The Candidates Forum is tomorrow night. (Thursday, 7-9 pm at The Centre Theater). The election is November 5th. To help you prepare, here are some facts about our council candidates.
One open seat on council is for a 2-year council-at large office. The seat was vacated by Dwayne Roster last summer. Cy Burke was appointed by council to fill the remaining months of 2013. The two candidates for this seat are Olivia Brady and Mary Ellen Early-Digregorio.
Two seats are open on Council for 4-year council-at-large offices. Running for them are Marlon Millner, Derrick Perry, and Sue Soriano.
Marlon Millner is the Democratic incumbent, elected in 2009. His first term ends Dec. 31, 2013. He's been a resident of Norristown since 2007, with a house in the North End. His Linked-In page lists him as "Freelance Communications Provider Communications, Digital Media and Consulting Services." He says he writes a local column in a local newspaper, though I only found 4 opinion pieces in the last year for The Times Herald. He does not list his Council office on his Linked-In page, nor does the word "Norristown" appear anywhere on it. He also, since August 2012, serves as pastor of McKinley Memorial Baptist Church in Willow Grove. He has separate Facebook pages for his pastorship and his office on council . Neither mentions the other or his freelance work.
Although council members are supposed to rotate through the office of
Council President, serving one year each, Mr. Millner declined to serve
as president in 2013 when it was his turn, so Mr. Simpson served a 2nd
Millner is often seen texting on his phone during meetings. He's tweeted
comments during meetings and has even left the room to take phone
calls, missing votes. He is rarely seen at zoning or planning meetings
and never at town events.
Mr. Millner is the only council
candidate not to RSVP for the forum tomorrow. When the coordinator of
the forum tried to ask him about it in person last night, he looked
right at her, then walked out of the room without saying a word. He did
this in front of 4 witnesses, of which I was one.
In 2011, Council censured Mr. Millner for alleged ethics violations.
So there are our council-at-large candidates. Come to the forum and ask the candidates attending about issues that concern you.