Name: Ellen Koopman
Address: 304 N. Darlington St.
Running For: West Chester Borough Council, Ward 7
Positions Held Previously: Currently an attorney with the Chester County Public Defender's Office
Improving traffic in the area: I see two ways to improve traffic in the Borough without a massive overhaul of the roadways.
First, we need to encourage those who live locally to walk and/or bike when they want to come into the downtown area. We can do that by maintaining the quality of our sidewalks and keeping them well lit, and by providing ample places for cyclists to park their bikes.
Second, we need to encourage the people who do drive into town to make use of the parking garages to keep people from driving around the downtown area in circles looking for street parking. We can do that by making it less expensive to park in the garage than on the street, or by offering a discount on parking in the garage when one makes a purchase at a local business.
What motivated me to run: West Chester is such an interesting place to live, and I wanted to get more involved in the nuts and bolts of what makes the town work. Public service has always interested me, and is what brought me to my day job as a public defender. I see serving on Borough Council as a natural extension of that, and a great opportunity to contribute to the community in which I live.
Area in which the current administration could have performed better: The excitement over the Council's considering selling the parking lot that hosts the Growers' Market was a missed opportunity for the Council to engage the community in a conversation about the best use of the Borough's resources, with the result that the community misunderstood exactly what the Council was doing and why. As a member of Borough Council, I would keep the community well-informed about the Council's agenda and projects in order to avoid confusion. Social media is an obvious way to communicate the Council's agenda to a wide audience, but more traditional media outlets could be used to greater effect as well.