of the world

 

It is not enough for Cheltenham to be great, the whole world, including present and prospective residents, must know it.


Cheltenham works hard to keep its residents aware of what is going on in the Township. The annual calendar and semi-annual updates mailed to all households contain substantial information. The Cheltenham website (go to www.cheltenhamtownship.org) is a substantial resource of all kinds of information about the Township; Mickey suggests that you go there to find out about the free wireless internet access, the Wall Park feasibility study, the variety of programs for business. We should work to keep the website as up-to-date as possible and get as much information onto it as possible. It connects to a variety of relevant websites and we should try to expand that availability. By the way, you can go to www.mickeysimon.com (where you are now) to find connectors to a variety of websites, many of which are also links to cheltenhamtownship.org; I hope it is as easy for you to remember www.mickeysimon.com as www.cheltenhamtownship.org.


The website is accessible by the whole world with a computer, but we must try to get press releases about community events and other human interest stories in the press as much as possible. We need to make Cheltenham as attractive a community in which to live as possible. Many of Mickey’s ideas on this page are focused on trying to do just that, making Cheltenham uniquely attractive. Concerts in the Park was intended to do that and free wireless Internet is intended to do that. After much discussion the Commissioners unanimously approved the construction of a new dog park in Curtis with funds to be raised by a citizens group to be formed to support the dog park, and hopefully the dog park will also do that.

 

Back to My Vision


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduced borrowing costs

 

It is a fact of life that municipalities need to borrow money for cash flow and capital projects; Mickey wants borrowing costs to be as low as possible.

Mickey initiated consideration of a longer term borrowing timeline in view of the historically low current interest rates. As Chair of the Finance Committee Mickey suggested consideration of a bond offering which covered a longer timeline with the intention (supported by the Township’s financial advisor, staff, and ultimately the unanimous vote of the Commissioners) of locking in current low interest rates and reducing related out-of-pocket borrowing costs by reducing the number of bond offerings which the Township would have to make for its anticipated needs.


Back to My Vision