A Republican In Swarthmore
By Bob Small
I spoke to one of the Republicans in Swarthmore with a long and devoted history with the Party about his experiences. He is still active, though a young senior. we discussed the history of the history and future of the Swarthmore GOP, and how things had changed and not changed.
For purposes of this article, he agreed to the interview as long as his name wasn’t used, I’ll call him RS (Republican in Swarthmore)’
Swarthmore, Pa., for those who don’t know is overwhelmingly Democrat.
RS remembers the time when the Borough was almost all Republicans and now
is almost, well it is all Democrat, except for a few minor offices.
He didn’t feel it had changed “a whole hell of a lot”, and that Borough Council continued to be dedicated to “the needs of the local citizens”.
We also touched on Alice “Putty” Willets , whom he worked with in her capacity on Borough Council and who I knew for her work on the “Dew Drop Inn” Senior Center. We both agreed it was a shame she was never elected Mayor.
Here is her obit from The Swarthmorean https://www.swarthmorean.com obituary-death-notice
RS says he has maybe received maybe 10 “crazy comments” in his various duties for the Borough about being a “Republican”, probably the same I have received for being a Green and not a Democrat.
RS is a proud Swarthmore College graduate and we discussed where he agreed and disagreed with the College’s decisions I. e. He thought the Inn was “a great enrichment”, for instance, but worked against the College dropping football. How the College affected the Blue Route (2 lanes rather than four), and how the College seeks to maintain “good community relations” by having Athletics, Concerts, Lectures , etc open to the public.
Lastly, we both being Seniors, feeling “it beats the alternative”, we discussed how the Borough helps with walkability by keeping the sidewalks in shape by reminding homeowners about repair, trimming bushes, etc. Right now, there’s a whole vibrant downtown area, but people of all Parties are becoming opposed to this huge Condo project that might eviscerate up to 50 percent of our shopping area. (More about that in the future).
Like many of us, he worries that the increasing RE taxes and higher rents will affect the future of Swarthmoreans to continue to “age in place”.